Restaurants

Top Choice Italian in Downtown, Civic Center & SoMa

Cotogna

Chef-owner Michael Tusk racks up James Beard Awards for a quintessentially Italian culinary balancing act: he strikes ideal proportions among a few pristine flavors in rustic pastas, woodfired pizzas and salt-cruste…
Top Choice Italian in Nob Hill, Russian Hill & Fillmore

Seven Hills

Anthony Florian studied with great chefs of California and Italy, and he's expert at taking several seasonal ingredients and making them shine. His short, market-driven menu features house-made pastas with elements …
Top Choice Italian in North Beach & Chinatown

Tosca Cafe

When this historic North Beach speakeasy was nearly evicted in 2012, devotees like Sean Penn, Robert De Niro and Johnny Depp rallied, and New York star chef April Bloomfield took over. Now the 1930s murals and red-l…
Top Choice Italian in The Castro & Noe Valley

Poesia

An all-Italian staff flirts with diners at this unpretentious 2nd-floor bistro with a sunny yellow interior and comfy banquettes good for lingering long after a hearty dinner. Expect dishes you don't typically see a…
Top Choice Italian in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

A16

Even before A16 won a James Beard award, it was hard to book, but persevere: the house-made mozzarella burrata, blister-crusted pizzas from the wood-burning oven and 12-page Italian wine list make it worth your whil…
Italian in North Beach & Chinatown

E' Tutto Qua

The Colosseum is 6000 miles from the corner of Columbus and Broadway, but you'll eat like a gladiator at E' Tutto Qua (translation: It's All Here). Boisterous Roman service and over-the-top decor create a party atmo…
Italian in North Beach & Chinatown

Ristorante Ideale

Other North Beach restaurants fake Italian accents, but this trattoria has Italians in the kitchen, on the floor and at the table. Roman chef-owner Maurizio Bruschi serves authentic, al dente bucatini ammatriciana (…
Italian in The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

Locanda

Friends, Romans, San Franciscans – join the crowd for Roman fried artichokes, pizza bianca and prosciutto, blood-orange and beet salads and scrumptious tripe melting into rich tomato-mint sauce. Pasta dishes are les…
Italian in Nob Hill, Russian Hill & Fillmore

Venticello

To enter Venticello's two-story-high dining room, you descend via a staircase – which may be why so many of the Nob Hill regulars dress up for this otherwise casual neighborhood Italian bistro: everyone sees you arr…
Italian in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Italian Homemade

You'd be hard-pressed to find pasta fresher than this – cooks roll out sheets of dough right in the window. The formula is simple: pick your pasta, add a sauce. The Bolognese is most popular, and, because the propri…