10 Toughest Tables: San Francisco

How hard IS it to get a primetime reservation at a city's most coveted restaurants?


Every month The Daily Meal will reveal how difficult it is to reserve a primetime table at a city's most booked restaurants. This month's feature hones in on San Francisco.

We teamed up with Opentable.com's Chief Dining Officer, Caroline Potter, to find out which restaurant's customers have established as the most-booked. The ten places below were determined by votes from more than 1,071,300 diners.

To help you score a much-coveted table, we cross-examined each restaurant to determine how tough it really is to get seated.

 

San Francisco's Most Booked Restaurants

Slanted Door — (415) 861-8032
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, there are 20 seats at the bar. You can get full-service at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Generally not."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Subject to availability, yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "There's no guarantee ever. Things tend to book up well in advance. It's just a matter of variability."

 

Wayfare Tavern — (415) 772-9060
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "For the bar area we do."
And the dining room? "Yes. If we have any. With cancellations, absolutely."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Normally very early or late, but it depends on the evening."

 

Kokkari Estiatorio — (415) 981-0983
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, you can dine at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Don't love to do it, but it depends on the circumstances. Whenever possible we prefer to seat a full party."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "If we can, of course."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Some nights you can't get anything until 9:30 p.m, 10 p.m. Other nights it's the flip. It depends on what's going on. I would definitely recommend calling. It's all over the place, but we try our best to move things around."

 

Perbacco — (415) 955-0663
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: Italian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes you can. It's a full service menu."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes we will."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "For lunch, probably 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. For dinner, I would say dinner at 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. Later, I would say after 8 p.m."

 

Boulevard — (415) 543-6084
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Absolutely. It's first-come, first-serve."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "It depends on how big it is. If it's a larger table, we do like to have everybody here. It depends on the night. Some nights are busier than others."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes. On a first-come, first-serve basis."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Early usually tends to be better. Prime time is prime-time."

 

Foreign Cinema — (415) 648-7600
Location: Mission/Bernal Heights
Cuisine: Californian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "No."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Early or late between 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. or after 9 p.m."

 

Zuni Cafe — (415) 552-2522
Location: Civic Center/Hayes Valley/Van Ness
Cuisine: Modern European
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "It's a hard one. It would have to be pretty far in advance."

 

A16 — (415) 771-2216
Location: Marina/Presidio
Cuisine: Italian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Generally, no."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would say on the early side or on the later side."

 

Barbacco — (415) 955-1919
Location: Financial District/Embarcadero
Cuisine: Italian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yeah."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "No, unless they have a reservation."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m."

 

Greens Restaurant — (415) 771-6222
Location: Marina/Presidio
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "We don't have a bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "We do not. We generally seat full, complete parties."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Usually earlier, at about 5:30 p.m."


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1 Comments

blueunagi's picture

I am sorry not to see Frances included in this this list , it's a wonderful little restaurant with food and service that is far better than half these restaurants listed. I have eaten there twice, both times just made a reservation for a time that was open, usually six weeks out , my reservation still ended up being around 9pm. You could probably get a reservation sooner then that if you don't mind eating dinner at 5:30. The last time I was there my server said "next time, don't wait so long to come back". Believe me I wouldn't if I could cold get a table anytime.

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