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11 Pre-Theater Restaurants Near the Orpheum

Savvy dining options for your night on the town
May 23, 2017
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by Trevor Felch

After you score tickets to the Orpheum Theatre's latest blockbuster Broadway fare, you face the age-old theatergoer's challenge: where to dine beforehand. Luckily, you have many stellar options right now in and around the show's Mid-Market neighborhood; all our picks are within a 15-minute walk to the theater, from splurges (for a fancy night out) to elevated fast-casual options (if you blew the budget on tickets). The show must go on — after your meal at one of these 11 choice spots.

Alta CA
European-influenced American fare and craft drinks on Market Street from the Daniel Patterson Group, with an open kitchen, bar and soft serve ice cream

Must-order: "Everything spice" deviled eggs; any smoked fish dish; the cheeseburger; one of the many barrel-aged cocktails
Pre-theater tip: Local office workers tend to fill the restaurant from happy hour to curtain. Don't risk having to wait for bar spots and make a table reservation. After the show, there are late-night specials after 10 PM and the bar stays open until either midnight or 1 AM depending on the night.

1420 Market St.; 415-590-2585

Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen
Among the rapidly gentrifying blocks where Van Ness meets Market, this lively lounge and Southern kitchen serves snacks and shared plates in comfortable, rec room–style digs.

Must-order: Gator bites; fried chicken and waffles; shrimp and grits; vanilla-spiced old fashioned
Pre-theater tip: The adjacent Mr. Tipple's Recording Studio also offers a limited menu from Hazel's kitchen. Catch live jazz with cocktails and some collard green dumplings before or after the show.

1446 Market St.; 415-851-8562

The Perennial
A Mid-Market upscale New American bistro and bar serving locally sourced, eco-friendly fare in industrial-chic quarters

Must-order: Pork ciccioli and pickles with Kernza bread and Perennial butter; crisp and tender grains; any aged-beef preparation; Muir Woods cocktail with Cynar and morel mushroom-infused Genever
Pre-theater tip: If you make a 5:30 PM reservation, you'll still have time for the four-course, $59 prix fixe menu which showcases the best chef Chris Kiyuna has to offer. 

59 9th St.; 415-500-7788

Cala
Upscale Mexican from celebrated chef Gabriel Camara on the Mid-Market/Hayes Valley border, serving a seafood-centric menu amidst a chic, atriumlike dining room with skylights and whitewashed walls

Must-order: Trout tostadas; sweet potato with bone marrow salsa negra; mussel tamal; any cocktail with mezcal
Pre-theater tip: Reservations are a challenge at the popular restaurant. Luckily, the walk-ins-only bar area holds about 20 diners and rarely fills up before prime hours.

149 Fell St.; 415-660-7701
 

Corridor
The Hi Neighbor Group's low-key eatery with elevated American comfort fare in contemporary digs on the ground floor of the 100 Van Ness building

Must-order: Any pasta; meatloaf Wellington; seasonal salads like a springtime five-pea and ricotta salad
Pre-theater tip: Saturday matinee-goers, take note: Corridor just launched a Saturday brunch service that is perfect for a 2 PM curtain time.

100 Van Ness Ave.; 415-834-5684

Monsieur Benjamin
Modern French dining from chef Corey Lee (Benu, In Situ) in a polished bistro setting complete with reclaimed wood and white accents

Must-order: Steak tartare; seafood sausage; quail à la chausseur; île flottante dessert
Pre-theater tip: With about two-dozen raw seafood and small plate/appetizer selections, it's easy to have a fulfilling meal grazing on multiple dishes (especially if timing is a factor).  

451 Gough St.; 415-403-2233

Cadillac Bar & Grill
An airy, lively tavern in the Twitter building for margaritas, happy hour, tacos and Mexican platters

Must-order: Grilled lobster puffy tacos; chile relleno; any margarita version
Pre-theater tip: Take advantage of the weekday happy hour. It only lasts until 6 PM, but if you order a $26 house margarita pitcher for the table at 5:59, you'll be set for the show.

44 9th St.; 415-554-0181

The Market
The Twitter building's industrial-style food hall with cafes and counter-serve eats, plus local and organic grocery items

Must-order: Laksa and noodle dishes at Azalina's; purple potato or margherita pizza at Tony's Slice House; poke bowls at Poké Bar
Pre-theater tip: Order food from one of the stations then bring to the circular, central bar to enjoy with food and wine.  

1355 Market St.; 415-767-5130

Montesacro
Industrial-chic enoteca on a Mid-Market side street for Roman-style pizza (called "pinsa") from a brick oven, plus wine and beer

Must-order: Corviale pinsa with buffalo mozzarella, porcini mushrooms and lardo; namesake pinsa with mozzarella, lacinato kale, Calabrian chile and fish sauce; roasted porchetta
Pre-theater tip: Plan on having antipasti before the pinsas, so be sure to sit down at least 90 minutes before curtain.​

510 Stevenson St.; 415-795-3040

Zuni Cafe
A bustling Market Street bistro serving a famous, signature roast chicken and other wood-fired eats

Must-order: Roast chicken; Caesar salad; any pasta; espresso granita
Pre-theater tip: Order the roast chicken immediately if you're set on trying it before the show (it takes an hour to cook). After the show, try the excellent hamburger, a specialty served daytime and late-night only.

1658 Market St.; 415-552-2522

Tú Lan
A longtime Mid-Market hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese eatery for bowls of pho and traditional noodle dishes. Note: It's cash only.

Must-order: Imperial rolls; pho bo (Hanoi-style pho with beef); bún thit nuóng (pork shish kebab with rice noodles)
Pre-theater tip: Service is fast but expect to wait up to 15 minutes to sit. Allow an hour in total. Also note Tú Lan is closed Sundays.

8 6th St.; 415-626-0927

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