From Our Survey: Secrets of Symphony/Opera Dining

By Tamara Palmer  |  November 7, 2013

These restaurants have been recognized in the 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Survey as the top spots to consider for reservations when going to the opera or symphony. According to you, the dining public, not only are these places that reliably serve quality food, they're also the ones where the servers will be mindful of the performance you need to get to on time. Peruse the winners below and you'll uncover some tips to make your visits easier or more economical.

  • Jardinière

    If your performance happens to land on a Monday night, you can take advantage of the restaurant's weekly-changing prix fixe dinner. Three courses and wine pairings cost $49.

    300 Grove Street; 415-861-5555

  • Zuni Cafe

    While many fine restaurants in the vicinity of the symphony hall and opera house are open only for dinner or closed between lunch and dinner, Zuni fills an important void for food between the hours of 2:30 and 5:45 PM. There's even a special menu for it, and yes, it includes the famous roasted chicken for two.

    1658 Market Street; 415-552-2522

  • Rich Table

    The real secret here is to try not to get addicted to anything on the menu, because chef Evan Rich is fickle in the best possible way and will change it every day and then some. But you can most likely rely on the inclusion of the now signature sardine-threaded potato chips; there would probably be a customer mutiny if he took them off.

    199 Gough Street; 415-355-9085

  • Absinthe

    Luckily, here is another rare restaurant in the area that stays open all day. Most importantly though, that means you can order nerdily-named cocktails and snacks from the page-turner of a drink menu all day.

    398 Hayes Street; 415-551-1590

  • Hayes Street Grill

    If you haven't made reservations and you just want a quick bite, HSG is a good place to do so. Just go up to the bar and order a Caesar salad or the burger. The latter is only available at the bar.

    320 Hayes Street; 415-863-5545