Best Restaurants and Bars Near Ghirardelli Square

Pair all the chocolate with wine flights, cheese carts and Dungeness crab melts
November 14, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Offering spectacular Bay views and the flagship of an iconic chocolate brand, Ghirardelli Square​ is a popular stop on the SF sightseeing circuit. The immediate area's dining options, however, are limited to little more than fudge sundaes and cheese at an urban winery. Luckily, you can find some solid restaurants and bars not too far from the square. If you find yourself in the area, grab a meal, a dessert or an Irish coffee at these dozen picks.

Greens Restaurant
Vegetarian · Marina District · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

"You can taste the Zen" marvel fans of this Marina "vegetarian institution" that transforms "fresh-from-the-garden" organic produce (some from its own Green Gulch Farm) into "outrageously good" , elegantly plated meals that even "satisfy the pickiest meat eaters" ; an "innovative" wine list and "friendly" service in a "serene" setting with "polished wood" and "magnificent" "views overlooking the Golden Gate" seal its status a "consistent winner."
The Interval at Long Now
Cocktail Bar · Marina District · $$

This "unique" Fort Mason triple threat is a well-priced coffee shop by day, a bar by night for cocktails and light snacks (showcasing a limited-edition spirits program by local favorite St. George) and a museum-library combo that also hosts events by the nonprofit Long Now Foundation. The modern space boasts Golden Gate Bridge views, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, thought-provoking decor with a "really interesting history" , and an intimate front bar and lounge area displaying a Brian Eno art piece.
Equator Coffees & Teas
Cafe · Marina District · $

This North Bay coffee roaster with several stylish San Francisco cafes offers a gathering point for single origins, special blends, espresso, tea and other drinks, plus a few beers, salads and snacks served in sleek, modern spaces.
Gary Danko
French · Fisherman's Wharf · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.9

An "oasis of excellence" that "never loses its luster" , Gary Danko’s "stellar" Fisherman’s Wharf namesake manages to "mystically balance" "world-class" New American cuisine on a "brilliantly executed" prix fixe menu ( "don't skip the cheese cart" ) with a "superior wine list" and "synchronized service" , leading to a "warm, customer-centric" experience that manages to be "indulgent without a trace of pretension" ; it comes "at a price" , but for "a celebratory experience" in a "gorgeous" setting, you "get what you pay for."
The Buena Vista
Cafe · Fisherman's Wharf · $
Food 3.9 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

"Smooth" Irish coffee that will "warm you up" "on a cold, foggy day" keeps this Fisherman's Wharf "classic" "bustling with locals and tourists" alike; the interior has "hardly changed" from when the place opened in 1916, and "quaint" servers dishing out "decent" fare, including "hearty" breakfasts, add to the "wonderful throwback" atmosphere, but for many the house-specialty elixir "is enough."
Albona Restaurant
Italian · North Beach · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

With its "stellar" Istrian dishes (a blend of Italian, Croatian and Slovenian cuisines), this "unpretentious gem" in North Beach offers a "distinctive" dining experience in an "off-the-beaten-track" locale that's "easy to miss but hard to forget" ; you may "bump elbows" in the "small space" , but it's overseen by "gracious" servers who "make you feel like family."
Carmel Pizza Company
Pizza · Fisherman's Wharf · $$

The Neapolitan pies are made with traditional dough (using double-zero flour), topped with everything from pepperoncini to artichoke, and cooked in a wood-fired oven at this Fisherman's Wharf pizza cafe. Patrons order from a window then sit outdoors in a charming, partially covered (and heated) garden space.
Scoma's Restaurant
Seafood · Fisherman's Wharf · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

Locals and tourists alike laud these "old-school" "family favorites" that "keep the quality up" via "top-notch" Italian-style seafood, from "wonderful crab" to "must" -try cioppino; a few say it's "not what it used to be" , but the "seasoned" staff and "beautiful" waterfront views still make for "a true San Fran tradition" by most standards.
In-N-Out Burger
Burger · Fisherman's Wharf · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

"Not your typical burger joint" , this "iconic" California-born chain is "loved" for its "high-quality" "customizable" hamburgers (insiders ask for them "animal style" ) paired with "tasty" fresh-cut fries and shakes; despite a "lightning-fast" counter, there are usually "long waits" , but "cheap" tabs and "friendly, Disney-esque" service keep regulars returning.
Gold Dust Karaoke & Bar Lounge
Bar · Fisherman's Wharf · $$

A retro marquee sign is a hint at the old-world party vibe inside this classic bar and lounge (a 1933 Union Square mainstay that moved to Fisherman's Wharf in 2013). Expect art-deco-meets-honky-tonk decor, live music, red banquettes and a menu from signature Irish coffees to an oyster bar to flatbread pizzas.
Fiddler's Green of SF
Irish Pub · Fisherman's Wharf · $$

Expect well-priced pub fare, drinks and happy-hour specials at this Fisherman’s Wharf mainstay that welcomes patrons in a ground-floor pub, a mezzanine set up for viewing sports and a top-floor bar available for private events. The spacious, revamped interior highlights the building’s historic past, with features like penny flooring and rustic wood, and there’s plenty of bar, table and bench seating.