Best Restaurants in the Castro

Local Love
July 21, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Here is Zagat's top rated restaurants in the Castro. 

American · The Castro · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.6

"A neighborhood gem in the Castro" , Melissa Perello’s "exceptional" Californian reliably "rocks" thanks to "luscious" dishes that "change with what's fresh and available locally" , served with "pay-per-ounce" house wines ( "best idea ever" ); the "incredible" staff makes you feel "well taken care of" in the "small" , "homey" space, but being a "popular" draw with "limited seating" , it remains "a hard reservation to score" (though walk-in spots are available at the bar).
French · The Castro · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

Channeling a "French bistro in Paris" , this "charming" place in the Castro offers "excellently prepared, beautifully plated" fare complemented by a "thoughtfully chosen, varied wine selection" ; despite the "closet" -size dimensions, the "amiable" service makes it "ideal for dates."
Anchor Oyster Bar
Seafood · The Castro · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.2

This "cute" long-running oyster bar with a "nautical motif" is a "pearl" in the Castro for Boston clam chowder and "simple" seafood "so fresh you'll swear it was made by the Little Mermaid" ; many dishes (such as the "best cioppino" ) are "not cheap but a good value" , and while "seating is tight" in the "tiny" space, the "helpful" staff and "limited" but "nice" list of local white wines ensure the "hungry hordes" leave "happy as clams."
Japanese · The Castro · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

The "flavorful" sushi "melts in your mouth" at this Castro Japanese, though some say it's the "non-sushi dishes that shine" , notably the "fresh strawberry mochi" and "sublime" tofu "made right at your table" ; you can "expect to wait" for seats in the "diminutive" space – but a "gracious" experience is the payoff.
The Viking Room at Cafe du Nord
The Castro · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

Tucked within the long-standing music venue Cafe du Nord, this subterranean dining room offers a concise lineup of American fare including sharing plates, oysters and an "incredible burger" ; "warm" vibes, "excellent" specialty cocktails and "ambient music" from the performance space only add to the "mellow" scene.
Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
Spanish · The Castro · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

"Strong flavors" mark an "excellent" Spanish tapas menu prepared with "contemporary touches" at this "cute" Castro place also known for pouring "well-chosen" "old-world" wines; "comfortable" quarters manned by a "warm, professional" staff only add to its status as a "worthy" neighborhood destination.
Californian · The Castro · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

"Creative drinks and rustic comfort food" are on order at this Castro Californian, where the menu includes "delicious pizzas" and "unique beers on tap" , and the "back patio" is perfect for lunch "on a warm day" ; while "friendly" , "service can be forgetful" , but at least it's "well priced for the area."