Best Business Dinners in San Francisco

Make an impression
March 14, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Downtown power scenes for schmoozing and impressing clients.

Kokkari Estiatorio
Greek · Downtown · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.7

A Downtown "star for many years" , this "sublime" Greek "continues to shine" with "lamb shanks from the gods" , "flawlessly" spit-roasted meats and other "fabulous" specialties served by an "exceptional" crew in an "inviting" , "rustic-chic" space favored by "fashionable" crowds; the "memorable experience" requires a "difficult rezzie" and deep pockets to meet the "high-class" cost, but it’s widely hailed as a "must-go" "for a good reason."
Boulevard Restaurant
Gastropub · Embarcadero · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

This "top-end" Embarcadero "landmark" showcasing the "culinary vision" of Nancy Oakes "continues to excel" thanks to the "robust flavors" of its "mindblowing" , "market-driven" American cuisine, paired with a "terrific wine list" and served with "the ultimate in professionalism" ; set amid "vibrant" belle epoque "elegance" with "spectacular" Bay Bridge views and a "delightfully fun" counter "to watch the chefs in action" , it’s "always busy" with admirers who find it "well worth the hefty price tag."
Italian · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

A "high-end" Italian bistro that "keeps on delivering" , this "memorable" next-door sibling to Barbacco in FiDi/Downtown will "titillate your taste buds" with seasonal Piedmontese dishes that "marry tradition with innovation" , plus a "vast wine list" , all "served with style and civility" ; the "classy" space is "always packed" with "suits" and accordingly "loud" , though "seating upstairs is quieter."
5A5 Steak Lounge
Steakhouse · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Packing "a very trendy punch" , this "modern" Downtown steakhouse "lounge" attracts a "cool" crowd with its "chic" "retro" design as a backdrop for "imaginative" starters and "real-deal" cuts of beef; "prompt" , "accommodating" service and "killer cocktails" soften the sting of potentially "spending a small fortune."
American · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.4

For dining "in the speakeasy style" , drop by this "swanky" supper club set in an "out-of-the-way" FiDi alley where a "terrific" American menu (and even more "fantastic" cocktails) arrive in a "deco-to-the-max" duplex setting complete with white-jacketed servers; sure, the acoustics can be "loud" and the pricing "extravagant" , but the mix of nightly live jazz and and "witty conversation" alone make it a "perfect special-occasion" destination.
The Big 4
French · Nob Hill · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.1

“Refreshed” after a remodel and chef change, this “clubby" Nob Hill “institution” in the Scarlet Huntington Hotel hasn’t “lost its roots” , still exuding “old-world” vibes and serving “good” American fare all day; true, the "white tablecloths" are gone, but the "swanky" dark-wood dining room and piano bar keep “history” buffs enthralled.