Best Italian Restaurants in San Francisco

Bon Appétit
July 21, 2016
by Zagat Staff

We’ve come a long way since the days of checkered tablecloths.

Italian · Polk Gulch · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.8

"The total package" for "a special night out" , this "world-class" Polk Gulch Italian combines chef Suzette Gresham’s "divinely inspired" , "decadent" prix fixe menus with a "top-notch wine list" , all presented by an "impeccable" staff displaying "unmatched professionalism" ; despite the "substantial checks" , it's an "excellent value" , with a "beautifully serene" , "intimate" setting "in what was once a chapel" adding to the "sophisticated treat."
La Ciccia
Italian · Noe Valley · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.6

A "Sardinian wonder" , this Noe Valley "neighborhood treasure" is "well worth getting to" for its "incredible" , "honest" cooking (notably "sublime" seafood), matched with an "outstanding" wine list in a "pared-down" but "congenial" setting overseen by "charming" husband-and-wife owners; the "Downtown prices" are eased by the "reasonable" vinos, but the "tight quarters" "fill up quickly" so be sure to reserve.
Seven Hills
Italian · Nob Hill · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.5

This "delightful" Nob Hill Italian enjoys "neighborhood-gem" status thanks to "incredible pasta dishes" paired with a "well-selected" wine list and "warm" service; though what’s "intimate" to some is "tight" to others, locals say this "best-kept-not-so-secret" trattoria might just be "too popular."
Italian · The Mission · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

A "tried-and-true destination" , this Mission mainstay from Craig and Anne Stoll still "wows" with Northern Italian staples "done superbly well" , notably "fantastic homemade pastas" that "just melt in your mouth" ; given the "vibrant atmosphere" and a crew that makes everyone "feel at home" , fans "keep coming back for more" even though it’s a "tough reservation" ; P.S. there’s also a "casual pizza parlor next door" serving traditional pies.
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."
Italian · Lower Pacific Heights · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

"Sensational" Italian dishes, including "outrageously good" pastas, pair with "noteworthy" wines from the Boot at this A16 sibling in Lower Pac Heights, which consistently "nails the risks it takes" in the kitchen; "truly impressive" service helps justify the "splurge" , and while the "elegant-shoebox" setting is undeniably "tight" , there’s an "amazing" chef’s counter and even "sitting at the bar" is a "joy."
Italian · Haight-Ashbury · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

A "nice respite" from the crowds at its sibling Gialina, this "fantastic neighborhood" Italian in Haight-Ashbury "fits the bill" for seasonally driven pizza and pasta at a moderate cost; the "friendly" staffers are the "icing on the cake" , but be aware that the "small" space "doesn't take reservations."