The Bottom Line
- Fresh, expertly-prepared Mediterranean food
- Excellent wine list
- Pretty, light-filled dining room
- Can be noisy
- Reservations sometimes difficult to secure
- Staff can be aloof
- 1658 Market Street; 415-552-2522
- Zuni Café
- Valet parking
Guide Review - Zuni Cafe
Housed in a pie wedge-shaped building with windows looking onto market street, Zuni’s long copper topped bar draws crowds of all walks of life, from celebrities to out-of-towners and everything in between. In the evenings, patrons linger here with a cocktail, have quiet conversations, and people-watch.
Reservations are sometimes hard to come by, but you can take your chances at the walk-in tables clustered near the bar; a full menu is served here. Towards the back and upstairs are white linen draped tables and an impressive collection of artwork, many by local artists. Some items on Zuni’s menu are signature dishes, others change daily. The Caesar salad, classic burger, shoestring fries, and roast chicken for two are celebrated preparations, as is the extensive selection of fresh oysters, which changes daily.
The atmosphere is as appealing as the food, with floor-to-ceiling windows and large floral displays on the bustling bar. Diners take in the tempting smell of wood oven roasted chicken from every seat in the house. Be sure to avail yourself of the extensive wine list and homey desserts. Cheese plates and digestifs are also served at the end of the meal.