A culinary talisman for over thirty years, Zuni Cafe on the ever-bustling Market Street continues to serve New American cuisine with French and Italian influences. With a menu that changes daily, the element of surprise is never lost -- all while using the freshest, most sustainable ingredients.
The house-ground, grass-fed hamburger on grilled rosemary focaccia with aioli and pickles is not as well-known as Zuni’s famous roast chicken for two, but is just as delicious. The aioli and pickles perfectly complement the salty, fatty meat, and even though focaccia sounds like an inferior choice for a hamburger bun, it’s light and airy in a way that miraculously works. It’s not cheap—$20 for the burger, another $3 for cheese, and, if you want shoestring fries, another $9 on top of that. That’s over $30 for a cheeseburger and fries, but as a special occasion burger, it’s well worth it. You’ll just have to make sure you’re celebrating that special occasion at lunch because the burger isn’t on the dinner menu.
Zuni’s light, airy space is perfect for a leisurely meal with friends. You might be tempted to order the famous Roast Chicken for two, but the ultimate brunch move is to order the burger (house-ground, grass-fed, and on grilled rosemary focaccia) that isn’t on the dinner menu. If you’re a breakfast-at-brunch, not a lunch-at-brunch person, the Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Roasted Potatoes are the move. Also, the Lemon Curd-Filled Donut with brown butter glaze. And, finally: the Balsamic Bloody Mary, which substitutes a six-year-old balsamic for Worcestershire, something you’ll wish every bartender did after just one sip.
This glass-encased flat-iron-shaped restaurant is still crowded with locals and tourists almost 40 years after it opened. That’s in part because of the laid back—but not too laid back—SF vibe and the quality cocktails served at the zinc bar, but mostly because of the phenomenal California cuisine—the most popular of which is cooked in the wood-burning oven. For those looking for a romantic evening, a seat in the corner on the second level overlooking the street is ideal. What to order? Why, the Zuni Caesar salad and famous roasted chicken for two with warm bread salad, of course.
How to book: To make a reservation for outdoor dining, call 415-552-2522 or make a reservation online.