The best Italian restaurants in San Francisco

From family-style trattorias to fine-dining spots, we’ve picked the best Italian restaurants for red-sauce dishes and authentic regional fare
Marcella’s Lasagneria
Photograph: Yelp/Supreme E
By Virginia Miller |
Advertising

Excellent Italian restaurants can be found all over San Francisco—from the historic North Beach neighborhood to the up-and-coming Dogpatch—serving innovative, boundary-pushing pastas and old school Italian comfort food alike. Try our top picks for delicate fresh pasta, cult pizza and authentic meat and fish dishes.

Italian restaurants San Francisco

1
Montesacro
Photograph: Yelp/Gianluca L.
Restaurants, Pizza

Montesacro Pinseria

icon-location-pin SoMa

Montesacro, the country's first pinseria opened in 2015, introducing the U.S. to the joys of the ancient Roman flatbread. The oval, pizza-like breads are made of a soy, rice and wheat crust, and come laden with different toppings direct from Rome. The restaurant even boasts a 100-year-old oven. 

2
Capo’s
Photograph: Courtesy Capo’s
Restaurants, Pizza

Capo's Chicago Pizza

icon-location-pin Russian Hill

Pizza master Tony Gemignani nails Chicago-style pizza at Capo’s. In the brick-walled, red-boothed, Prohibition-era North Beach dining room, the restaurant also serves an amazing baked clams casino, quattro forni breads, sweet-spicy house Calabrese sausage and mostaccioli and conchiglie pastas baked in a wood-fired oven.

Advertising
3
La Ciccia
Photograph: Yelp/Owie N
Restaurants, Italian

La Ciccia

icon-location-pin Glen Park

This cozy Noe Valley restaurant showcases the cuisine of Chef Massimilliano Conti's homeland, Sardinia, paired with a thoughtful Italian wine list. Don't miss longtime greats like the octopus stew or spaghittusu cun allu ollu e bottarga (spaghetti in spicy oil and bottarga).

4
Marcella’s Lasagneria
Photograph: Yelp/Supreme E
Restaurants, Italian

Marcella’s Lasagneria

icon-location-pin Dogpatch

Marcella’s Lasagneria is a humble, family-run shop in the Dogpatch. Chef Massimo Di Sciullo serves a menu of pastas, salads and paninis while also selling homemade aioli spreads—try the black truffle or spicy chardonnay—but it's his hearty and fresh lasagnas that make this shop destination-worthy. Order by the slice or call ahead to get a whole meal for the family.

Advertising
5
Acquerello
Photograph: Courtesy Acquerello
Restaurants, Italian

Acquerello

icon-location-pin Nob Hill

Two-Michelin-starred Acquerello is a fine dining jewel with a world-class Italian wine cellar and an amazing sommelier team overseen by co-owner Giancarlo Paterlini. Diners revel in a prix fixe or seasonal tasting menu showcasing dishes like the decadent ridged pasta with foie gras. 

6
Che Fico
Photograph: Yelp/Greg G.
Restaurants, Californian

Che Fico

icon-location-pin Alamo Square

Good luck snagging a reservation at Che Fico, one of the hottest new restaurants in the country. But if you do get into the light-filled, upstairs taverna, prepare yourself for chef David Nayfeld’s stellar San Francisco-style pizzas (try the pineapple-fermented chili!) and ambitious, irresistible pastas, like a recent tomato leaf cappellaci pasta filled with baccalá (salt cod) and accompanied by fennel, olive oil-braised tomato and taggiasca olives.

Advertising
7
Ristorante Marcello
Photograph: Yelp/Jennifer J
Restaurants, Italian

Ristorante Marcello

icon-location-pin Parkside

An Outer Sunset institution since the 1970s, Ristorante Marcello is old school in all the right ways: from the red chairs to the tuxedo-wearing waiters. Order classic dishes like the veal parmagiana, saltimboca and garlic-heavy spaghetti alla matriaciana.

8
SPQR
Photograph: Ed Anderson
Restaurants, Italian

SPQR

icon-location-pin Pacific Heights

Dream-team chef Matthew Accarrino and wine director Shelley Lindgren stay at the top of the restaurant scene with ever-changing dishes like the chestnut gnocchi in poultry sugo or kabocha squash raviolini in coconut milk, kaffir lime and pumpkin seeds. Thankfully, there is a pasta tasting menu if you want to try a few.

Advertising
9
AltoVino
Photograph: Yelp/Amanda B.
Restaurants, Italian

AltoVino

icon-location-pin Nob Hill

Tuscan-born sommelier and owner Claudio Villani ensures gracious Italian hospitality, smart Italian wine selections and a comfortable elegance at AltoVino. Try the ascolane (fried olives filled with braised oxtail and Parmesan) and housemade pastas, like the squid ink raviolini filled with halibut mousse. 

10
54 Mint
Photograph: Yelp/ Kris H.
Restaurants, Italian

54 Mint

icon-location-pin SoMa

Head to 54 Mint during their daily aperitivo hour at 4pm for Italian cocktails and suppli (tomato-basil-and-rice croquettes filled with mozzarella). Weekday lunches and dinner offer authentic Italian dishes like trippa alla Romana (slow-braised tripe, pancetta, tomato, mint and pecorino) or spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti, eggs, guancialea and pecorino).

See the best Italian restaurants in America

Advertising
This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at feedback@timeout.com