Union Square Restaurants in San Francisco: 20 Top Options for Every Occasion

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: June 6, 2024

It's easy to get overwhelmed with the selection of Union Square restaurants in the heart of San Francisco. You will find more than a hundred options, but not all of them are worth your time.

I've created a list of my 20 favorites, split up into categories: my top cheap eats, a few date night ideas, elegant fine dining experiences, and places to go for breakfast and brunch.

If you are looking to save a little on your dining in SF, I've also included some ideas on how to save during your stay. Read on for more information to help you plan out your stay in the Union Square district.

Dishes from restaurants around San Francisco's Union Square

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

5 Best Cheap Eats

Union Square restaurants can be pricey. However, if you know where to look you will find some great options for less than $25 per person.

Here are a few of the places I love to check out when my budget is tight or I'm looking for a casual night out on the town.

1. Pinecrest Dinner

Pinecrest Diner Union Square

This is an old school dinner on the western end of the district with some great options. You'll find classic diner fare such as sandwiches, salads, and burgers.

Their lunch menu is less expensive then their dinner menu which puts you at or over $20 bucks per person. This is one of the Union Square restaurants that will fill you up and not break your budget.

Location: 401 Geary Street

2. SF Wraps

SF Wraps

Another one of the budget-friendly Union Square restaurants is SF Wraps. This place seems to always be open (11 am to 2 am most days) and their Mediterranean wraps are filling.

Both their wraps and their plates come in at around $12 to $20 per dish so you can also grab a drink or another side and still say under $20 per person.

Location: 255 Kearny Street

3. Super Duper Burger

Super Duper Burgers

If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, then check out Super Duper Burger. It's a fast food joint with tasty burgers and fries and a filling meal will cost around $10 per person.

You will find them at on Market between 3rd and 4th. They are open for breakfast during the week and open until around 11pm most nights of the week.

Location: 721 Market Street

4. Bartlett Hall

Bartlett Hall Cheap Eats

If you want to grab a beer with your meal, then head over to Bartlett Hall during Happy Hour. This is when you can pick up some cheap eats and also enjoy some beer specials.

They have several items for $7, so you can try a couple of their small plates. In addition, their house beers are also just $5 during Happy Hour.

It runs on Monday through Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm (excluding holidays and major sporting events).

Location: 242 O'Farrell Street

>> More great bars to check out around Union Square

5. Sakana Sushi Bar & Grill

Sakana Union Square

One of the best Union Square restaurants serving sushi at a decent price is Sakana Sushi Bar & Grill. Just a few blocks off the square, you will find this place packed with locals.

You can get a roll or two for less than $20 to fill up after a day of seeing the sights.

Location: 605 Post Street

>> More great cheap eats in Union Square and around SF

>> Outdoor options around Union Square and SF

5 Fun Date Night Picks

Are you looking for the best Union Square restaurants in San Francisco for a date night? Some of my picks are quiet and romantic, while others offer a wonderful experience for a nice evening on the town. Here are a few places that I think you will enjoy.

1. Bouche 

This narrow little French restaurant with its woodsy wine bar and artsy interior has such a cozy atmosphere, you really get a European dining experience for your perfect date night. 

They offer a seasonal prix fixe menu for $55 a person in which you can choose your appetizer, entree, and dessert. The wine and beer selection is amazing, and the foie gras is not to be missed! The service is also incredibly warm.

Location: 603 Bush Street

2. Cesario's

Cesarios SF

This is a low-key Italian spot in the heart of union Square. They offer classic Italian dishes and are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It's one of the less expensive date night options on my list.

Location: You will find them on the main level of the Marines' Memorial Club and Hotel at 601 Sutter Street.

3. John's Grill

John's Grill in Union Square

This is an old-school spot in San Francisco that's been open since 1908. It's a higher end steak and seafood joint that is perfect for a special night out on the town.

I love the wood décor and the food is amazing.

Location: 63 Ellis Street

4. 54 Mint

One of the best Italian Union Square restaurants is 54 Mint. They hand make their bread, pastas and desserts every day, so everything is fresh and flavorful.

Some of my favorites here include tonnarelli and the risotto.

Location: 16 Mint Plaza

5. Morton's Steakhouse

One of the most popular Union Square restaurants is Morton's Steakhouse. It's in the heart of the district and open every night for dinner.

It's a great date night spot as it's also close to many of our top theaters.

Location: 400 Post Street

Where to Stay Near these Union Square Restaurants

Are you looking for top hotels around Union Square? This part of San Francisco has the largest concentration of hotels and lodging in all of the city.

I recommend it if you plan to visit several different districts or want to easily check out some of our top museums.

You can find some great hotels deals by clicking the links below.

You can also find some of my top recommendations in this district or compare staying in Union Square to staying in Fisherman's Wharf.

5 Best Fine Dining Restaurants

This list of five offers you the chance to check out some of the city's best fine dining at Union Square restaurants. They are perfect for special occasions, a splurge night out on the town, or a chance to talk business with co-workers or partners.

1. Sons & Daughters

Sons and Daughters

This SF restaurant has a small dining room that seats less than 30 people. Each night, they carefully prepare a set meal with several courses.

Their tasting menu is about $200 per person and you can add on the wine pairing for around $100 per person. It's small, the dishes are amazing, and it's a great fine dining option in Union Square.

Location: 708 Bush Street

2. Estiatorio Ornos, a Michael Mina Restaurant

Ornos near Union Square

The Michelin-star chef closed his namesake restaurant in 2021 to transform it into the fine dining establishment it is today, with a focus more on Mediterranean seafood than on Middle Eastern cuisine.

The tasting menu is about $195 per person with the option to also add on the wine pairing, but there are also a-la-carte options. They are open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner.

Location: 252 California Street

3. O' by Claude Le Tohic

This high end spot in Union Square offers both French and new American dishes. They offer a few small plates, but are mostly known for their sophisticated tasting menus.

You do need to make reservations in advance and they will call you a day or two before your meal to discuss what you plan to order. It's a great fine dining option in Union Square.

Location: 165 O'Farrell Street

4. Parallel 37

This fine dining option is located within the Ritz Carlton about six to seven blocks away from the heart of Union Square. It's a classic new American restaurant that offers a wonderful menu with items such as Niman Ranch lamb, local black cod, and Brandt Beef bone-in ribeye.

They also have some of the best cocktails in town.

Location: 600 Stockton Street

5. The Cavalier

If you are more in the mood for British cuisine, then head over to this lesser known option, The Cavalier. Set inside Hotel Zetta, this lovely restaurant serves dishes such as oysters, scallops, black cod, and pork chops.

Some of my favorites include their Fish and Chips and the Smoked Dungeness Crab. They are open for both lunch and dinner.

Location: 360 Jessie Street

5 Best Breakfast/Brunch Spots

This final list focuses on what many claim to be the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Some have traditional breakfast and lunch hours, while others offer breakfast all day. Others feature a fun brunch option for leisurely weekends.

1. Sears Fine Food

Sears Fine Food SF

This is one of the few Union Square restaurants that has been around for over 75 years. The Sears family establishment serves generous portions of your favorite diner classics, but is especially famous for their "18 Swedish pancakes" plate, served all day.

Other breakfast items, like the popular French toast and eggs benedict, are served until 2 pm.

Location: 439 Powell Street

2. Pinecrest Diner

Eggs and bacon at the Pinecrest Dinner in Union Square

This is a great option for people who love breakfast for dinner. Breakfast is served as long as they're open, everyday from 7 am to 11 pm. If you've got an appetite, their popular country fried steak comes with two eggs, hash browns, and toast for a hearty breakfast.

The Brioche French toast and the Denver omelets are also scrumptious. Free refills on coffee is another great plus.

Location: 401 Geary Street

3. Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery

Honey Honey SF

As far as Union Square restaurants go, this is THE place for crepes, whether you're craving something sweet like the Baklava Crepe with walnuts and cinnamon, or you're in the mood for something savory like the locally inspired Half Moon Bay Crepe with crab cakes.

They're known for their crepes, of course, but they also serve some nice Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine.

Location: 599 Post Street

4. Mason Diner (Cafe Mason)

Cafe Mason SF BreakfastThis is the corn beef hash from Mason Diner. It's one of my favorites here.

If you are looking for an old school diner experience, then head over to the Mason Cafe. I love their selection of breakfast and lunch options.

They are open from 6:30 am to 2:30 pm daily and I mention this because they do serve breakfast "all day" -- or at least during the hours they are open.

Some of their most popular items are their omelets and benedicts. They also have burgers, BLTs, and other sandwiches. They also have a good selection of pastas on their daily menu.

My personal favorites here are their corn beef hash (which they hand make) and Billion Dollar Bacon. 

I usually come here for a late breakfast, so haven't tried their lunch items as much, but if they are anything like their breakfast dishes, I know you will love it! 

Location: 320 Mason Street

5. Lapisara Eatery

Lapisara Eatery SFThis was what my chicken and waffles breakfast dish looked like the last time I ate here. It was AMAZING!!

My new favorite breakfast and brunch restaurant is the Lapisara Eatery. This spot has my favorite chicken and waffles dish in the city.

They have a lot of the classics but also some interesting finds on their menu for breakfast such as their Holy Chili Bomb Basil Omelet and their Thai Panang Omelet. 

One thing to note is that their portions are HUGE! It's a great place to eat before a busy day as the meal will be big enough to take you through to dinner.

Location: 678 Post Street

Fun Food Tours

If you want to dig into the San Francisco food scene even more, then check out some of the great food tours that are offered around town. You will find them in districts such as Chinatown, North Beach, and the Mission.

You will walk through each district as you learn more about its famous cuisines. You will also get a chance to sample several different dishes. Learn more about them here

Where to Eat in San Francisco's Union Square

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Exclusive Member of Mediavine Travel

Copyright © 2009-2024 by All rights reserved.

This website does not sell any personal information. (See privacy policy)