Cream Rises to the Top: Best Restaurants of San Francisco's Nob Hill

Of San Francisco's seven hills, Nob Hill often gets lost in the shuffle. But the rich residents of this well-to-do neighborhood wouldn't have it any other way ("Nob" comes from the British term for the wealthy). While most neighborhoods will clamor for your tourist dollar, Nob Hill quietly overlooks San Francisco behind the walls of the city's grandest and most expensive hotels: The Fairmont, The Mark Hopkins, The Stanford Court, and the Huntington Hotel. Not even the devastating 1906 earthquake could bring this lofty neighborhood down. Even though the massive fire started by the quake burned the hill all the way down to the stone (you can still find black smoke chars form the 1906 fire on some of the granite in this neighborhood), the neighborhood pooled its considerable resources together to build the area right back up.

Many visitors see Nob Hill by way of passing cable car, whizzing  through on the California line to or from Fisherman's Wharf and snapping a few photos of Grace Cathedral. Don't limit yourself to that, though. If you want a taste of where the elite meet and eat - and San Francisco is one of the richest cities in the world, by the way - hop off that cable car and grab a drink at the Tonga Room and then a juicy steak at the House of Prime Rib. Remember: when on vacation, it's not a bad idea to act like you're filthy rich.

Nob Hill


Cuisine leaps to the forefront of this restaurant's appeal, thanks to raw and cooked options that, without exception, deliver on flavor, presentation, and preparation. Diners can choose from teriyaki, donburi, and tempura dishes and then pair...  Read More

Russian Hill


Warm, intimate Frascati teems with neighborhood folks who appreciate its comfortable ambiance and toothsome cuisine. (For people not so close, the Powell & Hyde cable car runs just beyond the front door.) The menu covers that nebulous...  Read More

Nob Hill


This Nob Hill brunch spot offers Bay Area diners a comfortable, bistro-style atmosphere and refreshing mid-morning eats. The menu is centered around fresh organic produce, much of which is gathered from local farms, and changes depending on...  Read More

House of Prime Rib


Although Bay Area cuisine is all about the latest "foodie" craze, if you're not all that much into someone messing around with your steak, then tuck a white linen napkin into your collar at the House of Prime Rib. The iconic House of Prime Rib...  Read More

Nob Hill


You'll always meet up with a strong contingent of locals at this rustic, romantic haunt. The cable car line runs outside, and inside a wood-burning oven and Bay views impart a special charm. The menu's Tuscan cooking features gnocchi with...  Read More



For generations, this small eatery has been delighting seafood lovers from all over the city. Distinguished by a marble counter and pull-up stools, the place puts all its attention on fresh shellfish, especially just-shucked oysters. You can...  Read More



The cheery bakery and cafe Flour and Co. sticks out among the upturned noses of Nob Hill's high-end restaurants like an unabashedly happy smiley face. If the gourmands of Nob Hill have you too self-conscious about which is the salad fork and...  Read More

Russian Hill


Elegant and subdued, this intimate restaurant (whose name means "watercolor") exhibits artistry in both cuisine and appearance. Acquerello's mission is simple but effective: "At Acquerello, we believe that refined luxury is always in style." Its...  Read More



When you mix the lofty expectations of French cuisine with the deep pockets of Nob Hill, you get Keiko a Nob Hill, a rich dining experience in every way. For those who want to experience what puts the Nob in Nob Hill, check your humility at the...  Read More



Named after four of the most famous railroad tycoons of the nineteenth century (C.P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins), Big 4 Restaurant offers not only high-scale dining but a fascinating look into San Francisco's...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom