13 Last-Minute San Francisco Date Night Spots
Spontaneous dinner dates seem like a good idea in theory, but finding a place that can actually accommodate your spontaneity might become a minor source of anxiety. Some of the best date nights are often the ones that are relaxed and casual. Whether you've procrastinated on making plans or you just got lucky swiping right, here's a list of some great places that have walk-in availability, bar seats for two or the chance to make reservations at the last moment.
Famous for it's great crudos, the delicious lobster burrata salad, as well as the oyster happy hour, Bar Crudo is definitely a fantastic option for your spontaneous date. The best part is that you can almost always get a last-minute reservation. And if you can’t, don’t panic because the bar seats are fantastic and they usually involve a short wait.
Serving an incredibly delicious Margherita pizza and unforgettable ragu pasta, A 16 is another great spot for your last-minute date. Unfortunately, the chances to get a reservation are pretty low, but considering the exceptional food and vibe of the place, sitting at the bar is a great option. And to make the evening perfect, order one of their mouthwatering starters and a bottle of fine Italian wine to woo your date.
This adorable, quaint neighborhood Spanish restaurant offers not only a great menu, but also an inviting covered back patio where you can relax and enjoy your date. Contigo gives you the chance to choose between a multitude of Spanish classic dishes like patatas bravas, croquetas, meats and cheeses. Make sure you pair the food with a bottle of Spanish wine.
Bar Agricole is a sleek restaurant in SOMA, that has an intriguing hidden location and offers fantastic food and cocktails. My favorite part? They've got an outdoor patio that's almost never too crowded. The only caveat? Bar Agricole is on the pricier side, so if only go here if you're in the mood to Just keep in mind that this is one of the pricey places in San Francisco. However, if you want to have the perfect last-minute date, it is worth the extra money.
Whether you choose to sit at the bar or opt for a two-person table, Gioia serves up consistent italian dishes and an affordable list of great wines. Located off Polk Street, you'll be able to stretch your date out after dinner
Yuzuki Japanese Eatery
Located on a quiet corner in the Misson, Yuzuki is very easy to walk in, grab a table and get that spontaneous date started. The restaurant is famous for it's romantic atmosphere and for serving some of the best Japanese small plates in San Francisco.
4505 Burgers & BBQ
The patio full of picnic benches at the best barbecue (by popular opinion) spot in San Francisco are readily available, as crowds rotate in and out of here pretty quickly. 4505 has salads too if you're dating a someone who will pretend they don't want the infamous Frankaroni (think macaroni and cheese meets a corn dog). Encourage your date to bring a jacket, because it's probably going to be chilly in fog city.
This swanky Spanish restaurant is always packed, but has a very large bar area with open seating (and a grand piano that almost always has a pianist playing for extra romantic vibes). You'll almost always have no problem grabbing two seats in the bar area after happy hour - whether it's immediate or after you grab a drink while keeping an eye out for an opening. Bellota is one of my favorite spots in the city as far as ambiance and consistency go. Definitely get the paella, plus a few vegetable sides, and go from there.
Liholiho Yacht Club
Everybody in San Francisco knows that it’s almost impossible to get a last-minute reservation at Liholiho, but we also know that this amazing Hawaiian-Asian-American restaurant serves mouthwatering dishes in a perfect atmosphere. So, would it be so bad to go for the seats at the bar? Having dinner at the charming bar while indulging in pork buns or tuna poke can definitely make an average date totally perfect.
Mediterranean food, great service, quaint atmosphere...Tawla is one of those places that should have a huge line outside. For whatever reason it doesn't, but we're not complaining because it makes for perfect last-minute plans. My favorite? The octopus.
Chef Gabriela Cámara, of the extremely popular Mexico City restaurant Contramar, brought her expertise to Hayes Valley with Cala. While I also reccomend this spot for a girls night out, it's a killer choice for last-minute dates. Reservations aren’t impossible and finding bar seats is far from being difficult.
Are your feelings strong enough to make you pay double in order to take your date to a restaurant that wants to fight climate change through food? Sip and eat your way to saving the planet together while eating at The Perennial. If that's not the ultimate romantic gesture...than what is!?
ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar
Unless you are dating somebody who is dealing with shellfish allergies (if they don't like sushi...either break up with them or find a sneaky way to make them realize what they've been missing), having sushi on date night is always a great idea. There is nothing fancy about Ichi, but they've got just fresh, high-quality fish, great service, friendly vibes and very tasty sake in an intimate and charming setting.