if you have a date, take them here!

Happy Monday!!

Get ready for another San Francisco guide!! This kind of happened randomly on Saturday night. We were sitting at the table, sipping some Zinfandel killing some time before we went to see Ford v Ferrari…. which also influenced this depop search.

I mentioned that I really wanted to go back to Harris’s this year – we went last in 2016 for the holidays. Erik has said for years it’s his fav steakhouse in the city & something about a good steakhouse just makes me think of the holidays. Maybe because it’s a Thanksgiving tradition?

Anyways it started a HUGE discussion. Basically, I told him I wanted to get his reccs for “the girl who just got asked out on a date in San Francisco & she has to suggest a place & knock her date’s socks off with the recc” lol. Specific enough for you?

Erik did a google search on “Best Steakhouses in San Francisco” & was appalled {lol}. So much so, it inspired him to write a post so he typed this out in his notes app & I just copied and pasted it.

As mentioned here, we really steer away from Fisherman’s Wharf & Union Square. They’re fun to see once I guess but it’s just not the “local San Francisco” experience.

For a date night vibe, we like intimate and local. SO- from an SF local of over 10+ years, we have Erik’s picks!

A little bit about us and our picks: we like OLD SCHOOL. Think dark, dimly lit steakhouses with leather or velvet interiors. The less windows the better, & if they take only cash? No problem. I love menus with items like: wedge salads, jumbo shrimp cocktails, and of course, a damn good filet. In fact, my fav dinner is ALWAYS: Wedge Salad + filet. A good scotch & wine list is a huge plus too.

Anything in { brackets like this } is me chiming in. Also, I’m going to get our New York reccs in ASAP bc it’s probably my fav city to get the old school steakhouse vibes!

Take it away, Erik!

Erik’s favourite steakhouses in San Francisco!

Holy shit i just recovered from a horrible experience where i googled “best steakhouses in San Francisco” and received nothing but non-non-nonsense so here you go!

Harris’s – Nob Hill: this is a serious old school SF steak house.  All cuts of meat are fantastic and the wine list is strong.  There is a part of the steakhouse to suit anyone’s decor preferences – from the white glove main dining room to the dim but no-longer-smoky bar to the ritzy but reasonable main dining room to the quirky back libraryish room and probably a few other nooks we have yet to peruse.  It’s a leading choice for holiday pre-dinner cocktails and temporally flexible dinner reservations. {this is Erik’s fave! I personally love the bar and library room. They also have one of my fav desserts of all time: STICKY TOFEE PUDDING!!!} 

Osso – Nob Hill: – retro steakhouse on nob hill.  Fantastic wine list.  Ambiance a bit too Vegas – dark with like color flavored lights {love this ambiance though – it kind of reminds me of Grand Theft Auto or the old Truluck’s in Dallas… oh boy}.  I still don’t understand the hotel it’s tethered to.  Also solid crab cakes. 

Alexander’s – SOMA:  trendy place in SOMA.  Ambiance with high ceilings.  Their tomahawk steak is legit and their wine list is a solid+.  

Izzy’s – Marina District:  Marina steakhouse with a bar that punches above its weight.  The dining room is enormous so if you get a chance sit near the window.  Steaks are solid and the wine list has myriad reasonable choices.  This is a place for a pre-early-dinner cocktail & bar bites or spend a while and stay! {love their wedge salad here too – pretty extensive menu & everything is good}.

Bobo’s – Marina District:  If Izzy’s is a place we get a steak in an ambiance, Bobo’s is a place for a voodoo ambiance that comes with steak.  It’s a voodoo Mardi Gras themed bar, it’s kind of weird and off-putting, but it’s a bit of a gimmick that I am not too cynical to enjoy.  Their cuts of steak are technically near perfect.  I’m still not sure what wine or cocktail the ambiance dictates but I’m always pleased I went.  Also open on Christmas.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Brazen Head Cow Hollow : Neighborhood steakhouse where the lighting is low, the tables are small and close together, where the bartenders (one named Erik – it’s more than a sign) and the corporate crowd is disinvited by the no credit cards policy {cash or debit cards only}. Brazen delivers on a consistent basis.  Start with a bottle of red wine and the meatballs and some extra bread, then order your steak of choice and ask for the “bonanza of sides” – green beans, rice, creamed spinach, and potatoes.  {this was one of the first restaurants Erik took me to in 2013, and it’s a regular of ours. It’s also open until 2a!! which is huge in SF bc everything closes early, even on weekends. I also love their moscow mules}

Other categories:

Have not tried yet but are on Shannon’s list: 

Niku {a Japanese influenced steakhosue with Wagyu & early dinner bar bites… speaking my language!}

John’s Grill {dyingggg to go here – seems to have the same vibe as Keen’s in New York!}

Excluding: corporate chains: 

Morton’s {which I love tbh: esp their bar bites & chopped salad}

Ruth’s Chris

Honorable mention but nowhere near top 6: 

Epic {gorgeous views – go on an expense account lol}


Doesn’t count as a steak place but we love them: 

House of Prime {super fun experience!! would be a great date night & suuuper intimate. Get the Manhattan & get ready for one hell of a feast! I like the City or English cut}

Perry’s {seen here}


Hope you enjoyed! Figured it would be fun to get Erik’s reccs directly from the source.

Check out my San Francisco section for more SF reccs!!

Any steakhouses we must check out?? Let me know!!! The more old school the better. 😉



essellesse San Francisco guide to Union Street

Restaurants in San Francisco Open For Thanksgiving

Mount Davidson, San Francisco {a really rad photoshoot & how to get there!}

Digital Diary: Fleet Week Party for 2 in San Francisco

My fav pizza in San Francisco!

My Secret Place in San Francisco

more San Francisco content here

more posts from erik

Opportunity Cost & how it makes me make better decisions

erik’s lifechanging phone tip that did wonders for my mental clarity

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.6.20
    Geniussr said:

    I agree on google search part especially when we search for food places… now I have my list ready of the best steakhouses for next time when I visit San Francisco… I am sure these places must be amazing… thanks for sharing hun…❤️