SFReview

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Rich Table review image
9.3

Rich Table

$$$$

199 Gough St, San Francisco
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Genuine surprises don’t happen that often—maybe once in a lifetime, you get upgraded to first class. Or that one couple you thought would last as long as a neglected houseplant ends up sending you a wedding invite. But Rich Table is a restaurant in Hayes Valley that somehow manages to surprise us every time we eat here.

At first glance, the place looks like any other neighborhood spot, and the food doesn’t sound super exciting. In fact, there are similar rotating menus at places across San Francisco: individual small bites, some appetizers, a few creative pastas, and mains—and even the individual dishes don’t sound particularly revolutionary. But at Rich Table, what you read and what ends up on a plate in front of you is like someone telling you about their new Jaguar before opening the garage to show you a large jungle cat.

Krescent Carasso

Rich Table review image

Even if you comb the menu word for word four times, almost none of the dishes come out looking or tasting anything like you imagined, but in the best way possible. There are perfectly salty and not too fishy sardine chips that have fish fillets actually weaved into each individual potato slice, spicy hamachi poke that comes with rice and nori to make your own individual handrolls, and a dry-aged steak that arrives to have bisque dumped overtop, and all of it is fantastic. It’s the kind of food you’ll want to order again for someone else, just to watch them get as excited as you did when you had it.

If it’s your first time here, the $125 Chef Picks tasting menu is the way to go—it’s the best value of any tasting menu in San Francisco, and includes everything from the appetizers to their incredible desserts. But if you’re just here for a second date or a casual catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, you could just as easily sit at the bar and split a few things over some wine and leave happy. That’s because pretty much any dish you order is good enough for it to be the only thing you get. And also because Rich Table is one of the rare places that’s only gotten better over the years and it’s one of the best restaurants in the city.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.


By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Rich Table review image

Douglas Fir Levain

Somehow this bread makes eating a tree really enjoyable. It’s dense and only has a slightly bitter flavor from whatever part of the fir they use, and with the cultured butter, it’s a great way to start things off.

Rich Table review image

Sardine Chip

A single potato chip with a sardine fillet weaved into it. It’s fishy and potato-y, and after you take a bite of one, you’ll want to sit around all day and eat a whole bag of them. But really, two is enough.

Rich Table review image

Dried Porcini Donuts

If we ever got caught in a cheap hourly motel, it’d hopefully be under a pile of these, and the heart-shaped jacuzzi inexplicably in the middle of the room would be full of the raclette they come with.

Rich Table review image

Aged Beef Wonton

The beef flavor is very strong, but in the best way possible. Sharing is not an option.

Rich Table review image

Tonnarelli, Sea Urchin Cacio E Pepe, Idiazabal

This classic Rich Table dish is usually always on the menu. The tonnarelli is tossed in a thick but not too heavy sea urchin sauce that also doesn’t taste too seafood-y.

Featured in

The Toughest Reservations In SF Right Now (And How To Get Them) guide image
Guide
The Toughest Reservations In SF Right Now (And How To Get Them)

Our thoughts on the busiest restaurants in SF and advice on how to get a table.

Where To Eat Alone In SF guide image
Guide
Where To Eat Alone In SF

Eating alone? Here are the best places in SF to do it.

The Best Date Night Restaurants In San Francisco guide image
Guide
The Best Date Night Restaurants In San Francisco

Whether it’s the first or the 101st date, this guide to date night has you covered.

The First Timer’s Guide To Eating In SF guide image
Guide
The First Timer’s Guide To Eating In SF

Not every great restaurant in San Francisco—just the ones you should have on your list while you’re getting acquainted.

Suggested Reading

Liholiho Yacht Club review image
Review
Liholiho Yacht Club

Liholiho Yacht Club in the Tenderloin is where you should go for a blowout meal with a group.

RT Rotisserie review image
8.0
Review
RT Rotisserie

RT Rotisserie, with a short menu starring roast chicken and cauliflower, is a great spot for a casual dinner in Hayes Valley.

Zuni Cafe review image
8.8
Review
Zuni Cafe

Zuni Cafe in Civic Center is an SF classic that still deserves your attention.

Niku Steakhouse review image
9.0
Review
Niku Steakhouse

Niku Steakhouse in the Design District is one of the best - and most expensive - steakhouses in SF.