Tosca Cafe is one of those places that feels like it’s been around forever and gone through multiple stages. Just like you go to Salzburg to see where Mozart grew up, or the Guggenheim in New York to take pictures where Will Smith encountered his first alien, people go to Tosca because icons like Harvey Milk used to drink there. They also go because the food - from the roast chicken to the meatballs - is solid and they serve strong drinks at the bar, like negronis and their house “cappuccino” that contains no coffee, but plenty of bourbon and chocolate ganache. The scene is old school, dark, and loud, so don’t come expecting a lot of natural light, bright wood, or peaceful indoor garden features. If that’s what you’re looking for though, you may be confusing restaurants and bars with Swedish office layouts.
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Zuni Cafe in the Civic Center is still an icon, and it sits firmly at the top of our list of favorite restaurants in this town.
Come to Kokkari Estiatorio in the Financial District to feel like a big shot. Maybe even throw on a suit and tie. It's a Greek temple of lamb.
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