San Francisco a rep as a very youthful city, and it’s true. Restaurants and bars are crowded and loud, food and drinks can be bizarre and edgy, and have you ever noticed how many stairs there are to get in those places? So what happens when your grandparents come to town, or when your favorite college professor (and his cane) is in town for a conference, or... when you find yourself needing a walker and asking the waiter to turn up the heat and the lights? (Just kidding. That’ll never happen to you.) Here are some places that are Senior Citizen approved: solid food and service without all the fuss (well, maybe a little) -- oh and very few stairs if any.
This relic (in a good way) of an Italian spot has an enourmous room, a generous menu and a busy staff... that's because on performance nights at the nearby music venues, it fills up with happy pasta lovers. You'll see many in the 65+ set here; they have kept this establishment in the black for a long while.
Lively on the bar side, dressy and relaxed on the dining room side, Absinthe deals out the best version of French classics you've had. And their cocktail list is NOT to be missed. My favorite is the 21 Hayes, named after a bus line that runs just outside.
The "ne plus ultra" of San Francisco fine dining. Boulevard manages to be formal... but without all the formality, if you know what I mean. That's very San Francisco!
Return to the French restos of the 1980s in this FiDi institution. There are more little white heads in here than in your average flock of sheep, but listen to your elders: they do food and service well and they've been doing it for years.
Escape the bustle of North Beach and enter a perfect oasis where souffles sigh their way to your table and life is candle-lit. I lived on the same block as this place for many years, and not once did it fail to be amazing. A salad to start, a savory souffle of your own for a main, and a dessert souffle (or two?) to share for dessert. Magnifique!
The Maxfield Parrish painting which gives the bar its name is not the only reason to visit this wood-paneled bar: the drinks are well made, strong, and classics all. Soft surfaces keep the overall bar feeling calm and sophisticated even when it's full.
Buffet or a la carte brunch in an authentically Neoclassical room? Yes. Huge bar area with plenty of overstuffed seating, palms and choice wines and cocktails? Of course. Effusively decorated at Christmastime? I think you know the answer.
Dressed up and modern, Quince has maintained the old-school feeling of the former Cathedral Hill location with the sleek and sexy feeling of the newer Jackson Square room. Carpet and soft surfaces keeps everything feeling relaxed as you eat your way through their impeccable menu.
An absolute GO-TO of mine for years now. Perfect location, perfect mussels, perfect frites, perfect steaks, perfect desserts, perfect drinks, perfect wines, perfect service. Perfect perfect perfect.
I'm just saying you'll like it.
A taste of the "old" Castro, this place is like any small-town place in, say, Ohio (with a homey menu to match), except that's it's been gay owned and operated since forever, and there are pictures of leather daddys and drag queens all over the walls. When the fog rolls over the western hills, there is nothing like dipping inside The Cove for a toasted cheese and Tomato Bisque soup. Perfect!
This is the safest, corniest, goofiest, most pun-filled spectacular in town. The audience will be full of tourists. You'll have to brave the trip to North Beach to see it. And you know what? YOU'LL LOVE IT. Cassics are classics for a reason!
Possibly the quintessential "Ladies Who Lunch" destination. But really, all you need to know can be summed up in four words: Popovers. With. Strawberry. Butter.
A solid choice in a nieghborhood filling up with great places to eat, Hayes Street Grill is a perennial favorite of the seniors heading to matinees at the Opera and Symphony. A solid menu of well-prepared food in an un-fancy setting. A big room, so getting in is usually easy. Start with the fries; end with the creme brulee.