431 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.799088 -122.408733
Neighborhoods: North Beach, Northeast
Welcome to Panta Rei. Offering age-old Italian tradition and timeless recipes that have been passed down through generations, the restaurant successfully combines cuisine and atmosphere to create a dining experience that won't soon be forgotten. Quiet and elegant, Panta Rei is the kind of place that could be your home away from home--smells of spices and homemade cooking fill the air while a friendly and knowledgeable wait staff bends over backwards to cater to your every need.
The menu is vast and impressive showcasing traditional Italian specialties as well as modern adaptations. There is something here sure to tempt every palate even the most discriminating of gourmets. No matter what the occasion calls for or your appetite demands, the friendly staff at Panta Rei promises to make your next dining experience truly unforgettable.
awesome waitstaff and amazing food! – I'm really picky about Italian food, especially in tourist-y North Beach, but our boss chose Panta Rei for our monthly dinner/drinks night. Not only was the waitstaff attentive and VERY friendly, but the food was amazing. Every bottle of wine was perfectly paired with our meals and the tiramisu dessert was to die for. Praises also go to Ashley, who single-handedly bartended the entire restaurant with quick and efficient hands, good energy, and a smile. The night was definitely one to remember...despite going through about 5 bottles of wine among 10 people.
Great pizza, mediocre pasta, extremely loud – After trying a number of other North Beach Italian joints, we finally landed at Panta Rei. Despite being in a far corner of the restaurant next to only one other table, the place was SO LOUD the two of us had to shout to hear each other. (And this was a weekday evening. I can only assume we would've been reduced to smiling and nodding on a Saturday night.) My boyfriend's pizza was great - second only to Tommaso's (and he pretty much orders pizza everywhere we go). My pasta was fine, but only that. Far better than typical Italian chains, but didn't stack up to what I've experienced elsewhere very nearby (e.g. L'Osteria del Forno, Trattoria Pinocchio, Cafe Delucchi). Same story with the tiramisu - decent, but not outstanding. Despite the pizza, we won't be returning here any time soon. That said, if you are looking for more of a bar-type atmosphere and don't care as much about quality, this place may be for you.
A pleasant suprise! – I happen to stumble onto this place while have a stroll around north beach. what a pleasant suprise! Not only was the food delicious but the service was great too. Giuseppe, our waiter was very delightful and attentive even though he was very busy. He was very charming to the ladies, but I never felt as if he paid more attention to them. The mussel and clam appetizer was great as well as the daily special of seared sea bass and prawns. The wine was very affordable and quite good as well. I would definately come back to Panta Rei.
VERY Euro - reminding me of Rome – Loud and very Euro, cute Italian waiters, good food...it reminded me of a Rome restaurant. I had the fetuccine and cinghiale (wild boar), it was delicious; they said they flew the meat in from Italy. Best of all, I was able to practice my Italian with the waiters; a (surprisingly) rare treat in North Beach.
Over-rated – For the second (and last ) time, I was disappointed at Panta Rei. In my mind, the most severe sin a restaurant can commit, is involuntary substitution for a menu item. That's exactly what the restaurant did to me. I ordered pasta with broccoli rab and sausage, but received soggy spinach in place of the broccoli rab. It was absolutely tasteless. I never would have ordered this dish had I been properly informed. The pasta came slightly overcooked, not properly al dente. Service was attentive, but lackluster, considering that I was not advised that soggy spinach would be substituted for the broccoli rab. The music was playing too loud to have a civil conversation with the person next to you. In this price range there are far better choices.
Best on columbus – I've tried almost all the italian restaurants you can find on columbus and Panta Rei is by far the best. Waiters are good looking and friendly. Food is delicious. Great desserts. I love going for lunch but definitely great spot for late nights. This place does not take reservations so you may have to wait. It helps to be cute. And it is cash only but there is a Wells fargo atm directly across the street.
Inconsistent Food – I am a local in the neighborhood and have been to Panta Rei numerous times. The best way to describe the food and service is inconsistent. I have some absolutely great meals along with some medicore ones as well.
If this is a tourist trap, I'd be happily kept captive – Visited on a friend's recommendation. Easy to find, great for people watching. Getting a bad rap as a tourist destination, but do not despair. Let them order their pizzas and lasagnas, while you can start with fresh mozzarellla cheese flown straight from Italy and stuff yourself with the osso buco con pasta with your montepulciano.
North Beach typical – Went on a Saturday afternoon. Easy to get a table either inside, or outside to watch the people. Wait staff were fair, only really rude one was right at the front door. Food was good, but nor great. By pasta had burned spots on the bottom. Price was average. Not a bad spot, not a great one.
I can't believe it's rated 9.2. – After my dinner, I came onto this website to see what others thought of the place only to be astounded that it's rated 9.2. There's so much wrong with the place. To begin, the host was rather rude; he was attentive in getting the couple in front of us into the restaurant but when we asked him a question, he had an I-don't-care attitude. I've had better bread from Safeway in comparison to Panta Rei's bread. The calamari was not hot when it came out. It also was incredibly tough and the waiter responded that tough calamari was the way they normally cooked it. The sauce was also cold, which didn't help to make the dish more appetizing. The shrimp fetuccini was nothing to rave about; you can get better at Pasta Pomodoro without spending double digits. The waiter was inattentive and had an attitude from beginning to end. There are much better restaurants in North Beach so please don't waste your time and money in this place.
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