2814 19th St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411037.760568 -122.410524
Tue-Thu, Sun 5:30pm-9:30pm
Fri, Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Mission, Central East
great brunch, great price – i was really impressed. the food was a good twist on standards, albeit the menu was limited for brunch. the fruit smoothies were good too, and the eggs loose which is a rare but simple treat to implement in a restaurant. i went to foreign cinema which is in the same neighborhood...the food at foreign was definitely better (by a small margin), but the cost of universal made it more of an every weekend brunch joint. the only issue was the insane wait.
Universally Icky Cafe – I have lived in the 'hood for five years and been a loyal customer of Universal all that time. Today's brunch experience changed that. An "intimate space", huh? Not at brunch it isn't. OK, in all fairness, a gentrification has been brewing in the neighborhood and it seems that Universal is feeling that effect. Brunch at Universal is a most unpleasant experience. I used to go and hop a seat at the bar, order my food and chit-chat with the two friendly wait staff there. No longer. It's find the list, sign your name, hope someone calls you and then squeeze yourself into a spot too small to eat. The cafe seems to have no realization of their own space constraints. They cram far too many people into too small a space. Today I sat at the bar and the space was so tight that I could not lift my fork to my mouth to eat my $20 brunch without bumping my neighbor and either spilliing her coffee or loosing my eggs to my paper napkin'd lap. Loose the fancy flower arrangement folks or find another place for your juice on the counter. Folks need space to eat. One thing about Universal, the food is good. But, as good as it is, it is still just french toast, eggs, bacon, fruit and coffee... brunch, folks....all served in an atmosphere as comfortable as a seat in any New York diner costing half the price. The noise level in the place is reminiscent of that too. The staff at Universal is totally over-worked. They have little time to recognize you and your needs much less be pleasant. The only time I saw the wait staff was to order, get my food and receive my check. And that totalled only a few seconds...yes, seconds. It would be nice if your coffee could be presented to you in as pleasant and fast a manner as your check. So, if your thing is a eating $11 eggs in cramped quarters with a "casually chic" crowd, have at it. I'm gonna walk a few blocks to Reds and save my money, my nerves and my good mood.
A cozy, modern space serves up fresh New American fare to a casually chic crowd. – In Short
This longstanding Mission eatery echoes the industrial feel of its out-of-the-way locale in a warm and sleek way. Art-lined walls and an open kitchen balance cool steel fixtures and track lighting. The dining room can get noisy as 30-somethings slip into tightly spaced tables. The service is relaxed, but adequate. The kitchen's inspired menu offers a seasonal selection of rustic dishes.
Good place for brunch – I was impressed with the food here. The service was good. Though, the location itself is not where I would like to be for dinner. I would recommend for Brunch on Sunday.
Great reviews, too busy to get in or even get a to-go order – I use to be able to go here and get food to-go. It was on my list of fav neighborhood places. Tonight I went, and they turned me away. Said they were not taking to-go orders as they were too busy. Very disappointing, especially to local regulars who liked to visit the place.
Great food in the Mission! – Great food in a fun environment. They use the best, freshest ingredients. Eaten here twice - first time for brunch and second time for dinner. Food and service was great both times. Looking forward to my next dining experience here.
Graet Time and Great food and Great Service – I love spots like this!!
You will have to plan on finding this spot, and it will be time well spent. Grat brunch menu and wonderful staff. i was very impressed with the experience, and you will be also!!
another crew of horrible service – Why do these restaurants hire these people and where do they come from? Waited two hours to be sat for brunch when we were already comfortably seated at an outside table just waiting for someone to ask if we would like to eat where we were, but no. Even though others were eating at other outside tables, I guess we had to wait for a inside table. When we finally were acknowledged we received some of the worst service ever from people whose brains must have been in the scrambled eggs. The food is bland and uneventful. I really liked the sound of this place and the area its in. Its too bad. I'll never go back, I'd recommend you do the same.
Bad Service – I had a vegetarian pasta dish that was terrible and only tasted of butter. The wait staff approched us several times to ask if we had finished eating. The bus boy actually took my plate away while the fork was in my mouth. We were given the check immediately. A few minutes later, while we were enjoying what was left of a great bottle of wine, the owner approached us and asked if we would like a complementary glass of wine at the bar. I told him that we we were finishing the bottle we ordered, and that we did not want any more wine. We took this as a cue that our table was needed for other customers. This was after dining for 1.5 hours. We left immediately. Other customers who arrived prior to us, were still enjoying drinks and conversation. Will not return. The bill was over $100.
really really good! – this chic little spot never fails my wife and me. easy parking, DELICIOUS food, and reasonable prices. service is always friendly albeit casual and the wine list offers lots of options from high brow to table wine. if you're looking for really good fare in a relaxed atmosphere this is the place. one of SF's best kept secrets.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Universal Cafe on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.