3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412337.798772 -122.435985
M-F 11:30-2, Sa-Su 9-2
Neighborhoods: North, Cow Hollow
Best looking bouncers in sf! – I was at Balboa Cafe last night and i met the best looking bouncers in San Francisco. My friends and I were in heaven. Sebastian works the front door who screams male model. Paul works the back and is the epitome of manliness. Its worth going to Balboa just to see the bouncers.
Go here! – I?ve been here before and each time, I have had a very pleasant dining experience. On top of that, did you know this restaurant is teaming up with StreetSmart4kids? It?s actually really cool what they?re doing. I just heard about how SS4K is a nonprofit organization that helps underprivileged teens stay healthy. They are running their ?Dine Out and Donate? campaign here (as well as approx. 70 other restaurants in SF) during October and early November. After having a fabulous dining experience, just fill out the donation form when paying the check (minimum donation $3). This is perfect for people like me, who love to eat out all the time and also like to give back to the community. Check it out for yourself on the StreetSmart4Kids website!
Great neighborhood joint – I've been to "The Bal" a number of times since moving to the neighborhood a few months ago and have never been disappointed by the food or the table service (host service is usually less stellar). Yes - it's a Marina scene. Yes - it's noisy and crowded at the bar. And yes - you'll probably wait awhile before finally being seated. Just make sure you camp out at the bar and order your martinis from the bartender with the dark hair. He mixes a mean one. Once you finally do sit down, ask about the pasta of the day. Every time we have ordered it, it has been fantastic. The fish and pork we've ordered have also been great. And, although "sides" aren't listed on the menu, we always order a side of brussel sprouts, which are very yummy (although last time, a bit overcooked). We went for brunch for the first time last week and will defintiely return - the huevos rancheros were so good and the bloody mary was nice and horseradishy. Despite the Marina scene and cougars or no cougars....We're keeping The Balboa Cafe is in our regular rotation!
Best brunch and Lemon Drop around! – Yes, it's very Marina. Yes, there are cougars. Yes, the mayor might be there, three sheets to the wind (but hey, that's a plus, in my book!) But can we talk about the drinks?? They are stiff, and delicious. Balboa also makes an excellent brunch. The Eggs Benedict and they are some of the best I've ever had. The Bloody Marys are spicy and the bartenders make a fantastic lemon drop. If you go in the daytime, or can ignore the ridiculous pickup scene on weekend and weeknights, you'll get great food and drink and probably also have a fun conversation with their very nice bartenders. Two thumbs up.
Great Burger – I think the burger here is very good. I love the bun and the grilled onions have really good flavor. They also have a nice brunch menu. Tried a few things and they were all good.
My problem is with the service. It is SLOW and they act as if you are bothering them when you ask for anything. However, if you are in the mood for a great burger, this is the place.
Best Burger – Balboa has my favorite burger in San Francisco! I've tried a few other things that friends have ordered but none were remarkable. Definately go and get the burger!
Refuge of the desperate – Sadly I have a few friends who for a while kept frequenting this place, which means it's been a 1-drink stopover for me more than a few times. It's terrible, absolutely no reason to come here unless you're in your 40s, out of shape, and looking for an equally unattractive and desperate mate. The service is slow and rude, the cocktails are poor, and the space is absolutely uninspiring.
I can only think of one positive thing to say about it, it's close to several good bars with fun, attractive, non-pathetic people. People who avoid the Balboa Cafe at any cost.
Regrettable – We took friends from abroad for dinner. We were seated in the dining roomin front of a large TV set. We asked if it could be switched off. The waitress asked for us, the manager said no. Towards the end of the meal we asked the manager to turn off the TV or at least to switch tables, of which there were many available. Again the answer was no. At this point we weren't so amused, so we told the manager. He escalated the situation into an argument, actually telling us we were cut off from coffee and dessert. We paid the check and found the door. He proceeded to follow us out of the restaurant to continue the argument. A depressing experience.
Service with a Smile, Great Food – I had a wonderful dining experience at the Balboa. I felt the service was great, especially the way they handled all my special requests. I highly recomend this place to anyone that is new to the city. Try the bloody mary's.
Terrible Customer Service – This place is a joke... they can take a lesson from McDonalds. They have people walking the streets acting as security doing absolutely nothing. It is a damn shame. If this place was located in another part of town they would have been closed years ago. They need to show respect for the customers, especially the old men working on the outside.
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