3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412337.798772 -122.435985
M-F 11:30-2, Sa-Su 9-2
Neighborhoods: Cow Hollow, North
Classic San Francisco style and a sophisticated Marina bar scene converge at this American eatery. – The Scene
Attractive and well-to-do 30-somethings, served by an equally beautiful staff, crowd the front half of this Cow Hollow institution. The dining area evokes an old-fashioned power-broker restaurant, replete with dark-wood paneling and soaring ceilings. Professional servers in white jackets cater to movers and shakers tucked into secluded tables.
The menu features a variety of American cuisine staples, many with modern twists. Appetizers include meaty Dungeness crab cakes, spinach salad with salty pancetta, and calamari with bloody-mary cocktail sauce. The large, juicy burger spiced up with sweet grilled onions and tangy cheddar cheese is served with a mountain of crispy shoestring fries. Impeccably fresh wild salmon is served medium-rare, unless requested otherwise, and comes with hearty pan-fried potatoes. The cheese plate features a stellar collection of American cheeses like Juniper Grove Farm's Buche and Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss.
Best Burgers! – The best burgers in San Francisco. Quality grade meat, anyway you like them - best with bacon, sauteed onions and cheddar. mmmm! The menu is well thought out and exectued, particularly for "bar" food. Kudos to the chef!!!
buns buns buns – The great thing about the Balboa cafe is the bread...they don't use those sterile, foamy generic buns, they use fresh, crunchy sourdough bread. Mmm...these are my favorite burgers ever! Although, In-n-out is a good second choice.
Very disappointing – Overpriced, incredibly noisy and indifferent service. It could be a winner, but not with this management. Great location, but it misses badly.
Let's Meet at Balboa Cafe! – I love wine and Balboa delivers! The by the glass selection is da bomb! If you want to really learn how to pair food with wine, get in line. (It's not just white with fish and reds with meat anymore.) My friends and I have taken some of the wine classes and we are loving life right now, and the Wine Club is a big hit in our building. But when we have some time and energy to venture out for the evening, we choose the Balboa for old time's sake and for new time's sake. Don't be put off by the large crowds because the hot bartenders and servers are just waiting to serve you!
Not My Older Brother's Balboa! – In my opinion - The once great Balboa continues its slow descent downward. Gone are the days when the place seemed to have its own little unique charm. It is now a cookie cutter bar. Nothing terrible, but certainly nothing great. The music played on my last two visits was Top 40 and all the tables and chairs were in perfect order while I was there. Back in the day the best thing about the Balboa is that things always got a little wild or a little out of order - a chair might bet knocked over or a drink spilled or someone might actually stand on a chair and shimmy. Today, it just tries too hard to be cool. Sure it was full of yuppies back then too but it was the one place where the yuppies seemed to let their hair down a little. Not any more.
Sleazeball Central... – The burgers were actually good, but it was impossible for my table of girlfriends to enjoy it w/all the slicked up, old men leering and looming. I've been here a few times (to give a second chance? hoping it was just bad first impressions?) but the crowd here is seriously cheesy and desperate.
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