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Zuni Café

Fodorite Reviews

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Zuni Café Review

After one bite of chef Judy Rodgers' succulent brick-oven-roasted whole chicken with Tuscan bread salad, you'll understand why she's a national star (and why it's the most-well-known chicken dish in town). Food is served here on two floors; the rabbit warren of rooms on the second level includes a balcony overlooking the main dining room. Mingle among a disparate mix that reflects the makeup of the city—casual and dressy, young and old, hip and staid—at the long copper bar where trays of briny, fresh oysters on the half shell are dispensed along with cocktails and wine. The southern French–Italian menu changes daily, though the signature chicken, prepared for two, is a fixture (and, alas, its cost reflects its popularity). Rotating dishes are simple but made with excellent ingredients, like house-cured anchovies with Parmigiano-Reggiano, deep-fried squid and lemons, ricotta gnocchi with seasonal vegetables, and brick-oven squab with polenta. Nearly as famous as the chicken is the chocolatey flourless gâteau Victoire, served here since the '80s. The most cheerful spot to sit is at the tip of the "pyramid window" near the bar, easier to score if you plan a late lunch—the restaurant serves straight through.

    Restaurant Details

  • Closed Mon.
Updated: 05-02-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Zuni Café Review

    My husband and I dined here with our 10 and 12 year old children and the meal was delicious and the experience was enjoyable. Our children like to try new foods and are well behaved so when we travel we take them along so that we don't have to compromise our dining standards. This was a great choice. We had several dishes, including the chicken, side of olives, polenta, and 4 different desserts. All wonderful, and the service was admirable.

    by chomley, 1/29/10
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    Zuni Café Review

    We had high expectations because of all the reviews and were disappointed. The food was good, but the slow, cool, disinterested service overruled. The kitchen staff smoking pot below the open window where we were seated added to the unprofessionalism.

    by djuliana, 11/11/09
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    Maybe we need to try it again...

    This was recommended by a Hayes Valley resident who was with us for this lunch. There were four of us and it was just confusing. They brought the pizza first (which was quite good) and then the salad (which was also good), then our plate of oysters... The service was out of sync, to say the least. For the money, it just didn't make it. Maybe next time.

    by rjkollar, 6/18/08
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    Wonderful

    We had a great waiteress who recommended some wonderful dishes. The food was good, atmosphere was nice, but loud. We didn't get the chicken, so we have to go back for the chicken next time.

    by orlew92, 4/16/07

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