On Valentine’s Day, a description of ‘budget-friendly’ restaurants should not conjure images of your average dingy hole-in-the-wall greasy food restaurant. Inexpensive Valentine’s Day meals should provide great food combined with a great ambiance-something that those hole-in-the-wall food stops will definitely not provide. A Valentine’s dinner can go sour quickly if the restaurant is dingy, even if the food is good-keep those great gems for non-special occasions. The recommendations I have put forth will provide you and your date with a romantic dinner with great food at relatively inexpensive prices-most of the places I have recommended have prix fixe prices that hover around $55 per person, and most entrees that are around $20 a piece. Keep in mind that couples easily spend $125 per person on Valentine’s Day in San Francisco, and that’s before taking into account alcoholic beverages. I have included San Francisco restaurants to suit a variety of tastes, including Moroccan, classic and rustic Italian, and New American Vegetarian. Popular restaurants in San Francisco always require advanced booking, so I highly recommend making reservations as soon as possible.
Many restaurants in San Francisco (and across the Nation) take reservations through Opentable.com. You can access this site, make reservations easily, and accrue “dining” points. I will specify throughout the article whether Opentable is available for the particular restaurants.
5800 Geary Blvd (at 22nd Avenue)
San Francisco, CA
Aziza accepts reservations online at opentable.com. Aziza offers delicious Moroccan and Mediterranean food at an inexpensive price. Starters range from $8-$12, and entrees range from $18-$25. Aziza also offers a prix fixe menu at $55 a person, which could be right for you and your date if you want to taste a variety of foods. Although Aziza has not planned anything special for Valentine’s Day, its ambiance is perfect for a romantic couple-it is not too loud and the lights are dim. I highly recommend this restaurant for your Valentine’s Day dinner.
1550 Church Street (at Duncan)
San Francisco, CA
While Incanto does not take reservations through opentable.com, you can easily make reservations online through their website or over the phone. Incanto offers a very romantic setting, with dimmed lights and warm cozy tables. Incanto has a frequently changing menu of classic Italian food and renowned wines. Prices vary around $15-25 per pasta dish or entrée. This restaurant would be a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day!
1448 Pacific Ave (between Hyde & McCormick)
San Francisco, CA
Ristorante Milano offers great Italian food in a nice romantic setting. Prices are inexpensive for an upscale restaurant in San Francisco: pasta prices range around $16 per plate and meat dishes around $20. Ristorante Milano is great for couples looking to eat great Italian food.
580 Geary Street (at Jones)
San Francisco CA
Millennium Restaurant offers a very unique taste of New American Vegetarian cuisine. Reservations should be made plenty in advance (even on non-special occasions it can be very difficult to book reservations) and can be booked through opentable.com or through the phone number listed above. Millennium Restaurant is offering a special 5 course prix fixe menu on Valentine’s day for $60 per person. If you and your date are interested in trying creatively designed, fresh, and healthy vegetarian food, give Millennium Restaurant a try.