SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Reviewer: Foodnut.com


1911 Fillmore Street (At Pine)

San Francisco, CA 94115


SPQR Website

Book Reservation

SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

SPQR is an Italian osteria, located in Pacific Heights, that serves wine and more casual food than their popular sister restaurant A16 in the Marina district. According to Wikipedia, “SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus (“The Senate and the People of Rome” or “The Senate and Roman People”), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic”. Executive Chef, Matthew Accarrino, prepares “sophisticated, yet soulful, Italian cuisine using the best local ingredients, traditional and modern cooking techniques delivered in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Our last visit for take-out


During the Covid 19 Shelter in place in March 2019, we tried their take-out.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive.

SPQR satisfied our need for some quality Italian food. The menu is limited but included some larger family meals. Alyssa’s Pizza was also featured. Prices are high. (Welcome to SF)

Ordered directly from restaurant to avoid extra fees.

Safety Pluses – Social distancing. Took Credit card over phone
Minuses – Need to go inside, no pen quarantine

Food Picks:
Fennel Rubbed chicken ($29 for half) was excellent. Zuni Quality

Strozzapreti Pasta ($28) with bolognese ragu was also excellent.

Bucatini pasta ($28) was also done well.

Food Pans:
House Salad was pretty ordinary ($16)

Food – Excellent
Value – Fair


This restaurant has gotten immensely popular after scoring a Michelin Star in 2013. We had to make reservations several weeks in advance. The food is great but the environment is cramped and loud. It is hard to have a leisurely dinner here. SPQR is now a neighborhood restaurant that the whole world knows about and may have eclipsed its sister restaurant A16.

SPQR San Francisco interior decor

Decor, Vibe – The place is small with no a lot of space between tables. It is located in the trendy Fillmore street shopping district. SPQR has counter seating for those without reservations. Diners included many couples, small groups, small families, with most people in their 30’s and 40’s.


The menu changes every couple days and features a big selection of appetizers, pasta, and six entrée’s.  Diners can eat family style or individually. Many folks dined tapas style with lots of shared small plates. They feature a multi-course pasta tasting menu on Tuesday through Thursday.

Website SPQR menu

SPQR full image set

SPQR Picks:

You need to ask for bread. It comes with some decent olive oil.

SPQR San Francisco Green garlic sformato

Green garlic sformato, dungeness crab, sea urchin, porcini and mushroom biscotto ($22) is a signature dish and definitely a must order. The dish comes to the table covered in a foam that slowly dissipates. Lots of egg and seafood goodness under the foam.

SPQR San Francisco Razor Clam

Razor clam, smoked potato, black radish, taggiasca olive and ink sauce ($20) was a beautiful dish that tasted unusual. The potato was slightly bitter and the razor clam lightly fried.

SPQR San Francisco Duck liver terrina

Duck liver terrina, blenheim apricot, sicilian pistachio, elderflower and verjus agrodolce ($18) is a shoe-in for foie gras. Roughly 75% of the flavor, accented by the toasted bread and excellent cooked apricot.

SPQR San Francisco_pigs ears

Crispy pig’s ears tomatillo, dandelion, anaheim peppers & chili oil ($8) was an interesting appetizer with freshly fried tender and chewy cartilage on a bed of greens. Not exactly a challenging dish to devour given its quality.

SPQR San Francisco_carrot salad

Slow roasted carrot salad umbrian lentil, medjool date & our lardo ($14) is a popular starter that the waitress recommended. Nice tender roasted vegetables and variety to make this more interesting. A sure fire hit for vegetarians. Meat eaters should look elsewhere.

SPQR San Francisco_quail

Local quail Swiss chard, farro roast stuffing, fuyu persimmon ($20) featured one large quail that was cooked to a perfect tender and pinkish medium rare. The barley like stuffing was pretty neutral, making it a nice balance dish.

SPQR San Francisco Rigatoni

Rigatoni, cauliflower crema, black truffle butter and pecorino tartufato ($21) a fairly creamy pasta that was made in house. Not very al dente, but still recommended for all including vegetarians.

SPQR San Francisco Squid ink chittara

Squid ink chittara, dungeness crab, shellfish broth and salmon roe ($23) was very black thin pasta. A little more of an acquired taste, this pasta was also very good.

Fusili, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and spigarello ($22) is an option for gluten free or egg free needs. The pasta was a dry pasta but still superb. The sauce was fairly mild, although we prefer the next version.

SPQR San Francisco Fusili

Fusili, veal bolognese, golden squash, garden rosemary and kohlrabi leaf ($23) had a superb pasta with lots of veal chunks and clearly a long simmered sauce.

SPQR San Francisco Fusilli Pasta

Fusilli ($14) with pork and tomato ragu was a very good curly pasta with ample quantities of pork. Good solid dish

SPQR San Francisco Beef Tongue

Beef Tongue with salsa verde ($8) was very tasty but very greasy. It had a green salsa verde on top that was not spicy.

SPQR San Francisco Blond Panna

Blonde panna ($12) was expensive for a dessert, but this fruity delight was not too sweet or creamy. Well done.

SPQR San Francisco Granita

Des Honey Granita with poached quince and almond crema ($7.50) was a very good lighter dessert. The granita had subtle honey flavor and was accented with the quince below. The Creama was like sweeten condensed milk. Sweet and good.

SPQR San Francisco_Panna cotta

Caramel panna cotta apple, cinnamon & florentine ($8) was a velvety smooth dessert that is highly recommended. Not too sweet, very fluffy, with a thin crunchy cookie to the side.

Veal breast & sweetbread leek, cranberry kumquat relish; black garlic sauce ($25) had a circular helping of veal that was dry and ineventful. The sweetbreads were deep fried balls of goodness to the side.

SPQR San Francisco Prosciotto

La Quercia Americano Prosciutto ($8) with melon and basil is a classic dish and executed just fine. The quality of the meat was good, slice thickness was pretty thin. Melon was a cantaloupe.


SPQR San Francisco Lamb Burger

Lamb burger ($14) with pecorino (Aioli), and house made pickles had a real greasy lamb patty. It tasted fair and the lamb was not gamey, but the burger was too greasy.

SPQR San Francisco Mushrooms

Chantrelle Mushrooms with wilted spinach, lardo, lemon ($8) was too greasy and salty. Flavor of the mushrooms was average but the saltiness was overwhelming. Not much spinach to the dish.

Service was very good and professional considering how small and hectic SPQR was. No worries about refills or checking how the food was. Service was competent and fairly active. You still get a sense of being rushed because the place is so busy.

SPQR is a good place for a quick bite albeit not at an inexpensive price, if you want heavy duty Italian, their sister restaurant A16 or Perbacco is a better. Prices used to be more moderate and the restaurants earlier days.

A very nice wine selection with three-ounce tastings, glasses, half carafes and full bottles from $19. They have lots of different glasses of wine from $8 and even 3oz tastes from $5.50.

Be sure to check out the A16 Food and Wine Book

SPQR on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Map:

SPQR Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Very Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Good)
Value Rating: (Average)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Beer, Wine
Hours:Sa-Sun 11am-230pm. Mon-Sat 530-10:30pm. Sun 530-10pm
Prices:$16 - $25

You Might Also Like


  • New 2011 San Francisco Michelin Guide | Foodnut.com
    October 26, 2010 at 9:40 am

    […] Sakae Santi Sauce Slanted Door (The) – Deserves 1 star Slow Club Sociale Sons & Daughters SPQR Starbelly Sumika Sushi Ran – Deserves 1 star Tavern at Lark Creek Thai House the girl & […]

  • New Michelin Guide San Francisco 2012 | Foodnut.com
    January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

    […] Door (The) – Deserves 1 star. Slow Club – San Francisco Sociale – San Francisco SPQR – San Francisco Starbelly – San Francisco Sumika – Los Altos – Nice but not […]

  • New Michelin Guide San Francisco 2013 | Foodnut.com
    October 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

    […] SPQR – San Francisco – A bit too high.. Spruce – San Francisco Terra – St. Helena Terrapin Creek – Bodega Bay – Shocker The Village Pub – Woodside Wakuriya – San Mateo […]

Leave a Reply

By using our site you agree to our: Privacy PolicyTerms of Use.

Subscribe to the Free Foodnut Newsletter