House of Prime Rib Restaurant Review, San Francisco


House of Prime Rib

1906 Van Ness Avenue (near Washington)

San Francisco, CA 94109


House of Prime Rib Website

Book Reservation

House of Prime Rib Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Best cornbread in town! House of Prime Rib opened in 1949 and concentrates on one dish, Prime rib. We have been coming here for many decades, whenever we have a desire for beef. They use corn-fed Prime beef Midwestern beef that is aged for 21 days and cooked in coarse rock salt.

House of Prime Rib San Francisco interior decor inside

Our last visit was in Summer of 2023. We arrived at 5pm as did a ton of other folks, and had our food within 15 minutes.

  • We tried Pandemic takeout in 2021 and found portion sizes small and a ton of packaging waste. Hope it never comes to that again.
  • Our first visit to this fine establishment was way back in the 1970’s! Not much has changed except the prices.

This restaurant is popular, we had to book many weeks in advance. The handle upwards of 600 diners a night. It took multiple alerts on different days via Opentable to score a reservation. Very few alerts turn up. Alerts pop up the closer you are to the date. You can dine at the bar, but the experience is far from optimal.

Decor, Vibe – House of Prime Rib is a classic steakhouse feel with dark wood, glass paneling, large bar and lounge, and several dining areas. We came midweek and the place was still packed. A cross-section of locals and tourists of all ages and races. Clearly a lot of people love this place. Not a quite romantic dining establishment. Lots of noise, carts and waiters all over.

House of Prime Rib Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)

House of Prime Rib’s Menu has not changed in years other than the prices going up. The regular Prime Rib cut cost $19.75 in 1995. In September 2023 it costs $58.85. 2 months later in November 2023 $59.85. (Henry VII went up $3!)

Just select desired cut size from the thin English cut to the beefy Henry VIII cut. Add a 2.5% of SF Mandate.

  • They do have 2 types fresh fish available but why would you come here for it?
  • They have a special entrée for Vegetarians, in 2019 they sold five of them all year long, but in 2023 the waitress said it is far more popular now. Might instead try a veggie place like Baia

Secret menu

Every popular restaurant has some secrets for insiders! Here is the inside scoop:

  • King Henry Cut cut English Style – Get the thin cut English style in massive Henry VIII quantities!
  • Seared Prime Rib – Get your prime rib seared like a steak. Essentially it is a rib eye
  • Grilled Vegetable Plate – Perfect for vegetarians and vegans.  Eggplant, a Portobello mushroom, red peppers, zucchini, and is topped with fresh chunks of mozzarella, a pinch of basil chiffonade, and a drizzle of aged balsamic
  • Special Sides – Creamed Corn (from the can?), Sauteed Spinach (instead of cream)
  • Ask for Special add ons – Horseradish with Tabasco sauce mixed in, fresh-grated dry horseradish root, and a pickled beet horseradish made with beets from the salad.

Blast from Past

We’ve been eating here since the 1970’s. Here are subtle changes other than ever increasing prices

  • House of Prime Rib used to be quiet, elegant, intimate place not a zoo
  • Service was a lot better
  • No more mini Seasoning Salt Shakers
  • The cart does not come to your table (Too many tables now!)
  • No seconds and thirds for more meat
  • Peach Melba dessert is going

House of Prime Rib San Francisco menu

Website House of Prime Rib Menu

It is all about the beef, in different sizes from the small City cut to the extra large Henry VIII.  The price difference is about $10 from largest to smallest, making it worthwile to supersize and eat leftovers the next day. Kids get their cheap meal too.

House of Prime Rib San Francisco cart

Prime Rib Carving cart video

House of Prime Rib San Francisco House of prime rib cut

House of Prime Rib Cut ($59.85) A hearty portion of juicy, tender beef is what they describe the standard sized portion as. Silky smooth, super tender, full of awesome au jus flavor. You can ask for seconds if you can did not get enough. If you are lucky, you get a bone. Love the mash potatoes and gravy! 9.5/10

House of Prime Rib San Francisco city cut

Smaller City Cut is ($55.85), with no seconds available. You can order the meat only a la carte for $47.85, worthwhile only if you don’t eat salad. Stick to the medium rare, otherwise the meat will be a bit pudgy. Why not pay a little more and have a prime rib sandwich for lunch the next day with a bigger cut? 9/10

House of Prime Rib San Francisco english cut

The English Cut ($59.85) some feel that a thinner slice produces the better flavor. Occasionally we like to order this cut. The thinly sliced pieces absorb more of the au jus hence increasing the meaty flavorness. You can also ask for seconds if you can did not get enough, which is entirely possible with this thin cut. 9/10

House of Prime Rib San Francisco prime rib henry viii cut

Prime Rib King Henry VIII Cut ($65.85) is an extra-generous, 1″ thick cut of bone-in prime beef, for king size appetites and comes with the bone. The meat is very tender and the bone especially fatty and collectible delectable. Their au jus is just top notch. You can ask for seconds if you can did not get enough, I’ll be impressed if you do. Note: They do not allow seconds to be taken as to go. 10/10

  • Secret Menu: Get the Henry VIII cut sliced thin like the English cut, that way you will get lots of flavor and the bone!

Not big enough? You can order a DOUBLE CUT of Henry VIII.

House of Prime Rib San Francisco veggie plate

Veggie Plate ($35.45) is here to satisfy vegans and vegetarians.  Eggplant, asparagus, tomato, cucumber, topped with portobello mushrooms and optional cheese. Pretty good for a steak house. Be sure to ask for a baked potato. 9/10

Sea Bass ($49.85) was finally ordered by a friend in 2023. It was cooked very well, on a bed of mash potatoes and accompanied by asparagus. 8.5/10

Doggie Bag Team

On our last visit, they had 2 guys equipped with all the tools, help box up our leftovers. (Bread included)  They have it down to a science. Be sure to ask for some horseradish and au just to go.  This really helps with leftovers. Note: You cannot box up any seconds!

Dinner Accompaniments:

It’s not just the meat, you get a lot that makes the value much better.

Salad creation

House of Prime Rib San Francisco salad

The Salad Bowl : A colorful mixture of healthy, crisp, seasonal greens, water cress, beets, eggs, pimento prepared at your table, tossed in our unique house sherry dressing. This salad is a classic with tons of mainstream ingredients and a solid vinaigrette-based dressing. No fancy Napa greens here. Classic chilled fork.

  • Sourdough Bread: Warm out of the oven and not bad.  Do not eat too much or you will regret it.
  • Pro Tip: Cornbread: Is not always available. They make 50 at a time and have 150 people to feed.  It is surprisingly good.  Ask them if it is available.

Mashed Potatoes : A generous steaming helping of the all American favorite, served with thick brown gravy. This is our favorite starch here, the gravy makes this combination heavenly. You can always ask for more!

Baked Potato : A super sized Idaho potato served with butter and sour cream, with a sprinkle of chives. They bury the potato in a sea of decadent toppings, sour cream, bacon bits, chives, and butter. Secret: The potatoes are baked for HOURS at a low temperature.

Yorkshire Pudding : Straight from merry olde England! Light, airy batter baked to a golden brown dome, with a fluffy interior to soak Up those savory beef juices. A classic egg-based bread to ensure you get everything off the plate.

Creamed Spinach : A light dish of garden spinach whipped with fresh cream and large bits of bacon. Our favorite version, so creamy, even kids will eat this. Lumpy Cream corn is an option, but just not as good.

Fresh Cream of Horseradish Sauce in three different strengths! The spiciest hit the spot for us. Fantastic. Ask for Secret add ons – Horseradish with Tabasco sauce mixed in, fresh-grated dry horseradish root, and a pickled beet horseradish made with beets from the salad.

Apple Crisp ($10.50) is steakhouse size.  Piping hot, topped with vanilla ice cream. A bit sweet but enough for one to share with the entire table.

Peach Melba ($8) was the classic dessert. Slices of canned peaches, apricots sauce, whipped cream, and ice cream. Timeless, not fancy, but satisfying. It had been on the menu forever. In 2014, they removed this classic dessert! Boo!


Mojito ($13.25) was expensive and whipped up fast. Looked more like a soda. Hidden alcohol and not enough mint.

House of Prime Rib and very good service from the friendly waiters. We could not help feeling that we were being pushed along quickly like cattle car along with little time to savor the gluttony. They have this restaurant’s operation down to a science. If you are looking for prime rib, House of Prime Rib is a must visit.

  • Nearby Harris’ also has excellent prime rib and steaks, and a much more intimate atmosphere.

Ready to try expand your fine dining?

If you like on the San Francisco Peninsula and are in the mood for beef, consider San Mateo Prime or Alexander’s Steakhouse. (Alexander’s is far more expensive, with everything a la carte)

House of Prime Rib Children’s menu is available with a very low cost meal ($16.85) that includes a drink and dessert.

Beautiful wine cellar and an extensive wine list with high markup, bottles from $30, $25 corkage, glasses from $6. Check out the autographed 49er’s helmet in there.

Restaurant Map:

House of Prime Rib Overall Rating: (Excellent 3)

Come Back?

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

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

Alcohol:Full bar
Hours:Sa-Sun 4:30 - 10pm, Mon - Th 5:30 - 10pm, Fri 5-10pm
Parking:Street, $9 Paid Valet
Prices:$33.85 - $42.85

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