With Valentine’s Day fast approaching isn’t it time you booked a reservation for your favorite Asian restaurant in San Francisco? After all, many local restaurants allow you to book up to a month in advance. Moreover, Valentine’s Day is a very special occasion and with it comes a strong demand for dinner reservations. While some of your favorite Asian restaurants may not be listed here, please note that it may because some are closed on Tuesdays. Additionally, some others are closed for wintertime or extended renovations. Thus, without any further delay, here is a look at 10 of the best Asian restaurants for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco.
2700 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
One Asian restaurant in particular that you need to act fast for a Valentine’s Day reservation is Abacá. Indeed, Abacá and Chef Francis Ang had a phenomenal 2022, garnering national attention as a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. That’s to say nothing of a place among Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in America, among others. Quickly establishing itself as San Francisco’s first upscale Filipino restaurant, Abacá really has no peer in the City. Yet despite it rising acclaim, menu items have stayed modestly priced. Take for example, sisig fried rice ($19). pancit batil patong ($26), wagyu tartare ($26) and vegetable ngoholong lumpia ($8). In addition, Abacá has a beautiful setting, with a full bar and hospitality that’s a clear cut above the norm. You can find this scorching hot restaurant inside the Kimpton Alton Hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf.
1560 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
Despite being open less than a year, Bansang is a Korean fusion restaurant that deserves your immediate attention. For one, it’s led by two chefs with Michelin Star restaurants like Atelier Crenn, Saison and Michael Mina on their respective resumes. For another, it offers elevated Korean dishes yet available in a food and beverage menu that’s modestly priced. As such, you may enjoy popular items like uni scallop toast ($29), radish kimchi fried rice ($15) or bulgogi salad ($16). In addition, you can complement your meal with fine wines and Asian beer, cocktails and liquors. This includes items like Dokkabier ($10), Gassan Ryu sake ($15), Myung Jak ($19) and soju. You can find chefs Ethan Min and Jim Lim’s stylish restaurant at the corner of Fillmore and Geary streets. In fact, it’s right across from The Fillmore and a short walk from the heart of Japantown.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Set in the northern edge of Chinatown, China Live was a welcome addition when it opened back in 2017. Indeed, it presence has been so impactful that it was named Eater San Francisco’s Restaurant of the Year that same year. Well known for its inventive takes on traditional Chinese cuisine, China Live offers your choice of dining experiences. On the main floor you can dine at Market Restaurant where you can order Valentine’s Day items from eight food stations. However, the ultimate dining experience at China Live is Eight Tables by George Chen on the second level. For Valentine’s Day you can enjoy the tasting menu priced at $150 with wine pairing for $130. Among the menu items you may be able to enjoy are steamed tai madai, Iberico pork char siu and longevity noodle.
Empress By Boon
838 Grant St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
With tremendous views of Coit Tower and beyond, Empress by Boon is among the most romantic Asian restaurants in San Francisco. Indeed, it’s listed in the San Francisco Michelin Guide as among the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco and among the Bay Area’s most romantic. With that in mind, it’s important to book your Valentine’s Day dinner reservation sooner than later.
Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe Menu
Led by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon, Empress by Boon offers a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu for $168 with optional $88 wine tasting. Although each of the nine course items is an individual highlight there are some Cantonese specialties worth noting. In detail, the winter perigord truffle puff, live scallop with caviar and chilled fresh lily bulbs with ginger. What’s more, grilled Alaskan black cod, braised Chilean red abalone and steamed shrimp and squid dumplings and are all quite wonderful. Accompanying the prix fixe menu are an assortment of premium wine curated by sommelier Dylan Dash, cocktails and spirits. Of course, non-alcoholic drinks are also available, includings the restaurant’s signature teas.
600 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
In a city blessed with an abundance of Asian restaurants, there aren’t many options in the SoMA neighborhood. On the other hand, among those few is Fang Restaurant, led by celebrity chef Kathy Fang. The daughter of the owners of one of Chinatown’s most popular restaurants, Kathy Fang is a master of inventive Chinese cuisine. Indeed, her creations are so outstanding that she’s a two-time winner of the Food Network’s “CHOPPEd” cooking show. If that’s not enough, Kathy and her parents Peter and Lily are currently featured a Food Network docuseries. While “Fang Dynasty: House of Fang” is a must-see if you’re a food lover, don’t overlook the dishes you can try at Fang Restaurant. In detail, you will love signature entrees like sesame chicken ($18.95). Southeast Asian crisped tofu ($16) and Fang’s crispy shortribs ($23.95).
55 Cyril Magnin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
After a lengthy closure caused by the pandemic, Michelin-starred Kin Khao reopened its doors last September. Translated as the Thai phrase “to eat rice”, Kin Khao has been a hot spot ever since owner/chef Pim Techamuanvivit opened it in 2014. That’s because not only is the food phenomenal but it remains one of the most affordable Michelin Star restaurants in San Francisco. While prices are not currently listed on the existing menu, considering ordering the caramelized pork belly, pretty hot wings and khao yum among others. If you wish to dine at this Asian restaurant for Valentine’s Day, you need to act fast. Chef Techamuanvivit’s other restaurant Nari is another outstanding spot for dining. However, it probably will not be open for Valentine’s Day since it’s closed on Tuesdays.
101 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
At the present time, reservations for the Valentine’s Day omakase are still available. However, that is likely to change by the day, due to the popularity of this Michael Mina-branded restaurant. The special seven course Valentine’s Day menu is available at $155 per person with an optional sake pairing for $95. Among the notable items you can enjoy are one PABU’s popular spoon appetizers, a trio of sashimi items and a savory Schmitz Ranch 28-day dry-aged prime rib eye. Or course, if you want to elevate your dining experience, you can supplement it with A5 Miyazaki wagyu for $75 and perigord black truffles ($35). Equally important item on the menu are a crispy skin salmon, a collection of nigiri sushi and matcha sponge cake. You can find this trendy Japanese-style restaurant in the Financial District just a block from the Embarcadero BART station.
333 Brannan St. #150
San Francisco, CA 94107
If the California Michelin Guide is any indication, ROOH SF is your top choice for Indian restaurants in San Francisco. In fact, the California Michelin Gide practically says that about this singularly impressive progressive Indian restaurant. For this reason, you shouldn’t waste much time in booking reservations for a sumptuous Valentine’s Day dinner. In case you’ve never visited ROOH SF, you will have several options in which to choose from the menu. Most notably are chili cheese kulcha ($14), dahi puri ($14) and cauliflower koliwada ($16). That’s not to mention the popular butter chicken ($28) and assorted papads and crisps ($15). ROOH SF is led by owners Vikram and Anu Bhambri, executive chef Sujan Sarkan and his brother Pujan Sarkar. The elder Sujan was recently named Times Chef of the Year in India while chef de cuisine Pujan is clearly a rising star.
370 14th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
If you’re craving for vegan sushi for Valentine’s Day, Shizen is your top choice in San Francisco. Moreover, because you can only make reservations up to a week in advance, there’s still plenty of time for a booking. If that’s not enough, you won’t find a pricey chef’s menu that can often set you back hundreds of dollars. Instead, you can find most sushi items for $10 or less, with the exception of the delectable specialty rolls. In addition, you can order affordable salads, small plates and ramen from Chef Kin Lui’s menu. That’s not to mention the restaurant’s beautifully designed wood interior with spacious seating. Located at the corner of 14th and Valencia streets, Shizen is listed in the Michelin Guide. In other words, it’s among your top choices for Asian restaurants on Valentine’s Day.
937 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Another one of those few Asian restaurants for you to consider Valentine’s Day in SoMA is Tin. This is especially important if you’re looking for a top rated spot known for serving classic Vietnamese cuisine. What’s more, owner-chef Hung Dang’s restaurant is so popular, he opened a second location in the Financial District. However, that location is only open for lunch while catering to the business crowd. Backed by outstanding reviews including Michelin Guide listings in 2016 and 2017, Tin has several signature dishes. For instance, you may like vegetarian pho ($13), traditional goi ga cabbage salad ($12.5) and banh xeo ($14). Additionally, you may also like ginger chicken ($13), bun tom noodles ($14.5) or caramelized claypot shrimp. When it comes to drinks, Tin has a great selection of sake, premium wines, bottled beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.