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Universal Cafe

2814 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2018 (Mission)
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Ranked #1,335 of 4,947 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $21 - $40
Sun 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tue 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed - Thu 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Fri 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Sat 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: American, Californian, Café
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Mission
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

Have eaten here a couple of times and really enjoyed the food. But sadly I'm forced to write them a poor review for something else. Turned up there a few Saturdays ago at 2.55pm for some lunch. The girl greeting us said sorry kitchen closes at 3pm, we can't serve you. Yet there were a few tables that had clearly... More

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

Universal Cafe is a great pick for anyone who wants great food with casual dining. The food is outstanding and the service just adds to the great experience. 5+.

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Atherton, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

We were checking out studio space in the area and stopped in on a whim. Nice wine selection at reasonable prices. We opted for a favorite from Willamette Valley. The menu changes daily but everything we chose was tasty from the steamed mussels and fresh greens salad to the hanger steak and yellowtail entrees. We rarely opt for dessert, but... More

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San Francisco, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

Not that I cook for the Universal, but it where I can go for a nice roasted chicken when I am too tired to cook. For lunch on the weekday (from Wednesday - Friday) I can pretend to have brunch. On a Sunday, I can get a scone to go and sip a latte on Bernal. Everyone from the owners... More

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
155 restaurant reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

I am a huge fan of Universal Cafe. I've been for many family brunches and dinners, and I don't think there's a better spot in the city for truly local, fresh food. It's become pretty popular, so be prepared to wait for weekend brunch, and make reservations for dinner. You won't be disappointed. The brunch menu includes special juice or... More

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Steamboat Springs
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We had a great experience from the wine, the food and the service. This is a small restaurant so I would recommend reservations. We sampled a number of their dinner and appetizer choices. All were awesome. Same with the service. Young energetic crowd. Great place to hang with friends.

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San Francisco, California
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

I had horrible experience there in April, 2012.  When I went to the bathroom, our wait person took my glass of my lemonade.  I clearly remembered there was some lemonade left in the glass.  I asked him politely, if there was lemonade left when he took my glass and he said there wasn't any, so I said okay, it's fine.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
San Francisco, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

The menu is always changing and the selections are excellent. We really enjoy sitting at the bar and watching things come together. The coffee is great, the staff are very nice and the food is always great. Highly recommended!

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Nashville, TN
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2010

Great food. Very fresh. Starter of fresh tomato bisque was sensational... Little gem salad with beets was tasty and so fresh. Really tasted like every ingredient was being grown back in the kitchen. The halibut was exquisite. Truly. Chicken with onions and grapes over polenta was SO savory and delicious. Overall, a fabulous, inspired, delicious meal.

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Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

For brunch, wait for a table outside and you won't be disappointed. Inside, you will have to remind yourself that the food will overcome the harsh, industrial ringing of every plate hitting the bar and the crash of crockery and cutlery being dumped for cleaning. The patron next to me must have been hard of hearing as he screamed at... More

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