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“One of the best dining experiences ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Albona Ristorante Istriano

Albona Ristorante Istriano
545 Francisco St, San Francisco, CA 94133-1803 (North Beach)
415-441-1040
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Ranked #22 of 5,014 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: European, Italian, Seafood, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: North Beach
Cross street: Taylor & Mason Sts.
Transit: Last stop of the Powell-Mason Cable Car Line at Taylor and Francisco Sts. (1/2 a block away). No. 30 Bus stops at Columbus Ave. and Francisco St. (1 & 1/2 blocks).
Rapid City
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“One of the best dining experiences ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

We stumbled onto this quaint place on a Sat night. While we had no reservation the stars aligned and they had a table available. What a blessing! There are no words for what an amazing time we had. The atmosphere is quiet and cozy. The staff was beyond nice. And the food....holy moly awesome! Samuel gave us such special attention and described in detail the menu items. He truly left an impression on us. Here is what we ate: oyster soup (very good broth and flavor), pear and Gorgonzola salad (super yummy), gnocchi (very good but our least favorite), saurkraut and sausage (hubby is still talking about this and he was a former hater of saurkraut), cheese ravioli with sage butter sauce (off the charts amazing), salmon in wine butter sauce (sauce was amazing), rack of lamb (incredible), mushroom risotto (very good but rich, would do ravioli as main next time and not do risotto). The food was truly out of this world. Total bill? $140! Now we did not have wine or dessert but still an amazing value for the price. Whenever we visit San Fran Albona will be a MUST VISIT. Thank you so much Samuel and staff.

Visited July 2013
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352 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    263
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    24
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Winter Park, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Food was very good!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Apparently the restaurant owner, Bruno, from Albona in Croatia has sold the restaurant to Samuel Hernandez. I think some of the other reviewers who have complained do not understand the food tradition in that part of the country of Italy and of Croatia. I am sure Bruno gave the new owner all of his recipes so they are in fact traditional from Istria. My mother and I both had the caramelized pears with gorgonzola as an appetizer. And true to the Venice tradition it was sweet and sour or saor in Italian. I then had the Crafi (ravioli) with cheese raisin and pine nuts in a butter sage sauce. It was excellent. My mother had the Stuffed pork and they gave her an entire tenderloin!! Way too much to eat but very good. For dessert we shared a tiramisu which was also very good and a light way to end the meal. There was a nice wine list of local and Italian wines and I ordered a nice bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva 2006. The service was attentive and they left you alone to enjoy your meal and have a nice conversation. Traditional Italian it was not with its heavy red sauces. Different it was. We had a nice dinner!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Tamuning
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great little Italian restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Without reservations, we were apprehensive about being able to eat here. However, we were warmly welcomed and excellently attended to by the fantastic staff at Albona. The food was wonderful and the whole experience memorable and enjoyable. The restaurant has a rich history and the food and menu reflect that heritage. My whole party had high praise and we will definitely return.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Very different, Very good!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

I expected traditional Italian but got something different that was very good. The braised sauerkraut, prosciutto and sausage appetizer was excellent. My wife had the baked pasta and loved it! My rabbit was covered in a delicious brown sauce which I enjoyed. The service was excellent. Our party of four had a wonderfull time. We loved the food and atmosphere!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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1 review
“Very special.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

I visited Albona on a recent 3 day stop over in SFC. I was travelling alone and booked online through trip advisor without having any real knowledge of restaurants in the area. I'm so glad I chose Albona. The atmosphere is warm and unpretensious, the staff were friendly and welcoming and went the extra mile for me. I felt valued and spoilt. I had the sardines as a starter which were just delicious and a pasta main which sated my need for authentic comfort food. I left feeling happy that I had struck a little piece of dining gold.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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