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“Preserving the past--Italian style”

Albona Ristorante Istriano
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Ranked #186 of 5,693 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: European, Italian, Seafood, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: North Beach / Telegraph Hill
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).
Level Contributor
421 reviews
308 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Preserving the past--Italian style”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We thought this place was good, but not exceptional, with some quite different dishes. The fried gnocchi aren't really gnocchi-like, but were good. The carmelized pears with gorgonzola in a gastrique starter was excellent and the best part of my meal! My ravioli with cheese, currants and pine nuts were a nice variation, but the pasta looked to have been pre-done since they were rumpled and the sage and butter sauce had separated. Biscotti didn't make it--too doughy and not much flavor. The wait staff were friendly and welcoming although one waiter didn't seem to know the menu very well so perhaps he was new. The couple had the next table to ours come every year when they visit and love the mushroom risotto (something we didn't try).

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bi-coaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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436 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
56 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Amazing Food & Service!”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

My husband took me here for my birthday. We had been looking for good Italian and had been having a tough time. We are so happy we found this place! The food is like no other Italian. The owner came from a little town called Albona, which borders Slovenia and Croatia. Because of this, there is a little bit of Eastern European influence in the food. It is so hard to describe the flavors of the food. There was a combination of spices that gave the food a pop. Everything was incredible.

And the service....it was fantastic. The chef walked around many times and had real conversations with people. We chatted with the chef about the food and Albona and many other things. This is how dining out should be! We will definitely be back many times!!

(Tip: It is a small restaurant so make reservations)

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Carina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“like having your own personal chef!”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Dining in this cozy and inviting atmostphere, chef and staff are super attentive to insure a wonderful dining experience. The menu is oustanding! The roasted chicken with cherries is
Very delicious! But so are all we tried on this menu! I HOPE YOU ENJOY!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank jbyuen19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing food, amazing service!”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

The food was amazing and the service even better. We were fortunate enough to sit next to the present owner( Samuel ) as well as the original owner( Bruno ). They were both delightful! I had the Halibut in a lemon white wine sauce that was cooked to perfection. My husband had the raviolis that were delicious, and my sister in law had the mushroom risotto. If your lucky enough to be there on a day when their soup of the day is the tomato soup, don't miss it. We also had the pears with Gorgonzola cheese, that was the best I've ever had. It will definitely be a staple restaurant every time we are in San Francisco.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Adrienne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
96 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“We Loved This Place”
Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

We picked Albona for our first dinner on a vacation in San Francisco, based on its Trip Advisor rating and our fond memories of the Istrian region. It's a little out of the way and nondescript on the outside, but from the moment you walk in the door, the staff surrounds you with warmth and attention. You immediately feel very welcome there, and sense their pride in the place, and the quiet classical music playing is very enjoyable. My partner had a half order of a baked pasta dish with prosciutto, tomatoes and cheese, and it was incredibly flavorful. I had a salad with truffle oil that was really good, too. For entrees, he had veal shank in a rich sauce and polenta, and I had pork loin stuffed with sauerkraut and prosciutto, and apples and prunes that was really good -- both incredibly large and flavorful entrees. For dessert, we had panna cotta with coulis and a chocolate flan, both of which were really good and very rich. This was one of the best dinners we had in five nights in San Francisco.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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