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“Hip spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner”
Review of Rocco's Cafe

Rocco's Cafe
Ranked #315 of 5,715 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: SoMa
Cross street: between 7th & 8th Sts.
Transit: Three blocks south from Civic Center BART station and Muni Station. #19 Muni Bus stops at 7th and Folsom inbound and 8th and Folsom outbound. #12 Muni Bus stops at 7th and Folsom #27 Muni Bus stops at 7th and Harrison (one block south)
Description: Rocco's Cafe was founded in 1990 by Don Dial, in honor of his Grandfather Rocco who operated a restaurant in SF's Excelsior District for over 60 years. We are dedicated to our craft and have been serving high quality food for almost 30 years! Our menu offers traditional Italian / American dishes, and Don serves over 200 daily rotating specials. We've appeared on over 10 television shows like Diners Drive-ins & Dives and more! Check us out today and we promise you'll leave our restaurant full & with a smile on your face.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Hip spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Great fresh Italian-American fare by Don who follows Momma's menus to a T. Featured on the Three D's TV show. Caters to locals, and tourists. Two blocks from the Hall of Justice so you are as likely to run in to a judge as a defendant, cop or attorney. All adding to the ambience.
Located in SOMA, South of Market, in a hip and happening place.

Visited June 2012
Thank Bill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Delicious food, great ambience!!”
Reviewed October 18, 2012 via mobile

Went to Rocco's for brunch before a 49er's game andtomorrow it was fantastic! From the delicious mimosa to the outstanding crab cakes benedict, our experience was perfect!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank annof2manyhorses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A must visit”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Arguably the best italian food in SF, even though not in North Beach but in SOMA. The owner/chef Don is very pleasant. The food is fabulous and reasonably priced. From servers, to bussers, to kitchen staff, everyone is pleasant. It is obvious they like to work for Don. Mention you saw him in DDD and Don will show you his photos with Guy Fieri. I will be returning.

Visited September 2012
Thank food_reviewer45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Likely the Best Clam Linguine in San Francisco”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

1131 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA
(415) 554-0522

Rocco’s serves authentic Italian food: cream, butter, spices, and all the rich goodness one would expect from Italian sauce. In fact, Anthony Bourdin of “No Reservations” visited here and taped a television episode.

The restaurant is a bit small and could get crowded during lunch and dinnertime as there sometimes is a wait to be seated. There’s a counter with an open kitchen, tables, and some tables with sofas along the walls. The panel walls are covered with photos, banners, artifacts, and posters of times past. Fresh bread with butter is normally served before each meal.

I ordered the Clam Linguine and the Tomato Basil Pasta. The Clam Linguine was the best of its kind I ever had with bountifully huge chunks of clams and clams in shells all in a rich cream buttery sauce. I’ve had this dish in several other restaurants around the Bay Area and I say Rocco’s remains the best to this day. Sure, the huge chunks of clams may have been from a can, but the chunks sure weren’t from a catfood-sized can as these clam chunks were fingertip sized, clean, pink, moist, tender, and oh so soft. Many other restaurants skimp on clam chucks and instead serve this dish with clam mush or clam shreds (which do look like from a clam can because I also buy and use that catfood-sized clam can). I mean the clam chunks make all the difference in Clam Linguine---the larger the chucks, the better. And if not from a clam, then my compliments to the chef! The white cream sauce had the correct mixture of clam juice to cream with the white wine not being overpowering, a cooking feat not every restaurant mastered when it came to Clam Linguine. Rocco’s sauce had clam taste without the fishiness of the clams or the overwhelming rich taste of butter or the sharpness of white wine. The combination of ingredients in the sauce was just perfect. This dish probably isn’t best for those on a diet due to the butter and fat quantities, but it sure was delightfully good.

The Tomato Basil over Angelhair pasta tasted great. I could taste the ingredients of fresh tomatoes and basil; simple and elegant to the tongue and not overly complex. Rocco’s serves its pasta dishes with plenty of sauce so the pasta is enveloped with savory goodness. The Tomato Basil sauce wasn’t dry, watery, or oily, but was dense with rich tomato sauce without oily olive oil film.

Rocco’s serves pretty large platters, or rather one saucer pan per entrée. The meals are hot and the pasta light and dense. The service is good, friendly, and attentive.
Rocco’s remains one of the most memorable Italian food experiences I’ve had in San Francisco. The Rocco’s chefs know how to cook and their pasta recipes have been crafted to a fine art. No wonder Anthony Bourdin stopped here on his San Francisco television trip.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Visited_There
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good but I've had better.”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

I first saw this place on Diners, Drive ins and Dives. Our son couldn't finish his clams saying they were way over cooked. He said they tasted like mush.

The red sauce was very sweet, they obviously add too much sugar.

Visited September 2012
Thank ETJ3822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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