3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110-1531


Neighborhoods: Mission Dolores
Cuisine: Italian, Private Parties, Pizza

Delfina is a Italian, Private Parties, and Pizza restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid more than $50, and tipped more than 18%.

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16 / 20
Read Gayot Review »

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hungrytraveller photo


 Sunnyvale, CA

Great Mission neighborhood Italian restaurant

This little slice of Italian food heaven is located in the MIssion district of SF. The atmosphere inside the place is pretty energetic and while it’s loud, it’s not glaringly so. It’s advisable to call ahead for reservations as the time to wait for walk-in could be a while. If you do have to wait though, you can take a glass of wine with you outside on the benches!

Food-wise and service-wise, they are both outstanding. The food is pretty reasonably priced for SF considering the portion size and the quality you’re getting. The wine list is pretty extensive and the waitstaff is very knowledgeable when it comes to ordering “the good stuff.” I’ve got a reputation for always being on the lookout for new, good restaurants, but Delfina always keeps me coming back.

Dayboat Scallop Crudo

Starter dish, marinated in yuzu and flecked with capers, sea salt and frisee. A great combination of textures and flavors. This was a daily special though so you may not see it on future visits.

Niman Ranch flatiron steak and French Fries

Solid steak flavor and fries. The steak is done perfectly to the way you order it (medium-rare, of course!). Fries are perfectly crisp and not overly greasy.

ac33 photo


 San Francisco, CA

Gracious staff, lovely interior

I had heard such great things about Delfina, as well as how hard it is to get a table, so when I stumbled upon a 5:30 reservation, I grabbed it. My friends and I showed up excitedly looking forward to a fabulous dinner. When we got to the door, we were seated quickly with a generous serving of warm fresh bread and soft butter. The interior was pleasantly upscale casual while the wait staff was cheerful and attentive.
But the food itself? Not that great. None of the dishes were bad but they weren’t wonderful either and I left the restaurant thinking I could probably make the same things at home.

That being said, three dishes did stand out as worthy of the hype, the fennel sausage, the rabbit and the lovely calamari. (see below)

Despite the mostly just-okay food, my friends and I ended up having a great time, laughing and talking the night away. Much to Delfina’s credit, they never rushed us to leave our table and let us stay as long as we wanted, even with crowds of people jostling to get inside as the night wore on.

Delfina is a very nice restaurant. My friends and I had good evening. They serve genuine Italian dishes ( ie. read very fresh ingredients) at reasonable prices combined with a casually upscale vibe that is sufficent for the average Jane’s lovely evening. However… if you are a genuine foodie searching for inspiring culinary delights, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

Unfortunately, later that night our party encountered another problem with the so-so food. Early the next morning, my friends and I were all sick with food poisoning.
6 AM found us slumped over our toilets, exhausted from throwing up and uh… other things. To be fair, mild food poisoning can happen at the best of restaurants, despite what they tell you, but it is never fun and certainly wasn’t from my end- both of them.

It should be noted that we did not try any of the pasta dishes or the ribs, two meals that have gotten great reviews by other writers on this site. Perhaps if we had tried those dishes and managed to avoid our early morning vomiting marathons, this review might have been a little different. :)

ADDITIONAL NOTE: After I called the restaurant about our party getting sick, both the manager AND the Chef made sure that they got in touch with me personally and apologized profusely for the mishap. They couldn’t have been nicer and sent me a gift certificate for the full amount of the meal. While this is standard practice when a restaurant’s food makes you ill, they were very gracious about it and I think that is worth noting here.


This is calamari how it is supposed to taste, perfectly salty from the sea and so fresh, you’ll wonder how they got the ocean so close to the kitchen- delicious!

Mixed Grill

Nice portions served with wonderfuly fresh pea shoots that tasted like spring. The best part of the dish was a house-made fennel sausage, which was surprisingly light and very good. I am not a fan of fennel but in this dish, the fennel’s licorice flavor was mellow and soothing to the meat rather than overwhelming, creating a light almost fruity spice that was wonderful. On the downside, the sweetbreads were too large and undercooked for my taste, making for fatty, globby bites that were well,…unpleasant. The rabbit loin was also good, with very moist tender portions that almost melt on your tongue. The downside of this dish is that it arrives hermetically sealed in a layer of rubbery skin that takes welding torch to undo. But if you don’t mind working up a sweat to get it, the tiny nibbles are worth the effort for any fan of the rabbit.

Butterfly photo


 San Francisco, CA


Okay, so I’m lactose intolerant. Finding an italian restaurant that I can eat at where I don’t have to eat the same boring pasta (hold the cheese!) is a pain. But, this place is a God send. I love love it. Crowded. Loud. But, who cares. The food makes up for it. Not every damn thing is smothered in cheese. Plus, having friends who can always get in without having to make a reservation is a cute little bonus! =)

VanessaSo photo


 New York, NY


Have you ever have an appetizer size pasta dish that you think it’s out of the world? You can get that at Delfina. Have you ever have chicken that is moist from start to finish? Delfina has the dish you crave. Have you ever have a short ribs fall off the bone but in a very affordable price? You need to go to Delfina to experience the good food and decent price and great atmosphere. Enough said.

gemster photo


 San Francisco, CA

One of the cal-italian institutions in the city. The ins...

One of the cal-italian institutions in the city. The inside of the restaurant is nice, but tables are all stuck close together. The dishes are not extraordinary, but are all pretty good, especially the homemade pastas. Solid value, considering the quality of the food.


Delfina Wine List Review

Delfina Wine List Review

Delfina has been a staple on the San Francisco restaurant scene for over a decade. The menu and the wine list are not lengthy, but they more than over deliver. When dining with a party of three at Delfina, we ordered a salad, anti-pasta platter and four entrees (two pastas, fish and meat), along with several glasses of prosecco to loosen up our palates, and two bottles of red wine. It was all fantastic! Delfina’s wine list is only four pages long so it changes frequently, but it has a number of great options for less than $75 a bottle.

The list is comprised of 167 selections (121 Italian and 46). Even though the focus of this review is on the wonderful Italian wines on the list, we have included a couple of exceptional values from California.

Start your evening with the 2009 Cascina Val del Prete, Luet, Piedmont, Arneis for $32 or the 2010 Abazia di Novacella, Alto Adige, Kerner for $40 and follow it up with the 2007 Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico for $70 or the 2006 Cascina Adelaide, Barolo for $75.

If money is not an issue, then order the 2009 Querciabella, Batar, Chardonnay for $152 or the 2007 Peter Michael, Belle Cote, Chardonnay for $151 and follow it up with the 2004 Corte Sant’ Alda, Amarone Della Valpolicella for $155 or the 2007 Castello di Ama, L’Apparita Merlot for $180.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (Sorella Bronca, Prosecco, Veneto, Non-Vintage | $37 | 2.5x | This translates into a retail price of $15).


Sparkling Wines

9 selections that range in price from $37 to $90

Sorella Bronca, Prosecco, Veneto, Non-Vintage | $37 | 2.5x
Ca’del Bosco, Franciacorta Brut, Lombardia, Non- Vintage | $70 | 2.1x

White Wines

67 selections that range in price from $32 to $152

2009 Cascina Val del Prete, Luet, Piedmont, Arneis | $32 | 1.6x | TOP PICK
2009 Elvio Cogno, Anas-Cetta, Piedmont, Vermentino | $38 | 1.6x | TOP PICK
2009 Ettore Germano, Herzu, Piedmont, Riesling | $50 | 2.0x
2009 Vigneti Massa, Derthona, Colli Tortonesi, Piedmont, Tomorasso | $53 | 2.1x

2009 Scarbolo-Friulano, Fruili | $36 | 2.0x
2010 Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige, Kerner | $40 | 2.0x
2010 Quintarelli, Ca’ del Merlo, Veneto | $66 | 1.6x | TOP PICK
2005 Zidarich, Carso, Friuli, Vitovska | $75 | 1.2x | TOP PICK

2010 Colle Stefano, Verdicchio di Matelica | $35 | 2.0x
2009 Bucci Classico, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi | $44 | 2.2x
2005 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi | $62 | 1.6x | TOP PICK
2006 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchil dei Castelli di Jesi | $65 | 1.5x | TOP PICK
2009 Paolo Bea, Santa Chiara, Umbria Bianco | $86 | 2.1x
2006 Paolo Bea, Arboreus, Bianco, Umbria | $98 | 1.5x

Limited Selections
2007 Peter Michael, Belle Cote, Knights Valley, Chardonnay | $151 | 1.1x | TOP PICK
2009 Querciabella, Batar, Chardonnay | $152 | 1.7x

Red Wines

91 selections that range in price from $40 to $375

2009 Scaggs Vineyard, Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, Grenache Rose | $33 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2009 Giovanni Rosso, Donna Margherita, Barbera d’Alba | $56 | 2.1x
2009 Ca Viola, Brichet, Barbera d’ Alba | $58 | 1.9x | TOP PICK
2007 Produttori del Barberesco, Barbaresco | $62 | 2.1x
2007 Ronchi, Barbaresco | $72 | 1.9x
2006 Cascina Adelaide, Barolo | $75 | 1.9x | TOP PICK
2000 Malvira, Roero, Trinita, Nebbiolo | $90 | 2.0x
2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco | $108 | 2.2x
2005 Brovia, Rocche, Barolo | $130 | 1.6x

2008 Castello della Paneretta, Chianti Classico | $40 | 2.4x
2005 Castello di Cacchiano, Chianti Classico | $45 | 1.9x | TOP PICK
2009 Podere Sanguineto, Rosso di Montepulciano | $50 | 1.8x | TOP PICK
2008 Le Berne, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano | $52 | 1.8x
2007 Il Molino, di Grace, Chianti Classico | $52 | 2.5x
2006 Villa di Capezzana, Carmignano | $59 | 2.3x
2008 Le Chiuse, Rosso di Montalcino | $60 | 2.0x | TOP PICK
2007 Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico | $70 | 1.8x | TOP PICK
2007 lluminati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Zanna | $89 | 2.0x
2004 Angelo Sassetti, Pertimali, Brunello di Montalcino | $105 | 2.1x
2005 Paolo Bea, Montefalco, Rosso Riserva, Pipparello | $129 | 2.2x
2005 Paolo Bea, Sagrantino di Montefalco, Pagliaro | $151 | 2.2x

Limited Selections
2004 Corte Sant’ Alda, Amarone Della Valpolicella | $155 | 1.4x | TOP PICK
1999 Le Chiuse, Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino | $170 | 1.7x
2007 Castello di Ama, L’Apparita, Merlot | $180 | 1.1x | TOP PICK
1990 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $375 | 1.7x

ColinD photo


 San Francisco, CA

Outstanding food in fun atmosphere. Prices are...

Outstanding food in fun atmosphere. Prices are reasonable for what you are getting. I’d go back once a month if it weren’t so hard to get a rez.

Nan photo



Their pasta is very unique...wish they had more meat. ha...

Their pasta is very unique…wish they had more meat. haha


everything about their food is savory. one of my favorite...

everything about their food is savory. one of my favorite places to dine in sf.

Italian Outdoor seating Private Parties
Fri-Sat 05:30PM - 11:00PM
Sun 05:00PM - 10:00PM
Mon-Thu 05:30PM - 10:00PM
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Delfina  Restaurant Reviews

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Delfina is located near the cities of Hayes Valley, Mission District, , Chinatown, and Haight Ashbury.
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