S.F.'s 16 Sexiest Restaurants — Book Your Table Now!

It's the week of February 14, which means that love and romance — and all things extra-hot — are definitely in the air. Luckily for San Franciscans, we don't have to restrain ourselves to a single week of the year to pull out all the stops when it comes to steamy nights out on the town. In fact, with the Bay's plethora of awe-inspiring views and super-atmospheric restos, you could honestly have an awesome Valentine's-worthy experience every day of the month.
And we're here to help you plan out at least half of those steamy nights with our roundup of the 16 sexiest restaurants in S.F. Yep, these are the spots that get our temperatures rising a little faster than normal, thanks to a combo of cool decor, amazing lighting, and a transportive quality that can sometimes make you feel like you're worlds away from reality. Of course, the grub's not too shabby either. So, what are you waiting for? Book at table before another reader beats you to it!
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Wayfare Tavern
Perhaps it's the roaring fireplace, warm lighting, or cool black-lacquer trim around this spot, but Wayfare Tavern is the place to go for loads of ambiance, plus a solid bite to eat (the deviled eggs, popovers, and pretty much everything else are a must). Can't score a reservation? Belly up to the bar upstairs, where you can also get your grub on.
Wayfare Tavern, 558 Sacramento Street (between Montgomery and Sansome streets); 415-772-9060.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Bar Agricole
If you're into more of a minimalist take on sexy, look no further than Bar Agricole, a sleek masterpiece nestled in SoMa. Once the sun sets, pick from two equally enticing seating options: the beautifully lit 1,600-square-foot outdoor area, complete with lush foliage, or the indoor area, accented by waterfall-like sculptures dripping from the ceiling, and high-backed booths that offer a supreme sense of privacy.
Bar Agricole, 355 11th Street (between Harrison and Folsom streets); 415-355-9400.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Twenty Five Lusk
No detail was spared when reinventing this sprawling space (a former meat-packing facility) located in a SoMa alley. The upstairs restaurant decor features loads of exposed brick and beams, meanwhile there's a full-service cocktail lounge downstairs, where slick silver fireplaces dangle above club-like seating. Some folks say it's a little sexy slice of L.A. in San Francisco. And we trust they mean that in the best way possible.
Twenty Five Lusk, 25 Lusk Street (at Townsend Street); 415-495-5875.

Photo: Courtesy of Twenty Five Lusk
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Bar Tartine
Always a trustworthy cool-kid standby, this jewel on Valencia Street is about chef Nick Balla's amazing Eastern European flavors as much as it is the sexy people-watching that you can pretty much count on, night after night. Plan your sultry-chic get-up accordingly.
Bar Tartine, 561 Valencia Street (between 16th and 17th streets); 415-487-1600.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Chambers Eat + Drink
Eating at a hotel might not sound sexy, but most hotels aren't rock 'n roll staple the Phoenix, which boasts the buzzy Chambers Eat + Drink resto and lounge. Cuddle up with your babe at the bar (featuring the must-Instagram "Be Amazing" light installation), on the red-leather booths surrounded by records and suggestive artwork, or by the outdoor pool (don't worry, heat lamps are included). If things get really steamy, getting a room should be a cinch.
Chambers Eat + Drink, 601 Eddy Street (at Larkin Street); 415-829-2316.

Photo: Courtesy of Chambers Eat + Drink
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Hakkasan
A surprising addition just off of bustling Market Street, take your sweetie by the hand and lead he or she up the elevator to this new space. The 10,000-square-foot venue is all about modern Chinese cuisine, and the setting is pure glossy Asian luxe, with heavy nods to Chinoiserie. Dramatic arched windows are balanced by latticed "cages" that offer a sense of privacy from the curved bar area, which is seductively underlit and serves up delectable exotic cocktails. And, even the unisex bathroom situation is slightly arousing, with fragrant Aesop products filling the air and stalls built for two...just sayin'.
Hakkasan, 1 Kearny Street (at Geary Street); 415-829-8148.

Photo: Courtesy of Hakkasan
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Gitane
If the huge, orgy-esque paintings that hang above the bar area don't get you, perhaps the lush blood-orange curtains, '30s cabaret feel, or delish tapas plates might do the trick. Seriously, this place just oozes sex appeal, from its insane decor and super-intimate size to its tucked-away FiDi location and transportive quality that'll have you asking "where are we again?" after your second cocktail.
Gitane, 6 Claude Lane (between Bush and Sutter streets); 415-788-6686.

Photo: Courtesy of Gitane/Jeff Dow Photography
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Flour + Water
Another solid hip-people-watching spot, this Mission staple might be a tough one to get into (hey, even Steve Jobs was turned away!), but it's pretty worth it once you do snag that reservation. In addition to some of the prettiest interiors in S.F. (right down to the bathrooms), we love the fact that there's a curated playlist that changes daily — just like the menu. Which means...if you want to recall what you were listening to during that memorable post-dessert kiss, you can grab a list of tracks from the hostess on the way out. Now, just go home and recreate the magic (pasta and olive-oil cake with Meyer-lemon gelato, not included).
Flour + Water, 2401 Harrison Street (at 20th Street); 415-826-7000.

Photo: Courtesy of Flour + Water/Eric Wolfinger
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Salt House
A somewhat under-the-radar venue in SoMa, we suggest heading straight upstairs to the romantic balcony seating at this space, which is housed in a refurbished 1907 printing-press warehouse. Tables for two are clustered together, industrial-style lightbulbs dangle from the exposed beams, and the feeling is extra cozy. Just be prepared to speak in something higher than a whisper. This place can get loud.
Salt House, 545 Mission Street (between 1st and 2nd streets); 415-543-8900.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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AQ
Straddling the border of sexy and romantic, the setting for this Mission Street resto changes with the seasons, as does its culinary offerings. From snow-like whites and rustic wreaths in the winter to succulents and garden lights strung from the ceiling in summer, the space can be your go-to spot, while still offering a surprise, time after time...which is one way to spice up a relationship!
AQ, 1085 Mission Street (between 6th and 7th streets); 415-341-9000.

Photo: Courtesy of AQ/Molly Watson
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Foreign Cinema
Speaking of the unexpected...every time you dine in Foreign Cinema's outdoor courtyard, you'll get a twofer: dinner and a movie, thanks to a projected indie or foreign flick serving as equal parts visual stimulation and date-night fodder. Add in the red-light-special-like crimson glow that often blankets the entire experience, and you've got yourself the beginning of a night to remember.
Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd streets); 415-648-7600.

Photo: Courtesy of Foreign Cinema
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Slow Club
Can't get a spot at Foreign Cinema in a pinch? Try your luck at nearby Slow Club, which has a cool industrial and underground feel, killer cocktails (and bar), low lighting, and — our favorite part — a super-romantic outdoor space, strewn with hanging lights that create the perfect venue for an after-dinner make-out sesh.
Slow Club, 2501 Mariposa Street (at Hampshire Street); 415-241-9390.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Capo's
And then, there are times when you just want date night to be simple...or shall we say, easy as (pizza) pie. Instead of slumming it ambiance-wise, head to the new-ish North Beach resto of Tony Gemignani (of Tony's Pizza Napoletana fame), which serves up Chicago-style pizza alongside a throw-back sexy space. There are plush red-leather booths, a hand-painted tin ceiling, loads of brick imported from Chi-town, and other touches that nod to the prohibition-era mobster culture of the Midwestern capital. This is what role-playing is all about, kids.
Capo’s, 641 Vallejo Street (between Columbus Avenue and Stockton Street); 415-986-8998.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Lolinda
Don't think a steakhouse can be sexy? Think again. This Argentinian version delivers spice in more ways than one. First, there's the super-flavorful menu of small plates that even veggies will love. Then, there's the spacious setting, complete with dramatic circular chandeliers, (faux) bull heads decorating the open kitchen, tufted black-leather seating, and a communal dining area that's kindly reserved just for walk-ins. Plus, just wait until the rooftop deck opens, sure to be the new Mission hotspot for drinks with a dazzling city view.
Lolinda, 2518 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd streets); 415-550-6970.

Photo: Courtesy of Lolinda/Eric Wolfinger
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Marlowe
There's just something about this little SoMa spot (by the same folks who brought us Park Tavern) that makes us feel like we're in a different city...namely, downtown NYC, which says something about its sex appeal. Sure, it can get a little noisy, but for those couples that feed off the energy of others, it just might be the right spot. Plus, some folks say it serves the best burger in the city. We'll let you be the judge on both accounts.
Marlowe, 330 Townsend Street (between 4th and 5th streets); 415-974-5599.

Photo: Courtesy of Marlowe
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Absinthe
Need to get your sexy on in Hayes Valley? Stop by this famed neighborhood joint and either grab a seat at the bar, near a window, or in the red-leather booths, which are surrounded by mirrors for lipstick checks here and there. If you're not looking to fill up too much on date night, we suggest indulging in this spot's storied cocktails and the can't-skip garlic pretzels, served with Vermont cheddar mornay for dipping. Um, just make sure you both eat 'em if you're looking to smooch afterwards.
Absinthe, 398 Hayes Street (at Gough Street); 415-551-1590.

Photo: Courtesy of Absinthe
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