The 5 Best S.F. Restaurants For A Slam-Dunk First Date

For all of you lovely singletons out there, the question of where to dine on a nerve-racking first date always looms. But no longer, at least not here in S.F. We asked Raissa Nebie, the founder of Spoondate, a local foodie dating site that hooks people up based on their cravings, to serve up her top five suggestions on where to get your grub on while those butterflies are (hopefully) doing somersaults in your tummy. Check out her no-fail, romance-boosting suggestions below, and rest-assured that at least the food and ambiance will be amazing, even if your date is not.

Photo: Eric Wolfinger
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Beretta
Perfect For: "A dessert rendezvous"
Nebie's Reasoning: "There's nothing like unconventional sweets to intrigue and titillate your date's palate. Order the Panna Gelato with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with one bowl, two spoons. What ensues is a delicious analysis of how amazing ice cream tastes with olive oil. A delightful conversation just started."
Beretta, 1199 Valencia Street (at 23rd Street); 415-695-1199.
Photo: Courtesy of Prospect
Prospect
Perfect For: "A post-work rendezvous"
Nebie's Reasoning: "Sit at the bar. Your date asks you what menu items appeal. You smile knowingly and say, 'Who needs a menu?' That's right. Who needs a menu when you can order secret items that only the cool kids know about! You split the elusive secret burger, fries, and two cocktails. Your date is obviously impressed and date number two should pretty much be in the books."
Prospect, 300 Spear Street (at Folsom Street); 415-247-7770.
Emmy's Spaghetti Shack
Perfect For: "A carbalicious rendezvous"
Nebie's Reasoning: "Affordable, unpretentious, fun food, and a full bar. They also serve 40-ounce beers, which is reason alone!"
Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, 3355 Mission Street (at Virginia Avenue); 415-206-2086.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Hotel
Tonga Room
Perfect For: "A kitschy rendezvous"
Nebie's Reasoning: "Tiki themed. Tropical drinks with umbrellas. A floating, live band. An artificial rainstorm. A historic, city institution, and really, a rite of passage."
The Tonga Room, 950 Mason Street (at California Street); 415-772-5278.
Hotel Biron
Perfect For: "A secret rendezvous"
Nebie's Reasoning: "Tucked away in an inconspicuous alley, Hotel Biron is guaranteed to pique your date's curiosity about the next secret marvels he or she may discover with you. Sit on a cozy couch, order the cheese plate paired with the perfect bottle of wine to loosen your tongue, and a flirty conversation is sure to follow."
Hotel Biron, 45 Rose Street (between Market and Gough streets); 415-703-0403.
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