Party Earth Review One of the oldest bars in San Francisco, Balboa Cafe has been serving good food and great cocktails to power brokers and preppy Marina scenesters since 1913. Located on the corner of Fillmore and Greenwich – an area known... ... read full review
3199 Fillmore Street
San Francisco CA 94123
M–F 11:30am–2am, Sa–Su 9am–2am; Restaurant closes at 10pm M–Tu, Su and 11pm W–Sa
Marina / Cow Hollow, San Francisco –
One of the oldest bars in San Francisco, Balboa Cafe has been serving good food and great cocktails to power brokers and preppy Marina scenesters since 1913.
Located on the corner of Fillmore and Greenwich – an area known as The Triangle given the two other popular bars across the street – the venue is a relaxed spot for risotto and lamb chops during the day and an ideal haunt to flirt with sexy seasoned women on Friday and Saturday nights. By early evening, the lacquered bar is lined with polo-clad young professionals and older couples still in their business clothes, while the linen-covered tables cater to moneyed groups who prefer their hamburgers on baguettes instead of buns.
A few older neighborhood sports fans swing by for a Stella and a Giants game, though they’ve usually cleared out before the upwardly mobile twenty-somethings start filing in – and while this new crowd may be wearing dinner dresses and button-downs covering the entire pastel palette, most are just looking to let their rowdier former college selves come out to play.
Long after food service ends, rounds of Patrón and stiff Manhattans keep the conversation loud, the flirting explicit, and the boys betting on who has a shot with that moneyed madam sipping Chardonnay on the corner stool.
Shortly after the sun rises over the city, the cycle begins again at Balboa Cafe – and just like in those movies about the famous boxer with the same name, it always comes out on top.
Preppy Marina locals, young professionals, barhoppers working The Triangle, trendy young ladies, and flirty older ones, mid-20s to 50s.
Several flat-screens usually tuned to sports.
Rotating menus of New American cuisine for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Limited bar menu also available. Valet after 6pm; not offered on Sundays unless a holiday.
Brunch menu $7–$12.50, appetizers $6.50–$13.50, bar food $8–$13.50, entrées $12–$30. Beer $4–$8, wine $7–$15/glass or $25–$295+/bottle, cocktails $9. Valet $15 .
Casual prep to business attire: button-downs, khakis, skirts, designer jeans, blouses.
Friday and Saturday nights for a hopping bar scene that floats between Balboa, City Tavern, and Eastside West, or weekends for a more relaxed brunch.
MatrixFillmore (3138 Fillmore Street) is a chic lounge just up the street with DJs, a small dance floor, and an attractive singles crowd.