Cafe Pro Bono

4.7
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1016 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Cafe Pro Bono is a place for taste conscious people. We serve a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes at reasonable prices with a freshness you can see and taste. Our menus include delicious, attractively presented appetizers, fresh pastas, fresh fish, steaks, chicken, salads, sandwiches, homemade desserts and wines to complement your meal.
What 1016 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KH
KevinH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food and great team

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great outdoor seating, same wonderful experience.

C
Cookerdog
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Excellent food. The jazz guitarist and sax player duet were phenomenal!

F
vipFunfoodie
San Francisco
99 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Our server Katie was really great and pasta's were really flavorful. The Italian music was a really nice touch on a Saturday evening alfresco! Doing a good job with cleaning tables and chairs between diners. Cocktail was nice but the wine list could use some new options. Grazie!

w
whineandine
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice location, easy to park and very friendly, accommodating staff. Food was good and able to visit with friends without interruption. Desserts were excellent.

b
vipboccioni
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

All around, a pretty good restaurant. Good wine selection and nice variety of fresh traidtional Italian dishes. However, my pappardelle with short ribs was a little disappointing. Not enough meat, and a little too chewy for my liking. the rest of the meal was just fine.

s
vipsgbk
Cleveland
114 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cafe Pro Bono is always reliably good. They have a nice menu & are responsive to special needs.

e
vipem478999
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was unbelievably loud

L
vipLinda
San Francisco
115 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Just about every moment in the restaurant was perfect. The staff was friendly, the menu was amazing, the entrees we ordered was delicious and the dessert was unforgettable. I have passed this restaurant time and time again but never ate there until last week and I will most definitely be back again very soon. A perfect date night with my hubby and friends.

L
Lippy
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very easy, convenient parking, a big plus for us with walking difficulty. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We had a delightful dinner/family reunion.

A
Arlo
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was quite good. My wife and I had the Veal Picatta; meat was quite tender with excellent sauce. Vegetables and potatoes properly cooked and quite good. Helpings of the vegetables and potatoes could have been more ample. Pro Bono does a really good job on cuisine, ambiance and service. They also have a full bar and good wine list. Price points are quite high which makes this more of a special occasion place than a regular circuit restaurant unless you are a high priced attorney who can bill the client.

P
Punkin
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Eating experience at Cafe Pro Bono was great. Parking was terrible-30 minutes to find a spot within walking distance. Garage is being built which should improve the situation.

b
vipbrianb
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food and the service were excellent. The price was higher though than what was shown on the website. For example the duck breast was $28.95 not $24.95. Despite this however, we were not disappointed as everything was so good. We will be back in the future.

ST
SteveT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, great service! One of our key go-to restaurants.

e
ejaws
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food5service5ambience5

We love this restaurant but the abbreviated menu made it a fast food experience for high price. We were in and out in less than and hour. Food arrived less than 5 minutes from when we ordered

PS
PaulS
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

As always, dinner at Cafe Pro Bono was a treat -- excellent food, excellent service. I wear hearing aids, so the noise level, particularly after 7 pm is a problem. But we are planning a family dinner in March.

T
Tobal
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We come all the time and the food is always on point and the service is awesome.

TS
vipTeriS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place. Especially tables in the bar area where it’s quieter. Good wine selection. Menu is approachable and diverse enough for most people. My friend even ordered gluten free pasta and she loved it. Staff remembers the regulars which is really nice. Great neighborhood locale.

VI
diVIne
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We’re local, and have been actively shopping for a restaurant home base for a long time. When a German cousin came to visit recently we needed a last minute reservation, and found one at Cafe Pro Bono. What a stroke of luck!
First, we easily found a parking spot in the lot. We were drawn in by soft lighting in both rooms and the faces of people of all ages looking happy to be there.
We were very warmly greeted by the host, shown to our comfortable booth, and introduced to our waitress, whose name I’ve forgotten but whose pleasant demeanor and efficiency I have not.
Drinks arrived promptly and were well-made. The menu surprised us with its breadth and intriguing choices. This was supposed to be a casual neighborhood cafe! Wild boar sausage with lentils? Braised rabbit? Duck? Six or seven pasta preparations, some house-made? Fish, veal, lamb, chicken, beef , all in interesting preparations. The list of daily specials made our picks even more difficult.
When we had chosen at last, each course arrived freshly prepared and timely. My husband murmured with pleasure over his bowl of capellini in tomato sauce, I enjoyed my warm spinach salad, and our guest smiled about his scallop starter. He also was pleased with his steak, cooked to order, I loved my rabbit with noodles, and my husband was enamored of his generous portion of moist salmon filet.
We rarely indulge in dessert, but we were on a roll! Again, the choices were all enticing. I opted for panna cotta—it’s rarely on a menu anywhere—and found it swoon-worthy. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.Wines by the glass were lovely and came within a minute of ordering. A complimentary glass of port sent us home happy.
We returned last weekend with some friends to see if our experience was an aberration. The host remembered our names and greeted us like old friends. The food and drinks were once again exceptional. At last, we’ve found our home base.

SP
SherlockP
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly restaurant with great food, lots of gluten free choices.

B
Billyboy
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

We've enjoyed Cafe Pro Bono for many years. This visit was no exception. The food was superb, the service amazing (considering that tables were full), our waitress cordial and professional, the noise level higher than I remember (with several large tables of partiers on a Friday evening), and excellent attention to details.

AO
AngeloO
New England
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always EXCELLENT.
Service, food, drinks and hospitality are all top shelf!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

One of our regular restaurants for a Saturday dinner for over 15 years. Always excellent service & food from Adrian and his team.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent food with pleasant staff and service. We will definitely return!

K
Kierro
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Two guys, Monday at 6:45. He had pork chops, succulent and fresh. I had white fish, generous portion, perfectly baked. A couple glasses of chianti. Desert was a wonderful puff pastry trifle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. House mad and outstanding. I've eaten here twice before and find it a great, small neighborhood restaurant.

MD
MadtownDairymaid
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Excellent service, tasty meal, noise level low enough for conversation. A tad pricey for pastas but I would certainly come again.

b
vipbusybev
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Been to Cafe Pro Bono many times. Never disappointed.

GW
GeorgeW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We've been there many times. The food is always good and it is just a nice place to have dinner.

SB
SusanB
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bravo! Always a favorite - staff is AMAZING, so friendly, drinks are phenomenal. And the food, don't miss the Susan's Downfall, with bread and try the specials - they have wonderful staple items but they make excellent specials that are seasonal and fleeting. You can always go back to the pasta, fish, chicken etc. the next time. Bon appetito.

DF
vipDianeF
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite Italian restaurant on the Peninsula, bar none. The restaurant is very comfortable with tables far apart, and so it is quiet and good for conversations. There are always a number of enticing specials as well as a large regular menu. The wine list is extensive, with lots of Italian wines, and there are a lot of great bottles at nice price points. Akif, the manager, is happy to help you choose a great bottle, and respects your price range - we have never been steered wrong. We have had a lot of special meals here. This visit was to treat a newly engaged couple. We had the special short ribs, a filet mignon, and the rigatoni pasta from the regular menu. All were superb. There are wonderful pastas, but as I am doing a low carb diet, I appreciate the many dishes that are not pasta - lots of fish, wonderful veal and other great choices. For dessert my husband ordered his favorite tira missu, I had my favorite, the pana cotta, and our engaged couple ordered the zabligioni for two. All delicious. A perfect evening! Highly recommend!

WC
WinnieC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly atmosphere & wonderful food. Always a good time.

F
Flandrien
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We ended up seated next to the bar which was actually not busy that evening. Good table by the windy but rather cold due to the frigid temps outside. Service was slow and sporadic, soup for appetizer was very tasty (butter squash). However both our main entrees were rather bland. I had the special pasta and seafood which lacked definition, my wife had duck which was fatty and tough. Ended up going to another place for coffee and desert. Not impressed by this restaurant given they certainly aren't a low cost dining spot.

RT
RobertT
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful find! We visit Palo Alto once a year and will be back next year!

J
Jean
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience3

It was our anniversary but they didn’t recognize it. Veal Marsala was excellent

SF
SFGirl
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Celebrating son’s birthday.

LL
vipLLBB
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A table in the center of the room was less intimate than a booth would’ve been. Very pleased overall.

T
Tomtom
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and similarly great service. Prices are pretty high. The noise level is very high when the restaurant is close to full, which makes it difficult sometimes to have a conversation. Over-all one of our favorite restaurants in the Bay Area.

M
Marita
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The food was good as always. The noise level was way too high. Uncomfortable and headache inducing.

T
Trombonedaddy
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really appreciate the wonderful service that is always present at Pro Bono. The New Zealand salmon was perfectly prepared. Thanks!

KK
KathyK
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Pro Bono is my go-to restaurant when I want good food and nice ambiance, particularly for business lunches or ones where you want to talk to your colleague/friend. It is quieter than most other restaurants (thank goodness, no loud music) and the people are super friendly and attentive. I love this place.

FAQs

Cafe Pro Bono is rated 4.7 stars by 1016 OpenTable diners.

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