Valentine’s Day is just a month away, and making plans early is always a smart idea. For those on a budget, here are a few San Francisco spots with plenty of romance that won’t break the bank.

Being romantic on Valentine’s Day doesn’t always mean spending the big bucks. San Francisco has a wide range of restaurants, all featuring different cuisines, that can make Valentine’s Day a special night without going overboard on expenses.


Tapas-style dining is a great way to share a romantic meal together. Requesting a table at Bocadillos might be the best bet as it will give you and your date a little more privacy. The menu is always filled with a great variety of small plates to share. Bocadillos is located at 710 Montgomery Street.


This comfy French spot on Clement Street has all the charm of a French bistro in Paris. Whether it’s oysters on the half shell, cassoulet or a glass of bubbly, Chapeau! is the epitome of romance. Chapeau! is located at 126 Clement Street.


Another spot that can do small, shared dishes, Contigo is a charming neighborhood spot in Noe Valley. Chef Brett Emerson and his team prepare some amazing dishes and the ambience and setting are perfect for a date night out. Contigo is located at 1320 Castro Street.


In business for more than 15 years, Firefly has long been known for its great food and charming atmosphere. The welcoming attitude and family values are matched by the service and wonderful American cuisine. Firefly is located at 4288 24th Street.

Koh Samui and the Monkey

A casual, yet romantic setting greets guests at Koh Samui and the Monkey. A large and extensive menu of classic Thai dishes and strong cocktails make this a great spot for a special night out. Koh Samui and the Monkey is located at 415 Brannan Street.


Another neighborhood gem, L’ardoise is a French bistro that wows with its romantic vibe and tasty dishes. The small space offers an intimate dinner without feeling cramped. L’ardoise is located at 151 Noe Street.

Per Diem

This space in the Financial District offers an intimate, yet modern feel with a quality menu of American classics and rustic Italian items. Pastas, pizzas and a wonderful cocktail list featuring classics and new creations make this a great spot for a fun night out. Per Diem is located at 43 Sutter Street.


Piccino has become a dining destination out in the Dogpatch, offering wonderful food in a comfortable and inviting space. Known mainly for its pizza, the restaurant has added a number of small and larger plates to round out an ever-impressive menu. Piccino is located at 1001 Minnesota Street.


Troya’s newest space on Fillmore Street offers the same great Mediterranean cuisine, with a bit more modern touches in both the design of the restaurant and the menu. Another spot where sharing a number of smaller items would work well for a fun and exciting dinner. Troya is located at 2125 Fillmore Street.


Located in the heart of Cole Valley, Zazie is a classic French bistro which truly embodies the spirit of a neighborhood restaurant. A cozy, warm setting and environment and French cuisine make this a hidden gem. Zazie is located at 941 Cole Street.

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Photo Credit: Chrys Omori, via Wikimedia Commons