House of Prime Rib: A San Francisco Tradition

House of Prime Rib is a world famous restaurant and San Francisco icon located at 1906 Van Ness Avenue in Nob Hill.

For 66 years House of Prime Rib has provided locals, visitors and first-timers with generous portions of food and the utmost, impeccable customer service while embarking on this one-of-a-kind dining experience. As owner Josef Betz puts it, “House of Prime Rib has many times been imitated, but never duplicated.”

Retro signs. Photo: @kkaaddyy ,
Delicious food and retro vibes bring locals back to House of Prime Rib regularly. Photo: @kkaaddyy ,

Besides being well-known for its filling portions, House of Prime Rib is renowned for their large cocktails and carefully selected wine list. Quench your thirst in the lounge with a Manhattan, Lemon Drop or Cosmopolitan while waiting for your table. Wine connoisseurs will be delighted by House of Prime Rib’s wine selection — one of the most extensive in San Francisco. Most wines are locally sourced, coming from Napa, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Oakville and Rutherford, however offerings imported from Argentina, Australia, Chile and France can also be explored.

When seated, guests are immediately greeted by their waiter and warm, freshly baked sourdough bread from Boudin. The menu is simple. It consists of an optional salad bowl, Prime Rib — sized and cooked to your liking, a vegetable (creamed spinach or corn), a starch (mashed or baked potato) and Yorkshire pudding. (Yum!) The restaurant offers Alaskan Salmon and a white fish (typically Sea Bass or Halibut) for those who avoid red meat, and vegetarian dishes are also available. We recommend the grilled eggplant, asparagus and heirloom tomatoes with bufala mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinner at House of Prime Rib begins with a waiter theatrically preparing a house salad at the table. The house salad consists of romaine, iceberg and watercress lettuce, beets, pimientos and crumbled hardboiled eggs. Before tossing the salad, a house-made apple cider vinegar and sherry-based dressing is added, along with fresh cracked pepper and house seasoning salt.

When the main course arrives, it is carved and plated table side from a stainless steel domed cart, also known as the “Zeppelin.” An egg-based Yorkshire pudding is served shortly after carving to soak up the au jus.

Despite House of Prime Rib’s filling portions, it seems there is almost always room for dessert. Choose from the multitude of house-made desserts, including: tiramisu, apple crisp, monster chocolate cake, cheesecake or rainbow ice cream. You can’t go wrong with any choice.

Dinner is served. PhotoL @sarahmclellanny,
Dinner is served. PhotoL @sarahmclellanny,

House of Prime Rib’s atmosphere and ambience is unique and old-school. The restaurant’s wood-paneled dining rooms only add to the character and charm. This San Francisco establishment satisfies customers by providing comfort while eating, making everyone feel right at home.

Getting a table at House of Prime Rib can be difficult, and while walk-ins are welcome, reservations are strongly encouraged. House of Prime Rib serves somewhere between 500-700 dinners each night, so even parties with reservations may have a slight wait. Don’t be upset though, the wait is truly worth it.


House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109 • Nob Hill •
Monday–Thursday: 5:30–10:00PM, Friday: 5:00–10:00PM, Saturday & Sunday: 4:00–10:00PM
View the Menu

Fun Fact: Prior to House of Prime Rib’s successful opening in 1949, the building served as a car dealership.

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