SAN FRANCISCO – Kokkari Estiatorio, 200 Jackson Street in San Francisco, was ranked number ten on Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2021 list of the Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the United States. It is the only California restaurant in the top ten and is ranked by Tripadvisor as #3 out of 3,669 restaurants in San Francisco.
As noted on the restaurant’s website: “At Kokkari Estiatorio, we are driven by the concept of philoxenia, the art of making a stranger a friend. This philosophy drives our efforts to create a cuisine fit for the gods with the hospitality of a proper Greek home — a restaurant that you would never want to leave.”
Named after a small fishing village on the island of Samos, Kokkari is the sister restaurant to acclaimed Evvia Estiatorio in Palo Alto, California.
“Legendary Kokkari is the site where Orion, son of the Greek god Poseidon, fell in love with the daughter of the King of Chios,” according to the restaurant’s website which added that “for her love, Orion foraged the island for wild game and seafood to prepare elaborate banquets: Cuisine fit for the gods.”
Guests at Kokkari experience the old-world charm of a rustic Mediterranean country inn with an inviting fireplace, intricate woodwork, hand-made pottery and freshly picked flowers, reflecting the warmth and tradition of hospitality.
Longtime Kokkari Managing Partner Paul Kirby, was pleasantly surprised to learn that the restaurant made the top ten, “mostly because he didn’t realize there were enough people dining out and about in the last year to leave reviews,” KRON 4 reported on July 23.
Kirby, who has been at the helm of Kokkari since 2000, told KRON that the restaurant has also not had to deal with staffing shortages that other restaurants in the area have been facing, and “made a real conscious effort,” to “keep enough staff on hand so that Kokkari guests aren’t waiting 30 minutes for their order, or other issues that come with less help.”
“In fact, aside from COVID-19 safety rules enforced by the state and federal government, the dining experience at Kokkari has been mostly the same,” Kirby said, KRON reported, adding that “he mentioned that the people coming out for a meal during the pandemic wanted to experience more than what they were feeling while stuck inside.”
“We didn’t want people to come out for a sterile, overly sensitive dining experience,” he told KRON.
“Kirby’s personal favorite dish,” is “the grilled octopus,” KRON reported, adding that “it contains the essential Greek ingredients that Kokkari chefs dash into most menu items; lemon juice, oregano, and olive oil.”
Kirby pointed out that “they keep it simple and make sure it’s tender,” KRON reported.
“Running a restaurant is all about taking care of people,” Kirby says on the Kokkari website, “from your staff to each and every guest that comes into your establishment, it is important to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Restaurant employees that are valued and respected take pride in their work and truly enjoy their jobs. This translates directly to the guest experience.”
Kokkari accepts reservations up to two months in advance to the calendar date. More information is available by phone: 415-981-0983 and online: https://kokkari.com/reservations/.
Online reservations are 30 days in advance only.