San francisco restaurants

5 Great San Francisco Restaurants for After-Theatre Treats and Desserts

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Who returns home after a Sunday matinee or an early evening performance at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco? Not us. It’s still early enough to head to a nearby restaurant for dessert and discuss your favorite stage moments. Oh, and get the circulation flowing in your legs again.

The Orpheum’s current show, the exuberant ‘School of Rock’, lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes, meaning the short walk for a pie, ice cream or caramel pudding will be just what you need – and if you have brought the children, they will also be delighted.

Here are five of our favorite dessert spots—casual, upscale, and in-between—all within a 10-15 minute walk of the Orpheum. (They’re also within walking distance of many other great theaters in the city, so you can use this list even after “School of Rock” ends on July 22.)

Shake ice cream

A San Francisco foodie institution, Smitten makes its ice cream in micro-batches using its churning-to-order technology and ultra-fine ingredients. Classics like TCHO 60.5% Chocolate Ice Cream are just as tempting as seasonal flavors like Peach and Bourbon. Prices vary depending on size and fillings, but a scoop will set you back $5-6.

Details: Open daily until at least 11 p.m. at 432 Octavia St., 1.2 km from the Orpheum;

Smitten Ice Cream Chocolate is made with 60% TCHO cocoa and topped with spiced caramel. (Photo: Audrey Ma)

August 1 five

This modern Indian restaurant enchants with its jewel-toned interior, Maharishi mural and inventive desserts ($10 each). The current menu features seven stunners, including the seasonal Mango Kulfi, or Indian ice cream, as a pop, the Melted Chocolate Lava Cake with ginger and caramel ice cream, and the Toffee Pudding with sticky dates, caramel and snap brandy.

Details: Open from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday and from Tuesday to Thursday; until 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday at 524 Van Ness Ave., half a mile from the Orpheum;

The market

This 50,000 square foot food hall has so much to offer, it’s up to you how you want to dessert and shop. Inside, a gourmet deli offers a selection of Whole Foods-style cookies, cupcakes, chocolate bars, and other treats. Plus, there’s The Market Cafe, which makes Four Barrel coffee and its own baked goods and pastries.

Details: The Market Cafe is open until 10:00 p.m. daily; The Market Cafe is open until 7 p.m. daily at 1355 Market St, Suite 100, 0.2 mile from the Orpheum;


Southern soulful cuisine with California’s fresh, seasonal approach makes this restaurant one of a kind for so many dishes, from vegetarian jambalaya to cornmeal catfish. But can we talk about the pie for a moment? People visit from afar for FarmerBrown’s Bourbon Pecan Pie ($8.50). Are the pecans perfectly spiced? Butter, puff crust? Whipped cream sprinkled with mint leaves or homemade buttermilk ice cream? You decide. This is to be shared.

Details: Open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday; until 9 p.m. Sunday at 25 Mason St, 1.2 km from the Orpheum;

American restaurant SAMS

This cozy but upscale restaurant is well known for its fresh fruit pancakes, huge lunch salads and build-your-own burgers. But they also do two solid desserts: a seasonal cobbler served warm with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, and a flourless chocolate cake served with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. Perfectly suitable for children. And for adults, an affogato served with caramel sauce and whipped cream. SAMS is packed; reservations recommended.

Details: Open until 9 p.m. at 1220 Market St., less than 500 feet from the Orpheum;