The Stinking Rose, San Francisco

Stinking Rose San Francisco

If you are a foodie, you always hunt out interesting or novel places to eat when you visit somewhere new. On our first visit to San Francisco on our honeymoon 10 long year ago, we researched a restaurant that served garlic with everything on the menu.

The Stinking Rose has 2 locations, 1 in San Francisco and 1 in Los Angeles catering for us garlic fans serving up garlic goodness since 1991.

Back as canny skint 22yr olds, we thought this place was brilliant. We both love garlic and recommended this place to everyone we have spoken to who has visited San Francisco since. Have we romanticised our memories of the trip? Quite possibly as some places are always better in your memories but we were back in the city and ready to revisit!

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review

We have kept their business card tucked in to our bathroom mirror since we got back from our first visit – that’s lots of mirrors and different houses. The card has moved with us and now I have a new card to join it! Always bit of a conversation piece when people ask us about it!

With an early reservation we took the less than leisurely walk up all the way up Columbus Avenue to get to the restaurant. Grabbing  a seat in the circus-esque curtained booths in the back of the dining room, we settled down to reacquaint ourselves with the menu. By the glow of the baroque lamp, we toasted our (early) 10th wedding anniversary over a dish of Bagna Calda to share along side a Garlic Spinach Fondue.

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review

Image – The Stinking Rose

The pictures are a bit low res due to the lighting and less than glamorous plating but the fondue was the clear winner of the day! The Bagna Calda ($7.99) is known as garlic soaking in a hot tub, which is a pretty good description. Oven roasted garlic cloves are served steeped in warm oil and butter ready to be spread on fresh bread. It wasn’t as good as we remembered.

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review

The Garlic Spinach Fondue ($13.99) was rich and gooey with the perfect hint of garlic to offset the cheese and spinach. We wish we had just ordered 1 of these each as it was so moreish! In fact, i’d kill for the fondue right now, and it is 6.15am on a Sunday morning!

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review

Moving on to mains, creature of habit Paul picked the Italian Garlic Meatloaf ($29.99) like the last time. He thoroughly enjoyed it but it was a mammoth portion that even a hungry soul couldn’t polish off! Not overpoweringly flavoured but had the punch that you needed to know it was a garlicy dish. Almost a signature dish of the restaurant, everyone we spoken to who has had this loved it! Definitely worth a try but don’t be put off by the garlic, it really isn’t as strong as you’d think!

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review

When I am in America I seem to eat a lifetimes supply of prawns so I chose the Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo ($24.99)  which was a very filling, rich dish. The pasta and prawns were smothered in a creamy garlic sauce that again wasn’t overpowering or off putting. Just strong enough to let you know that it was the star of the show.

The Stinking Rose San Francisco Review 4

I can say I have been back to relive our first visit but I don’t think I’ll need to go back for a while. Maybe in another 10yr, who knows! Or maybe I need to go back just to take some better photos in the daylight!

I definitely recommend you check out The Stinking Rose though if you are in San Francisco and love garlic!

You can find out more about The Stinking Rose HERE.

You can see all my Food Content HERE and Travel Content HERE.


  1. Charles Auzenne
    17th March 2022 / 2:40 am

    Went to the new stinking rose today the menu is not near as good as it used to be I had the crab cioppino no crab but I didn’t make a big deal about it but when I asked for two more pieces of small bread they wanted to charge me I don’t think I’m going back there it’s really changed

    • Katie
      8th April 2022 / 4:27 pm

      Oh no, that’s such a shame. It’s always been a favourite of ours in the city since we discovered it in 2006!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.