Bossa Nova

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139 8th Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

Bossa Nova San Francisco Reviews

worldcitizen worldcit…
84 reviews
A bit of Brazil in SF Sep 08, 2007
Bossa Nova is a new Brazilian restaurant in San Francisco. It's in a somewhat unsavory part of SoMa (South of Market) so parking is easy. It's also right around the corner from the Civic Center BART station. There's no sign which makes it hard to spot on a slow day. But on a busy night, the sounds of bossa nova and caipirinha infused conversations make it easier to find when walking past it. I love the way it's decorated- cool colors, brick walls, lots of candles, and non-matching furniture. According to the website, they are going for a favela-chic atmosphere.

We got there around 7:30 on Saturday and the host (flamboyant and fun) told us it would be a 45 minute wait and that we could have a seat at the community table and order a drink. Ten to fifteen minutes later, we were seated at a table and they brought over our caipirinhas and mojitos. Of course the mix of cachaca and lime was nostalgic and homey for me.

We decided to go for the small plates and share them tapas-style. We started off with some plaintain chips that came with a tasty dip. Sadly, they didn't have pao de queijo (delicious Brazilian cheese bread) that night or I definitely would have ordered that. Next they brought out steamed mussels in a coconut broth which was excellent. Then we had coconut rice, hearts of palm salad, and different kinds of very tasty grilled meat skewers. They come with three kinds of sauces which are delicious, even on their own.

By the time we left, they had a DJ spinning downtempo Brazilian grooves and the place was really crowded. Eventually they will be opening up a lounge downstairs so I'm sure that will help with the crowds of people who are there for just for tropical drinks and not food. Definitely get there somewhat early because they don't take reservations. In such a short time and even though it's in the middle of nowhere, this place has a very fun neighborhoody vibe... I'll definitely go back!


I've now been back a few times. They finally had pao de queijo the most recent time I was there so don't miss out on that. I tried their moqueca for the first time, paired with the coconut rice. It was incredible, I highly recommend it!
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