Cha-Cha-Cha, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews

Two Locations in San Francisco (415) 386-5758
  • Fried plantains
    Fried plantains
    by Dabs
  • Quesadillas and cubano sandwich
    Quesadillas and cubano sandwich
    by Dabs
  • Cha-Cha-Cha
    by malianrob

Been here? Rate It!

  • Karnubawax's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: One of SF's best!

    by Karnubawax Updated Aug 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Living next to a place for so long sometimes you forget how cool it is. Cha-cha-cha's heyday was about 12 years ago,when this was a thriving area teeming with nightclubs. Most of the clubs - like the Nightbreak and the I-Beam - are long gone, but the good news is you'll only have to wait one hour to get into Cha-cha-cha insted of two!

    Before anyone had heard the word "tapas" there was Cha-cha-cha. I suppose that, technically, the portions are a little too big to be considered tapas - so call them what you will. As to what style it is - I would say Caribbean/Cuban with some really great sauces. Also a great selection of Mexican beer and their famous Sangria.

    Try to get there at opening time or close to it, and be prepared to wait. Best on a rainy day! A quintessential San Francisco experience - don't miss it!

    Favorite Dish: The Calamari with Lemon Aioli is worth the trip... to San Francisco! Other notables - the warm spinach salad,the chicken paillard, the shrimp, the fried potatoes with chili aioli, and, of course, the Sangria.

    Was this review helpful?

  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: Happening spot

    by acemj Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With a name like Cha Cha Cha, you gotta be cool. Well, this place is definitely cool. It's a happening bar/restaurant, although we focused more on the bar! They have what they like to think of as a tapas style bar menu, although the portions are a tad big to be real tapas. We had a wild time here!

    Favorite Dish: The beer is great and the mussels in garlic sauce were decent. We also tried sample tastes of about half the menu from all the many people we met at the bar. The focus is really on a more Caribbean (or is it Louisiana style? African maybe? Spanish, Cuban?) style menu and FUN! Ask the bartenders about the Santeria altar that they must pay homage to before every shift.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: Sangria and spices

    by jessicadf Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Delicious cuisine from the Caribbean, Cuba and South America. Check out the roasted potatoes and the calimari! Food is ordered tapas style, to be shared with everyone at the table. Thus, the more people you bring, the more tasty tidbits you get to try.

    And hey -- go for the sangria as well -- deeeelicious. They don't take reservations and it seems there's always a wait. If you can wait inside, you can forget about waiting while you down a pitcher or two of the sangria. Mmmm

    Sangria and salsa whets the appetite

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha: Caribbean tapas-Haight Ashbury

    by Dabs Updated Oct 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our last meal in San Francisco was at Cha Cha Cha in Haight Ashbury for lunch on Monday, there were quite a few people there for lunch, the reviews on Yelp suggest that there can be quite a wait on the weekends and they don't take reservations. I'm sure the vibe is quite different for dinner than lunch, we had a nice quiet meal with extremely quick service, it sounds like it is much more boisterous for the weekend dinner crowd. The decor is best described as voodoo, black walls, lots of religious items on shelfs around the dining room. There is a bar where you can order some sangria if you are headed for a long wait.

    Favorite Dish: We ordered two tapas, fried platanos madros, tropical sweet fried bananas with black beans & sour cream ($6.25) and pork quesadilla with salsa, guacamole, & sour cream ($6.75) and a Cuban sandwich ($8.75) to split. All of it was very good, I would say 1 1/2-2 tapas per person as the portion sizes were fairly large on the tapas. After rereading the reviews on Yelp, I'm sorry I didn't try the Cajun shrimp or the sangria, apparently the two MUST orders at this place. And the calamari, jerk chicken and chicken wings alll looked really good when they passed by our table, maybe next time!

    Lunch for the two of us was $29 with tax.

    Quesadillas and cubano sandwich Fried plantains

    Was this review helpful?

  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha

    by madamx Updated Feb 10, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This Upper Haight restaurant has a lot going on, serving killer sangria and being a party people-watchin'- happenin' kinda place. Having arrived around 6:30 pm, it was quite subdued and relaxed while we were there, and we had a very nice dinner for our first night in San Francisco.

    The place is decorated in bright colors, with loads of tropical plants, and as you guessed by the name, the food is latin-themed. The service was excellent; but with all of San Francisco's restaurants beckoning, we just somehow never made it back there.

    Favorite Dish: The portions are BIG; so make sure you are hungry when you go, or someone is willing to share. We only ate there once, so I don't have a favorite dish, but I thought the food there was really good. I never had fried plantains before, but I fell in love with them!

    They do not take reservations. Our waiter did inform us that later in the evening it gets very noisy and crowded with long waits. So if you're into that, arrive after 8:00 pm.

    Tlhe other white starch--plantains

    Was this review helpful?

  • LolaSanFrancisco's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha's Restaurant: One, two, Cha-Cha-Cha!

    by LolaSanFrancisco Written May 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ***ing great Cuban food and atmosphere to wait in line for a hour for! They do not, I repeat, DO NOT take reservations...... and it's a mad house all the time.

    Lunch served everyday from:
    11:30am- 4:00pm
    Dinner served from:
    5:00pm- 11:00pm Sun- Thurs
    5:00pm-11:30pm Fri-Sat

    Favorite Dish: Some web thingie: "This wildly popular Caribbean-style eatery won't disappoint if you're looking for great food at great prices in a funky atmosphere. The bright oilcloths, palm trees and friendly staff set the stage for hearty tapas, spicy sandwiches and Cuban black bean soup. The shrimp sauteed in Cajun spices alone is worth coming for; with a side of their fried new potatoes with pasilla chile aioli and a glass of house-made sangria, you've reached heaven in the heart of the Haight. This café offers Caribbean and Cuban cooking. Expect the average entrée to cost roughly $12 to $20."

    Sangria... yummm

    Was this review helpful?

  • Djinn76's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha: Cha Cha Cha

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    That was recommended by my guide and for sure it was a good choice! If you wish to eat cheap but delicious hispanic food (tapas) in a funny atmosphere, this is the place to go.
    Situated in Haight street, the flower power area, the inside is highly influenced by the surroundings ;-)

    Don't look at this huge car ;-)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pounder73's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha: Sangria & Tapas (Haight Dist)

    by Pounder73 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A combo of Carabian–Cajun–Mexican joint that goes the tapas route and always has Sangria flowing non stop. Lively and fun with really good food. Cool bar attatched.

    They don’t take reservations – plan to wait – plan to drink.

    Cha Cha Cha (on Haight)

    Was this review helpful?

  • fonseca_1404's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: Great Atmosphere, Great Food

    by fonseca_1404 Written Jun 27, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a Carribean style restaurant - the food is amazing, i'ts not the cheapest you can get but worth every penny. If you're on your own (which i was the second time) you can sit up at the bar and eat there. And the atmosphere is just excellent, would thorougly recommend it.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • wrldtravler's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha: Sexy Cuban Vibes

    by wrldtravler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Perpetually packed and wildly decorated, this Haight institution is widely regarded as the best Caribbean cafe in the city.
    With sangria this good, hip young locals don't seem to mind the three-pitcher wait for a table on weekends.

    Favorite Dish: The eclectic menu has its deepest roots in the Spanish Caribbean, with added influences from far-flung locales like Africa, Spain, Louisiana and Brazil. Be sure to check the specials board for the outstanding fish tapas, usually served with fresh fruit salsa. Other stellar offerings include mussels with saffron sauce, and potatoes, shrimp, plantains and calamari; skip the steak.

    store front

    Was this review helpful?

  • trvlrgrl's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: Great Caribbean food at a good price

    by trvlrgrl Updated Jul 31, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cha Cha Cha is a Haight St. staple. The food is consistently good and pretty much every night of the week it's busy, busy, busy. The portions are also a decent size for tapas. And if you take a peek on the wall you can catch a glimpse of an authentic Santeria alter.

    Favorite Dish: Well the potatoes are to die for and a must. They are lightly fried and come served with this amazing spicy, creamy sauce.

    Was this review helpful?

  • amberll's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha: Some of the best food I've ever had

    by amberll Written Dec 7, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This mostly Caribbean restaurant has many mouth watering small plate options. The location is in the Haight and is easy to get to. We showed up about an hour before dinner and were told that we could come back when they re-opened for dinner. We killed an hour over at Amoeba Records less than 1 block away. I am so glad we decided to go back because it was well worth the wait! The restaurant has a very warm inviting feeling that puts you in a relaxed mood. I would eat at Cha Cha Cha all the time if I lived in San Francisco. I really hope that they will still be around next time I travel there.

    Favorite Dish: When we visited last year at dinner time everyone seemed to have a carafe of Sangria on their table. Sangria wasn't really my thing but my salmon meal was one of the best I've had in my life. My husband tried a seafood dish in a rich coconut sauce that was also equally if not more wonderful than mine. I could eat those dishes over and over again.

    Related to:
    • Gay and Lesbian
    • Singles
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • malianrob's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: great caribbean food

    by malianrob Updated Aug 27, 2008

    This is a place I visit often. I have only come here for dinner but I hear they are open for lunch too. I like the atmosphere here and the music and the food is excellent. I love the house Sangria as well. The down side is that there is always a line to get in here. We usually end up relaxing at the bar drinking sangria until they call our table. I think I should venture out more and try out other places. But you know when something is good and by going there you cant go wrong? Well that how I feel about this place. It more fun when you come with friends.

    Rob, Maria, Karin, Dave and our new friend

    Was this review helpful?

  • bottleofdoom's Profile Photo

    Cha-Cha-Cha: Brazillian Home-style

    by bottleofdoom Written Jan 27, 2004

    We ate here for lunch and the ambience was very casual. I had warm spinach salad that had lots of bacon in it. Don had chicken with black beans and rice. It was sufficient for what it was. The sangria went well with the food. Quaint.

    Was this review helpful?

  • bman's Profile Photo

    Cha Cha Cha's, Haight St.: Great cuban food

    by bman Written Nov 3, 2002

    Cuban restaurant, very cozy, can get very crowded, and long line-ups at times, but well worth the wait. The food is reasonable priced, and really good. Everytime I'm in San Francisco I visit this restaurant.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: San Francisco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

18 travelers online now


View all San Francisco hotels