Firefly Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Firefly Restaurant Review, San Francisco


Firefly Restaurant is a San Francisco Restaurant that is surviving the pandemic. Indoor dining in San Francisco reopened to 100 percent capacity on June 15, and outdoor “parklet” dining has been permitted through at least the end of 2021. Fortunately, San Francisco is one of the most vaccinated travel destinations, although even so, we were happy that outdoor dining was available.


Firefly Restaurant Location, Hours and Reservations

Firefly is located at 4288 24th Street in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood, by Douglass Street; its outdoor dining parklet is on Douglass Street. It's about a 20 minute walk from the 24th and Mission BART Station or about a 12 minute walk from the Church & 24th Street stop if taking the J Church Muni line.

As Firefly is popular, we highly recommend making advance reservations, particularly for Friday and Saturday evenings. Firefly serves dinner only from 5:30-8pm Tuedays-Saturdays and is closed Sundays and Mondays.

Firefly Restaurant, 4288 24th Street, Noe Valley, San Francisco
Candle, Hand Sanitizer at Firefly Restaurant Outdoor Table, San Francisco
Candle and Hand Sanitizer at Firefly Restaurant Outdoor Table, Noe Valley, San Francisco


Firefly Restaurant Menu and Food

Firefly offers an eclectic menu of modern international comfort food, from Japanese Sweet Potato Tostones to Brazilian Pao de queijo (cheesy buns) to Moroccan harira lentil soup to American classics such as Braised Beef Short Ribs and Mac ‘n Cheese. It's the perfect choice if you have both staunch traditionalists and more adventurous eaters in your family or dining party.

Firefly San Francisco Menu
Firefly San Francisco Menu


All three of us were famished, so we ordered several starters to share. First out was the Japanese Sweet Potato Tostones with spicy pineapple-ginger glaze. This may have been my favorite dish of the evening, thanks to the perfectly crisped edges and light touch with glaze, with just a bare hint of heat. My son, who claims to not like sweet potato, would have polished the entire dish off had my husband and I not vied with him for our fair share.

Sweet Potato Tostones, Firefly, San Francisco Review
Japanese Sweet Potato Tostones with Spicy Pineapple-Ginger Glaze


Our order of the Firefly Gluten Free Seed Loaf with a hearty chickpea spread was an afterthought (my husband, in his famished state, was worried we hadn't ordered enough food) but quickly proved a strong contender among the dishes we ordered, even though my family is about the farthest thing from gluten free. The loaf slices had been toasted, bringing out their nutty flavor, and the spiced chickpea spread complemented it well. It's no wonder Firefly sells this loaf as a take home item.

Firefly Gluten Free Seed Loaf
Firefly Gluten Free Seed Loaf with Chickpea Spread


Our son ordered the Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheesy Buns) which came with ramekins of tomato sauce and a pesto (excellent) for dipping. As a cheese fiend, he predictably loved these, although I preferred the other items we ordered.

Brazilian Cheesy Buns, Firefly San Francisco Review
Brazilian Cheesy Buns
Pesto Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Firefly San Francisco


I tend to order Moroccan Harira soup whenever I see it on a menu, and Firefly's rendition was exceptional–the pickled raisins and chermoula made the dish.

Moroccan Lentil Soup, Firefly San Francisco Review
Moroccan Chickpea-Lentil Soup with Pickled Raisins and Chermoula


There was something of a lull between our starters, which were quick to come out, and the two mains we ordered, but good food made to order is worth waiting for.

The Fried Heritage Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Horseradish Slaw and Buttermilk Biscuit was textbook perfect when it came to the chicken: a thin, crackly crisp crust around the chicken, with moist and flavorful meat. It was even better with the serrano chili hot sauce (although it proved too hot for our son). The buttermilk biscuit, in my view, was fine but nothing to write home about, although that certainly didn't keep my husband from making quick work of it. And the silky mashed potatoes were good not only with the chicken, but with the other main we ordered.

Fried Chicken, Firefly San Francisco 2021 Review
Heritage Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Slaw, Buttermilk Biscuit
Serrano Hot Sauce, Honey Butter, Firefly Review


The Beef Short Ribs were superb, with fork tender meat and flavorful sauce that called for extra bread or mashed potatoes to pair it with–good thing we had the mashed potatoes from the Fried Chicken dish. It's also a good dish for anyone who is hungry yet isn't too adventurous and doesn't want anything spicy.

Beef Short Ribs, Firefly 2021 Review, San Francisco
Braised Beef Short Ribs with New Potatoes


The Verdict

Noe Valley may not be well known to a first-time San Francisco visitor as it's primarily a residential neighborhood, but it's worth seeking out Firefly. We enjoyed a better meal and service there than we have in some of San Francisco's Michelin starred restaurants, and will definitely return. We particularly enjoyed the Tostones, Moroccan soup, and Fried Chicken with serrano hot sauce.

If you've dined at Firefly Restaurant recently, what was your experience?

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