Need a destination dinner that will impress with not only the location, but with delicious food, a swanky historic atmosphere, and remarkably friendly service? Set your sights north then, as Colibri up in the Presidio exceptionally excels in all of those aspects and more.
Now located at 50 Moraga Avenue, Colibri was once thriving in Union Square for 18 years but was forced to shutter in 2020 with the onset of COVID. Now after a pause of nearly two years, the highly-acclaimed restaurant has powerfully emerged like a phoenix (or more fittingly, a hummingbird), this time in Presidio’s ornately historic Officers’ Club.
With its beautifully cozy new home triumphantly bustling once again, Colibri’s artisanal cuisine truly embodies their story of perseverance, resilience, and passion for serving quality food to their local patrons.
Colibri channels the Mexican porfiriato era, which is distinguished by its integration of French influences throughout the cooking and larger culture. Their colonial-style venue supplements this theme while also elegantly bringing it to the modern age with their scenic outdoor patio and cutting-edge gastronomic culinary techniques.
Headed by talented Executive Chef Edgar Castro and co-owner Sylvia Rallo, their thoughtfully crafted menu is devoted to delivering not only authentic simplicity, but also comforting nostalgia through only the freshest and highest quality of ingredients.
With over 18 years of experience, Chef Edgar first attained his kitchen prowess from his mother before working with Chef David Bazigan at La Suite, and at many other formative restaurants.
He then rose to leading Colibri, with a mission to reinvigorate its flavors with sophisticated, yet still homestyle meals that showcased his experience in Mexican, French, and Peruvian cuisine.
His attention to detail and dedication to providing a charming familial dining experience definitely radiates from the food and cocktails. The must-order luscious Mole Poblano is warming with complexity from its velvety sauce and melt-in-your-mouth chicken, while the decadent Quesabrirrias with braised short rib taste like home.
Their craft cocktails also beautifully pair with the food, as they delicately balance either tequila, mezcal, or rum with culturally tropical flavors. Definitely sample their La Doña with natural tamarind-infused tequila, the Oaxaca with hibiscus and chile habanero-infused mezcal, and their classic Macho Margarita.
The casual homestyle feel also extends out to their gorgeous patio, where you can view their delightful tortilla station and joyfully entertaining live musical performances for a true cantina-style ambience.
Definitely say hi to their sweet General Manager Emma Navarro, who can usually be seen watching over with a kind maternal presence, ensuring everyone receives the best experience. You are guaranteed to be enthralled not only through the exquisite food, but also from the original midcentury architecture and unbeatable birds-eye view atop this Presidio gem.
Colibri is located at 50 Moraga Avenue, and is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on the weekends 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
See also: Your Ultimate San Francisco Mezcal Guide
Photography by: Zdeněk Macháček/Unsplash