About Balboa Cafe
Located in the popular Marina and Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco, Balboa Cafe is a local favorite serving up the classics, including the famous Balboa Burger that sits on many lists as one of the best burgers in San Francisco.
Executive Chef, Jose Lemus
Having begun his career at PlumpJack Balboa Cafe in 1986, Jose Lemus is now at the helm of this veritable San Francisco institution as Executive Chef. Lemus' considerable time at the restaurant has afforded him an insider's view as the restaurant has risen to become one of San Francisco's most popular, acclaimed, and longest-lived dining establishments.
A native of El Salvador, Lemus came to the United States in 1985. Soon after arriving, he took a job as a dishwasher at the Balboa Cafe which was then under different management. He maintained his job at Balboa Cafe while also handling prep work at the Blue Light Cafe on Union Street. Several years later, he devoted himself entirely to Balboa Cafe, where he progressed through the ranks from prep cook, to line cook, to sous chef, to Chef de Cuisine, and finally to the prominent position of Executive Chef.
Lemus not only excels in the kitchen, but also has the ability to relate to the guests with ease and charm. Due to his long tenure at Balboa Cafe, Lemus has established personal relationships with many of the regular diners and has a keen memory for recalling their favorite dishes and personal preferences.
Lemus exudes energy, ambition, and endless culinary curiosity -- a combination which has resulted in the acquisition of a tremendous amount of knowledge, and an equally tremendous amount of respect in the kitchen.
Lemus resides in San Francisco with his wife and three children.
PlumpJack’s Wine Program
The PlumpJack wine program began with the premise that wine is one of life's great pleasures and should be enjoyed as often as possible to complete the dining experience. When we launched our wine pricing policy back in 1994 it immediately made news when PlumpJack Cafe became the only top restaurant in San Francisco to sell wine at retail prices.
Today, value continues to be a cornerstone of the PlumpJack wine program at ALL of our restaurants! Our selection of hard-to-find Californian wines, extensive wines by the glass, and collectible greats from Europe and the rest of the New World have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following.