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  5. Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF, San Francisco, CA

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

4.6
4.6
6573 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
We are currently accepting reservations for lunch, brunch, and dinner, and will have heated and covered outdoor seating as well as indoor seating in our dining room. Since weather in SF is unpredictable, we also recommend you bundle up for your meal when dining outdoors.

As always, the health and safety of our employees and guests are top priority. We recommend that all non-vaccinated guests continue to mask up per CDC guidelines. If you’re feeling less than your best just give us a call and we’ll happily reschedule your reservation.

Vaccination Card Requirement
Effective 3/11/2022:
To help ensure the safety and health of our staff and guests, everyone dining indoors must still show proof of vaccine and valid ID, despite the recent repeal of the mandate by the city. We hope this will give continued assurance to our valued clientele that the same safety measures required at the local performing arts venues also apply to indoor dining at Absinthe.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 13 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    French, Californian

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Wed–Fri 11:30 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (415) 551-1590

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Ian Begg

  • Neighborhood

    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness

  • Cross street

    Gough

  • Parking details

    No valet. Street parking and nearby public lot located on Grove between Franklin and Gough.

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 6,573 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Francisco

    French

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Filters

  1. C

    Cars63

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    I invited a friend of mine out to dine at Absinthe. I haven't been here since covid and was greatly looking forward to it as I have dined here in the past on special ocassions. My friend attended the opera and flew in especially from MN. We enjoyed our food very much, however for his Tuna tartare (main course) there was no crisp bread, home made crackers or any kind of bread accompaniment, it seemed a little bare. Perhaps that should be part of the meal? In addition we sat outside which was nice except for the gap in the overhang which allowed the leaves to join my salad!! Perhaps less of a gap in the overhang!! Thank you!
  2. HT

    HarveyT

    New York Area

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place to eat, especially good brunch menu.
  3. NK

    NapaKGB

    San Francisco

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I hadn't been back since before covid, and so glad they made it. It was an even better experience this time than before, and perfect before the opera or symphony! Try the mussels app! :-)
  4. J

    Justthebest

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely delightful dinner - from the hostess and bartender to Walter, our waiter. Food superb, tables not too close to each other so a sense of privacy and safety. Mixologist willing to make requested substitutions impeccably. Would like to have Walter train wait staff everywhere (maybe husbands too LOL)
  5. M

    Molly

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service - I love this place and will always when come back when I'm in the area.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a pleasure. A place where I always feel welcome and the staff are wonderful and the food is consistently great
  7. i

    idontcook

    San Francisco

    69 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    69 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Absinthe is consistently reliable, and consistently enjoyable. Very good cocktails, a nice menu, and excellent service. The Duart salmon was especially good - flavorful and perfectly prepared. Already looking forward to our next visit.
  8. DN

    DeborahN

    Las Vegas

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I think my five star review answered the question of would I go again and recommend to a friend.
  9. WB

    WilliamB

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 27, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Always a classic, the room hasn't changed in 20 years, which I like. One glitch - they were out of Oysters - what??? That should never happen otherwise perfect,
  10. JN

    JamesN

    Orange County

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 27, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    I dined at a series of 5 nice French restaurants in SF over the course of 5 days — Bouche, Sorrel, L'Ardoise, Chapeau, and Absinth . Absinthe came out at the bottom of this group. Some of the food items were very good. The pea soup, for example, was fresh and delightful. My husband's lamb dish was creative and well prepared. His foie gras was also very nice, albeit a bit on the pricey side. My sole meunière was a travesty — some small and not particularly good sole filets piled atop mashed potatoes, under some thin french fries. Put simply, it was not sole meunière. To the restaurant's credit, they took it off the bill when I complained, although the manager insisted it was authentic. It was not. The drink service was a bit slow and disorganized. The ambience is generic and is not up to the other five. The service is charmless. Although Absinthe is not bad, you can do much better elsewhere.
  11. TR

    TRATTORIA

    San Francisco

    48 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    48 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very good brunch
  12. BC

    2BlackCats

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Lovely place for opera and symphony goers -- nearby and excellent vibe. We were there during Pride Parade festivities so the staff was a bit crunched, but nevertheless cheerful, polite and got the job done!
  13. ML

    MedLib

    Washington DC

    39 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    39 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We always request: "quiet corner; aging ears!" when we reserve. Absinthe has, twice, honored that request, making the evening enjoyable. Food and drinks are great, and the staff helpful and thoughtful. Note that 'entrees' are, as in France, the appetizers, not a main dish. Cheese options have moved from the main menu to the dessert menu, but can be requested at the beginning of the meal. There is a wide range of prices for their wines--and so far all have been good.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Appreciated the extra care in making sure our orders were in given we had theatre show to get to. Everything was perfect!
  15. TR

    TRATTORIA

    San Francisco

    49 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Service was slow.
  16. B

    Babs

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience4
    As always the ambiance is lovely. The staff is very welcoming. our waiter could 't have been more proficient. The problem was the food Two of us had the salmon and were disappointed. It was overcooked. Another at our table had octopus and also felt that it could have been better prepared. I am hoping this was just a fluke because we have enjoyed this restaurant in the past.
  17. c

    chris

    San Francisco

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on June 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great bartenders, no talk of tattoos or messenger bikes. My new favorite drink is “our place” in French. Can’t remember the name.
  18. KS

    KellyS

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    May be good to check the actual website for the current menu. We really enjoyed our meal, but anticipated a slightly different selection from what was posted on another site. Staff was very kind and attentive. They also seemed to take safety very seriously amid current health threats.
  19. JD

    JazzDr104

    New York Area

    24 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Excellent, albeit limited, dinner menu. The beef tartare was the best I've had in years. Good wine list, reasonably priced. Convenient to concert venues in a hip residential neighborhood.
  20. WS

    WernerS

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    We accidentally entered through an open door, which unbeknownst to us was not the front door and were chewed out by a waiter that showed up. That was our first impression. It got better after that.
  21. HR

    HakimReza

    San Francisco

    39 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    39 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Absinthe is one of our perennial favorites. Great location and consistently good food. They have done a remarkable job of meeting the challenges presented by the pandemic, and the regrettable and avoidable decay of the Civic Center milieu.
  22. JJ

    JohnJ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was delicious but the service was out of this world. This was a special occasion for my wife and myself and they truly made it feel that way.
  23. a

    aycheinthecity

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    We had a great dinner overall. Both my boyfriend and I enjoyed the food. We had the onion soup, burger and sole. We would definitely order all the dishes again, and would very much like to come back. The only thing was service just dropped off right before we got our food. I wanted a quick refill of water, but our waiter only came to check in with us at the end of our meal. And we had seen him come up to other tables in our corner to make small pleasantries throughout their meal service.
  24. 2

    25years

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Seate4d promptly, good service excellent food and atmosphere
  25. JE

    JoeE

    San Diego

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Absinthe is always fun and the food there is always great. We especially enjoyed the hard to find foie gras that was great quality and perfectly cooked. Absinthe has a unique pleasant funkiness that we savor. We'll be back!
  26. c

    christocino

    Houston

    249 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    249 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service. Additional kudos because they require vaccinations
  27. EC

    ElaineC

    San Francisco

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great duck with lentils and terrific wild mushroom tagliatelli. Our waiter was ver professional and attentive.
  28. HB

    HeidiB

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Good fresh food and service is friendly and attentive. Great for pre-show dining in Hayes area.
  29. AP

    AnnyP

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The service was excellent and the food and wine were delicious. Great selection.
  30. LM

    LindaM

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    As usual, the food was spectacular. The pea soup with bacon was excellent, and the tuna carpaccio was not only delicious but beautifully presented. Excellent service as well.
  31. C

    Charles

    Hawaii

    92 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    92 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    This is always a great place to have dinner before a play. The food is good, and the service was very good.
  32. J

    Jmowizard

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Always amazing cocktails - plus, still stands as THE BEST burger we've had in a restaurant. Order this plus the beef short ribs, top it off with the chocolate pot de creme, and you've got it made!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    26 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Despite excellent, very tuned in service (from a new-ish waiter), the overall experience is pretty average. Fishy salmon caviar undermined an otherwise ok-ish poisson cru, but the pâté sandwich was odd. Better was the grilled salmon, but the portion was tiny. The best thing here is the wine list, with some real cellar gems, some well into the four figures (to the right of the decimal) and a knockout chocolate pot de crème.
  34. DA

    DavidA

    Las Vegas

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is known as a great place for dinner before the opera but it is also a hidden gem for lunch. Nice cocktail/wine list. Great service. Love the desserts, especially the cherry tart with corn ice cream. At lunch I like the burger with fries--crisp, fresh cut fries and burger cooked as I ordered. Before the theatre you'll need reservations, often more than a week in advance. So plan on it and enjoy.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved this spot. The food was fantastic, the service was great and the vibes were immaculate. Will definitely come back when I come back to visit San Francisco.
  36. LP

    LeslieP

    Charleston

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful experience all around.
  37. L

    Lado

    San Francisco

    16 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Always a favorite- food delicious- the service- Stellar!
  38. j

    jamie

    San Francisco

    234 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    234 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our favorite for pre-concert The octopus salad was a treat. Octopus was tender and tasty. Service is always spectacular
  39. l

    lokantalarimdan

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The menu at Absinthe is always creative, varied, and memorably delicious. Good wine pairing. Friendly and efficient service late in the evening.
  40. TN

    TrevorN

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Unfortunately due to our guests not being vaccinated this was one restaurant that enforced the mandate, so sat outside. Food was on par and as expected, and couldn’t say was outstanding except the steak tartare. Service was great, thanks Carl and Walter

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF is rated 4.6 stars by 6573 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 13 times today
Google Map for Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

398 Hayes Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Gough

  • Neighborhood

    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Wed–Fri 11:30 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    French, Californian

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    No valet. Street parking and nearby public lot located on Grove between Franklin and Gough.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Ian Begg

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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