Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
  • Address:
    398 Hayes Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    French
    Price: $30 and under

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.absinthe.com/
  • Phone: 4155511590x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday to Wednesday: 11:30 am to midnight

    Thursday & Friday: 11:30 am to midnight (bar open til 2 am)

    Saturday: Brunch, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; 3:00 pm to midnight (bar open til 2 am)

    Sunday: Brunch, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm
    Closed Monday
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, French
  • Executive Chef: Adam Keough
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Please call for more details.
  • Special Events: Absinthe Private Dining, directly adjacent to Absinthe Brasserie & Bar on Hayes near Gough, is designed to function as a completely private dining room with its own private entrance, coat closet, restroom and bar.

    The menus at Absinthe Private Dining, created by executive chef Adam Keough and executive pastry chef Bill Corbett, offer classic and contemporary San Francisco brasserie fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The private dining menus reflect those in the main dining room at Absinthe, and change frequently, allowing variety and seasonal freshness.

    Absinthe Private Dining is available for business meetings, wedding events,
    cocktail receptions, birthdays, showers, wine dinners, pre- or post-performance dinners, and holiday parties.

    For more information, please contact Vanessa Harris at 415-551-1453 or email vharris@absinthegroup.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Gough
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking available 5:00pm-Close Tuesday-Saturday. Street parking is also available. Public lots located on the corner of Hayes & Franklin and on Grove between Franklin & Gough.
A word from Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is one of the longest-running and most convivial dining institutions in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood. Located within walking distance of Civic Center and the performing arts centers, the establishment features French and Northern Italian-influenced brasserie fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Absinthe’s lively bar offers classic and creative cocktails and late-night dining.
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Absinthe Brasserie and Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
405 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (219)neighborhood gem (205)special occasion (169)vibrant bar scene (161)romantic (135)notable wine list (112)great for brunch (88)hot spot (82)great for lunch (82)late-night find (51)good for groups (40)kid-friendly (17)great for outdoor dining (16)scenic view (5)Show More
  • Lovely but pricey
    MovieNights
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    It was too pricey for the food/drink we had... Although lovely, really lovely!!!, I think it was overpriced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Gem
    JTEater
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The brunch menu at Absinthe was a surprise for me. I thought the dishes would be staid French fare. Instead they offered a cool selection of breakfast items such as stuffed French toast, polenta with soft boiled egg and veggies. It was all delicious. I want to go back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Nice festive bar with interesting cocktail choices! Dining room area enough room so that you are not crowded against the dining neighbors, not too loud to enjoy the conversation at the table. Tasty appetitizers and entrees
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Menu needs tweeting
    4JiM
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Food well prepared but lacks imagination. Wine list good. Service good. We have eaten there before. I am not sure we will go back. It has settled into a routine. And decibel level is very high. Notably, the dining room was not full during prime hour on Friday night. But still awfully noisy. Kitchen needs a shake up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Desserts need work
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    WE have been eating here for years. It is very good before or after theatre dining. HOWEVER, they need a new pastry chef or the chef needs to get more enthusiastic and change the dessert menu creatively more often. It used to be creative and interesting, for example, a rhubarb float.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No compromises
    Marina
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Absynthe has been one of my favorite restaurants for years now. They seem to be able to refresh themselves and stay at the same consistent high quality/superb service throughout the years. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    My friend and I had a delicious after theater dinner. The ceviche was amazing as were the main courses. What a treat. I would definitely return, hopefully soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect End to a Lovely Day
    EC2travelers
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    When I write to the restaurant asking for a quiet table, I didn't expect the best table in the restaurant, but that's what we enjoyed. And we arrived with a plethora of dietary restrictions--no problem, the waiter had a list of every ingredient used to create the delicious items on the menu. Add to that local, sustainable and fresh ingredients with a lovely presentation on the plate. From the mac and cheese to the swordfish (thank you Monterey Bay Aquarium for taking it off the restricted list), all four of us enjoyed fabulous meals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Brunch
    Nittler
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Age range from 11 to 58 - lots of great options for us all - loved the Duck Ragout and deserts were to die for - chocolate pot was the best
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too noisy and poor food selection
    SomaVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was our 2nd time to this restaurant. Our first visit was on a Sunday for lunch. The menu was very good and the ambiance was good. This time the menu was very disappointing and the restaurant (noise, confusion etc...) was insane. You could not even hear the person from directly across the table. We informed the hostess that we could not stay in this environment even if we could find something decent to order. Unlikely we will return even for lunch. There are many other great dining options in SF...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absinthe is always great
    Fogpirate
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The service, food, cocktails are all top notch....it's the kind of place that doesn't feel fancy but delivers the fine dining experience. The Spanish Coffee is the most dramatic and delicious after dinner drink you will ever order.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth it just for the mousse
    CoronaHeightsNonFoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Everything was delicious. I would go back just for the chicken liver mousse--it was perfect.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good place near the Opera
    David
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We went there prior to an Opera on Saturday. The waitress asked us if we were attending an event and what our curtain time was so that she could be sure to get us out in time. We had a lot of time, but it was nice that they asked... Food was generally very good and creative. Heirloom tomato and melon salad was a nice starter. The soft pretzels were amazing. Try them. My wife had the Coq au Vin which was definitely better than my pork "skirt steak". Drinks were good. I've had a better Old Fashioned elsewhere, but their Vieux Carre was good. Overall I'd go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch before going to a play
    Cheryl
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We were a group of four and everyone one of us raved about the food. The service was exceptional and the ambiance very elegant and relaxing. We will be coming back here soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb pre-Opera
    petercarp
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Just around the corner from SF Opera and a great place for an early pre-Opera meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing!
    sasstasticmad
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Went to Absinthe for my 21st birthday and had what was probably one of the best meals of my life. The cocktails were wonderful as was the food (shout out to the pretzel bites which made my inner toddler happy). Can't wait to come here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jacee
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I enjoyed the ambience -pretty restaurant in a lively area and the restaurant itself was hopping. My friends had steaks and said they were great, but unfortunately my salmon was overcooked and a bit tasteless. The cocktails were great and offered many choices. Our server was wonderful - pleasant, efficient and made good suggestions. Check out the photos in the hallway by the restrooms - they ar amazing. I have a friend who lives in the neighborhood and he referred to Absinthe as a reliable, fun neighborhood spot which sums it up.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine dinner
    AcedVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Nothing extraordinary but the sole was nice and the onion soup was classic. Overall a nice evening
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This was the most wonderful brunch. The duck confit ragout was to die for. Our server, Josh, was great. The level of service he provided was beyond excellent. He had several tables but I felt like I was the only person in the restaurant. Just go, eat, enjoy, and ask for Josh!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AMJV
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    My husband and I dine here frequently; love the ambiance, decor, food, location, cocktails and wine offerings. Have dined here with friends and family often; great for post performance dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful evening
    JAHO
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    this is a darling restaurant. The food was delicious and the service outstanding. Attentive but unobtrusive. My friends and I had never been there before and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good choice
    geann
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    It's a Nice place with a Good price, but nothing special. Perfect to meeting your friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great!
    Absintheorgreenwithenvy
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Food prepared perfectly, every item! Cheese plate selections are top-shelf. Service is attentive, with a smile.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicous brunch!
    NS3101VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Started out with the cinnamon buns, and spent a while before choosing the open faced pork sandwich. Every bite was perfect! Can't wait to come back and try out the other brunch entrees!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but overpriced
    luv2golfandeat
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Felt the food and wine list were very overpriced for what you got. Would recommend but only if someone likes a lot of noise and doesn't mind paying #15 for valet parking. I know this is San Francisco so I guess you have to pay $$$. Also was not happy with the first table they gave us, right next to the kitchen. They did move us but seemed unhappy that we requested another table even though the restaurant was not busy and lots of open tables.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice lunch location for an occasion
    SFstudent
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I met a friend here for lunch after reading reviews online. Very cool atmosphere. I enjoyed the ice tea which came with refills without me asking-which I appreciated. I ordered a cup of french onion soup and a side salad and my friend ordered a different soup and a side sale. The server brought us both french onion soup forgetting that my friend ordered a different type of soup. Oh well, we both had french onion soup which paired nicely with a side salad. This is still more than I would normally spend on a lunch, but a neat atmosphere and other than the hiccup with the soup this is a fun place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hostess was especially helpful...
    OpenTable Diner Since 1999VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    the hostess was especially helpful in trying to find a table to our liking. the salmon entree was outstanding, served with salad. dining room was noisier than we like...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • View from Florida
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We had a lovely meal before a performance. The waitress was delightful, the food very good and the atmosphere memorable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • incredible appetizers
    winky
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    we always sit in the bar area bec it is so atmospheric and great for people watching -- cafe style round tables in corners so one has privacy as well as a good viewing spot -- the menu changes regularly this time we had the appetizers-- last time we had delicious duck -- great before or after the opera/symphony and it has valet service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious brunch!
    Patti
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Absinthe was a perfect choice for a brunch before the matinee of Motown, the Musical. The food was excellent; the service, outstanding; and the restaurant is a great local spot that obviously has a following! All in all, absolutely wonderfu!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful, As Always!
    janesingsVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I eat at Absinthe often, and it is always wonderful! The food is delicious and the service is great. The location is convenient for going to the Ballet, Symphony and SFJAZZ performances. I recommend it! janesings
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best
    oscarvu
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    It was a nice restaurant the angus and wagyu meat the best plate
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Talented chef
    FoodyoneVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The food here is truly a cut above, especially in Hayes Valley. The chef is very talented. While the menu is Classic French Bistro, it is done extremely well. Onion soup was excellent, and the shoulder cut bistro steak was perfectly prepared medium rare. The salad was fresh and delicious as was the petrale sole. Would like to see a larger selection of wines by the glass. Friendly capable service. Great atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and very god food
    BellaVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Had an early reservation on way to Paul McCartney so we had time constraints...server timed all perfectly and gave us the best service we have had in a long time plus we got to Candelstick in time for the show. We will be back sooon without time constraints!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A more leisurely lunch than planned
    KemKem
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Food was good, wait staff pleasant. Seated promptly (with lunch reservation) but waited and waited for food to arrive once order taken. Wait staff apologized once but food still didn't arrive for over another 10-15 minutes...total wait time over 30 minutes once order placed for a hamburger (medium rare) and and chicken breast (special). Food was prepared well but took far too long to arrive. A complementary dish of sorbet topped off a birthday lunch out for a colleague. Nice touch but delays in food service made the meal less than expected.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Yummy
    FoodieBear
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Absinthe consistently hits a home run, whether it's brunch or dinner, with terrific service. It's not cheap, but so worth the visit
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious!!
    Gail
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The food and service were very good. We'll definitely return! Hamburger and French Onion Soup are a must have.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointing meal
    KathrynVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Have had many very good meals here, however August brought disappointment! My swordfish was frozen and at $32 mediocre! The resident chef must have been on vacation.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GREAT!!!
    MovieFan
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    The service and the food are excellent!! The food is very fresh and at the height of it's season. The flavors blend to make wonderful dishes. The waiters attend to your every need and request. HIGHLY recommend!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fab food paired with fab service
    DiningFor2VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    The Service: We celebrated a City Hall/Civil Service with a meal from this fabulous establishment and Amy, our server, and Trevor, our host couldn't have been more kind and thoughtful in making it extra special. Their genuine care in service showed that they probably paid attention to detail for all their customers not just for special occasions. We brought our own cake and Trevor even offered the Bride & Groom a special cutting set to commemorate the wedding so we could take pictures. The Food: Everything we had was fabulous. Garlic Pretzels (I could've had two orders of this!), meatballs, pasta special of fettucini with duck!Drinks were excellent with a wide array with Absinthe. Just as Amy and she'll point you in the right direction!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate