Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.absinthe.com/
  • Phone: (415) 551-1590
  • 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
368 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (208)neighborhood gem (202)special occasion (150)vibrant bar scene (147)romantic (101)notable wine list (89)hot spot (88)great for brunch (86)great for lunch (77)late-night find (53)good for groups (53)great for outdoor dining (12)kid-friendly (10)scenic view (2)Show More
  • brockvond
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I was well taken care of -- from the question early on, was I going to attend some event? The servers made sure my meal was complete in time for my 7:30 SF Opera start. Much appreciated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food, as always, was delicious.
    ConstructiveCritic
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Lamb fritters are a new and YUMMY addition to the small plates options. Don't think I've ever had a dud from this menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantasy First Time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    I am 'legally blind' and dont get out much but have always wanted to go to Absinthe. I had relatives in town and we went. Service was impeccable as was the ambiance. I had a Pork 'dip' sandwich which was a bit tough to eat but that was my mistake I made having the French Onion Soup. I had a small bowl and will never do that again;) I must have a large bowl as often as possible. It was incredible! i wouold return for the soup. My relatives said the same thing the soup was the meal and everything that followed could not compare (mussels with fries and Absinthe burger they said were exceptional. We were stuffed!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Patricia D Daniels
    Patsy
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Having found this restaurant online when I typed in "Top Ten Places for Saturday Brunch", our party of four went last Saturday. They asked if we were going to the theater, and assured us we would have ample time to eat. It was delightful. The service was good and the food was fantastic. Eating by the window made us feel a part of the neighborhood. I would definitely recommend it as a wonderful and very comfortable spot in which to eat yummy food!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • well prepared fpof
    likesniceplaces
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Specialties are outstanding and delightfully flavored. A little noisy though.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find
    Janeric
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Absinthe was recommended by a friend and now I highly recommended it to everyone else. I asked our server to recommend a drink as well as an entree. He knew the menu well and I was very pleased with my order. The only difficulty was with finding parking. Other than that, we had a great experience and would come back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tiny pour
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Decided on wine with our food and bought 2 glasses rather than a bottle (mistake). The amount served looked like a wine tasting portion.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • french bistro
    veronika
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I'm from Europe, and this place really reminded me of some European places. Love the neighborhood, nice atmosphere, and kind staff. Highly recommend the French onion soup.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not quite the same
    Mack
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Not quite the same is the best way to describe the "new" Absinthe. We have been going for many years and it always felt like "going home". Absinthe was always our favorite "go to" place, however it seems as if most of the staff are all new - new bar staff, new table staff, new wine staff. It just is not the same and we miss the old welcoming vibe. Food is still reliable, but the restaurant "feel" left us disappointed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A neighborhood go-to
    Honkzilla
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The word that comes to mind when thinking about Absinthe is "reliable." The French-inspired menu has plenty of expected dishes (the croques, onion soup, and coq au vin come to mind - and all are excellent) but there are also unexpected touches and surprises. Do not leave without getting the pretzels, for example. The bar is both knowledgable and talented, and the wine list is extensive. What sets Absinth apart really is what sets any good dining experience apart - the service. It is friendly, keen to please, and eager to make every meal smooth and memorable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    outwithfriendsVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    I'm not a vegetarian, but Absinthe needs more vegetables on the menu. Also, more plates that are under $28 that offer protein (such as salads that have an option for meat or fish). I rarely eat hamburgers, but has hoped they'd make it special. It was totally forgettable (without flavor, terrible bun and soggy pickle). Our waitress was great!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    The food was good and served well. I had the modules frites, and I thought the amount of moules was pretty small.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • close to the bone...
    coda
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We were seated at 5:30 in order to make a 7:30 Curtain. We ordered at 5:45 and recieved appetizers in a timely fashion. The wait between appetizer and entrée was very long. We recieved our food at 6:45. The restaurant is well aware of its position and will get you to the theater on time. Just not in a relaxed fashion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and parking
    Elouise
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We dine at Absinthe because it's close to the opera house and has great food and valet parking which extends to after the opera. That's about 6 hours parking for $15. Fantastic. I love the chicken liver mousse, and our wine was presented in a silver bucket. The menu has food for every taste; everything from oysters on the half shell to mac & cheese! Make reservations well ahead of time. We're already booked for our December opera. Elouise
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ArturoVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Always a pleasure to have lunch or dinner at Absinthe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • DELICIOUS!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Every element of my grilled octopus (smoky, tender) with sweet onion/artichoke tart and frisee salad was delicious. My only complaint is that the portions were very petite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic luncheon
    MKofSanDiego
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    One of the best lunches I've experienced in a long time. The French Onion Soup was amazing!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    WsncVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    We had a wonderful night. Great food and service. The hostess was so dedicated to assuring our good time. I had heard great things about his place and it was even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    oftenouttastingVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    The wines by the glass leave something to be desired. Most do not have body and bouquet. On Sunday night though we were not in a hurry the service was quite slow. My hamburger was good but the fries were not great. For a restaurant of this renown handcut french style potatoes would be appreciated. My Husbands cod was fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seating
    Scooter
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    What I really like is that when I make a reservation, they always seat me immediately. There are other restaurants where you make a reservation and have to wait when you get there. Not so at Abinthe
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CarolVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Loved the butternut squash soup, a nice addition to the autumn menu. French onion soup is always delicious! The duck in berry sauce was a new treat with the duck confit in the hash.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was great!
    EatRealVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    We were celebrating a staff transition and it everything was delicious and very nicely presented. We liked it very much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absinthe addict
    GrossFamily
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I recently moved her from Washington, D.C. which is a great restaurant city. This is the 4th place I've eaten out at and it is my favorite. We had brunch (group of 4 hungry people)on Sunday 10/19 . The menu looked as if the options were few but what they did offer was spectacular. In the middle of eating we noticed a rich, sweet, woody, fragrance in the air. when we asked about it the server told us it was the Spanish Coffee. Well, how could we not order it after smelling that aroma. It is a warm dessert type coffee (with liquor). The ricotta stuffed toast, the breakfast sandwich, thoing back when my family comes in Decembere seafood ceviche, and my cocktail (Death in the Afternoon) were all soooooo good. G
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not exactly as I expected
    bonvivant
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I had been dying to try this restaurant for a couple of years. It has a good reputation and looks so romantic and authentic. It was very good as far as atmosphere and food were concerned. But the service was very slow and lackluster. we were at a terrible table with a cold draft and kind of forgotten in the corner. Not sure I will return.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and ambiance
    Jae1
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This was my first time to eat at Absinthe and the food didn't disappoint; such a great selection! The service was a bit slow, but it just looked like they were understaffed for the night. Drinks and cocktails were also amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistent quality
    Foodie
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We like the traditional bistro/brasserie offerings which make us feel like we are dining in Paris. Absinthe stands the test of time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    chris
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Wonderful evening. EXCELLENT food, great service. Very noisy inside!!!!!! Hard to talk to each other.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Disappointed
    RiverQVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    I was disappointed with the food. The fries tasted like frozen cardboard and the menu choices are very limited. The burger was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • nice evening ~
    Diner44
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We really enjoyed our entrees (octopus & coq au vin) and appetizer (ceviche) We asked for more bread (twice) but it never came. We had a second glass of wine but she forgot to bring it so we had to snag another waiter. The panna cotta was on the too sweet side - true Italian panna cotta is more subtle. Overall, a great food experience and excellent location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just ok
    EstherVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I was expected much more, the food was simply OK good service. The place so so. Tables very small, price very expensive for what we got
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always fine dining, slight issue
    stonybroke
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Absinthe always has seasonal and delicious menu items -- tho choices may be a tad limited, there're always enough options to satisfy. On our 20th (+/-] visit, the soup was Michelin ***, just amazing flavors, magnificently balanced -- maybe the best soup I'll ever have! Salads are always quite nice, entrees always fresh, tasty, served at the appropriate temperature. I love beef tartare and Absinthe's is imaginative but slightly over-flavored. Desserts nicely-sized, also imaginative. Unfortunately, one server we occasionally get is nice but VERY slow to deliver and slow to attend. She is the exception -- Absinthe service is normally attentive and fast enough. Special kudos to the table bussers, they are outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful, As Always
    janesingsVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I eat at Absinthe very often, and it is always wonderful! The Food is delicious, the ambience nice and the service good. Jane C.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MarilynVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We enjoyed our meal very much. But, we were seated directly next to a large group of business professionals having dinner. It was notably louder each bottle of wine they consumed. Perhaps, you could seat large groups in the bar area instead of the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent brunch
    MarinGeorge
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The food was great. The corn and chick pea appetizers were excellent "nibbles" and all the main courses were perfect for brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Come for the food
    ADinerVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Love the food. Service is casual and really friendly. Always a busy and good vibe.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful, As Always!
    janesingsVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I eat there often, and it is always wonderful! The food is delicious and the service is attentive. The location is convenient for the Ballet, Symphony & SFJAZZ performances.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A go to restaurant for us
    kieran1
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    whenever we go to the opera or symphony or just want to enjoy good food and excellent service. Always a lot of good energy at Absinthe which we enjoy. The dining room is a little quieter but wherever you dine it's a delight. It is consistently excellent and has been so for years. Our favorite!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too many wines
    Time2EatVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    The good news is that Absinthe has many wines on their list. The bad news is that they can not find them. We ordered a bottle of wine. It did not come. So we did not have a drink before our food came. Our first course came. Still no wine. We waited to eat. Then we were informed that they could not find the bottle. We waited. Then they informed us that the wine had been found but it needed to be cooled. We waited to eat. There is no excuse for that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovely lunch
    MaatkareVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I had the Alsatian tart with a salad that included salmon. Both were very good, but this onion tart was not as superb as another tart that I'd had there recently. We sat in an adorable curved seat that was good for getting to know someone. Our server was caring and attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A memorable gift!
    Sebdanca
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We probably would not have found Absinthe on our own, but came as a result of a gift certificate. The place was packed for our 7:00 p.m. reservation, but as we have found at other times, our OpenTable reservation got us seated right away with the best table in the house. (Kudos to OpenTable!) The service was outstanding from beginning to end and we never felt rushed or waiting for anything. We had the spiced chickpea appetizer, the Spanish octopus (outstanding!) and petrale sole - all creatively presented and delicious. The wine list was small with carefully selected great wines. The german chocolate cake dessert w/coconut-lime sorbet was not what your grandma made, but was outstanding as well. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.