Cafe Claude - Downtown
Cafe Claude - Downtown

Cafe Claude - Downtown

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cafeclaude.com/
  • Phone: (415) 392-3505
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 10:30pm; Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: For unique dining experiences and special events, please contact us!
  • Entertainment: Live Jazz! Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30pm - 10:30pm. Find our calendar online at www.cafeclaude.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bush & Kearny
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking is readily available at the Sutter Stockton Garage, which is one block away from the restaurant.
A word from Cafe Claude - Downtown
Close to Union Square and closer to Paris, Cafe Claude has remained an unpretentious neighborhood meeting place nestled amongst the urban skyscrapers. Cafe Claude is a classic Bistro featuring a zinc bar, Gallic waiters, and Paris cafe style food. Enjoy a lively atmosphere, weekend jazz, and a traditional Parisian cafe menu while seated in a cozy banquette or outdoors on charming Claude lane.

Signature menu items at Cafe Claude include, at lunch, Niçoise Salad, Steak Tartare, Coq au Vin, and Moelleux au Chocolate.
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Cafe Claude - Downtown reviews from OpenTable diners
194 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (97)fit for foodies (96)romantic (86)special occasion (69)great for outdoor dining (51)great for lunch (51)notable wine list (41)good for groups (24)hot spot (19)late-night find (19)vibrant bar scene (18)great for brunch (11)kid-friendly (7)Show More
  • Cafe Claude
    catsnout
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Love this place. The trout with green beans is wonderful. Others enjoyed the sole special and streak frit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • review
    Izil
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Food is not really tasty for french cuisine as we use to before and overprice. We ordered steak and duck for main course. For appetizer we took meet tartar and escargot.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    So loud that I could not hear the french-accented waitress; table so close to neighbors that I could hear every word of their conversation (because they had to talk so loud to each other), and so close that my husband and I could not have a conversation; was disappointed overall.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Hidden gem
    TaiChDancer
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Located on Claude Lane, a small nondescript alley between Sutter & Bush Street, Cafe Claude is a bit difficult to find but well worth the effort. The decor is lovely and there are several seating options. I haven't tried sitting outside but have dined in the front room which is a bit more casual and lively and the back area which is quieter, more dimly lit and elegantly romantic. The food is terrific, mostly classic French with a few surprises. I've had their pasta de jour on two occasions. Both were fabulous and better than any I can remember eating in Italy. There's a very good wine selection and also a full bar. I love eating here anytime I'm in the city and especially enjoy bringing out of town guests who are always surprised and delighted when we walk down this dark alley and end up magically transported to Paris.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a profound pleasure.
    DancingChef32
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We have gone here for special occasions many times, and the food, ambiance and service has been wonderful every time. The live music is a great bonus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Gem
    EileenR
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    We discovered this gem of a restaurant 5 yrs. ago and, while planning our 25th Anniversary trip to San Francisco, decided this was where we would have our anniversary dinner. We were not disappointed. We went a little early and sat at the bar, where we were entertained watching the variety of cocktails being prepared by the bartender. For dinner, I had the Chevre salad, which I totally enjoyed, and the Steak Frites, an excellent decision. My husband had the butternut squash soup (a tough choice over the French onion soup) and said it was delicious, and the Coq Au Vin, which he declared to be the way it should be prepared and much, much better than any he had ever had in France. The wait staff was friendly & attentive. A lovely experience?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food & service, but don't get there early!
    anonymouscouple
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We were a big group. Everybody in our group enjoyed the food. The server was also very energetic, polite and attentive. The experience once seated was excellent. The only issue we had was the wait to get a table. We arrived at the restaurant 10 mins before our reservation time of 7pm, and we were made to wait about 20 mins. The worse thing was the reasoning. The lady at the front kept telling us that it is not yet 7 pm! I guess, one is supposed to arrive late! The fact that they have almost no space to sit or stand while waiting only supports this conclusion.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    First time in San Francisco and a friend of ours recommended this place. It was cozy and romantic. The menu is typical French cuisine and the duck and steak frites were excellent. Zachary, our waiter, was friendly, attentive, and informative. We would definitely recommend!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Very good pasta. Nice jazz. Tight fit as in Europe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent time by all
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We celebrated a couple of birthdays at Cafe Claude. not only did the server speak French but she was very engaging and well informed about the food selections. Everything we had was excellent Coco van was perfect and the drinks could not be believed. And I forget to mention the dessert the dessert was awesome we had the creme brulee and I had a lemon tart that was outstanding. A really good fun place for an event like this. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • coqauvin
    worldtraveler
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    It took awhile to find out the status of being seated although we had a reservation and called to say we'd be 15' late. We ordered the coq au vin, French onion soup with nicoise salad, and the trout. The restaurant was out of monk fish and also sold out of the wine we wanted. Therefore, we had another wine which was like vinegar and had pieces of the cork in the glass as well as spillage on the bottom. Not sure why it was brought to us in this condition, but our waiter was gracious in taking it back and bringing us a different wine. The food was great, but it was hard to carry on a conversation even though we loved the music. We ordered pommes frites with our entrees and were finally brought our order towards the end of our meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    UncleScott
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Absolutely perfect evening. The staff was awesome. Food was delicious. Soft jazz band played near the bar. Perfect!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but music's got to go
    DiogenesVIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    On past trips to SF, we have enjoyed dining at Claude's to get our "French fix." It features a good location, lively menu, and fairly-priced wine selections. Malheuresment, we visited Claude's on a recent Sunday evening...big mistake as the live music was absolutely awful...loud and inappropriate for a Euopean style bistro. Two acoustic guitars a flugelhorn can work but not if one of the players is an aggressive singer. . We felt bad for the staff who were very sympathetic but could do nothing. My wife and I both enjoyed our food and wine, but what I had hoped would be an intimate evening collapsed into a boho coffee-house concert. Music can make or break an atmosphere, so check out what band is playing before making reservations.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A memorable meal
    HisOwnSelf
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We have probably been to Café Claude ten times -- it's our go-to place when we visit San Francisco. It is always very good, but this time it was truly superior. Prices have gone up a bit, but worth it: Wonderful drinks, very good service, and the coq au vin is one of the great dishes I've ever tasted. Since they seem to be the only restaurant in SF that hasn't published a cookbook, I'll be spending the next six months trying to replicate it -- until our next trip to the Bay.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Food was variable, one party member really enjoyed the food the other was disappointed with the onion soup too much bread not enough onions or cheese. Loved the Jazz although a bit of a shame they were tucked away in the corner and we could not see them.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cafe Claude is always a good bet
    Donna
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    This has been our favorite restaurant when visiting San Francisco and have never been disappointed. The food is great and on Thursdays through the weekend there's a jazz band playing in the background. Love the steak tartare and the fish entrees are excellent. Thank you for being so consistent and always a treat!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fine dining
    leetaylor242
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Our dinner experience was superb in all respects. The food and service were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Used to be better
    trufflecat
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    The food used to be quite good here but I fear it has gone downhill. Four of us ate here on a weeknight, and it wasn't busy. It was pleasant sitting outside, and the service was fine. But several dishes had an odd vinegar-y flavor. The duck was not memorable. In a city chock full of great restaurants, I wouldn't choose this one.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like being in France
    TerjeW
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    A very enjoyable evening with great food and wine. The service was outstanding. A place we will go back to on our next visit to SF.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Roon82
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Great food, nice wine, nice music and atmosphere. As a just married couple we had a special night over here.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Everything
    TravelGraham
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Love this little out-of-the-way place for intimate business dinners and meals with friends. Food is always great and I love their escargot! Used to live in SFO and eat here fairly frequently. Now that I live across the country, I always make an effort to have at least one meal here whenever I'm in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Best
    QuindiVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Always point on. Been coming for 14 years, and they never miss.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A Go To Favorite
    HappyeatersVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Never disappointed with the delicious food and consistently good and friendly service. Best to sit in the back room or outside and avoid the booths in the main room next to the bar; they are extremely cramped, the seats lean forward and are old and very uncomfortable. However the great food and service are worth the discomfort.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Solid
    matineeVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We have eaten dinner here a couple times and it is always good, sometimes great. We had dinner for 4 this time and it fell into the good category. Hopefully, next time we get back to great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Wonderful! The staff is friendly and the food is great. Perfect French bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner was superb
    Adelaidians
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We loved the food and wine at the Restaurant. The service was attentive and staff were knowledgeable. We were given an extra desert which was a lovely gesture. We would recommend this as we were very impressed with the meals. Thank you for the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Romance at the Cafe Claude
    mthpeaceVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Even a really bad French restaurant carries with it a certain romantic cache and this is an outstanding French restaurant. The food was excellent and the service was so good that I almost felt as though everyone was a professional actor performing the roles of waitress, etc., as if following a script that was written to assure superb service. This was my first trip to Cafe Claude and I will return. The only caveat I would mention is that we dined there on a weeknight and the restaurant had just opened for the evening, so the crowd was small. The facility is small and a larger crowd could get very noisy, taking away some of the romance and lowering the ambiance. Best to go on a weeknight and get a 5:30 pm reservation. ;)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great French Food
    sfotpa
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Lovely little space on Claude Alley, wonderful duck leg and lentils cooked just right. Service very good,there at the right time and knowledgeable about the menu and wine. sweet place in a great Union Squre locaton. Will return,can't wait to try other items on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • jujulebourg
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Cafe Claude has great ambiance with the live jazz music, terrace & great bar tending. We saved our visit for a special occasion in anticipation to a great night ahead of us. We sat inside and had a great time listening to the music with a round of excellent cocktails & wines. The decor reminded us of the american-french appeal missing some of the true authentic feel. Right away we noticed the waiters seems stressed and rushed (although it was a late night reservation). We were disappointed to not converse with true french waiters, we felt as if they held back. The food was good, able and well garnished, but not exquisite as hoped. Over-all a good experience nevertheless.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely dining
    Dinerdad
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Very good food and great service. The menu selection was classic French.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French Bistro Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Best thing about Cafe Claude besides the food is the service. Great, fresh and delicious French food that isn't overly priced. Definitely worth checking out at least once. Good for two people. Beyond that it can feel a little claustrophobic.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Had a good meal
    Niki53
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We are party of 5, first we shared 4 appetizers of cheeses, salad green, pate, and prosciutto. I had trout with green beans, very tasty honest food. Staff served us well. The wine is a little high in price. The jazz band created romantic atmosphere. This is the place to get a satisfying meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tres bien!
    dante
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Cafe Claude was a great place for a special night out. My cousin, whom I rarely see, met me there and we enjoyed great food, fine dinner music from Steve Lucky and Carmen Getit, and were still able to hold a continuous conversation without shouting. The service was attentive without being overbearing, and we were not hurried out. It was a bit pricey, but worthi it for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • J'ai adoré...
    MR99
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    It was a nice little surprise in a small back alley. We came from Montreal and it was a delight to have a french waiter in a french restaurant. He recommended good food and wine. The escargot en croute wasn't chewy and the onglet (Hanger steak) was cook to perfection (medium). My girl enjoyed the Coq au vin, the chicken was melting of the bones with a great mix of vegetables. Go there, it deserves to be know.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Nice
    CT86
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The food and drinks were great. The servers were extremely friendly. Live music is icing on the cake.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for lunch
    restaurantmaven
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I met an old friend visiting from Europe who remembered Café Claude from years ago, when he lived in San Francisco. He said in some ways, it's much better than it's ever been and I tend to agree. The soups are always terrific, wine list outstanding. Looking forward to going again for lunch next week. Only one observation: the outdoor seating area doesn't always smell terrific, the whole alley way needs a good scrub so you may want to keep that in mind if you are booking on a hot day for lunch - would have given it 5 stars for ambiance if we'd eaten inside!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Lunch Spot
    AllieVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Cafe Claude is one of my favorite French restaurants. I took my co-worker, who is from France out to lunch. I watched him carefully as he mixed the beef, egg and the side ingredients with his fork and knife, adding just enough Worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard. He thoroughly enjoyed his steak tartare! I normally have the Croque Monsieur, but I wanted to try something different so I ordered the Chevre salad with chicken and it was delicious. To my surprise the warm goat cheese was spread on my levain and it was good. The chicken was tender and juicy and I loved the combination of apple and candied walnuts in my salad! The service was spot on; attentive, but not overbearing.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Delicious escargots; wish we has had the bread earlier so we could dip in sauce. Special of day petralle sole was well prepared, not over cooked. Flat iron steak was cooked just right, tho sauce over it was rather vinegary. Desserts: crime brûlée and lemon tart outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful experience
    shelleyb
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The food, the service, the ambience and the great music all combined to make a lovely experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Very excellent food. Well-located
    Carlito
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Very good food. French onion soup was just simply amazing one of the best I've ever had.The service was perfect. The ambiance could have been a bit more jazzy. It was a bit quiet. I will definitely go back. A great place to recommend
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.