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  • Elite Cafe

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Elite Cafe
Elite Cafe
  • Address:
    2049 Fillmore St @ California
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    Neighborhood:
    Pacific Heights
  • Cuisine:
    Creole / Cajun / Southern
    Price: $30 and under

Elite Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.TheEliteCafe.com
  • Email: eat@TheEliteCafe.com
  • Phone: (415) 346-8400
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm; with Bar Menu served from 2:30. Monday - Friday, our Bar opens at 3:00pm. Heated-Outdoor Seating available at all times!
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Creole / Cajun / Southern, American, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Jerry Mendoza
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Peter Snyderman (415) 346-8400

Getting there

  • Cross Street: California St.
  • Public Transit: To get public transit information, please visit: http://transit.511.org/tripplanner/index.asp
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Metered Public Parking lot one-half block away on California Street, between Filllmore & Steiner Streets. Always check posted signs for meter time enforcement details.

    G-Sticker neighborhood parking permit not enforced after 6:00pm weekdays and not at all on weekends.
A word from Elite Cafe
This beautiful original Art Deco building began as the Lincoln Grill in 1928. Since 1981, it has been The Elite Cafe. Since its inception, The Elite has served exquisite food with the flavors of New Orleans. Our current menu continues this tradition but with an emphasis on seasonality, the freshest local ingredients, and a lighter touch in our preparation. From the original mahogany booths to the beautiful full bar to the unsurpassed people watching on the Upper Fillmore, The Elite Cafe has something for everyone. We now offer HEATED-OUTDOOR Dining. Enjoy Brunch, Dinner, or a glass of wine while experiencing one of San Francisco's most exciting Shopping & People-Watching streets.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "Been going here for years. The food is always fantastic, so it was somewhat offputting to be asked to leave at 10:20 PM on a Sunday night even though we had not (quite) finished our after dinner drinks. We have closed down many restaurants over the years, and the staff is usually very accommodating by inviting us to finish at our leisure, although all other patrons have left."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "We have been dining at the Elite for years and are never disappointed. We take visitors from out of town there, we dine with family and friends and we dine on our own. We have family living in and around New Orleans and recently were down there for a visit. With the exception of my aunt's cooking, the Etouffee and Gumbo we ordered last Tuesday at the Elite was as good if not better than at the many restaurants we tried in and around New Orleans. Not only do we love the food but also the casual upbeat atmosphere, the friendly efficient staff and the great music. Regardless of what they play, it always seems to fit. Give the Elite Cafe a try and " Laissez les bons temps roulez."."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "From the neon sign to the silverware, from the biscuits to the chicken, it was delicious. Loved the 25 th Amendment Bitter American beer. AND the waiter had a terrific and subtle sense of humour. Good style, good food, good value."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "First visit was great, second not so. But the "not so" just means good rather than great. The booths are key. Cool bar for dining solo. The standards are your best bet (chop, steak, fish) jambalaya and gumbo were bland. Good coffee and desserts."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Peter Snyderman and his able staff have maintained an excellent venue along with the excellent food. Absolutely no issue with the total experience."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I was concerned after I read negative comments about the service, but we didn't have that problem on a Saturday at 5:30. Our waiter, Jeremy, was wonderful. My friends and I shared the meetinghouse biscuits and deviled eggs, which were both wonderful. I had the seafood gumbo (delicious); both friends had the shrimp & grits (also delicious). The romaine salad was great, too. We split the chocolate pudding for dessert -- yummy. My only negative comment would be that the chef added green, red and yellow peppers to the gumbo -- which don't belong in a New Orleans style seafood gumbo. I have had gumbo many times in New Orleans, and never found big chunks of multi-colored peppers in it. Except for that minor point, all was great."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We have been to Elite many times over the years. With twin girls, we visit the city now less frequently. But, when we're on the Filmore, it has always been one of our first considerations. The last two visits, however, have resulted in very long waits for the kitchen to prepare our food. The wait staff has always been nice, and the food is always great. Yet, the wait is much too long, especially during this last visit, when we were just about the first folks to be seated at 5pm, and with an almost empty restaurant, it's inexplicable why it should take 40 minutes to begin our meal. Unless that changes in the future, it is not likely Elite will continue to be one of our first choices on the Filmore."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The food was good, the service was very friendly. Nothing spectacular, just good."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "My wife and I returned to The Elite Cafe after 25 years of exile in L.A. and found the high quality of the food essentially undiminished: terrific Louisiana favorites, a well selected wine list, and desserts to die for. The ambiance is still tasteful and relaxed even if the noise level approaches that of a heavy metal rock concert. I miss the oyster bar, but the oysters are still available from the menu. The b-b-q shrimp has been demoted to the starter menu, but the jambalaya is still a rich blend of seafood, sausage, rice and veggies, served in its own cast-iron pan with enough food for a party of four. The server was wonderfully attentive. A loud bur wonderful experience."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Saturday Brunch was very crowded, but the food was very good. Great menu, though WHO can get past the Meetinghouse biscuits? With biscuits, banana muffins and beignets we could've been completely satisfied! Though we all ordered breakfast items, and all were delicious. Servers friendly though had to crawl all over bodies to get to table. We would definitely would go back, especially for the biscuits and baked goods!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "An absolute gem. Always enjoy dining here. It's crowded. Advance reservation is highly recommended. Because of crowd waiter has limited time. Advice. Order everything you anticipate to eat and drinks. Then food and drinks will come when ready. Otherwise you can wait for 15-20 minutes if you want another appetizer or drink!!!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Great New Orleans cuisine Gumbo and red beans and rice. Wonderful. New will be back. Very energetic inside"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I've had drinks at Elite Cafe a couple of times but this was my first meal. I can't believe I've been depriving myself of the best biscuits in the world! They truly melt in your mouth. The mussels are massive and so tasty with the addition of the sausage. (Non-meat eaters can get them without the sausage as my friend did.). The untraditional New Orleans BBQ shrimp and beet salad were super yummy. I'm glad the waiter steered me toward the sweet potato fries instead of the mac n' cheese, which he thought would be too heavy with the mussels. The fries were good but I usually prefer mine just a tad thicker. I usually stick to wine but opted for the pomegranate lemonade. Delicious! I can't wait to return."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The Elite Cafe has been around for over twenty five years, and is still a very popular and lively restaurant specializing in New Orleans cuisine. The food is good, not great, but the lively atmosphere and booth seating option for more privacy make it a fun place to go with friends."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Looking for a Fat Tuesday loud vibrant scene and some Californian take on Cajun offerings come on down!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Really amazing comfort food Spectacular service, I even got dessert."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Our waiter this evening attentive, we had to aske other waiters for water, more coffee and he did not come back after giving us the desert menu. We have dined at the Elite before and had gareat service."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "New Management? Maybe because of Valentine's Day. The service was very slow and we left before finishing the gumbo. The gumbo was very spicy although this was not indicated on the menu. Not New Orleans or even Mobile, Alabama style. More like a hot spicy seafood soup. I've been coming to the Elite Cafe forever - so long ago I can remember when it was the Asia Cafe. I don't think I will go again. We sent the gumbo back and didn't stay for dessert. Paid about $210 for the two of us including gratuity and one drink. The money is not the issue - just felt like we were shuttled in and shuttled out. The waiter never came back to our table….so we left and will try to get our New Orleans appetite's fed at Brenda's in the morning."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I went for the pecan pie, but after we started with the Meetinghouse Biscuits, I followed that with the Macaroni & Cheese and was too full to get the pie! The biscuits are keepers and I suggest you try them! LOVED the cozy little booths - very intimate dining. I met a friend for drinks, but of course we had to try the menu. The place was fairly empty when I arrived for our 5:30 reservation, but by the time we left it was full and fairly noisy. Not necessarily unpleasantly so, just sounded like a lot of people having a good time."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Elite is a go-to for us in the neighborhood. The menu is varied enough that everyone can find something to enjoy, and cocktails are out of this world. Service is efficient and friendly, and the ambiance is low key but stylish, cool and lively."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "I have only one complain about the Elite Cafe and that is the discrepancy between a good glass of chardonnay for $12(ish) and a mediocre glass of chardonnay for $8(ish). There are fabulous inexpensive chardonnays available and to waste the food at the Elite on a mediocre glass of wine, is a crime. However, there are those of us who have to choose between an amazing meal and more than one glass of decent wine."
    Dined on 6/8/2013
  • "The waiter asked what we wanted to order without giving us enough time to peruse the menu. We ordered a cocktail and an appetizer. He took away the wine glasses. During this time, the waiter came several times and asked if we had decided what we wanted to order for dinner. After ordering dinner and wine, the waiter brought wine glasses and the wine -- at that point we had not even gotten to the half way point of our cocktail. It was not a good wine tasting experience because it interfered with the cocktail. We felt very rushed. We were there from start to finish -- in and out the door -- in exactly one hour. There were few people in the restaurant so we know that someone was not waiting for our table."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Nice dining experience. I like our food and the drinks are strong. Really lovely place to dine at and we will certainly come back to try other things. You have to try their biscuits if you eat here. It's amazing. Having been to New Orleans before, I thought the food served here is pretty legit. The decor is kind of ole school retro. Not too many restaurants have those dining booths anymore. We love it."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "There's nothing particularly wrong with this place. Nothing particularly good either. The waitstaff drops dishes too often and they seem irritated. But they get their jobs done. The food is somewhat tasteless, but edible."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I always enjoy Elite Cafe. The biscuits are amazing, I ask for honey with them. Everyone at our table enjoyed their food....salmon, shrimp johnnycakes, and the jambalaya was fabulous. My only complaint was that they do not give free refills on drinks (club soda). It just seemed like such a small thing, yet turned off everyone at our table."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Excellent red beans and rice,brisket, and gumbo. We will be back...highly recommended"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Elite Cafe never misses the mark for truly exceptional New Orleans style food. The Jambalaya is superb and don't forget to order some biscuits to go along."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Everything on the brunch menu is delicious...especially the beignets! Mmm I'm salivating just thinking about them!"
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "The Elite has become our pre-Christmas dinner place over the last several years, now a family (and friends) tradition. The New Orleans & Low Country menu is terrific all the way around, proving to me that a well-done Southern kitchen dishes up the great American cuisine."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "great meal every time. the biscuits are amazing. gumbo and hush puppies also magical. other in our group had the brisket which was perfectly tender."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "We are long time Elite Cafe fans. We keep hoping the flavors will rival the early days. The second incarnation is more sustainable, less classic Cajun/creole, "lighter". But Redfish Caroline used to bring me to tears. Hoping for more raw bar choices than just oysters. Bar is fun, waiter was great when we were there last weekend."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "We visited the Elite Cafe for our annual post Xmas eve service dinner. Seated in a booth, we were promptly brought water and then the rest of the evening, service and food delivery were spotty and disjointed. We ordered "snacks" with our cocktails. We were well through the cocktails and the snacks never came, so we sought to get the waiters attention to cancel the snacks and to have him just bring us our appetizers and entrees, and he told us the snacks were now ready. We had them, then waited a long time before our salads came out. We had a similarly long wait for our entrees and desserts. The waiter told us there was a "problem" in the kitchen he had just been alerted to, but for most of the dinner we felt forgotten."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "The Elite Cafe was great fun. The atmosphere was festive, the food was very good, and the service was good particularly given that the restaurant was quite busy. The meetinghouse biscuits are to die for, the oysters were wonderful, and the jambalaya and salmon risotto very good."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "Fabulous oysters and etoufee! And where else will you find fried okra and collard greens in San Francisco?"
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "The Elite Café combines New Orleans style cuisine with California fresh ingredients. My husband had the jambalaya, which he raved about. I had the roast chicken, which came with an outstanding goat cheese and tomato pudding. The chicken quarter was roasted perfectly, on the bone with crispy skin. Do not miss an order of Meetinghouse biscuits (4 for $5, although they gave us 5). They are flaky and buttery, crispy at the edges and just divine. They offer them raw/frozen to go, although at $35 for 24, that's pretty expensive for biscuits! The service was friendly and prompt without being overbearing. We were there early on a Sunday night and it was crowded, but we were seated promptly. Cocktails are great, wine list is comprehensive."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "love the private booths; authentic Nawlins food; best bloody Mary outside the Crescent City; only difficulty is finding a parking spot!"
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "We had our small office dinner party there, and the Elite Cafe was awesome all the way -- they were super cool over the phone, straightforward and accommodating. The experience while we where there was so great -- the food was top notch, the restaurant interior and the service are really classy and welcoming. They have booths on the side that look really nice for a romantic dinner. Thank you for a great time!"
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "Old school SF atmosphere. Wonderful food - New Orleans dishes with slight SF twist. Attentive service. Love the booths. Drinks are as they should be - short and stiff."
    Dined on 12/10/2013
  • "Great New Orleans style restaurant wonderful gumbo"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Elite Cafe is a nice neighborhood restaurant on Fillmore. It is a great neighborhood near Pacific Heights only a few minutes from Union Square and the Financial District. This is definitely a local place not frequented by tourists. The food is good to very good, the wine list is good and the drinks are great. The service is friendly. At times parking can be a challenge if you can't find a spot on the street, the CA Pacific hospital parking lot a few blocks away always has space in the evenings."
    Dined on 11/26/2013