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

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.theelitecafe.com/
  • Phone: 4153468400x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Fried Chicken & Live Blues on Monday nights; music from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

    Elite's Oyster Hour Happy Hour Monday - Friday from 4:00pm - 6:00pm and Saturday & Sunday from 3:00pm - 5:00pm

    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 3:00.

    Monday - Friday, our Bar opens at 3:00pm.

    Heated-Outdoor Seating available at all times!
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American, Creole / Cajun / Southern
  • Executive Chef: James London
  • 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 4153468400x
  • Entertainment: Fried Chicken & Live Blues Every Monday Night
    Music featured from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

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.
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Elite Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
77 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (45)fit for foodies (31)romantic (24)great for brunch (21)vibrant bar scene (21)special occasion (19)good for groups (15)hot spot (11)notable wine list (7)kid-friendly (6)great for outdoor dining (5)great for lunch (3)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Pretty bland
    SFfoodmanVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food wasn't really that good. We tried the gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya. None of the dishes would impress anyone who appreciates great, flavorful cajun food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could have been better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Started off great. The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable, and brought me one of my favorite drinks - the cajun martini (if you like spicy and you like martinis, you must get one) Unfortunately it went downhill from there. Ordered the salmon entree and it was overcooked, and more importantly I ended up getting a burger later because I was still hungry. (and I'm not fat or a big guy, the portion was small) Not sure if it was an off night or the chef has changed because I've had great meals there in the past, but I also preferred their prior menu a lot more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • service has declined
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was still great but the service was really bad. The lady that greeted us at the front was very nice and hospitable but and our service was just fine but he seemed rushed and slow at the same time. It actually seemed like the wait staff overall was not happy to be there. I don't know if management or ownership changed but this was noticeable and hard to say that service was really questionable. When you spend over $170 for dinner to expect to have a steak knife when you need one, you expect to have dessert and cappuccino come out at the same time. etc
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Down hill
    HstudVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The food just isn't as good as it used to be. Terrific hostess and waiter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as good as last time
    Mrtuddaz
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Having been before, when I was blown away by the whole experience, this time wasn't as great sadly. The food was a little bland (jambalaya), and the dessert menu was void of the previously wonderful bananas foster. Ambience super, little booths are good but too dark. You can't even read the menu. Overall 6 out of 10
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid choice for dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Went there for dinner with friends. Their booth seating can be a bit tight, but is surprisingly cosy. Life music was a bit loud, but not too bad.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Belated anniversary dinner
    MommyDaddyNightOut
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This was a great, quiet, romantic spot to go for our much-needed belated anniversary dinner. The food was delicious, the servers were very attentive, and the ambience was comfortable and inviting. We'd highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gumbo good. Steak bad.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Very nice staff and clearly enjoyed by a lot of people as evidenced by a non-stop flow of diners. I suspect they went to Elite for the not-quite-southern/not-quite-cajun menu. The bartenders really know their stuff, and the overall pleasant demeanor of everyone there creates a warm feeling in you that is just right for the food on the menu, but without sacrificing a certain sophistication. The corn bread and the biscuits were delicious, and our guests--who are not from the South--absolutely loved the gumbo. I made the mistake of ordering the steak. Never again! I ordered medium and got a well done piece of leather. Dessert was also great. Overall, therefore, I think people should give this place a try--just don't order the steak.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MAJOR 'D'
    louiseknowsVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Too bad, we were looking forward to a change for the better with the new chef imported from one of the Carolinas, only it was a major disappointment. The best thing we were the very delicious deviled eggs and the Meeting House Biscuits. My Seafood Gumbol was a royal mess. The rice was all mixed in where it should have been place just in the center of plate surrounded by a rich Gumbo. It was so flavorless I must have added a tablespoon of hot sauce to bring out what was lacking. The so called Duck Confit Étouffée was no better.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • music and good food
    cheryl
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    We came and sat in a booth and listened to great live blues music and ate fried chicken The best of all. So much fun
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place.
    PrPa
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I've been going to The Elite Cafe for 7 years now. The food is excellent, the service is great, and I love the old-San-Francisco, yet modern, vibe. Great place!!! Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • alracVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    very difficult to hear one another even tho we were in the last booth!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Different but still the same
    KimbafaceVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    I have been a customer for decades and I know there was a recent new chef and menu update. My friend had the Monday night fried chicken special and I had the pork chops. Both dishes were superb. The wine list was impressive and our waiter was attentive and fun. Also had a nice blues duo that played at perfect noise level to still allow for conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cajun in San Francisco
    2foodies
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    We had dinner here the other night because we were talking to friends about New Orleans. The place is cute with enclosed booths. The waitress was helpful with descriptions of food. The cocktails were innovative and delicious. We shared a few different dishes and were not disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for brunch
    travelandeat
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My sister and I went after hearing about the Bloody Mary's. We both ordered the Atomic Bloody Mary's. They were nothing to write home about. Not hot in the least, and became watered down VERY quickly. The biscuit, while good, was just that, okay. One thing I was VERY happy about was the Beignet I ordered, one of the best I've ever had. Food was good, but again nothing extra special. Overall I'm sure it would be good for a meal other than brunch but brunch was nothing special.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CarolSFVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    I go back to Elite every few months becasue I want it to be better. It does not seem to get better. I ordered a salad starter that looked like it was yesterdays produce. We had to beg to get water. We waited for a very long time for our food, but the check came quickly. I could hear and see the dissapointment from the waiter when we did not order wine...thinking about his tip perhaps? Best dish...the mac and cheese. Please Elite, return to your former glory!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So diappointing!
    KTSFVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I made a reservation for my birthday and unfortunately was very disappointed! It used to be my favourite go to place, especially as I live in the area and love the food, cocktails and that I can walk there. I had the same terrible waitress as before, she is very slow and clueless. We asked for black napkins, she never came back with them, until the hostess told us they didn't have any - finally! The drinks took almost 15 mins. and two of us had to send back food, one underdone steak and one cold!!! I hate to say this may be my last time going here, unless they can get it together. Good service should be routine, we had a to try to get someone to stop by our table to get attention - disastrous choice!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bland
    NoSoulintheFOOD
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    For the prices that they charge... our tab for 4 came to $150+ and we didn't have any alcohol. We were lucky that we had a gift card and had to put out very little cash because the service was okay... their biscuits that you had pay for and their Jerry cakes were the only tasteful dishes of the night. The gumbos that my friends had, that I tasted were bland, the breading on my pork chops were brown but the meat was still pink. I will not be going back their unless they would like to change out their cooks and invite me to come back at their expense.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • shrimp and grits
    puckeye
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    If you are looking for great shrimp and grits and can't hop a plane to New Orleans. Go to Elite. Get a side of Lardo cornbread and then beignet for dessert. Save the cost of the air fare. You'll be happy.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Excellent gumbo. Great red beans and rice .....one of our favorites in SF
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Cajun dishes
    NoelNoelVIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    Elite Cafe has an old-San Francisco vibe. We like the wooden booths. They feel cosy and private, although it can get very loud in the restaurant. They do great Gumbo, Jambalaya, Shrimp & Grits, and Rhubarb Crisp. Also tasty salads and surprisingly yummy deviled eggs. They also offer nice non-Cajun dishes. Everyone at our table was happy. We'll be back for sure.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food
    WickedyWackedy
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Good food but a very limited menu for vegetarians and those who do not like spicy foods good bar menu as well
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome experience!
    strawbrygrl13
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Elite can do little wrong, everything was amazing from the moment we stepped in the door until we finished our meal with coffee. The four of us all agreed that the service was exceptional, they anticipated every single need. Atmosphere is top notch. The server and the manager checked in multiple times without being overbearing. We started with their exquisite cocktails and oysters, then all of the dishes that followed were impressive from deviled eggs and biscuits to the gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp & grits, to mac and cheese. My one criticism is that they removed items from the menu since last time. I miss the bbq shrimp and toast, the current shrimp & grits just don't compare. But otherwise, super well done Elite! You are a favorite!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful meal
    capugh
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Dined here on a Saturday night. Nice crowd, great service. We enjoyed some great signature cocktails, the yummy bisquits, my husband had salmon and I had jambalaya. Both were delicious, and just right spicy. We enjoyed the beignets with espresso ice cream for dessert, outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • a1
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    We went for the first time on a Monday ... Fried Chicken and Blues. A delightful evening. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service
    ChrisVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    I'm always a bit hesitant with New Orleans cooking, as I'm from there, so a harsh judge. But Elite Cafe satisfied. I had their jambalaya, which was excellent ... very flavorful and hearty. I look forward to going back some time to try their gumbo.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious every time
    jons
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    This is one of our favorite restaurants in Pacific Heights. So flavorful, rich, and with numerous options that everyone can enjoy. Outstanding cocktails, as well if you like bourbon. Only drawback is service can be spotty
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 50 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 716 reviews are from the Elite Cafe reviews archive.
  • Request not met
    KGoett
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    We requested simply a table outside and didn't have one when we showed up. Hostess said she wasn't sure if we wanted to sit outside or not. It was my only request. She said we would have to wait a long time before we could get outside seating. We were disappointed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An old world treasure
    HannieFoodster
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    A classy find. The original wood panelled booths and the white table cloth service and menu made us feel like we where in 1950's Louisiana. What a treat for me on mothers day. My son was the only 3 year old there for dinner but he enjoyed it too. The turn of the century menu and even the look of the staff totally made it for me. There where a few 'afro-american' mother daughter groups there too, so it was really good cajan food lets say. Genuine - authentic oldworld charm, without the hipsters.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Our party of 4 arrived for brunch on Mother's Day expecting to have some interesting choices for a late breakfast. The choices were very elementary, one kind of pancakes, and a few egg dishes. Two had the seafood benedict, one had pancakes and one an omelet. None were memorable, about one would expect in any generic diner. Our server was doing the best he could. Probably won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service needs an upgrade
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Quickly: Ordered 3 bloody's - got two. The third took 15 more minutes Ordered Oysters - never got them, after flagging the waiter and making sure we would have them BEFORE the food comes. Donuts - took 25 minutes Eventually he brought the oysters and said they are "helping us out" with them - then charged full ($3.50 each) price. Like this place a lot, but they need to up their game.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just ok
    Love2DineVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I was glad to find a place that would seat 8 on a Sat night at 8pm via open table for same day rez. Menu had a variety of standard Cajun/creole dishes. Not as authentic and flavorful as I'm used to so asked for some gumbo file powder which is common to have available when serving gumbo (at least in TX where I'm from) but the waiter (who seemed more like the GM or someone who was familiar with the place) said he had no idea what that was, went to ask and then came back from the kitchen and said the chef had just used the last of it. We were surprised as that's kinda the equivalent of saying he just used all the salt, but it explained the lack of flavor. Biscuits were amazing though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better for brunch
    louiseknowsVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    It's fun to sit at the bar and enjoy a cocktail or two with some bar bites. Deviled eggs are good and so are the crispy French fries. I find brunch is much better than dining in for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not worth your time or money
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    The servers wait until you have your food in front of you before they run off to find silverware for you, even though I'd been waiting over forty minutes for my pasta entree, which wasn't even cooked through. The waiter highly recommended this god awful dish. The staff tried to make it right by bringing me a second version of the same dish instead of asking me if I'd like something else. This meal was a waste of my time and money.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice spot
    cgmone
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Clean. Food was good, and service good and attentive. Place is clean and energetic. Pricing was about on par with the food quality.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice casual but limited menu!
    DinewclassVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Service was excellent as our waitress took special care to assist us in our choices. Noise level is extremely high even when seated in the back of dining room. We requested a booth when made reservations but didn't get it! Ok for better than ur casual places but not for special occasions or if you want to impress guests.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy Eclectic Fare
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    We had a great booth in the back, though the service was somewhat lacking, the food was great and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We'll be back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    CLGCAVIP
    Dined on 4/21/2014
    We arrived rather late and they were very accommodating and welcoming - the food was delicious and nicely presented and they didn't rush us even though we were the last people in the restaurant!
    Special Features:
    Late-Night Find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • EAT FASTER - WE'RE CLOSING
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • NOLA West
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    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.".
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.