Elite Cafe
Elite Cafe

Elite Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.theelitecafe.com/
  • Phone: (415) 346-8400
  • 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
84 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (59)fit for foodies (41)vibrant bar scene (21)great for brunch (20)special occasion (20)romantic (18)hot spot (13)good for groups (10)notable wine list (7)great for outdoor dining (7)late-night find (6)kid-friendly (4)great for lunch (3)Show More
  • Overpriced for the experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Found a vegetable tie in our food. The response was too relaxed and joking about it. They only offered to bring out an additional item and when I declined the removed that item from the bill. I think a further gesture would have been appropriate, a complimentary desert, etc; The service did not match the high prices you will find at this establishment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lousy service at Elite Cafe
    2090B
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    We were assigned to a table in a confined space, close do the kitchen entrance, very noisy. The green salad we ordered came without any dressing. We waited 25 minutes for the main dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always good for brunch!
    HungryHunter
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Elite Cafe is great for a Sunday brunch. If you're looking for a carbo load they have it! If you're looking for a light, gluten free breakfast, they have it! MAKE A RESERVATION.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is a MUST for every visit to SF
    BellaDonna
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The Elite Cafe is nothing short of fabulous on all counts! New chef has added some great new items. The Tuna Crudo was heavenly!! Sit in Jeremy's section he is the best waiter there by far. Drinks are always good and the St. Germain drop is a welcome addition.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Taste of New Orleans in SF
    SweetCheeks
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Sitting in one of the old wooden booths added to the already amazing classic dining experience. The food, including Seafood Gumbo and Smoked Chicken Jambalaya, was excellent. The seafood was fresh and not overcooked. The smoked chicken added a fragrant and tasty smokiness to the jambalaya. The classic cocktails were well done. Oh, and do not forget to order the biscuit (we had to have a second order).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Send the kitchen some coffee
    SweatyVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The cooks here are bored. NOLA food without seasoning ? WTF. Good drinks, nice atmosphere. The kitchen is falling asleep. This place used to remind me of going home and my friends now it reminds me of my grandmother living in assisted care with a Yankee cook.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Booths are the best
    Basia
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Hearty food, nice ambiance, too loud for any business dinner meeting.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood Oldie
    SarasotaLadyVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Since moving to the neighborhood two months ago I have passed the Elite Cafe many times. Finally last Friday we invited two friends to join us and they knew it well and even had been there very recently. The recommended the Jambalaya and I was not disappointed. The serving was generous and not too spicy but a bottle of hot sauce was put on the table in case you like a bit more kick. My husband had the steak and said it was delicious along with the Cajun fries. I will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good music, OK food
    jakkleinVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I've been going to the Elite for years, off and on. Unfortunately, while it has a great ambiance and some fine music, the food just doesn't hold up. The squid was clearly frozen (and so small you could hardly see it), the etouffe was OK (very salty), and the gumbo just without flavor. I can't recommend it.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Biscuits are great! Great selection of oysters. Very romantic and charming. Service is always good and knowledgable about menu. Good bar and wine selection.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An institution that is still great
    UncleFredpicks
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Southern food with a California twist - fresh ingredients and great preparation. Been there forever it seems and has not lost a beat. Brunch is great - you can reserve a table from 10 to 10:30 am seating for brunch, so beat the line and reserve with OT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood gem
    MP1021
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Love Elite Cafe. I have eaten here several times and will continue to come back and recommend to others. Great food, service, ambiance and location. The Meeting House biscuits are outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    When ever I visit San Fran this is the spot I always bring my friends. The Food and atmosphere has always been amazing. The service sometimes can leave you wanting more, but when you are focused on your table of friends it tends to go less noticed.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Food was great. New Orleans inspired but still had lots of gluten free choices. Good variety of cocktails. Service was somewhat sporadic and it is pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun and energeric
    ANITAVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    There was a combo playing the night we there, very good. I love the booths and the drinks were interesting and very tasty. We all had the Jambalaya, I found it to be bland the tow others liked it. Waiter was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 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 2014
    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.
    PairingsFreak
    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
    cherylVIP
    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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 57 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 731 reviews are from the Elite Cafe reviews archive.
  • 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.