Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

4.6
5471 reviews
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$30 and under
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French
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
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 American-influenced brasserie fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Absinthe’s lively bar offers classic and creative cocktails and full menu dining.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French, Californian
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Hours of operation
Mon–Wed 11:30 am–11:00 pm
Thu–Sat 11:30 am–12:00 am
Brunch
Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Sunday Dinner
Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Weekend Dinner
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am
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Phone number
(415) 551-1590
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Adam Keough
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Catering
Please call for more details.
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Cross street
Gough
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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.
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Special events & promotions
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 Stephanie Kimura, 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 Kat Womer at 415-551-1453 or email kat@absinthegroup.com
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Absinthe Private Dining reflects the romantic atmosphere of Absinthe’s main dining room, with whimsical hand-painted murals of the garden of Versailles designed by Willem Racké, plush upholstered furniture, a large century-old, richly framed, pre-1906 earthquake mirror from Blue Rock Inn.

View Private Dining Details
What 5471 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 4 days ago

Unfortunately the food was grossly over-salted, which wasn’t the case with my companion’s meal.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Great place.. love the food and atmosphere... why do I have to leave 50 chararters??

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

We may not be regulars at Absinthe, but they treat us as if we are! They have a great bar area, which is great for atmosphere and people watching. But what's even better is the service -- we've always been delighted at one of their tables in the bar ara (just discovered you can reserve them!), but our server on 6/19 was exceptional. He was informative, professional, charming, and attentive without being intrusive. The hostess was also amazing! She was obviously juggling a lot of different kinds of groups and she kept everyone moving along and made them happy. We'll be back!

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

Was a little disappointed. Asked for a quite table or booth (hearing issue) and got a middle of the room table. Very noisy. There were better tables that were available in the dining room but was not offered. Oh well. French soup was good but the ribeye was average.

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4.0Dined on June 17, 2018

This visit was a little disappointing from the food standpoint. The service and ambience were excellent. I have been to Absinthe several times though not recently. I usually am in a situation were I order a first and second course and often dessert. But on this occasion both my friend and I had already had a large meal earlier in the day and we just ordered a main course. For some reason nothing jumped out as a must try so we both ordered the salmon. I often request my salmon on the rare side but forgot to ask when ordering. When I next saw the server I asked him to relay this message with my order. He said no need, they prepare the fish medium rare and it would not be over cooked. It was overcooked. Though it had a nice potato crust and was good quality fish it was dry and it needed a sauce. The side salad was tasty but an uninspired accompaniment. So, while I usually like this restaurant, this time I was disappointed.

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2.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Had to check back with hostess regarding when we'd be seated a couple times past reservation time. Felt we'd been abandoned at the bar. Overall service was mediocre.

Bar area was excessively crowded. Many in bar looked like they had just returned from hikes or a day at the beach. Not the night life ambience it used to be.

Overall ok destination if you have an event in the area - opera or symphony, etc. But I would not make it the focal point for an evening out or a date.

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4.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Wonderful, As Always! I eat there often before performances at the Opera House and Symphony Hall. It is always wonderful. The food is delicious, the service good and the ambience is fun. I recommend it!

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2.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Went for Father’s Day brunch. Overall, the food was decent. The one problem that I cannot get over is that I asked my waitress if they offered any child / kids meals and she said they cold make a pasta with butter for my 2 kids under 4 years old. The dish was not spectacular, just regular pasta shells in butter. When the check came, they charge me $16 for this dish, which is the same price as regular brunch entrees. I felt that charging me $16 for a kids pasta dish was a bit ridiculous and asked my waitressing this was correct. She confirmed with her manager that they would not do anything about it. I politely paid the bill and left.

My feedback is that the food is nothing spectacular anymore, Chez Mama and other options are better. Also, $16 for a kids pasta just sealed the deal for me to never go back.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

We expected a casual no big deal post concert dinner and while the atmosphere was very comfortable the whole experience far surpassed expectations. Food, especially my scallops with pea pure and, genius!, toasted hazelnuts, was excellent. Patric, our waiter really made our evening with his friendly upbeat presence and professional service. The decor is fun Boho but not in least bit tawdry as wannabe French can get. A really excellent find!

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

My husband and I had a great dinner, and the atmosphere was lively and sophisticated. We will definitely go back, and would recommend it to our friends.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Delicious food. Very good service. A must when in the area.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Outstanding, creative, beautifully prepared food served in one of the City's most beautiful restaurants - elegant, vibrant, polished, and casual, all at the same time - it's a restaurant that you can fall in love with -

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2.0Dined on June 16, 2018

We've been going to Absinthe for over 20 years but the last couple of times have been disappointing. The service was both rushed and our waiter tended to run away before we were actually done ordering. He never told us about any specials and we observed him giving other diners better service. The menu has become dull and dated with not a lot of choices and the prices are simply overpriced for the quality and service. Although we love the atmosphere and the booths, there are now so many choices in the neighborhood to choose from to dine at before a show, I doubt we will be returning to Absinthe.

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4.0Dined on June 15, 2018

While our meal was well-prepared and the service was up to the usual standard, we were very disappointed to see the ceviche and seasonal soup dropped from the menu. We always looked forward to both when we dined at Absinthe and hope they soon will be restored.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

A very cool San Francisco spot in a fun neighborhood. The pork osso bucco was very very good.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Absinthe always delivers great food and ambiance. Wonderful for pre-concert dining.

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4.0Dined on June 13, 2018

I had dinner for the first time at Absinthe, dining alone. In some places, a solo diner does not feel welcome (or at least, might feel ignored). Not here -- the service was was very good and no different from what other tables received. I had the coq au vin -- it was a good portion, and very tasty. I started with the hearts of romaine, which was nicely dressed. The room is charming. The only drawback might be that the menu is a bit limited.

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4.0Dined on June 11, 2018

This lively french restaurant does a good job with their limited menu. Cocktails are well-prepared. It can be extremely noisy and tables in the front room are very close together. Request a table in the back room if you want to have any conversation.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

We chose this place because of its proximity to concert venues. Also had been wanting to go for a long time. They change the menu seasonally and have a nice mix of Italian, Spanish, and California farm to table style options. Good wines by the glass and beer on tap options as well. We did not experience their specialty Absinthe-based cocktails but there are many options that looked wonderful! Good ambience, and they did a good job helping us get out in time for our show.

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3.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Food was ok, but pricy. Service was a bit slow, but our waitress was nice about it. Menu could have had more to offer. Sauces were OK, not great.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Wedding Anniversary. Server was attentive without being intrusive. Food was excellent.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Busser Eddie gave excellent service and was very attentive!

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

We walked into a very noisy and fun loving bar area, thinking they would never be able to seat us. Low and behold, the Open Table Reservation pulled through again. We were ushered into a divine room: quiet and beautifully decorated. We had a delightfully experienced server who answered any questions we had. The wine was brought quickly and our dinner brought to us timely as we were going to a performance. The waitress had asked us if we were going to one and that bit of information gave her a clue as to our timing.

We had lovely fresh and light dinners...exactly as we wished! We finished just in time to walk over to Davies Symphony Hall.

We will be back!!!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

One of our favorite downtown SF restaurants. Very reliable, consistent food and service with some menu options beyond the standard fare.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Dined during Negroni Week, loved the cocktails, also very good salmon tartare, also excellently prepared salmon filet with a crisp potato crust, all around well received, definitely will be back.

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3.0Dined on June 8, 2018

First dinner alone together as husband and wife. Good food and nice atmosphere. Not to complain too much but we felt slightly neglected by our server. At one point the bus person brought us the dessert menu because we were waiting for the server to return from where ever he went off to. Overall nice experience but the server just seem uninterested and inattentive.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

As always, fab. Don't think you can go wrong with anything on menu. And you'll have a hard time choosing what to order.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

The food was outstanding! The new chef is a 10!

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2.0Dined on June 7, 2018

I was noisy. Service was slow. We paid $190 and the meal was not memorable as I would expect for the reputation and the price.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Absinthe has great food, wine and a fun and lively atmosphere for dinner. The service was friendly and professional. We hadn't been to Absinthe in years and am glad to have rediscovered this gem so close to SF Jazz and Davies.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

They had a special appetizer of thin slices of ham and super soft burrata cheese and greens and hazelnuts and an apricot sauce and sweet pieces of plum. Somewhat deconstructed and each element was a pleasure. Very light and perfect for springtime

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

The overall experience was fantastic. We celebrated a birthday and all enjoyed different meals. The service was attentive and friendly. It’s a great place to celebrate anything. But, probably better enjoyed with a more intimate group. The bar area is a little louder, but the other room is quieter.

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4.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Service is very good. Food is ok. Value is ok too, as we are in SF.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Incredible!!! Always the best.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Everything we ate at Absinthe was very rich and extremely delicious. Quintessentially country French cuisine. Great wine list. Fantastic desserts. Haven't eaten there in a while but we had such a great experience that we plan to go back more often. Great neighborhood as well. We enjoyed walking around both before and after dinner.

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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

As usual, everything was wonderful! Enjoyed the Thursday duck special and service was excellent. Will say though, little light on the wine serving for the price.

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4.0Dined on May 31, 2018

Special occasion was Thursday SF Symphony combined with duck offering.

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4.0Dined on May 31, 2018

The staff here is outstanding, friendly and accommodating. Great bar scene, wonderful food both in the restaurant or simply having cocktails and bar food. I highly recommend this charming french bistro

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4.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Enjoyed a relaxing meal at a quiet table. Staff was very attentive. They food was excellent would definitely go back again.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Everything was delicious and the portions were generous.

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