Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.04mi
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  4. Distance: 0.27mi
  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi
  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

About Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

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.

398 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French, Californian

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

Cross Street:
Gough

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 551-1590

Website:
http://www.absinthe.com/

Catering:
Please call for more details.

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.

Executive Chef:
Adam Keough

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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

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.

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (96)
Good for a Date (75)
Special Occasion (72)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (70)
Fit for Foodies (66)
Romantic (52)
Handcrafted Cocktails (45)
Good for Anniversaries (43)
Vibrant Bar Scene (41)
Fun (37)
Good for Birthdays (36)
Authentic (36)
Cozy (35)
Bar Seating (32)
Hot Spot (31)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Great for Lunch (26)
Great for Brunch (25)
Notable Wine List (25)
Casual (24)
Comfort Food (21)
Business Meals (19)
Worth the Drive (19)
Good for Groups (18)
People Watching (18)
Quiet Conversation (16)
Sunday Lunch (15)
Late-night Find (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Local Ingredients (12)
Seasonal (10)
Healthy (9)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Organic (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Tasting Menu (4)
Afternoon Tea (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Great Beer (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Spicy (1)
Waterfront (1)
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5306 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

Absolutely wonderful.
Haggar, Martine & Ramsey are stars !!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Foods good but service lacked. Had to waive waiter down for everything. Didn’t bring bread or water.

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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Lovely pre-theatre meal with friends. Great service, nice table
in the corner, no rush on a Sunday night.
Wait staff very knowledgeable and helpful with wines.
Food was wonderful....except for the fries--what happened there?
Not as crispy and yummy as I remembered.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

While we have been here for dinner several times, this was our first brunch. The dungeness scramble was outstanding.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

This is my favorite place for lunch before going to the ballet. The food is delicious. The service is great. We eat here every chance we get. Thank you!

Tags: Special Occasion, Organic, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

We love Absinthe. The ricotta stuffed French toast & Dungeness crab scramble were delicious as always. Don’t miss the potatoes with onion jam!
The service is always attentive but not cloying. We love the ambience. Returning next week before the ballet!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

We have been going to ABsinthe for years before the ballet. While the food is still excellent, we were so disappointed in the very dark lighting (like being in a cave) and the noise level. They no longer have white tablecloths and that has contributed to the noise level. I don’t know what happened to the lighting but it is now so dark that it is unpleasant. After being loyal patrons for years, we we will not go again. It was very hard to have a conversation and that defeats the purpose of dining out with friends. So disappointing and sad.

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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

This was our first visit after more than 3 years in SF and we will definitely be back!

Tags: Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Naples)·Dined 5 days ago

Amazing food and service
Try the octopus

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

As a solo diner it was very clear that I was being rushed to turn the table. My entree came out as I was 1/2 into my salad and they thought it was OK to just leave it on the table and suggest it came out faster then expected.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Food and service, as always, very, very good. A favorite. But the noise level, even at this lunch time was way over the top, way beyond "energetic," even in the second room with a lot of other seemingly retired folks going to the symphony at 2 in the afternoon. Please, please, get some softer sound absorbing surfaces in there. Quite of few of my friends who regularly dine before the opera or a jazz concert will no longer go here, despite the good food, because it is so difficult to carry on a conversation. While the bar seems to attract the 30-somethings, much of the dining crowd seems to be older. Make it more pleasant for us older folks who like to converse while we eat and prevent the 30-somethings from losing their hearing, as well as try to meet OSHA standards on noise level for your staff. Next time I come, I plan to bring a deciblemeter and if the sound is as high as I think it is, report the workplace hazard of high noise level to OSHA.

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food4
ambience1
service4
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 7 days ago

Great place to celebrate a Birthday!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2018

I have enjoyed the restaurant for many years, however this visit was disappointing the Host at the desk was a but surly and the service and dropped considerably. Hope you iron things out after the renovation and return to the gracious service I have always enjoyed.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2018

I have eaten at Absinthe before, and found the food amazing (and the desserts unbelievable). This time we went for brunch, and it was, well, underwhelming. Unfortunately Absinthe has fallen for the can't be bothered to think our own thing up so let's do what everyone is doing that good bacon can be improved upon by slathering it with sugar. IMHO, CANDYING BACON MAKES IT TASTE LIKE CRAP. And adding sugar to onions to "caramelize" them is a lousy shortcut that gives you a weirdly sweet taste. It isn't rocket science to caramelize onions, all you have to do is cook them slowly and for awhile, then the NATURAL sweetness comes out. If you can't be bothered to do them correctly, just saute or grill the damned things and get it over with.

My friend had much better luck with her seafood scramble, tho she didn't much care for what looked like a frise salad.

Then there were the desserts. I had the Vacherin "Creamsicle" which was die and go to heaven worthy, and my friend had a scoop of raspberry sherbert.

So would I recommend Absinthe for brunch? Maybe, but likely not. I would suggest it as a great place for dessert and coffee or tea tho, and defnitely for dinner when the stuff that "everybody's doing" is not in sight.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Miami)·Dined on February 10, 2018

There is no point making a reservation at this place if one has to stand in a long line of drop ins. We came in at the appointed time, and I walked to the hostess, after making sure that the people waiting did not have reservations. She, politely but firmly told us to go back to the end of the line which had gotten even longer by thus time.
Food was fair. Server was excellent.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Miami)·Dined on February 8, 2018

I’m from Texas met a friend who lives in the neighborhood. I thought it was a little pricy for what it was but I guess that’s SF it was an enjoyable. Would have been nicer if had a comfortable place I had a reservation to wait bar was full no seats bar tenders could have been friendlier a little arrogant but our waiter was nice

Tags: Fun
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Delicious food and excellent service! I went solo, which was fine, but I’d definitely share the experience with someone next time.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2018

The food was outstanding. The octopus was the best I have ever tasted.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2018

Had a wonderful lunch. Great burger and fries. Very good Campari and soda.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

It was our Anniversary, and we had a great meal! Special thanks to our waiter, Patrick, who was excellent!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Excellent service and good cadence to the pace of courses. Timely, but not rushed.
While the food is prepared perfectly; not over or under cooked, the menu lacks originality and uniqueness. Good if traditional, safe cuisine is what your'e looking for. Cocktails are a highlight.

Good for "before the theater meal".

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Notable Wine List
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

The service was very attentive and unobtrusive. Food was good and wine/bar selection extensive.

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Very consistent. I really like everything about Absinthe except the potatoes they serve with the eggs. Yuck.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We had a brunch here before a matinee of the SF ballet. My husband said that the hamburger he ordered was one of the best he had ever eaten. I enjoyed a very good crab scramble with artichoke hearts and asparagus. I noticed that the artichoke hearts were not the canned and pickeled type, but still tasty and of a good texture. We will eat here again when ever we are in San Francisco for an event nearby.

Tags: People Watching, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Absinthe is one of my favorite SF restaurants---great food, good drinks, excellent service, and not so loud as to impede conversation. My date was experiencing Absinthe for the first time, and he loved it too. Absinthe is an expensive restaurant but you get good portion sizes, fresh and imaginative food, and a great overall experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2018

We have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed. The food is great, the service is great and this time we got to sit in the third room which is quiet!

Tags: People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2018

Have always like Absinthe but they were really off this night. Bad service and very average food. Cod too oily and coq au vin way too salty. Waitress kept disappearing and was totally indifferent.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2018

We were extremely disappointed when a table of 9 or 10 sat down next to us - and - the volume of their talking was so loud, we could not speak or hear each other. So, we just sat and ate our food. The restaurant should NOT have large parties seated to couples who are on a date. Unfortunately the group arrived after we had been seated. So, what we expected to be a really great experience turned out being awful. I think your noise rating should also have a choice "destroy my hearing."

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food5
ambience2
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Great. Always

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Still a wonderful place in Hayes Valley...thank you

Tags: Seasonal, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Quick Bite, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Great bar staff. Beautiful rooms . Or dinner was lovely and super kind host gave us a great table.
We always enjoy Absinthe .

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Got our reservation date wrong but they kindly accommodated us. Dinner was delicious.

Tags: Comfort Food, People Watching, Casual, Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Always good and celebrating a special birthday

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 29, 2018

We tried this restaurant for the restaurant week. However, the menu for the restaurant week is poor. The taste is bad. There is no saving either. I definitely would not come back.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2018

GREAT food (do not miss the pretzel app, DELICIOUS burger and pastas) and the service was very good. The table we were sat at was in a tight, cramped spot by the back door. We noticed many of the tables were strangely situated in that area. Other than that and the fact that we found out we don't love Absinthe in cocktails (pricey lesson at $13 each) I would give this restaurant 5 stars.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Would be nice if there were more non-breakfast items on the brunch menu.

Tags: Casual, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2018

The Coq au Vin was savory and the recommended Merlot blend was just right on the dry scale. Open and communal up front. Very romantic 💏 and dimly lit dining area in the back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Took my mother for an early dinner after a ballet performance. At 5:00 pm, the bar and front room were packed; thankfully, we were seated in the next room, which is a totally different vibe/ambiance and reasonably quiet. Waiter was extremely friendly and pleasant; did a lot of up selling of the menu. The menu is a mix of California-French brasserie; some dishes (octopus on squid ink pasta) are better than others (the oysters were a bit lacking.) Extensive wine list, if a bit pricey. Not the best option in the area, but a reliable option - Absinthe is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Went during restaurant week and made reservations on open table but, when checked in they sever mentioned that they did not take reservations for lunch and it was what available; even after I got a text to confirm and got an email later stating that we missed the reservation.
Anyway it’s been a few years since we came here to eat and the menu seemed to have changed. Had the croque monsieur and it was good and the French onion soup and it was perfect. The only issue was that they got rid of the the thin frites and now they are regular size French fries.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Terrible experience with a cold snotty unfriendly server
No restaurant week menu that many came in for...
Food gone downhill but more expensive

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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

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