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  5. Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF, San Francisco, CA

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

4.7
4.7
6968 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
We are currently accepting reservations for lunch, brunch, and dinner.


Effective 09/26/2022:
Outdoor seating will not be available.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 32 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Cuisines
    French, Californian
  • Hours of operation
    Brunch Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Wed–Fri 11:30 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (415) 551-1590
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Executive chef
    Ian Begg
  • Neighborhood
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cross street
    Gough
  • Parking details
    No valet. Street parking and nearby public lot located on Grove between Franklin and Gough.
  • Additional
    Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 6,968 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Francisco

    French

6,968 Reviews
  1. MinaC

    Portland

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our server was one of the best ever- made the delicious meal even better

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  2. CeciliaJ

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall2food1service3ambience4
    The food was not good, Onion soup was so sweet, not savory, and the beef tartare was not good at all with a quail egg and really none of the typical french flavors.

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  3. KathrynN

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Good overall but would have appreciated being offered a table on the center room vs the back room.

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  4. LoverOfGoodFood

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service3ambience4
    Seems Absinthe has gone back to its original menu which I am very pleased about. I had not been happy with the menu choices or the food. This pass year has been wonderful.

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  5. KierT

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on September 22, 2023

    overall2food1service5ambience4
    The onion soup was full of bread, not onions. The escargot was overcooked.

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  6. Furdo

    San Francisco

    37 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on September 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food, delightful ambiance, excellent wait staff. It is always a pleasure to dine at Absinthe.

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  7. DrDave

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on September 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is a long-standing favorite, especially before an opera performance. Staff is always engaged and engaging and the food universally delicious. Be advised, this is a French restaurant, so, other than maybe the oysters, green salad, and ratatouille, most dishes are going to be quite rich (if you want escargot, for example, it comes in puff pastry, or if you choose "puree of potatoes," there's going to be a lot of cheese on top. But it is all DELICIOUS! In addition to an amazing wine list, the bartenders are also expert mixologists.

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  8. JUDITHK

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on September 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absinthe never disappoints. The menu is always interesting and allows you to choose a course which you wouldn't think of as a normal main course but due to their large portion is totally fine. If you are really hungry, start with their famous Onion Soup and keep eating down the menu til you reach desert. My fave is the Pot de Cream. Your reservation is always honored on time and the service is always excellent. It is not low budget but a great place to celebrate any occasion.

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  9. Coastone

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed our birthday dinner for 5. Very comfortable circle table in the corner. Very good food and service.

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  10. Silverstreak

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2023

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Food was delicately prepared, delicious and almost too beautifully presented to eat.

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  11. 1civiccenterlibrarian

    San Francisco

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absinthe is, and continues to be, one of the finest restaurants. Delicious, delightful service, great ambiance.

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  12. raph

    Sacramento

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing as always! Delicious gin cocktail, succulent oysters, and an amazing tartare.

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    There weren’t a lot of vegan options but the chief made one for me that was outstanding and very much appreciated! Thank you!

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  14. RobertG

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on September 14, 2023

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    We were fortunate to arrive at 7pm just in time for a mass exodus by patrons going to the Van Morrison Jazz Festival concert. The result was a lightly crowded dining room and attentive service. As expected the food was very good. The only downside (hardly unique to any good restaurant in SF these days) was the expense. 3 people, 1 bottle of $92 wine lead to a total bill (including a 20%+ gratuity) of $466!

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  15. yunk

    San Francisco

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on September 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absinthe never fails to impress us. dinner for 5 last night was spectacular .Petrale Sole , Crispy Squid , Tuna Carpaccio , Duck Confit Salad ... so good. Service was excellent , as usual .... great wine selection . Great Restaurant before SFJAZZ !

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  16. RichardR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    very pleasant ambience. seated on time. food excellent. service prompt. not too crowded. it It's just that Uber doesn't know that Hayes street, although closed past Gough on the weekends, a left hand turn can be made from all lanes so the drivers can pull up to the restaurant instead of stopping 200 feet back on Hayes. Had a ride cancell me because I didn't realize the driver had stopped down the street

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  17. JWD3

    San Francisco

    43 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2023

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Service was spotty and tried to bill me for 2 bottles of wine. It was okay overall but not outstanding.

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  18. Savvy

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and service is always impeccable whether dining at a table or at the bar.

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  19. JanC

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was the first time I had been to Absinthe since Covid. It did not disappoint. I had a simple meal of champagne, green salad and Petrale Sole. It was superb. I have been going here for years and it was even better than expected!

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  20. MaryC

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We've eaten here many times over the years, but not since the pandemic started. It has not lost a beat, and in fact it was the best meal we've ever had there.

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  21. Mark

    Sacramento

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2023

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The classic dishes of ratatouille and sole meunière were excellent!!

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  22. Nn17

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, prompt and friendly professional service.

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  23. Cdog

    Greater Boston

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Food was delicious. Had not been there for several years. Will go back.

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  24. KateC

    San Francisco

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on August 25, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic evening! Delicious food and amazing service! Thank you so much! It also was the perfect noise level.

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  25. Sharon

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food and great service! Will be a frequent diner!

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  26. oldschool

    San Francisco

    36 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food and service excellent. Very seasonal. Classics done to a tee.

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  27. Gourmay

    San Francisco

    230 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    230 reviews

    Dined on August 18, 2023

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Been there several times recently. Servers are very professional but messed up on missing a side dish. The softshell crab was terrible. Mushy. A petrole sole was a better choice although uninspired--just piled onto some mash potatoes. The tomato watermelon salad is the best dish I've had there. Fresh ingredients well crafted. Huge portion.

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  28. GFNMD

    Chicago

    109 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    109 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very Sunday good brunch items available. Tasty cocktails. Service was helpful and friendly.

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  29. Exxperienced

    San Francisco

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Since the start of the pandemic we have longed to return to Absinthe! We were not disappointed! Started with delicious fresh oysters, perfect entrees and since it was my birthday, I ordered two pot de creme. Great French wines and a wonderful server. It was a perfect evening!

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  30. RobertK

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A very comfortable restaurant with a lot more space in the seating arrangement than many others. A good choice for the Civic Center/performing arts neighborhood of SF.

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  31. Healdsburg

    New Orleans

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely fabulous dinner-the corn and risotto dish plus the 2rum cocktail a knockout.

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  32. kaykay

    San Francisco

    41 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Initially disappointed not being seated in the main dining room, we actually enjoyed our little table tucked in the corner to the right of the bar. It was intimate, great for people and bar watching and nice and light from the windows. Our server was incredibly attentive with a friendly, humorous approach. The food was wonderful, creative, very enjoyable. The only little tiny critique was that the Lyonnaise salad seemed overly heavy of mushrooms. Scallops were done beautifully, duck was tender and flavorful and well presented with the lentils. We hadn't been for a while and it was quite a treat.

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had not been there in over 15 years an saw it was their 25 anniversary. We we’re celebrating a 70 birthday an the entire moment we walked in till we left was absolutely amazing! Over the top tastes an presentations. We had so much fun an they brought us a gift from the Chief so we could not have been more impressed!!!! 10 stars

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 10, 2023

    overall2food2service4ambience3
    The food just isn’t great. I have been here 50 times. It’s just not a place I’ll go back to again

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  35. RichN

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We celebrated our anniversary with a delicious dinner at Absinthe. We started with a dozen fantastic oysters that were very fresh and sweet followed by the best Salade Lyonnaise in the city. The house cabernet was exquisite and complemented the beef tartar and pomme frites as well as the scallops and octopus. We dined by candlelight and enjoyed excellent service. I can strongly recommend this restaurant for any celebration. They also have a full bar with excellent bartenders.

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  36. MaryH

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2023

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Food was good! Highlight was the agnolotti for sure. Our waiter was kind but kept calling us “ladies”. My husband and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary and I seriously don’t know how my husband looks like a woman. It was really frustrating.

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  37. PaulG

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We eaten here several times over the years. We've always been very happy with the food and service.

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  38. RobertK

    New York Area

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A genuine first straight, full-service restaurant. Professional, comfortable, delicious. The salad Lyonnaise is a stand out.

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  39. MaryD

    San Francisco

    30 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2023

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    We had a fabulous dinner as a couple of couples meeting before a show. Our food was very good, I would recommend the agnolotti and the oysters. Walter was a great waiter! he played alone with our humour and even joined in. We will definitely return.

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  40. monicas

    London

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Cocktail excellent. Glass of wine good. Salad with tomatoes, watermelon, frisée, and French feta cheese terrific. Onion soup correct. Duck good. Petrale sole with mashed potatoes delicious.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF is rated 4.7 stars by 6968 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 32 times today
Google Map for Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

398 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Gough
  • Neighborhood
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Hours of operation
    Brunch Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Wed–Fri 11:30 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Cuisines
    French, Californian
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Parking details
    No valet. Street parking and nearby public lot located on Grove between Franklin and Gough.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Ian Begg
  • Additional
    Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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