Bistro Vida

4.6
1721 reviews
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$30 and under
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French
Established in 1998, Bistro Vida is a neighborhood restaurant inspired by the great Parisian bistro culture and traditions of French cooking. Our mission is to bring the joie de vivre, comfort, and community of the City of Lights to downtown Menlo Park. The name "Vida" the Spanish word for life, was chosen as a toast to the enjoyment of life, love, and food. Each delicious detail of the chic interior from the smart bar to the blackboard menus, the huge cylindrical chandeliers to the long mirrors reminiscent of Left Bank brasseries has acquired a warm patina over the years, evoking restaurant’s inviting personality and sensually infectious, yet unpretentious style. Our market-driven bistro menu is influenced by a variety of French and Mediterranean flavors and celebrates local, seasonal ingredients. We offer simple, traditional French bistro classics, a carefully curated wine selection, and a full bar featuring hand-crafted signature cocktails.
What 1721 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The closest I've felt to a Parisian sidewalk in Silicon Valley! Great ambiance, and the prices aren't bad for the area/what you get. Will definitely return.

GB
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vida is my favorite location for a meal in Menlo Park, whether personal or business. They have never failed to delight!

GB
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Still one of our favorites! I treated myself to steak frites to celebrate completion of a year's worth of dental work. Wonderful!

c
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Honestly the worst service ever. Waited 20 minutes to be given a menu after we were seated Then the server kept forgetting to before bf things to our table . Disorganized and not professional at all

E
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bistro Vida is one of our favorite places and we are frequent diners there. Good food, authentic ambiance, excellent servers, and we highly recommend it.

ST
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Not many authentic French restaurants left on the SF Peninsula. Bistro Vida is a French restaurant treasure. Two of the four in our party had the cassoulet cooked to perfection with wonderfully flavored duck. We ate outdoors at the sidewalk tables on a warm evening and felt like we were in France.

BW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food convenient location great service great atmosphere

p
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently excellent.

D
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I love this place. It's a great neighborhood restaurant. The couscous, salade nicoise, onion soup, mussels tarte tatin, and many other dishes are all consistently very, very good. Lovely staff. And it doesn't feel like Silicon Valley!

CF
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Felt just like we were in Paris sitting at a sidewalk cafe. Staff made the birthday celebration very memorable with great food and service and cocktails! We weren’t rushed one bit even on a busy Saturday afternoon

FC
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Food was not bad, but not something spectacular to write home about either. Solid French cooking is what I would call it. Service was a little spotty during lunch time on a Saturday. It maybe because they were shorthanded or not we’ll-trained. But that gives a little flavor of the Ile de France attitude.

The ambiance has that 1920s Parisian look with sidewalk dining in downtown Menlo Park.

As its name implies, it is a bistro, a neighborhood food spot. I would definitely come back if I’m in the area. But it would not be a destination spot for me.

RM
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant, wonderful atmosphere, delicious food and great variety of French comfort foods. Service was outstanding

J
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been a loyal Bistro Vida fan for almost two decades. Not only is the food superb, and the ambiance (be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner) sensational, but most impressively, owner Ali El Safy and his staff have an uncanny gift of making one feel like part of a glorious extended family. I cannot recommend Bistro Vida highly enough. Thank you, Ali.

AU
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Very nice place, loved the terrace. Service was great and overall we had a very pleasant night. Food was not outstanding but the atmosphere compensated it.

JM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a great dinner outside, service was excellent and the food very good as well!

A
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have some concern that they didn't have macarons for desert because they ran out the day before. They are best served the day they are made and in my experience not worth eating ont the second day. This is an opinion I share with my French friends.

DB
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love the food and service at my favorite Menlo Park restaurant!

CC
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a busy Bastille Day evening so I will cut some slack, although the restaurant was far from full. After being told an outside table was being set for us and waiting several minutes for it, we were then seated inside. But a group that came in behind us and seemed to know the manager was immediately seated outside. Hmm. Ordered oysters for an appetizer. 10 minutes later a different staff member came by and said they were out of oysters. Other appetizers came quickly, then almost 20 minutes later the entrees came. The wait staff was great but there seemed to be some issue in the kitchen.

OT
San Francisco
84 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

this review is for a dinner on Bastille Day which is not your normal dining evening experience. Food was very nice, though for some reason crepes were not an option for dinner. Service was very slow--perhaps because of the # of people as well as big parties--though pleasant/friendly. Rest. was festively decorated and there was a band which was a nice touch. However, the band was too loud and conversation was very difficult. Rest. can be cramped, but this is true French rest. style... Anyways, I would recommend trying the place. The area shuts down early so perhaps come to the area and then dine.

SM
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

I was disappointed there was no mention of Bastille Day. Service was not somewhat slow and unfriendly.

LY
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

it's ALWAYS been my favorite restaurant around here,so i OFTEN frequent it!

BV
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A very fun place to dine! We had a great time with our friends sitting outside enjoying the food and ambiance

BB
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bastille Day was great! Great music, fun people and great food.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s like being at home with much better food than I could ever cook! Ali & his staff make you feel special, welcome and in no rush.

OT
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Bistro Vida is a comfortable, colorful, friendly Parisian neighborhood bistro in the heart of downtown Menlo Park. A nice array of traditional French specialties in a great atmosphere.

DO
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excelllent food and service. Love the decor and atmosphere.

d
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent French food, lots of choices all good excellent service

SS
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect, authentic French bistro — just what one should expect - convivial proprietor, really nice wine list, the right menu, food properly prepared and served, attentive and professional staff, great bar. The world would be a better place if every neighborhood had a Bistro Vida ...

SB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favorite spots to eat. Food is always good service is always good send the overall feel of the place is just special. Great prices for a small Bistro.

p
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently excellent service and authentic French cuisine.

t
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great food , great service and a wonderful patio to sit and sip.

SS
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The owner and all the employees do an excellent job. The welcome is personal, the food is delicious,
and the ambiance is both comfortable and charming.

W
New York Area
157 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Decent if a bit unexciting. Food tends toward the bland.

LC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was delicious and is a great value for your money. Cute little place with a nice atmosphere. Our waiter was adorable and made recommendations that were right on target. The only issue we had was that the service was a bit slow. Thank goodness for the yummy bread and butter, which kept us from becoming grumpy while waiting for our food.

S
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great French classics and charming ambiance. Noisy the night we were there, but could still talk.

s
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a really wonderful time here. Delicious food, attentive service and as close to a Toulouse brasserie as I’ve been to in the US. I took my boyfriend here for his birthday and I felt that it went perfectly.

SF
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently enjoyable. Food quality excellent and true to French bistro cuisine. Owner takes special interest in diners’ experience and makes everyone feel like they are in France for the evening. Keep up the awesome work❣️

DL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

They lost our food order and I don't think handled it very well.

HJ
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food! Great service! The best restaurant in Menlo Park!

OT
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Father's day brunch! Food was amazing as always. Service was a bit slower than normal but we weren't in any rush, so it was ok for our circumstances.

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