Bistro Vida

4.7
2121 Reviews
$30 and under
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 brasseries has acquired a warm patina over the years.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2121 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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GB
vipGeneB
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

As usual, we had a great meal at Bistro Vida. The staff is so great and the kitchen excels in providing tasty and attractive fare. We enjoy the greetings we get from the servers, whether we are at one of their tables or not. We have our favorite selections, but enjoy trying the specials as well. We feel lucky that this restaurant has survived the pandemic's restrictions. Bouquets to Ali, the owner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had such a wonderful dinner! Gretchen was our waitress and she was so kind as was the entire staff. Great food, great drinks (mule was very tasty) and great experience. We loved everything about this place and can not wait to go back for more!!

GM
GaleM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience5

Ambiance and service was excellent. Food disappointing. Under seasoned and overcooked. Nonetheless, we had a great time.

j
jscaliforniafoodie
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my new favorite restaurant in Menlo Park. They have excellent French food that is reasonably priced and very well prepared. They have set up a very comfortable outdoor seating area with red velvet curtains to help retain warmth and create a cozy ambience this winter season.

TK
ThomasK
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great little French cafe, great food, great service.

i
ijiwaruinu
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food! Service was great and friendly! Merci beaucoup!!!

K
Kath
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Bistro Vida has amazing staff. Food is delicious ALWAYS and the menu changes regularly with a new offering! Love it!!! Bistro Vida is our "go to restaurant" in Menlo Park

BL
BenL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

2nd time at Bistro Vida and another wonderful experience. Food is delicious- escargot and fondue to start. Mussels and steak frites for entrees. Plus chocolate cake and creme brulee (which falls into my top 3 ever). Owner even greeted me by first name. Appreciate the attention to detail....

SC
SusanC
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Beef bourguigon and cassoulet wonderful

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor parklet is the nicest I’ve seen. It makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Paris. The service was great. The owner/manager even brought us a glass of wine while we waited for our table. The food was very good. Great place for a date night or gathering with friends.

p
vippaulr
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday.Everything was excellent: the service the food the ambience

SM
ShaunaM
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you'd like to experience a Paris bistro in Menlo Park, this is a must! The service, ambiance, food & beverage is fabulous! Sitting outside is warm and comfortable when it is colder, sitting inside is fabulous as well. I have been here twice in one week and highly recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

A little bit disorganized with the food: taste like ihop but the price doubled ihop.

Service is excellent.

SM
ShaunaM
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So enjoyed my entire experience from start to finish. Excellent service, fantastic ambiance, superb food and wine list! I will definitely be going back and highly recommend!

GB
vipGeneB
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

As usual, we enjoyed our weekend brunch at our favorite local restaurant.
We had outstanding eggs benedict, eggs poached exactly as we specified. The hollandaise was perfect. We would recommend this bistro without reservation for weekend brunch, the soups, sandwiches and delicious entrees.

BA
BayAreaFoodie
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the outdoor space. Great food and service. Charming.

C
vipCathay
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Excellent country French, not haute cuisine. Flavorful without overwhelming the underlying "main act": gentle salting means even those with a BP condition can enjoy this place. Highly skilled prep of scallops made that hor d'oeuvre dish exceptional. Duck confit was a stew treatment with a duck leg (must contend with bone) but was low (visible) fat (recall it is confit) and the sauce + beans made for a satisfying experience. Beef bourguignon was a tad under flavored, but made the beef flavor stand out in contrast. Tarte tatin was a bit of a disappointment. Biggest issue is the awkward bench seating. For a 5'6" to feel she must hunch over to accommodate the low table, while the 6" person sits across in a chair and must look up at the shorter person is a very weird experience. Also the interior was very noisy. Really hard acoustics. Somewhat unpleasant. Ambience is far better on the street (though a bit chilly). Indoor dining was unsuitable for "romantic" or business meetings if you need to hear each other. For the price (we walked out at $75 pp), the owner should work harder on the ambience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Very nice outdoor dining experience.

SM
vipStuartM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We really enjoyed this place. As everyone says, the mussels are terrific. We also had the cassoulet which I really enjoyed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outside seating was the only thing I don’t prefer, but the food and service was excellent.

KP
KathleenP
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Lovely staff.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Romantic and warm setting. Great delicious food wine selection. Slower service on a Saturday night date but perhaps for patrons to not rush and enjoy their experience there. Staff was friendly and quick on their feet.

m
marlin
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The first thing we really enjoyed was their outside area. It was not just a tent with tables and heaters inside. It was actually with long red setting drapes. When we looked out of our "window" we saw a picture of Paris. There were other pictures and they did a great job setting an amazing ambience. Our waiter was friendly, attentive and added to our experience. The food was outstanding. It was the best French onion soup I've ever had outside of France. The main courses we ordered Cassoulet de Toulouse, Bouillabaisse and Boeuf Bourguignon. All were excellent and I would highly recommend this restaurant.

L
Lena
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Our family of 9 celebrated an 80th birthday lunch here and were totally satisfied! From the initial greeting to the farewell send off the service was impeccable and very accommodating. The outdoor dining area was very atmospheric and French.
An interesting menu with something for everyone. We were all happy with our food. I would definitely recommend Bistro Vida.

RP
RichardP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to go to a very good meal and drinks!

WF
vipWoodsideFoodie
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Vida has been our go-to restaurant for consistently tasty and authentic French for years. My wife had the classic beef Beef Bourguignon (excellent) while I had risotto scallops (creamy!). Comfortably warm outside seating, delicious food….you can never go wrong with Vida.

n
nkss
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a chilly day and I needed comfort food in a warm environment. Bistro Vida delivered! We made reservations quickly. We were seated their beautiful inside dining room. The onion soup was the best I've had this side of the "pond". It was perfect. And, our main courses were also delicious! Our waiter helped me chose a glass of wine that was also good! We will be back!

J
Jacqueline
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We were a party of three that have not seen each other for awhile. They allowed us to visit while providing excellent service. Great menu featuring a variety of French food. We all ordered something different and enjoyed our entrees, dessert and coffee.
Can't wait to return!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Good ambiance and service. Food quality was mediocre. Filet Min. Was a bit tough even though it was medium rare.

BH
BrianH
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious! Not sure why so many French options I the area, but this is the best. French Onion soup was perfect.

CE
vipCarlosE
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Busy night but we felt well taken care of and the food and drink were spectacular. Love this place.

DB
DonnaB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Busy nite so it took a while to get food but our server was so gracious and kind and went above and beyond. Food was great as always!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated a birthday with Sunday brunch. It was a very stormy day but the outdoor setup at Bistro Vida is so well planned that we were still able to comfortably sit outside. Our meals were delicious & the service was outstanding. Because I had noted on the reservation that we were celebrating a birthday a delicious profiterole, including a candle, was delivered to our table after we had finished our main courses. We will definitely be returning to Bistro Vida!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Ali was fabulous he kindly accommodated 3 schedule changes and adding another last minute person to our party. Brunch food was outstanding except for the strawberry crepe which was dry and the berries didn’t look fresh. Super cute ambiance. Great outdoor seating setup with heaters. Lovely service.

o
openmind
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bistro Vida has an excellent menu. I have tried several of the entrees and all have been delicious. The French wines that I have ordered by the glass were all excellent. Their outdoor dining setting is very pleasant.

SC
SherriC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Warm greeting, lovely setting, superior service, delicious dinner-favorite spot-

DH
DebbieH
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Ali runs a wonderful restaurant. The food is always authentically French bistro and delicious! It's a regular go-to spot for us.

IB
IsabellB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super nice little French cafe in downtown Menlo Park. Nice outdoor seating. Great for romantic dinner or a Small group get together.

m
melbaround
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

thoroughly enjoyed our wonderful evening and dinner. The staff and food were very good !! We can't wait to return.

DA
DonnaA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Enjoyed the music and atmosphere. Great service and wonderful food.

FAQs

Bistro Vida offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 462-1686.

Bistro Vida is rated 4.7 stars by 2121 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.