Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.45mi
  3. Distance: 0.46mi
  4. Distance: 0.48mi
  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.45mi
  3. Distance: 0.46mi
  4. Distance: 0.48mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.45mi
  3. Distance: 0.46mi
  4. Distance: 0.48mi
  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.45mi
  3. Distance: 0.46mi
  4. Distance: 0.48mi

About Bistro Vida

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.

641 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French, Bistro, Californian

Hours of Operation:
LUNCH
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2.30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10.00am- 2.30pm

DINNER
Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

BRUNCH
Saturday - Sunday: 10.00am - 2.30pm

HAPPY HOUR
Monday - Friday 5:00pm - 7:00pm on our heated outdoor patio

Cross Street:
El Camino Real

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

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

Phone Number:
(650) 462-1686

Website:
http://www.bistro-vida.com/

Catering:
From a small gather to a large corporate lunch or celebration, we have a variety of menu options for your catered event.

Parking Details:
Street parking all around and public lot directly to the rear of the restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Ali El Safy

Private Party Facilities:
We have several options for large groups, special occasions, corporate events, and more. Please contact the restaurant to inquire about holding an event at Bistro Vida. We will work with you to create a personalized event including a uniquely crafted menu and a signature wine experience. 

RESTAURANT BUYOUT
​We offer availability for large parties in the form of a full restaurant buyout. Our dining room accommodates up to 100 guests for a seated dinner and up to 150 guests for a standing reception. 

PATIO
​Our private heated patio can accommodate up to 40 guests for a seated event and up to 60 guests for a standing reception. 

Private Party Contact:
Ali El Safy: (650) 462-1686

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Bistro Vida Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (25)
Cozy (22)
Great for Outdoor Dining (19)
See All
Good for a Date (19)
Casual (18)
Authentic (18)
Special Occasion (17)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Fit for Foodies (15)
Great for Lunch (15)
Comfort Food (13)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Romantic (13)
Great for Brunch (12)
Business Meals (11)
Good for Groups (11)
Worth the Drive (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Fun (10)
Sunday Lunch (9)
Creative Cuisine (8)
People Watching (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Kid-friendly (5)
Healthy (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Seasonal (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Great Beer (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Live Sports (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
Tapas (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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1389 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2018

The food and service were great but the restaurant was deafeningly noisy. That is a real problem!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Met friends for lunch, and we ate outside. Good soups, salads and sandwich offerings. Their mushroom soup was excellent! Fresh & favorable salads. Friendly & attentive service. Will definitely dine there again.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 8, 2018

An old friend was visiting us, and we wanted a restaurant with a wonderful ambience, great food and not as noisy as most places in the area. Bistro Vida was the perfect choice.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2018

We all had different but equally tasty salads, excellent main courses: strip steak, steak frites and coq au vin. Helpful but not overbearing service. We sat outside which was pleasant and made it easy to conduct our business meeting.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Amazing ambience, perfect outside seating, service was excellent, accommodating, and patient. The food tasted wonderful, and dessert was perfectly sweet.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Last minute outing after long day at work and the ambiance and food was cozy and warm. Everyone in the room was having a great time. Started with Fondue and concluded with Banana and Rum Crepes!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Very good food, ambience and service. Recommend for any kind of occasion.

Tags: Fun, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Bistro Vida. Really good food and the service and ambiance was just what we hoped for. Will definitely recommend.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2018

I've been the Bistro Vida a number of times before and that's why I chose it for a reunion lunch with two friends. The service was great but the food for two of us was disappointing. Two of us had the quiche and the quiche was very shallow and not much flavor other than bacon and the salad was very small and short on dressing. I've had much better quiche elsewhere. We had creme brulee for dessert and the texture was not very pleasing. I don't know how soon I'll return.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 24, 2018

I always love it here.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Nice ambience. Great food. Owner was exceptionally friendly.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Always satisfied. I’ve brought many friends for the first time and they all make it a regular place to go.

Tags: Romantic, Comfort Food, Casual, Quick Bite, Great for Lunch, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Bistro Vida is a good choice for delicious food and very good service. My wife and I enjoyed the beef bourgeon with a glass of champagne. Prices are a bit high, but within reason for downtown Menlo Park.

Tags: Casual, Great for Lunch, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Great neighborhood restaurant.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Authentic, delicious french bistro food... Excellent service ... The food is always good and the staff friendly

Tags: Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Our family always thinks of going here when we want a nice simple authentic French food evening. Never been unhappy with the experience.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve dinner. The owner is gracious and remembered us from Christmas Eve three years ago. We love this place that reminds everyone of Paris. A gem.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Best overall restaurant in downtown Menlo Patk. Consistently very good service, food, and ambiance!

Tags: Authentic, Kid-friendly, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2017

This was our second time at the restaurant and it was not as busy as the first visit so the noise level was more tolerable. Both dishes were okay, nothing great and the minimal staff was stretched thin trying to take care of all the tables. Will not return.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2017

This is a cute place and our hopes were up, but for a French bistro the food was sub-par, the service almost non-existent, and there was a loud "girl's night out" crew in the back of the restaurant that reverberated loud laughter all through the restaurant. Made it hard for any of the other patrons to even have nice conversation. Maybe this was a bad night, but this place seems like it is loud by design (or lack of design).

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

A great bistro! Just like downtown Paris! Authentic bistro.

Tags: Romantic, Healthy, Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Casual, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

Everything we have eaten there has been excellent.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

I ordered the Salad Nicoise which was topped with a thin grey piece of tuna that was not fresh. The majority of the salad was comprised of chopped cucumber. My husband enjoyed his chicken sandwich which he considered it a 'safe' choice, but it was followed by a weak tasteless cup of coffee. Our guest ordered the quiche and barely touched it. The restaurant smells heavily of cleaning products. The ladies room was dark and smelled like mildew. Not a pleasant dining experience.

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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Reminded me of a bistro in France. I had the cassoulet and it was SUPER delicious!

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 12, 2017

It was a business dinner for party of six on a weeknight. We were greeted warmly and led to a big nicely set table when arrived. The dinner went really well - delicious and beautifully plated food, attentive service by multiple staff. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the place so much that we stayed for more than three hours, and the staff didn’t try to get us out. Overall, everyone was extremely happy with the pick of the restaurant, and we will definitely come back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

The best food in all of Menlo Park. Full size portions of authentic French comfort food served to by the owner.
He seems to have a personal knowledge of all his guests.
Date night or everyday dining, nails it right every time.
Love the outside dining on the new patio too.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Usually love Bistro Vida. While food was very good, the service was slow and inconsistent.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Jackson Hole)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Need more waiters and support staff. Slow to get orders taken and food to the table.

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food5
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

This isn't my visit nor my last. The food is always terrific as is the service whether dining in or outside. I feel like I am back in Paris. I drive from across the Bay to eat here...and have shared this place with a lot friends who also return.

Tags: Healthy, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Sunday Lunch, People Watching, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Ali was so prepared for our special date. He had the table ready with champagne, kept the wine glass full, and even brought out a perfect creme brûlée birthday dessert with song. It was our first visit to Bistro Vida, but we will have many more.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Great as usual! One of the best restaurants in the peninsula.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Great place for a casual or business dinner. Excellent Paris style Bistro food. Last night the skirt steak fritte was fabulous! I hope Ali makes it a permanent item on the menu

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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 5, 2017

One of my favorites. Never disappointed by the food or the service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Authentic, Great for Brunch, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Bistro Vida has a true European bistro feel. The food and service are good. Though small and at times noisy, the place was good for getting together to eat and chat with friends.

Tags: Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2017

I love Bistro Vida. The cassoulet is outstanding and reminds me of the bistros that you find in Paris. I have tried several dishes here and most are very good. Very authentic French bistro!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Everyone at our table of 6 enjoyed their meals. Food was tasty.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

We all enjoyed the chance to have yummy French bistro food on Thanksgiving.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

I reserved for Thanksgiving dinner for 4. Since I had 2 vegetarians in my party, I called several days ahead to see if there would be a vegetarian option on the menu. They graciously said they would either have a vegetarian option on the menu or they would be most happy to prepare a nice vegetarian meal for my guests. When we got there and my guests asked for a vegetarian meal, they were told no that that wasn't possible. I had to ask for the manager and he begrudgingly agreed to do a veggie pasta. It was pasta and a few veggies - no sauce, no taste. I was embarrassed and did not enjoy my Thanksgiving meal as a result. In fact, it was ruined for us all.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

This is a nice restaurant. Went for an early Thanksgiving dinner. Couple of points: wine was opened and poured with no one getting to taste to make sure ok. Servers did not follow serving protocol, women first etc. Need a refresher coarse on service. Three had Thanksgiving dinner, which was pretty good but turkey was pretty dry. Other person had lamb chops and this dinner was great. Will definitely go back.

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food4
ambience4
service3

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on November 23, 2017

The owner went out of his way for us when we commented that the Ceasar Salad had no taste by making it for us himself. Service was right on, no waits. The owner also went out of his way for our two granddaughters' menu selection.

Tags: Romantic, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, People Watching, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

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