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

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Details

Join us in celebrating Christmas Eve at Bistro Vida! We will be serving our regular dinner menu with some additional holiday specials. Our last seating is at 9.00pm

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Details

Celebrate Christmas Day at Bistro Vida! We will be serving our regular dinner menu from 12.00pm - 7:30pm with additional holiday specials. Our last seating for dinner is at 7:30pm.

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Details

Join us for New year special dinner at bistro vida open for lunch and dinner serving our regular menu plus additions specials

Bistro Vida Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (29)
Good for a Date (22)
Neighborhood Gem (22)
See All
Cozy (21)
Casual (18)
Special Occasion (17)
Great for Lunch (16)
Fit for Foodies (14)
Romantic (13)
Business Meals (12)
People Watching (12)
Authentic (12)
Good for Anniversaries (11)
Quiet Conversation (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Great for Brunch (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Fun (9)
Worth the Drive (9)
Good for Groups (8)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Creative Cuisine (5)
Late-night Find (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Happy Hour (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Healthy (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Tapas (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Great Beer (1)
Live Sports (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Seasonal (1)
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1364 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

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!

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

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

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 5 days ago

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Jackson Hole)·Dined 5 days ago

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

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 7, 2017

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

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 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 6, 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 30, 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 27, 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 25, 2017

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

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 24, 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 24, 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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 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

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Always good atmosphere and service and food. What else can you ask for?

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

My boyfriend’s and my favorite place in Menlo Park! The owner is wonderful, very personal, remembers us everytime and provides great service. The food is great, haven’t gotten anything Ive not liked. My favorite is is the scallops with risotto. Great French restaurant, wonderful service and atmosphere. Highly recommend.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Fun, Casual, Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Romantic, Cozy, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Bar Seating, Live Sports
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Bistro Vida is a little gem on Santa Cruz Ave. The food was fantastic and the service wonderful! The mussels are an absolute must have!

Tags: Romantic, Tapas, People Watching, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We had reservations for Friday evening, a busy time. The noise level was high and it was hard to carry on a conversation without raising one's voice. Food was very good. The calamari appetizer was done well. It would have been nice to have sauce other than the house mayonnaise. My wife's sole was not as fresh as it could be and she suspected it had been under a warming light for some time before it was served. The Couscous Royal was rich in flavor and well done. The spicy sauce gave it special flavor. The wine list was good, there were bottles for under $40. Prices for food were reasonable. The decor is warm and feels Parisian. Our major criticism was the crowd noise. We will return for dinner again but earlier in the week.

Tags: Late-night Find, Casual, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 16, 2017

This is an authentic French Bistro! We were visiting Pali Alto from Chicago and found this place from the open table reviews. There is another French restraurant next door where the ambience looks newer, but the reviews were not as good.
We came early for dinner and were greeted by the owner. He is a charming, detailed and heart warming person. He has own this establishment for over twenty years and lives within walking distance. The food and staff are a reflection of who he is.

I asked for suggestions for what to order and he gave a balanced description of about five different dishes from various price ranges. We order the Steak Frites and the scallops risotto. Both were excellent. Wine was ordered based on the owners suggestions. Outstanding!!! We had the French onion soup , which was fabulous. My bowl was wiped cleaned when I finished. We splitter the chocolate Mousse for dessert. There were little flecks of chocolate within the mousse .YUM!!!

The whole experience including tip was $150. Worth every penny. I hope my business venture brings me back multiple times.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Bistro Bida is my favorite local restaurant. It is consistently excellent - the grilled salmon is delicious. The atmosphere is cozy and the wait staff is friendly. Highly recommend!

Tags: Cozy, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Neighborhood gem. Very good portions and quality for its price. The place has beautiful decor for a nice casual brunch and a quiet dinner date. We enjoyed the food a lot

Tags: Fun, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Cozy, People Watching, Romantic, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Bistro Vida is consistently great. The menu is not extensive and every dish is prepared excellently. The service is outstanding and the atmosphere is fun, but a little loud for conversation.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Consistently excellent

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Been there for lunch several times. Always enjoy it!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 7, 2017

We took our friends who lived all over the world and know what good food supposed to be and they really enjoyed food and the owner Ali.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Our favorite restaurant. Homey atmosphere, good service, good food, reasonable prices.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Authentic delicious french food ... like casual dining in paris . Excellent quality clearly love their food . Excellent service . Sitting at the bar is always fun . The french onion soup is the best in the bay area

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 26, 2017

Love this place! It has always been one of my favorites in Menlo Park.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2017

The decor and the atmosphere were great. The food was also very tasty. The noise level was, however, a bit too much which was why I onl6 gave it 4 stars.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Special Occasion, Authentic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Bistro Vida is our local go-to place for date night! The variety is enough but not overwhelming, and the food and service are always great

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 20, 2017

The service was wonderful, the food was excellent and the dessert was absolutely delicious!!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Consistent and good food, anytime when we go. I had Gazpacho soup and bouillabaisse, escargo, and skirt stake .

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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

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

Perfect place for a business lunch; especially now while you can eat outside. Salads are wonderful and very fresh. Very enjoyable all around.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Our favorite place in Menlo Park. Great food in a French bistro setting, with friendly staff who make wonderful recommendations.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Bistro Vida has added a comfortable new outside dining area surrounded by hedges protecting diners from street noise. This is a lovely restaurant for lunch or dinner any day of the week. The food is delicious and the service is very friendly and attentive.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Special Occasion, Casual, Great for Lunch, Business Meals
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Bistro Vida is the very best restaurant in Menlo Park. Food, wine and service are always great. My wife and I are always impressed with the consistency.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, People Watching, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

I have eaten here twice with my book group. The food is wonderful.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

It has a nice patio, but Left Bank, right next door, has better food and cocktails.

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food3
ambience4
service3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 20, 2017

Great neighborhood restaurant and cuisine . We absolutely love this bistro . Authentic and great service . Love it

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy, Authentic, Comfort Food, Paleo Friendly, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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