Monsieur Benjamin

4.4
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2124 Reviews
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$50 and over
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French

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Monsieur Benjamin is a modern restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, inspired by the great Parisian bistro culture and traditions of French cooking.
What 2124 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great authentic French bistro. Everything was excellent, from the oysters/clams to the steak tartare and delicious fish. Good wine list that doesn’t break the bank. Restaurant was recommended to me by a prominent chef and the restaurant did not disappoint.

S
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Monsieur Benjamin is conveniently located in charming Hayes Valley, very close to Civic Centre. The casual atmosphere is welcoming and the food is extremely fresh and beautifully prepared. The menu which is varied with keen attention to pairings and compatibility, changes pretty regularly, so there is always something new to try.

A
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, ambiance and service.

AG
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

love this place. a true classic. always do good
the staff is lovely too. ❤️

MB
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Monsieur Benjamin is a favorite. All very good on this last time I dined there. My only quibbles were with the lobster bisque and the fried chicken a l’anglaise. Although savory and smooth, the bisque was served more as an amuse bouche rather than a soup. It also seemed to have a more brown and smokey look and taste than the traditional lobster bisque, which is lighter and rosier in color and has a more subtle taste. As for the fried chicken a l’anglaise, it’s name should have been a warning. English cooking leaves a lot to be desired and this entree exemplified that in spades. Although the chicken was wrapped in a crisp (I had hoped it would be) breaded fried crust, the mushroom sauce poured over it squelched the entire effect. There was no crispness. The mushrooms and the sauce were nothing to write home about. And it was served with no counterpoint vegetable, a purée, or rice pilaf, which would have enhanced the entrée.

ML
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I like it. I go very often and now I am ready for new dishes in their menu specially new desserts.

DH
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Wonderful find near the Opera House and other performance venues. Brunch was delicious and I expect that dinner will be the same.

TB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! All the staff is helpful, friendly and above all professional. A wonderful dining experience every time we go ... which is VERY often.

SS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We came for a birthday celebration and truly enjoyed our evening. I had the stuffed quail and my partner had the steak frites. We also enjoyed the escargot. All the dishes were full of flavor, really well prepared and thoughtfully executed. My boyfriend said the fries could have been crispier but overall was a great meal. The cocktails were also outstanding and the service was warm, attentive and thoughtful. The staff who were running the food did seem a bit serious but our direct server was very kind and cheerful. Would definitely recommend for a special evening out. The only consideration we had afterwards was that maybe the automatic 20% addition to the bill for a party of two was a bit steep, although I think a lot of restaurants are implementing that across SF as of late.

K
San Francisco
397 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Although I have enjoyed lunch and dinner at MB, this was my first experience with brunch and it was wonderful. My daughter, who lives in the city, hadn't been there before and now plans to go every Sunday for their perfect scrambled eggs, vegan sausage and lemon-infused gravy. We even treated ourselves to dessert: a lovely genache-layered cake with creme anglaise. I definitely will be returning, and my daughter will be there every Sunday!

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for those late night dining.

M
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, great location for theater, symphony and sfj. Menu is also very complete with unique dishes. We loved it.

J
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience here. Enjoyed the service, food and ambiance. I’m a regular.

OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Solid fare.

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SL
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

What has happened to Monsieur Benjamin?! This used to be one of my favorites - but I am not sure if I will go back.
- Our server was straight up rude. The entire time we were at his table we felt like we were inconveniencing him and he was annoyed. His service and attitude was completely insincere and quite frankly snotty. When we turned away a glass of wine (because it was incredibly late) he snottily remarked that our time estimate of 20 minutes delay on the wine delivery was an exaggeration- and he would be happy to go double check the exact time stamp.
- Bone Marrow is gone
- Salmon is farmed (I was embarrassed when my friend asked if the Salmon was farmed (thinking of COURSE it isn't) - but it was.

SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The service was adequate, but to automatically charge a 15% tip for a table of two at the end of evening when the kitchen had removed several menu items was not appreciated!

s
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An absolutely perfect evening for a special birthday celebration. What we love about Monsieur Benjamin is that one never has to think about the experience as it is unfolding. One is never waiting for anything. One is never wondering where the server is. You can just sit back, enjoy and engage with the experience of eating great cuisine in a lovely space. It's an art form that many restaurants at every price point are unable to master. This restaurant is just about close to perfect at what it does. So enjoyable in every way. Highly recommended.

AK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food

k
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was my Husbands Birthday. We had dinner before going to SF Jazz. The service was attentive but not intrusive; just what you want. We had appetizers, mains and dessert. Everything was done well, presented beautifully, and tasty. The escargot was particularly memorable. Good wine list.
We will return and I will happily recommend to friends.

L
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Missy bread for pate. Mussels good. Desserts too expensive

RS
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience1

Too noisy. Though the restaurant was le, ss than half full, the diners were crowded into one side. The tables are close together and the surfaces hard; the restuarant has done little to nothing to mitigate the noise.

Pricey: Some dishes are much more expensive than they are are the competition in the neighborhood. Not all, but nothing in the food or service justifies the higher prices.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Like the croquettes!

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Overpriced, under seasoned and underwhelming

OT
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent service and solid food quality make this an excellent choice. Prices are a bit steep for every day but not so high that you feel bad doing it twice a month.

f
San Francisco
184 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

This restaurant oes some things that only a very self impressed business would do. Like not have the prices of a martini on the list but have the price of shots. I've never seen that & these aren't cheap drinks. They need more wait staff as the server forgot my wine order as soon as she got several tables going. We came in early in order to celebrate before going to SF Jazz (anniversary). WE barely made it out in 1.5 hours. I know the food is handmade but this must have been an off night with the chefs. The food is good,though.

KL
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Cold food, poor service, inferior food quality. Not worthy of 1 star.

SB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We did not receive our menu selections in the order we requested

MM
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

While the service has always been exceptional at Monsieur Benjamin, it started out not so well on this occasion, although that changed when we complained at the treatment first received on arrival. When we first arrived, staff wanted to sit us on the north side of the restaurant, while we prefer to sit on the south side. There was only one other couple in the restaurant at the time, sitting on the south side. The staff were willing to move us to the south side and did so, but to a table facing out onto Gough Street. At 5:00 in the afternoon, this means that the patron, me at the time, seated facing the street must look into a glaring sun reflection. My wife was only a black outline due to the glare and had we remained seated there, this would from past experience last another 30 minutes or so. We asked if another table in the back was available and was told it certainly was. In fact there were three tables for two set in the back. We were in the process of being seated there when another staff member came running up and said we could not sit there as it was being saved for a large party, even though the three tables for two were separated from each other. So, we were taken back over to the north side to a table in the front corner where my wife sat with her back to the street and rather than sitting across from her, i was seated to her side. Yet, this meant that our feet were occupying the same floor space, meaning I was either standing on her feet or was standing on mine. This is a very bad seating arrangement, just as not having blinds available for the glaring sun reflection is poor for late afternoon seating. So, we were moved a fourth time. I will say that the service we received the rest of the evening was superb; up to the usual standards we had come to expect at Monsieur Benjamin.

J
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Good french food, excellent wine list. Service shopuld be less French though!!:-)

OD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Service was horrible and it is understood when you pay your bill. They automatically tack on 20% in gratuity to include live cooks, cooks, etc. Food was good but overall score would improve it service was better. May be understaffed?

RM
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were surprised to receive the 20% added on service charge. Perhaps a clearer posting would be good. But loved the food, ambiance and service.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, great waiter all together great romantic date spot.

KS
Denver
42 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Chicken with ham and gruyere was outstanding; salmon was above average. Nice bistro like atmosphere but nothing out of the ordinary. Service was good.

A
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Although my husband and I had a reservation the hostess sat two couples that walked in after us. They did re-ask what name we were checking under, so maybe they forgot. Dinner was good and when presented with the dessert menu, we had tried to get one of the servers and hostess attention for 25 minutes. Didn’t seem like the same service others were getting overall we loved our dinner tho! Beautiful restaurant and glad we got to go while visiting SF minus the service.

MF
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Monsieur Benjamin provides a very pleasant dining experience but the food is just not worth the price. It is generally well-executed French classics but everything seems a bit dull; there is no spark or creativity. One senses that they are just cranking out the same things again and again.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious food, Cosy ambience and friendly servers. Service for drinks was a little slow but other than that a 5/5 and I can’t wait to go back

b
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience2

Much too noisy, will not be back, although food and service were excellen

PC
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We eat frequently at MB before evenings at the opera. It's close to Symphony Garage, opens at 5pm and although not an inexpensive restaurant offers interesting food with very good quality and consistently good service. (20% gratuity is automatically added to bill - we have no problem with this!)

Since we usually arrive between 5-5:30pm MB usually is fairly empty, which means conversation is easy and we can appreciate the jazz playing quietly in the background. By 6pm it's more crowded, but you can still have a conversation without strain.

Dishes are interesting (razor clams, blue crab rillette, good oyster selection, breast of veal, etc.) and well prepared. Their version of Chicken Cordon Blue is very good indeed and would feed two people, especially with a side dish of their excellent green beans. Potato puree is pricy ($8.50) but still a great accompaniment to the Sauce Supreme with the chicken.

By the time we got to The Marriage of Figaro we were in a very contented mood. A note - several times we've been short of time and just had 5-6 appetizers/small plates with a glass of wine - had the kitchen bring them out as they were ready. Just great! As we finished one the next magically appeared. While the appetizers are small plates indeed, they are interesting and satisfying.

J
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very courteous staff.

SM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food, attentive service. It's a little pricey, but worth it.