Monsieur Benjamin

4.4
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2196 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 2196 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Food was not good. The salad was very vinegary, and the blue cheese was slimy and did not taste like blue cheese at all.
The crepe was not sufficiently warm.
Also a 20 percent service charge was automatically added to the bill, without the customer having any say whatsoever.
This will be my last time at Monsieur Benjamin.

W
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

High prices and a hefty 20% surcharge is automatically added to your bill.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great pre ballet brunch

CR
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Decent restaurant, but a bit overpriced. Far too many tables too close together. Very cheaply made child size utensils may make the tiny tables look a little bigger, but overall just give a very cheap feeling to the table settings.

m
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Decent spot.
Service was spotty
Seafood was great, brunch wasn’t.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous Valentin’s Day price fixed menu. Excellent service. We especially like the late night availability.

NS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

I hate to write a bad review, but this place definitely deserves it. Laughable service, including rude hosts who don’t even bother asking the kitchen when you tell them you have a dietary restriction, horrendous (and I mean horrendous) food. I’ve never been more disappointed in dinner; it truly falls short of a $29.99 dinner at a low tier restaurant. It’s supposed to be a classic French place but the kitchen is an assembly line of fast-food grade line cooks who put 0 soul into the food, and look like they have no clue what they’re doing. Some waiters are clearly students who don’t have the hospitality skills necessary for a restaurant, and even misplace utensils on the table. The valentines special menu’s vegetarian main course was a large piece of cold broccoli with 3 small lukewarm potatoes, hugely under seasoned and bland. I did not eat a single course except for half of the cake at the end.

I truly advise all of my friends to stay far far away from this restaurant.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely time.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food2service5ambience2

We didn’t stay because we felt the vibes would be much more intimate. The tables were very close to one another, similar to community seating. Thus if you want a much more intimate vibe then this is not the place for you — or sit at the bar. It was not the experience we were thinking it was going to be.

However the service was very accommodating and understanding, and appreciative.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had a fantastic experience at Monsieur Benjamin! Made our Valentines Day so special!

g
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience3

We have eaten at Monsieur Benjamin several times. There has been a significant decline since we last dined there. The drinks were weak and bland - the bartender not very knowledge able (previously Evan was an amazing bartender). The food was overpriced from the bread to quail. The smell of the fish dishes was overwhelming in the restaurant (in a bad, cheap restaurant way). Monsieur Benjamin seems to have become only a pre-show eatery where concern for the quality of the food and service does not matter. We will no longer recommend this restaurant to our friends and family.

R
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service was great! Very attentive staff. Power outage happened at the entire block, we were almost done. It didn’t change the fact they provided great service. I will come back!

JT
Hawaii
82 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best restaurant in Civic Center/Hayes Valley. This is a perfect place to dine before an event at Symphony, ballet or jazz center. Equally great if you want to linger over an excellent wine and meal. We sampled the oysters, seafood sausage, endive salad, rabbit and mussels. Every dish was excellent. The oysters were very fresh and the fresh horseradish set them off beautifully. The subtle blue cheese on the endive salad did not overwhelm and the flavors in both our mains were terrific. They offered an good selection of wines by the glass. Service was very attentive and professional. Monsieur Benjamin is a restaurant that knows what it is doing and pays attention to the details.

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Extremely long wait for food and wine!
The waitresses should have offered us something as it was my mother’s and my birthday and we told their restaurant that when I made the reservation.

J
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food pretty good, but expensive. And then a 20% surcharge is added, which is described as NOT being a gratuity. Don't know how the customer is supposed to interpret that...

SE
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Monsieur Benjamin is my husband's favorite restaurant, and we had our wedding rehearsal dinner here last year, so there was no doubt I would choose to return for his surprise birthday party. I had no problems making the reservation, but a few days afterwards, two of our invitees that had declined were suddenly able to join us. Although I wasn't able to change the reservation here on OpenTable, I contacted the restaurant directly and they were terrific, accommodating the late change without any issues.

The food was delicious, and the service absolutely top notch. Yes, it is expensive; however, this is one of those "you-get-what-you-pay-for" establishments, and it is definitely worth the price. One thing I would like to see is a second vegetarian option, but since the one I had was so delicious, I'm not really complaining.

Highly recommended!

GM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service very good. Food excellent. Noise level ok. Could carry on a conversation
My go-to restruant when attending shows @ War Memorial or Davies Hall.

EO
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Been eating here for many years. Food seems to have been changed and not in a good way. Also think the policy of adding 20% to the bill and indicating on the bill it is "NOT A GRATUITY" is misleading since it is distributed back to the employees. Many diners will leave a tip as well I'm sure not knowing any better.

DS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The grilled Maine lobster dish was fabulous. The spices made the dish more flavorful. My Blanton’s Bourbon Manhattan was perfecto as well. They have definitely upped their game.

S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Overall a good ambience and interesting menu. Unfortunately the steak tasted like it had been burnt and had a very strong charcoal flavor. We mentioned this to the waitress and they took it off of our bill.

GT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Slow poor service and exceedingly high prices overshadowed very good food.

J
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience4

Very poor service. Took 1/2 hour before anyone came over. Even when we told them we have to attend the symphony, if took us another 20 min after dinner to get our check, after we asked for it 3 times. Very disappointed.

f
San Francisco
157 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It's a bistro so if you happen to be sitting next to a loud person you get the full brunt of their conversation and we, unfortuantely di.d We were early so were seated by Sute, the mger, whom we had met previously. Our waiter and staff were amazing and deserved every penny of their 20% tip (which was included). We left extra for the waiter who was attentive and wonderful. Fried food was crisp and sauces for the flounder is tottally French and amazing. The fish ever so tender. The desserts so rich. A single glass of wine allowed us to be wide awake during the symphony that followed with great delight. A Civic Center experience indeed - wonderful food and service and a lovely7 walk to the symphony to help digest all that richness!

c
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorites when attending SF Ballet

M
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

If a 20% service charge is already included in the bill, then it’s important to provide service that deserves that much.

The chicken liver terrine is the only dish worth mentioning. Except it was first brought to the table next to ours, the server then ignored us when we pointed out that it was probably ours, subsequently it sat on the service counter for 5 mins before brought to our table.

The oysters were ok. The mussels were funky and barely edible. Blanquette de veau was bland. The meat was chewy and the sauce too salty. Definitely over garnished.

A $17 glass of Bourgogne Pinot Noir that probably sat open for too long and served too warm.

Overall, disappointing food and service. A waste of money. Not recommended.

DD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great all the way. We arrived a little earlier but they sat us right away, all waiters very nice and attentive, we didn't have to wait for anything. The tables are really close to one another, and you feel a little bit like a sardine, but we were lucky to sit near very nice people and we even chatted a bit with them before leaving so it was fun. Food quality was perfect, I should say because I'm not easy to impress. Also, the portions are generous. I recommend it.

V
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasant restaurant. It's a large space, but they've managed to make it intimate with low lighting. Food is excellent and service impeccable!

WS
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience5

As a restaurant location and venue they knocked it out of the park. Location is great, atmosphere was great. But something was off. Michelin star... check, classy venue... check, busy kitchen... check. Then why was the restaurant half empty on a Saturday Night at 9pm. We had to finish our meal to find out. The food just wasn't that great. Certainly not worth the price on the bill that landed on the table. Honestly, Chez Maman at the end of Gough St is a much much better french restaurant experience.

C
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We have been here over 5 times and used to love. Meal was sub par, the veal dish was bad, needs to be changed. Veal w white sauce? Bring back the baked chicken.

DK
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food remains top notch and our server was excellent. It’s been about a year since our last visit and we were disappointed that a couple of our favorites, Arctic char and sweetbreads, had disappeared from the menu. However items we ordered, especially stuffed flounder, were outstanding.

DS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

I think I had high expectations due to the Michelin stickers out front. It's a nice restaurant but nothing extraordinary.

C
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great original cuisine, excellent cocktails.
Service was attentive and professional.
Dessert was outstanding.

DM
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had our 4 year anniversary there, fantastic service, fantastic food. : )

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved our experience here. We were greeted with friendly, knowledgeable staff. They helped us curate the perfect meal for us. We were even given a hand written card that wished us a happy anniversary. Wonderful experience, will be back!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great place to go when friends & families are in town. Everything is so tasty, like always.

JN
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Very good food and service, but way overpriced. A $38 fish entree did not include a vegetable side dish.

TC
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

wonderful food, very good service, the atmosphere is a little hard and hip...but great drinks and fun dinner!

D
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dining experience from cocktail (classic Old Fashioned) to dessert, divine Paris Brest! Relaxed meal with plenty of time to spare for the symphony.

BH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Cozy and edgy with great ambience and a comfortable feel. Well put together yet easy to read uncomplicated menu with a few simple dishes, desserts and appetizers. Food is well seasoned, perfectly cooked and well presented in a simple yet elegant basic style where the main attraction is the food itself. No tip restaurant (no option to tip) with a 20% add on for a living wage for employees so what's not to appreciate and support. Well tended bar with a solid wine and aperitif list. Eat at the bar to add to the experience. Service was good but not great...maybe a little more personalization and personality. Otherwise a home run!

j
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always consistently excellent food. Prices seem to have gone up recently.