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Permanently Closed - Aatxe

4.4
311 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Basque
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - In April 2015, Chef Ryan Pollnow opened his first project, Aatxe (pronounced aah-CHAY) with Ne Timeas Restaurant Group & The Bon Vivants.

Located on the street level of The Swedish American Hall in Upper Market neighborhood of SF, Aatxe is a restaurant and bar that celebrates regional Spanish cuisine and culture with an influence from the Basque Country. Driven by the ingredients of Northern California and inspired by Spanish tapas culture, the menu encourages a communal style of dining while celebrating Spain’s drinking traditions and flavors.

Aatxe features a chef’s counter allows guests to dine with direct view of the chefs at work, as well as an intimate dining room. Reservations are available for up to six guests per party, with bar seating and a communal table available for walk-ins.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Basque, Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Due to the intimate size of our dining room, please inquire with our reservationist for parties larger than six. You may reach us either via phone, or via email at info@aatxesf.com
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Phone number
(415) 471-2977
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ryan Pollnow
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Catering
Off-site catering is completed on a proposal basis, please contact us directly and our team will be in touch with next steps!
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
15th Street
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Entertainment
With the direction of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group Music Directors, Aatxe plays a curated music playlist nightly inspired by hip hop spanning back to the early 90's.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.6

Aatxe serves tasty, interesting food, even if the location is a bit out of the way.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 311 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on May 20, 2017

We visited SF for a weekend & this was clearly the highlight dining experience of the trip. Wonderful food, great service & out of this world manhattans!

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2017

Usually amazing food. But this time,not very good and the service was also mediocre

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2017

We were looking forward to eating at Aatxe. We've been there 3 other times but not in the last 4+ months. Staff wasn't up to par, and other than the appetizers, the food was unremarkable. Sigh. One of our cocktails was oddly wrong, and when pointed out to a server was whisked away without a request for something different or even a inquiry why. Forty plus minutes later and we managed to get another drink ordered (from a different staff person) and even that wasn't as ordered. Probably just a bad night. At best, it'll be many more months before we try again.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2017

Definitely my favorite restaurant in SF, the menu is never the same but the favorites like garlic shrimp are always available. The beer and wine list are limited but perfect for what they serve; so you never have to worry about pairings. The staff are great, the food is innovative yet comforting, and always delicious. There aren't enough words to cover how much I love this restaurant. (As a basque person I judge this kind of food extra harshly)

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2017

One of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, so was quite disappointed to hear they would be closing. Had to have one last visit and the food nor the staff disappointed ! The avocado with fried lentils and salsa verde was spectacular!

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2017

We have always loved coming to Aatxe. The extensive list of gin is incredible and you really can't go wrong with any of them, although I prefer the herbal gins on their list. We are always satisfied with the food, especially their pintxos. The items change every now and then, but our favorite during our last visit was the boquerones pintxo. They also do the canned seafood and my favorite was the octopus and olives. We are never unhappy with our experience at Aatxe and would definitely recommend it for the drinks and Spanish tapas!

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2.0Dined on April 29, 2017

This place used to be one of my favorite weekend dinner spots, but the last few times I've been the food and service have been sub-par at best. The menu has changed, and the food quality has gone way down, the service is sporadic, and it's no longer a great meal for the price point. Such a pity.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2017

Amazing and delicious food. Great service. A little loud and bit dark.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2017

Great food and ambiance. Great place for date night. I wish the menu had more of a selection but over-all the food is delicious and authentic Spanish tapas.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2017

I'd been wanting to go since it opened. Met all my expectations. Good food and good value, especially if you go early for the Pintxos!

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2017

Nice place. I will go back. Favorite dish was the little toasts with ham and tomato sauce, for which they make a donation to the ACLU. Order this even if you are a trumpisto gun nut from Wyoming --- in fact you should be supporting the ACLU anyway, as the second amendment is one of the amendments they defend, even though they don't put it as much in their press packets. Human rights for all. We had rabbit and meatballs and the mixed snack plate and all good.

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1.0Dined on March 17, 2017

This place has gone downhill. Last time I went I thought the food was great, but this time all of the flavors were either too bland or overpowered and imbalanced. There was also a really loud Beyoncé soundtrack playing the entire time lol

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2017

Great space - incredible food as well as brilliant wine-alcohol selections

But they can lose a bit of the heavy metal music...

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5.0Dined on March 6, 2017

It's a fun place, a TRUE tapas restaurant. Every dish (perhaps but one) had a lot of flavor and the cocktails were creative and substantial. I happened to go here to celebrate an anniversary, however, and it is not the right place for a romantic meal. It's too loud and too casual. These two factors don't speak romance (to me). The food - WOW. We shared six menu items. Four were fantastic and two merely good. The fantastics were the octopus and green olive conserva, braised chicken and pork albondigas (meatballs), plancha fried rice, and bocarone toast and mojo verde. The very goods were the gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) - flavor fine, shrimp a bit mushy (perhaps not freshest), and saltcod and seaweed buneulos (nice little kick, but a touch bland on the finish). Cocktails had fun names and smooth, interesting combinations. We're going back...

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3.0Dined on March 1, 2017

I went as a single looking for a light meal. All of the small dishes were very good, bold flavors, just the way I like it. The clams Verde was my favorite. However, the room was much too loud for me. It was split between a bar and a dining area. Less noise would have made my evening more enjoyable.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2017

Aatxe is always a hit. The fried rice is amazing, the mushroom dish cravable and always solid wines by the glass.

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2017

The tapas were perfect for sharing!

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2017

Great deal for "happy hour' pinxtos (snacks). Great cocktail menu with a gin focus. Food was great all around and service was friendly and laid back.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2017

Enjoyed the entire experience. The fool and service were excellent. Will return in the future and have already Bay area friends to check it out.

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4.0Dined on February 15, 2017

Excellent modern Basque food. Unfortunately the noise level was difficult and choice of music was annoying and obnoxious. Service was amateurish at best. Moreover as the woman in the group of 3, I felt repeatedly ignored by the (female) server, even though I was the one clearly hosting the group and paying! I might come back, as the food truly was excellent (with the exception of the codfish bunuelos, which were extremely bland and chewy). But my husband refuses as the annoying music spoiled his overall reaction to the evening.

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2017

We absolutely loved Aatxe. The servers were kind and knowledgable and the food was phenomenal. Especially loved the deviled eggs. Will absolutely return!

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1.0Dined on February 11, 2017

Horrible service from the moment they seated us and all the way to get the check. The food wasn't that great either. Overall regret spending money here.

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2017

Stylish decor with great to awesome tapas. Service was good to great, attentive enough without being intrusive. One staff member was brusk but perhaps I'm just being critical as the restaurant did fill up. Also, sitting at the bar overlooking the kitchen was great and it was nice the kitchen staff did talk to you when they had a moment. Definitely go well worth the drive/Lyft to eat there.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2017

high fives to everyone. food gets a high five. staff gets a high five. drinks get a high five. and anyone i forgot you get a high five.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2017

Aatxe is good. I expected more however. Drinks are really nice, if you like Gin, this is the place. I am from Spain, and I don't think it was that genuine though. Small portions and a bit expensive. Worth the trip, I wouldn't go back I think however.

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2017

Aatxe is a must when visiting San Francisco, especially for a well traveled eater. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable from every bottle of wine, to specialty cocktail, down to the pintxos. Exec Chef Ryan P. has done an exceptional job of recreating an authentic Basque eating experience while injecting his own style, careful not to compromise the uniquely Spanish flavors and components. MUST order everything from top to bottom of pintxos to small plates! Eskerrik asko!

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3.0Dined on February 7, 2017

Drinks were great and loved the bar staff. The food sounded better on the menu than the execution, service was spotty, and the bill was much higher than I would have expected based on the overall experience.

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3.0Dined on February 3, 2017

i made a table reservation but there was no table in this place. The food wasn't great but the waitress was great.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2017

The experience never disappoints! Every fish was outstanding. The albondigas and the crispy potatoes were a standout.

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3.0Dined on January 27, 2017

We sat at the chef's counter, which was a disappointment. There really was not much to see and we wised we had sat in the regular dining room or at the bar. The food was good, but not noteworthy. The cocktail I ordered ("Huracan") was a glass stuffed with small ice like an ice cone (there was about an inch and a half of ice above the glass rim). Needless to say, there wasn't much to drink for $15. We had several courses, and there were long waits in between some of the courses. Near the end of our meal, we actually thought we had completed all of our courses (we neglected to count), and therefore downed the rest of our wine, only to be brought our last course. The restaurant lacked vibe in our opinion and just wasn't what we expected.

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4.0Dined on January 25, 2017

So glad I was able to try Aatxe during sf restaurant week. The pinxtos were delicious and so was everything else off their menu. Service was great and accommodating. My only remark is I wish they had a Spanish wine list as extensive as their gin list.

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2017

My second visit here but the first time I had a table. Our party of 3 had a lovely early dinner at a table near the window. Food choices were imaginative and delightful. Nice selection of sherries and I tried one of the hard Spanish cider, by the bottle, though they do have one cidre on draught. We splurged and tried both the desserts, the flan and churros with chocolate. Both were delicious. Particular shout-out to the staff, to our waiter Josh and the young woman he was training that evening. I look forward to another visit this winter.

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2017

Aatxe just keeps getting better. The food, the service & the ambiance were all wonderful

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4.0Dined on January 23, 2017

Food was flavorful! It didn't matter what we ordered. It seems like you can't go wrong in their menu. My husband and I will definitely be back!

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2017

Wonderful in every way. They were very accommodating to my vegetarian needs.

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4.0Dined on January 21, 2017

Crowded seating , small tapas good food. Best to select on your own. Not a filling meal unless you get carb like rice

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2017

Gin n tonic lovers this is your spot!Went here to take advantage of SF restaurant week and was pleasantly surprised. Greeted and seated right away and had the waitress at our table taking drink orders within minutes! The surprise...? The massive gin n tonic menu!!! Encompassing the entire back page of the menu was an unending list of Gins categorized for ease of ordering, wow. Followed up by 6 courses of damn tasty food. The quail eggs have to be mentioned as they were a bite of perfection! Rich but delicate accompanied by a smoky sauce hit a great note. Ended with some churros in an indulgent warmed chocolate sauce having a citrus note, wow again. Certainly will recommend this spot to friends and be returning ourselves, thank you for a great dining experience from service to ambiance to food!

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5.0Dined on January 15, 2017

Extensive cocktail menu with dozens of tasty gin and tonics. We went early, during the happy hour (around 5:30-6:30) and tried all of the bite-sized pintxos for $1 (instead of the usual $2-4), a couple of the special happy hour cocktails, and esp. liked the spicy chorizo deviled eggs and the mildly spicy patatas bravas. Really great food, served quickly - will return!

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2.0Dined on January 14, 2017

We had reservations for two at 8p.m. We arrived 5 minutes early and were asked to sit at the bar and our table would be ready in just a couple of minutes. 20 minutes later, my husband got up and asked about our table. We were brought to a dining area and the hostess tried to seat us at an ugly bar off to the side of the room. I told her we'd like a table (there were 3 2-tops available), and she then sat us at a table. To top it off, the drinks we ordered weren't great. Old fashioned was watery and "Jacqueline with Flowers" was not drinkable. The food was good and table service good once we were seated.

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2017

Excellent food and ambience. Fun and delicious

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