Chou Chou Bistro

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2126 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary French
ChouChou (pronounced "shoo-shoo") strives to bring the spirit of Paris to Forest Hill. The casually elegant bistro showcases rustic Old World cooking with a modern French twist, paired with a thoughtful wine list. Chef Michaels invites you to experience the warm personalized service that is ChouChou. Bon Appetit!
What 2126 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DI
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Although we had the first seating for dinner & the restaurant was empty, they placed us in a corner by the front door looking out onto the rather rough looking parking lot. That being said, food was very good, presentation was lovely, & the wine was delicious. Very nice ambience.

C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Amazing dinner! Everything was prepared perfectly and delicious. It’s a hidden gem in SF

E
San Francisco
62 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The mushroom souffle was delish as was my husband's duck. The onion soup wasn't the best we've had -- too much mustard. I was too full to eat dessert so brought it home. It was a creamy chocolate cake I definitely would eat again.

h
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Owner/waiter generally unfriendly. The meal was just ok. $60 for lunch no alcohol seems like to much money. no wonder i always go asian.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for an early dinner for my son’s 24th birthday, and we were the only customers on a weekday at 5:ish. The server was super friendly and helpful, and the food was amazing. We all enjoyed that evening, and would like to go again sometime soon.

WD
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Ordered lamb chops and pork chop, both medium as recommended by wait staff. Both were over cooked and lamb chops were very dry. Just a few customers but service was soo slow.

C
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Decent French food. Great for family gathering. The duck confit is a great choice.

A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was great. We're bit worried that there were not more patrons? Why not?

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Love the onion soup, the lamb chop, the duck confit, and floating island dessert. The only two things are that, portion of lamb chop is a little smaller than expected, and was there to celebrate my friend’s birthday, but the restaurant has nothing special for the birthday person.

NB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The main server, who might have been the owner, was brusque and unfriendly. They were out of iced tea and he didn't apologize. But the bread was warm, as was the butter, the space was warm & comfortable, and the crêpes and frites were actually quite good. Full props to the kitchen, too bad about the service.

T
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I was happy with our meal. Good quality food. Friendly and prompt service. One must remember the quantity of amazing restaurants in San Francisco to which Chouchou must be compared. In such a field it is hard to grade Chouchou in the highest category. But it was very good. I think the prices might be 5-10% too high, but everything is high these days. In the city and in the counties surrounding the city I've paid more and received less. No matter, Chouchou is a pleasant experience and I would return occasionally for dinner. I like to keep trying new places, so it could be a while before I return.

B
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place really is a hidden gem. I had one of their dinner specials. The tuna in the carpaccio was so fresh I’d have thought I was in a sushi restaurant. My steak was cooked to perfection as was the asparagus. The wine that came with the special complimented the meal nicely. For desert I hade the mousse, the best I’ve had in some time. I shared the onion soup and I recommend this as well.

The restaurant itself was quaint, clean and the service staff was excellent. The parking lot was a bit small, but the BART station was right around the corner so it is very convenient to get to.

I highly recommend this restaurant.

DR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent, and the room has a warm character. The wait staff was more casual than I expect at the relatively higher price point. Overall, nice experience, but was more expensive than it should be.

J
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We got there early so it was very quiet. We had a lovely quiet lunch. I’m glad I finally made it to this little bistro. I’m not sure what their dinner menu is like… I wish lunch had a little more options. The service was good...I would definitely go back.

U
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was originally a truly French restaurant owned and operated by a French chef and French speaking waiters. This gentleman moved on and the place ended up in the hands of an Italien who speaks no French. The waitstaff is pathetic, not being able to understand what you want even though the menu is in French. The food is average and priced at twice what it should be. $40 main dishes and starters st $14 undrrscore what you are going to get here: screwed.

P
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great burgers!

c
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I thought the food was excellent, the wine outstanding and the service super accommodating, thumbs up.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Nice atmosphere, pretty restaurant. Food average at best. Steak, lamb chops, mussels good but not great. Boeuf bourguignon very rich, tasty. Creme brulet fabulous. Chocolate mousse also. On average, average.

PJ
San Francisco
305 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The special menus are a good value with an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $40. But we weren't that hungry and instead ordered just an entrée (both were available on the special menu too). My husband got the duck and I got the souffle. Both were very delicious.

e
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was just fine. Not particularly exciting. Enjoyed it.

N
San Francisco
71 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Cute little restaurant, very small tables close to each other..actually talked to the people next to us like we knew them because they were so close
French onion soup was decent but not great...had the special which was very good and dessert of creme brûlée which was yummy

MB
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I was excited to try this place , We live 5 minutes away., and have passed by it for the last 5 years. It was a combo birthday and Father’s Day celebration. The escargot was just ok. ( I’ve had much better) The French onion soup had way to much cheese- we took it out with a fork and it was a huge glob. The steak was good, the pork chop a tiny bit dry. We did not feel special at all and we couldn’t tell if the waiter was trying to be funny or he was just rude. Geez,
one point he “scolded” a female server in front of us ( for a comment she made) . We felt awkward and we told her we appreciated her comment. I honestly don’t think 1 person was French that worked there. We had over a $250 lunch for 4 people and nothing special. The service in between the courses was slow, and the restaurant was not crowded. The bread was good, when we asked for a refill, they forgot . The salmon and lamb chops were good . After dinner, we opted for teas and coffees, and no dessert. But my opinion , (because 2 people knew it was a birthday and Father’s Day ) they could have given me ( the birthday and one of 2 fathers) a small dessert and I wouldn’t of cared if they charged me, but they didn’t . We had a good time because of us, not due to the restaurant.

WW
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great little neighborhood french restaurant. Super nice staff, good food, and a nice prix fixed lunch and dinner menu.

EA
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We love to support neighborhood restaurants. Chou Chou (which means Teacher's Pet in French) is a charming and cozy spot right near the Forest Hill train station. We had tickets to the San Francisco Symphony and dined at Chou Chou before descending to the MUNI Metro and accessing the SF Arts Center. Hayes Valley gets booked up quickly and this was the perfect alternative for us and where we live.

The food is flavorful, abundant, and not self conscious. It's a bistro and it nails that definition. We were celebrating Father's Day early. Another large group was busy popping bottles of champagne to celebrate a graduation. Another family with younger children were happily chatting nearby. A couple had the window table near our table of four. This environment was joyful, warm, and relaxed. I loved the service and enjoyed the food.

R
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

a lovely place for a wonderful lunch. It is quiet and serene with pleasant French music playing softly. We love their salmon!

FS
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Every course was delicious and beautifully presented. Service was a little slow but that was not a big problem.

MM
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chou Chou was such a treat and a great place to celebrate birthdays in a special way with delicious food and great service. Merci beaucoup!

VM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Not good. The duck was not good at all

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Large party of 10 people. Most of the appetizers and entrees were spot on. However one dish (sirloin steak) was ordered medium rare, and the server was told that it would be Ok if the steak arrived on the rarer side. It arrived well done. We had indicated to the server, that if that was how the chef cooked steaks medium rare, it wouldn’t need to be returned to the kitchen. The server brought the over cooked steak and returned shortly with a properly prepared steak.

The service was, overall good. However our main server seemed like we were a bother for everything, from returning the overcooked steak, requesting additional small plates for the desserts, to ordering after dinner tea. The other servers who assisted were pleasant and very eager to help.

Hopefully it was just an off-night for the server and our future visits will be more enjoyable.

a
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Food was very good! Because it was a weeknight the waiter put us next to the only other two people in the restaurant I assume because these seats could be seen outside to make the restaurant look full. Unfortunately, it was a chatty couple. I don't think one should have to ask to be moved. Just think about the customer's comfort 1st.

F
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

We had a waiter who was grouchy & less than welcoming. Honestly, he didn’t seem to be pleased overall. Also, we got a few dirty spoons, which were promptly replaced. The female staff member was quite pleasant & made up for some of the disappointment. Sadly, this was a disappointing meal with my mother who came in from out of town.

JR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner

OT
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Usually, I do not write a review of my dining experience but I felt compelled to express my extreme dissatisfaction with this last dinner at ChouChou. First, I was surprised that very few tables are occupied almost empty. The waiter was rude and look disappointed that we made reservation for 7:30 pm, he sounded ready to go home. The food was mediocre at best, matter of fact the food was not enjoyable. The waiter dropped the dishes on the floor while collecting from our table, then managed to drip the sauce while removing the main plate on my nephews lap without even an apology.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good food, good service, mediocre atmosphere

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

There are many other amazing French places in the city - this is NOT one of them! Steak was tough as a rock. Fries and salad were soggy. Server / owner was very curt and had a hurry up attitude even though there was only one other table of diners.

s
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

This place, in a part of SF I am not familiar with, should have been a real find. The ambiance is great - white table cloths, lovely decorations and a great menu. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and were the only ones there until about 1 p.m. The food was mostly delicious (I had crepes, my friend had mushroom ravioli and we each like the other's best). The one flaw was the surly person who waited on us. The cook who brought the food out was very pleasant. I'd go back at some point and give them another shot.

P
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location neighborhood favorite for our family. Food is consistently good and ambiance is friendly.

PC
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We come north to SF from the Peninsula for theater. We reserve a parking spot in SF near the Curran, Golden Gate or Orpheum ahead of time, and eat at Chou Chou where parking is easy - then drive down to Market.

We find Chou Chou to be a good value for the money. Wine list is a little marginal and limited, which is not unexpected in a small restaurant. Service is always friendly and competent, food well-prepared and flavorful.

This is one of the few French restaurants in the City that has Isle Flotante on the dessert menu.

Fixed price dinners are a particularly good value. Their Beef Burgundy is one of the better renditions that I've had in the last few years.

Our impression is that Chou Chou is definitely a neighborhood place, but attracts a fair share of diners from further away. Yes, M'sieur Benjamin is superior cooking and wider range of dishes, but it is also close to twice the price. Yes, we appreciate MB, but for more occasions we prefer Chou Chou as a good, reliable source of basic French cuisine.

C
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am a little selfishly hesitant to write a glowing review about Chou Chou, as this is a quiet little neighborhood gem of a restaurant, but they do deserve kudos for their outstanding food and excellent service. We just had our third visit and cannot say enough about how delicious their dinners are. We love their escargot as we really like the garlic butter gratinee preparation. I had the mushroom souffle and it was divine. Cannot wait to go back. Shhhh, it's our secret!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing meal. Have the lamb.

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