Le Central

4.5
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1716 Reviews
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$30 and under
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French
Opened in 1974, Le Central has been serving traditional French cuisine for over four decades, boasting the honor of being San Francisco’s most historic French bistro. Conveniently located on the cusp of the bustling financial district and downtown Union Square, Le Central stands out in a rare one-story historic brick building, crowned by a vintage Tabac sign. Offering classic French faire such as Filet Mignon au Poivre, slow-cooked Cassoulet and Roast Chicken Pommes Frites, Le central’s cuisine is comforting yet sumptuous. The exposed brick walls, stained glass features, and imported brass bar invite you to retreat and unwind in its charming, brasserie atmosphere. Le Central is the downtown stop for locals and visitors looking for a classic meal, delicious glass of wine, and a taste of la belle vie.

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50% off all bottles of wine

Happy Mondays! Enjoy our award wining wine list for half the price. 50% off all bottles of wine every Monday from 5:00pm-9:30pm *limit 2 bottles per party

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: July 23, 2019

Ends: July 24, 2118

Availability: Mon 5:00PM-9:30PM

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Tue - Sat 9:00PM - 9:45PM

What 1716 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is delicious. Service was great. Cozy, quiet, place for celebrating a special occasion or just for a nice dinner where you can converse with a friend. The Cassoulet was amazing.

c
San Francisco
99 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Le Central is as good as it has always been. May it never change.

L
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The food is good and the restaurant is very French bistro feeling. I guess you could say the staff is very Parisian feeling as well being surely rude and inattentive. Could be my last visit to Le Central.

t
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There has to be a reason this charming restaurant has been around for over 45 years. It is a little bit of Paris in San Francisco Lovely ambiance and very good food. I enjoyed the delicious roast chicken breast that is very moist served with crispy brussels sprouts and delicious French Fries . The Butter lettuce salad was a nice starter. The chocolate mousse cake (more like a moist cake than mouse) was out of this world delicious.
Whether it's lunch or dinner at Le Central it is a lovely dining experience.

DG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! What a great Niçoise salad. It is now my go to lunch spot downtown.

SH
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We hon here often — very nice evening with old friends who wee new to the place — we all enjoyed the evening

K
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We regularly go to Le Central for Valentines Day. This year it was out seventh year - Thank you

ER
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wish the Lobster Bisque was hotter. Fabulous dinner! Thank you

JH
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went with a guest and had a great lunch! We were able to converse and noise was not a problem. We always enjoy going to Le Central.

AV
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Classic - Unobtrusive service - old school - comfortable.

c
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for a business dinner for my team and other employees. Excellent experience in every way. While our server was on his first night, he was well informed, provided great suggestions on the wine and entrees. Many of us ordered the Casoulet, which they are known for, and it was to so tasty. We all had a great time! Will be there again next time in San Fran

SD
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We visited Le Central twice during Restaurant Week. We used to eat there several times a year quite a few years ago and always enjoyed it. However, it had been a long time since we had visited. The first visit was for dinner during Restaurant Week. I can say without doubt that it was an incredibly good dinner for both of us. The next week, we were there for lunch. Once again, we both loved our lunch and will definitely have Le Central back on our radar. Service was wonderful for both meals, but Sarah was incredible.

CG
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience since it was my first visit and would highly recommend!

C
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The place is outstanding in all aspects

S
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New to the neighborhood and had to check this place out for SF Restaurant Week. I had the butter lettuce salad, filet mignon, and saffron honey creme brûlée. All were fantastic, and the real standout was that creme brûlée...I’m still dreaming about it.

c
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A real treat

N
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Our waiter was able and appeared to be concerned by the slow service we all received, BUT WE HAVE NEVER WAITED SO LONG FOR OUR FOOD TO BE DELIVERED IN ANY OTHER RESTAURANT--AROUND THE WORLD--THAT WE HAVE PATRONIZED. Your kitchen must have been backed up or something, but it was inexcusably poor service!

BP
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Eva is an exceptional server and the value of the restaurant week menu is extraordinary. Delicious cocktails, intriguing wine choices, great food. The included sides are thoughtfully chosen. We can't wait to return.

f
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food, excellent service and great value due to our use of Restaurant Week offering.
Restaurant was a little bit too noisy but it was way too warm in there.
The 6 of us really enjoyed the experience.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Our table service was lovely, but getting our food was extremely slow. We waited over an hour for our entrees. They did adjust our bill however which was nice and very necessary in my point of view.

LH
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food and service was very good. Restaurant was not crowded. Decor is a bit dated. Good visit.

OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although my filet was not initially cooked to my preferred preparation, once the kitchen got it correct it was one of the best filets I have had. Our server and expeditor were great. We will definitely return.

JA
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy having dinner at Le Central. The food is amazing and they make a great martini!

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dinner with special friends

w
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Really disappointed. A classic French restaurant in SF—should be easy and fantastic. Instead, I got tasteless, limp “roast” chicken with salty Brussels sprouts. Cocktail was so weak I couldn’t even taste the alcohol. Frites were good, as was my simple bib lettuce salad. dessert was a “seasonal” I could have bought at any Safeway. Can’t recommend it with all the options in SF.

S
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience5

I am a native San Franciscan and going here on and off for over 40 years. I will preface that this dinner wa a pre fix New Year's dinner so all of their dishes where not on offer. But, having said that the quality of our meals was poor compared to the past. My husband and I both had the escargot and they were small and dried out, the sauce was tasty. I had the filet mignon and my husband had the cassoulet. The cassoulet was good (they have been making it so long with the same starter for years), but the duck confit was a little dry. My filet mignon was rather toothy as if they marinated it too long and it was salty. But the most disturbing thing was the mashed potatoes where served with a icecream scoop (this hasn't been done since the 50s) and tasted boxed. They were very dry and just plain institutional.

I think maybe this restaurant is better for lunch when maybe they get more patrons. I am afraid this is another dying San Francisco institution.

b
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful New Years Eve Luncheon! Bubbles, Salad and great company! Cheers to the staff

GH
Houston
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cassoulet was fabulous!

q
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice lunch with out of town guest. Always a favorite.

HP
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Le Central is classic San Francisco, and worth going just for that. However, the night we went it was seriously understaffed. It took 15 minutes to get menus and water, and the pattern continued the whole night. All of our steaks were overdone, and when we asked to send one back that was supposed to be rare but did not have any pink, the waiter tried to convince us it was cooked right. For a traditional SF meal it's a fun place to see, but if you want a fine dining experience try somewhere else.

SS
San Francisco
108 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Le Central is a San Francisco treasure. Great food. San Francisco ambiance. Wait staff who care. Always delicious food and a good time. Christmas time is special and not to be missed. It is always a pleasure to be at Le Central.

RO
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely delicious. This is a top-class restaurant. Expensive but absolutely worth it. It was somewhat noisy but that is a minor annoyance compared to all of the good points.

D
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect for our annual holiday dinner.

B
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic restaurant after all these years. What a gem.

s
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always enjoy Le Central as a true French Bistro and Brasserie.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Restaurant looks and feels tired

B
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Despite san Francisco difficulties- too many to mention, Le Central has made a come back. A native SF
bartender (Go Riordan) a waitress from France who speaks French- Mon Dieu (c'est Vrai) and a new chef has brought back memories of SF when people actually laughed and flirting was expected. My wife
who vows never to step foot in SF, says she will now reconsider to give Le Central a try . If we get lucky we might even hear some laughter in the air . Ca sera genial!

SA
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was great 25 years ago and nothing has changed. How often can one say that about anything today, much less about a restaurant? Had short ribs bourgouinon and roast chicken. Both excellent., with house Gigondas. Perfect!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Won’t go back
Mediocre at best

b
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food2service5ambience4

Service was outstanding. Food was minimal. Still live the place. It was extra busy.