About Le Central
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.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours of Operation:
MONDAY - SATURDAY
Lunch: 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Dinner: 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Bar: 11:30AM - 10:00 PM
Happy Hour (Bar only): 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Grant and Kearny
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Facilities:
We welcome you to our little bistro with a big heart. Dining alone, on a date, with visiting family, for a special occasion, or a familiar face, bienvenue chez nous. Gathering colleagues or close friends for a larger group event? We can do that, too. We can even provide a whole side of the restaurant for a more private dining experience. Let us know your needs and we will do what we can to accommodate them. We are here to take care of you.
Private Party Contact:
Melanie Tanphanich: (415) 391-2233
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Join us for Happy Mondays.... 50% off all wines by the bottle limit 2 per party Mondays from 5:30pm-10pm
Send a Gift Card
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Le Central Ratings and Reviews
Ate here with a 'real' French citizen. He was happy with the authentic menu and the demeanor of the waitstaff (a bit gruff, similar to France!)
food came out very quickly - excellent for time-constrained business lunches.
a bit noisy at lunchtime; we were in the middle of the restaurant. If you want quiet, opt for a corner table.
Wines were good, espresso was yummy, sadly did not order dessert.
interesting that it's on the border of Chinatown!
Merci for a great experience.
We were there for New Years’s eve dinner. Pre-fix dinner for $60! Can’t beat the price. Amazing food. Rack of lamb and cassoulet were incredible. Need to save room for dessert. Had the Meyer lemon soufflé and creme brûlée. Excellent service! Will definitely go back and recommend to friends.
We went to Le Central for New Year's Eve. Expecting to be waiting a long time we were pleasantly surprised to be served immediately by a lovely French waitress that gave the evening a very authentic French feel. We had cocktails and a bottle of wine that was excellent and very reasonably priced. They had a Prix Fixe menu for New Year's which I normally do't like but the price was VERY reasonable at $60 per person and the choices were great.
I had one of the best filets I have ever had, including comparison to a top steak house. It was served with green beans and whipped potatoes. My friends had a rack of lamb, it was great and a fish dish that was lovely. I had the beet/endive salad and was expecting meh, but WOW, it was delicious.
We finished with desserts that were great although the Lemon Souffle was outstanding with a cranberry compote.
Overall it was a great evening made perfect with charming service and great food at a very reasonable price.
For years I had heard good things about Le Central and so we decided to go there during a special trip to San Francisco. We were very disappointed. It is clear that the restaurant is resting on its reputation. The food was at best average and the service was ho hum. We won't make this mistake again.
my lunch partners enjoyed their meal. Mine was dry dry chicken, flavorless, tasteless. the lentil soup I had for staters was actually decent.
service was ok.. i seemed to be an afterthought for the waiter compared to the others at the table.
i won't go back.
I first came here in 1974, the year the restaurant opened and have been many times since. This was a return after a 20 year absence from the area. The food is just as good as ever. The service is attentive (our server was a delightful French woman--I hope she waits on you!). And the cassoulet hasn't changed (of course, they've now had 15,000+ days of cooking it to get it right!). The host recommended a wine that was a perfect accompaniment to the cassoulet, and it was available as a half bottle.
I will be back again and again.
holiday weekend in the city with my son and three grandsons- with reservations made, and a half full restaurant, my son was seated in the breezeway between the bar and restaurant area. Very slow service, even to the point of being inattentive/ignored by a server who was otherwise standing chatting with other staff . Food quality and price were fair, a cozy setting if seated properly. It just wasn't enjoyed because of the service and the table we were placed at. Ironically there was a very nice table by the window set up for five people that remained empty while we were there hmmm...
Solid traditional French fare. Entrees were well executed. However the apple crisp dessert was a disappointment. We could barely taste any apples. It was more of a bit of apple in a shortbread crust. It was quiet and not hurried so we would definitely go back.
We enjoyed our meal, as we usually do, and will go to Le Central again when we have a function to attend. We were able to get out in time, which is always important. Both of us chose the scallops which were plump and fresh and shared a butter salad, also fresh as can be. Our waiter was attentive, without hovering. We would recommend this restaurant highly.
We were a group of 5 friends having dinner after seeing the Christmas lights of SFO.
We did not discuss our likes/dislikes of Le Central after dinner. However, when we saw each other again at another event, we all had the same impression: it is overrated!! It is resting on its reputation from years ago. The service was non-existent, even though there was 1 empty table in our area.
It was an effort to get the attention of the waiter and then we waited and waited for a menu. By then the mussels were sold out (there was enough for 1 order - we wanted 4 orders). We should have skipped the mussels entirely as there were so few and not at all tasty in a cream broth. Everyone's dish was marginally OK and the cassoulet was tasteless...seemed like it was "assembled"..and not cooked together for optimum flavor. There are so many good restaurants where we would have enjoyed a better meal. I suppose people like Willie Brown will keep it going as long as he is able to be "out and about". When that era ends, this restaurant will be gone as well.
Terrible experience. Host was arrogant and rude. No greeting. Sat me. No menu. Nothing. I sat for 10 minutes and was totally ignored. I had to ask for a menu and water. When I finally ordered lunch the tart crust was soggy and the plate refrigerator cold.
WORST RESTAURANT EVER. WILL NEVER RETURN.
The food and atmosphere was just as I remembered whem I ised to lunch there often 35 years ago when I worked in tbe finamcial district. The waiters are great and its such an SF institution. You can't go wrong in a place filled with so many only in SF memories and characters!
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