Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.03mi
  3. Distance: 0.04mi
  4. Distance: 0.07mi
  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.03mi
  3. Distance: 0.04mi
  4. Distance: 0.07mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.03mi
  3. Distance: 0.04mi
  4. Distance: 0.07mi
  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.03mi
  3. Distance: 0.04mi
  4. Distance: 0.07mi

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.

453 Bush St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French

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

SUNDAY
Closed

Cross Street:
Grant and Kearny

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 391-2233

Website:
http://www.lecentralbistro.com/

Parking Details:
Sutter-Stockton Garage

Executive Chef:
Johnny Tanphanich

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

Additional:
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

Specials

50% off all Bottles of Wine
Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

Specials

50% off all Bottles of Wine
Details

Enjoy your meal with a delicious bottle of wine!

Terms and Conditions: Includes Tax, excludes service, limit 2 per party.

Valid For: 1 - 20 People

Starts: October 11, 2017

Ends: March 31, 2018

Availability: Mon 5:30PM-10:00PM

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

See availability for bonus point tables

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

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Le Central Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Quiet

88% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (28)
Authentic (26)
Business Meals (22)
See All
Romantic (20)
Special Occasion (19)
Good for Anniversaries (18)
Neighborhood Gem (18)
Great for Lunch (17)
Cozy (16)
Fit for Foodies (14)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Comfort Food (13)
Bar Seating (12)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Notable Wine List (11)
Pre/post Theatre (11)
People Watching (10)
Fun (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Seasonal (8)
Healthy (7)
Worth the Drive (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Local Ingredients (5)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Casual (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Sort by
S
1366 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

I've been dining out at Le Central for decades, except for a lengthy lapse of a few years. Recently, we (and my family) went back and was surprised to discover their specialties (the excellent NY steak, Nicoise salad, cassoulet and escargots) are actually getting better! Because of those pleasant "discoveries" we kept coming back every month for three months now. Will continue re-visiting Le Central for their one-of-a-kind testy dishes. Paul, the owner (and occasional chef) and his servers are nice and attentive to guests.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

One of San Francisco's classic restaurants offering French bistro food. A little frayed around the edges but always enjoyable.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 12, 2018

One of my all time favorites. To me it is such a perfect blend of formality and familiarity combined with delicious food, great service and a cozy sophisticated interior. It is a timeless spot.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Food was delicious , but service was poor.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1

vip
 (London)·Dined on January 11, 2018

The onion soup, roasted chicken and Russell sprouts all had absolutely no flavor. The chicken was bone dry and Brussels sprouts were beyond bland. I can’t imagine how onion soup could be flavorless but it was except for the melted cheese on top.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on January 10, 2018

We had a business lunch at a very busy time, but the service was very sharp, food came out quickly and was quite good. The place is fairly small so a little "tight", but worked great for us.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Cozy, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 8, 2018

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.

Tags: Late-night Find, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Traditional French cuisine in a quit pleasant atmosphere. Always reliable and good value. Cocktails and wine very nice.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

I love this SF classic. Busy place lunchtime yet serene and romantic for dinner. Always excellent and particularly fine service this evening. Ces’t magnifique.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Very french, great service, great food! Good place for a business lunch in San Francisco.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Authentic, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

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.

Tags: Notable Wine List, People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

To expensive prices and not good food, I tryed many much better, i was in paris and disappointed that they said french food. Bad in everything

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

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.

Tags: Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We have been going to Le Central since 1979. Always a must whenever we are in San Francisco. Cozy bistro seating, excellent food, solid selection of wine at a good value, and oh that cassoulet!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Tired place. Tired food. Tired servers. Skip it.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Warm & intimate dining room evokes the spirit of a French bistro. The food was authentic and the service was reasonably efficient.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

We have eaten at Le Central many times and have not been disappointed. Low key, friendly, good food, not fancy but consistent.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, People Watching
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2017

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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 20, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Notable Wine List
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Cute little place, but the food was average.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

From the very start when we were seated the staff were superb! Couldn’t ask for better service experience and the food was fabulous.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

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...

Tags: Seasonal
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

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.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

The lobster pot pie was spectacular. Better and more lobster than Michael Mina, which is saying a great deal!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

outstanding French bistro cuisine, great wines and cocktails, in the Parisian area of San Francisco

Tags: Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Fun, Seasonal, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

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.

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Quick Bite, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 15, 2017

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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 15, 2017

We had a wonderful time at dinner with family. Our sister was visiting from Paris and we talked and talked and dined and wined. All of the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. We will definitely go back.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Fun
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2017

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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 14, 2017

It has a classic menu. Our group was very pleased with the mussels, steak and fries and their lovely salads.
The service was terrific and attentive Evan as every table was occupied.

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Paleo Friendly, Disabled Access, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2017

What a great lunch. The service was spot on. Food was great! I have always thought this was one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area.

Tags: Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Romantic
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 10, 2017

we have been here many times and come back for the happy hour and French atmosphere.
Great bartender, Sean and our server Didier lent the French absence we enjoy!

Tags: Happy Hour, Authentic, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 10, 2017

We always go to Le Central for the cassoulet when we are in S.F. It never disappoints.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

Great food, good flavors ! Everyone enjoyed their meal.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

The duck confit was mediocre. Otherwise lunch was okay.

Tags: Authentic, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on December 7, 2017

Excellent food and service. The steak was fantastic.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 7, 2017

We’ve been here numerous times. Lee Central is dependably good.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Comfort Food, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 3, 2017

My family (myself, my wife and our 9 year old son) really enjoyed the food at Le Central. Delicious, without being pretentious, French cooking. We had great service from Scott as well. All together a delightful experience that we’re certain to repeat.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Absolutely wonderful! Wow! We will be back to dine here every time we visit San Francisco. Simply the best salmon. And the best Cappuccino! A++++ Sooooo happy we found this little place!!! This place goes on the favorite list.

Tags: Romantic, Sunday Lunch, Seasonal, Fun, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.