St. Michael's Alley

4.6
349 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
Established in 1959, owners Jenny Youll and Mike Sabina expanded the once small coffeehouse of St. Michaels Alley into this intimate dining establishment in 2009. The restaurant provides three comfortable spaces for a dinner out with friends, date night, or a complete private event. The main dining room is wood paneled and intimate. The front room / bar area is more casual and social, yet still offers tables with linens and the full menu. The solid wood bar is a favorite dining spot for many of the regulars and locals. A beautiful outdoor patio is most enjoyable on warm summer days and nights as it open to the sky. Enjoy a cocktail at the full bar before venturing into one of the upscale and relaxed dining spaces of St. Michael's Alley.

The restaurant is currently offering the Autumn Menu on the Patio as well as takeout, Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5pm. Currently, there are 4 tables open inside the restaurant.

Support St. Michael's Alley during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 349 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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J
vipJerry
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely outstanding.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quaint little restaurant. Romantic white table cloth setting. Refined menu was perfect. I’m glad I got the scallops on the recommendation of the server. My boyfriend got the skirt steak it was perfectly made. Chocolate mouse tart was excellent as well. Looking forward to another visit here

TG
TimG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great setting Somewhat formal in our dining room, but not stuffy. Some creative disshe--roasted carrots in yogurt for starter. Also, excellent pear-cranberry salad.
Salmon, scallops and lamb chops were are main. The scallops were tender and flavorful. The salmon was excellent and unlike most restaurants was not dry iniside, but moist and tender.

MP
MichaelP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place and always enjoy going - it's been too long between visits

PA
PaloAltoGal
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My guests from Peru had the lamb, the duck and the pasta, and I had the wild sea scallops. For first course we had the tuna tartare. Every dish was excellent! We were recommended a Cabernet Sauvignon from Woodside Vineyards which proved delicious. Unfortunately, the kitchen was out of the pear and cranberry tart. Even on a Friday night at 8pm the service was very attentive and we felt well taken care of. My guests said it was one of the best meals they've ever had in Palo Alto.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great neighborhood gem. Salmon and Sea Bass both excellent. Wonderful service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Fish entree portion was very small! For a $38 it was 50% of the size of two other orders of same dish that were ordered to the table

T
vipTainapr
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food1service5ambience5

Perhaps we had an unrealistic expectations after so many of our friends kept recommending us to go. Service was OUTSTANDING, Enrique was attentive, detailed oriented and knowledgeable. We sat by the bar in a high top table for two and ordered appetizers and main entrees. After trying 4 different plates and getting the same tasteless experience in all 4, we decided to skip dessert. My drinks were perfectly made and so it was better to end on that note. Enrique asked us to try their special dessert and I am happy we did. It was the only thing that would make me go back. Overall the soup, appetizer, skirt steak and raviolis were saltless and needing of flavor. Drinks, dessert and coffee made worth the bill.
I will recommend it with the disclosure of our experience.

M
Mark
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Over the years we have enjoyed many restaurants in Palo Alto. However, this was the best experience we have ever had. The meals were excellent. The drinks were tasty and creative. The service was superb.

NY
vipNYQ1
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you so much for making our daughter's birthday special :)

RH
RHM2k
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our 'go-to' spot in Palo Alto for an excellent meal, particularly with friends.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
103 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent...the monk fish was cooked perfectly and super flavorful and my wife's steak had a great marinade and was cooked perfectly as well.

D
vipDoug
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The main dining room has reopened and offers a cosy, sophisticated without being pompous atmosphere. Service is efficient (as in no rush), courteous and knowledgeable. The menu is diverse and offers a twist on classics but also some gems (I love the heirloom carrots and their spices), wonderful lentil soup, delicate monkfish and perfectly cooked lamb loin, with delicate vegetables sides with light, tasty sauces. Dishes are of the right size. Dessert menu was nice too, they do the profiteroles à la Parisienne (my home town). Only thing missing is an assortment of carefully curated cheeses (please bring them back, with baguette please, no crackers nor apple nor chutney, unnecessary 😉). Very good wine list and liqueurs.

Another diner in Paradise

CB
CelesteB
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful menu, wine and cocktail list. We enjoyed all the courses and the service was impeccable. One of our favorite restaurants for years.

GS
GraceS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Coral was the best. It was such a joy to come check out this special restaurant, and having an excellent server like Coral made it all the better.

We split the roasted carrots as an appetizer, I had the sea bass (and my parents had the pork tenderloin and salmon). Everything was delicious, and made us that much more certain that we should try the desserts, which were also divine (Coral recommended the lemon tart and the chocolate cake, both of which were amazing).

Highly recommend coming to SMA for special occasions, from a happy hour with out-of-town friends to an anniversary dinner. Enjoy!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our reservation was not cancelled.
We were there at 6:00 and had a wonderful meal.
I received a voicemail saying we were cancelled at 6:30 and I don’t know why.
Please credit us for our reservation.

PW
PatrickW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding place for a date. The food was amazing. The setting is very comfortable and the noise level is energetic without being too loud for us to hear our conversation. The staff was super attentive yet let us have our space.

a
aconsul73
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Very good food, attentive and flexible service. More than happy to return with visiting guests. dishes: duck(main) and profiterole (dessert).

I
vipItiswhatitis
Central Coast
22 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent location and service. The food was very good too but the service was exceptional! Thank you!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service!!

s
shihsl
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My father and I were looking for a nice (but not overly formal) spot for dinner after catching a Stanford football game, and St. Michael's turned out to be perfect. It seems that there are not a lot of restaurants in Palo Alto that fall between budget / casual for students and super fancy / very expensive, but St. Michael's is one of them. We both ordered the monkfish and it was delicious. The service was fast and friendly, and our server offered to bring us a taste of the wine we were considering before committing, which is always nice. Will definitely be back on our next trip!

NL
NancyL
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The dinner entrees were all really divine and we managed to try five of them. The food is well seasoned, creative, had very fresh seasonal ingredients and had interesting flavor combinations.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food1service1ambience1

I loved being outdoors! You are my favorite restaurant

MC
vipMCoh
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent birthday celebration. Food and service was amazing as always. Would have been nice to have a complimentary dessert. Noise level higher outside due to larger parties, but that is not in your control

S
Sophia
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really delicious food and incredible cocktails. Very friendly service.

RK
vipRKardashian
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great place for good food and customer service.

S
vipSlicey
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had a nice meal. Our waiter was very nice but some of the bussers were not friendly.

JC
vipJoanneC
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience5

the food quantity is very very small. we have 3 people and spent $200+ for dinner but we are still need to get something from the store nearby.

J
James
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent and nicely prepared. Service was mediocre— long waits before ordering and between courses had to pour our own wine. However the food made up for the service shortcomings

S
vipShari
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Neighborhood feel restaurant in the middle of downtown Palo Alto. Lovely quiet setting on the street. The menu had a variety to choose from but expected to be wowed and wasn't. The food was good but not excellent. I had the scallop dish which was cooked just right but felt it could have had more to besides asparagus and baby potatoes. The caesar salad was nothing special. My husband had the sea bass which was good as well. The desserts of cheesecake and profiteroles with coffee ice cream was delicious and well welcomed to the usual restaurant desserts. I commend the service that was attentive but not annoying and always willing to accommodate any request.

MM
MarcM
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed the experience 8/28.
It was REALLY hot outside (92) and warm inside.
City of PA does no favors to restaurateurs...mandatory thermostat adjustments on the high side.
FORTUNATELY, the owner/manager came through and opened windows. THANKS.
Food was excellent,
Service (Juan) was outstanding.
Prices have shot up and portions a bit smaller.
That's OK considering what everyone has been through.
Probably should eat less anyways to shed C-19 weight.
THANKS again everyone.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great dinner and happy to get relatively last minute reservations. Our waiter was excellent.

FF
FrankF
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner with good friends. Everything was terrific!

AP
AndrewP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The cozy small cafe style ambience was nice. The table setting was not the same as seen in photos posted on website; only rolled up silverware in white linen napkin, bread plate, fresh flowers, and small oil lamp, which hostess lighted up as he room gotten darker in the evening.
The hostess and table runner staffs were nice and very tentative to our requests. The main waiter for our section could have been more tentative. My guess was he had too many tables, overwork because of the shortage of staffs. Over all he was nice and efficient. I feel bad for the restaurant industry over all during this pandemic difficult time.
The foods were ok and nothing spectacular. The seared Ahi special of day was bland. The lamb loin dish was good and not over cooked. The Chipotle steak was also good and cooked as I requested, medium rare.
Desserts were also decent.
Overall it was a pleasant evening for all of us. We loved the nice cozy ambience of the restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Birthday celebration

F
Fanofgoodfood
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

After our last experience at St Michaels last year we were excited to be back, but it just didn’t measure up this time. The peach and burrata with prosciutto appetizer was not very flavorful and the meat did not go with the rest of the dish. The skirt steak entree was odd with the sour cactus and overly spicy rub on the meat which did not complement each other. It also came with two sauces that did not really fit with the other flavors. The halibut special was good but the fish was slightly overcooked. Our server was knowledgeable but a bit pretentious.

DE
DEBJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

I have loved St. Mike's for many years, but I have to say right now I would not recommend them. The food was good, but not excellent at the level expected before the pandemic. Prices were pretty expensive ($38 for 3 scallops!). Service was excellent, great wine selection, but until food quality returns to previous level I will not be back.

PA
PAdiner
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the few owner operated restaurants - creative tasty dishes, well curated local wine list and good people.

R
Roshana
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are a foodie you will want to come here. The food is superb as well as the ambience and the customer service. We all left feeling good!

FAQs

St. Michael's Alley offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 326-2530.

St. Michael's Alley is rated 4.6 stars by 349 OpenTable diners.

St. Michael's Alley does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://swipeit.com/product/1996/saint-michaels-alley.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.