St. Michael's Alley

4.6
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74 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Established in 1969, owners Jenny Youll and Mike Sabina expanded the once small coffeehouse of St. Michael's 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, (however does not have heat lamps, so bring a sweater). Enjoy a cocktail at the full bar before venturing into one of the upscale and relaxed dining spaces of St. Michael's Alley.

They serve lunch (Tues-Fri), dinner (Tues-Sat), and weekend brunch (Sat & Sun).
Closed Sunday night and all day Monday. Enjoy fresh, seasonal California cuisine thro
What 74 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
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent friendly service. They made an effort to make us feel welcome. The food was excellent too.Good choice and good quality.

GA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the "old house feeling" in a modern context. Noise level low enough to actually have a conversation.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I gate to give it 5 star reviews, because I want St Michael’s Alley to stay just as it is.
The service is personal and outstanding. The food changes with the seasons and is fresh, beautifully present and beyond delicious. We’ve never had a bad meal there; not even close !
The ambience is delightful ; broken up into several areal so noise is not a factor . It’s like being in a private home!
They have a secluded area that can handle a large party - no bothersome noise for them or other clients.
Woman at front has been there a long time and delightful. Owner, Michael , can often be seen delivering glasses of wine to the tables. Charming, low key man.

a
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome fine dining, creative entrees

TB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely menu and ambiance

N
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Reliable, good food. Not inspired but good quality. Good service. Noise level a bit loud in small dining room.

TD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect place for a civilized Sunday brunch! Good food and lovely atmosphere.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great and our server, Peter, was fabulous!!

OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

I had the flank steak medium, and it was over cooked on the ends. Small, we were seated outside definitely not my favorite place.

TM
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place. Low key with excellent food

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

One of the entrees was misrepresented and ended up being very bland after needing modification and coming out after my husband was served. No one even asked how it tasted. A big disappointment especially since I usually love this place!

JL
New York Area
93 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely setting and decent food. Not all-star, but still good though prices are lofty. Then again you are in Palo Alto. Those who had scallops raved. People who had pastas, not so much. Decent wine list, but frankly would have expected more given location though lots of more local; choices.

DF
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambiance, with super friendly staff from the moment we walked in. Nice bar with a live edge wooden top and cozy setting. The dining room, unlike so many places today, was cozy and quiet - perfect for the two of us to enjoy conversation and dinner. The tartare was done well. We shared our caesar, which was split for us. The enters were wonderful. We got the monkfish special and the scallops - both were enjoyable. No room for dessert! Thanks to the staff for presenting us with a fun evening!

L
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great spot for a special occasion or outdoor dining. I usually go for dinner but opted for brunch this time and was delighted. Interesting and varied menu. I had avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon jam. The waiter described it as a lovely blend of sweet and savory and he was right.

H
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary Brunch for two.

We requested a romantic table and it was ready and waiting for us.

Our server, Coral was awesome. She made great recommendations and even took a lovely photo for us.

The food was delicious.

We highly recommended St. Michael’s Alley!

s
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great food, a bit loud but cozy. enjoyed the wine and nice booth

MD
Yorkshire
61 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good, highly recommended.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great all around. Will definitely return. The monk fish special was perfectly made and seasoned.

RT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent as was the service. We will come again.

MK
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

We have been to St. Michael's Alley many times. This is the first time we had a poor experience. While the food was okay, the service was not great. We never got one of the appetizers we ordered. Someone else's dinner was delivered to our table. And the main dining area was cordoned off for a private party so we did not get the round table we requested. Very disappointing.

MC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went here for dinner on Aug 22. We had not gone here as a couple before. Overall, we had a good experience. The ambiance was stately and quiet. Our waitress, Liz, was helpful in deciphering the menu. I liked that her recommendations included some of the cheaper-priced offerings. She, also, disclosed the prices of the non-menu special offerings. Most restaurants' waitstaff members don't do that, which is why I never bother with the "specials". At no time were we rushed. We both had the red curry duck, which we enjoyed. We had the mussels and chorizo as an appetizer. That, too, was good. We ate early in the evening, so the place was quiet when we started. It had filled up by the time we left, but was still quiet in noise level. It is in the "pricey" range ($30+ for most dinner items), so be prepared for a big bill. They applied a charge for "living wage", which, I guess, is the owner's way of passing on some city-mandated employee pay structure. I don't know how it is calculated. My guess is it is a percentage of your bill. Thus you will pay what amounts to two sales taxes.

Y
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Coral was exceptional. She was friendly, fun and very accommodating. We had an early brunch and sitting inside with the windows open on a beautiful August day couldnt have been more heavenly. The food was divine as were the drinks. Love this place. It continues to be a favorite.

OT
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Always excellent food and service. Would just recommend getting outdoor heaters because it got chilly towards the end of our outdoor seating. However they did provide blankets, so it helped and we still loved and enjoyed our meal.

l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

St. Mikes is our favorite restaurant on the Peninsula. Ambience is delightful and the food sumptuous.
Service is excellent and it says a lot about management that the same servers have been there for so long.

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

Very charming restaurant, beautiful and inviting ambiance, friendly servers, fabulous food. I highly recommend!!

c
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our table of 5 for brunch thoroughly enjoyed their brunch. Delicious food and drink. Outdoor patio was the atmosphere we were seeking.

KO
San Francisco
137 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We liked it so much we reserved for next week to share with guests from Hawaii. A second, immediate reservation is the best of compliments. Lovely ambiance, good cocktails and pleasant welcoming server.

DL
Tahoe
9 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in Palo Alto on also criteria. A wonderful place.

OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love St Michael’s alley. Been going there for over 20 years and it is always excellent!

R
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ate an early, 6:00 PM, dinner last Saturday night. Intimate restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating.
Also seating at a log bar. At his time of night was about 3/4 full, noise level was moderate.

Food was absolutely delightful. Everything we had was prepared in a unique way using texture and flavors different than what we have experienced. The steak tartare was superb, small chopped fillet (or something close), not ground, seasoned with a touch of chili, with a slight delay between taking a bite and the chili hitting. The mushroom cake was a first for us. The crunchy crust was just right, held everything nicely yet was delicate.; leaks on top another nice touch. Generous portions of sea bass and skirt steak. Chipotle Risotto was more gelatinous and not as creamy as I like. , Grilled Nopales thin and tender. All the attending sauces were excellent. Recommended wines were delightful.

Service was friendly, answered all our questions, always around, but not obtrusive

It was our first time at St Michael's Alley, but we felt like returning family, and as family we will return.

OT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent cocktails, great service and food is wonderful. Went there for the first time and will refer to others.

s
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

My niece and I had brunch there this am. I ordered an omelette with bacon, spinach, cheese. One of the poorest tasting omelet’sI have ever had. Poor quality bacon. They need a new chef ASAP! The cappuccino cup smelled sour . Very disappointed for this is a suppose to be an excellent restaurant in PA. Wont ever go back ! Find a new brunch spot. No toast served w/ the omelette just this big blob on the plate come on u can do better than that!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were met by the hostess by first name and she kindly anticipated our reluctance to sit outside after the temperature had dropped suddenly. She gave us the perfect corner table in the dining room and we thoroughly enjoyed our 32 anniversary date night. The scallops melted in your mouth and my only comment would be that the duck, which was recommended, was a bit tough and disappointing. We expected possibly a different cut? Overall we appreciated that you can actually have a conversation and hear each other, the ambiance was lovely and we will be back.. thanks for the special attention!

N
Seattle
16 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our go to local restaurant for date night. Food is always fresh and delicious. Service is spot on. This time I had one of their specials- seared hamachi over a bead of sautéed greens drizzled with a citrus sauce. The menu is similar to a Pacific Northwest style. Enjoy!

RM
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and loved their attention to the vegetarian options. Super wine list with local favorites galore. Well done

MV
Adelaide / SA
24 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Gorgeous dining space - great spot for a date night. Unfortunately the table next to us was super loud and at times, it was challenging to carry on a [normal volume] conversation.
Cocktails were well made.
Our server was attentive and friendly, but not familiar with the menu in terms of dietary restrictions. During ordering he went back and checked the alternate menu multiple times.
Tuna and avocado poke + noodles was refreshing, though the portion was larger than I expected. Steamed mussels were juicy and flavorful. Brussel sprouts were crispy.
Overall a lovely dining experience.

JK
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent lunch. Delicious food, great choices. Everyone loved their lunch. Wonderful ambiance!

a
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful lunch! Food is particularly excellent, service excellent. Highly recommended.

J
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I plan to return soon. I love the food, the wine list, the casual yet professional service and the ambiance. It is a place where it is possible to have a conversation without having to shout. I have rediscovered this restaurant after years and so happy I did.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable.

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