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The Cats Restaurant & Tavern

282 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Good for Groups

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The Cats Restaurant & Tavern is a BBQ and sandwich joint located in the Los Gatos area of San Francisco. Current owners of the restaurant renovated the original building from the 1800s. Restored wood from the 1800s and early 1900s was used all around for floors and walkways, giving The Cats Restaurant & Tavern the look and feel of an old fashioned saloon. This restaurant offers a selective menu of BBQ, burgers, sandwiches and sides. All the BBQ dishes are prepared using the award winning BBQ sauce recipe from Pit Master Paul Kirk.

Feast on Hickory slow pit smoked BBQ with your choice or chicken, pork or ribs or enjoy the Oak wood brick grilled BBQ with chicken, salmon, pork, veggies or your chosen cut of steak. Any combination of meals can be ordered from The Cats Restaurant & Bar for outside event catering.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Barbecue, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, American
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Hours of operation

Dinner: T-W 4:00pm-10:00pm
Dinner: Th 4:00pm-12:00am
Dinner: Sa-Su 4:00pm-12:30am
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Phone number
(408) 354-4020
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Offers private dinning for 15-70 people. Also able to accommodate buy-outs.
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Cross street
Highway 17
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Parking details
Private lot off of highway 17. Private shuttle from the town of Los Gatos to the Cats Restaurant and Tavern.
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Live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Wine
What 282 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LosGatosReviewer (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 6, 2016

Still one of my favorite places to go for an incredible barbecue dinner. Cool, old style ambiance but energetic and friendly. The staff is fabulous!! Love it!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 30, 2016

my wife and went in for my birthday......she had the pulled pork plate......say that 10 times fast.......and I had the honey glazed pork chop.....both were good.....the pork chop might have been a tad dry but not that much.......I used to play music at the Cats before they closed and remodeled, and the honey glazed pork chops were what I had most every's definetly a bbq/meat and potatoes kinda place but they have some basic dinner salads .......I hear they have some good bands in there...I listened to the one that night for just a couple of songs and they were trying to play some jazz for the opening few numbers but I think they were really a rock band trying to break the early dinner crowd in....a little heavy handed for jazz but they were just getting warmed up....they may have been really good......I couldn't stay and listen so I'm just guessing...but...we'd definetly go back sometime.....I bet their steaks and ribs rock pretty hard........

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 29, 2016

We came here with a total party of 12 for my birthday gig. When we arrived, we seated right away and didn't have to wait for the whole "most of your party needs to be here" in order to get seated (plus!). Since it was our first time here and the name did say tavern, all my friends left their kids home with babysitters. It's ok for older kids, but not for little children, it gets very loud, and there isn't a lot of space at all. If you get there early enough, you can park in their parking lot, if not, head back towards Los Gatos, and park across the hotel, The Cats offers shuttles to and from this lot.
The food was......up and down.....Appetizer firecracker chicken wings: great. Cornbread:amazing. Fried mushrooms and onion strings:very good. Cheese bread and cowboy fries: yummy.
Main course: Tri-tip sandwich: so very very dry. Very. Ribs: dry and with a weird gritty texture not from the rub...=/ Hamburger was ok at best. Pulled pork also very dry. The chicken was pretty good. The loaded potatoes was yum(side dish though..). My whole party was sadly disappointed in the entrees. Pretty weird that the sides and appetizers were so good but the mains were not. And then there's the price, pretty high considering the food quality.
Sadly I will not be back....This place is out of the way too, so it would have needed to be awesome in order for me to want to come back.
Oh and there was a live band but tiny space, only meant to be listened to, not to dance to. So sit and listen type of bar.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 28, 2016

Great spot, love the authentic down home ambiance. Their barbecue is the best and the entertainment terrific.

Luv2winendine (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

Fantastic restaurant, great service, lively music and amazing food! I love that the place is historical too. The meats were so tasty and the side dishes were incredible. There wasn't anything we ate that was bad. Cats did not disappoint at all! Can't wait to go back!!

Time2enjoy (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

This was my first visit. Friends has told us that they had had the most amazing Ribeye steak with a really good rub on it. We finally got a chance to go. First thing the server told us was that they were out of Ribeye's . We were all very disappointed. She later came back and said they did have some. Well, when we received our food 4 out of the 6 of us all agreed it was not a Ribeye we got but a NY Steak. It was bland, no rub was used. We still paid the price for the NY. We did not complain at the time but definitely know it was not what we had ordered. The cornbread that came with everyone's order came in 1 basket and came when we were almost done with our meal. We had to ask numerous times for it.

At the beginning I asked if we could have separate checks and she said "yes definitely" Well that did not happen. She gave us one bill and she said we had to figure it out our-self. It was a mess. I personally will not go back and either will the group we went with.

vipjjll (New York Area)
1.0  Dined on January 22, 2016

Steak is marginal at best, and dining room has lost whatever Charm it once had. Used to go here all the time when we lived in Bay Area, it has really deteriorated.

To sum it up in one word, AWFUL".

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 22, 2016

Limited BBQ menu - would like to see more beef BBQ items. Menu never seems to change. Good cocktails. Good beer menu, but about half if items listed were unavailable. Calamari appetizer were steak bites - very good. Wedge salad excellent.

Ruby (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 22, 2016

I go here often, as the BQ is wonderful, the employees rock, and the bands are ussually quite good. Love the ambiance.....

easytoplease (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 17, 2016

The Cats is an institution, and that is why we went. We also went for the barbecue ribs, which were tasty, and to hear guitarist Joe in the bar on Sunday...he is great. The hostess was professional and happy to switch our table in the main dining room for one in the bar. Our actual waitress was a bit dingy. Part of the problem could be the menu. Neither first nor second wine choices listed were available. There were beers on the menu they didn't have, too. She didn't come by to ask in we wanted more to drink either. We had to flag her down. The mushroom side dish should be avoided. Mushrooms are easy to cook so someone needs to teach the chef how to prepare them right. Pretty basic. Wet wipes would have been a nice touch after eating the ribs, too. They were never offered.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 16, 2016

Service was slow.....and we were seated upstairs with a VERY noisy group. Worth the wait to be downstairs whereally you have a better chance of having a conversation. We will be back...

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 15, 2016

We had a blast - great table just outside of the bar with an awesome waitress. We had 4 couples and everyone enjoyed their meals - ribs, chicken and steaks..........stayed afterwards for the music - just like we always remembered it - maybe even better!

kimy (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 8, 2016

Would not go back. Everything is way overpriced and the food is not that good Set my steak back twice and they still didn't get it right and pay 26 bucks for it. Disappointing.

Tinamoe (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2015

Dinner was amazing - the calamari melted in our mouths, the steaks, hot and juicy! After dinner we headed downstairs to the bar for some drinks while waiting for the New Years Eve Band, "Vegas Nights" to play. Ashley, the bartender kept us entertained with good conversation and amazing drinks throughout the night. Just before midnight, everyone received a free glass of champagne to toast in the New Year! Thank you was a PUUUURR-FECT way to ring in the New Year!

LuvGoodFood (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 30, 2015

It's a cross between a pub, a saloon, and a sports bar, specializing in barbecue deliciousness! They also have great entertainment in the evenings. Very enjoyable for a casual night out.