We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Plenty of hype. Little justification.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Frances

Frances
3870 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94114-2030 (Mission)
415-621-3870
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Frances is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #125 of 5,005 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $35 - $45
Cuisines: Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Mission
Cross street: between Noe and Sanchez
Transit: 24, 33, 35, 37, F, K, M, and L
Description: very popular new American in SF
Charleston, South Carolina
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Plenty of hype. Little justification.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

Good things: Service, friendliness.
OK things: Food. Just not all that special.
Bad things: Gnocchi (tasteless clumps), bare tables (at these prices I expected a tablecloth), way overpriced wine. We got screwed by the sommelier.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

127 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    83
    24
    15
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Just Fine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I was giddy with excitement to score a reservation to Frances. Perhaps I had built it up a little too much and my expectations were simply too high. It was good, however I agree with a previous reviewer that with all the amazing choices in this culinary town, it wasn't quite up to par. There was nothing that really stood out for us other than the caramelized cabbage side dish. The gnocchi was a bust - flavorless bullets of dough that were bland and oddly heavy. The duck was prepared well as was the steak, but again, we weren't blown away. I was hoping to be "wowed" by a new twist or novel preparation, but it was the same flavors I've experienced time and time again. Yawn.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leamington Spa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Small but perfectly formed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Loved, loved, loved this restaurant. We stumbled upon it and just dropped in for a light snack as we were going out for dinner later. We sat at the bar which was cosy but the appetisers just blew us away. Everything was so fresh and imaginatively cooked. We were so impressed we booked for the following night. At this stage we knew nothing about the restaurant.

The following night we had a dinner and everything was just perfect. A small menu but fresh and seasonal. Yes, the tables are close together but we ended up talking to some of the locals and had a really lovely evening. Service was excellent. It was only then we found out there was a 2 month waiting list for a reservation. Even though the place was full, turns out that someone obviously preferred to stay in and watch The Giants play. Whoever you are, we thank you!

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“We found "Frances" in the Castro”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

On a recent trip to San Francisco, we had heard about a great restaurant in the Castro. When we arrived about a half hour before they opened, they informed us that reservations were required up to 60 days in advance, she did say however, that if we were willing to sit at the bar then we would be the first to sit down. We did not want to miss the opportunity to eat there, so we opted for the bar. Dinner the night before was at Michael Mina's at the Embarcadero, so Frances had a tough act to follow.

The dinner was absolutely every bit as good as the previous night. The wine selection was top notch. We did choose a wine that was delightful, but the waiter accidentally opened a much more expensive bottle than we had ordered. When the bill came and it was three times what we were expecting, we brought the error to the attention of head waiter. He quickly told us what had happened and without hesitation charged us for the bottle of wine that we had originally ordered. The food and staff are impeccable. The location of this great new restaurant in the Castro is within walking distance to almost anywhere. If ever you should find yourself some night wanting a wonderful meal, a nice bottle of wine, and a welcoming atmosphere, then "Frances" in the Castro should be your choice.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
1,758 reviews 1,758 reviews
694 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 332 cities Reviews in 332 cities
908 helpful votes 908 helpful votes
“Really good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Pros

- good food
- creative cuisine
- fresh ingredients
- fair portions

Cons

- book in advance or go before 6pm
- several times the same ingredient in different dishes

We arrived around 5.20 and we got a seat at the bar area. It was ok.
We had

Appetizers (they are big. Good to share)
- beets
- kale salad

Entree
- Duck
-Swordfish

Desert
- crumble cake

Everything was delicious.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Frances also viewed

San Francisco, CA
 
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
 

Been to Frances? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Frances, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.