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Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Certificate of Excellence
Hayes Valley
French, American, Bar, European, Contemporary
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398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4421 (Gough)
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Mon - Wed 11:30 am - 12:00 am
Thu 10:30 am - 12:00 am
Fri 11:30 am - 12:00 am
Sat - Sun 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
More Info
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391 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 369: English reviews
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We went shopping in the chic neighborhood of Hayes Valley that has gentrified in the years since the freeway exit ramp that used to dump cars into the once-rundown neighborhood collapsed in the 1989 earthquake. Its local council apparently outlaws big chain stores (with the sole exception of Walgreens) so we had fun checking out the truly local shops on... More 

Thank S0CalF00die
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had a little extra time before our dinner reservation elsewhere, so popped in for some appetizers and cocktails. The place was jammed packed, but they were able to get us a table for three outside, which was perfect. The spicy fried chickpeas and soft garlic pretzels with vermont cheddar mornay were addictive and we couldn't get enough of them.... More 

Thank Karla M
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I like Absinthe because we somehow get to eat at a bar or table if we wait a bit at the bar. Usually wait is not too bad. Bartenders are excellent. Even though they are always very busy, they notice people quickly. Cocktails are delicious. Wine is ok. Food is pretty good. My favorites are oysters, oyster shooter with vodka,... More 

Thank Sunshine_Akiko
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place has been around for more than 20 years (I'm told) but it still holds up! In a trendy area of town so good as a stopping place when on a walk-about. Classic French bistro food well prepared with top local ingredients. I'd give it 4.5 if I was able to. If you want a French bistro vibe while... More 

Thank kighterindia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
113 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We made 11:30 lunch reservations for 6, not knowing crowd levels, etc., and we were on a tight schedule for afternoon meetings. We were the first to arrive when they opened, we got seated at our reserved table, and then....nothing. We could have been ghosts. Nobody acknowledged us, and with all of us being relative strangers in a strange town,... More 

Thank TJTarheel
Level Contributor
88 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Food was very good. The French onion soup was excellent, with the deep, rich flavors that only come with hours of preparation. The grilled octopus was tender and flavorful, with a spicy chickpea stew. The pavlova was excellent and perfectly prepared. The service was good and very efficient. Perhaps - by nature of the frequent need to get diners out... More 

Thank C-S-TravelersFromCA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
175 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Walking around this SF neighborhood and stumbled on Absinthe. Sitting at bar it took - I'm not kidding - ten minutes before any of the four bartenders even acknowledged my presence. Others sat down after me and were quickly served. Dinner ordered; waited over a half hour. Wrong order. Waiter and bartenders clueless. Plenty of other options in walking distance.

Thank TXRoadWarrior
New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Casual and friendly with nice vibe and very creative drinks menu. We were five and everyone enjoyed the food. Grilled Spanish Octopus was exceptional.

Thank Doug R
Level Contributor
114 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Lovely meal, lovely staff. The drink service was a little slow, and at one point I had to ask three times for my drink. Other than that, good selection of food and drink. We had a party of 6 and everyone was satisfied. We had oysters, french fries, french onion soup, filet, coq au vin, salmone, mac n cheese, and... More 

Thank Edie H
Level Contributor
45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2016 via mobile

We had the spaghetti and the Cesar salad. Good thing we took the burrata as a starter (which by the way was very good) because the portions were very small. Great service though. Place is a little loud but it didn't bother us.

Thank Laurence16

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
Average prices
$31 - $40
French, American, Bar, European, Contemporary
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks
Restaurant features
Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions, Business meetings
Open Hours
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
11:30 am - 12:00 am
11:30 am - 12:00 am
11:30 am - 12:00 am
10:30 am - 12:00 am
11:30 am - 12:00 am
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4421
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Hayes Valley
  • Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
  • Phone Number: 415-551-1590

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Absinthe Brasserie & Bar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Hayes Valley

Neighborhood Profile
Hayes Valley
Chock full of designer boutiques, art galleries, funky shoe stores, and great restaurants, it’s hard to imagine Hayes Valley once languished in the shadow of a major freeway. Its removal allowed for the creation of an attractive boulevard on Octavia Street with a community park at its center and dozens of trendy businesses to satisfy visitors looking for a stylish respite.
Explore this neighborhood