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.

“Very Good Local Neighborhood Option”
Review of Max's Bistro & Bar

Max's Bistro & Bar
Reserve with OpenTable
Max's Bistro & Bar is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #11 of 1,131 Restaurants in Fresno
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $36
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: West
Description: Experience California-bistro dining in a place reminiscent of San Francisco, where the cuisine is accessible and the service is humble - not unlike Max's beginnings. In June of 1997 Scott Stanley opened Max's Market and Bakery (named after his son) on the corner of Bullard and West in Fresno. The cafe featured gourmet foods and sandwiches made daily with freshly baked, all-natural artisan bread handcrafted using old world methods. Max's Bistro and Bar is more than quality cuisine and service - it's comfortable. You know it by the three generations of Fresnans who each sit at their favorite table. You can hear it in the laughter that erupts between server and guest as it carries across the room. And you can see it on the face of head chef Scott Sauer as he looks out his tiny kitchen window into a crowd of familiar faces who have become part of the Max's family. Max's is comfortable. It's never about ego - but relationships. It's not about pretense - but culinary creativity. Every dish, every time, is crafted from the ground up and bursting with creativity - consistently prepared with the freshest of ingredients, and best of ingredients that can be found locally. The aromas fill the restaurant as the martini and wine bar serves up a variety of hand-shaken martinis along with an extensive offering of wines by the glass or bottle. As seasons change, so will the fresh fish and produce delivered each morning defining Max's seafood special for the day. From day-boat scallops harvested fresh to the center cut of a filet where size and shape are exacted by hand, we promise a unique dining experience.
Orange, California
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Very Good Local Neighborhood Option”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is a very nice local restaurant at which to dine. There is a nice menu selection ranging from appetizers to fish, meat, pasta main dishes and finally to nice desserts. The service we had last night was excellent, right from the advance request we made for seating through the server Kaelie who was bright, cheery, there but not intrusive. The Mrs. had a Filet which she described as "slightly undercooked, but good," noting the spinach was "over-sauted a little." I had the Halibut special with nectarine corn Quinoa which I thought was a very good dish I would order again. The deserts - mint and chip ice cream and blueberry tart - were worth saving room for as an end to a good local dinner. Note: there was a security guard posted in the parking lot keeping an eye on the cars when we dined which was comforting given the prior review regarding auto break-ins. We will likely return again soon.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank beagle47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado, USA
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A Bit of Food Heaven in Fresno”
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Max's Bistro is located in a strip mall and is easy to find. I have eaten there 6 times in 3 business trips to Fresno. This restaurant hits the mark in all areas.

1. Food - a great selection of California/American/Mediterranean dishes with daily specials. It is noteworthy that Fresno sits in the middle of California agriculture and everything they serve is locally sourced and therefore fresh. Preparations are perfect and the meal is just a joy. Over a 2 visit span I had a lightly grilled tuna with grated jicama, black beans and a wonderful sauce and a Whitefish burger with veggies and again a wonderful sauce. Their breads are baked by the owner in a bakery he owns and they serve a delicious spiced olive oil for dipping. Don't miss getting an appetizer - try the sweet potato fries with another great sauce!
2. Wine - the wine list is diverse enough to appeal to any taste and will match any food serving. Some great name brands - Joel Gott, Morgan; and plenty of local varieties to try.
3. Atmosphere - Beautiful setting with great ambiance. Bustling but quiet enough to have good conversations.
4. Service - Timely, welcoming and attentive. One is made to feel welcomed at Max's Bistro. On my second visit last week, I took dinner at the bar and spent some time talking wines and food with the owner. A very pleasant gentleman and just typical of why Max's Bistro is a "Must Eat There" if you are ever in Fresno.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank M2hra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Comfortable afternoon dining experience”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Later Friday afternoon leisurely lunch...seated right away, without reservations. Enjoyed a modestly priced bottle of wine from NSW. Bread and olive oil was delicious. I had crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce that were wonderfully prepared. DH had a crab & shrimp melt which he very much enjoyed. Atmosphere was European Bistro music was pleasant, not ear-splitting! Service was cordial, attentive and prompt. Will definitely being going back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank TravelerSophia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clovis, California
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Favorite restaurant in Fresno. When asked to pick where to eat, I always pick here. The bread and strawberry salad are the best.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Natalie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“great food and service”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

my daughters brought me here to celebrate Mother's Day. food and service was excellent, every attention to detail. i have a diary allergy and they made every effort to help me with my selections even checking with the chef to make sure, no dairy. the halibut and veggys were grilled to perfection. nice wine list but wish they had more local selections. will be back, next time with my husband.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank nascardonna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Max's Bistro & Bar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing