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Review of Chez Maman

Chez Maman
Ranked #178 of 5,737 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: French
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Went New Year's. Did not have to wait for a table. The hostess and wait staff were all very helpful and congenial. The mussels were great. Ordered the French fries at the waiter's suggestion. Probably the best fries I've had in a long time! The French onion soup was also excellent. My wife had the quesadilla which was also excellent.

Visited January 2014
Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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178 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California, United States
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Excellent food but the wait can be long”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. We went on a Tuesday night and there were 5 parties of 2 ahead of us (you have to write your name down on the whiteboard outside next to the door.) We expected to wait about an hour but it worked out so that we only waited 20 minutes. However, we have waited over an hour in the past since the restaurant is so tiny.

If you wait and get in, the food is EXCELLENT.

French Onion Soup - is one of the best I've ever had and it's large enough so that you can share it between 2 people if you only want to try it.

Burger - one of the best in the city, comes with fries or salad.

Mussels - there are 4 broths you can choose from. This time we had the Poulette but the Provencale is delicious as well. Expect a heaping bowl of mussels.

Chocolate Mousse - Also delicious. Light and had a mixture of nuts on the top which gave it an excellent contrast of textures.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nap22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graton, CA
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“A swell little find, if you can get in”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I am advised that there are two of these restaurants in San Francisco, one in the Potrero District and the other at Hayes & Gough, and this review concerns the latter.

We're regular opera-goers and, over the years, have pretty thoroughly canvassed the "Hayes Valley" neighborhood for places to eat either before or after the show. We'd never tried this cute little bistro for two reasons, namely that I generally try to avoid any place calling itself a "bistro" which seems to be French for "scandalously overpriced fry-up," and also because we've never been able to get in. The place is incredibly small so they don't take reservations, and maybe 14 customers will fill it and suddenly you're obliged to stand on the curb outside waiting for a table, trying not to make eye contact with the homeless beggars and loudly talking individuals you sincerely hope are on the phone with somebody. Recently we decided to give it one more try after a friend's recommendation, and to our great surprise, we got a table! Within literally four minutes there were people waiting in line by the door, so we just got lucky.

I was pleasantly surprised by the menu, which does have the usual entrecôte-et-pomme-frite and boeuf haché, but also a number of salad options, mussels and seafood entrées --- and of all things, Mexican food! There are also some decent draught beers and house wines by the glass. You are pretty much cheek-by-jowl with your neighbors and will be overhearing each others' conversations, but the atmosphere was lively and fun and suited our post-operatic mood very well. Our meals were quite well prepared and not too overly-foodie. My onion soup seemed curiously lacking in actual onions but its Gruyère cheese was very tasty and it all went down well; my veal was not the tenderest I've ever had but again tasted delicious with its accompanying mushroom sauce and fresh veggies. The bill was rather substantial but we'd been hungry, ordered from all categories, and ate & drank every scrap we'd ordered, and we left feeling very happily filled, and this is a San Francisco restaurant after all. And I must admit it was fun eating in a tiny little Parisian shoebox of a place, indeed reminiscent of the City of Light.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MojoLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Ontario
1 review
“A touché of Paris ”
Reviewed October 11, 2013 via mobile

It was the most remarkable brunch ever had it felt like Paris meets California this place is tiny but brought be back to the mind frame of Paris in seconds and the food
Was to die for we came back three days in a row for brunch and our waiter was the most friendly and fast and polite. Will be back when I visit next year again!!!

Thank PvtInvestigator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“get there early!”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

9 counter seats and 4 table seats (plus 4 outside) explains why for this GEM of a French bistro. location is far from tourist areas, but the mussels and steak frites are worth it. Watching staff turn beautiful food out of a shoebox is fun, too. Not expensive, has neighborhood vibe. A real "joint" to write home about.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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