HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Recommendations on French in SF

Scott M Jul 10, 2006 05:50 PM

I am looking for some recommendations for a good reasonably priced French restaurant not too far from the Financial District to take some out of town guests. They have been to Le Charm and Jeanty. I was considering Rue St. Jacques, but am interested in other suggestions.

  1. farmersdaughter Jul 10, 2006 06:00 PM

    I like Plouf on Belden Lane (great mussels) and Cafe Claude, on Claude Lane, a little alley between Bush/Sutter and Kearny/Grant (http://www.cafeclaude.com/).

    1. Paul H Jul 10, 2006 06:15 PM

      Fringale's quality has remained quite high, it's a lot better than Le Charm.

      Anjou (Campton Place) is less formal, but very French.
      http://www.anjou-sf.com/ (How can you go wrong with a 2CV parked in front?


      A step up would be Les Amis - where the food is quite good, next to Rubicon on Sacramento.

      Stepping down in quality you have South Park Cafe (South Park), and Le Central (Bush).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Paul H
        Sixy Jul 10, 2006 06:23 PM

        Although it is not high end or fancy, I have never had a bad meal at South Park Cafe. In fact, the food has only been excellent on my visits in the past. I wouldn't describe SPC as being a "step down in quality" in the slightest, but since I havent been for a little while, maybe there have been some changes in quality I am unaware of. I hope not.

        1. re: Sixy
          rootlesscosmo Jul 10, 2006 07:24 PM

          South Park Café has it all over anything on Belden Place in terms of setting, I think. Belden Place is crowded, loud, and feels vaguely theme-park-y to me, waiters in striped jerseys and umbrelllas with Cinzano advertising on them. South Park is quiet, neighborhood-y... on my first trip to Paris, in 1974, I stayed in a hotel near the metro station Pyrenées, in the 20th Arrondissement; on the square by the metro station, there was a parish church, a Boucherie Chevaline, and a little restaurant a lot like South Park, where you could see the patron during slack times between lunch and dinner, diligently studying the Michelin Guide in an effort to figure out how to get a star. South Park reminds me of that place--what it lacks in chic (menu, clientele) it more than makes up in soul.

      2. r
        rtmonty Jul 10, 2006 06:19 PM

        You can't go wrong with Rue Saint Jacque, it's excellent. Plus, we just love the neighborhood atmosphere there. Foie is outstanding. But, I would also second Fringale and Anjou. Go to Plouf only if you want mussels and frites.

        1. s
          Sixy Jul 10, 2006 06:24 PM

          I am a big fan of Oola which is modern French of sorts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sixy
            Paul H Jul 10, 2006 06:39 PM

            Oola is "modern French of sorts" the way Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton is "modern Japanese of sorts"

          2. s
            Sixy Jul 10, 2006 06:54 PM

            I have never been to the ritz carlton so I am not sure what you are trying to imply about my judgement.

            Oola does a great foie gras and a fantastic duck confit, both French classics with an up to date twist.

            But I accept that not everything on the menu is what you would consider to be classic French which is why I included the caveat "of sorts".

            The chef, as I understand it, is actually French.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sixy
              Paul H Jul 10, 2006 06:57 PM

              I was just making sure the "of sorts" part of your suggestion was emphasized. ;-) Here is Oola's menu: http://www.oola-sf.com/dinner.html

            2. s
              Sixy Jul 10, 2006 06:59 PM

              either way, it's yummy ;)

              1. t
                taswell Jul 10, 2006 10:40 PM

                Le Cave (which I believe was formerly known as the Curbside Cafe) deep inside the Alliance Frances on Bush Street offers some really nice casual French cuisine. Great food, and an authentic, cozy atmosphere that bordered on pretentious without actually stepping over the line. Last time I went there was on Valentine's Day, and I won innumerable points from my ladyfriend for it.

                1. c
                  chilena_sf Sep 3, 2006 03:05 AM

                  I second Les Amis. The food is solid, but the atmosphere and the service make it an excellent place to take out of town guests.

                  1. b
                    bihnkim Sep 3, 2006 10:35 PM

                    Le Central (453 Bush) offers good, classic bistro fare. Very traditional.

                    Show Hidden Posts