Do you love French cuisine? If so, you will be impressed with the selection of San Francisco French restaurants.
The list below includes my five favorites. The options vary from the high-end to cafe-style restaurants. You will also find both traditional cuisine as well as those with a combination of French and Californian cuisines.
One of my favorite San Francisco French restaurants is Cafe Claude. Eating here is almost like sitting at a cafe in Paris. It has a large indoor seating area, but my favorite place to eat is on their outside patio.
It's located down a small alley, so you can enjoy your meal away from the chaos of the city, while being in the heart of downtown. The outdoor area is also heated, so you can stay warm on those cool San Francisco nights.
My favorites on the menu are their moules and frites (mussels and fries). Their steak tartare is also delicious. Their menu changes regularly, so there is always something new to try.
You will also find a great wine list with several options both by the glass and by the bottle. They have a large French selection as well as many California favorites.
Not too far from Union Square in the Financial District, you'll find another lovely French restaurant and wine bar called Aquitaine. At night it offers a warm, romantic atmosphere, but it's also a nice spot for folks to dine on their lunch break.
Some of their popular dishes are the deviled eggs, the duck confit, and the mussels. Another favorite is the pomme frites served in a big wooden shoe, a great side for the table to share.
Most of their wines are French. If you aren't sure what to order, don't hesitate to ask. They love helping you find the perfect wine to pair with your meal.
You can also order a delicious meat and cheese plate if you're looking for something lighter to accompany your wine outing.
Jardiniere is a higher-end, French and Californian restaurant. It's located in the Civic Center District and is one of my favorite places to grab dinner before or after a ballet, symphony or opera performance. I also love it because it sits in a beautiful historic building.
The menu is limited, but changes daily. This allows them to serve the freshest, in-season selections of the day. Options range from beet salads to swordfish and duck. Fresh oysters and caviar are always included on their daily menu.
Their food is amazing, but their wine list is even more impressive. They offer a broad range of options from around the world. They also have two sommeliers on staff to help you select the perfect bottle for your meal.
Zazie is another one of my favorites. The food and wine are great, and because it's in Cole Valley, which is not frequented by many tourists, you get a very authentic San Francisco experience. If you want to get away from the crowds, head here for dinner.
Some of my favorites at this French bistro include their cassoulet (with duck, white beans, and sausages), the hanger steak, and the lamb tagine. You will also find a great selection of fresh salads, fish, and even a slowly braised rabbit dish.
You will find a good selection of French and Californian wines by the glass. Their full bottles are also reasonably priced, so make sure you check these out if you plan on having more than one glass of wine with dinner.
Another one of the centrally located San Francisco French restaurants is Rue Lepic. You will find it just up the hill from Union Square in the Nob Hill District.
This small, local SF restaurant is cozy and reminds me of some of the cute cafes in Paris. The food is consistently good with traditional French flare.
My favorites here include the prawns salad, the grilled chicken in rosemary sauce, and the filet mignon in peppercorn sauce. Don't forget to save room for their amazing creme brulee for dessert.
You might even see a celebrity enjoying dinner here from one of the nearby high-end Nob Hill hotels.
Top SF Wine Bars: Before you hit up one of my favorite San Francisco French restaurants, head over to one of these fun wine bars. They offer a great selection of both locally produced and international wines. As a wine lover, I often stop here either before or after dinner.
Best Italian Restaurants: SF also has a number of fabulous Italian restaurants. While you will find a large number in North Beach, some of my favorites are a few neighborhoods away. They range from the high-end North Beach Restaurant to the small, local Jackson Fillmore Restaurant in Pacific Heights.
Dim Sum Restaurants: If you are looking for something completely different for lunch or dinner one day, then head over to one of these cheap and yummy dim sum restaurants. This small plate Chinese cuisine is a local favorite as you get to sample a variety of options from steamed pork buns to fried rice.