Ooh La La! Ten Best French Restaurants in San Francisco

Let's face it: every culture has a cuisine worth trying. Whether it's Spanish paella or authentic Italian pizza, a person who can't afford a round trip ticket can at least circle the globe of cuisine. And there are few cultures that take their food - and their wine - as seriously as the French.

Sometimes, the urge to have French food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of San Francisco's best French restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in San Francisco. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Fleur de Lys or tell you that Chapeau! gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. From Union Square to Financial District, we'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.

Café Jacqueline

Long-stemmed roses and candles set the ambience at this small, romantic restaurant. Unique to Café Jacqueline is its limited menu, consisting of souffles that serve two. Selections change daily, and such delicious ingredients as crab, truffles,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.

Exposed brick walls, mahogany detailing, velvet draperies and a champagne-glass theme set a swank scene at this classy supper club. While guests find it hard to tear themselves away from the marble-and-mahogany bar, Traci Des Jardins' food sways...  Read More

What's a marriage made in heaven? A classically-trained French chef, taking in the long and delicious history of fine French cooking, and pairing that rich tradition with the unbelievable year-round fish, meat, vegetable and fruit bounty that...  Read More

Cole Valley

While Bay Area brunch restaurants are not hard to come by, Zazie's is one of a few local gems that keeps customers coming back despite its long, out-the-door lines. The eatery is renowned for its gingerbread pancakes but also features more...  Read More

Nob Hill
Le Colonial

With trendy "pop-ups" popping up all over town, almost too quick to even judge whether the food is good or not, it's a blessing to have a tried and true institution like Le Colonial. This Romantic French-Vietnamese restaurant in Nob Hill has...  Read More

Campton Place Restaurant
Photo courtesy of used in book.

Peaceful, romantic Campton Place sits within a European-style luxury hotel, a fact not unnoticed in the restaurant's Continental cuisine. Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm places a premium on simple, high-quality ingredients, and his affinity for...  Read More

Absinthe recalls the days of Dorothy Parker and her circle of witty, sardonic critics. Along with dicing celebrities, they took great pleasure in good food and drink. Plenty of both can be found here, and weekend brunch is especially delightful....  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.

This charming bistro, happily ensconced in its small, friendly neighborhood, always issues a warm welcome. Its comfortably upscale dining room is busy but romantic, and patrons delight in Chapeau!'s well-executed French country fare. Classics...  Read More

Consistently regarded as one of the city's best bistros, Fringale has a reputation as a noisy, crowded place that offers sensational Basque-inspired cuisine. Within the neutral-toned space, diners are treated to unique, flavor-packed dishes and...  Read More

Russian Hill
La Folie
Photo courtesy of used in book.

Patrons can't find enough good things to say about La Folie, the small family-run restaurant that mixes sure-handed French cuisine with a refreshing lack of pretense. In the intimate dining room, lush drapery, mirrors and exotic woods impart a...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom