Best-of Guides San Francisco

Best French Restaurants in San Francisco

5 Restaurants
9,000km separate Paris and San Francisco, but that hasn't stopped the city's French restaurants from turning out classic and contemporary Gallic fare utilizing California's bountiful cheeses and seasonal produce.
Updated on 25 March 2024
Atelier Crenn
3127 Fillmore St., 94123 San Francisco
$$$$ · Contemporary

At the hands of accomplished Chef Dominique Crenn, guests have rightly come to expect a thrilling meal inside her singular atelier. Original is the name of this culinary game—one that is as thoughtful in serving brioche with cultured butter as it is with caviar crowned by turbot gelée and gold leaf. Spiny lobster with dots of apple butter and a warm ginger-whey foam is a wondrous creation brimming with flavor and depth. 

Le Comptoir at Bar Crenn
3131 Fillmore St., 94123 San Francisco
$$$$ · Contemporary

Designed with an eye on Paris during Les Années Folles with a splash of speakeasy, this room is a flea market-chic amalgam of lounge furniture, glinting chandeliers and vintage accents. Fine silver, crystal, champagne and caviar complete the decadence. The classic French cooking strives to recreate many of the century’s great dishes through recipes on loan from culinary masters. Desserts, like the Saint-Honoré embellished with créme chiboust and caramelized rounds of paté choux, are tiny but mighty.

O' by Claude Le Tohic
165 O'Farrell St., 94102 San Francisco
$$$$ · French

Chef Le Tohic's prix-fixe menu is composed of ten outstanding courses that may pair classic French techniques with pristine Californian ingredients. Exquisite sauces work their way into this rotating lineup that begins with a generous trio of caviar with freshly baked breads; and ends with an enticing mignardise cart, starring bite-sized bon bons, pâte des fruits, cakes and so much more.

2801 California St., 94115 San Francisco
$$$ · French

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas have long been recognized as Bay Area pastry royalty, so naturally this foray into sit-down dining is a treat. To sweeten the pot even further, they tapped JP Carmona, formerly chef de cuisine at Manresa, to lead the kitchen. The result is a welcoming neighborhood spot serving French bistro fare with a distinct Californian accent. Fantastic seasonal produce and bold flavors are hallmarks year-round.

Zuni Café
1658 Market St., 94102 San Francisco
$$$ · Californian

Forty years young and still thriving as if it were newborn, locals and visitors remain drawn to this SF institution. Famous for its laid-back California vibe and great, locally sourced eats, this iconic space embraces its unique shape, and is styled with bold artwork-covered walls, a copper bar and wood-burning oven sending out delightful pizzas that fill the room with mouthwatering aromas.