2049 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411537.788640 -122.433922
Neighborhoods: Lower Pacific Heights, Lower Pacific Heights (Fillmore), Central North
A little bit of New Orleans right here in SF, the Elite feels like the kind of restaruant your parents might have frequented, but in a good way. Unlike a lot of old-school places, they've ditched the bad (darkness, uninspired cooking) and kept the good (interesing cocktails, classic dishes done right) all in a lively room where the sun is always shining through the skylight, even when it's foggy.
Great food, service and drinks – i have been going here for years. through diifferent owners and changes of menus this place always impresses. yes, indeed, run, dont walk here for a nice night out or a great Saturday lunch/brunch
Great bar! – Our first restaurant to hit in San Francisco was the Elite Cafe on Fillmore. The bar is fantastic with an old world style charm, lots of wood and golden light. A cute little outdoor seating area with heaters is tempting on a sunny day.
The drink menu and wine list are great. The food is mainly French/Cajun, which is not my favorite, however; they have a great brunch menu and the best mac and cheese you'll ever have!
The Elite is worthy of your Easter bonnet – Elite Cafe is the perfect place for a special occasion brunch. Grab a table outside to enjoy prime Fillmore street people-watching or request an intimate VIP booth (you do know Ben Affleck and Jen Garner dined here recently, right?) If you are a fan of Eggs Benedict, turn it up a notch and try their version served on the famous meetinghouse biscuits topped with hamhock stew. Just don't check your cholesterol level afterward!
Great date spot – Love this spot for special occasions and anytime for their outdoor seating. My boyfriend is from the south and we recently vacationed in New Orleans - the food stacks up for sure!
The Manager is really great at this restaurant. She was able to accommodate us and our BIG party. The food is so-so, but at least the Manager really tried.
I miss the old elite... – This is a hard review, because I LOVED the Elite Cafe that I knew when I lived in SF from '87 - '94. This is the restaurant that I intended to visit on Oct 17, 1989, but the earthquake got in our way. We tried a wine at the oyster bar that we loved so much, we went to find the winery, and got a tour from the owner. So we're biased, clearly. I should also say that I've never eaten at the Meetinghouse. I used to live right around the corner from that location, but it was another restaurant at that time. So, last time I went to Elite Cafe, I was in for a shock.
The beloved oyster bar was gone, the waitress expected me to gush and be excited about the chef coming from The Meetinghouse, and my beloved Shrimp Etouffee was missing from the menu. I was heartbroken.
To be fair, though, the food that we ordered was VERY tasty, the service was very good (though I thought it annoying that they had to remind me that she was from the Meetinghouse...I clearly didn't care, and had never been there.)
I've looked online here, and seen comments from the restaurant, which really impresses me. The fact that they are that interested in their customers is GREAT. I would go back in a heartbeat and give it another shot if the etouffee were back on the menu. Seriously, I love that dish, and I haven't found another place around here to order it.
Thank you so much for this posting. On & off we have had the shrimp etouffee on the menu. It is indeed a much beloved and missed dish. I am still in regular touch with the former owner, so when we talk in the next week or so, I will ask him if he has the original recipe for you. I promise, we'll work on it!
Please shoot me an email so I can let you know when we are ready for you to come on in and give us your feedback on our new version of your old favorite. In the meantime, I would try the untraditional New Orleans BBQ shrimp, they are my personal favorite - not the same, not a substitute, but very yummy nonetheless!
Again, thanks for these very kind words - hope to see you soon.
Thank you for saving our place!! – The Elite Cafe has a very special place in our heart. We have been coming here since moving to San Francisco. The last few years, until you did your remodel, everything was starting to slip a little and we stopped coming as often. But now our favorite spot is better than we can ever remember. We love the addition of the biscuits from your old restaurant the Meeting Place (we miss it, too).
Your servers, hosts, bartenders, and your managers are all very sweet and kind. Always helpful to get us a quiter table; your place can get a tiny bit loud at times.
Thank you for adding Saturday brunch, it is much easier for us to join you and not as crowded.
Congratulations and thank you for keeping Fillmore Street very special and unique.
See you soon :-)
This is exactly why we are in the hospitality business. Thank you for helping us remember the joy that comes with this wonderful restaurant!
Peter and the whole Elite family
25 years and getting better – First went to The Elite while in college, late 80's - now the place is even better. They keep adding stuff: outside seating, valet parking, brunch on Saturday AND Sunday. Food is more flavorful & less heavy. Service was great, even when they were insanely busy on Sunday brunch. Sit outside under the heat lamps and you will be so toasty unless you have 40mph winds blowing. Very attentive service, just added awesome list of half bottles of wine; was perfect for valentine's night dinner. You can buy the insanely flaky biscuits to take home and bake up fresh - they are awesome and just as good at home as at the cafe. Also, they serve the smoothest, richest coffee; perfect with the beignets at brunch. I love this place!! You will too!!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company (www.thanksgivingcoffee.com ; 800-648-6491), up in Fort Bragg, is responsible for the wonderful coffee. We use 100% Fair Trade & 100% Organic coffee, and it sure is delicious. TCC also makes our espresso, and it's wonderful as well.
Hope to see you soon!
Peter, Stephen & The Elite Family
Amazing food, fabulous ambience and excellent / fun service! – I live a few blocks away from The Elite and feel very lucky for the close proximity. The food is amazing (I always start with the cajun shrimp and biscuits)! The decor / ambience is so charming, you'll feel like you've walked into another era. The private booths are totally great for an intimate dinner, but I also love to hang out at the beautiful bar for drinks and apps. I usually find that a restaurant is either good for dinner OR brunch, but not both. The Elite is certainly the exception. We love coming here on a Sunday for bloody Mary's and eggs (don't miss the beignets either!). Be prepared to wait for a table, but it's definitely worth it. You could also be smarter than me and make a reservation ahead of time! Overall, a great restaurant. I hope never to live out of walking distance!
What a wonderful review to read on a Monday morning. I am especially thrilled that you enjoy both brunch and dinner; this is a tightrope to walk and I am smiling ear-to-ear to know we made it across.
Hope to see you soon and thank you again for taking the time to post this about us.
Peter & The Elite Family
Dirty food? Lowest health Inspection score I have EVER seen...maybe NOT so Elite after all – I would strongly advise you not to visit Elite cafe until they clean up their act. Let me preface this with the fact that I have eaten at Elite Cafe twice and both times I have thought that the food was pretty great, definitely something unique from what you typicly find at other SF (or Californian for that matter) restaurants. I have even recommended this restaurant to several other people...however, based on this new information I will NEVER go there again.
I am VERY concerned to find that Elite's San Francisco Department of Public Health Inspection score is a 66 out of 100! Elite was inspected at 12/7/07 was penalized for many things including "VERMIN - Rodents/Roaches/Flies" and "Inadequate/Inaccessible handwashing facilities & supplies." That is disgusting! And I just ate there in January, i think I need to go and wash my mouth out with soap.
Since discovering the health inspection website I have looked up many of my favorite spots in SF and I was SHOCKED to see that Elite has such poor ratings. Nothing else I have seen on the site even approaches Elite's low score (the next lowest score I found was 80 at Bistro Burger on Drumm st). I looked up the doggiest spots I could think of, and nothing compares.
If you decide to visit Elite despite this information, just know what your getting yourself into. At least most of their food is cooked throughly (i.e. not sushi). This is a sad day for me as I will be saying goodbye to those tasty biscuits forever.
If interested in reviewing this or other restaurant DPH scores, there is a link to the DPH website in the SF Gate article published 1.31.07 titled "Kitchen (not so) confidential". (To locate the article, google "Kitchen (not so) confidential" and then at the DPH site search for The Elite Cafe)
JANITORIAL COMPANY FIRED IMMEDIATELY! Replaced with a janitorial company specializing in restaurants.
NEW KITCHEN MANAGER hired to help our great Chef & Sous Chef to make sure NOTHING like this EVER happens again!
REDUNDANT SYSTEMS are now in place to monitor every aspect of the operation!
Just so you know, there were NO vermin whatsoever NOR even any evidence of ANY vermin on the premises! We were simply asked to put steel wool in some crevices which could become future points of entry.
We have addressed all violations. We will never put any of our guests in that position again. Nothing is more important than a restaurant's cleanliness & safety; I was personally & professionally devastated when I realized the situation ? EVERYTHING HAS BEEN CORRECTED.
THANK YOU & I hope you will come back. I would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss this with you; please contact me directly.
Peter Snyderman, 346-8400 x10
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