Out of sight: Café Claude

Examining hidden gems among The City’s back streets and alleyways.

Café Claude

7 Claude Lane

(415) 392-3505

Hard to find factor: 3

1 Not too bad

2 Takes some searching

3 Ask a native

4 Bring a map

Neighborhood: Financial District

On the downlow since: 1989

Vive La France!: Space is at a premium at this tiny eatery, but the cozy fleet of small, candlelit bistro tables arranged in the adjacent alley add a bit more square footage, and more times than not guarantees you a seat. Mirrored after those same cafés in Paris that Americans devour so eagerly, much of the atmosphere has been collected from a retired Parisian café. No faking it here. So even if you aren’t up for a bite to eat, sidle up to the zinc bar for happy hour and get a fabulous cucumber presse (cucumber-infused vodka, lemon and simply syrup) for $4.

Boom-Boom Room: Don’t forget to check out a few of the local jazz bands booked throughout the month. In the 12 years this establishment has showcased established and emerging jazz ensembles, it has managed to build quite an impressive roster. This month alone, the popular Marcus Shelby, Jerry Oakley Quartet and Belinda Blair, among a slew of others, light up the night.

Gourmet Getaway: What we love about Café Claude is how easy it is to grab a gorgeous, authentic French meal, without any pomp or circumstance. It’s the kind of place that is as comfortable as a broken-in pub, yet fancy enough that you still feel like you’ve done something good for yourself by simply going there. Though we were tempted to begin with one of the delicious charcuterie plates or pâtés, such as the pâté provençal, made with Niman Ranch pork and flavored with green and red bell pepper, olives and herbes de province ($5). Instead we started with the endive salad, served with the leaves arranged in a very artistic tower and garnished with apples, blue cheese, candied walnuts and chives. Our hearts were definitely won over by the coquilles Saint Jacques ($11), that always-delectable and sinfully creamy blend of scallops, shrimp, mussels, mushrooms, bread crumbs and Gruyère served in the shell.

Know any hidden gems? E-mail us at outofsight@examiner.com and tell us your favorite off-the-beaten path haunts.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Most Read