Right below Telegraph Hill, this restaurant is off your usual dining beat and is the perfect place for grown-up dates or a gathering of friends—everything about the candlelit, brick-walled, timbered-ceiling room exudes hospitality. You’ll easily win points with the been-there, done-that crowd once they see the menu—a mash-up of hearty authentic Basque specialties along with perennial French favorites such as steak frites. Never mind that you can’t pronounce some things on the menu—the très friendly waitstaff will happily point you toward the best offerings on the menu—such as garlic soup, a terrine of ham and sheep’s milk or the namesake pipérade (a stew redolent of roasted peppers and tomatoes topped with a poached egg), and help navigate the esoteric wine list—a treasure trove of unusual bottlings from Spain, France and the Basque country; you’ll really look like an insider when Gerald Hirigoyen (the chef-owner and the author of several cookbooks) drops by your table to say hi (no one needs to know he schmoozes with everyone).

menu musts*

Warm sheep’s milk cheese and ham terrine,aged Sherry
Garlic soup with rock shrimp, bacon, bread ,egg
Pipérade with sauteed Serrano ham and poached egg
Roasted lamb chop and sausage, rice, fennel and potato
Gateau Basque with cherry preserves
*menu changes seasonally
view full menu here

sweet seats

Large groups should reserve the square shepherds’ table in the center of the room set under the chandelier made out of old wine bottles, and deuces can find privacy toward the back. For a more casual affair, grab a stool at the bar or a table on the heated patio up front.

chew on this

Not many folks know that the restaurant runs a small to-go window on the alley between Union and Green streets, with fresh baked goods and sandwiches Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 3 PM.


lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 AM–3 PM
dinner: Mon.–Sat. 5:30 PM–10:30 PM
closed Sunday

price range

$18 (pipérade) to $30 (lamb chop)