About Garden Court
San Francisco, CA 94105
Featuring innovative intercontinental cuisine, the famed Garden Court offers a superb dining experience in a glorious setting. This historic landmark serves breakfast and lunch daily and an enchanting brunch and afternoon tea on weekends. The Garden Court features a stained glass dome, Italian marble columns, Austrian crystal chandeliers and is noted on San Francisco’s Historic Register as Landmark #18. Our Executive Chef invites you to try our signature crab salad lightly dressed in our own Green Goddess Dressing, a true Palace original created in 1923.
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:30am;
Saturday 6:30am - 11:00am;
Sunday - 7:00am-10:30am
Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 1:30pm;
Tea Time in the GC Lounge (NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED)
Monday - Saturday 2:00pm -5:00pm
The Garden Court Signature Tea Service
Sunday 11:30am - 2:30pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Garden Court Ratings and Reviews
We had breakfast with friends visiting from Vermont. We wanted them to see The Palace and especially the Garden Court. Breakfast choices were wonderful, service was outstanding, chairs comfortable and the noise level was low so we could enjoying visiting together in a non-rushed atmosphere. Our friends also wanted to see Vermonter Maxfield Parish's mural in the bar. Very special.
Quality of food: 5 - Was there most recently for brunch. Mission Benedict was super tasty and filling, breakfast potatoes awesome.
Atmosphere: 5 - Absolutely gorgeous - like the inside of a giant Tiffany lamp - one of my favorite rooms anywhere.
Service: 4.5 - Server was friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the food and bubbly list.
Value: 4 - This is not the place to go if you're sticking to a tight budget, but you definitely get what you pay for.
Bottom line: This is one of my favorite places to eat anywhere and I always go back whenever I'm in San Francisco.
This was my first time to Palace Hotel and to eat at the Garden Court. The service was excellent and the food was amazing. The ambiance was lovely and you can feel the rich history just by looking above. If I could, I would dine there everyday. What a wonderful experience, everyone, EVERYONE must go there and enjoy a bit of their lives.
We were expecting to have the breakfast buffet but, apparently, that ended at 10:30. We ended up eating from the Sunday brunch menu. Not very good. The food was barely warm, it took way too long to get our food considering the restaurant wasn't very busy. Too expensive for small omelet, a few cold potatoes and a few baby tomatoes on the plate!
The location is a pinch me moment place to be. The room is overwhelming and opulent to the eye. The brunch, however, is less than perfect. It's not the garden of old. Where you used to see many Sunday best and purple hat wearing elders out with grand kids in tow. The menu does seem to be eclectic with variations of taster's choice selections and in season accoutrements. I would have liked to see a classic spread for brunch with dessert trays and all the pomp and circumstance that meets the Palace hotel of old. But hey, times they are a changing and I guess so are the ice sculptures and waffle bars. We'll stay next time and try the daily breakfast.
5 of us went to GC for their Sunday brunch, we tried their seafood buffet a few years back and it was wonderful. Therefore, we were a bit disappointed to find out that the buffet is no longer offered.
Food - 3 stars:
We ended up ordering the "Sea for Two", which included 1 small boil lobster, 1 medium boil crab, 4 fresh oysters and 4 prawns. The seafood was fresh but nothing special, they gave a small little cocktail sauce that's not even enough for one. The oysters also didn't have any juice in them. We also tried the salmon tartar with bagel, it was underwhelming. The benedict with Kulua pork was decent. The Kobe beef burger $30+ came with fries, it was good but not sure if it's worth to pay that price.
Environment and Service - 3 stars
They carve out half of the place for hotel guest to sit down and wait for their pick up, so the place looks more casual than before. Although the waiters are friendly, but they all seem to lack energy and what you would expect from a high end hotel. Almost every time we had to raise our hand to get something, no one seems to be keeping an eye on the guests.
Overall: the environment is still beautiful, an ideal place to hangout to have tea and chat. However, to sum up the brunch experience, the food is mediocre, plus the lacking in service, together they can't justify the price and doesn't live up to the 5 star imagine. The question for Garden Court is that what is your value proposition??
This is my favorite restaurant for lunch in SF. It is an amazing room: huge with a glass ceiling that lets in wonderful light. It has great ambiance. The food is good but perhaps a little conservative. It is also rather expensive. However, it is worth it for the amazing dining experience.
Nothing beats the Garden Court for old world charm. The menu for Sugnature Tea was nice but the servings were parsimoniously given. The servers were not cordial and did not smile and felt the yoke of their employment on their shoulders as they conducted themselves.
The Garden Court is a elegant room which has fallen on hard times. The food was minimal and certainly not special or elegant. The service was atrocious and very noisy. I have gone to tea all over the world and this was one of the worst. The charge was $68 per person and for this they served 4 small sandwiches which were probably enough for a small child. The scones and desserts (also small) were passable with clotted cream and jam that had clearly been sitting out all day. Once they delivered your food the wait staff never returned to check on you. For this poor tea the Palace Garden Court charges $68 per person probably $40 more that it is worth. Find another afternoon Tea.
Host almost ruined the experience by taking forever to seat us. Hard to understand how they can have one person hosting and seating customers; we started to worry that we'd lose our reservation. Then he tried to seat us on a table far from the beauty of this place. Glad we could talk the staff into letting us seat in the middle where there was a table available. THEN any wife had to experience chew-gum on her show that someone dropped on the carpet. The waiter, Robert, cane to the rescue. He turned that bad start into a positive: amazing service, great food and outstanding champagne experience.
This was overall great lunch delicious, with excellent service. My only gripe is that it was practically empty but the seated people right next to us so we had to compete with their conversation. There were plenty of other tables they could have used. I've read other reviews and although it is pricey we certainly knew that beforehand.
Our waiter was constantly in a rush, we could never order all at once because he would run away, paying very little attention to us. He was generally rude, especially when we asked about something that was wrong with one dish (due to food restrictions of people in our party, we wanted to know what was on top of the tomatoes - dark seeds in some vinaigrette - and so we asked "excuse me, could you tell us what's this?" - pointing at the sauce. He replied: "cherry tomatoes", and left. Seriously?
Love the Garden Court, such unique ambiance and decor, too bad the service is rude (this is not my first time here, but I never felt like their servers care even a little bit) as if they know you're just a tourist visiting and maybe never coming back (guess what, I live here).
The Garden Court was very disappointing. An old friend and I went for brunch to catch up. We were told by a server to do the buffet because the kitchen was way behind, so we did. When we got there they were out of scrambled eggs. Just an empty tray. There were two Eggs Benedict left, and we each took one. They were not even lukewarm. They were cold. Everything else was ordinary except the lox, which was delicious. But they had no bagels at first, so that had to wait.
But you go for the ambience you say? Well, even that has gone way downhill since we had last been there years ago. The room is still a grand room of course, but they have removed the plantings which made it elegant, turned half the room into the hotel lobby, and scrunched all the tables in the other half of the room close together. It was no longer a relaxing quiet, almost hushed room, but almost more resembled a cafeteria.
Save your money.
For my daughter's 30th birthday, I decided to book lunch at the Garden Court for a happy trip down memory lane. The first time she accompanied me to an attorneys' seminar in San Francisco, we had brunch at the Garden Court beforehand; although she was just 4 years-old, she still recalls being awed by the stained-glass ceiling and delicious food.
Unfortunately, her memory was neither enhanced nor renewed by our most recent dining experience, which included steak so tough that the table shook as the meat was being cut. Had we not already waited for well over an hour to be served, I would have sent the steak back or asked for a saw.
Because my daughter is now an attorney herself in New York City, she has her choice of fine dining experiences - both there and wherever work takes her internationally. While the Garden Court remains a spectacular vision of historic opulence, its excellent dining experience has lost much of its luster.
I booked our reservtion months in advance as t was my 60th birthday and I wanted something very special. I was disappointed. I was expecting the outstanding buffet brunch that we had on our last visit. The brunch has been discontinued. They had a holiday brunch menu posted at the entrance, bur that wasn't offered. The food was fine, but nothing special. The plates were left on our table for far too long after all of us had finished eating. Our server was very friendly, but could have been more attentive. We won't be going back until thy resume the brunch buffet.
NOTE: This review is limited to a single visit for our annual SF trip for 2016.
Sadly, we weren't aware the standard Christmas Brunch had been scaled down to near nothing. For the Garden Court, the food was good and service great! No piano either. Asked when we sat if we had a coupon? Sad really. Far, far, far different experience many of the last 15 years. We stayed at the Palace for the purpose of enjoying Christmas brunch. No more....
My friend and I go to the Garden Court for lunch once each December to splurge and enjoy an elegant meal in a beautiful Christmasy setting. I look forward to it with great pleasure and am not disappointed. What a beautiful place! The service is excellent as well.
The setting was dreamy. Harp player was incredible! Food was presented well ( we had vegetarian option ) desert presentation was gorgeous! Tea was fabulous! We stayed just over 2 hours for our party of 3 people. Enjoyed every minute of it! Will definitely go again!
I made a reservation for Sunday brunch expecting that they still offered the incomparable full Sunday afternoon Champagne buffet brunch. Wrong! GC switched to a menu based brunch not long ago. The wait staff said that many people had come in and complained or left after finding the buffet was gone. The regular brunch was no where near as good or as delightful as the buffet brunch. I will pass until they bring it back!
The tea service at the Garden Court has declined significantly over the past couple of years. We have been having tea the day after Thanksgiving here for years, and what was once a beautiful, elegant, tea service has become mediocre on a good day. Everything has declined from the quality of the sandwiches (they had clearly been sitting for some time - the bread was stale and the piped topping had developed a hard crust - we did not even finish them) to the service (small things that make a difference like dropping the teapot at your table and disappearing vs filling your cup). Even the serving trays that the tea sandwiches and desserts are served on, which used to be very nice have been replaced by cheap plastic. The beauty of the room itself cannot make up for the decline of just about every other aspect of this tea service. We will definitely be finding a new place to have tea going forward.
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