Posted by - May 23, 2015 - $$ (20-50), NightTime, Restaurants, San Francisco


This is the newest “IT” spot in San Francisco. Aatxe just opened up a few weeks ago (April 17th) and is an awesome place for date night (hint hint: fellas make your ressies ASAP!)


The ambiance was on point: innovative drinks, classy vibes, chill music, and mostly importantly- the food was fantastic.

Aatxe (pronounced “ah-chay”) showcases Basque-style tapas while drawing influences from Northern California. The chef is Ryan Pollnow, who is killing it with his bold menu of pintxos and tapas. There were so many things that I absolutely LOVED (we practically ordered the whole damn menu). So the entire night, we were drinking, laughing, and enjoying these tapas in a super lively atmosphere (while also embarrassingly taking food pics #sorrybabe).

Side: Aatxe is opened by the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group- which also owns Flour + Water, Salumeria and Central Kitchen

Here are the 7 tapas that really blew me away:

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

The octopus salad ($12) is a total orgasm in your mouth. The salad features fresh ingredients that you can taste- very thin slices of octopus with tiny cubes of kohlrabi, avocado and greens.

It was a great start to our meal.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

The pickled beets & kumquats ($10) is another fantastic starter for those of you who aren’t a fan of octopus. I was super impressed at how all these ingredients complimented each other in every bite.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

This is a pintxo flight ($13). Each one of them was different and delicious: pintxo gilda, fava and lardo toast, smoked salmon, and a fabulous deviled egg.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

I was blown away by these mussels, which arrived marinading in pool of immense flavors. The sauce was super flavorful and bold, without taking away the natural flavors of the mussels.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

Crispy pork trotter ($11) is a must get!! Think: warm, crispy outside layer with tons of melty flavors on the inside.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

OMG these are freaking phenom: patatas Bravas ($8.5) They’re like french fries on crack– WAY better and way crunchier. It’s cooked with a light tomato sauce.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

This Spanish fried rice ($14)  was one of my favorite dishes of the night. It was soft- yet crunchy at the same time (<– love that).

These next few dishes are good, but just aren’t as memorable as the ones above:

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

Green olive flatbread ($6) with garlic herb butter. Loved all the flavors, but I’m usually not a huge fan of flatbread (I’d rather save my calories for other things).

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

Gambas al Ajilo ($13): While the shrimp itself was super fresh, I thought the sauce could have used a little more flavor.

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

This pork belly ($15) was just alright. Perhaps I have very high expectations for pork belly, but I just wasn’t impressed. While it was flavored nicely, it didn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth type of consistency. (It’s the ONLY thing on the menu I’d skip).

Aatxe SF review/ Basque cuisine in SF

So to sum it all up:

Aatxe is located in the historic Swedish American Hall and is divided into two rooms- a bar area and a dining room. This is a great place to come for date night or as group of people. I’d recommend coming here PRONTO since this place will probably be booked up with reservations very soon.

And don’t forget, the crispy patatas bravas are a must get!!

PS: If you’re coming here on a date, don’t forget to bring gum. You’ll thank me later.

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  • 2015 Date Night restaurants | Violet Fog September 17, 2015 - 4:28 am Reply

    […] Aatxe (the best […]

  • Reily May 31, 2015 - 11:35 pm Reply

    How do you eat so much food all the time and stay so skinny?? You make everything sound soooooo freaking good!

    • CynEats June 1, 2015 - 10:08 pm Reply

      Haha Thanks! But I wish it were that easy! I have to gym 6 days a week so I can eat whatever I want :)

  • Leila Thompson May 28, 2015 - 11:51 am Reply

    Ever since my BF came back from Basque country, he would not stop talking about the food and tapas there! I am going to surprise him with a dinner to Aatxe on his 30th birthday next week. Thanks for this review!

    • CynEats May 29, 2015 - 12:39 pm Reply

      You’re welcome, hope you guys love it! Happy early bday to him! :)

      • Leila May 29, 2015 - 2:23 pm Reply

        You are so sweet, I’ll tell him you said that!

  • Natalie P. May 23, 2015 - 1:22 pm Reply

    These photos are great. What kind of camera did you use? I’ve read that you like to use your iphone for your instagram photos, but these look so professional!

    • CynEats May 26, 2015 - 11:14 pm Reply

      Thanks! I used my Fuji X100s for this post :) It’s a great camera and does really well in low-light settings.

  • Kristina May 23, 2015 - 10:59 am Reply

    You always eat the best places! My co-workers just came here on Friday and they were all telling me how good it was!

    • CynEats May 26, 2015 - 11:14 pm Reply

      It really is! You should def try :)

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