Ryan Fowler, Executive Chef

Ryan Fowler, Executive Chef at Absinthe Brasserie and Bar, is responsible for overseeing the Hayes Valley restaurant’s daily activity, managing the kitchen and staff, and collaborating with The Absinthe Group’s Executive Chef Ryan McIlwraith on seasonal updates and directional strategy. Previously at San Francisco’s Che Fico and Theorita, Fowler prioritizes team collaboration, constant learning, and high-quality culinary sourcing.
Raised in the suburbs outside of Chicago, Fowler attended nearby Kendall College Culinary School at the age of 18. While attending culinary school, Fowler went to work at Chicago’s Red Light Restaurant. He eventually moved on to hone his skills at Hotel Felix Chicago, Au Cheval and Green Street Smoked Meats. During his time as Chef de Cuisine at Au Cheval, Bon Appétit Restaurant Critic Andrew Knowlton crowned Au Cheval his favorite burger in the country. In 2015, Fowler relocated to San Francisco to be closer to family, and worked directly under David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer at Chef Fico and Theorita for three years before joining Absinthe Brasserie and Bar as Executive Chef in 2019.
Since relocating to California with his fiancee, Fowler has had the opportunity to grow—both in and out of the kitchen—develop new skills, and stretch himself professionally. In his spare time, Fowler enjoys the outdoors by cycling, hiking, and participating in recreational sports.


398 Hayes St at Gough, San Francisco, CA


Absinthe Brasserie & Bar will be going into hibernation until we receive news on the easing of restrictions for outdoor dining. We will then figure out the best way and time to safely resume service. In the meantime, we hope you can support other members of The Absinthe Group: Akna, Arbor, Arlequin Wine Merchant, and Bellota. They will all be reopening for takeout and delivery beginning Wednesday, January 6th.





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The Best Private Dining Rooms In San Francisco

“The upscale Hayes Valley mainstay has a private dining space with a separate entrance, its own bar, coat room, and restrooms. Decorated similarly to the main restaurant with dark wood, paintings, and old-school charm, the menu offers French fare and a raw bar,” via 7×7, September 2019

Where To Go When You’re In The Mood For A Martini

“Obviously, this place has a good-sized menu of absinthe drinks, but we’ll happily order a martini and eat some pate at the bar while we decide if we want to join all those people sitting outside by the weird sculpture on Octavia,” via The Infatuation SF, September 2019

A Fast-Israeli Food Favorite Is Coming Back to Oakland; A New Chef is Shaking Up Absinthe

“Hayes Valley’s longtime favorite brasserie, Absinthe, has a new executive chef, Ryan Fowler, and to kick things off, he’s jazzing up the brunch menu with pain perdu and Dungeness crab and avocado omelettes,” via Eater SF, August 2019

The San Francisco Shopping Guide To Hayes Valley

“Just because it’s one of the oldest restaurants in Hayes Valley doesn’t mean that Absinthe Brasserie and Bar has lost its shine. An outstanding cocktail program, along with French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, makes Absinthe a neighborhood go-to for locals and hungry shoppers alike,” via SF Travel, August 2019

A Little Slice of Paris in Hayes Valley: Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

“An homage to all things French, Absinthe is still one of my favorite places to eat in the city. Why? It’s a buzzy destination that feels glamorous and special, evoking a one-of-a-kind feeling of Belle Epoque-era Paris,” via SF Bay Times, June 2019

About Absinthe


Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is in San Francisco's vibrant and charming Hayes Valley neighborhood, and is among the city’s beloved longest-running dining institutions. It features a creative menu of French brasserie fare, along with an inspired selection of classic cocktails. With lively, informal décor that evokes turn-of-the-century France, Absinthe’s warm, convivial atmosphere has romanced locals and visitors alike since its founding in 1998. Located within walking distance of Civic Center and the performing-arts centers, Absinthe is currently hibernating pending news on the easing of restrictions for outdoor dining.