By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Don’t you just love it when Christmas falls on a weekend? This year, your Christmas Day meal is also your Sunday supper, so many of San Francisco’s restaurants are filling up their holiday celebration tables fast. Take a look and hurry to book if you’re keen to dine out at a San Francisco classic and escape the kitchen duties on December 25, 2016. If you’re happy to wing it without a reservation, Chinatown is a good stomping ground.READ MORE: The Feud and Goldbergs the family fun zone
1090 Point Lobos
San Francisco, CA 94121
The historic Cliff House, a San Francisco institution, hugs Pacific Ocean bluffs high above the crashing waves at San Francisco’s westerly edge. Floor-to-ceiling windows set off a mesmerizing view in all kinds of weather, enhanced by sunset which falls at 4:57 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2016. A crown jewel within the nation’s largest urban national park, the Cliff House Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet with carvery has long been a family tradition with many and becomes one for many more families with each passing season. Remember your camera and the appropriate footwear for an Ocean Beach walk, a Lands End midday hike, a peek from inside the Camera Obscura or an exploration of Sutro Heights Park and Sutro Bath ruins.
340 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Traditional elegance and artistic plating are stylishly served up in this two-star Michelin restaurant (the only Indian-themed one in the USA) that uniquely blends innovative, aromatic Indian and fresh ingredient-driven Californian cuisine in the pretty dining room at the luxury Taj Campton Place hotel. Performing magic with touches of fragrant star anise, cinnamon, cardamon and coriander seeds, this year Chef Sri and his culinary team are preparing a multiple choice five-course meal priced at $158 per person. The sommelier’s famous wine cellar features 1,500 carefully selected labels, half bottles for exploring vintages, 40 choices served by the glass, and a champagne cart for bubbly celebrations.
352 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Positioned between Union Square’s Christmas tree and Chinatown’s Dragon Gate, you can add a dash of France to your Christmas Day at this authentically recreated 1930s Paris bistro. In addition to a limited à la carte dinner menu, from 5:30 p.m. they’re serving a special $75 four-course prix fixe menu prepared by Chef de Cuisine Patrick Albert. Select a main course of grilled beef tenderloin with pommes frites and béarnaise sauce; butter poached Alaskan halibut with porcini emulsion, braised Belgium endive, and chanterelle mushrooms; or herb crusted rack of lamb with gratin dauphinois and thyme infused jus.READ MORE: Our 5 favorite Rogelio moments from Jane the Virgin
San Francisco, CA 94133
“Every meal is served with a side of the Golden Gate Bridge,” describes this restaurant’s enviable location with sweeping San Francisco Bay views. Featuring a certified sustainable seafood menu, you can flex your mussels, butter up your Dungeness crab or sweeten the celebration with sour dough bread bowl, house baked and brimming with hearty clam chowder. Open on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., they’re serving festive à la carte specials for the holiday. While at Pier 39, stop by to wish the sea lions a Merry Christmas and snap a few photos at the 60-foot Christmas tree.
1268 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Gather the family around a jolly table to share chicken satay skewers with sticky rice and green papaya salad and lots more sweet, spicy and pungent Thai street food on Christmas Day. In North Beach, the streets are strung with festive green and red lights and Tamarind Hall is celebrating their own first Christmas. The atmosphere is laid back, so dress comfortably to enjoy comfort food with a backdrop of upbeat piped-in music, a refreshing change from “Jingle Bells.” Open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m, they’re serving their regular, affordable à la carte menu and drinks, plus specials in the spirit of the occasion.
St. Regis San Francisco
125 Third St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
The Grill, which began life as a pop-up dining spot earlier this year, has since become a permanent fixture. Executive Chef Desplechin presents Christmas supper, served from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a four-course tasting menu at $95 per person ($40 for children under 12) with wine pairings offered for an additional $55. Dishes on the menu include grilled carmel persimmons and little gem salad, roasted half Maine lobster with braised Manila clams, sweet potato fritter, sorrel leaves, Snake River Farm ribeye of beef with yellow beans, celery root purée, hazelnuts, veal jus and a festive Valhrona chocolate and organic raspberry Yule log.MORE NEWS: Death By Taco Debuts In San Francisco's Mission Bay Neighborhood