During the holiday seasons of yore, this is when Eater SF would let diners know which restaurants will actually be open on Christmas Day. But last year San Francisco was completely locked down, so it was a godsend to take away. And this year, although restaurants are allowed to stay open if diners want to hang out, things seem to be changing somewhat with a new variant on the rise, looting of downtown stores and even arson attacks on trees. of Christmas somewhat dampening the spirit of the holidays.
But even if you don’t know how to feel about this second pandemic-hit holiday season, you still deserve a festive feast — and you know San Francisco restaurants are going to tie it with a bow. So without further ado, here’s the 2022 Christmas restaurant guide, with a mix of reservations and take-out options.
Christmas to go
As for the beast roast, Alexander’s has a serious sized 7lb prime rib roast available for pickup or delivery. It’s a take-out situation, so you have to roast it yourself, but it comes with mashed potatoes, green beans, juice and horseradish – enough to feed 6 people – for $395. Go wild and also add buche de Noel and champagne.
Of all the restaurants with beautiful birds in San Francisco, the Morris knows how to smoke a duck. Available for pickup only, the restaurant’s pre-smoked duck is available to pre-order, and then just slide it into the oven at home. Half a duck is $45, a whole duck is $90, and you can add deli meats, root vegetables, or chocolate puddin to make it a complete feast.
Stock up on take-out tamales at Donaji, Oaxaca’s new restaurant in the Mission, which already has a reputation for selling tender tamalitos at farmers’ markets. A dozen tamales stuffed with chili beef, cochinita pork, chicken verde, cheese and peppers, or vegan chorizo are $50. And they also have party platters filled with taco dorados and mole enchiladas.
In Chinese takeout, Lazy Susan delivers all season. Two options: The Winter Solstice Feast runs from November 30 to December 21, with General Tso’s Chicken, Shrimp Fried Rice and Fly by Jing Dumplings for $52 for 2 people. And on Christmas Day, the restaurant is teaming up with Kung Pao Kosher Comedy (the now-virtual comedy show) on a $45 four-course menu for 2 people.
And what’s Christmas without lasagna? Pre-order and get yourself a deluxe platter at Che Fico, including lasagne alla bolognese with truffles (of course), citrus salad with burrata and pistachios, roast brussels with candied lemons and hazelnuts and a bottle of red for $275 for 4 people. Vegetarian and à la carte options are also available.
Meanwhile, Maison Nico is bringing back its superb pâtés and pastries, including the unmissable pithivier de canard, aka fancy duck pie. But it’s also debuting a Buche de Noel for the first time this year, so pre-order for pickup. This Yule log is rolled with chocolate, hazelnuts, and pears, and it’s $75 for 8-10 servings.
Octavia is back this season and taking reservations for Christmas Eve: a four-course prix-fixe family dinner is sure to dazzle with local Dungeness crab; two-way guinea fowl, entangled in fresh tagliatelle and pan-fried chestnuts and onion sauce; and Yule Log with French Coffee Buttercream – all for $125 per person.
International Smoke always powers up the grill on Christmas Eve and takes reservations for a meaty family meal, including prime rib, Rockefeller oysters, mac and cheese bites, Parker House rolls and cheesecake with smoked apples. It’s $110 per person, $40 to add drinks, and there’s a separate kids’ menu.
If you want to breathe easier, the Vault Garden still has one of the largest outdoor dining areas in the city, and it once again transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with a tree towering Christmas tree, twinkling lights and heat lamps. Grab a reservation to sip festive cocktails in December, mixed with plenty of bourbon, spice, and coquito. It will be open on Christmas Eve and may offer a full dinner, although the menu has yet to be announced.
Reservations and takeaways
For those who like to feast on fish, 54 Mint is open all season, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with the holy trinity of reservations, pickup and delivery. The Italian restaurant offers frittura mista, shrimp risotto, and crab cioppino, as part of a four-course dinner for $95 per person.