This time last year, Eater SF reminisced about the most amazing new restaurants to open in 2019. We were amazed at multi-level food emporiums, glittering chocolate shops, and moon lounges. Well, true to 2020, it looks a little different this year. Now we just hope the restaurants can get through the winter, so we can see the wallpaper in the dining room again.
But even locked up and reduced, creativity abounds. At the start of the pandemic, when everyone was swinging wildly between takeout and delivery, we posted a big, beautiful slideshow of San Francisco’s finest packaging. Well, nine months later, chefs have had no choice but to embrace boxes and bags, and dare we say, to-go containers have only gotten more eye-catching. On the same theme, here are ten more of the most striking takeout options in San Francisco in 2020.
Pie from Maison Nico
After a few difficult pivots, Maison Nico reopened as a deli and pastry shop, serving neatly wrapped pâtés wrapped in pastry, as well as a multi-layered puff brioche twisted into a serpentine.
Robin’s Sushi Boxes
The sushi spots immediately excelled at take-out, and we’ve already recognized Ju-Ni for its gorgeous chirashi bowls and the Shota for its cute inari pockets. Robin also later introduced a gasp-worthy sushi box, with plenty of little compartments for rolls, sashimi, and truffle-topped noodles.
Absinthe spreadable charcuterie
The dinner snack was a meaty trend in 2020, and it may even have gone too far at this point – does anyone really need a deli chalet? But in beautiful spreads, absinthe stands out, with a box full of artfully disheveled and arranged meats and cheeses.
Rintaro Bento Boxes
Rintaro has been mentioned before, but is making this list again, as he continued to iterate on bento boxes throughout the year, changing them from week to week and culminating with these luxury New Year’s boxes, which sold out in minutes.
Liholiho Yacht Club spam bins
Liholiho has always kept take-out menus and packaging fresh this year, from jello shots to spam buns, cheese katsu sandwiches to pineapple-shaped hand pies.
Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Family Plates
Farmhouse Thai has become a social sensation this year thanks to the “Little Lao” take-out platter, stuffed with fried chicken, penang curry, noodles, and more. Even more extra, they throw in a lobster and a few beers for the holidays. And honorable mention must be given to sister restaurant Son & Garden for this over-the-top afternoon tea.
Grand Routier lobster aioli
Still in lobster news, Routier, the new French restaurant of the B. Pâtisserie team. served a large lobster aioli with lots of lush colorful vegetables and crushed shellfish to dip into creamy dips.
Besharam Diwali Holiday Boxes
There have been so many beautiful baking boxes this year, especially at the height of cookie season. Chef Heena Patel from Besharam has released a colorful box of sweets for Diwali, which will hopefully become an annual tradition.
Maison Danel Afternoon Tea
The gleaming new patisserie and tea room still planned to have cute boxes and bags, though they probably didn’t expect to have to rely on them entirely. Yet Maison Danel has managed to fit the whole tea room experience into a box, layered with smoked salmon sandwiches, mini croissants, sweets and bubbles.
Lazy Bear Wine Pairing Tasting Menu
Lazy Bear has rocked high and low throughout the pandemic, recreating a luxury tasting menu experience complete with wine pairings, while letting eaters turn up for fried chicken sandwiches and cookie dough . Either way, the packaging is campy and fun, with flannel-inspired packaging and bear paw stickers.
Horsefeather Pony Bottled Cocktails
If there’s anything cuter than a bottle, it’s a bottle filled with a colorful cocktail, with a pegasus pony on the label. Horsefeather has really spread those wings with the Pretty Drinks during the pandemic.