Food & Drink

Reserve Your Table Now for These San Francisco Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is all about the F-words: food, friends, family, and football. And while you can definitely enjoy those things at someone’s home, there’s a good chance that if you do, you’ll also wind up doing some heavy duty cooking and cleaning. If you’re into those things, then by all means, proceed. But if you prefer your holiday meals without an over-cooked turkey (it’s 100% bound to happen to some of you), and a pile of dishes to wash when you’re too full to even move, then allow us to suggest eating out at one of these 15 SF restaurants.

They’ll do all the work for you, and some even offer alternatives to turkey. (What? Some people find it an overrated bird). And remember to please tip generously. The staff deserves it.

Balboa Cafe
Balboa Cafe

Balboa Cafe

Cow Hollow
There’s only one downside to eating at this Cow Hollow staple on Thanksgiving Day and that’s the fact that the burger on baguette is never on the special holiday menu. What is on the menu however is a big selection of Thanksgiving and non-Thanksgiving favorites, like pumpkin soup, blue crab cakes, filet mignon with potato gratin, a turkey dinner with sourdough stuffing, pomme puree, roasted veggies, cranberries, and gravy, and New York cheesecake or pumpkin pie for dessert. This is one of the rare a la carte Thanksgiving menus available, which gives you a little more flexibility when ordering.
Cost: Turkey dinner is $30; reserve by calling 415-921-3944

The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant
The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

Golden Gate Park/Ocean Beach
Take in ocean views as you take down three courses of Thanksgiving food at Beach Chalet. The prix fixe menu includes a couple of choices, including a kabocha pumpkin soup or fall harvest sound for the first course, slow-roasted lamb shank, grilled New York steak, or roasted turkey with all of the sides you love for the main course, and white pumpkin pie or cheesecake for dessert. You can also add on a couple of starters, including seafood deviled eggs and buttermilk fried calamari, and sip on a pumpkin spiced latte along the way.
Cost: $65/person; $29 for two-course kids prix fixe; reserve online

Huntington Hotel
Huntington Hotel

The Big 4 Restaurant

Nob Hill
If you like your Thanksgiving with a side of elegance and nostalgia, this stylish restaurant inside of the Huntington Hotel is the place to go. Named after the Big Four railroad tycoons who played a vital role in San Francisco’s early development, Big 4 is the kind of place better appreciated by adults than kids. While a live piano player sets the mood, you’ll partake in a three course prix fixe menu with options like roasted butternut squash soup, jumbo shrimp cocktail, pan roasted filet mignon, roasted turkey with cornbread and fall herb stuffing, sweet potatoes, pan gravy, and cranberry orange relish, with pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert. Get there early to enjoy an impeccably made martini before you sit.
Cost: $165/person; reserve by calling (415) 771-1140

Bistro Boudin
Bistro Boudin

Bistro Boudin

Fisherman’s Wharf
Before you eschew Bistro Boudin because of its Fisherman’s Wharf location, remember that its home to SF’s famed sourdough bread and that the aforementioned location means it comes with waterfront views that include Alcatraz, Angel Island, and Marin. While the special holiday menu does not include clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl (sigh), it does include a choice between two entrees: a roasted tom turkey with jalapeno-cranberry chutney, sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes with sage, pan roasted carrots and squash, and traditional turkey giblet gravy, or a 14-ounce cut of herb-roasted Harris Ranch black angus ribeye with jus, served with creamed spinach and a loaded sea salt baked potato. For dessert, you’ll get a warm caramel crumble apple pie with vanilla bean gelato and nutmeg. 
Cost: $44.95/person; reserve online or by calling 415-351-5561 

Bluestem Brasserie

SoMa
Dig into a Thanksgiving feast at this lively brasserie that consistently wows when it comes to desserts. Starters include a roasted cauliflower and pear soup and a winter chicories salad. For your main, you’ll choose from roasted turkey, filet mignon & short rib, and stuffed delicata squash, while all of the sides, including garlic mashed potatoes, crispy brussels sprouts, roasted heirloom baby carrots, and apple-mushroom stuffing will be shared. Dessert will be an assortment of holiday treats, which sounds like a very good thing to us.
Cost: $75/person; reserve online

The Cavalier

SoMa
They may not celebrate Thanksgiving in London, but that shouldn’t keep you from feasting on a Thanksgiving dinner at this London-inspired brasserie. The meal will start with pumpkin blinis with caviar and crème fraîche and from there you’ll move to a choice of appetizers, including a spiced pumpkin soup and prosciutto and roasted pears with grilled bread and burrata, a choice of entrées, including herb-roasted heritage turkey breast, wild mushroom ravioli, grilled salmon, and filet mignon, and a chocolate marble gingerbread or harvest sundae for dessert. Whatever you order, you don’t have to sacrifice the sides as the entire table will share mashed potatoes, caramelized onion and mushroom stuffing, spiced cranberry sauce, and baby green beans.
Cost: $95/guest; reserve online

Fog Harbor Fish House

Fisherman’s Wharf
Enjoy views of the water and people visiting from out-of-town at this family-owned-and-operated sustainable seafood restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. There will be a traditional Thanksgiving option that includes turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin bread pudding, but you’ll also be able to get the entire menu, which means you’ll absolutely need to add some Dungeness crab to that order.
Cost: A la carte prices; walk-ins welcome

MKT Restaurant and Bar
MKT Restaurant and Bar

MKT Restaurant and Bar

SoMa
Enjoy the lively and swanky (but not too swanky) vibes of this restaurant inside of the Four Seasons Hotel that’s serving a three course Thanksgiving dinner. The prix fixe menu includes a choice of appetizer; either the apple and cinnamon butternut squash soup, winter greens with grilled kabocha squash, or a Dungeness crab and shrimp martini; as well as a choice of entrée in the form of free range turkey, grilled fillet of beef, seared herb marinated fillet of branzino, or a whole baked acorn squash. Just save room for dessert, which is a buffet of all the classics.
Cost: $110/person; reserve online or by calling 415-633-3838

The Old Clam House

Bayview
The first Thanksgiving was allegedly thrown in 1621, and it was only 240 years after that the The Old Clam House, the city’s oldest restaurant in the same continuous location, opened. Honor history (kind of) by enjoying a classic feast of salad, turkey with gravy, stuffing, cranberry relish, potatoes, veggies, and a slice of pumpkin pie, with one SF addition: a bowl of clam chowder. Not a Thanksgiving food person? You can also get everything on the restaurant’s entire seafood-centric menu.
Cost: $39.99/person; walk-ins welcome

One Market

Embarcadero
Take a walk along the Embarcadero and work up your appetite for a four-course prix fixe dinner at this American fine dining restaurant with an extensive wine list and friendly service. Choices for the first course include a chestnut soup or pumpkin risotto. Mains include a spit-roasted pork loin, wild mushroom pot pie, or a roasted turkey with cornbread-sausage stuffing. For dessert, you’ll have to choose between a pumpkin and chocolate bread pudding soufleé, German apple tart with salted caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, and a white wine and vanilla poached pear. 
Cost: $89/person; reserve online

Park Chalet Coastal Beer Garden

Golden Gate Park/Ocean Beach
Beach Chalet may have ocean views, but its sister restaurant that faces the park has an all-you-can-eat buffet that we’ve tried and tested and passes the gluttony test with flying colors. There’s a carving station with roasted turkey, apple cider brined roasted pork loin, and herb crusted prime rib, a ton of “mains” like grilled salmon, ravioli, autumn squash bisque, and truffle mac and cheese, a seafood bar with peel-and-eat shrimp, snow crab claws, smoked salmon and oysters (shucked to order), a ton of salads and sides like stuffing with bacon, buttermilk mashed potatoes, maple-whipped sweet potatoes, and charred brussels sprouts, and finally a dessert table with lots of pies and more. Basically, there’s a whole hell of a lot here to eat. 
Cost: $79/person; reserve online

Park Tavern
Park Tavern

Park Tavern

North Beach
Park Tavern is in the same restaurant group as The Cavalier and is offering the same menu, so your choice between the two really comes down to neighborhood and vibe. If you love North Beach and an American tavern/bistro, then you’ll want to make your reservations for your prix fixe dinner at Park Tavern. The meal will start with pumpkin blinis with caviar and crème fraîche and from there you’ll move to a choice of appetizers, including a spiced pumpkin soup and prosciutto and roasted pears with grilled bread and burrata, a choice of entrées, including herb-roasted heritage turkey breast, wild mushroom ravioli, grilled salmon, and filet mignon, and a chocolate marble gingerbread or harvest sundae for dessert. The entire table will share mashed potatoes, caramelized onion and mushroom stuffing, spiced cranberry sauce, and baby green beans. Really, no matter what the table orders, you’ll all get a little taste of the dishes that make Thanksgiving Thanksgiving.
Cost: $95/guest; reserve online

Perry Lang’s

Yountville
Escape the city and head to Napa where barbecue expert/pitmaster Adam Perry Lang will cook your Thanksgiving feast. This brand new steakhouse inside of a gorgeous historic mansion has all of the cozy vibes you’ll want on this day, and the family-style feast promises to be beyond satisfying thanks to dishes like pumpkin soup with black trumpet mushrooms, apple and rosemary cream, roast turkey with garlic and thyme, smoked cured ham glazed with homemade sugar cane syrup, green bean casserole, oyster mushroom with chestnut dressing, and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and bourbon caramel. Perry Lang’s also has a fantastic cocktail menu and wine list to round out the meal.
Cost: $65/person; reserve online 

Presidio Social Club

Presidio
Eat Thanksgiving dinner inside of military barracks-turned-casual American eatery with a country club vibe. The Thanksgiving prix fixe menu is straightforward, but will definitely delight anyone looking for classic Thanksgiving food. Choose from butternut squash soup or a harvest salad to start, then enjoy a classic roast turkey dinner with wild mushroom & sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, braised winter greens, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, and housemade braided poppy seed challah bread. For dessert, pick between bourbon chocolate pecan pie or a classic pumpkin pie. You can also add on a few appetizers and sides including deviled eggs topped with caviar, chilled oysters, hot crab dip, and macaroni and cheese.
Cost: $68/person; reserve online

Tommy’s Joynt

Western Addition
Nowhere will embody the chaos, love, and fun that is Thanksgiving more than Tommy’s Joynt, a first-come, first-served counter service restaurant known for its delicious food and affordable prices. Tommy’s will have a special all-inclusive menu on Thanksgiving with hand-carved turkey, tuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, one additional side (steamed green beans, sweet potato, cole slaw, mixed green salad, mixed veggie cucumber salad), a slice of pumpkin pie, and a coffee. You’ll also be able to add turkey legs and ham. And, as always, you’ll be able to get some of the cheapest drinks in town, including pitchers of beer, and a full bar.
Cost: $24.95 for the all-inclusive menu; walk-ins only

Sign up here for our daily San Francisco email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun SF has to offer.

Daisy Barringer is an SF-based writer who doesn’t like to cook or do dishes, so has tested out more restaurants on this list on Thanksgiving Day than she cares to admit. Ask her which one was her favorite on Twitter @daisy.