Food & Drink

The 23 Best SF Restaurants for Large Groups, Sorted by ‘Hood

Published On 08/17/2015 Published On 08/17/2015
Courtesy of Starbelly (edited)
Grant Markey/Thrillist (edited)
Courtesy of DOSA (edited)
Courtesy of Espetus Churrascaria (edited)
Courtesy of Mamacita (edited)
Courtesy of Foreign Cinema (edited)
Courtesy of Eden Room (edited)
Courtesy of Stones Throw (edited)
Daisy Barringer/Thrillist (edited)
Courtesy of Chambers Eat + Drink (edited)
Joe Starkey/Thrillist (edited)
Courtesy of Nopa (edited)
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1. Starbelly 3583 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (The Castro)

The undisputed cocktail masters behind Beretta also coined Starbelly, a 100-seat California comfort foodery, and this time have chosen to complement the grub with a crazy grip of beer n' wine cocktails shored up with a brewlist that's off the charts.

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2. Schroeder's 240 Front St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Financial District)

This Financial District beer joint is one of the oldest in SF, but after a refurbishing, it's been able to keep all of its classic qualities (22-draft beer program, beer boots, old murals, impressive taxidermy) while adding pleasing aspects like a drop-down projector screen, an improved food menu, and rentable stein lockers.

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3. Dosa 995 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Dosa began its tenure as a beacon of brilliant South Indian cooking when it opened in the Mission more than a decade ago. It's still the best Indian cuisine in the city, and restaurant's namesake dosas are made from inventive fusion batters and served with fresh coconut and tomato chutneys and sambar, a lentil and vegetable dipping sauce. The restaurant also has excellent cocktails, especially the Gin and Tonic made with house-made fig and cardamom tonic.

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4. Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House 1686 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

An upscale take on the traditional Brazilian steakhouse, this Hayes Valley churrascaria is known for its top notch filet and sirloin. The bountiful, all-you-can-eat menu provides ample opportunity to try all of Espetus' 14 prime cuts and meat skewers, which are carved tableside and served all-you-can-eat style for a flat fee. So you can bring your vegetarian friends, too, spicy root vegetable sides and salads are also up for order.

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5. Suppenküche 525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

The original German bierhaus from the foilks who also run Biergarten, 'küche is deep on all the requisite German brews (your bocks, your helleses, your dunkels), this is the kind of place you're likely to find yourself tackling beer in serious quantities (boot or otherwise) so be sure to lean on hearty plates of sauerbraten and spatzle to keep you balanced.

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6. Mamacita 2317 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

It's no easy feat in this city, but Mamacita has managed to establish itself as one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Francisco, due in large part to a menu dedicated to geographically varied Mexican dishes. The part-street food, part-traditional menu is heavy on tacos (order the Modelo beer-battered fish tacos and hard-shell chicken tacos), but also includes familiar Americanized sides like a warm and bubbly seven-layer dip. Attractive happy hour deals draw crowds, and once the margarita pitchers start flowing, it's hard to pass up guacamole and tacos.

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7. Foreign Cinema 2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

The Mission's Foreign Cinema projects movies every night and serves a Californian menu with an oyster selection for the books. Where else can you find date-worthy dinner, one of the best brunches in the city (hello, house-made pop tarts), patio seating, and screenings of classic movies all under one roof? Trust us: this James Beard-nominated restaurant is one of the most important places you need to eat at in your lifetime.

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8. Beretta 1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Since its opening in 2008, Beretta has been a fixture of the Mission Italian food scene, churning out awesome pizzas (we see you prosciutto di parma, tomato, arugula, and mozzarella), creative antipasti (don’t miss the walnut bread with burrata and mushroom-truffle honey), osso buco risotto, and more. Come here with a group so you can order an array of dishes to share, and wash it all down with a digestif. Oh, and if the pie-cravings hit you in the AM, you can get that pizza topped with a fried egg and sip on Aperol Spritzes at an outdoor table.

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9. Loló 974 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

The most notable thing about this Mission Mexican is the vivid and eccentric interior, and for some reason, it makes sense that their tacos are as creative and untraditional as the decor. The panko avocado taco is a crispy and creamy dream and the fish tacos are good no matter what the catch of the day is. Loló is a great option for a group dinner because it's totally possible to order everything on the menu to share.

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10. Gracias Madre 2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

To satisfy your Mexi-cravings, head to this Mission spot for vegan takes on tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and even ceviche. Gracias Madre is committed to health and sustainability, all without sacrificing flavor, so it's no wonder vegans and carnivores alike line up out the door to chow-down on guilt-free eats that come from the team behind Cafe Gratitude.

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11. West of Pecos 550 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

This Massive Mission staple is an excellent go-to if you're rolling with a big group, especially if said group has a taste for Tex Mex with a slight SF twist like Dungeness Crabamole (you can probably figure out what that is) or green chile mac & cheese with cornbread crumbles. Continuing with the group thing, the drink options are deep on margarita pitchers and tequila-powered punch bowls.

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12. Hawker Fare 680 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

The Mission outpost of this beloved Oakland eatery turns up the heat with spicy Thai-style street food and Tiki cocktails. The Thai-Issan menu features coconut milk curries and grilled meat dishes, as well as spicy salads and sides like chicken fat rice and fermented mustard greens. The family-style portions, picnic tables, and massive space make Hawker Fare an island oasis perfect for a group dinner.

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13. Eden Lounge 1652 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (North Beach)

Located above Park Tavern, Eden Lounge feels a bit like you're hanging out in a Downton Abbey drawing room (in a good way, of course), but can also be turned into a dining room for private events. Not only will you feel special when you're sipping cocktails in the soundproofed room, but you'll also be sipping special cocktails. That's right, the bartender will make you seasonal, definitely-can't-be-found-downstairs drinks you can totally boast about on Instagram. If you can figure out how to get in that is...

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14. È Tutto Qua 270 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133 (North Beach)

This spot is Italian style from the food, to the seating, to the noise level. The made-from-scratch dishes and welcoming atmosphere make it a great place for dinner with a few friends or a bigger group.

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15. Don Pisto's 510 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (North Beach)

If you were convinced you couldn’t find good Mexican in North Beach, think again -- this hip eatery even gives Mission joints a run for their money. Served by a friendly staff, Mexican street eats dominate the menu, such as ceviche, tacos, and tamales, but the real show-stopper here is the whole lobster that's big enough for two. Dip it in heavenly cilantro garlic butter, then go to town creating absolutely decadent tacos with all the fixin's.

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16. Stones Throw 1896 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Russian Hill)

This Russian Hill spot does dinner and brunch really, really well. The menu is always changing (because it's seasonal) but you'll always find fish, meat, and vegetables fancied up with anything from chimichurri to saffron aioli. There's also a burger that comes with the only thing better than fries: tater tots. The dining room has a view of the open kitchen and wine cellar and can tailor it to a range of parties, so the restaurant is a great choice for group dining.

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17. Marlowe 500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

This French-American bistro in SOMA has all the things that make a neighborhood restaurant so recommendable: excellent brunch; a fine wine selection featuring French, Italian, and Californian wines; an outdoor patio; and last but definitely not least: one of the best burgers in the city. Served with fries, the $16 Marlowe Burger is stacked with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aioli. It's so darn good that it's also served at sister restaurants Park Tavern and The Cavalier.

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18. The Cavalier 360 Jesse St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

An upscale pub-style joint in Soma from the folks behind Park Tavern, Marlowe, and S&R Lounge, The Cav serves a British-themed menu with hearty standouts like venison tartare; a bacon, caramelized onion, and cheddar burger; and Shepherd's pie.

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19. Zero Zero 826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

A celebration of all things Neapolitan pizza, Zero Zero serves up wood-fired pies and classic negronis in a modern space with a view. The coursed meals and punch bowls make it an ideal group destination, while the foolproof antipasti and pizzas reserve this restaurant for many a first date. Whether you're here in big company or on an intimate meal, though, make sure to enjoy a glass of over 75 vinos at the bar, where you'll get an impressive view of city lights.

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20. Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant 330 1st St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Versatile enough to be suitable for both an intimate date night or a rousing group dinner, this sleekly designed space in SoMa’s Rincon Hill will have you sharing small plates of burrata and wood-fired pizzas while sampling from an extensive list of local and foreign wines.

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21. Chambers 601 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (The Tenderloin)

Chambers, inside the Tenderloin's Phoenix Hotel, has two sides: the interior, evocative of a contemporary speakeasy with dark-wood walls and shelves of records, and the exterior, which features a poolside patio (and a roll-down enclosure) so you can enjoy your drinks in the sunshine, no matter how windy it is. The menu features next-level bar bites like roasted beets with burrata, creamy polenta, and pork belly with tomato kimchee, as well as a hearty burger with shiitake relish, manchego cheese, and kewpie mayo.

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22. Burritt Tavern 417 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Union Square)

Just off the Stockton Tunnel's front door, Burritt Tavern is Charlie Palmer's imbued-in-dude den inside the Mystic Hotel, a throwback adjacent to the namesake bar w/ a 122-seat dining room wrapped in century-old natural wood, and filled with gunmetal-finished, steel-framed booths that're privatized with a close-able velvet curtain, so no one'll hear you asking your friend what "imbued" means.

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23. Nopa 560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Alamo Square)

Nopa is a San Francisco institution that does everything really, really well. It's the best brunch in Western Addition and one of the best in the whole city. Its burger is perfect with pickled onions and French fries, especially when eaten at the bar. It's a one-stop-shop for a date, a birthday dinner, or dinner with your parents. Plus, the kitchen is open until 1 AM for a full dinner. Yeah, this place wins at everything.

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