Face it, you’re no event planner, but then, sure enough, you always get stuck planning... an... event. Roommate’s birthday party, best friend’s engagement shindig, college friends dinner -- whatever it is, you now need to know where the hell to fit all these people. Well, this should help: here are 23 restaurants in SF that are all great for large groups. Commence the bookmarking.
Why it’s good for groups: Whether you’re looking to block off a huge portion of the restaurant, or you just want to sit 20 buddies at a giant table for brats and huge beers, Schroeder’s has you covered in both instances because it has room for TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE PEOPLE.
How to reserve: The beer hall area is first come, first served, but if you want to book one of the curtained-off dining areas in the back, try contacting the resto online.
Why it’s good for groups: Whether you’re after a casual or formal experience, don’t let the one person in the group who’s never tried Indian food stop you from going to Dosa. The multipurpose space can easily fit 16 to 250 people.
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 415.819.3672
Why it’s good for groups: Something about Brazilian steakhouses lends itself nicely to large group outings. Depending on the size of the gathering, Espetus has several prix-fixe menus, including free reign of the buffet. And don’t worry, it doesn’t just have to be an endless meat parade, vegetarian options are available as well.
How to reserve: email@example.com or 415.552.8792
Why it’s good for groups: Communal tables (and German beer boots!) make getting a bunch of folks in easy if you get there early enough. As for reservations: Suppenkuche doesn’t even take reservations for parties smaller than six. Beifall!
How to reserve: 415.252.9289
The Marina/Cow Hollow
Why it’s good for groups: What the place lacks in square footage, it makes up for in communal table space, so call in advance and Mamacita help figure out the particulars.
How to reserve: 415.346.8494
Why it’s good for groups: Dinner and a movie projected onto the alley wall of Foreign Cinema’s charming outdoor patio isn’t just popular for romantic dates, it’s perfect for fancying up a night out to dinner with a lot of friends, and it's got enough room that you don’t need to buy out the whole place or anything.
How to reserve: 415.648.7600 or OpenTable
Why it’s good for groups: When Beretta isn’t using the downstairs space to host special events like its cocktail classes, larger groups can take advantage of the extra dining room. But if you really like your privacy, invite 40 of your closest friends and you can have the whole thing, well... not have, but, like, borrow for the night.
How to reserve: Online
Why it’s good for groups: The colorful, eclectic decor will keep your group busy when you’re not looking down, devouring the fantastic ceviche.
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why it’s good for groups: When have you gone to Gracias Madre and not seen a large group going to town on some delicious vegan Mexican food?
How to reserve: 415.683.1346
Why it’s good for groups: Well, first off, the place is MASSIVENORMOUS, which means it’s easy to get a giant table (especially in the Saddle Room to the left) without having to rent the whole place out. That said, if you DO want to rent it out, the Saddle Room seats 55 and stands 70 and you’ll only have to deal with a food/bev minimum (which you were gonna hit anyway). Also: guacamole!
How to reserve: Online, or if you wanna go big-time buyout style, via phone at 415.252.7000
Why it’s good for groups: Like West of Pecos, it’s HUGE. Like, my God, how much room does it have. What’s more, there’s actually even MORE room upstairs in the secret-ish bar Holy Mountain, making it a good start upstairs, move downstairs (or vice versa!) scenery changer. Bonus: Thai food is totally a great sharing food. Double bonus: it weirdly has bottle service!
How to reserve: Online, or give the place a ring at 415. 400.5699 if you want to go full-on Holy Mountain rent-out
Why it’s good for groups: It's specifically designed for them. This cobalt-blue private dining space hidden away in the back of Park Tavern seats 50 and fits 80 if you're just doing stand-up drinking, plus it has its own wood-wrapped service bar.
How to reserve: email@example.com
Why it’s good for groups: If your group gets particularly loud, you’ll fit right in at this truly Italian-style restaurant.
How to reserve: 415.989.1002 (call before 4pm)
Why it’s good for groups: Sure, you can make a reservation for six or more, but did you know you can also rent out 1) a private dining room, 2) a shared space, or 3) the entire restaurant? Don Pisto’s will also create a special menu for groups of anywhere from 12-90. Cue the NBC knowledge rainbow!
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.395.0939
Why it’s good for groups: The dining room has a view of the open kitchen and wine cellar, and can tailor to a range of parties. But you don’t have to shut the place down to have good time, Stones Throw accepts reservations for any kind of (big) group.
How to reserve: email@example.com or 415.796.2901
Why it’s good for groups: The weatherproof outdoor patio can accommodate up to 15 people so no matter what kind of day San Francisco is having, your party can enjoy a Marlowe burger without parkas.
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why it’s good for groups: The Cavalier is sorta like a beefed-up version of Marlowe -- the food and service is just as unparalleled, but there’s just a whole lot more room: you can book the Rail Car (seats 40), the Wine Stables (seats 26, plus it has its own sliding door that closes), or you can maybe even buy out the secret bar in back, Marianne’s.
How to reserve: email@example.com
Why it’s good for groups: Zero Zero offers three different pre-set menus for your lunch or dinner party to choose from, with an option for a boozy punch bowl to share. If you think you might need some extra room after all those arancini balls, the mezzanine is available to rent for a semi-private event as well.
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why it’s good for groups: Depending on whom you’re trying to impress, there are three glitzy rooms you can reserve: the VIP Room, Wine Cellar, or Oak Room. Each room allows you to create your own environment via iPad or iPhone, but only one has the dance floor and private bar. Hint: it’s not the VIP room.
How to reserve: email@example.com
Why it’s good for groups: Because who doesn’t wanna take a group photo in front of its “Be Amazing” sign?? You can rent out the back room with the second bar, or post up poolside on the heated covered patio.
How to reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone Tuesday-Sunday at 415.496.5178
Why it’s good for groups: It’s the Russian nesting doll of restaurants for groups. Reserve the swanky Red Couch area for up to 25 people, the Red + Black Couch area for 45. And should the occasion arise, you can rent out the entire restaurant, with or without the bar.
How to reserve: Call 415.400.0555 or fill out the inquiry form on the restaurant’s website
Why it’s good for groups: You’ll have to make reservations two months in advance, but it’ll be worth it because its two-story floor plan makes it ideal for a big brunch or dinner.
How to reserve: Online if you just want a big table (you can book for as many as 20 diners), or email@example.com if you wanna get in on some full-floor action.
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Margaux Poupard is a contributing writer for Thrillist and wants to know, “are you going to finish that?” Follow her on Twitter: @MargsSheWrote.
1. Starbelly3583 16th St, San Francisco
2. Schroeder's240 Front St, San Francisco
3. Dosa995 Valencia St, San Francisco
4. Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House1686 Market St, San Francisco
5. Suppenküche525 Laguna St, San Francisco
6. Mamacita2317 Chestnut St, San Francisco
7. Foreign Cinema2534 Mission St, San Francisco
8. Beretta1199 Valencia St, San Francisco
9. Loló974 Valencia St, San Francisco
10. Gracias Madre2211 Mission St, San Francisco
11. West of Pecos550 Valencia St, San Francisco
12. Hawker Fare680 Valencia St, San Francisco
13. Eden Lounge1652 Stockton St, San Francisco
14. È Tutto Qua270 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
15. Don Pisto's510 Union St, San Francisco
16. Stones Throw1896 Hyde St, San Francisco
17. Marlowe500 Brannan St, San Francisco
18. The Cavalier360 Jesse St, San Francisco
19. Zero Zero826 Folsom St, San Francisco
20. Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant330 1st St, San Francisco
21. Chambers601 Eddy St, San Francisco
22. Burritt Tavern417 Stockton St, San Francisco
23. Nopa560 Divisadero St, San Francisco
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.