clock menu more-arrow no yes
Oysters and caviar from Hog Island Hog Island Oyster Co.

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in San Francisco in 2021

At least no one has to worry about last-minute reservations?

Usually this time of year, Eater SF is helping amorous readers snag last-minute reservations while trying to help them steer clear of stuffy and overpriced menus. Of course, wining and dining is going to look different this Valentine’s Day, but at this point in the pandemic, we all know how to celebrate a holiday at home, right?

Restaurants are sharing love with big takeout specials, from splashy steak and oysters to cheesy fondue and fresh pasta. Bakeries are bringing joy with sweet treats, with heart-shaped cookies and rosy pink cupcakes. And it’s never too late to pick up a bottle of bubbles or box of chocolates. Here’s how to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home this year, even if you’re just taking yourself on a hot date to the kitchen table.

Note: Many restaurants are running special menus and items for the holiday, far too many to include on any one list. This is just a handful of highlights. It’s definitely worth checking in with your favorite neighborhood spots as well, who will be running special menus and would really appreciate the love.

Izzy’s Steakhouse

The old-school steakhouse is fully committed to a classic steak dinner with all the fixings. The Valentine’s Day menu has a lobster starter with throwback hearts of palm, a big bone-in porterhouse, the legendary house potatoes, and never least, creamed spinach ($110 for 2 servings).

Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse

If you’re up for searing your own steak at home, wagyu obsessives can stock up at the butcher shop just next door to Niku. Nothing says romance like a meat box beautifully arranged with a “flight” of three different prefectures of A5 wagyu, an ounce of caviar with a little spoon, and fancy pink salt ($220 for 2 servings).

Duck pithivier Maison Nico

Maison Nico

In encrusted-in-pastry land, Maison Nico is bringing back the breathtaking duck pithivier. The Valentine’s Day menu includes that savory pie stuffed with duck breast, duck liver, pork, and quince, together with a sweet tart filled with chocolate and blood orange ($80 for 2 servings). They’re also recommending a bottle of Loire cabernet franc that’s dark, fruity, and duck friendly ($45).

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Meanwhile in the sweet little oyster category, of course Hog Island is selling their Cali-grown sweetwaters live and by the dozen, either small enough for slurping raw, or big enough for brushing with chipotle-bourbon butter and throwing on the grill. Toss in cleaned, cracked Dungeness and caviar for a fish feast.

Seven Hills

The pasta institution in Russian Hill is rolling up the rotolo (fresh pasta sheets bundled into scrolls). The Valentine’s Day menu also includes an insalata with arugula and shinko pears, Dungeness crab panna cotta with trout roe, a charred lobster with spring onions and Meyer lemon, and tiramisu ($270 for 2 servings).

A red fondue pot with bubbling cheese Patricia Chang

The Matterhorn

Eater SF has spotted more than one fondue menu around town. But the true cheese authority is the Matterhorn, the over-the-top Swiss restaurant, which is now offering fun fondue kits for bubbling up at home.

Knots from Le Dix-Sept Patisserie Le Dix-Sept Patisserie

Le Dix-Sept Patisserie

This botanically inspired bakery always has beautiful floral colors and flavors. The Valentine’s specials include the brioche “love” knots dusted with raspberry and rose, a chocolate version of the excellent canelés, as well as a mixed box of half a dozen treats ($50), and even bouquets.

Black Jet Baking Co.

In cute mini cupcakes, the Bernal corner bakery never disappoints. Choose from five mini cupcakes ($7.50) or six adult cupcakes ($18) with recklessly abandoned sprinkles; half a dozen heart-shaped homemade Oreos ($7.50); or good old-fashioned cake, now available for preorder in a smaller 8-inch size.

Chocolate frog from Kokak Kokak Chocolates

Kokak Chocolates

The new confectioner in the Castro has boxes of truffles stamped with floral designs ($19.95 for five pieces, $42.95 for 12 pieces). Or go big with a chocolate tower, which includes a wide array of truffles stuffed with tea, coffee, booze, fruit, nuts, and more, as well as rainbow hearts “filled with love,” and a chocolate lily pad and frog.

Horsefeather

The Nopa cocktail bar has a few love potions in pretty little bottles. The “Heart of Hearts” includes brandy, amaro, campari, walnut liqueur, and cacao bitters. While the “Hello, Is it Tequila You’re Looking For?” is a tender mix of tequila, almond liqueur, cassis, and ginger and lemon. There are also snack options, with togarashi caramel corn and mini red velvet cupcakes.

Still looking for something special? These other maps may be of service.

Horsefeather

528 Divisadero Street, , CA 94117 (415) 817-1939 Visit Website

Maison Nico

710 Montgomery Street, , CA 94111 (415) 359-1000 Visit Website

Seven Hills

1896 Hyde Street, , CA 94109 (415) 775-1550 Visit Website

Matterhorn Restaurant and Bakery

2323 Van Ness Avenue, San, California 94110

Le Dix-Sept Patisserie

3376 18th Street, SF,

The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse

57 Division Street, , CA 94103 (415) 829-2306 Visit Website

Kokak Chocolates

3901 18th Street, , CA 94114 (415) 757-0409 Visit Website

Black Jet Baking Co.

833 Cortland Avenue, , CA 94110 (415) 829-3905 Visit Website

Izzy's Steakhouse

3345 Steiner Street, , CA 94123 (415) 563-0487 Visit Website

10 Lush Green Restaurants and Bars Overgrown With Plants

Best Dishes

The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate Last Week

This Farm-to-Table Florist Builds Dramatic Arrangements for SF’s Best Restaurants

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater San Francisco newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world