Yes, it’s true: 2023 arrives in just two short weeks. That means it’s time to shore up your plan for how to ring in the New Year, whether your preference is staying home with a good glass of bubbles, or heading out for a sumptuous meal at one of the city’s top restaurants. But that also means it’s time to decide how you want to start the new year. Because, not to put too much pressure on the decision, but your first meal of 2023 could just set the tone for the next 12 months to come. Whatever your pleasure, here are a handful of restaurant options for New Year’s Day brunch in San Francisco and Oakland.
Party-goers looking for a little hair of the dog on New Year’s Day will find exactly that at Jaranaita’s build-your-own bloody mary bar. For $20 per person, diners get a salt- or Tajin-rimmed glass to fill with vodka, tequila, and michelada mix. Garnishes will include fresh and pickled veggies (think jalapenos, banana peppers, brined green olives, tomato, carrots, celery); cheese cubes; bacon; grilled shishito peppers; fresh shrimp; anticuchos, and more.
In North Beach, Don Pistos is doing bottomless New Year’s Day brunch, which includes all the sangria, mimosas, or Modelos you can drink for $33. Pair the booze with dishes such as beef shank birria, huevos rancheros, or a ham and egg scramble.
The promise of Cassava’s popular Japanese breakfast would be good motivation to get out of bed early on the first of the year. The restaurant, which recently relocated to a prime location on Columbus Avenue, will serve the full Japanese feast that includes koshihikari rice, simmered shiitake, fermented daikon, miso marinated salmon, a Mendocino kombu dashi miso soup, and more — plus other brunch items like a beef ribs hash, Dungeness crab and Asian pear salad, and buttermilk fried chicken. Pitchers of Pimm’s cups and sangria make a smart pairing for large groups. Reservations are available via OpenTable.
If you’re ok with getting a later start, Valencia Street bar and restaurant Chezchez opens at noon with Champagne and caviar specials on deck from chef Timmy Malloy and deep cuts from the cellar as selected by sommelier Drew Record. For those who want to sweat it out before they begin indulging, join the BV Run Club for a free 5K that starts and ends at the bar.
Hilda and Jesse
Hilda and Jesse is always a brunch destination but on New Year’s Day, the retro-chic restaurant will be serving its full $49 three-course breakfast/brunch-tasting menu. Peppered with ingredients like chanterelles, smoked trout roe, and white truffles, it’s a decadent way to kick off the year.
Colibri Mexican Bistro
This Presidio restaurant will serve New Year’s Day brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. including its full lineup of Mexican fare including posole verde, huevos rancheros, and Mexican french toast. Reserve a seat on the patio with a view of the tortillas being rolled out to order via Resy.
Over in the East Bay, modern Israeli restaurant Pomella in Oakland will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a special brunch service. Expect dishes like a merguez sandwich with fried egg, feta aioli, and harissa on a sesame bagel from East Bay bagel star Boichik, and to wash it down? Cold micheladas.
Hopscotch in Uptown Oakland will also be open for brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 1. The menu at the American-Japanese restaurant includes dishes such as oysters, fried chicken, soba noodles, and — to satisfy your sweet tooth — doughnuts with butterscotch cream.