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Executive Chef Alexandre Viriot brings elegant French flair to Christmas Eve dinner at La Société Bar & Cafe.
Angelo Clinton

How to Celebrate Christmas in San Francisco and the East Bay in 2022

Options for a fishy feast on Christmas Eve or a full Chinese American takeout spread for Christmas Day

Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Whether your Christmas plans include going out for a festive meal with family and friends or ordering takeout and settling in for a lazy day of eating, drinking, and general merriment at home, San Francisco Bay Area restaurants are here to help. It’s not too late to snag a table for Christmas brunch or dinner, and it’s also not too early to place that takeout order for pick up on December 23, 24, or 25.

Here’s a guide to some of the area’s best dining options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

These restaurants are open on Christmas Eve

Uptown Oakland restaurant Hopscotch is celebrating the holidays all month long with a series of feasts served every Thursday through Sunday. But the big blowout comes on Christmas Eve when the restaurant will serve a four-course Feast of the Fishes ($95, optional wine pairing). The menu includes a mixed sashimi plate, butter-poached lobster, cioppino, and doughnuts with butterscotch, a Hopscotch classic. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.

Meanwhile, Executive Chef Alexandre Viriot brings elegant French flair to Christmas Eve dinner at La Société Bar & Cafe in SoMa. The four-course menu ($125) includes a caviar and Dungeness crab parfait, lobster and chestnut velouté, and a choice of either fish or venison for your main course. Dessert options include black truffle and Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese or classic bûche de Noël. Reservations are avaialble via SevenRooms.

Over in Cow Hollow, Maybeck’s will celebrate Christmas Eve with a four-course dinner ($115) that starts with an assortment of snacks and chestnut and apple soup or salad with winter fruits. Entree options include roasted goose with sweet and sour braised cabbage or wild mushroom risotto while dessert brings chocolate peppermint bûche de Noël or gingerbread pudding. And for anyone looking to turn things up a notch, truffle and caviar supplements will also be available. Reserve a table via Maybeck’s website.

Place your Christmas takeout orders here

Iconic vegetarian restaurant Greens isn’t open on Christmas. Still, the restaurant is offering a Christmas to-go menu that includes festival plates such as portobello mushroom Wellington with blue cheese and toasted pecans and classic apple crumb pie. Place an order online; orders will be available for pick up between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on December 23 or 11:20 a.m. and 2 p.m. on December 24.

Che Fico Alimentari is also offering Christmas to-go with a slew of options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. For the first group, a short rib dinner for four ($300) comes with braised short ribs, a winter citrus salad, black truffle lasagna Bolognese, potato Parmigiano gratinato, and roasted brussels sprouts. For the second group, a vegetarian dinner for four ($275) includes all the same sides but stars a polenta fritti with roasted vegetables. Both meals include either a bottle of red wine or a nonalcoholic sparkling beverage and each dish (along with a few others) is also available to order a la carte. Place an order online for pick-up on December 23.

Here’s a meat-lovers dream feast: Alexander’s Steakhouse is bringing back its Prime Rib Family Feast ($475), which serves six to eight people. The meal includes a 7-pound prime rib that’s seasoned and par-cooked, ready to bring to the desired temperature; au jus and horseradish; potatoes; and green beans. Add on a yule log for $65. Orders can be placed online for pick up or delivery on December 23.

Finally, it’s not too early to place your order for a Christmas Day Chinese American feast from Lazy Susan. Head to the restaurant’s website to choose from either a 4-, 5-, or 6-course meal that feeds anywhere from two to five people. The special menus are only available on December 25 and 26 instead of the regular a la carte menu. Also, the restaurant is still running its 10 percent discount to combat inflation so you can get your Christmas meal at an even lower price right now.

Make Christmas Day reservations here

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco serves prime rib all day — from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. — on Christmas in the hotel’s restaurant the Lounge. The prime rib plate ($70) includes Yukon gold potatoes, roasted wild mushrooms, creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding, and horseradish. Reservations can be made by calling 415-296-7465.

At the Proper Hotel down on Market, chef Jason Fox and the Villon team will serve dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Expect a multi-course dinner ($145, $65 for children under 12). There will be both indoor and heated outdoor seating available and reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Last but not least, there are still reservations available for dim sum brunch at Harborview, the massive Embarcadero restaurant from the same folks behind R&G Lounge. The waterfront views and excellent Cantonese cuisine make it a safe bet for just about everyone in your group.

Where to order dessert

Berkeley’s Starter Bakery broke out the holiday specials already, including traditional and chocolate orange panettone and stollen, which are available for pick up only. Of course, that’s on top of classic menu standards including kouign amann, seasonal quiche, and chocolate peppermint cookies.

There’s also a whole slate of holiday goodies to order from Maison Nico in San Francisco. Choose from savory options including Christmas duck pithivier and a holiday pate bundle or sweets like bûche de Nöel. View the whole menu and place pre-orders on the Maison Nico website.

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