Mark your calendar and make your reservations now (if you haven’t already) because San Francisco Restaurant Week returns in full force later this week. After several pandemic-impacted iterations, this spring’s event marks a return to normalcy in many ways — as more restaurants welcome diners back inside while others retain their outdoor dining and takeout options. All said and done that means there’s, hopefully, an option for every type of diner under the sun.
So, how does it all work? From Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 10, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has encouraged restaurants around the city to offer special lunch and dinner menus. There’s a range of price points to choose from starting at $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner.
If you want to pursue the full list of participating restaurants and the various menu options each will have available, head over to the San Francisco Restaurant Week website. But with scores of restaurants joining in, we’ve done a little leg work for you: Here are some of the best deals to be had during San Francisco Restaurant Week, spring 2022.
Brunch or Lunch (2+ courses)
Lazy Susan: Recently relocated to West Portal, Lazy Susan continues to serve modern versions of Chinese-American favorites like beef broccoli, orange chicken, and mapo tofu made fresh and with quality ingredients. For Restaurant Week you can get a full plate lunch including a choice of several entrees, a side of vegetables or rice, and a drink for $15. Online ordering is available through the Lazy Susan website.
Bini’s Kitchen: La Cocina alum Binita Pradhan brings Nepalese momos and more to SoMa at this counter-service spot. The Restaurant Week menu is a steal: 4 vegetable or turkey momos (steamed or frozen to take and enjoy later) plus spicy tomato-cilantro sauce and a side of either ghurka chicken or eggplant for $15.
Gram Cafe & Pancakes: Inner Sunset diners can pop into Gram Cafe & Pancakes for a $25 lunch that includes a salad and either Japanese curry or unagi don. Of course, your meal ends with the cafe’s signature jiggly Japanese pancakes; choose from strawberry or hazelnut chocolate.
Montesacro: The $25 lunch menu at Montesacro, the SoMa pinseria, includes a fava bean and Pecorina salad or cotto and mozzarella followed by your choice of two of the restaurant’s Roman-style pizzas. A $45 dinner option also includes dessert.
Mersea: Escape across the bridge to Mersea, where a $30 lunch deal also buys you some pretty incredible views of the city. The two-course menu includes fish chowder and seared yellowtail jack with spring vegetables.
The Vault Garden: FiDi’s favorite outdoor dining option offers a $30 lunch menu that includes either a salad or soup to start followed by your choice of three entrees: English pea risotto, fish and chips, or a burger.
Dinner (3+ courses)
The Madrigal: Civic Center’s new cocktail lounge and restaurant the Madrigal is doing a family-style spread of shareable plates for Restaurant Week. For $30 per person, you’ll get green garlic bread, crispy patatas bravas, Monterey squid ink risotto, and a spring vegetable skewer. If you want to turn up the party, a $30 cocktail addition includes three drinks.
Chezchez: Head to Valencia Street for an aperitivo hour this Restaurant Week; the $30 menu includes a glass of sherry, plus 18-month aged pasture-raised country ham and a chef’s selection of small bites.
Cassava: The prix-fixe menu at Richmond’s Cassava always feels like a good deal, but doubly so during Restaurant Week. For $48 per person diners choose from starters like blood orange carpaccio, buttermilk fried chicken, or roasted beet and cucumber salad. Mains include fresh pasta with asparagus, striped bass, and slow-braised lamb belly. Desserts like black sesame panna cotta and a local cheese plate wrap things up.
Donaji: The $45 dinner menu at relatively new-ish Mission Mexican restaurant Donaji spans four courses. Start with a refried bean and beef sope, followed by Mary’s chicken pozole. Next comes pollo con mole with churro doughnuts ending things on a sweet note.
Poesia: This quaint Castro Italian restaurant offers three courses plus fresh seasonal fruit for dessert during Restaurant Week. Start your dinner either in the cozy dining room or on the surprisingly spacious covered patio with roasted veal, followed by a plate of ricotta and spinach-filled tortellini and a final course of grilled prawns wrapped in Italian lard.
Fog Harbor Fish House: If you’re looking for a good reason to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf, try the 3-course dinner menu at Fog Harbor Fish House, which offers three choices for appetizers and entrees and two desserts. Of course, it’s all seafood-centric including baked oysters, cioppino, and steak with shrimp.
Rooh: The SoMa outpost of this upscale Indian restaurant is doing a grand 3-course dinner menu for Restaurant Week – it starts with an amuse bouche of a kachori tart and ends with dessert. In between those two dishes, choose from options like Black Sheep kebabs, paneer pinwheels, and chicken farcha.
3rd Cousin: Even during Restaurant Week you can get the 8-course tasting menu for $185, but if you want to check out Bernal Heights’ 3rd Cousin on a budget there’s also the choice to do 3-courses for $75 – not a bad deal when you consider the restaurant was recently dubbed a “New Discovery” by the Michelin Guide.