December is here and that means the onslaught of holiday parties. Skip the two buck Chuck and store-bought cheese plates and wow guests this year with a party at one of San Francisco's best venues. Whether you need a space to host a corporate work function, a soirée with friends, or simply want to enjoy a special holiday-themed menu, here's a list of 10 restaurants and bars sure to get you in the holiday spirit. -Eloise PorterRead More
Where to Plot a Last Minute Holiday Soirée
There are rooms and large tables to choose from.
1. Café Claude
Affectionately known as the “Paris of the West,” Cafe Claude evokes the feel of vintage Paris and offers four distinct event spaces to choose from (or rent out the whole space for larger parties). Choose from an enclosed heated patio reminiscent of a Parisian alley, an intimate dining room with banquette seating and large windows, an upstairs wine bar and restaurant space across Claude Lane (L’Etage) or The Gallery, a former art space that is a glamorous setting for cocktail parties and seated dinners. In any of these settings you can get classic bistro dishes, Parisian hors d'oeuvres, cheese and charcuterie, signature cocktails and French wines.
2. Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
Celebrate the holidays and sip Spanish wines all month long with Canela. Enjoy a Spanish-inspired Hanukkah menu for $42 per person throughout the festival of lights (think spinach and leek latkes and piquillo glazed beef brisket — dreidel included) or a Spanish Christmas dinner December 22-24 for $65 per person. Check out their special holiday party packages so you can skip the cooking and the dishes and let Canela take care of your private event.
3. Crystal Jade
With sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco Ferry Building, Crystal Jade Jiang Nan is the ideal spot for large-scale holiday parties. Enjoy locally-sourced, authentic Chinese dishes (like Singapore chicken rice and roasted duck) and dim sum on the Embarcadero waterfront. 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space makes this the ideal location for corporate holiday parties and private events. With a 763-person capacity, you won’t have to make cuts in your guest list.
Put down the Christmas ham and pick up something more unique this holiday season. DOSA serves San Francisco’s favorite South Indian cuisine, plus world-class spice-driven cocktails, in two stunning and distinct locations. Accommodating groups from 16 to 250 people, both locations are perfect for hosting friends and colleagues alike.
For a sultry holiday affair, book a private room at Gitane — a romantic, funky, eclectic space off of Claude Lane. There are three spaces to choose from: For a more intimate party, the sexy bar area is ideal, and the bartenders can create customized drinks for your group. In the heated and enclosed patio, guests can mingle and sip cocktails al fresco beneath candlelight. Or book the mezzanine dining room overlooking the bar for larger events.
Go big at Hakkasan, the downtown San Francisco outpost of the international chain. The upscale Cantonese restaurant offers spacious rooms for your holiday affair, plus cocktails, sake, dim sum, and dishes from all over China, like claypot chicken and roasted silver cod. The intimate Jade Room hosts a single round table, seating 8-12 guests. Or go all out with The Dragon Room, a semi-private dining space that can accommodate 12-28 for sit-down dinners or up to 40 for reception-style events.
7. Hog & Rocks
Celebrate the season with a decadent array of oysters, towers of Dungeness crab and jumbo shrimp, charcuterie boards, escargot beignets, bone marrow custard, and more. Hog & Rocks makes planning a special event easy, with options for a 25-person full bar party, 40-person cocktail party, or 100-person private party. Customize your own drink menu or opt for a full bar to really get the party going.
Lolinda and its festive rooftop offer two entirely unique party options. At Lolinda downstairs, you can opt for one of four full family-style dinner menus ranging from $42-68 per person, one of three passed bites menus ranging from $28-44 per person, or one of three buffet menus ranging from $42-55 per person. You’ll feast on dishes like ceviche, empanadas, croquetas, chorizo, and Argentinean steakhouse favorites.Upstairs at Techo is a more casual Mexican party, with margaritas, cerveza, and sangria and far-reaching views of the Mission. Here, you’ll choose from one of three menus ranging from $25-38 per person. These party platters include guacamole, ceviche, empanadas, and various skewers.
For a fun, festive, and casual holiday party, look to the Marina’s favorite whiskey-and-slider-bar, Marengo on Union. Sip Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps in the enclosed, glass ceiling back patio as you snack on comfort food like pulled pork or short rib sliders, fried pickles, and queso. The newest Financial District location, Marengo on the Alley, is also the a good party-hosting spot, with ample space and a relaxed, yet sophisticated environment.
Over in Sausalito at Poggio, you can rent out a private dining room above the restaurant with picturesque views of the marina and bay. The Northern Italian cuisine is suited to the season with dishes like braised pork ragu pappardelle and bistecca alla fiorentina.