Is Super Bowl Sunday a Great Day to Get Into SF’s Hottest Restaurants?

Prubechu, one of SF’s hottest new restaurants, is always packed. Will Super Bowl Sunday leave it empty?

Non-football-fans are wondering if SF’s Super Bowl mania means popular restaurants will be empty.

Last fall, the Eater’s Digest podcast explored “dead times” in big cities as opportunities to get immediate tables at popular restaurants, and determined that times of appointment TV viewing and holidays that drive folks out of town are also great chances for people who hate to plan ahead (right here, y’all) to walk in and get seated at spots that typically require advance reservations.

San Franciscans are likely to say that Burning Man is one of those times (though the legacy media has repeatedly said that SF’s Burning Man exodus is a myth), and apocryphally, the San Francisco 49ers last Super Bowl spin, in 2013, prompted social media claims that non-sports-focused venues were empty during the big game.

Bay Area residents should consider a few points:

What time does the Super Bowl start? Super Bowl LIV (that’s 54), starts at 3:30 p.m., and will last until at least 5 p.m. People are likely heading to parties to watch the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs by 12:30 or 1, so shooting for an in-demand late brunch spot isn’t a bad idea.

Many restaurants that one might not think of as sports-centric are hosting Super Bowl watch shindogs (here’s a freshly updated list of some of those events), so check venue websites to make sure a target hasn’t transformed itself into a wings pop-up or whatever for the day.

Be aware that in advance of possible victory celebrations, San Francisco is closing several streets in the Mission, and is re-routing Muni around likely hot spots.

This is a good time to remind everyone that a vocal minority of San Francisco’s sports fans aren’t always the best behaved when their team triumphs. Here’s hoping a Niners win (or loss!) this weekend doesn’t prompt similar mayhem, but in case it does, diners might be best-served by picking restaurants far from anywhere revelers/rioters might congregate. The western and southwestern sides of San Francisco are — not to jinx it — probable best bets.

Fortunately, there’s a map for that. In fact, there are several: Here are Eater SF’s most essential restaurants as of Winter 2020, here are the city’s hottest restaurants as of this month, and here’s a current list of all of SF’s most important restaurant openings. Good luck!

And in other news...


The shortest Super Bowl in the past 20 years was three hours and 15 minutes, so there’s not much chance the game will end before 6:45.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑