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Peoria (Illinois)

San Francisco

Best restaurant for lunch to celebrate a 30th birthday in SF?

Our son is in a national broadway touring company and will be celebrating his 30th birthday in San Francisco... we are flying out to join him so none of us knows a place to celebrate... to make it more difficult we need to find a place for a lunch celebration as his cast is having and after show party.  Any suggestion for a great place to have lunch and celebrate a 30th birthday with family would be appreciated. 

6 Answers

top answer by
Patrick from Denver

A classic spot would be Tadich Grill in the Financial District. The oldest restaurant in California, replete with old-time class (bartenders in white lab coats) and plenty of seafood. 

If it's a weekday and more early afternoon than lunch primetime, try to grab a spot at the counter at Swan Oyster Depot. No frills (not even any tables, just counter seats). Amazing oysters on the half-shell, house-smoked salmon, great wines. It's a truly memorable (and delicious) experience (and cash only, so be prepared). 

Maybe you don't have seafood on the brain though... 

In that case, see about a steak at The Big 4 inside the Huntington Hotel ($$$$). Or head to Tosca Cafe in North Beach for a unique presentation of rustic Italian from April Bloomfield and team. For a modern take on tapas, great cocktails and waterfront views, check out Coqueta.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tadich Grill (restaurant)
  2. Swan Oyster Depot (restaurant)
  3. The Big 4 (restaurant)
  4. Tosca Cafe (restaurant)
  5. Coqueta (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Bill,

I have to say there's no better place than SF to celebrate a birthday with delicious food. You didn't mention a budget, but the following would be my suggestions. I would also highly recommend reservations anywhere, especially since you are a group.

For a pricier meal, I would suggest Cotogna: modern italian fare that is delicious. I love the gnocchi there, the best I've had since I've been back from my trip to italy. The atmosphere is nice and the service is good. 

For a more mid-range budget (but still very nice) is La Fusion. Latin fusion restaurant with sangria, amazing rotisserie chicken, empanadas, tuna tar tar, and delicious desserts!

A16Sauce: Belden Place is a fun restaurant that serves Californian cuisine. This is great for lunch, if you haven't been to Belden Place before, it is nice to check out. It's just an alley way, but multiple restaurants line the street and set up outdoor seating, which also means the restaurant itself gets great natural light. They have good drinks and great food: I would suggest the portobello fries and cronuts for dessert. I had the salmon as a main dish and it was delicious!

Enjoy and Happy birthday to your son!


Eat & Escape

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cotogna (restaurant)
  2. La Fusion (restaurant)
  3. A16 (restaurant)
  4. Sauce: Belden Place (restaurant)
  5. Belden Place (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

I think Epic Roasthouse is a beautiful spot for a celebration. It has awesome San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge views, classy interiors and variety on the menu. It's spacious, which is something I enjoy in a restaurant. Also valet parking if you need it. Enjoy.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Epic Roasthouse (attraction)
  2. San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Alison from San Francisco

The Slanted Door in the ferry Building is an amazing place for a San Francisco, celebratory meal!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Slanted Door (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered first by
Krista from San Francisco

Hi Bill,

This sounds awesome and congrats to your son for being a part of a national tour. :)

Here are two suggestions off the top of my head:

  • MarketBar in the Ferry Building can accommodate large groups, has great views (Bay Bridge + the Bay), and tasty dishes.

  • Balboa Cafe is a well known lunch spot in Cow Hollow, near the Marina district. This spot can be a bit more scene-y, but attracts many locals and is always a good time.

If you want to leave a comment with the number of people who will be joining/where you'll be staying, I can try to provide a few more ideas.

Hope you have a fantastic trip to SF!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. MarketBar (restaurant)
  2. Balboa Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Cow Hollow (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

If it's on a weekday, I would recommend Boulevard for a birthday lunch.  Beautiful place, great food and service.  Ask for a table with a view of the Bay Bridge and tell them it's a celebration when you make the reservation.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boulevard (restaurant)

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