Contains paid advertising content.
Everyone always asks us where to celebrate their special occasions, so we thought it was time to give you some options to celebrate life’s biggest moments, like promotions and bachelor parties, no matter what city you live in. The key to a great celebration? Awesome #EEEEEATS, and the perfect restaurant for whatever life event you’re celebrating. We’re no strangers to that quest for quality - this website was started to help people find the ideal restaurant for their particular occasion.
That's why we teamed up with American Express on our Guide to The Best Restaurants for Celebrations In SF. The beauty of this city is you can eat incredible pasta one night, seafood the next and the most inventive dim sum around after that. San Francisco food keeps you on your toes, and that alone is something to celebrate. We picked places we think are especially perfect for all those important celebrations in life that you want to do right, like that 5th anniversary or meeting the parents. Another way to do those times right? By using the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – it’s the card to use if you eat out anywhere near as much as we do. With over 4,300 restaurant locations in San Francisco added to the American Express network in the last two years,* there are so many places where you can swipe Gold. Follow this list, use that card, and you’ll be golden.
Here’s to your celebration, and look out for more Celebrations Guides in other cities.
If you’re into supporting locally-owned small businesses as much as you’re into awesome eats, look for the restaurants on our list marked with this blue circle 🔵, part of the American Express Shop Small initiative.
The post contains paid advertising content from the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Card Members now get more rewards like 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. restaurants and a $100 airline fee credit on one airline for incidental charges like in-flight food and drink. Learn more here. This list was selected by The Infatuation.
🔵 While it’s hard to get a reservation at Rich Table, hopefully you know the date of your anniversary so you can plan far in advance. Great drinks, incredible food, and dim lighting make this a perfect spot to celebrate your relationship. And the porcini doughnuts are something you can only share with someone you really love.
🔵 The lighting is low, the crudos are perfect, and there’s an absurdly decadent and delicious lobster and burrata salad that you definitely need to order. Bar Crudo is one of the more romantic spots in the city, especially if you can get one of the little tables tucked back behind the door.
🔵 Promotions should be celebrated with a dinner that is fun. Not just expensive, but actually a good time. Lazy Bear is the most fun fine dining experience we’ve had in a while, thanks to communal tables, an open kitchen, friendly waiters, and overall good energy in an upscale farmhouse in the Mission. Granted you have to get your tickets ahead of time, but it just gives you something to look forward to spending the first bigger paycheck on.
🔵 The Progress is one of the best restaurants in the city and by far one of the most interesting. It’s not cheap either, making it the perfect place to celebrate your climb up the corporate ladder. Direct reports? Yes, they are there to do your bidding! Time to eat your way through the incredible family-style menu at The Progress. And make sure you get a few cocktails too.
🔵 Odds are when you’re advancing your education, your parents will be happy and maybe involved in the dinner to celebrate this milestone. Gary Danko is perfect for such a dinner for a few reasons: it’s absolutely delicious thanks to lots of cream sauce and truffles, the service makes you feel like you just graduated from Stanford Magna Cum Laude (maybe you did), and the old school vibes are something all adults will be into. As are we.
🔵 You have a piece of paper certifying your academic excellence! What better way to celebrate than by making perhaps the smartest move you can make and heading to dinner at Zuni Cafe? It’s a very cool space that is a serious San Francisco classic, and the roast chicken is everything you deserve for making your way through school.
🔵 Everybody likes Mexican food, and Don Pisto’s is one of the more fiesta-like options to get your taco on. It’s loud, it’s dark (especially in the downstairs area) and it’s one of our favorite spots for slightly upscale Mexican that isn’t pretentious. Beer and wine only, but that’s never stopped us from having a good time. The tacos are all excellent, and the pollo asado should also be on your table.
🔵 Come for the birthday, stay for the bowling and shockingly good eats. Mission Bowling is a great time and the food is above and beyond the usual bowling alley microwaved hot dog fare. We actually know people who go to Mission Bowling only for the food (specifically the gigantic and awesome burger). It’s an ideal place for groups and a pretty perfect spot to celebrate another year in the life. Also, bring socks.
meeting the parents
Meeting the parents can be stressful, but you know what makes everyone happy and not stressed? Amazing carbohydrates in a very grown-up environment. Cotogna has some of the best pasta around, and the pizzas are also very, very good. As is the baked ricotta. You basically can’t go wrong. Your significant others’ parents will definitely think you’re a responsible human being for bringing them here.
🔵 Terzo is consistently great and consistently underrated. The Mediterranean food is delicious and well-priced, the wine list is great and the low lighting and candle-lit tables are classy without feeling snobby or intimidating. Everyone likes Terzo, and we can pretty much guarantee any parents will too. If they don’t, watch out.
🔵 Old school vibes, incredible drinks and excellent food are the calling cards of Tosca Cafe. You can make a group reservation for parties bigger than six, which means you’ll definitely be ordering two to four roast chickens. Negronis all around to celebrate the bachelor. See you in the morning.
🔵 In some countries, getting a heavy case of the meat sweats is how you celebrate marriage. OK maybe that’s not true. But whatever. Keep the imaginary tradition alive with a bachelor party dinner at Lolinda where the Argentinian meats and delicious cocktails flow freely. The Mission location is an ideal starting point for a night out with the A-team.
🔵 The Mission location of Tacolicious has a big back room that you can fully or partially book, and it’s pretty much made for bachelorette parties. Sorry, group of people having a work dinner that booked the other side of the room - you made your own bed and now you must lie in it. The group dinner packages are very reasonably priced and the margarita pitchers flow freely. Make sure you get the short ribs as one of your taco filling options and you’ll have a good night.
Tonga Room is an absurd place. And what better way to celebrate a bride-to-be than drinking enormous tiki cocktails and sharing a pupu platter while listening to a ridiculous band on a boat in the middle of a converted pool in a hotel basement? There is no better way. They serve drinks in actual god*damn pineapples and have a solid tuna poke. Get after it.
going away dinner
🔵 You probably have a lot of people you need to say goodbye to before leaving our fair city, and Presidio Social Club has the space to accommodate all your friends. The building was built in 1903 as a military barracks, and what better place for a send off than a legitimately historic San Francisco establishment that also happens to serve excellent cocktails and retro-meets-kale dishes.
Foreign Cinema is a one-of-a-kind experience that is uniquely San Francisco. Better still for a going-away dinner, it’s great for groups and has food that will please pretty much anyone. Hope for a nice night and long table on the outdoor patio. Maybe start reconsidering your move.