The Best SF Restaurants For A Big Group Dinner guide image

SFGuide

The Best SF Restaurants For A Big Group Dinner

At these spots, planning a group meal isn't painful.

Coordinating a big group dinner is an ordeal, especially when you have to consider dietary restrictions, coordinate everyone's schedules, and find a place with actually good food. On top of that, not every SF restaurant has the capacity for groups larger than six. That’s where this guide comes in. These 12 spots take reservations for at least ten people. And they’re all places we love wholeheartedly, regardless of whether you’re rolling up with your entire friend group and their significant others in tow. If you're looking to plan an even bigger group meal, check out our private dining guide.

THE SPOTS

Lers Ros Thai

The menu at Lers Ros is so long it should come with its own table of contents. There’s something for your aunt, even your vegetarian cousins, and all the other people who decided to tag along with you to this nice casual spot in the Tenderloin. Their setup is just one long room, with a humongous table in the middle that can fit up to 14 people. The menu might seem overwhelming, but there’s no going wrong with any of the curries or steamy noodle soups. Pack in and order another round of saucy garlic pork for the table. 

Since opening in 1985, this Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown has stood in as the backdrop to countless graduation parties, wedding banquets, and dinners with coworkers who just spent the entire day losing brain cells at some FiDi corporate event. This place is a multi-story maze made up of several dining rooms, a full bar, and hosts who communicate through earpieces (shepherding you through a seafood-filled evening is serious business). Big round tables are in the main dining areas—once you’re seated, let the salt and pepper crab, which arrives with a mountain of crunchy fried legs, come to you.

Good Good Culture Club is a tropical party in the Mission, and one to get rowdy at any time you want to gather up a bunch of friends and throw back cocktails made with edible glitter. Leafy green plants are everywhere, rattan lamps hang above, and hot pink and teal are splashed across the dining room. Just be prepared to bust out your outside voice—this place is loud. The long, communal “Ohana Table,” for parties of eight to sixteen, is in the middle of all the action. It’s $60 per person for a prix-fixe family-style spread of sinigang-spiced potato chips, spicy and refreshing crying tiger shrimp, and aromatic Lao sausage that land on your table like gifts. 

At Um.ma, Korean barbecue is waiting for you—and the lucky people you brought along on this sizzling meat journey. This modern Sunset spot’s “mural room,” decorated with a striking woman in black and white, feels like a private nook and can fit between six and ten. Order as much flavor-packed citrus gochujang pork belly, crispy seafood pancakes, and unbelievably crunchy chicken wings as will fit on the table—you’ll want multiple rounds of each. The only downside to this room is there’s no tabletop grilling (that’s reserved for the patio only). But regardless, it’s still impossible to have a bad time. 

You can’t write a guide to the best group dinner destinations without at least one Japanese hot pot spot, and our favorite is Shabu Club in the Richmond. Throughout your meal, you’ll see servers constantly rearrange tables in the minimal space to fit a revolving door of groups and entire extended families. It’s also constantly packed with people who are hovering around shared vats of bubbling soup, and dipping all-you-can-eat slices of pork, lamb, and beef into the green sauce that turned this place into a neighborhood legend. Be sure to save room for the free ice cream cones they roll around for dessert. 

Montesacro in SoMa is the perfect group dinner spot before a show at the nearby Orpheum—it has extra-long tables that can handle an entire entourage. And the oblong Roman-style pinsas are light, airy, and the ideal sustenance for gossip sessions with your roommate’s partner’s neighbor friend. All pizzas topped with burrata are an instant hit, but we also love the tormarancio with soppressata and very thick tomato sauce. Not in SoMa? Their Marina location is also big-group friendly. 

The dimly lit dining room at Tuba has maroon walls, curvy chandeliers, and enough tables to fit the miscellaneous group of friends you’ve called together for an easy weeknight dinner. The crispy adana kebab, wrapped in lavash and sliced, is an optimal dish to shovel into your mouth at record-breaking speeds. And the charred eggplant topped with juicy ground beef is straight-up comfort. Sit under one of the pixelated art pieces with a bottle of wine and spread out—there’s more than enough space.

Fiorella is a wood-fired pizza hub in the Richmond. And since crust, sauce, and toppings generally are a crowd pleaser, it’s a great option for last-minute birthday dinners or dates that balloon from one couple to five (their Russian Hill and Sunset outposts also take parties of ten). This spot has a communal table by the Clement St.-facing windows where you can get into pepperoni-topped pies or an entire ball of burrata. And if you run out of conversation topics, you can always turn to identifying the Bay Area celebrities, like Alice Waters and E-40, who are immortalized on the wallpaper. 

This Union Square Thai restaurant looks like a converted warehouse with high ceilings, all-white walls, and steel pillars. That’s good news for you, and your group of coworkers (and their friends and their coworkers), who can all comfortably fit inside—and have plenty of elbow room to spare. Hed Verythai specializes in individual set meals. So just pick a main (they change up, but there's always a meat, fish, and vegetarian option), and enjoy it with the papaya salad or pad makhua sides. If the kaosoi nua is on the menu, hone in—the 24-hour braised beef is one of the best entrées we’ve had here. 

We reserve La Mar for when we have a high-maintenance friend in town who wants to actually dress up for dinner, or when we need to keep a visiting client on our good side. But for the purposes of a group meal, the Peruvian spot on the Embarcadero has it on lock. There’s a patio right along the water, a lively dining room, and a bar to keep all the overflow cocktail-filled while waiting for a table. Adding to the photogenic space and waterfront location are the small plates that are worth coming here for alone, like tangy cebiches, Peruvian-style nigiri, and fantastic empanadas.  

Bust out the velvet accessories and a sophisticated suit—you’re going to Bix. A group dinner at this old-school American restaurant is one to plan with people who go teary-eyed listening to jazz (you’ll be serenaded by a tie-wearing pianist), or who religiously drink martinis nightly. This Financial District spot spans two floors, and a majestic staircase curves between them. Tables can fit ten high-backed green velvet chairs—maybe consider planning that murder mystery-themed dinner party after all. 

Bella Trattoria goes big in every way. There’s a long black leather banquette that wraps around the place. Booths stretch up toward the ceiling like imposing ceremonial thrones. And portions of decadent pasta are super-sized. Pile into the Richmond spot to carbo-load on housemade pastas, bruschetta, and even free bread. A full bar and sports playing on TVs will also keep everyone happy. And by “everyone,” we mean the Spikeball crew you’re rolling in with after an intense game at Golden Gate Park.

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photo credit: Jeremy Chen

The Best SF Restaurants For A Big Group Dinner guide image