9 SF Restaurants For When You Just Want To Feel CozyA meal at one of these spots is the equivalent of burying yourself under a blanket fort.
“Cozy” means something different to everyone. But when you factor coziness levels into choosing a restaurant, it generally means you want warm, comforting food in a space that feels like wrapping yourself in a heated, weighted quilt. So if you just want to feel cozy, or the 50-degree forecast has you down, head to one of these spots.
This Cow Hollow steakhouse is one of the few places to devour french onion soup and marinara-drenched meatballs at 11pm on a random Wednesday. There’s a constant dim red glow in the dining room that'll make you want to stay until closing (midnight on most days), and/or take a nap. Strong cocktails and a velvet-filled space that looks like an 1800s Scottish pub are also why Brazen Head will be your new go-to late-night spot.
When it’s so cold that you’ve resorted to wearing a beanie indoors (and not in an ironic Justin Bieber kind of way), escape to Chez Maman. The French restaurant in Hayes Valley has tables and bar seats tucked in every corner of the dimly lit space, so prepare to snuggle up to your neighbors. This spot excels at hearty dishes you’d want in front of you for holiday dinner by a fireplace or if you were trying to bulk up for an ultra-triathlon—gruyere-loaded french onion soup, mashed potatoes with roast chicken, steaming moules frites, and more.
This Jackson Square spot has so much charm you’ll want to move in, effective immediately. A fire blazes in the wood-fired oven behind the bar. The whole place is decked out in warm brown tones, and there are even olive trees (and blankets) in the parklet out front. The phenomenal Italian food goes perfectly with the space—think a face-sized raviolo oozing with egg yolk, gnocco fritto with tissue-thin prosciutto, and agnolotti dal plin with rich sugo arrosto.
This Greek restaurant in the Financial District is the closest you’ll get to a ski lodge without having to put chains on your car. There’s a fireplace, of course. And the high-backed armchairs are perfect for drinking Greek wine and feeling glad you’re not outside. It’s also huge inside, with multiple rooms and an elevator. And everything smells like the dinner you’d want after a long day on the slopes, thanks to the whole lambs and chickens roasting on spits over the open flame.
A steam facial from a hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen is one way to get the cozy energies flowing. But not all ramen spots have cozy built in like Coco’s Ramen. The Bernal Heights izakaya is about the size of an apartment living room and always has the lights turned down way low. It’s the ideal setting for nights when being over-stimulated in any form is out of the question. Get your customizable ramen topped with pork belly and consider taking a bath later to keep the coziness going.
We like spending hours becoming one with the cushy leather booths at Pearl 6101. Especially if the refreshing cocktails and $11 glasses of sparkling wine keep coming. The bar and restaurant in the Richmond is our favorite moody place in the city to drink wine. That’s because of warm, overhead globe lights, and fantastic small plates that'll make you forget it’s gently misting outside. The rich white bolognese with handkerchief pasta is always a hit, as is the caesar with crispy fried prosciutto piled on top.
Zuni Cafe is an SF legend, and one where you’ll always feel sophisticated sitting next to the roaring brick oven that pumps out their iconic roast chicken. This Civic Center spot has white tablecloths, chicken-themed art all over the walls, and enough natural light and exposed brick to make a Brooklyn real estate agent go feral. You won’t feel out of place in a velvet blazer or shoes that clack a little, which is another reason to keep this spot in mind for long lunches when you’re playing hooky or when your heater stops working.
The dining room at House of Prime Rib is controlled chaos, to say the least. It's also comforting. The plush red velvet booths are worn in like a well-loved Tempur-Pedic mattress. The chandeliers, fireplace, and roving carts full of meat make you feel like you’re in an English pub that visited a Renaissance fair. And things like baked potatoes, creamed spinach, and Yorkshire pudding are the food equivalent of getting swaddled in a fuzzy blanket.
Yes, the patio at Foreign Cinema is technically outside, but it’s still one of the coziest spots in town. The Mission restaurant makes a night intimate, with glowing twinkle lights, heat lamps, and tall white walls that keep the space feeling like an oasis. So even if you do have to wear a jacket, it’s easy to get comfortable. Fried chicken, oysters, and seasonal pastas are exactly what you’ll want while you pretend to watch whatever movie is projected on the wall.