On a typical birthday, you’d usually have dinner with your friends before pulling out all your terrible dance moves at the bar you swore you’d never go to again. But just because we’re in quarantine doesn’t mean your birthday has to be a total flop. There are great restaurants around the city with takeout and delivery to make sure you can dive headfirst into another year and celebrate to the fullest. Here are 35 of our favorites. By the way, happy birthday!
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All restaurants featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. The Birthday Takeout Guide: San Francisco & East Bay is presented by Uber Eats. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, supporting our local restaurant community has never been more important. Uber Eats customers can now give directly to the restaurants they love at checkout. 100% will go to the restaurant. Order now to support. See app for details.
A meal at Rich Table is almost as exciting as celebrating a birthday with 20 close friends at a crowded bar in the Mission. Fine, it’s actually more exciting - and the fact that we can order their takeout right now is a celebration in its own right. Rich Table is offering weekly-changing four- and five-course menus (posted every week on their Instagram) for around $45-60 per person. It includes entrees like ribeye or duck breast, and you can also add on batched cocktails and bottles of wine.
If your idea of a solid birthday involves sitting in front of a colorful, fresh chirashi bowl in your sweatpants while Alexa blasts Rumours (Super Deluxe), then order from Yubu, a new takeout operation from The Shota. They’re specializing in inari ($5-9) and donburi (around $30), and also offering $40 DIY hand roll sets with fatty blue fin tuna, scallop, crab, and eel, and bottles of sake.
If you’ve lost three straight rounds of Words With Friends, you may be in need of some comfort food. Order takeout from Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack. This spot in Bernal Heights makes awesome Italian-American classics like spaghetti and meatballs and eggplant parmesan, and it all comes in portions large enough for leftovers. Order by calling 415-206-2086 or using their app (Apple, Google Play).
In an ideal world, we’d go to Outside Lands for our big day. But since that may not be a possibility any time soon, we’ll gladly settle on getting delivery from Farmhouse Kitchen. This Thai restaurant makes some of the city’s most exciting dishes, from a spicy papaya salad with a good, slow burn that lasts for an hour after you eat it to short ribs smothered in rich curry. But to really make it feel like a celebration, they have a Lao Table special for two for $69 that comes with different items like papaya salad and an incredible hat yai fried chicken with yellow curry.
Since all the days are starting to bleed together, your birthday may as well be one weekend-long celebration. Make part of that Saturday or Sunday brunch delivery from the Dorian. Their Ultimate Birthday Package comes with a tequila-cucumber Don Juan cocktail for four, a bottle of sparkling wine, funfetti cake, and their excellent truffle fries, all for $65. If you’re really in it for the food, their Brunch At Home ($50) option comes with sparkling wine or rose and two mains - just make sure one of those mains are the fries (yes, they count as a main).
In the beforetimes, we went to Che Fico Alimentari for special occasions and casual catch-ups with friends over really great cacio e pepe and rigatoni amatriciana. And these days, there’s no way we’d rather celebrate a birthday at home than with their lasagna and a pint (or five) of their labneh mulberry gelato. And because it’s not a birthday without booze, you can also order from their extensive wine list.
We’ve recently experienced a lot of firsts: our first actually-finished puzzle, our first time drinking a margarita in an inflatable “Paw Patrol”-themed kiddie pool, and our first birthday at home in the middle of a statewide stay-at-home order. Another one is ordering Zuni’s whole wood-fired chicken for takeout without having to wait an hour at our table for it to cook. And doing so is a great way to celebrate when you’re stuck at home - you can even stick a candle in the chicken and make a wish. Order here for pick-up from Wednesday-Sunday.
For you, birthday dinners are just a time filler standing in the way of what’s really important: birthday dessert. And Batter Bakery is one of our go-to dessert spots, especially when we want some incredible cookies and devil’s food brownies. But if you need your dessert to take the edge off your cabin fever, pick up an alcoholic float or milkshake from The Ice Cream Bar, like their Dublin Honey with Guinness, sherry, and caramelized honey ice cream.
There’s nothing overtly celebratory about getting takeout from Beit Rima, the food is just really, really good. We love all of their dips from the buttery fava bean ful to the sweet muhammara, and their puffy hand-kneaded bread is so amazing that the FDA should classify it as a stress reliever. Their portions are also large enough to split with your roommates or eat all by yourself while you sit through a Reese Witherspoon movie marathon. Call 415-703-0270 to order.
If chicken on a stick is your primary love language, then celebrate your birthday with a Torima bento box from Hina Yakitori. At $25, it’s more affordable than their $110 omakase-style yakitori menu, and also filled with five of their delicious skewers (tsukune, momo, teba, negima, and mini tomato). The bento box is an excellent birthday present if you weren’t able to get that heirloom beans sampler expedited.
Your idea of a great birthday dinner is getting omakase in a quiet place, but for now, you’re stuck at home with three people who are convinced the living room is an IMAX theater. You can take care of the omakase part by ordering takeout from Oma San Francisco Station, which makes some of the best nigiri in the city. Right now, they’re offering a $65 takeout option with 11 pieces of sushi (you can order a few days in advance on their website). As for your loud roommates, just politely ask them to watch Hulu or Quibi in their bedrooms for a half-hour so you can enjoy your birthday sushi in peace.
If you’re looking for something celebratory to slice up for your birthday (go with something better than an omelette, please), order a pie from Three Babes Bakeshop. They’ve got pre-made pies and crumbles, and par-baked pie shells so you can put those random bags of cherries your neighbor dropped on your front stoop to use, and make your own filling at home. Order for delivery or pick-up here.
Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or your first win at online Catan, you’ll need something to commemorate the special moment. A pint of matchadoodle ice cream from Humphry Slocombe should do the trick. And if eating ice cream out of the carton is more of a daily routine for you right now, make your birthday a little more exciting with one of their sundae kits.
If you’re looking to have a birthday feast, get delivery from Dumpling Time. This place is offering everything from lobster har gow and garlicky green beans to shrimp toast and seafood gyoza (our favorite thing here). They’re also open from 11:30am-9:30pm, so you can have your birthday dumplings for brunch, lunch, or dinner - not that time means anything when you’re spending all day at home.
It usually takes months, a fast internet connection, and Doctor Strange-levels of sorcery to get a reservation at Atelier Crenn on your actual birthday. But during shelter in place, you can eat their incredible food thanks to their boxed meals called Crenn Kits, which includes dishes like vegetable gratins, grain bowls, and chocolate cake (candle not included). And all you have to do is buy one in advance and pick it up in your dog-pattern PJs to take home and eat on your couch.
If you and baking aren’t exactly on speaking terms, but you still want to dig into a multilayered, perfectly frosted funfetti cake, order one from Noe Valley Bakery. They’re also taking custom orders (including edible photo cakes, so you can gift your roommate a cake with Keanu’s face on it).
The combination of flavors, textures, and spices make having a meal at Nari an unforgettable experience. And because you’ll never forget your birthday in quarantine, you should make it count by getting takeout from here. Right now, Nari’s takeout menu includes things like massaman curry and khao soi that’s pre-packed and ready to reheat at home. Order ahead on their website.
You already have a bunch of birthday Zoom calls scheduled with friends and family - so you’ll need something to drink (especially to take your mind off your grandma asking you for the 100th time when she’ll have great-grandkids). Order a bottle of wine from Verjus, and their housemade pâté en croûte, and settle in for the evening.
Since bar hopping your way around the Marina is unfortunately not happening anytime soon, you could do the next best thing and have Tacolicious delivered to your apartment. They’re doing $39 taco kits for two for takeout and delivery, as well as ready-made cocktails for six. And if you need something to drink after all those al pastor tacos, get more margaritas or wine delivered from our alcohol guide.
A reservation at Lord Stanley or Mister Jiu’s would usually be the perfect way to celebrate a birthday - and while we can’t do that right now, they’ve teamed up for the next best thing: Lord Jiu’s, an $80-ish five-course menu available for pick-up from Tuesday-Saturday. The menu changes weekly, but you can expect things like seared tuna, wagyu sirloin, and stuffed zucchini blossom.
We have an entire pizza delivery guide you could order from, but Fiorella is delivering kits so you can turn your birthday into a make-your-own-pizza party. They come with dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings for two to four people, and if you don’t own a rolling pin, you can use it as an excuse to have a dough spinning competition (even if it’s with yourself). Then pattern the pepperoni for however old you’re turning, bake it, and pull something out of the oven that’s better than a birthday cake.
Much like watching the contestants on The Bachelor make awful life choices (like choosing to be on The Bachelor), there’s something strangely cathartic about sitting on the rug in your living room and drinking a bottle of wine. And if a floor session is how you want to celebrate your quarantine birthday with your friends (either in your house or over Zoom), West Coast Wine And Cheese has you covered. They’re offering free wine and cheese delivery as well as discounts on wine bottles.
It’s a simple fact that if you stick a bunch of candles into one of Akemi’s super soft chirashi bowls, it’ll taste better than a birthday cake. We’re also not opposed to celebrating in self-isolation with a few orders of their chicken karaage (also good for putting candles in) and a couple of special rolls. This Berkeley spot on Solano Ave. is open daily from 5-9pm, and you can call 510-524-1286 to order.
According to divine law, if it’s your birthday you are legally required to start your day with chicken and waffles in bed. So you’ll want to order takeout from Lois the Pie Queen in North Oakland. They’re also making their lemon icebox pie - which we also fully endorse eating in bed.
Since you couldn’t go to Coachella for your birthday this year, the next best way to celebrate is to turn up your speakers at home and order the tea leaf salad from Burma Superstar. It features a laundry list of great ingredients, like garlic chips, fried yellow split peas, and tea leaves, and will bring you nearly as much excitement as an afternoon in the Sahara Tent. And since this is a celebration, after all, you should also get the excellent mango chicken and basil chili pork belly. Order online for delivery or for pick-up by calling 510-652-2900.
Sometimes you don’t want a fancy meal or a big feast for your birthday, and all you really need is a huge bowl of ice cream. We’ve got just the thing: a jumbo sundae from Fenton’s (we like the coffee cookie dream topped with copious amounts of hot fudge). You can order online for curbside pick-up or delivery via apps.
Nothing says happy-birthday-to-you quite like a salumi board, handmade pasta, and a 45-day dry-aged steak. This North Berkeley Italian restaurant is also offering 20% off bottled wines, in case you feel like drinking (which, of course you do). Call 510-704-8004 to order for curbside pick-up or delivery within a three-mile radius.
Before all this, your birthday was always one giant feast featuring friends, family, lots of food, and a unicorn-themed jump house. You may not be able to get the jump house, but you can still have plates of delicious food delivered. Time to call Shan Dong, the Chinatown spot specializing in hand-made noodles. Order the sesame paste noodles, dumplings, chow mein, and hot and sour soup. Basically, order everything you can by calling 510-839-2299.
So what if you can’t spend your birthday bar-hopping before ending up at a pizza joint drunk at 2am. It’s OK, you can still order in a bunch of booze from our SF Delivery & Takeout Alcohol Collection and eat one of Zachary’s stuffed pizzas until you pass out on the couch. Order online to have your pie delivered or call 510-655-6385 to pick-up.
If your birthday is coming up and you’ve been getting strangely intense cravings for carrot cake (why is everyone on the internet experiencing this? Please advise), head over to this Alameda bakery for one of the best carrot cakes in the East Bay. Since we’re celebrating, you should also consider getting their delicious pear almond tart, gluten-free chocolate cake, and cheesecake. If you live in Alameda, they’re offering free delivery. Or call 510-864-2733 to place an order for pick-up. Check out their Facebook for the latest updates.
If you’re looking for a fun birthday activity that doesn’t involve yeast or scrolling through your Twitter feed, may we suggest ordering a whole crab or a couple of pounds of shrimp from alaMar. You can take a break from your screens and turn your apartment into a crab feed celebration at the same time. They’re also serving cocktails from their sister restaurant, Sobre Mesa.
Like brunch and Glee mash-ups, sometimes mixing two things really does work out for the best. See: Smitten’s Brookies ’n Cream. It’s a brownie-cookie mixed into a sweet cream and vanilla base, and, yes, we’ll be eating a pint of it a day for the rest of quarantine. You can order some for yourself, or send a pint (or quart) to a friend for their birthday. Their Rockridge location is open for takeout and delivery. You can order online here.
If all you wanted for your birthday this year was to celebrate with a DIY taco night, you’re in luck. Nido’s is offering family meal taco kits (serves four) for $55. If you need something strong to wash down your tacos, the mezcal cocktails are delicious, and they’re selling them in servings of six. And if you’re not a cake person, order their coconut vanilla flan topped with a huckleberry compote for dessert. Call 510-500-9757 to order for pick-up or order through apps for delivery.
The Bottle and a Box combination from this pizza spot in Rockridge is a great way to kick off an evening of friends singing to you over Zoom. For $25, you get a bottle of red wine and a perfectly-charred margherita pizza with a soft, chewy crust - this combo might be one of the best presents you give yourself ever. Order for pick-up or delivery here.
Since it’s your special night, you probably want a change of scenery from the heaps of laundry and discarded puzzle pieces in your living room. For an easy fix, you can turn your apartment into a tiki bar by throwing on a swimsuit, rounding up all the wooden furniture and decor you own, and ordering cocktails from The Kon-Tiki. They’re offering everything from the Virgin’s Sacrifice (this tequila and mezcal drink is less scary than it sounds) to a classic mai tai. There’s a $75 minimum for delivery, or you can call 510-823-2332 to order for pick-up.