29 Great SF Restaurants That Are Actually Open On Mondays guide image

SFGuide

29 Great SF Restaurants That Are Actually Open On Mondays

Lots of restaurants are closed on Mondays. But you can always rely on these spots.

Ah, Mondays. It's objectively one of the worst days of the week when you’re forced to catch up on responsibilities that piled up over the weekend. This is why, in the words of the Mamas & the Papas, “Whenever Monday comes, you can find me cryin' all of the time." Mondays are also the restaurant industry’s weekend, so you'll need to put in some extra effort to make dinner plans. But fear not. You have options. Here are a bunch of our favorite spots for casual dinners, date nights, and special occasions where you can actually eat on a Monday.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Erin Ng

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2400 Harrison St, San Francisco
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The four-course, prix fixe menu at Mijoté changes up daily—and that’s what makes this French spot in the Mission so exciting. Expect to see simple, bright dishes served on floral plates, like a slow-roasted maitake mushroom drenched in harissa butter, a stack of scallops, cucumbers, and nectarines, and crispy-skinned chicken covered in elderberry jus. This meal of small plates and natural wine is unforgettable, so eating your way through it is one ideal way to spend a special occasion that also falls on Monday night.

One thing worse than braving a line at Trader Joe’s on Sunday night? Braving the line on Monday night with other people who also put off the weekend grocery run. Go to Pie Punks instead. The casual spot in SoMa makes grandma, round, and Detroit-style pies that are excellent and huge, so expect leftovers—unless you’re feeding an entire apartment complex and/or a horde of coyotes. The grandma pie (get it topped with spicy tomato sauce and pepperoni) is the size of two laptops combined. We like to grab one and drink some natural wine or a cocktail at the bar, or watch whatever game is getting projected on the wall.

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The next time you’re feeling vegetable deficient—or just want an incredible meal that'll warm you up better than a malfunctioning space heater—head to House of Tadu. Whenever we go to the casual Ethiopian spot in Mission Bay, we get a huge vegetarian combo platter with chicken tibs and kitfo. By the time you wipe the last of the rich misir wot and kik alicha off the plate, you’ll have already decided to make a Monday meal here a weekly routine. 

Dumpling Home is a casual Hayes Valley spot that, to no one's surprise, serves dumplings. But not just any dumplings. The xiao long bao coming out of this place are best in class, and the shengjianbao have golden-brown bottoms and thick skin that’s always satisfyingly chewy. But don’t overlook the rest of the menu. Load up your table with refreshing cucumber salad and the sweet-and-spicy dry-fried chicken wings.

Abu Salim Middle Eastern Grill in the Lower Haight feels like a cozy living room with murals and cushy banquettes that wrap around the dining room. The food is just as comforting. Order the beef and lamb shawarma-topped hummus and the falafel stuffed with sumac and caramelized onions—they're the foolproof way to make your Monday night 50% better (yes, we're assuming it's been that kind of day).

French onion soup, humongous piles of mashed potatoes and roast chicken, and steaming pots of mussels are the hits at this French spot in Hayes Valley. They are comfort food at their finest. Plus, nothing about Chez Maman is pretentious or feels like it's trying too hard, which are other reasons we come back. Look to this walk-in-only restaurant to be packed with dates, families sharing a meal, and solo diners getting into some fries and wine at the bar.

Abacá in Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most exciting places to eat in the city—and on top of that, they’re open Mondays. The Filipino fine dining spot inside of a hotel takes traditional dishes and amps them up with creative, always-refreshing twists. You’ll see sisig fried rice that resembles a bird’s nest, crispy yuba skin folded up like an accordion on a skewer, and coconut milk broth in the seafood chowder.

Flour + Water’s sibling restaurant focuses on traditional Italian dishes, like agnolotti dal plin and chicken al mattone. And coming here means tackling the near-impossible task of narrowing down which pastas you want to order—they’re all excellent, so getting one of each is the move we get behind. From the tagliatelle bolognese to a rich, creamy cacio e pepe, you’ll leave full of pasta and very happy. Get a couple of crudos to start, and some natural wine. 

At this small neighborhood spot in the Richmond, thin-crust pizzas with golden-brown crusts that are more structurally sound than an award-winning Lego creation are the name of the game. There are a few permanent pies, plus several rotating seasonal ones with things like fried eggs and bacon or spicy coppa. Each one is roughly the size of a frisbee, so feel free to finish one on your own, or share a few with the table. Finish things off with the flourless chocolate cake or whatever dessert is on deck that day, especially if it involves their brown butter shortbread.

photo credit: Melissa Zink

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8.5

Chao Pescao

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This Civic Center spot serves Cuban/Colombian dishes in an environment that's just a lot of fun. You’ll see groups of people going in on boards of perfectly-fried tostones and empanadas to the sound of salsa throwbacks. Go family-style and share the lechon cubano, hearty chicharrones, and Tajín-fried chicken, and momentarily forget about the rest of the week ahead. 

Bright, energetic, and always a great time, this Mexican restaurant in the Mission does Jaliscan food with a California twist. The panko-crusted shrimp tacos are served on jicama tortillas, fried fish tacos are amped up with a piquin pepper-peanut sauce, and the empanadas are perfect, puffy pockets filled with mushrooms, corn, and cheese. Excellent cocktails and an atmosphere that has more buzz than a deuxmoi rumor drop—a dinner at Loló never fails to add up to a fun night.

One thing the Cole Valley outpost of the Arabic comfort food spot has over the original in the Castro—it’s open Mondays. So head to the casual, counter-service place when you’re meeting friends for a post-work catch-up, or going on a chill date night. The mezze sampler and whole-fried branzino should definitely be on the table, along with the garlicky chicken shish tawook. 

After a long Monday filled with unnecessary phone calls and a neighbor’s car alarm that wouldn’t stop going off, you could probably use a place to unwind. We suggest the bar at Nopa. The American restaurant is home to one of the best burgers in the city, which you can (and should) finish off with a cocktail and some fries while you make small talk with the bartender. Always add bacon.

If you want a more casual drop-in option for pasta, Barzotto is nearby, and here for you. Hunker down at the bar with a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, and sip on some house wine. And when you’re all done, don’t forget to order a big slice of tiramisu for dessert.

Twelve pizza styles ranging from Sicilian and Neapolitan to Roman and Detroit, all cooked using one of seven different temperatures, using five kinds of heat sources—this North Beach institution takes their pies seriously, and coming here means you’ll have your pick of a variety of doughs, shapes, and toppings, which is great since Tony’s makes some of the best pizza in the city. The name of the game here is the margherita Neapolitan pizza, but don’t pass up on the coal-fired New Yorker, which is loaded with sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. Throw in lots of spacious, parklet seating, and Tony’s is an absolute winner.

Years after it opened, it’s still hard to get a reservation at Flour + Water—and that’s because they still make the best pasta in the city. The menu changes constantly and the pastas use combinations that might make you do a double take, but after you taste them, they’ll be burned into your mental list of things you wish you could eat again. If you come on a random night early in the week, the line won’t be too bad. And it’s one of the rare places that’s absolutely worth waiting outside for before they open.

This Mexican restaurant from the Son's Addition folks is casual, vegetarian-friendly, and a pretty easy spot to snag a reservation (or walk-up and sit at the bar). And on top of all this, their tortillas are made in-house, so any of their tacos and tostadas, from the roasted mushroom with peanut salsa matcha to the roasted carrot with jalapeño hummus, are a must. The rest of menu at this Lower Haight spot features more dishes that are charred, roasted, or grilled, including charred cabbage in lime-chile de arbol, grilled kampachi, and pork al pastor with green rice.

The promise of Che Fico Alimentari’s fennel pollen and chili flake-dusted focaccia (and the buttery mascarpone cheese and olive oil that go along with it) is more than enough to power us through any Monday. Once you're here you'll want to get their other incredible Italian dishes, like crunchy, cheesy suppli, cacio e pepe, and a pizza with a wonderfully charred crust to share.

The French bistro in Cole Valley is a brunch staple thanks to their absurdly good french toast, “miracle” pancakes, and range of benedicts and scrambles. Zazie is an all-around great restaurant that’s also open for dinner, and has an abundant seating situation—there’s a heated back patio with a retractable roof, and parklet seating with string lights. Plus, if you come here on a Monday you’ll most likely avoid the notoriously long weekend line (they don’t take reservations). Another Monday perk: they allow dogs on the patio, and if you bring yours, you get $10 off all bottles of wine.

Planning a last-minute group dinner at a great spot can get tricky. Enter Burma Love. The Burmese restaurant in the Mission has an expansive dining room with lots of space for you, your friends, and your co-workers who believe team bonding dinners are the key to a sense of normalcy. This place is part of the Burma Superstar family, so you already know you need to order the tea leaf salad, platha with yellow curry sauce, and ohn no khao swe (wheat noodles in a curried chicken and coconut milk).

Grab a seat at this Chinese spot in Bernal Heights for hand-pulled noodles, five-spice crispy silken tofu, and sautéed cumin lamb. Of course, you’ll want to get their traditional dumplings, but don’t sleep on the ones filled with more unconventional ingredients, like the Mission-inspired potstickers with chicken, mozzarella, and sweet corn. Another way to make your Monday at least 10 degrees more exciting: order a jumbo xiao long bao, which fills up its own steamer and comes with a straw so you can slurp up the soup.

Waterbar is filled with so many oysters, squid, and fish, you’ll start to wonder if their “local source” is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The upscale Embarcadero restaurant also has giant floor-to-ceiling fish tanks inside, so this aquarium idea tracks. Waterbar is always a great choice when you want high-end seafood served on white tablecloths and in a space with incredible views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.

Mondays are always great days for BBQ—it's just a scientific fact. But don’t take our word for it. Just head to one of our favorite BBQ spots in the city. If you want more than a few pounds of their tender brisket, pork spare ribs, or pulled pork, they also make an excellent cheeseburger. Whatever dish you roll with, enjoy your meal in the company some beer, cider, or soda out on the covered patio.

This Italian restaurant in the Richmond is the perfect restaurant for any occasion—romantic date nights, birthdays, weekend meet-ups with friends, and, yes, Monday night dinners. Here’s the strategy when you’re here: focus on the pizza, don’t miss the cacio e pepe or any of the small plates, and possibly sit out on the shaded garden patio. And heads up, Fiorella's Russian Hill and Sunset locations are also open Mondays.

La Mar is a waterfront party. It looks like a classy teal and blue-colored hotel lobby set somewhere on Miami Beach, with two bar areas and a high-ceilinged dining room. The covered waterfront deck overlooking some piers is exactly where we want to drink never-ending pisco sours and fill up on tangy ceviche, Peruvian-style sushi, grilled scallops over lentil tacu-tacu, and fish-of-the-day with aji chimichurri. This small plate spot is usually packed with tourists, locals popping in for the 3-5pm daily Happy Hour, and people in town for some sort of convention, which certainly makes a night here buzzy.

Looking for an excuse to celebrate a promotion or the six-month anniversary of your fiddle leaf fig staying alive? All roads lead to Farmhouse Kitchen. This place is a mood booster. It's decorated with colorful streamers and floral motifs, and is all-around the perfect setting to enjoy excellent papaya salads, hat yai fried chicken, and tender short rib smothered in panang curry. Walk-ups and reservations are available.

Pancakes for dinner is a move we fully endorse, all the time. Which is why we’re grateful for Hilda and Jesse, which serves them on Mondays until 9:30pm. Their “pancakes without boundaries” are a decadent stack that involves a melty pat of butter and cranberry maple syrup that overflows onto the plate like lava. The American restaurant in North Beach also has other breakfast-y items to get into, from an "avocado toast" on tempura sweet potato to hash browns with pork sausage and apple butter. 

Going to this Italian spot in the Mission equates to a good time, which is why we stop by whenever we're in the area. We have strong cocktails, solid pastas, and a buzzy atmosphere to thank for that. Beretta also serves thin-crust pizzas and small plates that combine the best of all great small-plate things, like the walnut bread with burrata and mushroom-truffle honey.

This Burmese spot in the Richmond is a great place to go when you want to catch up with friends over a family-style spread of soups, curries, and stir fries. We gravitate toward the crunchy tea leaf salad and coconut chicken noodle soup, both of which you can order alongside some wine, beer, or sake.

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