SFGuide

35 Great SF Restaurants That Are Actually Open On Mondays

These restaurants make Mondays suck less.
35 Great SF Restaurants That Are Actually Open On Mondays image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Ah, Mondays—it's objectively the worst day of the week, especially since you’re forced to catch up on responsibilities that piled up over the weekend. 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: Melissa Zink

Thai

Lower Nob Hill

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLunch
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Steaming plates of flawless pad thai, creamy red curry, and tofu and vegetable-packed tom kha are here for you at The Thonglor near Union Square. Their incredible Thai standards will quickly change your Thai food worldview—once you finally snag a table (there are just eight inside this tiny space). Another way to celebrate the fact that you scored a seat is a forkful—or five—of their nose-clearing papaya salad, one of the spiciest in town. 

The weekend grocery run never happened, and you need a quick Monday meal in under 30 minutes that’ll have you back on your couch watching Drink Masters. Outta Sight Pizza in the Tenderloin is your best bet—this San Francisco pizza great excels at simple pies with snappy crusts and well-balanced toppings. Whether you order a pepperoni, Hawaiian, or plain cheese slice, ask for it “fully dressed” (a.k.a. drizzled with pickled pepper honey, olive oil, and ranch) for an extra creamy-salty punch. 

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. At the casual Ethiopian spot in Mission Bay, you'll want to hone in on the 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 sweet-and-spicy dry-fried chicken wings.

photo credit: Lani Conway

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This bistro-like Turkish spot in the Mission is where to spend a couple of hours going over highlights (and lowlights) from the weekend. Deep maroon walls and curvy chandeliers somehow open you up to sharing the gritty details of your unsuccessful date, as will the abundance of excellent meze, and meat and seafood mains. Definitely fill the table with the sarma beyti kebab, a beach ball-sized platter of tender beef and lamb swaddled in lavash, then doused in tomato sauce and garlic. 

At this seafood spot in the Marina, spicy green cioppino, raw and grilled oysters, and creamy Dungeness crab rolls are available any day of the week (which includes Mondays, the last time we checked back into reality). The restaurant is a nautical escape with teal tiles, ropes swaying overhead, and—because this is a San Francisco restaurant—plants everywhere. Throw back half a dozen bivalves with a glass of sauvignon blanc, or snag a seat on the sidewalk if it’s nice out. Or just come during Monday Happy Hour for $7 cava and $5 cheesy fries.  

It’s Monday, and you’re already over it. Where do you go if you’re feeling the need to bury your head in the sand but need food? The answer is Yamo. A tiny, cash-only spot in the Mission that’s serving up homestyle Chinese-Burmese dishes. They’re known for their chewy wok-tossed house noodles that come with either pork, beef, or tofu, and their fresh tea salad, but the mango chicken with rice is another unmissable dish. And at $8 for any entrée, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal in town.

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

A meal at Katsuo + Kombu is always hassle-free, which is what Mondays call for. Casually stroll into this Japanese noodle counter in NoPa, and prepare to receive a bowl of the best udon in the city. Their Fukuoka-style udon is made from scratch, and the noodles are slightly thinner and chewier than the ones you’ll find at most udon counters in town. There are both hot and cold options, like the spicy tan tan dry noodles or the fukuoka signature with a broth so rich it’ll make you feel like you won the lottery.

photo credit: Carly Hackbarth

$$$$Perfect For:BrunchBig Groups

A dim sum meal at Dragon Beaux is an over-the-top affair, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need on Mondays. Purple booths are flanked by glowing gold pillars, and there’s exquisite cherry blossom wall art everywhere, and a huge back room full of intricately carved panels. Order everything off the luxurious menu at this Richmond spot, but prioritize the egg yolk lava bao, the rich squid ink-tinted black truffle xiao long bao, and—since you’re feeling like a celebration to start your week (for whatever reason)—the extra-crispy whole peking duck.

Looking forward to a taco from Tacos del Barrio is what gets us through our Monday. This casual place is simply the best taco shop in the city, and given that you can pop in anytime,  it’s the perfect last-minute meal. The tortillas are super corny, the meats are all high-quality, and the six smoky, fresh, and charred salsas from the bar are full of flavor. Order any of eleven fillings, but especially the melty-yet-crispy carnitas and well-charred asada.

This oasis always takes us from the Mission to the Japanese countryside—but what better time to step into a teleporter than on a Monday, when it’s easier to get a table. The string-light-filled courtyard is surrounded by plants, and the high-ceilinged dining room reminds us of a day spa we'd gladly move into. Spa vibes aside, the show-stopping izakaya food keeps us coming back, like the perfectly-charred yakitori tsukune with a rich egg yolk dipping sauce, and extra-creamy yosedofu.

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 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. 

This Puerto Rican restaurant in the Haight feels like you’re at an aunt’s house for dinner on a school night—it’s the embodiment of “homey” and “feel good.” There are old photographs everywhere, music videos playing on a little TV on the wall, and pantry staples and hot sauces at the ready in a mounted cabinet. That same feel-good energy applies to the food, which will inject a new sense of purpose for the days that follow—like their iconic chicharrones de pollo, and fall-apart pernil asado. 

At this small neighborhood spot in the Richmond, thin-crust pizzas with golden-brown crusts that are more structurally sound than a 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: Mary Lagier

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysSmall Plates

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 an after-work catch-up, or going on a chill date. The mezze sampler and whole-fried branzino should definitely be on the table, along with the garlicky chicken shish tawook. 

Tilak in Bernal Heights is your Monday night spot if you’re rolling in with a group and want to fill up for under $20 a person. The cheery Indian spot is pretty easy to walk into, open past 8pm, and serves fantastic food—all marks of an exceedingly above-average place to start a week. Saunter in for rich meat and seafood curries, excellent small dishes like tamarind-y dahi puri, and fluffy housemade naan. 

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.

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 star 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 their tortillas are made in-house, so any of their tacos and tostadas, from the roasted mushroom with peanut salsa macha to the roasted carrot with jalapeño hummus, are a must. The rest of the menu at this Lower Haight spot highlight charred, roasted, or grilled dishes, including a fantastic 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, get their other incredible Italian dishes, like crunchy, cheesy suppli, cacio e pepe, and a pizza with a wonderfully charred crust to share.

You have the misfortune of a birthday that falls on a Monday. Time to book a picnic table at Um.ma. The patio at the Sunset Korean restaurant is a full-out barbecue party, complete with tabletop grills for cooking nicely marinated bulgogi and pork belly. Throwback pop and R&B music pump through the speakers, and soju and beer are at the ready—so you know you'll always have a great time—especially if you get weird and stick a candle in a chicken wing to cap off the celebration. 

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: dogs on the patio are allowed, 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.

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 of 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.

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysBig GroupsLunch
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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 ribs smothered in panang curry. Walk-ups and reservations are available.

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 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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