Ah, Mondays. Objectively, it’s one of the worst days of the week - you’re forced to catch up on responsibilities that piled up over the weekend, and, as The Mamas & the Papas so eloquently sang, “Whenever Monday comes, you can find me crying all of the time.”
Since a lot of great restaurants in the city take Mondays off, making dinner plans can take a little extra effort. But never fear - you still have options. Here are 23 excellent restaurants that are open on Mondays.
12 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 always 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.
Flour + Water
If the prospect of mint and artichoke cappelletti with walnut brown butter sounds more enticing than yet another bowl of Annie’s white cheddar shells, head to Flour + Water in the Mission. Their pasta menu changes daily, but know that whatever seasonal dishes they choose to highlight will be fantastic - every dish we’ve had here deserves a spot in the San Francisco Pasta Hall Of Fame, a very real thing we definitely did not just make up. Their sister restaurant, Flour + Water Pizzeria, is also open Mondays, if you’re looking for a more casual vibe and gooey mozzarella sticks. Also, make a reservation ahead of time.
Stepping into the quiet, plant-filled courtyard at this Mission izakaya will transport you into another world free of endless Twitter feeds and 9am meetings that could have been emails. Which is to say, this spot is the perfect place to go when you need to escape a bad case of the Monday blues. But the more important reason Rintaro is a magical place: the food is incredible. From the juicy, charcoal-grilled tsukune to the melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, everything you get on their set menu ($45 per person) is truly out of this world. You also get the option to add on other small plates like pork gyoza and yakitori, like chicken thigh and onion or king trumpet mushrooms. Make a reservation here.
Simply the promise of the fennel pollen and chili flake-dusted focaccia from Che Fico Alimentari (and the buttery mascarpone cheese and olive oil it comes with) is more than enough to power us through an otherwise-sad Monday. Once you’re there, you should also get into Che Fico’s other great dishes, like the crunchy, cheesy suppli, cacio e pepe (only available for dine-in), and a pizza to share on their parklet. And after, maybe consider grabbing another focaccia for the road.
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 is they allow dogs on the patio, and have $10 off all bottles of wine.
So this is the year your birthday falls on a Monday. And if you’re dead set on getting dressed and going somewhere for a meal that isn’t eaten off of your coffee table, head to Burma Superstar. Their fantastic tea leaf salad is worth celebrating on its own, but the rest of your spread should definitely include the braised pork belly with mustard greens and garlic eggplant. They’re currently open for outdoor dining.
Grab a seat at the parklet of this new-ish Chinese restaurant in Bernal Heights for hand-pulled noodles, entrées like five-spice crispy silken tofu or Mongolian cumin lamb, and, of course, excellent dumplings. They have more traditional dumplings filled with pork and Napa cabbage or shrimp, as well as more unconventional ones, like a Mission-inspired potsticker with chicken, mozzarella, and sweet corn. Another surefire way to make your Monday at least 10 degrees more exciting: order a jumbo xiao long bao, which is so big it 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 thought tracks. Waterbar is always a great choice when you want high-end seafood served on white tablecloths and in a space that has incredible views of the water, the Bay Bridge, and Treasure Island. They’re open for indoor and outdoor dining for lunch and dinner.
Rich Table in Hayes Valley is a place that somehow gets more exciting with every visit. Everything on the menu, from the sardine chips (made with a whole sardine, neatly slotted through the middle of a potato chip) and porcini donuts to the sea urchin cacio e pepe, is packed with flavor and absolutely delicious. Come here, order a bunch of bites, some pasta, and a glass of wine, and revel in the fact that you’re starting your week off in the best possible way. Reservations are available here.
It’s a scientific fact that Mondays are always good for BBQ, but don’t take our word for it. Just head to 4505 Burgers, one of the best 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 you roll with, you’ll enjoy your meal in the company of a pitcher of beer, cider, or soda out on one of the picnic tables on the covered patio.
If you’re making last-minute Monday dining plans, head to Dumpling Time in the Design District. They’re open daily for lunch and dinner and take walk-ins only, so you don’t have to worry about making a reservation a few days out - just don’t expect to sit down right away. We’ll never say no to anything from their reliably great menu of things like xiao long bao, har gow, and gan ban noodles. And we never leave without at least one order of seafood gyoza stuffed with crab, scallop, and shrimp, and served with chili butter sauce on the side.
Maybe you had a terrible day at work, or maybe it’s your friend’s birthday and they want to ring in the year with copious amounts of oysters. Either way, the answer is Hog Island Oyster Company. Stop by the Ferry Building and order a round or two of their excellent, super-fresh oysters and a bowl of clam chowder, and enjoy it all with great bay views. Note that they’re only accepting walk-ins.
This Italian restaurant in the Richmond serves seriously good pizza and pasta in a casual space, which includes a shaded garden patio out back. But we also love it because Fiorella is the perfect restaurant for almost any occasion - a romantic date night, a weekend catchup with friends you haven’t seen in a year, a birthday celebration, and, yes, dinner on a Monday night. So here’s the strategy when you’re here - focus on the pizza, and don’t miss the cacio e pepe or any of the small plates. Reservations are available for both their Richmond and Russian Hill locations, and both spots reserve a limited amount of tables for walk-ins.
When the contemporary Korean restaurant opened several years ago, it quickly became one of our go-to spots in the Inner Sunset’s 9th Avenue corridor - and an exciting addition to the city’s Korean restaurant scene. Standout dishes include the juiciest, most tender gochujang-glazed pork belly barbecue, crispy seafood pancakes, and chicken wings well-coated in sticky sauces and spices. Dining here means sitting in their light-filled dining room, or enjoying barbecue and soju on their heated backyard patio.
Getting the momos at this Nepali spot in the Mission is always a foolproof way to raise our serotonin levels - or at the very least, our mood for the next hour. The curry chicken-filled dumplings are served with a spicy tomato and roasted soybean sauce that we want to slurp up by the spoonful. Another reason we stop by Dancing Yak is their massive, lightly golden-brown samosas with spiced potatoes and peas, and excellent tandoori plates with spiced and skewered lamb, chicken, or shrimp and salmon. They have indoor and outdoor seating, and reservations are available.
The Embarcadero is quieter than usual on Monday nights, but don’t let that stop you from booking a table at this Peruvian seafood restaurant any time you want a fantastic meal and a reminder that you live on the coast. Then, order their cebiches, made with ahi tuna and other assorted fish of the day (there’s also a vegan option made with seasonal vegetables), and a few of their empanadas made with a flaky, golden-brown crust and rich, saucy fillings. Or better yet, stop by for Happy Hour from 3-5pm for great deals on cocktails and appetizers.
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. The colorful, lively space, decorated with bright lights and dance videos projected on the wall, feels like a party in itself. While it’ll probably be a while before it’s packed inside, you can (and should) still head over for excellent papaya salad and hat yai fried chicken. The panang neua, a tender short rib smothered in panang curry, is a must-order here. Walk-ups and reservations are available.
Mezcalito is a cocktail bar in Russian Hill that focuses on the agave-based spirit, but it’s also one that decided to serve more than a bowl of peanuts to those looking to chill over palomas and margaritas. Their tacos and tostadas are solid, and the burger is very good. More importantly: the drinks are strong - and this lively spot is open Mondays.
There’s always one restaurant that’s more reliable than a trusty steed, and that’s Beretta. This Italian spot always guarantees a good time, and is one of the places we end up at over and over again whenever we’re in the Mission. We blame the strong cocktails, good food, and their scene-y, dimly-lit space. They serve everything from pizza and pasta to small plates, like walnut bread with burrata and mushroom-truffle honey (a dish that combines the best of all great small-plate things). Make a reservation here, and both indoor and outdoor seating are available. Also check out the Beretta pop-up on Divisadero.
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 excellent soups, curries, and stir fries. We always gravitate toward the earthy, crunchy tea leaf salad and coconut chicken noodle soup, all of which you can wash down with a glass of wine, beer, or hot or cold sake.
If you’re looking for a cocktail spot that actually has good food, you need Santería. It’s a new-ish margarita bar/restaurant in the Castro that has an extensive menu of agave-based spirits, cocktails, and, of course, plenty of margaritas. Don’t skip out on the food menu, though - the wonderful octopus al pastor with caramelized pineapple and a side of beet-dyed tortillas is worth the visit alone. Walk up to grab a table inside or on their cozy parklet.
Palette Tea House in Ghirardelli Square is open daily, so you can get your hands on their great dim sum and Cantonese entrées whenever you want. But if the siu mai craving hits hard on a Monday, you’ll be in luck. Dim sum dishes, like seared radish cakes or lobster har gow, are available a la carte, or you can opt for a family-style set meal ($55 for two people, or $130 for four), where you can sample a bunch of different menu items ranging from XO wagyu beef fried rice to Singaporean-style prawns. Their indoor space is huge, and they also have a pretty expansive patio situation.
The breakfasty-lunchy spin-off of Brenda’s French Soul Food makes excellent beignets, huge biscuits, and pulled pork hash. We especially like the grits and eggs. And lucky for you, breakfast and brunch are served Mondays from 8am-3pm out on their parklet and in their newly reopened dining room. Make a reservation here.