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 some extra effort. But don’t fear, you still have options. Here are 19 excellent restaurants that are open on Mondays.
Loló may have recently nixed weekend brunch, but they’re now open Mondays - so, basically, nature is healing. The Mexican restaurant does Jaliscan food with a very 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 a buzzy atmosphere - a dinner at Loló always adds up to a fun night.
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.
If mint and artichoke cappelletti with walnut brown butter and a glass of wine sound like ideal Monday plans (it should), head to Flour + Water in the Mission. The Italian-Californian restaurant makes pastas that deserve a spot in the Pasta Hall Of Fame, and also has indoor dining and outdoor seating on a spacious parklet. If you’re looking for a more casual vibe (and gooey mozzarella sticks), you can’t go wrong with their sister restaurant, Flour + Water Pizzeria, a pizza spot in the Mission that’s also open Mondays.
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.
So this is the year your birthday falls on a Monday. And if you’re dead set on getting dressed up and eating a spread that doesn’t come in a takeout box, head to Burma Love. The Burmese restaurant in the Mission hails from 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.
Grab a seat at this new-ish restaurant 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 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.
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 mark the occasion with copious amounts of oysters. Whatever the case, the answer is probably Hog Island Oyster Company. The Ferry Building spot serves up excellent, oysters and bowls of clam chowder along the waterfront. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait.
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 meet up 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. Their Russian Hill location is also open Mondays.
We head to the Peruvian restaurant on the Embarcadero whenever we want a fantastic, seafood-focused meal and a reminder that we live on the coast. Go for the cebiches with ahi tuna and other assorted fish (there’s also a vegan option with seasonal vegetables), and a few of their golden-brown empanadas with rich, saucy fillings. Stopping by for Happy Hour from 3-5pm for great deals on cocktails and appetizers is also never a bad idea.
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 space, decorated with bright streamers and floral motifs, is an ideal setting to enjoy excellent papaya salads and hat yai fried chicken. The panang neua, a tender short rib smothered in panang curry, is also a must-order here. Walk-ups and reservations are available.
Mezcalito in Russian Hill is the kind of spot to catch up with friends, mourn a break up, or blow off steam after a long, taxing Monday. And let’s make one thing clear - you’re coming to this bar more for the strong cocktails and Happy Hour deals than you are for a full sit-down meal. And if you must, you’ve got good options: the tacos and tostadas are solid, and the burger is very good.
This Italian spot in the Mission always guarantees a good time, which is why we stop by over and over again whenever we’re in the Mission. You can thank strong cocktails, good food, and a scene-y, energetic space for that. Berettta serves everything from pizza and pasta to small plates that combines 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 always gravitate toward the crunchy tea leaf salad and coconut chicken noodle soup, both 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, Santería is it. The Castro restaurant has an extensive menu of agave-based cocktails, and, of course, plenty of margaritas. Their tender carnitas and the charred octopus al pastor with caramelized pineapple and beet-dyed tortillas are worth the visit alone.
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 dining room.