photo credit: Erin Ng

Lazy Bear image

Lazy Bear



$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsUnique Dining Experience


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For better or worse, San Francisco has absolutely no shortage of fine dining restaurants where you walk away several hundred dollars lighter. Lazy Bear is another one, but this Mission spot has the upper hand: their outdoorsy theme injects a refreshing dose of life. While this place isn’t reinventing the wheel as far as lavish tasting menus go, dinner is just loose and a lot of fun. You'll never forget the experience. 

Lazy Bear’s commitment to vintage camp is felt the second you walk in and spot the deer heads and (tasteful) flannel accents. It might compel you to grab a guitar and gather around a fire. Instead of a menu, you’re handed a pencil and a small 15-page “field guide” where you’re encouraged to jot down notes about each of the 11 American-ish courses ($275)—versus survival strategies or beetle species. Everyone sits at communal tables with rustic floral centerpieces. And the service walks the line between high-end and laid-back: staff wear well-fitted suit jackets while cracking jokes about hot cheese, and rattling off tasting notes from their list of 1,700 wines. 

Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

As you’ll hear five or 30 times throughout the night, foraging is major here. So is cooking whatever’s seasonal, and leaning on nostalgia to inspire creatively presented dishes—which are, for the most part, pretty impressive. You might throw back oysters spiked with tequila (they taste a bit like briny margaritas), or an allium pancake meant for scooping up umami-packed beef tartare. The meal always starts with a steaming pot of tisane infused with local leaves and flowers, and their highly photographed whipped scrambled egg (a cloud-like concoction served in an eggshell). As much as we love feeling like we’re at a one-night-only summer camp, not every dish is as memorable as we’d want for a meal so expensive. You might forget about the pork chop with cheddar apple pie or overly rich carrot in a truffle-y cheese sauce by the time you’re whisked upstairs for dessert. 

Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

The upstairs lounge, which has bear paraphernalia, Cabin Porn coffee table books, and more patterned rugs and couches than a Pendleton sample sale, is where you end the night. Lazy Bear’s last official act is a series of excellent sweets designed to make fine dining fun—citrusy little gummy bears, earthy-sweet pancake-shaped macarons, and a light, airy honey cake. On the way out, you're handed a goody bag that'll keep the whole camping bit going.

Even with a couple of misses, you’ll be too busy being charmed by bear figurines and the sprawling Yosemite mural to let them dampen the mood. Lazy Bear's eccentricities make this place special. So whenever you're in the market for a "f*ck it, throw down" dinner that stands out, you know where to turn.

Food Rundown

As you've probably gathered by now, the menu at Lazy Bear changes pretty often. Here's an idea of what you might see.
Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Forager's Tisane

We’ve never been compelled to describe a teapot as sexy, until now. Enjoy your infusion of foraged Bay Area leaves and flowers—it’s a great way to kick things off.
Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Whipped Scrambled Eggs

A Lazy Bear classic, presented in an egg shell that’s almost too pristine to touch. The egg is whipped into near-oblivion and served on top of a smoky fermented hot sauce.
Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Seafood Tower

What actually goes on this tower changes, but they’re generally one-biters with eclectic flavor combinations that somehow work. On our recent visit, it included a tequila-spiked oyster and a mound of Dungeness crab dip on a Ritz-like cracker.

California Rice

Kind of tasted like Kraft mac and cheese, despite being a cheeseless dish (the earthy funk actually comes from uni purée, mushroom broth, and crab stock). We’re still figuring out whether we liked it or not.
Lazy Bear image

photo credit: Erin Ng


The night ends with a series of “treats,” like these very-on-theme gummy bears and a perfect macaron. They’re as charming as they are delicious.

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