Although this is the second go-round of pandemic-affected SF Restaurant Week, this year’s week of discounted dining has a larger dose of optimism — and more actual sit-down dining, too. As San Francisco opens up dining capacity, it’s going to be a decidedly more fun experience, with 150 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe meals.
From Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 18, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) has coordinated lunch and dinner menus for indoor and outdoor dining, plus takeout and delivery. And, like last year, there is a range of price points to choose from at both lunch ($10, $15, $25 for two or more courses) and dinner ($25, $40, $65 for three or more courses).
This year is also larger and more diverse, thanks to some crucial partnerships with Self Help for the Elderly (providing trustworthy and devoted care for seniors in San Francisco’s Chinatown Community), which added 24 Chinatown businesses to the roster, and the just-opened La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, featuring six woman-owned Tenderloin businesses.
Restaurant Week is always an overwhelming proposition for diners, given the breadth of high-quality restaurants that participate. But, to help with paralysis of choice, see below for a list of particularly delicious options and good deals, grouped by price range. For the full list of menus, which can be sorted by price, head over here.
Matcha Cafe Maiko (Pacific Heights)
Snag a matcha latte and soft serve at this Pac Heights cafe.
Peninsula Seafood Restaurant (Chinatown)
A perfect light lunch of dim sum includes two shrimp dumplings, two mushroom and pork dumplings, and three steamed bbq pork buns.
Pho 2000 (Tenderloin)
Slurp up a generous bowl of bun rieu (Vietnamese crab noodle soup) with a canned drink.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill (Mission)
Enjoy a stout lunch on the Mission St. patio with choice of a pretzel with beer cheese spread or green salad with beets, lentils, and Maasdam cheese to start, followed by a pork schnitzel sandwich with wild lingonberry preserves, sour cream, and arugula on ciabatta.
John’s Grill (Financial District)
Have lunch at an SF institution for a song. Start with a cup of New England clam chowder, then choose between fish ’n chips with fries or chicken Milanese with caper beurre blanc and mashed potatoes.
Onigilly (Mission or Chinatown)
Hit up either location for a bento set with three onigiri of your choice, plus an iced matcha lemonade. Onigiri flavors run the gamut from natto to tempura shrimp and spicy miso beef.
Estrellita’s Snacks (Tenderloin, La Cocina Municipal Marketplace)
Head to the newly opened marketplace for a generous pupusa plate (with two pupusas of your choice) plus platanos fritos with guacamole curtido and salsa, and an agua fresca.
Kaiyo (Cow Hollow)
Enjoy three courses of Peruvian-Japanese, starting with spicy miso soup, a sashimi course with choices of fish, and a “yaki-cucho” bowl with a beef or chicken skewer, aji amarillo sauce, edamame rice, and more.
The Vault Garden (Financial District)
Experience a legitimately good deal at this swanky, garden oasis in the Financial District. Feast on a choice of tempura fried asparagus with bernaise or potato leek soup to start, then choose from roasted pork and Manila clam stew with kimchi broth and xo butter, foraged mushroom risotto, or a double-patty burger with Fiscalini cheddar and fries.
Start out with a selection of cheese, salsas, and guacamole, then create your own combination plate, with choices like fish tacos, gorditas con ting de pollo, and carnitas, plus dessert.
Lean into the gooey, cheesy menu at Total Meltdown. You’ll get a grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and cheesy taters, and choice of style for each.
Spend a pleasant, cool evening eating dinner outdoors at this Richmond neighborhood gem. Choose from three courses of dishes like buttermilk chicken with pickles, basil-marinated black cod with spinach pesto and feta, and banana cream pie parfait. A family meal to take home is also available for $25 per person.
China Live (Chinatown)
Some of China Live’s signature dishes can be found on this well-priced menu, starting with Sichuan “working hands” pork dumplings in peppercorn-chili broth and chili-garlic cucumber skins, a choice of entrees like kung pao chicken or chow mein, and a chocolate matcha molten cake.
Wayfare Tavern (Financial District)
If you’ve been missing Wayfare’s exceptional buttermilk-brined fried chicken, this is the deal for you. Start with butter lettuce salad with Brokaw Ranch avocado, winter citrus, and green goddess, followed by that very good fried chicken with crispy herbs and lemon, and a doughnut with streusel glaze and whipped creme fraiche.
Scoma’s (Fisherman’s Wharf)
Take a staycation at Fisherman’s Wharf with an old-school SF experience at Scoma’s. Start with a Caesar salad or clam chowder, then choose from wild king salmon Oscar with asparagus and Dungeness crab, or a wagyu filet with roasted potatoes, wild mushrooms, and truffle butter, plus a choice tiramisu or a seven layer chocolate cake.
Maison Danel (Russian Hill)
Have a romantic night in with a French meal from Maison Danel. Start with a charcuterie platter, then choose from ready-to-heat boef bourguignon or cassoulet Toulousian with duck leg confit, choice of a chocolate or lemon tart, and a half bottle of pinot noir.
PABU (Financial District)
Michael Mina’s loungey izakaya can be a pricey endeavor, but this SFRW deal is worth the price of admission. Start out with a “happy spoon oyster” filled with uni, ikura, and tobiko, a trio of cold bites like tuna poke, choice of wagyu beef cheeks or miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, a chef’s choice nigiri tasting, and choice of milk chocolate-sesame custard or creme fraiche panna cotta.