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Thanksgiving Out in SF

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Hi, I've posted to a few threads asking for suggestions but gotten very little positive reply. Most people advise eating at home, or suggest places outside the city proper. My family (4) will be in North Beach neighborhood without a car, and guidance would be much appreciated. We want to stay on the peninsula. We don't expect to be knocked out of our socks, and recognize this isn't the day to find that experience. We just need a good meal, one that won't "ruin" the holiday. We aren't stuck on a traditional meal but would prefer to stay away from buffets. We'd like to keep it under $70 pp, exclusive of tip, tax, and alcohol.

Please, any replies/suggestions are greatfully requested.

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  1. I'm not sure what is open, but here are a few things you can look into. Since North Beach is next to Chinatown, you will be able to find some Chinese restaurant closed by that will be open. My parents told me that Lychee Gardens have been reopened adn it's one of their favorite Chinese restaurants there. It's on Powell by Vallejo, borderline of North Beach and Chinatown. Another option would be to look into hotel dining. I believe most hotels will have restaurants open during Thanksgiving. I don't have much experience eating out during Thanksgiving, so that's about all I can suggest. Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: anna

      Perhaps not helpful to the OP, but worth mentioning that most of Chinatown stays open on T-day. Favorite places to buy a roast duck will have a roast turkey or two hanging in the window along side the usual poultry. We've had a Cantonese banquet several times for T-day dinner since our family's not that fond of turkey. Much prefer Peking duck or sticky rice stuffed chicken at R&G Lounge as the star of the meal.

    2. Hi, as everywhere, more people eat at home than in restaurants on Thanksgiving so getting a reply to this type of question is sometimes difficult.

      Anyway, open table has a restaurant list now. While I can't tell you how they are, based on experience at other times of the year or Chowhound's opinions of these restaurants and what looks good to me, since I'll probably eat out this year, here's what is available so far ...

      Fior d'Italia

      Lots of positive Chowhound mentions and the price and menu looks good to me ... either an a la carte menu or a 5-course Thanksgiving menu that includes a Caesar salad, pumpkin ravioli, crab crepes, turkey, and ricotta pumpkin pie for dessert. Adults: $39.95, kids: $24.95.

      Iluna Basque

      Hmmmm ... also North Beach ... but I haven't been all that impressed with what I've been reading ... regular menu with some holiday dishes like ... creamy pumpkin soup, roasted turkey with garlic and rosemary au jus with polenta and green beans ), and homemade apple pie.

      Moose's

      North Beach too, overlooking Washington Square. Nice restaurant which may or may not fill your requirement that it doesn't necessarily need to knock your socks off. The food will be good, probably not totally amazing. The chef left last year and not sure who replaced him and haven't seen any recent report.

      Three courses for $62 with leftovers to take home ... which might not be a bonus to you.

      Washington Square Bar & Grill

      Reliable food in an old San Francisco restaurant setting, also overlooking ... well ... Washington Square. I think of Moose and Washbag as in the same class, with Moose's maybe being a little better, but not much.

      Your $49 gets you a 3-course prix-fixe menu with traditional Thanksgiving turkey and additional selections, including dry aged rib-eye steak, pan-roasted halibut, acorn squash ravioli, and pumpkin cheesecake

      This was from what I saw when I looked at open table a week ago. More might be added. Take a look and see if any restaurants interest you outside of North Beach. If so, then post additional inquiries. If I spot anything interesting in the Sunday Chronicle yet, I'll post back.

      BTW, I LOVE eating out on Thanksgiving and and have done so for many years. It doesn't come with the baggage of some other holidays like Valentine's day. The service and food has always been good ... except that one year I ate at the Cliff House which was a horror ... no mashed potatoes and inedible cranberry sauce ... in fact a few of the staff didn't know what cranberry sauce was. Two years ago and I'm still not over the experience.

      Wherever you eat, I hope you will post about your experience which will help people looking for a Christmas dinner this year and future Thanksgiving dinners.