Restaurants for Thanksgiving!
I will be in SF for the Thanksgiving holiday and I am not sure where to eat. Does anyone have any dining experience in this food driven holiday? I am looking for something that is slightly traditional and not overly expensive. Any suggestions would be super helpful!
Buried in that link was this list of what was open for Thanksgiving 2006... assuming you are looking for Thanksgiving dinner.
If I had gone out last Thanksgiving it would have been to the Marine Memorial Club. Haven't tried it yet but it sounded great. What I did try another year was the Cliff House. Under no circumstances consider that. It was monumentally bad.
Check opentable for what will be open this year. Restaurants change every year and new ones have opened since last year
More restaurants will get added as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. Looking at the current list restaurants to AVOID - Butterfly, Franciscan, Beach Chalet, and Park Chalet.
Now I haven't had Thanksgiving eats at any of the above but reports of everyday eats at these places are not usually positive.
The short-hand answer to this question is that restaurants that are open are catering to visitors, not locals, so are not always the best. Hotel restaurants, of course, will usually be open. Otherwise, it is usually restaurants in Chinatown (clearly not what you want), North Beach (and many of these do serve a traditional turkey dinner) and Fisherman's Wharf.
Even at otherwise good restaurants, though, I've never had a really good traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey is cooked in advance and left to sit (getting dry), and menus are usually fixed, so offer fewer choices than usual. suspect the main chef is off and the rest of staff would like to be.
We're trying again this year, however, at Silks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (My parents usually visit us for the holiday, and we don't want to cook, so we usually eat out. Hope springs eternal.....) My plan is to order something more along the lines of their normal menu, though, not the turkey and stuffing!
Hope that helps!
I've had different experiences over the years. With the exception of the dreadful Cliff House I've never been disappointed whether it is sit down or buffet. Of course, I've avoided Fisherman's Wharf and stuck to the better hotels. Someone had a great dinner at Michael Minna one year IIRC. Thanksgiving is food-oriented and for whatever reason the restaurants I've eaten at ... Cliff House excepted (did I mention I disliked it) .. rose to the occasion. I only had one other bad experience at the Nikko hotel but it was more service related ... I'd still avoid that joint.
At the last minute last year, we wound up at the House of Prime Rib. They open early and have a turkey with stuffing, sweet potatos etc plate. I have no idea how it is because my whole table still ordered the prime rib. It was a great atmosphere, completely booked, but HOPR always seems to be. Neither of us had wanted turkey but we wanted to feel full and homey after the dinner - we already have our reservations to go back this year.