Bay Area Reception
My fiancee and I are looking for a good restaurant for about 200 guests. It seems like most people are looking for something smaller in the 100 range. We found some venues for Chinese Banquets but they don't have enough parking to accomodate us. But we're open to anything! Please help!
btw, as anyone tried East Ocean in Emeryville for a banquet lately? I remember going there ages ago and it was forgettable...
OpenTable has a list of large capacity venues
There are often parking lots near many of these. If looking for free parking, that's really a suburban thing.
Gee, who knew Foreign Cinema could accomodate parties of 400? That being said, I really don't think there is parking nearby.
While it is a chain, it is one of the better chains and Il Fornaio in Levi Plaza is lovely and the food is cetainly better than HS Lordship. I was at a work even at Il Fornaio too many years ago to count, but they did a nice job.
The Horblower Yacht dinner cruises are pretty nice and take care of large groups.
I've been plugging in Event Facilities into restaurant records. However, the team at Chow in all their wisdom eliminated displaying text for the restaurant records, so all you have here is a list of restaurants with some event facilities ... That could be anywhere from a private dining room for 10 or groups of 500. Still, most restaurants have buyouts and if you see a place that is large on this list, you could check out the record to see how many they accomodate.
Trying to get that info from Google, I wasn't too successful. However, a few to consider
Spengers in Berkeley - lot right accross the street
Speisekammer in Alameda - is there parking for the group?
Samovar - Moscone parking
There are some others, but they are suburbs, I'm not sure of the parking situtation or they are really spendy.
It doesn't catch everything, but a few different Goggle searches to find info
I had my Chinese wedding banquet at Legendary Palace in Oakland Chinatown six years ago. Not a ton of parking (obviously), but they do have access to a small lot nearby.
Also my guest list was about 200 (same size as yours), and we got most of the upstairs room -- everything except a small closed off space.
My cousin had his wedding banquet in East Ocean in Alameda a few years ago. Parking in Alameda is comparatively a breeze. The food was pretty good (except for a hideous fruit salad thing with mayonnaise).
I like the food at East Ocean in Alameda a lot better, and though the parking is tighter, there is a large parking lot about 1 block east of the restaurant that you can suggest to your guest, though, it's for a Marine West store that you might want to ask permission for parking from. It's normally empty, so I doubt it would be an issue.
The one big benefit for the East Ocean in Emeryville is the view, I think the food has gotten a little better if it's been a few years since your last time there. But layout of the restaurant can be a real pain since the seating is so elongated, one end of the party is very far from the other. Also, if you don't fill up the whole space, you'll likely be sharing the restaurant with another wedding. I've seen this at least twice there.
While helping a friend shop venues for a (much smaller) wedding a while back, I came upon this website: http://www.sfpdv.com/
It is a list of several San Francisco restaurants that do buyouts or private dining (not comprehensive -- e.g. missing Yank Sing), and as you'll see, some are more touristy/corporate spots, but it's worth a look as it might stimulate some ideas at least.
Other idea, although costly, would be to look at a venue like the Academy of Sciences which has a great restaurant (Moss Room) that offers catering and can seat a huge number of people.
If you go with one of the places in Chinatown (Great Eastern, R&G Lounge) your guests can park in the Portsmouth Square garage. Otherwise, I think you'll need to go out to the burbs.
Did I read your post correctly that you don't necessarily want a Chinese banquet, just a restaurant that can handle 200 guests?