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Christmas in the Castro?

Hi there,

Totally psyched to be moving to foodie nirvana (SF Bay) just before Christmas. My kids will be visiting from college and we have tickets for a concert in the Castro on Christmas eve. Wondering if anyone has any advice for restaurants (other than Chinese) that might be open that night? Through a little searching here on the CH boards I did locate Frances-- couldnt get anything on Open Table (waiting till 2p when they start answering phone). Wondering if anyone might have any other suggestions for dinner in that general vicinity?

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Poesia is good and right around the corner.

    4072 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

    1. Not sure what you meant by not finding anything on Open Table.

      1. Does it have to be fancy? The best food in the Castro isn't.

        There's a Thai House Express on Castro Street, and Kasa has great modern Indian food on 18th.

        Thai House Express
        901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        4 Replies
        1. re: Windy

          Wolfe I meant I couldn't get a reservation at Frances on open table. Windy-- we do usually go to a more upscale place for the holiday but I will definitely try the Indian and Thai places you recommend another time. Thanks Robert -- I'll check if Poesia is open. What do you all think of Chapeau?

          1. re: goodeater

            Chapeau is wonderful. Many previous posts if you do a search.

            Many Italian restaurants are closed Christmas Eve in the city, as are Latin America restaurants.

          2. re: Windy

            What do you get at THE in the Castro? I used to order selectively from their Castro menu and eat quite well, but last time I was there they weren't making the dishes I liked any more.

            1. re: SteveG

              I'm stuck on the rice noodles with crab (chan pad poo).

              Pumpkin curry's not bad, and I like the beef salad with lime. There's also a duck soup that I haven't ordered in a while. Time to stop in...

          3. I've liked Eureka Lounge...

            1. check the SF Weekly or the Guardian most years one or both do a round-up of who (other than the obvious hotels) are open

              6 Replies
              1. re: hill food

                We have a reservation at Chapeau but Eureka looks pretty good too. I called and they said they would begin taking reservations next week once they work out their menu. Frances only had seating at the bar. Poesia isn't answering their phone.

                1. re: goodeater

                  No fair extending the Castro request to the Inner Richmond.

                  1. re: wolfe

                    not difficult to traverse but it is kind of a stretch. (I imagine residents of either might take some kind of offense)

                    1. re: wolfe

                      How about over the hill to Noe Valley?

                    2. re: goodeater

                      Try calling Poesia when they're open, 5:30 PST.

                      4072 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Poesia is closed Christmas Eve but not Christmas day.

                        4072 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                  2. anchor oyster bar has phenomenal seafood

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: vulber

                      indeed they do, but will they be open for the OP?

                    2. None of these are stellar foodie destinations, but I live in the neighborhood and they all do a fine job and I go to all of them often:

                      -- The Sausage Factory (Italian. food is just good, not great, but it's cozy and old-timey and I love the place, no reservations taken but usually not a wait)

                      -- Anchor Oyster Bar (nice seafood, no reservations taken, often a wait)

                      -- Red Jade (chinese. I order in from here at least once a week. When I work at home I often go there for their cheap lunch special. The venue is just fine for eating there as well, bright and pleasant).

                      -- 2223. (More upscale. I love their roast chicken main course with mashed potatoes green beans and onion rings. Full bar and they know how to make a proper cocktail. Service can be slow. Also, they take reservations)

                      -- Home. (full bar. takes reservations. a little loud. Another place with good roast chicken. And a nice iceberg wedge salad.)

                      If you find yourself there that night and you are really stuck, right across the street is a place called the Cove. I like them for brunch, nothing special, but the food is wholesome and comforting.

                      Don't be sorry about missing Frances I'm in the minority, but I think it's not that great. Just posted my report about them earlier today on this board.

                      Do not under any circumstances go to Leticia's. Back in the day they were edible and had good strong drinks. They closed for many years and reopened recently at a different location. Possibly the worst mexican food I've ever eaten.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: pauliface

                        I did meet John Waters at Leticia's once years ago! he was hosting something at the Castro Theater that night. I called him Mr. (Don) Knotts and complimented him on his performance in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (heh!). but yes the only worse Mexican I've ever had was at el Coyote in LA and you only go there because it's where Sharon Tate had her last meal.

                        Home and 2223 are both comfy and well priced, not terribly adventurous but usu. pretty good, I had a nice dinner at 2223 once for some winter holiday meal (but not the prix fixe turkey). I sorta doubt Anchor would be open, maybe xmas eve, but it is a very solid place.

                        that is the interesting holdover aspect of the Castro from the 70's and 80's, when a a lot of LGBT folks didn't really feel they had family to go to, so a lot more places are open than in some other parts of town.

                        1. re: hill food

                          2223 is far better than home, not even close IMO

                          1. re: vulber


                            Yes, I should have made that clear.
                            To me, 2223 has the best food on that list.

                            (Although, I do find that some of my midwestern friends feel that Home has some particularly comforting dishes, like mac & cheese, and broccoli with cheese on top.)

                            That said, I've ordered sweetbreads at 2223 (quite good), and I can tell you I would not risk that at any of the other places on my list.

                        2. re: pauliface

                          Heavens, I left out L'Ardoise and Sushi Time.
                          L'Ardoise is wonderful french, and takes reservations.
                          Sushi Time is in an odd location but the best Japanese in the Castro.

                          1. re: pauliface

                            Thanks for mentioning L Ardoise. I always forget it's there.

                            1. re: pauliface

                              Isn't Eiji better than Sushi Time?

                              Sushi Time
                              2275 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                              1. re: vincentlo

                                Absolutely not. Eiji is good for fresh tofu. Sushi time wins for everything else

                                1. re: pauliface

                                  How about Barracuda? I passed by it on a late Saturday morning, and it was practically empty, while Lime was super-packed including folks ordering Ike's sandwiches.

                            2. re: pauliface

                              What about Lime? I have a little love/hate with the place, myself.

                              1. re: bbulkow

                                Haven't had dinner at Lime for a long time. Is it still that ridiculously loud, as in you shout and still no one at your table can hear you?

                              2. re: pauliface

                                Thanks Pauliface and vulber-- they all sound great-- esp. Anchor Oyster and the roast chicken at 2223. We'll definitely try them all.

                                Anchor Oyster Bar
                                579 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                1. re: goodeater

                                  If you're not staying in the Castro, you might want to widen your search. There are few destination restaurants in the neighborhood, plus parking's a relative pain.

                              3. I'd run with 2223 as a first choice, Starbelly a very close second, and then Catch, which is a stones throw from the Castro Theater which is where I'm guessing your headed for the SFGMC event. See you there!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sfbrit

                                  That's exactly right. Heading there now. Our eldest son got stuck in London tho so we've postponed the dinner. Thanks for the advice. We'll try all of them.