Restaurants With Great Private Rooms
Restaurant recommendations are a common request here at goop, and the ask is often for spots with great private rooms where you could host a really special event like a birthday party, an anniversary, a rehearsal dinner, or even a wedding. Our picks all have a few things in common: The food is great, the backdrop justifies the celebration, and the excellent service means you can sit back and enjoy yourself, too.
Flour + Water2401 Harrison St., Mission | 415.826.7000
Come nighttime, the dim lighting and loud music draw a younger crowd to this tightly-packed gem a few blocks off the main Mission drag. The lineup of house-made pastas is as unusual as they come. From maltagliati with braised rabbit and sunchokes to trenette with pork sugo and chili, the concepts are always inspired. The pizzas are just as interesting. It's not a light meal, so come with hungry friends as a lot of it is great to share. The dough room where they roll the pasta during is available as a private dining room in the evenings.
Comal2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley | 510.926.6300
We love that the Oaxacan region of Mexico serves as Chef Matt Gandin’s muse at this Arts District favorite. The result? A menu of ceviches, tamales, tacos, and insane shared dishes that stays true to tradition while bringing something innovative to the table. It's a pretty awesome space, too, with an exposed-brick dining room, plus a massive outdoor area with fire pit and beer garden. If you've got a group of 20 or more, ask about their private room in the back, where they serve those crazy-good sharing plates family style around one long table.
Marlowe500 Brannan St., SoMa | 415.777.1413
While there are delicious small plates for veggies to tuck into, the mains at this Chef Jennifer Puccio-helmed spot have the carnivore crowd in mind. The Marlow burger is particularly memorable (and by memorable, we mean it's one of the best we've ever had). Ken Faulk—regarded as one of the most talented interior designers in the city—re-imagined the sprawling space to resemble an elevated butcher shop. They have several spaces to accommodate private parties, the best one being their private patio space: It's decorated with herbs and other greenery and dotted with heat lamps that make it comfortable year-round.
Spruce3640 Sacramento St., Presidio | 415.931.5100
The slick interior and miles-deep wine list make this is a great place for a dressed-up celebratory dinner. The food spans a variety of cuisines but the emphasis remains on local and organic fare. We're partial to the Sunday brunch (get the beignets) and the burger any night of the week. They have three elegant rooms for private parties—the events team is particularly skilled at florals.
Slanted Door1 Ferry Building, Embarcadero | 415.861.8032
The first thing you notice about this San Francisco standby are the views. Ever since The Slanted Door moved into the Ferry Building from its original Valencia street location, the bay has become a welcome addition to the minimalist interior (same goes for the sleek private dining rooms upstairs). But one thing hasn’t changed: this is still the place for Vietnamese. The emphasis is on fresh and organic ingredients. If you’re wanting a quick fix, you can also pick up food to-go at their Out the Door counter in the Ferry Building marketplace. Slanted Door also has a few sister restaurants including Out The Door on Bush Street, which is where the crowds are flocking these days.
Quince470 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square | 415.775.8500
Michael Tusk's Quince has fast become the standard for fine dining, so it's no surprise that his catering business, Tusk Events, is booming. They can handle events of any size, but it's good to remember that Quince's family-style tables can also be reserved for large parties—a nice option if you're looking to host a gathering with minimal-effort. The various tasting menus, aided by a miles-long wine list, make for a pretty perfect weekend date night or decadent catch-up session with pals.
Tosca Café242 Columbus Ave., Chinatown | 415.986.9651
This historic kitchen (the space has been around for close to a century) churns out the kind of no-frills, endlessly satisfying Italian food that for whatever reason appeals to ex-New Yorkers. The fact that the restaurant has been thoroughly revamped by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman (The Spotted Pig, the Breslin) helps the cause, too. There's nothing precious about the plates of pasta and generous orders of whole roasted chicken, which is probably why getting a table is close to impossible unless you're willing to put in the time to wait. If dining alone, the bar is the ideal place to do so in peace. If you're with a large group, inquire about their private room—the entrance is located on the other side of the kitchen's warm chaos.
Cotogna490 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square | 415.775.8508
Not nearly as fancy as sister restaurant, Quince, Cotogna serves up Northern Italian fare using the highest quality ingredients from nearby markets. It’s the kind of stuff we’d happily eat on a nightly basis: fresh pastas, veggie plates, wood-fired pizza, and simple fish entrees. In the elegant, almost all-wood dining room, the vibe is lively but not loud as tables are generously spaced. If you can get a table, great, if not, dining at the bar while watching the chefs at work is pretty awesome, too. A better option yet is to snag the Chef's Table in front of the open kitchen (or reserve the entire place).
Park Tavern1652 Stockton St., North Beach | 415.989.7300
The "park" in Park Tavern is a reference to Washington Square Park, which sits directly in front of the history-steeped space that originally housed a wood and coal yard. Dinner at this Jennifer Puccio-run spot is a grand affair with a fish and meat-centric menu to match. In addition to just-caught roasted halibut and outstanding roasted chicken, you’ll also find the "Marlowe" burger—a carryover from their sister restaurant, Marlowe. Their private room on the Mezzanine level has cool black-and-white graphic wallpaper and a dedicated bar.
Perbacco230 California St., Financial District | 415.955.0663
This big, bustling Italian restaurant is a huge hit with the after-work crowd on weekdays and for date night or group hangs on weekends; and with five separate private dining room options, it's a classic on the holiday office party circuit. The sharable plate of house-cured meats is a must order no matter what your reason for venturing out. The rest of the menu reads like a greatest hits list of Italian comfort food: loads of seafood, grilled veggies, and of course, pasta. Though the main dining room has a great convivial vibe, we prefer to take our meals at the bar (coincidentally, the cocktails here are excellent).
Central Kitchen3000 20th St., Mission | 415.826.7004
The indoor-outdoor dining room is equal parts rustic (Edison bulbs, communal tables) and modern (exposed kitchen, cement floors) while the food is hearty Northern California fare through and through. Taking full advantage of the region's bounty, Chef Thomas McNaughton developed relationships with local farmers who provide just-plucked produce for dishes like squash maltagliati, figs with coppa di testa, and melon and burrata. If you're hosting an event, keep in mind that the attached Salumeria, which is a market by day, becomes a cozy dining room by night.
Octavia1701 Octavia St., Lower Haight | 415.408.7507
Chef Melissa Perello's first San Francisco restaurant, Frances, earned a Michelin star for its refined, uncomplicated dishes, so everyone's expecting great things from her next spot, just-opened Octavia. The entire operation, from the speckled pottery dishes to the wooden tables to the meal, is rustic with a modern bend, and the space is light and airy with Scandinavian furniture. Like most Bay Area chefs, Perello changes her menu with the seasons, but recent favorites include a little gem salad with persimmon, a pork chop with escarole and mushrooms. The private dining space in an attached converted bakery is a great space for an event that's special without feeling too fancy.
Farina3560 18th St., Mission | 415.565.0360
The gentrification of the Mission hasn't included a ton of new architecture, so Farina's neon sign and sleek modern build makes it stick out a little on the street—all the better, because their famous Neopolitan pizzas (cooked in a specially made oven) are not to be missed. The best seat in the house is the back patio, which is super lush, and benefits from the Mission's warmer microclimate (it's usually about 10 degrees warmer here than in the rest of the city). The entire patio can be rented out for private events, and the restaurant provides heat lamps that make it a good option year-round.
Farallon450 Post St., Union Square | 415.956.6969
In a city that's known for great seafood, Farallon has been a go-to spot for fish and shellfish for almost 20 years now. It's sort of an old-school joint at this point, but the oyster menu is miles-long, and the dinner options always include a great lobster dish and excellent grilled fish. Décor-wise, they’re famous for the jellyfish lounge, where jellyfish lamps hang from the ceiling and the mezzanine level itself is shaped like the creature. While it;s a little bit over-the-top, you have to appreciate the lengths they took to make the space unique and special. The private rooms here are decorated in the same fantastical style, and they've been around long enough to appreciate the value of having an event planner on staff, which always makes things easier.
Dirty Habit12 4th St., SoMa | 415.348.1555
The place to be at this lounge-y restaurant (which is up on the fifth floor of Hotel Zelos) is the covered outdoor patio, which has long fire pits that keep guests warm in the cooler months—you can actually eat outside here all year round. Chef David Bazirgan puts together shared plates in unexpected combinations—soft-shell crab with banana ketchup, asparagus with smoked egg yolk, sweetbreads with kimchi and pineapple—which keeps things pretty exciting. They're also known for a fantastic cocktail program. Private dining options here spill onto the patio, making it a particularly good choice for cocktail reception-style events where guests will want to walk around.
Atelier Crenn3127 Fillmore St., Cow Hollow | 415.440.0460
Chef Dominique Crenn is equal parts poet and chef, as evidenced by the creative titles of her tasting menu, which includes dishes like "the sea" or "walk in the forest." She’s also known for inventive presentation—expect lots of props, like dishes with glass panels, or mossy branches, to adorn your meal. The private room makes for a lovely space for a private meal.
Absinthe398 Hayes St., Hayes Valley | 415.551.1590
Absinthe was an early pioneer both of the craft/artisanal cocktail scene in San Francisco (the absinthe cocktails are still amazing) and of the Hayes Valley neighborhood (they were one of the first in the area). The cuisine slants French, but not in a restricting way—you’ll find a Hawaiian swordfish alongside their famous French onion soup and coq au vin. The upstairs private space is unique in the city for being completely separate, with an exclusive-use bar and entrance.
Kokkari200 Jackson St., Financial District | 415.981.0983
It’s not easy to find Greek cuisine served in an upscale, white tablecloth setting, which makes Kokkari sort of unique in its class. The best menu items here are the classics: moussaka, lamb chops, and a killer (and gorgeously presented) greek salad. The hole-in-the-wall private dining room here feels like a secluded wine cellar—it's cozy and perfect for smaller groups.
Acquerello1722 Sacramento St., Nob Hill | 415.567.5432
Acquerello has been serving upscale Italian in Nob Hill for 25 years now—with excellent food and a decidedly grown-up setting, it’s exactly the kind of place you want to go to for special occasions. Run by a father-son team from Bologna and an executive chef/partner that’s been with them from the beginning, the classic Italian dishes are unshakably good. There are two private room options that are both relatively formal.
Boulevard1 Mission St., Financial District | 415.543.6084
Boulevard won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2012, and it's easy to understand why; the food here is consistently outstanding. The menu changes seasonally, but straightforward dishes like a soft-shell crab with polenta, a delicate squash blossom risotto, and a classically awesome Filet Mignon are executed in a really elegant way. The location right on the Embarcadero lives up to the great menu—you’ll have views of the bay from most seats. Their private wine vault is a comfortable space for small events, but they also have a larger room that’s a nice (and conveniently located) pick for corporate functions.
Beretta1199 Valencia St., Mission | 415.695.1199
The first thing you'll notice about Beretta is the elegant décor—industrial chandeliers dangle from the high ceilings and glass light fixtures dot the bar. One of the first spots that brought the Mission to culinary fame, they're best known for great Italian comfort food (don’t miss the thin crust pizzas and classic pastas) and an insanely good brunch (how can you not order the carbonara brunch pizza?). The upstairs event space is perfect for an event that feels sophisticated but with a little bit of cool factor.
Town Hall342 Howard St., Financial District | 415.908.3900
Town Hall has been a local favorite for a while now, with indulgent, Southern-style cooking—the best menu items include fried chicken, barbecue ribs, and classic veggies like okra and fried green tomatoes. Their event space in the back is lined with wide windows that make it perfect for a mid-morning or early-afternoon event.