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Dining Out for Thanksgiving in San Francisco Bay Area

Leave the cooking to the pros
Leave the cooking to the pros
Karla Erovick

Thanksgiving a truly American holiday, is the one time of the year we gather with friends and family to be grateful for all of our blessings. While a home cooked meal in a the home of friends is one way to celebrate, why not mix it up and dine out this year. With the plethora of dining options, there is sure to be something to make everyone happy. Whether you choose a brunch buffet at one of San Francisco’s storied hotels or an imaginative turkey dinner in a neighborhood restaurant, we have you covered.

San Francisco:
Palace Hotel: Delight friends and family with the ultimate San Francisco brunch buffet. In addition to turkey, choose from pastries and breakfast specialties, carving station, pasta, seafood, sushi, Asian cuisine, a myriad of salads and dessert along with mimosas. Adults $105 per person, children $67 per person (age 6-12), prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity. Garden Court seating 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom seating from 11 am to 3 p.m. Or enjoy the relaxed ambiance of the Pied Piper Bar & Grill starting with Cauliflower Velouté, salad of mixed greens with goat cheese and poached pears, roast turkey with sage stuffing, Blue Lake beans, whipped celery root and potatoes, cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. For dessert indulge in pecan tartlet with chocolate ganache, Espresso anglaise and toasted coconut. Reservations available from 6 – 9 p.m. Four course dinner adults $80 per person or $110 with wine pairing, not including tax and gratuity; children’s turkey dinner $20. Reservations can be made by calling 415-546-5089 or

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco: In addition to regular breakfast service at the Michelin-star restaurant, Executive Chef de Cuisine Daniel Corey will host Thanksgiving lunch and dinner at Luce with a 3-course menu and amuse. Dishes include Breast of Local Turkey with turkey leg “Boudin,” medjool date and watercress and Butterscotch Squash Tartlet with Fall Spice and Caramel. Adults $72 per person, $105 with wine pairing; Children 12 years and under $36. Prices do not include gratuity or sales tax.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins: Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the bay and savor traditional favorites and international selections with a bountiful brunch and dinner buffet Thursday, November 28 from 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Savory dishes available include the Mark Hopkins Roast with pesto crusted bone-in prime rib, au jus, roasted free range turkey, cranberry-orange sauce, and giblet gravy. Adults $109 per person; Children ages 4-12 years $59 per person. A petting zoo will be featured in the lobby on Thanksgiving Day from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Prices do not include gratuity or sales tax.

Velvet Room at CLIFT: Chef Thomas Weibull will offer a four-course menu of Thanksgiving classics such as an Roasted Butternut Squash served with smoked ham hock topped with ginger confit, Roasted Diestel Turkey with a turkey confit, cornbread stuffing, root vegetables and thyme jus, and a take on pumpkin pie with a Sweet Pumpkin Tart topped with spiced pecans and maple ice cream.

One Market Restaurant: Chef Marc Dommen celebrates Thanksgiving with a three course prix fixe menu featuring dishes such as Roasted Willy Bird Turkey with cornbread-stuffing, root vegetables, and shallot-thyme gravy; Pumpkin Risotto with shrimp, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil; and Sweet Potato Pumpkin Tart with maple-mascarpone mousse and butter pecan ice cream. ($64 per person / $29 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free) Seatings from 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Please call 415.777.5577 to make a reservation.

LarkCreekSteak: Chef Ismael Macias’ three course Thanksgiving prix fixe includes options for each course, including dishes beyond turkey, like Applesmoked Bacon Wrapped Ahi Tuna served with bamboo rice, curry emulsion and micro cilantro and Certified Angus Prime Rib with whipped potato, roasted root vegetables, and natural jus. ($59 per person / $25 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free) Seatings from 1:00 – 7:30 p.m. Please call 415.593.4100 to make a reservation.

Presidio Social Club: For the classic Thanksgiving meal, enjoy the PSC Traditional Turkey Dinner ($55 per person). Start with a with a choice of Fall Kale Salad, served with pomegranates and persimmons, or Butternut Squash Soup with a sage pesto, followed by a Roast Turkey served with a variety of sides, including Mashed Potatoes, Brioche and Challah Stuffing, Beet and Cranberry Salad, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Ham and Pea Salad, and a Sweet Potato Gnocchi. For a little taste of the sea, and a San Francisco Thanksgiving tradition, add some Oysters on the Half Shell, or a Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab and tie up the meal with a choice of Pumpkin or Pecan Pie. 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Waiheke Island Yacht Club: Until the end of the year, the restaurant will host a “Friendsgiving” three-course dinner on November 28 for Thanksgiving, perfect for those looking for an alternative way to celebrate the holiday. Course options of this dinner feature dishes such as Soy and Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast with salted peanut, rutabaga, coconut, chard, and shiso and New Zealand Fish Stew with oven roasted Terakihi, abalone, mussles, tomatoes, lentils, and saffron. The three-course dinner is $60 per person excluding gratuity or sales tax. Reservations are required and can be made at or calling 415.956.1048.

Yankee Pier SFO and Lark Creek Grill SFO: If Thanksgiving finds you traveling, stop in to either SFO restaurant for a traditional dinner of Roast Diestel Turkey Breast with garlic mashed potatoes, brown butter, Brussels sprouts and turkey gravy, finished with a Pumpkin Tart with pepita praline.

Oakland and East Bay:
Bocanova: Offering its weekend Bocaditos menu from 11AM – 5PM on Black Friday and all of Thanksgiving Weekend, Bocanova invites guests to stop in and enjoy smaller, lighter dishes after a day of Thanksgiving eating and drinking. Or join them for a post-Thanksgiving Dinner on Friday and let somebody else do the cooking. Parties of 8 or more will get a 20% discount for lunch or dinner.

Lark Creek Walnut Creek: Chef Scott Wall will feature a three-course tasting menu of holiday favorites, beginning with Lark Creek’s Mulled Cider. Options for entrées will include Pan-Roasted Steelhead Salmon with green lentils, roasted cauliflower salad, and curry yogurt, in addition to the traditional Willie Bird Organic Roast Turkey with sage cornbread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, candied yams and homemade cranberry sauce ($49 per person / $24.50 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free). Seatings from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. Please call 925.256.1234 to make a reservation.

Yankee Pier Lafayette: Chef Michael Dunn of Yankee Pier Lafayette will mix up the traditional and feature Boiled Live Maine Lobster for the price of turkey as an option in his three course menu with choices for each course and sides. ($49 for adults / $24.50 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free) Seatings from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. Please call 925.283.4100 to make a reservation.

Marin and North Bay:
Fast Food Francais (F3): In addition to serving its regular menu, Fast Food Francais (F3) will host a three-course, prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day for $35 per person, excluding tax or gratuity. Dish highlights include Creamy Oyster Soup with Applewood Bacon and Butter Croutons; Roasted Turkey with French Thyme Jus lie and Sweet Onion Panada served with Broccoli di Ciccio and Candied Sweet Potatoes; and Cranberry and Sierra Beauty Apple Crisp with Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice cream. This menu is also available for takeout and delivery with 48-hours advance notice.

Yankee Pier Larkspur: Chef Alex Marsh of Yankee Pier Larkspur will mix up the traditional and feature Whole Maine Lobster for the price of turkey in addition to a three course menu with choices for each course and sides ($49 for adults / $24.50 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free) in honor of the holiday. Seatings from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Please call 415.924.7676 to make a reservation.

The Tavern At Lark Creek, Larkspur, CA: For Thanksgiving, Chef Aaron Wright offers a three course menu with dishes such as Spiced Pork Tenderloin served with cipollini onions, marble potatoes, apples, lacinato kale and sherry jus; Roasted Autumn Vegetable Bisque with squash, rutabaga, parsnips and glazed shiitake mushrooms; and Natural Angus Filet Mignon with roasted Brussels sprouts, white cheddar potato gratin and mushroom ragu. ($65 per person / $29 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free) Seatings from 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Please call 415.924.7766 to make a reservation.

Fish Story, Napa, CA: Chef Scott Ekstrom of Fish Story will mix up the traditional and feature Whole Poached Maine Lobster for the price of turkey as an option in his three course menu with choices for each course and sides. Other dishes will include Wild Columbia River Sturgeon with caramelized salsify puree, braised endive, and white balsamic reduction, and a Diestel Turkey Dinner with potato puree, croissant stuffing, haricots vert, cranberry compote and gravy. Raw bar will also be available ($49 for adults / $24.50 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free). Seatings from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please call 707.251.5600 to make a reservation.

South Bay and Monterey:
Lark Creek Blue, San Jose, CA: Chef Chad Greer will offer a three course prix fixe menu featuring fresh and sustainable seafood and choices for each course. A 1 ½ pound Lobster stuffed with Bay Shrimp with green beans and drawn butter will be offered for the price of turkey, as well as dishes like Duck Confit with pear chutney, port wine and baby arugula and Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with local vegetables, mushroom supreme sauce, and sweet potato purée ($49 for adults / $24.50 for children under 12 / children under 3 eat free). Seatings from 12:30 - 7:30 p.m. Please call 408.244.1244 to make a reservation.

Cannery Row Brewing Company: Chef Daniel Furey will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal to visitors at this Cannery Row favorite in Monterey including Artisanal Greens with spiced and candied pecans and cranberry vinaigrette; Smoked Turkey with giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, served with Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing; and Pumpkin Cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle and spiced Chantilly cream. The three course menu is available for $32.00 per person as well as a la carte for $18.95 for the Smoked Turkey dish. The regular menu will be available and the restaurant will be open for regular hours – 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Bar is open until 12:00 a.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made at 831.643.2722. Walk-ins are welcome.

Restaurant 1833: Offering a special three-course prix fixe menu to guests this Thanksgiving with plenty of options to suit every taste. Beginning with an amuse bouche, menu items will include Mushroom Soup with truffle butter, brioche, chives; Root Vegetable Salad with pomegranates, winter greens and espelette; Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon with herb puree, roasted carrots, maple sherry sauce; Chestnut Ravioli with apple, sage, cashew and apple cider; “The Turkey” with all the fixings, green beans with almonds, potato puree, sweet potato marshmallows, and a choice of desserts. The Thanksgiving Day menu will be available for $55 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 831.643.1833.

About the Author: Karla writes about global destinations, food, wine, horse racing and exotic car events. Discover more from over 400 travel articles of places to explore.

©Karla Erovick 2013 article, photos

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