The prospect of going out for dinner on New Year’s Eve may be daunting, but it’s a holiday when Bay Area chefs truly put everything they have into service, without worrying about brunch. From caviar to Dungeness crab and rare vintages of Champagne, ringing in the New Year here solidifies San Francisco’s status as a culinary capital. We’ve put together our short list of à la carte and prix fixe offerings. Still, don’t let New Year’s Eve reservations be forgot—these places fill up quickly.
This newly Michelin-starred live-fire restaurant starts off the celebration with cocktail hour next door at sister restaurant Liliana. Afterwards, Osito hosts a communal feast of coastal Californian cuisine cooked over a wood fire.
Lyon & Swan
Sonoma County winemaker Eco Terreno opened an underground supper club last month, and the Jackson Square newcomer rings in the new year with a four-course dinner paired with Champagne and caviar, at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. The earlier seating includes performances by singer Marshall Forte, pianist John Steiner and drag performer Varla Jean Merman.
This sustainable seafood house has a stacked 10-course menu teeming with lobster, caviar, dry-aged fish and deep sea box crab. Guests have the option to pair dinner with eight deep Champagnes from labels like Dom Pérignon and Deutz Brut.
Colibri Mexican Bistro
The upscale Oaxacan spot inside the Presidio Officers’ Club is open late on NYE with two menu options: à la carte and a three-course prix fixe. Dine at Colibri and then wander across Crissy Field for a view of the fireworks over the Golden Gate Bridge.
📍1100 Market St., SF
🕑 6:30-8 p.m.
☎️ (628) 895-2039
🎟 $165 per person + optional pairings
You don’t need to book a staycation at the Proper Hotel to enjoy a California cuisine prix fixe at its flagship restaurant. This tasting menu includes crab, vichyssoise, suckling pig and wagyu beef. LA-based Latin jazz group La Lom performs in the lounge just past midnight.
Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
This Spanish tapas eatery serves nine small plates on New Year’s Eve, beginning with sparkling almond and grape gazpacho and ending with a cheese plate and dessert.
📍252 California St., SF
🕑 5:45-8:15 p.m.
☎️ (415) 417-3969
🎟 $185-$205 per person
Michael Mina’s modern Greek taverna offers four-course and five-course options on the last night of the year, plating up sea urchin hilopites with caviar and surf & turf ribeye with something called a “shellfish emulsion.” Anyone’s guess what that entails, but it sounds delightful.
La Société Bar & Cafe
The Hyatt Regency Downtown’s brasserie, which opened this past September, finishes off a full season of holiday specials with a five-course menu of salted cod beignets, Maine scallops and more.
What Molinari lacks in size it makes up for in hospitality. This pint-sized Italian eatery serves arancini, pasta and seafood out of a kitchen at the center of the dining room, creating a familial feel.
Kingston 11 Cuisine
Chef Nigel Jones combines ingredients from his hometown with Caribbean and Californian staples to create entrees like slow-simmered curried goat and oxtail stew with plantains and jasmine rice. The à la carte dinner comes with complimentary bubbles.
The waterfront sushi bar and jazz club offers dinner and a show on New Year’s with 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. sets from saxophonist Boney James. Strategically located near the bay fireworks display.
Daughter Thai Kitchen
This photogenic family-run Thai restaurant serves up noodles, curries and fried grasshoppers for those of us who like it hot—mild-mannered palates, be warned. After dinner, if you wind your way up Snake Road, there are solid views of the light show to be seen from the top of the Oakland hills.
Limewood Bar & Restaurant
Situated in the Claremont Hotel—that enormous, ivory-painted resort in the Berkeley Hills with the panoramic views—Limewood is well-poised for NYE dinner. The seasonal menu rotates regularly, but expect a Southern-style feast with oysters and mignonette, fried chicken and traditional New Year’s hoppin’ john to start 2023 with good luck.
alley & vine
Past meets future on New Year’s at this farm-to-table favorite in downtown Alameda. Alley & vine hosts a 1970s disco wonderland costume party, complete with a DJ spinning throwbacks past midnight. The four- and five-course menus also focus on the classics: Dungeness Crab Louie (assuming the season opens in time), Swedish meatballs, caviar and pineapple upside down cake.
Reservations have been difficult to score at chef Dustin Valette’s newest place ever since it became a Michelin guide restaurant, and New Year’s Eve may be the best time to try it out. Valette’s team creates a six-course tasting menu of opulent plates, though their use of the word “schmaltz” under the crab rice porridge adds a healthy dose of irreverence. Next door, at cocktail lounge Roof 106, try your luck on the waitlist, as the DJ will mix tracks until midnight.