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Where to Eat and Watch the Bay Lights Opening Ceremony

The Bay Lights (photo by Bay Lights Project/Facebook). 

The Bay Lights are coming! The city is going to be just that much cooler (and prettier). Hopefully, the fog cooperates and the lighting ceremony on Tuesday March 5th is all clear (Karl the Fog, you better stay away). The big show begins around 8 pm, and here are some spots where you can get a good view of the action on opening night or after—remember, you have two years to catch the show. (Note that many places on the Embarcadero are already booked up, like La Mar Cebicheria Peruana and Waterbar, so call ahead if you’re not sure.)

Chaya Brasserie
Chaya will be serving a special prix-fixe dinner to go alongside their spectacular view. It’s $125 per person for five courses, not including beverages, tax, and gratuity.

EPIC Roasthouse
EPIC is fully booked for reservations on the evening of the lighting ceremony, but their bar is reserved for walk-ins, so arrive early and claim your spot. Or swing by later in the week to admire the lights in peace.

HiDive
Here’s an unexpected but low-key spot to try. HiDive has solid burgers, a fun patio, and a rockin’ view (of the Bay, not the Bridge). It's a good spot to grab dinner and a drink, then take in the Bay Lights elsewhere. Oh, and they take reservations, have a full bar, and you won’t spend everything you’ve got. What’s not to love?

The Plant Café Organic
They’ve got a patio with great views, plus one of the best housemade veggie burgers in town. Don’t think of it as a meat substitute, but as a whole different food group. Bonus: There’s a full bar.

Sinbad’s
Hiding in the midst of its more contemporary neighbors, Sinbad’s is a killer choice for views (the food, however, will not be winning any Michelin stars). You can see the bridge from every table, and there’s definitely an old-school vibe (the bar is a classic). They’ve still got some reservations open, FYI.

But our favorite way to enjoy the show? With a night picnic! Stock up on your favorite cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery, get a crusty loaf at Acme, maybe a clandestine bottle of bubbles from The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, and camp out at the benches behind the Ferry Building or anywhere else along the Embarcadero. Don’t forget a blanket!

 

Marcia Gagliardi is the editor of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and read more at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.