In a city filled with tourists, it makes sense that some of San Francisco's slickest restaurants would reside inside hotels.
And with the return of tourism, hotel restaurants are definitely having a moment. You don't have to get a room to get a table, but it sure makes the commute home easier.
Nari at Hotel Kabuki
Nari at Hotel Kabuki
(Courtesy of @nari_sf)
Chef Pim Techamuanvivit’s sophomore effort is a tribute to the women who laid the foundation for modern Thai cuisine. And like everything the Michelin-starred chef does, her way of integrating California ingredients with traditional and contemporary Thai flavors is nothing short of spectacular: Dishes like beef pad prik gaeng (grilled flank steak with Jimmy Nardelos, corn and spicy southern curry) and laab hed (northern-style with mushrooms, crispy alliums and herbs) balance beautifully balance acid and heat. The slick restaurant, an oasis of wood paneling, soothing colors and fabrics, and live plants, pairs its Bib Gourmand-menu with fresh, herbal cocktails like the pikul, a combination of rye, genever, allspice, pandan, orange bitters, and toasted coconut.
// 1625 Post St. (Japantown), narisf.com
La Societe at Hyatt Regency Downtown SoMa
Roasted Liberty duck a l'orange with thumbelina carrots and grilled summer chicory at La Societe in the Hyatt Regency SF Downtown SoMa
(Courtesy of La Societe)
Comforting French classics are on the menu at the Hyatt Regency Downtown SoMa’s brand new La Société. The sleek, light-filled cafe and bar—the first SF project from TableOne Hospitality, a spin-off of the MINA Group—is helmed by executive chef Alexandre Viriot, who trained in some of France’s most storied kitchens. At La Société he interprets his craft through a California lens: the comte cheese and black truffle gougeres are made with Dutch crunch; the duck liver mousse with red flame grape gelee and toasted marconas is made with Sonoma-grown, free-range Liberty Ducks; smoked salmon rillettes are sprinkled with everything bagel spice. In addition to hearty mains, including three varieties of steak frites (the frites made with duck fat, of course), the brasserie has an eclectic list of cocktails that pair French spirits with flavors both sweet and savory.
// 50 3rd St. (SoMa), lasocietecafe.com
Terrene at 1 Hotel
Terrene at 1 Hotel
1 Hotel opened their greenery-filled signature restaurant Terrene to showcase not just the bounty of local farmers and ranchers, but to highlight sustainability and ecological renewal. The hotel’s rooftop residents, its honey bee colony, contribute to the menu, and both the kitchen and bar are committed to zero-waste practices, using skins, peels, and stems as readily as they do the flesh and flower of their fruits and veggies. Everything on chef Scott Koranda’s approachable California-Mediterranean menu comes from within a 100-mile radius of San Francisco including the ingredients for woodfire oven flatbreads, sliders, and skewers. Terrene’s cocktail menu, inspired by SF’s neighborhoods and landmarks, has a focus on organic mezcal and tequila, Green-certified Napa wines, and local breweries.
// 8 Mission St. (Financial District), 1hotels.com
Occitania at Kissel Uptown Oakland
Occitania's tartine d'agneau confit (lamb confit, grilled sourdough, arugula, cherry tomatoes and aioli with frites)
(Courtesy of @occitaniaoakland)
Oakland’s swanky new Kissel Uptown Hotel comes with a colorful, modern-art-gallery of a restaurant that’s generating some buzz of its own. Occitania, named for the traditional linguistic region stretching from Spain to Italy, is the newest venture from chef Paul Canales, who brought Spanish tapas to town with the uber-popular Duende. At Occitania, he’s focusing on southern French cuisine, using traditional techniques to prepare dishes like brandade de morue au gratin (salt cod gratin with potatoes, garlic, gruyere, and capers), boudin blanc au tian provençal (pork and veal sausage with grilled escarole, leeks, and veg gratin), and gâteau aux poires (walnut cake with lillet poached pear and ginger creme anglaise).
// 422 24th St. (Oakland), occitaniaoakland.com
Villon at Proper Hotel
Villon restaurant at the Proper Hotel
(Courtesy of Villon)
Villon is a gorgeous, geometrically-inspired space in the hip, urban landscape of the Proper Hotel. Located in the lobby of a renovated historic building on Market Street, Villon mixes playful textures and colors—think autumn leaf wallpaper, chairs upholstered in plaid, and checkerboard floors—and serves a sophisticated, globally influenced menu. For dinner, try delectable dishes like swordfish with leeks, potato, and anchovy cream, or redwood-grilled lamb shoulder with onion gratin and smoked polenta. Whatever you choose to munch on, ordering a carefully crafted cocktail is a must. Villon's list combines 49 original creations—dreamed up by the team at Trick Dog—that pay homage to the city's seven square miles. At weekend brunch, expect the unexpected (rice porridge!) alongside favorites including breakfast sandwiches and buttermilk waffles.
// 1100 Market St (Tenderloin), villonsf.com
Kaiyo Rooftop at Hyatt Place Hotel
Pork ribs with housemade Nikkei bbq sauce at KAIYŌ Rooftop
(Courtesy of @kaiyorooftop)
Kaiyo’s not just a great hotel restaurant, it’s a great hotel restaurant with a view. Perched on the rooftop of the Hyatt Place Hotel next to Oracle Park, Kaiyo Rooftop is the second location for the popular Cow Hollow Japanese-Peruvian restaurant of the same name. Next spring, they’ll open a ground floor dining room, too. In the meantime, you’ll have to suffer with those expansive city vistas as you sip pisco cocktails and nibble on ceviches, tiraditos, sushi, and small plates like green lip mussels with edamame, choclo, tomato, and onion relish, and pork ribs with housemade Nikkei bbq sauce, aji amarillo coleslaw, and cracked chanca.
// 701 3rd St. (SoMa), kaiyosf.com/kaiyorooftop
Kin Khao at Parc 55
Braised chicken with golek curry, fried shallots, toasted coconut, and cucumber ajaad at Kin Khao
(Courtesy of @kinkhao)
Bangkok-born chef Pim Techamuanvivit blazed onto the SF food scene with a mission to free Thai food from the tyranny of peanut sauce. At her first restaurant Kin Khao at Parc 55, the revolution is still ongoing. The Michelin-starred restaurant's interior is casual and utilitarian—communal tables, black-and-white art, and a wooden bar—but its menu is full of style, originality, and heat. Braised beef cheeks in Massaman curry, coconut milk, and shallots, and chili jam clams are perennial favorites you won't find anywhere else in the city.
// 55 Cyril Magnin St. (Union Square), kinkhao.com
Dirty Habit at Hotel Zelos
The patio at Dirty Habit
(Courtesy of Dirty Habit)
The restaurant/bar at Hotel Zelos in SoMa cultivates a sense of exclusivity—a classic club with a dark, industrial, reclaimed-cool vibe. Their large outdoor patio, bright and airy during the day, is carefully illuminated at night with plenty of seating and a fireplace. On the menu, you'll find an extensive list of playful cocktails like jelly shots and small bites of California-classics like oysters, blistered shishitos, and caviar.
// 12 4th St (SoMa), dirtyhabitsf.com
Chambers Eat + Drink at Phoenix Hotel
The bar at Chambers Eat + Drink
(Courtesy of Chambers)
Chambers Eat + Drink is the swanky bar/restaurant companion to the Phoenix Hotel, known for its afternoon pool parties and a deep-seated rock-and-roll cred. The spacious bar, illuminated by the lounge's oversized "Be Amazing" sign, retro chandeliers, and a fireplace, is full of dark corners and an impressive record collection. In the evenings, entrees and small bites like pork belly and ricotta ravioli pair well with Chambers' creative cocktails. Weekend brunch comes complete with bottomless mimosas and classics like eggs benedict.
// 601 Eddy St, S (Tenderloin), chambers-sf.com
Big Alma at Villa Florence Hotel
Grilled peach and burrata bowl at Big Alma
(Courtesy of @bigalmabar)
At this ode to Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, the “great-grandmother of SF,” the menu is as spirited as the larger-than-life namesake. Headed up by a team with a Michelin pedigree, the pop-up restaurant and bar (it’s only slated to stick around through 2022) does simple California fare well—dishes like chicken with plum bbq sauce, crushed potatoes and hen of the woods mushrooms, and grilled sirloin with twice cooked potato, broccolini and bearnaise sauce. Whet your whistle with local beer and wine, and stripped down cocktails like the gold rush (bourbon, honey, and lemon).
// 225 Powell St. (Union Square), bigalma.com
Tonga Room at Fairmont San Francisco
Tonga Room at the Fairmont
(Courtesy of @tongaroom)
The kitschy Polynesian-style Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar at the Fairmont San Francisco is just as charming as she was when she first opened back in 1945. While the hotel itself drips with formality, the tiki-themed restaurant literally drips—with the rain from regular indoor storms that shake the walls and energize the floating band in the restaurant's central pool. Dishes like coconut curry seafood and ahi tuna poke tostadas are consistently good, and classic drinks like the 1944 Mai Tai and the 1934 Zombie are served in proper tiki fashion—inside a coconut. Even Anthony Bourdain couldn't get enough.
// 950 Mason St. (Nob Hill), tongaroom.com