We're all missing the usual holiday party hopping and Santa-themed cocktail bars, but we can still make merry with a bit of restaurant-quality cheer at home.
San Francisco and Oakland eateries are busy composing delightful holiday meals for special at-home celebrations. While we spend less time in the kitchen, we'll also be supporting our beloved local restaurants that desperately need our business this Christmas. Every order helps.
Do note that many restaurants have deadlines for pre-orders—so get on it! And happy feasting.
Get a Christmas feast with Italian flair from this Dogpatch spot beloved for its thin-crust pizzas and neighborhood vibes. Piccino's four-course holiday meal includes dinner rolls, a roasted winter chicory wedge salad topped with guanciale and a seven-minute egg; black truffle, potato, and celery root au gratin, and a side of roasted carrots and parsnips. For the main course, sink your teeth into duck two ways (roasted duck breast plus duck leg terrine), and end on a sweet note with a Valrhona chocolate torta with candied almonds. Caviar (starting at $100), specialty cheeses ($35), and wines are also available as add-ons. // The dinner kit for two ($175) must be ordered via ToastTab by Dec. 20 for pickup from 9am to 2pm on Christmas Eve; 1001 Minnesota St. (Dogpatch), piccino.com
Swedish restaurant Plaj has been closed for most of the pandemic but is cooking up a traditional Scandinavian julbord feast to close out the year. Your smorgasbord will begin with what the chefs call the S.O.S. (smör, ost och sill/butter, cheese, and three types of herring with accompaniments), followed by dill-cured and cold smoked salmon; pigs head terrine; paté of elk; chicken liver mousse; and shaved pork and lamb belly with pickled vegetables and Swedish holiday bread. Did you think that was all? Then, indulge in meaty mains such as mustard-baked Christmas ham, Swedish meatballs, sausages, and ginger-glazed spare ribs. The finale: Santa's rice pudding—keep an eye out to find the lucky almond hidden in the creamy layers. // The Julbord meal ($150) feeds two people. Order online for pickup from 4pm to 7pm on Dec. 13, 20, 21-23; 333 Fulton St. (Hayes Valley), plaj-restaurant.square.site.
Gather round the Rich Table at home with a four-course meal from this Hayes Valley favorite. The decadent dinner begins with shellfish bisque, followed by a classic Caesar salad, and duck a "l'mandarange." Finish on a high note with a slice of "candy cane" chocolate cake, plus bonus goodies including honeycomb brittle and white chocolate with bee pollen. Since it's the holidays, do it up with some of RT's trademark items a la carte—think sardine chips with horseradish crème fraîche and those divine dried porcini donuts with raclette. Cocktails, beer, and wine are also available for pairing. // Order ($75 per person) via ToastTab for pickup from 5pm to 7pm on Christmas Eve; 199 Gough St. (Hayes Valley), richtablesf.com.
We can always count on this Financial District dining room for an air of elegance. Perbacco's four-course holiday meal promises the flavor of Italy, beginning with small bites including slow-roasted veal with lemon, capers, albacore tuna sauce, and arugula; a salad of steamed carrots, potatoes, green peas, celery root, and Dungeness crab; marinated peppers in agrodolce, salsa verde, and house-cured anchovies; and a sformatino of cauliflower with walnut and black truffle sauce. There's a pasta course of agnolotti (with both a roasted meat and vegetarian option), and a hearty 32-ounce ribeye with truffled potatoes gratin, roasted brussels sprouts, and fagioli all'uccelletto (Tuscan baked beans). Save room for tiramisu di panettone. Cocktails and extra nibbles are also available for an extra $25 per person. // Order ($95 per person, two-person minimum) via Tock or by calling 415.955.0663 by 7pm on Dec. 19 for pickup or delivery from noon to 7pm on Dec. 24; 230 California St. (FiDi), perbaccosf.com
House of Prime Rib
Who wants a celebratory slab of holiday meat?! House of Prime Rib is getting into the takeout game just in time for the holidays, with a Christmas Eve dinner (they'll be closed Christmas Day) stacked with prime rib. Choose a half or whole order along with all the fixings—salad, bread, baked or mashed potatoes, creamed spinach or corn, and Yorkshire pudding. Orders must be placed by Monday morning, December 21st. // Half rib ($215/meat only or $325 with sides) and whole rib ($425 or $525) orders should be placed by emailing email@example.com. Other orders may be placed at the restaurant after 5pm Monday through Friday, or after 4pm Saturday and Sundays; pickup 2pm to 8pm Christmas Eve; 1906 Van Ness Ave. (Russian Hill), houseofprimerib.net.
AnglerCurate your own seafood feast from this Michelin-starred restaurant from chef Joshua Skenes. The a la carte menu arrives with cooking instructions to finish off such dishes as take-and-bake embered oysters, Maine lobster stuffed with chili and garlic butter, King crab legs, Washugyu NY steak, baked mac 'n cheese, Parker House rolls, and their signature charred radicchio "salad" with Radicchio X.O. sauce (this dish will make you love vegetables more than ever). // Order via Tock for pickup from noon to 8pm on Dec. 23; 132 The Embarcadero (Embarcadero), anglerrestaurants.com.
This Oakland favorite is offering two special options for your December celebrations—the tough part is choosing one. You could go in for the cioppino stew kit—think two quarts of stock plus a heap of mussels, Manilla clams, rock cod, Texas pink shrimp, Monterey squid, onions, celery, fennel, garlic, olive oil, butter, white wine, bay leaf, oregano, red pepper flakes, dashi, and tomatoes. Whew! It's a one-pot meal, though, so cooking instructions aren't too tricky, and you'll be able to sop up all that goodness with hunks of Semifreddi's sourdough garlic loaf. If seafood's not your thing, a poultry option comes with your choice of a half or whole roasted Liberty Farms duck with pieces made confit and sous vide-style, plus side dishes including blood orange butter lettuce salad and a creamy squash risotto with mushrooms; reheating instructions are included. Decisions, decisions! // Cioppino ($75/serves two, $146/serves four), half duck ($75/serves two) and whole duck ($135/feeds four) can be ordered by calling 510.788.6217 or via ToastTab for pickup or delivery throughout December. Note the cioppino dinners are only available Dec. 17-19 and 23-24;1915 San Pablo Ave. (Oakland), hopscotchoakland.com.
Go big with gumbo fresh from the pot at Southern-style Minnie Bell's. Chef Fernay McPherson's soulful meals are making their way to your Christmas table with a half-pan portions of steamed rice, greens, cornbread, and gumbo with chicken, smoked turkey, and shrimp, plus banana pudding for dessert. // The full gumbo meal ($210) feeds 10-12 people; dishes are also available a la carte. Order online by Dec. 20 for pickup on Dec. 24 (11am to 2pm); 5959 Shellmound St. in The Public Market (Emeryville), minnie-bells-soul-movement.myshopify.com
Mago's Christmas feast is inspired by chef/owner Mark Liberman's family tradition of making Colombian pasteles (tamales) over the holidays. For starters, dig into bunelos (cheese fritters), crispy plantains with mojo verde sauce, and an avocado and pomelo salad with tahini-chili dressing. Keep it going with a round of pasteles de arroz, packed with Llano de Seco pork, chicken, rice, olives, capers, and spices steamed in banana leaf. A blood orange custard with hints of vanilla finishes things off. // Meals ($50/person) can be ordered via Tock for pickup Dec. 22-24 from 4pm to 7pm; 3762 Piedmont Avenue (Oakland), magorestaurant.com.