Christmas Dinner in San Francisco 2023

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: October 11, 2023

You will find plenty of options for Christmas dinner in San Francisco. My recommendations include everything from traditional meals to those serving off their regular menu.

Since this holiday is always extra busy, I recommend booking your table early.

In addition to my recommendations, you will also find some other fun things to do with your entire family all day long.

Christmas dinner in San Francisco

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Christmas Brunch & Lunch Ideas 

Here are some of the top places open on Christmas Day for brunch and lunch. I've noted those that are offering special Christmas Day meals. Others on this list will serve off their normal menu. Prices are before taxes, tip, and beverages.

Astra: Fine dining in the South of Market District in the St. Regis, Christmas Brunch

Benihana: Japantown, Japanese

Bistro Boudin: American dishes, great seafood and sourdough bread, views of the SF Bay, in Fisherman's Wharf

Cesario's: Italian spot a couple of blocks from Union Square

Fior D'Italia: Italian in North Beach

Fogo de Chao: Brazilian in the South of Market District

Franciscan Crab Restaurant: Seafood, along the waterfront in Fisherman's Wharf

Harborview Restaurant and Bar: Chinese, Financial District/Embarcadero

Laurel Court in the Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill: Californian, enjoy a buffet for $135 for adults, $82 for kids under 12

Mastro's: Downtown/Union Square Steakhouse

Morton's Steakhouse: In the heart of Union Square

STK: Downtown near the Embarcadero, Steakhouse

The Garden Court in the Fairmont in Nob Hill: Christmas Day Brunch, $169 for adults, $95 for kids under 12

Villon: Downtown in Union Square, Californian

Ula Restaurant & Tapas Bar: Downtown, four course menu for $105 per person

Zingari Ristorante: Italian/Downtown, four course prix fixe menu for $105 per person

Christmas Dinner in San Francisco

There are dozens of restaurants open for Christmas Dinner in San Francisco. These are a few of my top picks this holiday season. 

Acquolina: Italian spot in North Beach

Bistro Boudin: American restaurant with seafood, tasty sourdough bread, in Fisherman's Wharf

Castro Indian Restaurant & Bar: In the Castro, Indian

Cesario's: Italian restaurant in Union Square

Fior D'Italia: Italian restaurant in North Beach

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse: Steakhouse in the South of Market District

Franciscan Crab Restaurant: Fisherman's Wharf, seafood

Harborview: Higher end Chinese spot along the Embarcadero

Historic John's Grill: Union Square, American cuisine including steaks and seafood

HK Lounge Bistro: South of Market, Chinese

Laurel Court in the Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill: Christmas Buffet, $169 for adults & $95 for those under 12 (+tax & tip)

McCormick & Kuleto's: Seafood in Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf

Morton's: Steakhouse near Union Square

STK: Downtown Steakhouse near the Embarcadero

Villon: Californian, downtown, seatings from 4 pm to 9 pm, $145 for adults, $65 for kids 12 and under, optional wine pairing for an additional $60 per person

Ula Restaurant & Tapas Bar: Downtown, four course menu for $105 per person, $5 reservation fee applies

Zingari Ristorante: Union Square, 4-course meal for $105 per person

Make sure you book a table as soon as possible, as restaurants fill up quickly. The easiest way to book your table is through 

Hornblower Christmas Dinner Cruise

You can also head off on the San Francisco Bay with Hornblower Cruises for a special Christmas Day adventure. This 2.5-hour cruise includes a buffet dinner and wonderful views around the bay. It's the perfect way to spend some time with your loved ones.

The cruise leaves Pier 3 (near the Ferry Building) at 4 pm and returns around 6:30 pm. Boarding begins at 3:30 pm. 

Cocktails, wine, and beer are for sale on board. 

>> Learn more about this holiday cruise on their website

Christmas Day Tours

Though some attractions may be closed on Christmas Day, you can still do plenty of exploring by taking a tour. Pick from several different San Francisco adventures offered that day.

Just imagine, your holiday will be especially memorable if you cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a cruise out on the beautiful bay waters, or soar over the city in a helicopter.

  • Golden Gate Bridge Biking Tour: Starts at 10am, check ticket availability
  • Golden Gate Bay Cruise: 60-minute cruise around the bay, leaves several times on Christmas Day from Fisherman's Wharf, check ticket availability
  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: This is a great way to explore San Francisco on Christmas Day, find tickets

More Great Christmas Day Activities

Attractions Open on Christmas Day

Golden Gate Bridge

Though December 25 is a federal holiday, many attractions are still open on Christmas Day, so do not hesitate to get out and see the sights! You can take a stroll in the lovely SF Botanical Gardens or the Japanese Tea Garden. You can also tour the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Pier 39 or the SF Zoo

Other options include a chance to wander around the open attractions like crooked Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, or the . Make sure to click the link below to confirm any special holiday schedules for an attraction you are interested in before making plans.

>> See the full list of attractions that are open or closed for Christmas

Christmas in San Francisco

Christmas lights in SF

Christmas is a lovely time to be in San Francisco, as nothing closes due to snow; rather, it is usually sunny but crisp out, and perfect for a stroll around town.

Take in the holiday decorations as you explore the Mission district's murals or the shops at Pier 39. Up until Christmas Eve, you could also catch a holiday show like The Nutcracker ballet, A Christmas Carol, or Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna.

Click below for many more ideas on where to eat and what tours to take.

>> More ideas for how to spend Christmas in San Francisco

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

Now that you've seen my recommendations for Christmas dinner in San Francisco, check out another set of restaurants and special menus that will be offered the day before. 

Many folks are busy doing Christmas shopping up until December 24, so it's a nice treat to take a break and go out for a Christmas Eve dinner. Many stores and restaurants will still be open until the last minute, so you have a great variety to choose from.

>> More ideas for Christmas Eve Dinner

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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