5 Bay Area Restaurants to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving

Image of the turkey dinner at Harry’s Hofbrau with permission of John Dyke via Yelp

Maybe it’s your first Thanksgiving away from your family. Maybe you’re one of the few people that stayed behind in the city because your hand-selected non-nuclear family consisting of voluntarily insane friends also stayed in the city. Either way, while you might not crave the tradition of being grilled by your family members about your unconventional lifestyle — because let’s face it, if you ended up in San Francisco you’re the black sheep of your family — most of us crave the tradition of nostalgia. Nostalgia: that warm blanket of memories that can send your brain into a frenzy from a mere whiff of spices, the smell of the rain, the sound of a nearby church bell while your living room curtains flow in the breeze. These — along with a moment of temporary insanity — are the feelings that make you want to recreate a holiday roundtable of friends and feast.

Presidio Social Club

563 Ruger St
San Francisco, CA 94129
Price: $68 person

Image of the meatloaf dinner at Presidio Social Club with permission of Christian S. via Yelp

Every year the Presidio Social Club offers a prix fixe 3-course Holiday Menu on Thanksgiving. It replaces their daily menu and is served from Noon until 7pm. The menu usually features classic Thanksgiving favorites, with last year’s menu including the following:

  • Fall greens salad with walnuts // Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
  • Classic roast turkey with sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet yams with marshmallows, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, and homemade rolls.
  • Bourbon chocolate pecan pie with whipped creme fraiche // Classic pumpkin pie

PSC’s General Manager, Steve Grant, stated: “We have been doing Thanksgiving Dinner at the restaurant since we opened 11 years ago.  It was a natural extension of being a "club" (without the dues), the same way your family might go to Thanksgiving dinner at the Country Club. We try to do special events throughout the year that our regulars and newcomers bond with, such as a Summer BBQ series every Wednesday, Pig Roasts on Sundays during the early Summer, and Clambakes every Sunday night during mid-late Summer.”

If you’re not up to mingling this Thanksgiving, but still want dessert, Presidio Social Club also offers their Bourbon chocolate pecan, classic pumpkin and toasted coconut cream pies on pre-order starting at $40 each.

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Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes available with advance notice.

The Old Clam House

299 Bayshore Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94124
Price: $35/person

Exterior vintage neon sign photo of The Clam House with permission of Ed U. via Yelp

It’s San Francisco’s oldest restaurant standing in the same location since 1861. When the Old Clam House first opened, it was on the shoreline and surrounded by marshland. While it might seem out of place now, the area was thriving with fisherman harvesting oysters and bringing in their daily catches of Dungeness crab.

If you want to experience a true San Franciscan Thanksgiving, then enjoy a side of clam chowder or cioppino — that lovely dish of Dungeness crab, scallops and mussels in a light tomato broth — with your traditional turkey dinner at this legendary spot on Bayshore Blvd. The Thanksgiving menu also serves up roasted turkey with gravy, stuffing, cranberry relish, potatoes, veggies and pumpkin pie. Their daily menu will also be available, where you can choose from Crab Alfredo, Sand Dabs, Roasted Chicken, and hot Dungeness Crab in their secret garlic butter sauce. Hopefully, you can nab one of their little private dining tables behind the curtains.

The Cavalier

360 Jessie St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Price: $80/person

Image of roasted chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots courtesy of The Cavalier

This London inspired brasserie has offered a British inspired prix fixe Thanksgiving Day menu for lunch and dinner since they opened their doors in 2013. The fox hunting room with the red walls, banquette and few tables are the ideal surroundings to take your time and pretend you’re a posh Brit in a 19th century traditional gentlemen’s club. Billiards and cigars, anyone?

Before that, you may want to consider dining on Chef Jennifer Puccio’s lamb loin, grass-fed ribeye, salmon, sticky toffee pudding and pumpkin steamed pudding. Or, you can go the traditional route and have a heritage turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and stuffing. All with a California aesthetic. Just be warned, it’s all served family style.

Shan Dong Restaurant

328 10th St Ste 101, 
Oakland, CA 94607
Price: $15/person

Photo of beef chow mein noodles at Shan Dong Restaurant with permission of Michael N. via Yelp

Operating in this location since the 1990s, this Oakland Chinatown institution will give you all the holiday feels without breaking the bank. Shandong is a coastal region in China and its food is one of China’s eight classic cuisines, with noodles and lightly seasoned dumplings being staples. Noodles with sesame paste, made of ground white sesame seeds, is one of Shan Dong Restaurant’s most popular dishes.

Although your traditional American Thanksgiving fixings won’t be present, there is nothing more comforting than sitting around a table with friends and family sharing various dishes like dry fried ribs, blistered green beans and, of course, an extra $1 for Shan Dong's famous hand-pulled noodles. Not everyone celebrates the holidays in the way the media portrays and you don't have to — this is especially true on Christmas. Anticipate a full restaurant and possibly a long wait; they do not accept reservations. But, there’s always the option of takeout and enjoying in the comfort of your own home.

Harry's HofBrau

14900 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA 94578
Price: $20/person

Image of the turkey dinner at Harry’s Hofbrau with permission of John Dyke via Yelp

Harry's HofBrau has been serving up comfort food classics since it opened in 1954. Technically, you can get a Thanksgiving-esque dinner at one of Harry’s three locations year round. Seriously, year round. Harry’s Hofbrau is opened seven days a week from 11:00AM - 11:00PM with Christmas Day being “the only day [they] close.” Seven days of glistening, monstrous meat roasts freshly carved right in front of your very eyes. Harry’s focus has always been on the whole roasted turkey, so much so that they serve over 1,000,000 pounds of turkey each year.

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If you have nowhere to go (or have had enough of the family drama and need a break), come to Harry’s. You can watch the game, have a whole roasted turkey dinner and sip on a pint of beer from one of their 28 taps of surprisingly decent craft beers. All of Harry’s locations are open from 12PM-8PM on Thanksgiving, “no reservations are needed, no matter how large your group is.” You can mow down a little turkey (light and dark meat) or ham with your gravy, a Caesar salad, mixed vegetables, a scoop of stuffing, a scoop of mashed potatoes, a big dinner roll, cranberry sauce and a slice of pumpkin pie.

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