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Photograph: Aubrie Pick Waterbar

Valentine's Day dinners in San Francisco for a romantic night out

Celebrate the day with your sweetheart or your best friend at these fancy Valentine's Day dinners in San Francisco

By Joel Riddell

Love is in the air. Show your adoration this February 14th with a Valentine's Day dinner at one of the best restaurants in San FranciscoWhether you're in search of an over-the-top Michelin-starred restaurant or a neighborhood favorite with a fantastic wine list, we have the inside story on where to have Valentine's Day dinner in San Francisco! (And don't forget the chocolates and flowers.)

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic restaurants in San Francisco

Valentine's Day dinners in San Francisco

1. Gary Danko

Restaurants Californian Fisherman's Wharf

Eating at Gary Danko is like dinner and a night at the theater rolled into one. The superstar chef, winner of numerous culinary awards including a Michelin star, is a fanatic about details—from the perfectly spaced white-clothed tables, arrangements of fresh flowers, and amazingly well-informed and attentive staff, to the flawless presentation of signature dishes such as his trademark glazed oysters with lettuce cream, salsify and osetra caviar.

The special: For Valentine's Day, the upscale restaurants is offering a special menu on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday with extended hours to accommodate latenight lovers. The prix fixe menu comes in three-, four- and five-course versions with optional wine pairings. 

Price: $89, $109 or $128 per person

Alfred's Steakhouse
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/ Jeremy Brooks

2. Alfred's Steakhouse

Restaurants Steakhouse Downtown

One of the city's oldest restaurants, Alfred's feels like a bit of San Francisco gone by with old school leather booths, crystal chandeliers, and hefty martinis served from huge shakers, but it still ranks among the city's best steakhouses. 

The special: The elegant three-course menu begins with a roasted beet salad with romaine hearts, Asian pear and blue cheese followed by a porterhouse to share. A chocolate lava cake with blood orange and Chantilly cream is for dessert. An a la carte menu is also available and includes expertly curated steak house favorites like shrimp cocktails, oysters Rockefeller and onion rings. 

The price: $65 per person

Seafood paella at Canela
Photograph: Yelp/Ed U

3. Canela Bistro & Wine Bar

Restaurants Spanish Duboce Triangle

Canela showcases chef Mat Schuster’s love of Spanish cuisine with olive oil flights, platters of jamon Iberico and lots of manchego cheese. 

The special: Begin your Valentine's Day meal with pintxo of fried calamari and padron pepper, followed by canalones of bacalao (salt cod) and shrimp and steak volovan wrapped in puff pastry with serrano ham and farmer’s cheese. For desserrt, a raspberry soufflé with warm chocolate sauce and cinnamon chocolate truffles will leave you feeling happy and full. 

The price: $65 per person

Photograph: Yelp/Kenny P.

4. Absinthe

Restaurants French Hayes Valley

The spirit of bohemian France is reborn in San Francisco at this boisterous brasserie.

The special: On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will be offering a special prix fixe menu in addition to their standard fare. The holiday menu features Maine lobster ravioli with Nantua sauce, English peas and wild mushrooms, braised beef short ribs with truffled potato, puree scallops with caviar and an organic dark chocolate tart for two with coconut lime mouse, peanut praline, and salted caramel. 

The price: $70 per person

Photograph: Erin Kunkel

5. Tacolicious

Restaurants Mission

Here, traditional Mexican street food—tacos, enchiladas, sopes, tostadas—is interpreted with local, seasonal and supremely fresh ingredients.

The special: Tacolicious on Valencia Street is steering clear of traditional Mexican fare on V-Day in exchange for a Crab Bender dinner with Josey Baker bread, Mexican-style clam chowder, winter chopped salad, roasted Dungeness crab, Horchata pot de crème and beer from HenHouse Brewing. The dinner is from 6:30–9:30pm. 

The price: $120 per person

Photograph: Courtesy Hakkasan

6. Hakkasan

Restaurants Chinese Tenderloin

A stark contrast to the more traditional Chinese restaurants in the city, Hakkasan takes dim sum to the fine dining realm. Dark, sexy and alluring, the San Francisco branch is located smack dab in the middle of Downtown. 

The special: Celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day at Hakkasan. Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon's holiday menu highlights traditional ingredients believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year: From Szechuan oysters with lotus root and crispy rice in mantau to baked Chilean sea bass with kumquat glaze and wok-fried lobster in superior stock with edamame and caviar. To finish, guests are invited to indulge in the Golden Fortune dessert with ginger caramel, roasted macadamia nuts, and lemongrass.

The price: $118 per person

Finn Town
Photograph: Yelp/Finn Town

7. Finn Town Tavern

Restaurants American The Castro

The lighthearted, Castro hot spot is serving classic cult films alongside comfort food classics. 

The special: Chef Steve Dustin will serve a surf-and-turf three-course prix fixe menu including beef tartare with American sturgeon caviar, diver scallops with butter poached lobster and The Devil’s Heart dessert, made with Devil’s Food cake, dark chocolate mousse and raspberries.

The price: $65 per person

Photograph: Aubrie Pick

8. Waterbar

Restaurants Seafood South Beach

Waterbar takes full advantage of its Embarcadero waterfront location with panoramic views of the Bay from both inside and the outdoor patio. 

The special: The V-Day menu is seafood-focused including dishes like Ahi tuna sashimi, seared scallops with foie gras and tortellini in wild mushroom bodo. For land-ridden options, choose from grilled bone-in dry aged steaks and more.


Top of the Mark
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Travis Wise

9. Top of the Mark

Bars Hotel bars Nob Hill

Originally opened in 1939, the Top of the Mark is a stately, storied bar.

The special: Guests will be presented with a five-course menu featuring dishes like seared diver scallops with warm corn poblano succotash, Creekstone Farms beef filet and grilled spiny lobster and white chocolate and passionfruit mousse. Enjoy entertainment by songstress Clairdee from 6:30–11pm. And on't forget to pack an overnight bag! All guests will be entered to win a one-night stay in the Presidential Suite that night. 

The price: $495 per couple

10. One Market Restaurant

Restaurants Californian SoMa

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, One Market restaurant is a go-to spot for FiDi power-lunches and fancy evenings on the town. 

The special: Chef Mark Dommen pulls out all the stops with a prix fixe menu that includes oysters on the half shell, potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms and pecorino romano, grilled all-natural New York steak, a chocolate glazed strawberry mousse cake and so much more.

The price: $99 per person

Tuna bhel at ROOH
Photograph: Virginia Miller

11. ROOH

Restaurants Indian South Beach

Spice things up with the warm soul-inspiring cuisine of Rooh.

The special: Chef Sujan Sarka is tapping into the six rasas of taste outlined by Ayurvedic wisdom to bring balance to the body, mind and spirit this Valentine's Day. The four-course menu brings together sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent flavors in dishes like Amul cheese fondue and tandoori lobster with amaranth Pongal and lemon foam. 

The price: $90 per person

Cocktails at Americano
Photograph: Yelp/Sean M.

12. Americano

Restaurants Italian SoMa

For sheer volume, this indoor outdoor bar abutting the Embarcadero is your best bet for meeting young, post-work locals.

The special: The Valentine' Day menu will include highlights like seared ahi tuna with chilled buckwheat noodles and duck breast with chorizo.

The price: $70 per person


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