Whether your parents are just in for the weekend and you want to show them the best of San Francsico, or they live just across the bay and you just want a nice place to catch up. These are the best restaurants in the city to dine out with your parents.
What do you get when you mix amazing culinary feats with an unpretentious demeanor? The perfect spot for family dinner. Maybeck’s homemade pastas will transport you to the Italian countryside but the fried chicken brings you right back down to earth. It’s a great meal in a cozy setting that everyone will be sure to remember.
If you want to impress your rents with the new, swanky San Francsico vibe, take them to Cala. With clean concrete walls and constellation-like light fixtures that change the room as the night wears on, it’s an interior design dream. Plus the cocktails and food are both creative and delicious.
While it’s fun to grab a table, if it’s just you and your parents, grab a spot at the bar. It’s always fun to chat with the bartender and you can peek in to the kitchen to see the prep. Pasta is the way to go here, whether that be oxtail risotto or classic spaghetti.
Sometimes, dinner with the parents can be a little bit self-serving. Like making a reservation at the place you’ve been dying to go to dinner for months. Don’t worry, they’ll still enjoy Liholiho’s swanky design and the creative dishes like togarashi popcorn or roasted octopus with castelvetrano olives. You’ll get to enjoy a delicious dinner at one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants and catch up with your parents—two birds, one stone.
For out-of-town parents, this is an S.F. classic. Its been a city institution since 1979. The cozy brick interior makes for an easy, intimate atmosphere for catching up. But you absolutely must order the wood-fired chicken for two—it’s the dish that made the restaurant famous.
Sometimes for family dinners, you just need some good old comfort food and no frills. Celia’s is just that. Order a pitcher of margaritas, which come in cactus cocktail glasses, and some enchiladas. Then eat way too many chips and salsa before the food has even come.
One good tip for deciding on place to take your parents to dinner: listen to their opinions. If they love a restaurant and keep telling you to go to it, chances are you should book a table for all of you. For yours truly, that is Heirloom Café. The food is always fresh, the atmosphere clean but relaxed and the service is always friendly. There’s nothing to get in the way of some good old fashioned bonding.
Sharing is encouraged at this Mexican tapas restaurant. It’s best for bigger groups so you can share the carintas, the empanadas, the quesadillas—well everything. Make sure to call ahead and put your name on the waitlist to stroll straight in for some margaritas.
Family style is the best way to go at Original Joe’s. Of course, if you’re family is not into sharing that’s fine too. But the big red vinyl booths are great for squeezing in
if you wanted to introduce your parents to a few friends and the cocktails are nicely priced too (inexpensive martinis and manhattans). Make sure to order some veal piccata and Joe’s eggplant parmasean.