Holiday Heartburn: Thanksgiving Restaurants In San Francisco

Welcome to the first installment of our holiday-season series, Holiday Heartburn, where we look at restaurant alternatives to home holiday meals from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Today we’re doing the first of what will probably be a few Thanksgiving installments.

It’s a stressful, confusing time of year, as much as it is joyous and reflective and all that other nonsense. Between now and January 1, you’re going to have to remember more little details, plan or attend more events, and do more selfless acts than you probably did all year at work. A huge part of the stress is buying, cooking, and hosting that enormous thanksgiving dinner.

But what if you didn’t have to do that? We know money’s tight, but it may be worth it to you to spend a little more and have that whole stupid mess taken care of by dining out on Turkey Day. If simple tradition is what’s keeping you at home and chained to the stove, we are here to assert that you’re not going to offend any pilgrims if you let somebody else bring you your turkey and stuffing.

Many restaurants around town will be open, and a good chunk of those have special holiday menus. We’ve been doing our best to collect some highlights. Here’s what we’ve got so far, in alphabetical order:

Balboa Cafe has a special Thanksgiving menu complete with Dungeness crab cakes, calamari and filet mingon. Oh, and they have turkey, too.

Cafe Majestic features a full, five-course prix-fixe menu for $65, featuring lots of fall favorites such as pumpkin soup, but strangely, no turkey. (Sigh) Whole roasted poussin with braised swiss chard, cippolini onions, bacon lardoons and whole grain mustard sauce will have to do the trick.

Cote Sud is doing a four-course prix-fixe for $50. Francophiles can get a frog legs starter before their classic turkey and cranberry sauce.

• If you want to get sort of hokey but also, admittedly, really fun, you can take a Thanksgiving bay cruise with Hornblower Cruises and Events. They’re offering buffet and seated dinners for $105 for adults, $63 for children. Check out the menu and book a reservation here.

• The press rep for Level III said they are doing a special, $46 prix-fixe, in addition to their regular menu, but so far it is not up on their site. Watch that space!

Mecca is doing a $45 four-course menu. The roasted beet salad looks so good they listed it twice!

XYZ isn’t doing a prix-fixe, but they do have a special menu, which includes a fantastic-looking sage and olive oil roast turkey.

• And if you want to do something to feed the soul as well as the gut, you can volunteer overnight Wednesday at Mission Beach Cafe to assemble or deliver about 1,500 bag lunches to those living in the city’s homeless shelters. It sounds like fun, and will make that roast turkey or house-made Dungeness crab cake all the tastier come Thursday.

[Photo: Via katmere/flickr]

Holiday Heartburn: Thanksgiving Restaurants In San Francisco