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October 15th, 2019

Fun Dining Experiences in San Francisco

Food & Drink

San Francisco continues to push the boundaries of traditional dining. The city by the bay had eight of the highest-ranked Michelin restaurants in 2019 – the most of any metropolitan area in the United States. Locally-sourced, foraged and fresh ingredients make for daring plates with bold flavor. If that’s not enough, SF’s most forward-thinking restaurants are redefining the format of eating out. Looking for a lively dining experience that you’ll remember? Here's what’s cooking.

Liholiho Yacht Club

You don’t need to be a member to enjoy this land-locked yacht club bordering Nob Hill. The inventive dishes by Ravi Kapur blends the chef’s heritage – an indigenous Hawaiian Chinese mother and Indian father – with fresh California fare. The restaurant’s centerpiece is an open kitchen, which encourages a deeper connection between guests and the food. Make sure to leave room for dessert; the Baked Hawaii (a tropical take on the Baked Alaska) is the perfect end to the evening, made with caramelized pineapple ice cream and vanilla chiffon. 871 Sutter St., San Francisco

Lazy Bear

This unstuffy restaurant in the Mission challenges the conventions of modern dining. The experience goes like this: drinks and snacks before dinner upstairs, followed by 15+ courses which guests enjoy in unison at two large tables. The dinner party’s unusual format immerses guests in the experience. Forget deciding over a menu of what to choose – you simply buy a ticket to dinner and enjoy the night. The restaurant hosts two seatings nightly, and tickets go on sale each month, so plan accordingly. 3416 19th St., San Francisco

Urban Putt

Looking for a bit of whimsy? This restaurant is part avante-garde golf, part new American cuisine. Based on the owners’ DIY putt-putt house parties in the ‘90s, the concept is a simple mix of food and fun. Enjoy selections upstairs from Chef Nathan Ponichter, then head down for cocktails and putter around an interior properly described as “part Jules Vern, part Rube Goldberg.” Kids are welcome to this restaurant, but after 8pm it’s a 21+ crowd only. As with most fun things, it can get a little busy, causing some traffic jams along the way. We recommend imbibing in a drink during the experience. 1096 S. Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

Foreign Cinema

The dinner-and-a-movie combination is foolproof, and Foreign Cinema has perfected this recipe for diversion. The locally-sourced cuisine has topped SF restaurant lists for nearly two decades, serving up fresh raw fare and meals with amazing attention to detail. The backdrop of a film in the restaurant's adjoining courtyard seamlessly moves the evening along. After your meal, head to Lazlo Bar for a DJ set and cocktails to continue the night. 2534 Mission St., San Francisco

Stanford Court in Nob Hill

Enjoy an after-dinner cocktail at the bar and lounge at Stanford Court Hotel. Our tech-savvy, sophisticated hotel is conveniently located in Nob Hill near Union Square, right in front of the iconic Cable Car line on California Street. Learn more at


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