The Bigger, the Better: Best Restaurants for Groups in San Francisco

Whatever side of the equation you happen to be on, if a large group comes into a restaurant that's not prepared to accommodate them, it's a nightmare for everyone.

For other diners expecting a quiet, intimate setting, there's nothing more upsetting than the entrance of a big crowd. And if the restaurant itself is not set up for large groups, it only makes matters worse. Chairs and tables have to be dragged together, multiple food orders can easily be mishandled or forgotten altogether, and what was once a restaurant is now a three-ring circus.

And for the large group, it might be the most disappointing. If you're traveling with many people, you already have the stress and complexity of trying to juggle multiple expectations and plans. If a group that is already stressed-out gets mean stares from other diners, not to mention getting even hungrier from incompetent service, well, a trip can really start to unravel.

That's why we've put together a list of restaurants that specialize in large groups. If your group is interested in the cutting edge of California cuisine, Nopa is an excellent choice. If it's a fog-less San Francisco day or night and your group wants to eat outside, the Foreign Cinema has a wonderful outside dining area. 

Whatever your preference, pick one of the restaurants on our list and keep your group - and everyone else at the restaurant - happy.

Absinthe recalls the days of Dorothy Parker and her circle of witty, sardonic critics. Along with dicing celebrities, they took great pleasure in good food and drink. Plenty of both can be found here, and weekend brunch is especially delightful....  Read More

DOSA on Valencia

Dosa provides some of the finest authentic Indian Cuisine in San Francisco. The restaurant derives its name from its specialty dish, the dosa, which is similar to a crepe, it is made from rice & lentils (no wheat) and served with a variety...  Read More

If romance is the reason you've come to The City by the Bay, Boulevard is the picturesque place to dine. Located in an historic waterfront building, this eatery's intimate Belle Epoque aesthetic and sumptuous food hit all the right notes. The...  Read More

While Foreign Cinema's misleading moniker may seem a better fit for a movie theater than an oyster bar, this restaurant's real attraction is their Mediterranean-inspired menu and outstanding oysters. They do, in fact, offer film showings in the...  Read More

Known for its innovative yet traditional Chinese dishes, R&G Lounge is a relative newcomer to the Chinatown restaurant scene, having opened its doors in 1985. While nearly thirty years of experience might seem a long time, in Chinatown, where...  Read More

If you want to experience the cutting edge of California cuisine with your steak, Lolinda is the best place to capture that avant-garde spirit. Situated in the red-hot Mission district, where new and inventive restaurants seem to pop open...  Read More

Infusion Lounge
Photo courtesy of Infusion Lounge

The six thousand square feet Asian-inspired lounge (executed by Hong Kong's hottest designer, Kinney Chan) encompasses a private North Lounge, semiprivate VIP Room, fully equipped dance floor (with world-class DJs Tues-Sat), and an impressive...  Read More

Noe Valley

Marked only by the image of a firefly, this neighborhood restaurant features a fabric-draped ceiling and impeccable seasonal cuisine. Local, organic ingredients play a major role in the menu, especially in favorites like shrimp and scallop...  Read More

With all the fuss about the French and the Italians and their romantic ways, we shouldn't forget that the Greeks have been in the business of pairing food and love since ancient times. One of the most enchanting dinner destinations in the city,...  Read More

Nopa defies categorization as either old or new because it has some of both. Although it's only been around since 2006, chef Laurence Jossel worked at several traditional and popular restaurants before Nopa and brings professionalism and...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom

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