Best SF Birthday Restaurants & Ideas 2018

We made the plans, now you bring the balloons

Even if you're not celebrating this month, chances are you know someone who is. Here's where to go in San Francisco for dinner, the place to source dessert and a fresh list of gift ideas.

Where to Eat

For a Dressed-Up Affair: Flour + Water

The best-kept secret at this Mission District temple dedicated to all things pasta? The Dough Room, where you can order from an exclusive tasting menu right in the middle of the kitchen. 

The Hard-to-Get-Into It Restaurant:

Son's Addition

It's not hard to see why Nick and Anna Cobarruvias's restaurant has been drawing the crowds ever since it opened. There's something for everyone on the menu, like bacon-kimchi deviled eggs, roast bone marrow with tomatillo and larger plates like braised lamb shanks.

For a Milestone Birthday: Del Popolo

The secret to making a charred pizza from Del Popolo taste even better is to enjoy it in the restaurant's private outdoor garden—a true rarity in the heart of San Francisco.

A Cocktail Spot for a Small Group: True Laurel

The Lazy Bear team's next-door cocktail spot is finally open, with complex cocktails to keep your liver tickled, paired with satisfying bar food like buttermilk fried chicken cutlets.

Something More Casual:


There's no need to be conservative when ordering from the menu at Barnzu (which translates to "eating while drinking"), especially when kimchi pasta and Korean fried chicken all fall under 20 dollars.

Where to Get the Cake

Jane the Bakery

Don't let its old-fashion, homey appearance fool you: The layer cakes at Jane the Bakery, whether it's the classic chocolate frosted in espresso buttercream or the perfectly spiced carrot cake, are guaranteed to become repeat requests for next year's party.

What to Gift

Products we have our eyes on that will help your friend (or yourself) live more deliciously.

Butter Pat Cast-Iron Pan

This chef-approved take on the kitchen staple is deceptively light, questionably thin around the edges and looks more like a bronzed antique than something capable of everything cast-iron pans are known and loved for. It even has a 100-year warranty, in case you have any doubts.

Steeped Coffee Tea Bags

This one is for those who know the best gift is that of a seamless morning routine. This newly launched subscription service supplies packets that look like Earl Grey but taste like a coffee shop-level morning brew.

To'ak Chocolate

Nothing says "I appreciate your existence" like the most expensive chocolate in the world. The company treats chocolate making the same way winemakers or distillers approach their spirits, and no two batches are the same.