Updated August 23, 2021
SF City Hall was closed throughout most of the pandemic, reopening around the same time as almost everything else at the beginning of the summer. Right away, couples eagerly snagged precious civil ceremony and marriage license appointments. You’re likely among those lucky couples and are in the middle of planning out the day. Part of this planning includes where to have a reception after your city hall wedding.
As of August 12, 2021, San Francisco restaurants are now required to verify proof of vaccination for all guests.
To expedite this process, California has a Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Record. On that page, fill out a form and you’ll receive your own QR code and digital copy of your vaccination record.
How These Restaurants Made the List
All restaurants on our list meet the following requirements:
- Open on weekdays
- Open during the day, since civil ceremonies begin at 8:15am
- Provide private or semi-private dining spaces
- Ideally, natural light for the best photos
- Different cuisine and vibe from other options on the list
These restaurants are different from each other, from the vibe to the cuisine itself. Everyone has a different style when it comes to their ideal dining experience, so you will find at least one on this list that feels perfect to you.
Make sure to scroll to the end for our honorable mentions! These are all excellent choices but have a few limitations, mainly in regard to opening hours and days of the week.
Now, on to the list!
Top Five Restaurants for your San Francisco City Hall Wedding Reception
These are not sorted in any particular order! We highly recommend each one.
E&O Kitchen and Bar
Cuisine: California Asian
Decor: Modern, Trendy
E&O Kitchen and Bar provides more dining options than any other restaurant on our list. They get a fair amount of small groups after SF City Hall weddings, mostly before the pandemic, of course. However, they have had a few recently now that city hall is open again!
The most popular dining rooms are the E&O Room and the Loge. They typically host groups of 20 to 25 people, so those two rooms are ideal choices. The third most common choice is the Pearl Room which is perfect for small groups of 12 to 14 guests.
E&O’s full list of wedding dining options is located on their website, which we will now go through one by one in order of group size.
E&O – Private Dining Option One: Pearl Room
Seats 10 – 14 guests
Located on the main floor, the Pearl Room is the newest and most intimate addition to the private dining options that E&O offers. The Pearl Room is separated from the rest of the restaurant by a carved antique wooden door. Once seated, you’ll enjoy the gorgeous walnut table surrounded by a Shantung Scroll wall covering. There is also a 65 inch flat screen TV/Monitor that’s perfect for a slideshow of the happy newlyweds.
E&O – Private Dining Option Two: Loge
Seats 25 guests
The Loge is more open than The Pearl Room, as it’s located on the Mezzanine Level overlooking the main dining room. It also seats twice as many as The Pearl Room, allowing more flexibility in your guest list. The light and lively space, coupled with fantastic cuisine, create a perfect choice for your SF City Hall wedding reception.
E&O – Private Dining Option Three: E&O “Space”
Seats 40 guests, or 60 standing
This slightly larger room is a nice balance in E&O’s private dining options. Located with a unique view overlooking bustling Sutter Street, the E&O Room is a semi-private area on the mezzanine level. In this separate space, guests will enjoy each other’s company while partaking in the fun vibe of the rest of the restaurant.
E&O – Private Dining Option Four: Cinnabar Room
Seats 60 guests, or 75 standing
The Cinnabar Room is a completely private room located downstairs at E&O. Leather chairs, wood-beamed ceiling, and red walls create a comfy, elegant space ideal for wedding receptions. However, since this space accommodates up to 75 guests, it’s not a typical choice for smaller SF City Hall receptions.
Private Dining Options Five, Six, and Seven
The majority of San Francisco City Hall wedding receptions are small and intimate. However, there are a select few couples who opt for private city hall weddings that accommodate up to 100 guests. Then there are others who have a small ceremony but join their larger guest list for a fun-filled reception. If you fall into one of these groups, you’ll need one of E&O’s larger spaces! These include the North Mezzanine, Full Mezzanine, or full buyout of the entire restaurant. These are fantastic spaces that take full advantage of everything E&O has to offer, including their exquisite modern Asian fusion cuisine.
Cuisine: Traditional Italian
Palio prides itself on its changing seasonal menu and authentic Italian cuisine. They also ensure that their 30+ years legacy thrives, as they recently remodeled the entire restaurant and redesigned their website. Palio has three beautiful spaces available for wedding receptions. The Bakery tends to be the favored choice, as it’s ideal for smaller group sizes.
Palio – Private Dining Option One: Bakery
Seats 20 guests
If you’re looking for a small space that is fully private, the Bakery room is a great choice. This space is located at the back of the restaurant and is fully private. It is also adjacent to a private outdoor patio. The Bakery seats up to 20 seated guests at one long table, so it is perfect for small civil ceremonies with a limited number of guests.
Palio – Private Dining Option Two: San Pietro Room
Seats up to 50 guests
Like the Bakery, the San Pietro Room is fully private and located at the back of the restaurant. It’s generally the most popular private dining option for lunch and dinner at Palio, although not necessary for city hall receptions.
The recent renovation retained the floor to ceiling windows that fill this room with natural light. Adjacent to this space is a private outdoor patio that makes for a wonderful addition to your gathering. This room is quite versatile, with multiple dining and seating options, making it perfect for larger San Francisco City Hall wedding receptions.
Palio – Private Dining Option Three: Campo del Palio
Can be reserved for up to 60 to 80 guests
Campo del Palio is the main dining room of the restaurant and can be reserved for up to 60-80 seated guests. Palio has re-imagined this space to make it as flexible as possible for different sizes of groups. It’s worth checking out if your San Francisco City Hall reception ends up on the bigger side.
Cuisine: American, comfort food
Vibe: Upscale British pub
Fine dining and traditional American comfort food merge at Tyler Florence’s flagship restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu changes often so be sure to check their website for their latest offerings. You’ll find dishes ranging from unique salads to fried chicken and even lobster at this fun yet classy restaurant.
Wayfare offers three private dining areas that offer a variety of options for all types and sizes of groups:
Wayfare Tavern – Private Dining Option One: The Billiards Room
Seats 10 to 16 guests
Let’s start with the first private dining room that you’ll discover in Wayfare Tavern: The Billiards Room. Located on the second floor, The Billiards Room is the smallest of the three rooms as it only seats 10 to 16 guests at its pool table that converts into a gorgeous wood top dining table. This convenient size makes it perfect for a small private lunch or dinner after your city hall wedding!
Wayfare Tavern – Private Dining Option Two: The Sequoia
Seats up to 50 guests
The Sequoia is the room that Wayfare designed to impress every guest. Located on the fourth floor, Wayfare made sure that this room took advantage of its location and history in every way possible. An old vault was previously located on this level, so they transformed it into a private dining space within the room itself. The full bar is also quite impressive and perfect for a reception, and the versatile seating accommodates up to 50 guests. The highlight of this room is its incredible skylight view of the Transamerica Pyramid.
Wayfare Tavern – Private Dining Option Three: The Bartlett Room
Located on the third floor, The Bartlett Room provides the most space and versatility of the three rooms. Tables can be placed either end to end for a king’s table or arranged throughout the room to seat up to 60 guests. There are other desirable features including a sound system, large TV, and use of their brand new bar.
Wherever you choose to dine at Wayfare Tavern, you won’t be disappointed. For a full look at all the options available, visit the private dining page of their website.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Cuisine: Peruvian, Seafood-focused
Vibe: Vibrant, Colorful, Minimalist
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is a popular option for SF City Hall wedding receptions. And it’s no wonder – groups are delighted by every aspect of this restaurant, from the history to the ambiance to the food itself. Chef Gaston uses authentic Peruvian cuisine to craft unique, colorful, fresh dishes that aim to please all of your senses.
La Mar is located in the historic Pier 1 ½ on the waterfront, with views of the San Francisco Bay. It’s an expansive building with multiple dining options for every group size. The Patio is the most popular choice, as it’s a heated area with removable tented sides. They love to host luncheons after city hall weddings, preferably with a start time of 11:30am or 1:30pm. Keep those times in mind when scheduling your civil ceremony. Luncheons start at $44 per person with flexible meal options, including passed appetizers.
Bonus – La Mar is partially outdoors, so there is plenty of ventilation in most of the dining spaces. San Francisco restaurants are all practicing COVID safety, and La Mar’s existing space makes gatherings even safer. >View all La Mar’s group dining options.
La Mar – Dining Option One: Reserve single large table in the main dining room or patio
Group size: Flexible
When reserving, work with the staff to arrange the space in a way that fits your needs best. La Mar designs this type of reservation with a preset lunch menu that starts at $49 per guest, which is served family-style to the table.
La Mar’s patio is fully customizable and can host parties of any size, up to 90 seated or 150 standing. For typical city hall reception luncheons, you would reserve a single large table.
The main dining room of La Mar is stunning and colorful, yet minimalistic. You have the option of reserving a large table in this space, just as you would on the patio.
La Mar – Dining Option Two: Cebiche Lounge
Group size: 15-50
The Cebiche Lounge has high-top tables and a full bar, and is located in a partially-private space close to the main dining room and front entryway. Like the Patio, this lounge area has flexible options, including a cocktail party for up to 70 guests or a seated luncheon for at least 15 guests. La Mar offers passed appetizers, open bar packages, and beverages upon consumption to help you meet the food and beverage minimum.
La Mar – Dining Option Three: Chef’s Table
Seats up to 22 guests
The Chef’s Table is perfect for small groups, making it perfect for small SF City Hall receptions! This area is mostly private, in its own corner of the restaurant. While the seating isn’t flexible (it’s a single long table in the room), the meal is customizable, with four family-style menus to choose from. You’ll work with the staff and the chef to create a custom dining experience for your party.
La Mar – Dining Option Four: Lobby Bar
Group size: Up to 75 guests
While this may not be a common option for SF City Hall receptions, we still have to mention this beautiful space! The Lobby Bar is a gorgeous area lined with huge windows that overlook the Embarcadero and downtown skyline. Like the other dining areas at La Mar, in the Lobby Bar you can choose from flexible menu options, including passed appetizers, buffet stations, action stations, bar packages, and beverages. When reserving this space, the staff does place a welcome sign at the entrance to ensure that the space remains your own during your reserved time.
Cuisine: Mexican, with a San Franciscan twist
Vibe: Simple, rustic
Tacolicious is well known for its catering of local events, including weddings. Who doesn’t love tacos?! Ashley and Malorie had Tacolicious cater their reception after their San Francisco City Hall wedding, and it was a huge hit.
While they have five locations, only two are in San Francisco and are ideal for SF City Hall wedding receptions. They both have their own private dining rooms, each equipped to play your own music, videos, and slideshows.
To make things even simpler, and tastier, Tacolicious offers a fixed menu for your guests. When it comes to tacos, they know their stuff! Every lunch and dinner package has a few options to choose from, so check out the Tacolicious Private Dining Packet for a full list of packages.
Tacolicious Private Dining Option One – Marina (Chestnut St)
Group size: 20 seated, 25 standing
The Tacolicious Marina location has a completely private indoor dining option, located through a secret entrance. The long table is meant for family-style dining, which is what Tacolicious is perfect for.
Tacolicious Private Dining Option Two – Mission (Valencia St)
Group size: 50 seated or 75 standing
Tacolicious in the Mission District has a private dining room with more of a rustic vibe compared to the Chestnut St location. It also accommodates larger groups, but can be customized for small groups in a semi-private space.
These restaurants are excellent choices for your reception after your city hall wedding. Most of these are only open during specific days of the week or times of day, so you’re a bit more limited.
Closest: Absinthe – walking distance from San Francisco City Hall, but closed Monday and Tuesday
Exciting: Merkado – super cool vibe, cuisine specific to Jalisco in Mexico – but closed Monday through Wednesday
Historic: John’s Grill – the first restaurant to open after the 1906 SF earthquake. They have hosted numerous celebrities over the past century. The private dining room is very small, seating 14 at one long table or 20 at two round tables. It also lacks natural light which isn’t ideal for wedding photos. (There is also a private dining option for 50-60 guests, which isn’t a typical city hall reception size.)
Casual & Fun: ThirstyBear – Private rooms have a pool table and/or foosball table with informal seating. They proudly serve beautiful, locally sourced food and are committed to sustainability. However, they are closed Monday and Tuesday.
Wedding Photos: Sessions at The Presidio – Since it’s in the Presidio, it’s not super accessible for guests; it can be tricky to find parking. But if you are already at the Presidio for wedding photos, it is convenient to dine here afterward. Plus, the view from the patio is beautiful. There are three private dining rooms to choose from, depending on the size of your party.
Seafood: Scoma’s on Fisherman’s Wharf – Three private spaces to choose from. Excellent seafood sourced directly from the wharf. They pride themselves on being “pier to plate.” But, they are closed Monday through Wednesday.
Ready to Book?
We hope this list helps guide you in your search for the perfect restaurant for your San Francisco City Hall wedding reception! Where did you treat your guests after your SF City Hall wedding? Let us know in the comments!
And if you’re ready to book your wedding photographer, find out if we are available on your wedding date.