We have spent a lot of time in San Francisco, especially at SF City Hall, over the past decade. We’ve photographed hundreds of couples getting married at city hall, and we are often asked about where they should head after the ceremony and photos are done.
So we decided to put together a short list of restaurants close to San Francisco City Hall for wedding receptions of almost any size. Since the majority of these weddings include only a handful of guests, most groups like to head to a nearby restaurant after the ceremony. These restaurants are suitable for any party, from intimate lunches to more traditional large receptions.
Most SF City Hall weddings are on a weekday in the middle of the day, so we made sure to only include restaurants that meet certain criteria.
Our list only includes restaurants that are:
- Open on weekdays
- Open all day, not just for dinner
- Provide private dining rooms or areas
- Less than 2 miles from City Hall
If you’re a planner like us, you’ll want to check out these spots ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to call to reserve a table or a private dining room, depending on the size of your party.
These five restaurants are sorted in order from closest to farthest from City Hall, not by the quality! (Although they are all close by – less than 2 miles away.) They all make fantastic choices for a San Francisco City Hall wedding reception. Promise. It depends on what you are personally looking for. Decor, ambiance, dining room setting/style, and of course the cuisine itself all make a difference in your decision.
Top Five Restaurants for your San Francisco City Hall Wedding Reception
Sorted from closest to farthest from San Francisco City Hall
1. Absinthe Private Dining
Distance: 0.4 miles; Cuisine: French-Mediterranean; Decor: Parisian
Absinthe is an upscale French-Mediterranean restaurant that is perfect for City Hall wedding receptions. Not only is it really close to city hall, but it also has a romantic, fun atmosphere that is simply delightful. They boast unique drinks and cuisine that are unlike other restaurants in San Francisco. They even have a selection of drinks that are created using flambé techniques, while are always fun and dramatic to watch.
Another unique feature of Absinthe is their private dining. Absinthe’s private dining room is actually a completely separate space; Absinthe Private Dining is located directly adjacent to Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. This space has its own entrance, dining room, bar, and restroom.
Whether you choose the private dining room or elect to dine in Absinthe Brasserie & Bar itself, you will be treated to gourmet options with sizeable portions, fun drinks, and a delightfully warm, enticing atmosphere.
2. E&O Kitchen and Bar
Distance: 1.4 miles; Cuisine: California Asian; Decor: Modern, Trendy
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 mounted television that’s perfect for a slideshow of the happy newlyweds.
Private Dining Option Two: Loge
Seats 25 guests
The Loge is more open than The Pearl Room, as it’s located in the balcony above the main dining room. It also seats twice as many as The Pearl Room, allowing more flexibility in your guest list. The light atmosphere and fantastic cuisine create the perfect space for your SF City Hall wedding reception.
Private Dining Option Three: E&O Room
Seats 36 guests
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.
Private Dining Option Four: Cinnabar Room
Seats 54 guests
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.
Private Dining Options Five, Six, and Seven
The majority of San Francisco City Hall weddings 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 even 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.
Distance: 1.8 miles; Cuisine: Traditional Italian; Decor: Modern
Conveniently located less than two miles from City Hall, Palio is a wonderful choice for your reception. 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 their website. They have three beautiful spaces available for weddings.
Private Dining Option One: San Pietro Room
Their San Pietro Room is their most popular private dining option for lunch and dinner. The recent renovation retained the floor to ceiling windows that fill this space with natural light. This is their largest private dining room, seating up to 50 guests, and is fully private. 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 many San Francisco City Hall wedding receptions.
If you’re looking for a smaller space for your group, consider The Bakery:
Private Dining Option Two: The Bakery
If you’re looking for a small space that is fully private, The Bakery is a great choice. Like the San Pietro Room, this space is located at the back of the restaurant and is fully private. It is also adjacent to the 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.
Private Dining Option Three: Campo del Palio
Campo del Palio is a lovely, large area in the restaurant for larger groups. This versatile space allows for either 100 standing guests, 80 seated for a meal, or 60 for a reception plus a meal. 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.
Along with the redesign of most aspects of the business, they’ve published a lovely guide on their private dining options. Click here to view the PDF.
4. Wayfare Tavern
Distance: 1.9 miles; Cuisine: American, comfort food; Decor: British pub-style
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:
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!
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 kings table or arranged throughout the room to seat up to 70 guests. There are other desirable features including a sound system, large TV, and the option for a bar setup.
While both The Billiards and Bartlett Rooms are gorgeous, The Sequoia is the room that Wayfare designed to impress a small crowd. 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 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.
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.
**Sadly, we recently discovered that Jardiniere, which used to be the closest restaurant to city hall on our list, closed in 2019. We will update with a fifth restaurant as soon as can.**
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!