Around this time last year, Eater SF remembered the most impressive new restaurants to open in 2019. We marveled at multi-story grocery stores, glittering chocolate factories, and moon lounges. Well, until 2020 things will look a little different this year. Now we’re just hoping restaurants will get through the winter so we can see the wallpaper in the dining room one more time.
But even when you’re wrapped up and scaled down, creativity abounds. At the start of the pandemic, when everyone was spinning around for takeaway and delivery, we posted a big, beautiful slideshow of the nicest packaging in San Francisco. Well nine months later the chefs had no choice but to hug the boxes and bags, and we dare say the take-out bins have only gotten more noticeable. Building on the theme, here are ten more of the most eye-catching takeaway options in San Francisco in 2020.
Paté en croute from Maison Nico
After a few hard pivots and pivots, Maison Nico was reopened as an epic and pastry shop and serves artfully packaged pâtés wrapped in pastries as well as multi-layered brioche feuilletée twisted into a serpentine.
Robin sushi boxes
The sushi spots were instantly excellent to take away, and we previously recognized Ju-Ni for beautiful chirashi bowls and Shota for cute inari bags. Robin later also presented a gasping sushi box with lots of small compartments for rolls, sashimi and noodles with truffles.
Sausages spread from absinthe
The snack dinner was a meaty trend in 2020, and by then it may have gone too far – does anyone really need a charcuterie chalet? But absinthe stood out in beautiful spreads, with a box filled with artfully curled and arranged meat and cheese.
Bento boxes from Rintaro
Rintaro has been mentioned before but makes that list again as it iterated on bento boxes year-round, swapping out week after week this week, culminating in those luxury New Years boxes that sold out in minutes.
Liholiho Yacht Club / Facebook
Spam trays from the Liholiho Yacht Club
Liholiho has always kept the takeaway menus and packaging fresh this year, from jello shots to spam rolls, cheese-filling Katsu sandwiches to pineapple-shaped pies.
Family records from Farmhouse Kitchen Thai
Farmhouse Thai became a social sensation this year thanks to the “Little Lao” take-out platter filled with fried chicken, Penang curry, noodles and much more. Even more so, they toss a lobster and a few beers for the holidays. And sister restaurant Son & Garden deserves an Honorable Mention for this over the top afternoon tea party.
Lobster Grand Aioli from Routier
Also on the lobster news Routier, the new French restaurant for the B. Patisserie team. serves a lobster grand aioli with lots of luscious colorful vegetables and cracked crustaceans to dip in creamy dips.
Diwali holiday boxes from Besharam
There were so many beautiful pastry boxes this year, especially in the high biscuit season. Chef Heena Patel from Besharam presented Diwali with a colorful box of sweets, which we hope will become an annual tradition.
Afternoon tea from Maison Danel
The sparkling new patisserie and tea room always planned pretty boxes and bags, though they probably hadn’t expected to have to rely on them entirely. Even so, Maison Danel managed to pack the entire tea room experience into a box topped with sandwiches of smoked salmon, mini croissants, candy, and bubbles.
Wine pairing tasting menu from Lazy Bear
Lazy Bear swung high and low during the pandemic to recreate a luxurious tasting menu of wine pairings and keep eaters going for fried chicken sandwiches and cookie dough. Either way, the packaging is combative and fun. It includes flannel-inspired packaging and bear paw stickers.
Horsefeather pony bottle cocktails
If there is anything nicer than a baby bottle, it is a baby bottle filled with a colorful cocktail with a pony pegasus on the label. Horsefeather really spread those wings with the pretty drinks during the pandemic.