San Francisco is famous for its fine restaurants, and urban dwellers, travelers, and other Bay Area residents love to dine out in the city. Everything from the food trucks at Off the Grid to Michelin-starred, high-end establishments draw crowds, and even getting a reservation can sometimes be dicey.
But now, with a shelter-in-place edict from the government due to COVID-19 spanning the state, it is impossible, even illegal to go out for a meal. For many of us stuck inside — some with cranky, bored kids and others feeling alone and isolated — cooking every single meal at home gets old fast.
Thankfully, between a choice of several established food delivery services and quite a few plucky restaurants that have stayed open, San Franciscans can opt for a delicious meal from their favorite eateries to break up the monotony.
DoorDash, Caviar (owned by DoorDash), Grubhub, UberEats, and Postmates are at the ready. Postmates was the first to offer “no-contact” delivery where customers can leave a note under the “delivery instructions” part of the app, instructing drivers to meet customers outside or deliver orders outside the door. DoorDash offers a similar option. Their customers can leave a note on the app asking for food to be delivered outside and can even text the driver a photo of exactly where they want the meal to be placed. Grubhub, which owns Seamless, even allows customers to personalize order instructions by encouraging them to call or text drivers to discuss delivery arrangements. Postmate customers can also choose no-contact deliveries.
Companies that provide fresh produce boxes and meal kit deliveries like Good Eggs and Eatwell Farms are also still operating and have no-contact delivery options.
DoorDash is providing financial assistance to their couriers who are diagnosed with COVID-19, and it is shipping free hand sanitizers and gloves to DoorDash and Caviar couriers. Along with Postmates, it is offering commission relief for small businesses (many restaurants) that can help them generate sales. DoorDash is also adding more than 100,000 independent restaurant partners nationally to its subscription program that offers $0 delivery for consumers for free.
Even OpenTable, which specializes in restaurant reservations, has shifted its focus to partner with Caviar, UberEats, and Postmates to facilitate delivery and takeout at restaurants on its network. Users can click on the “Get it delivered” section on the OpenTable app to see a display of all of the restaurants near them that offer delivery.
Many of these services are offering free delivery.
Walking through the neighborhood, it’s easy to see which restaurants are open during this fraught time, and offering takeout and delivery. Orders placed at Le Marais (lemaraisbakery-2066.square.site/s/order) can be picked up or delivered for free between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Coffee, sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, salads, rotisserie chicken, and vegetarian options are all available. Cultivar (cultivarsf.com) is offering pickup of many of its most popular dishes as well as wine by the bottle or the case; and brunch options on the weekends. Boho (cafebohosf.com) on Steiner Street is offering a new “comfort menu” with all-day takeout (Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) as well as delivery.
Wildseed (wildseedsf.com) and Flores (floressf.com) on Union Street are taking phone and walk in orders, while Causwells (causwells.com) on Chestnut Street is offering preorder, pick up weekend brunch (including Bloody Mary and mimosa kits).
Gary Tan, proprietor and manager of Dragonwell (dragonwell.com) which has been serving ingredient-driven Chinese food on Chestnut Street since 1998, is offering the restaurant’s complete menu via Caviar and takeout. “We’re even offering customers the ability to pick up [an order] through our wide-open French window if needed. We’re really trying to make a go of it. We may have to cut our staff a little as sales have been dropping since February, but we’d like to keep serving the neighborhood.”
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
Both Eater (sf.eater.com) and the San Francisco Chronicle (sfchronicle.com/restaurant-database) offer lists of which restaurants are open. But bear in mind that things are changing constantly right now, so it’s a good idea to call or check restaurant websites before placing an order.
So get out that good china and silverware and treat yourself to a delicious meal prepared by a professional chef. And take note: Restaurants and delivery services are all offering gift certificates, which is another great way to keep these businesses afloat and employees’ jobs safe.
Email: [email protected]