February has 29 delicious days in it, thanks to Leap Year, so we’re celebrating all month long with #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary. Reason #1? The bowl is coming to town, and you don’t really want to hover around your television at home and binge on stale chips, do you? Thankfully, you are not limited to rowdy sports bars either. This year, with the game taking place in Santa Clara, many Bay Area restaurants are getting in on the action. Whether you go close to the stadium, stay in San Francisco, or head away from the crowds up in Napa, you’ll be able to enjoy the game in high style. Here’s where to watch the big game in the Bay Area.
Located just a mile from the stadium in Santa Clara, Birk’s is installing a luxury heated outdoor tent to accommodate the crowds expected prior to the game, and will be screening the game on Sunday. On the week leading up to the game there will be special happy hour offerings and on the big day there will be a pre-game lunch, then specials on oysters, oyster shooters, braised pork belly sliders, and carnitas tacos. Make a reservation at Birk’s.
Hog & Rocks
There might be gridlock ahead of the players hitting the gridiron, but the Mission district is easily accessible by public transportation — and there’s a parking garage on 21st, just a couple of blocks away from Hog & Rocks, for determined drivers. In addition to the regular menu, you can slurp down $1 oysters for the entire game or indulge in a combo of beer, a shot, and Korean-style spicy wings. Make a reservation at Hog & Rocks.
Nostra Spaghetteria + Bar Mia
Nostra and Bar Mia, also located in the Mission District, will be showing the bowl on their two TV’s in the bar. On Sunday, February 7, they’ll open at 3PM — just in time for kickoff. Happy hour prices will be available at the bar throughout the entire game. Make a reservation at Nostra Spaghetteria.
In the Marina district, Palm House will extend their hours, opening an hour before the game to accommodate fans jockeying for the perfect viewing spot. Specials will most likely include tasty bites, such as mango chipotle BBQ wings, spiced tropical beer nut,s and Cuban fried chicken sliders. Make a reservation at Palm House.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House
Right downtown, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, located at the Omni, will be adding even more TV’s to the lobby so everyone can easily see the game. The bar will have extended hours and a game day-themed menu with wings, nachos, quesadillas, chili cheese fries, and more. Budweiser and Bud Light, the official beers of the bowl, will be on tap. Make a reservation at Bob’s Steak and Chop House.
The Barrel Room
In the heart of the Financial District also walking distance of all the action, you can watch the game while enjoying happy hour pricing on house white or red wine, $2 off draught beer, and house cocktails for just $10. Food specials range from fries and fried calamari to Brussels sprouts with almond pesto and Parmesan. Make a reservation at The Barrel Room.
A little further up Market Street is another spot to watch the game and cheer on your favorite team over a special cocktail. Owner and beverage director Adam Jed created two special cocktails for each team playing. For the Carolina Panthers, there’s the Rye Tar Heel with Rittenhouse rye, sherry, sweet vermouth, saffron-infused simple syrup and Bittermens orange cream citrate. The Pike’s Gold honors the Denver Broncos and features cranberry-infused gin, sherry, and fresh orange juice, all garnished with a sprig of rosemary. Make a reservation at Bluestem Brasserie.
Roka Akor, on the edge of North Beach, will open early at 2PM in plenty of time for pregame activities. For an all-out splurge, book the ultimate Roka Akor bowl experience. You and up to 18 friends will have your own room for a private viewing party with a decadent omakase feast and an unlimited premium bar package plus a 55-inch screen to watch the game. Otherwise, there will be football in the downstairs bar with drink specials on beer, wine, sake, and spirits as well as deals on bar bites and oysters in the lounge. Make a reservation at Roka Akor.
Copita Tequileria y Comida
Head north across the bridge to not-so-sleepy Sausalito, where Copita will be showing the game on Sunday. A special menu will be available all day in addition to the full a la carte menu. Look for snacks like Oaxaca & Jalapeño Quesadilla Bites, Pasilla Rubbed Wood Fire Roasted Baby Back Ribs, Papas Bravas Big Bowl with chipotle aioli, Roasted Chicken Wings with spicy habanero sauce and jalapeño ranch, Pork Carnitas, and Crispy Tacos with sour cream and ranchero salsa. Make a reservation at Copita Tequileria y Comida.
The Grill at Meadowood
There is no more elegant setting for the bowl than the posh Meadowood resort in Napa. However, you don’t have to be a member of the exclusive club to gain a spot at The Grill to view the game. Nibble on luscious guacamole with chips, shishito peppers, beer-battered onion rings, and sriracha chicken wings or a Wagyu burger with smoked bacon, cheddar, and fries. Make a reservation at The Grill at Meadowood.
Sam’s Social Club
Further north, for a spa getaway meets game day, head to Calistoga. At Indian Springs Sam’s Social Club, they will be offering the Showdown in The Cellar, their ground floor brewpub. The game special will be a pint of Sam’s house-brewed IPA along with a spiced up version of the traditional poutine, featuring sweet potato fries, bacon gravy, and blue cheese. Hunker down in front of the large screen TV on comfy couches for viewing the game. Make a reservation at Sam’s Social Club.
Amy Sherman is a San Francisco-based writer, editor, blogger, and cookbook author. She is the publisher of the food blog Cooking with Amy. She currently contributes to numerous online publications including Food Network, Fodor’s and Refinery 29 and never says no to a warm donut. Follow her @cookingwithamy.
Photo credit: Huy Doan (Bob’s Steaks); Nader Khouri (Hogs & Rocks); Ryan Hughes (Bluestem); Charlie Villyard (Nostra); Paul Kellerhals (Copita).