Things to Do in San Francisco on New Year's Day
What better way to start the new year than at some of San Francisco's top attractions and favorite restaurants? Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, these are things to do and places to eat at on New Year's Day in San Francisco.
Things to Do on New Year's Day
7D Experience and The Flyer at PIER 39
Both 7D Experience and The Flyer-San Francisco attractions at PIER 39 will be open on New Year's Day. 7D Experience will be starting the year off with “Carnival”, a virtual and interactive ride with scary clowns and thrills. The Flyer will be showcasing the city of San Francisco itself, allowing riders to see all the sights on the big screen, rain or shine!
In addition to more than 600 interactive exhibits, three temporary exhibitions at the Exploratorium will be on view: "Curious Contraptions", "Glow", and "Kaleidoscope". The Exploratorium will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who want to be creative and curious at the start of the new year.
Hornblower San Francisco is offering a New Year's Day Champagne Brunch Cruise to welcome 2020. Come aboard to celebrate with a festive brunch buffet, free-flowing champagne, live entertainment and spectacular bay sights including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, Alcatraz and the San Francisco skyline. Boarding begins at noon and the two hour cruise is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
This is your chance to get closer than ever before to your favorite celebrities and icons. Shoot hoops with Steph Curry, sing a melody with Beyonce or swoon over George Clooney. Madame Tussauds is a playground for all selfie lovers and it's open on New Year's Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where river otters, jellyfish and thousands of other marine animals are abundant, Aquarium of the Bay is the perfect playground to kick off the new year. Through Jan. 5, 2020, they will be open extended hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feed a Bat Ray, see a squid dissection and walk through the underwater tunnel to discover the wonders of the San Francisco Bay's ecosystem and its inhabitants.
Are you looking to survive a lava eruption, or hang from the side of one of San Francisco's skyscrapers? The Museum of 3D Illusions has 40+ illusions to play with your perception while making for an amusing photo op. The Museum of 3D Illusions will be open on New Year's Day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Spend the first day of the new year exploring the 55 acres of the beautiful San Francisco Botanical Garden, showcasing nearly 9,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. San Francisco Botanical Garden will be open on New Year’s Day and free to everyone from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. While you're there, stroll through Golden Gate Park to explore even more green spaces.
Places to Eat on New Year's Day
Bistro Boudin @ PIER 39
There's no better time to enjoy clam chowder in a Sourdough bread bowl than on the first day of the year. In addition to amazing cuisine and regional wine, their full service restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf offers some of the best views of Alcatraz and Angel Island. Open on New Year's Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Bluestem Brasserie (One Yerba Buena Ln.)
Bluestem will be offering New Year's Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The full brunch menu will be available, including favorites such as Caviar Deviled Egg, Cornbread-Brioche French Toast, Shakshuka, Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy, and Consulting Pastry Chef Lori Baker’s popular Cinnamon Roll.
Brunch on New Year’s Day wouldn’t be complete without brunch cocktails. Choose from the Boozy Morning Milkshake, Karl the Fog, What’s Up Doc?, the ’Shaggy’ Rogers Bloody Mary, and a variety of coffee drinks such as the Caramel White Russian and the Espresso Martini.
Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar (471 Jefferson St.)
Start the year off right with a delicious brunch and bloody mermaid and mimosa at the Blue Mermaid Restaurant & Bar. They'll be open all day, serving breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m.; brunch from 11 to 4 p.m.; and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. The make your own Bloody Mary bar opens bright and early at 8:00 a.m.
Cioppino's (400 Jefferson St.)
Cioppino's is a Fisherman's Wharf tradition that's a go-to spot 365 days a year. Cioppino's will be open New Year's Day, accepting reservations and walk-ins. Regular menu offerings like their signature Cioppino and award-winning clam chowder will be served.
Cliff House (1090 Point Lobos Ave.)
The Cliff House will be open on New Year's Day and there will be special menus and a champagne buffet. Reservations will open on Dec. 1.
Commons Club, a lively modern social club located on the ground floor of Virgin Hotels San Francisco, will be open on New Year’s Day and offering brunch from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Executive Chef Adrian Garcia's brunch menu highlights his own take on the classics, including an array of seasonal options with a California twist. Highlights from the brunch menu include Huevos Rancheros, Duck Confit Benedict, Mary’s Chicken & Waffles, Avocado Benedict, and the Uncommon Burger. Beyond food, the beverage list is certain to impress with a collection of inventive elixirs, smoothies and cocktails made tableside using the most vibrant seasonal flavors.
Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen (401 Taylor St.)
Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen offers unique and innovative American food, handcrafted cocktails, and 18 locally brewed beers. Famous for their Rainbow Mimosa Flight, Bloody Delicious Flight, Oh Canada! Poutine, Short Rib Hash, and a healthy option of Mushroom and Feta Egg White Frittata, this is the perfect place to celebrate the new year. They will be serving breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.; brunch from 10:30 to 3 p.m.; and dinner from 3 p.m. to midnight.
John's Grill (63 Ellis St.)
A landmark restaurant, John’s Grill opened in 1908 and quickly became a staple in San Francisco that celebrities often frequent. Known for its seafood and steaks, John's Grill is certainly a treat to have on New Year's Day.
The New Spot on Polk (2401 Polk St.)
Head to The New Spot on Polk for a family-friendly restaurant serving a wide variety of American diner cuisine. Get cozy under their covered outdoor seating area, where your four-legged friends are warmly welcomed. The New Spot On Polk restaurant will be open on New Year's Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The full menu will be served.
Samovar Tea Lounge (730 Howard St.)
Eat well and drink well on the first day of the year at Samovar Tea Lounge. Known for their artisan teas and vegetarian and vegan food options, it's a great place to socialize with friends and family. Their brunch menu favorites include a variety of sweet and savory toasts, while their lunch menu favorites include Asian-inspired cuisine. Open on New Year's Day from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.