City-by-City Guide: Northern California's Best Rehearsal Dinner Sites

8 rehearsal dinner sites guaranteed to wow your crowd.
by Christa Vagnozzi

1. Organic Outpost

Set the tone for organic style with a rehearsal dinner at The Olema Inn. With an emphasis on locally grown and raised foods, this establishment specializes in turning out cuisine that is completely organic. The wine list includes an extensive selection of reds and whites produced by small-production California vintners. (415) 663-9559

2. Foodie Find

If to you, the rehearsal dinner is really about the dinner, check out Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar at The Lodge in Sonoma. In a private room or on a heated fire pit patio, up to 45 guests can feast on award-winning California Mediterranean cuisine. (707) 935-6600

3. Beer Garden

Make room for the groom: The Pyramid Alehouse in Sacramento has private banquet rooms that can host up to 200 for a sit-down dinner. The menu: Classic brew house cuisine such as kettle-brewed soups paired with traditional English- and German-inspired ales. (916) 498-9800

4. Scenic Seating

Nautical nuptials begin with a rehearsal dinner on the water. Wedding planner Krissy Miller led us to Scott’s Restaurant in Oakland where rehearsal dinners for up to 40 can take place in a private room with dramatic views of the harbor off Jack London Square. The menu: seafood, of course! (510) 444-3456

5. Vineyard Style

Wine lovers? Then gather your guests together in the heart of California wine country. At Napa Valley Grille in Yountville you can host a rehearsal dinner prepared with seasonal, locally grown ingredients teamed with hard-to-find Napa Valley varietals. (707) 944-8506

6. Gallery Space

Modern couples with an appreciation for contemporary art and architecture should look to the San Jose Museum of Art. This dramatic space can accommodate seated rehearsal dinners for up to 120 guests in its New Wing Lobby, appointed with 30-foot windows, and stunning handblown glass chandeliers by Dale Chihuly. (408) 291-5390

7. Animal Kingdom

At the San Francisco Zoo, you can dine with the animals—well, not literally, of course! But this venue does have plenty of cool spaces to host a rehearsal dinner, including the octagon-shaped Leaping Lemur Café and the African Savanna, the zoo’s largest single habitat. (415) 753-7236

8. Sushi Satiable

For a hip and urban experience, take guests to Blowfish Sushi to Die For in San Francisco, where the music is upbeat and the décor is modern Tokyo. The restaurant’s Asian Fusion menu blends modern and traditional sushi -- perfect for even your sushi-shy guests. And whether its specialty cocktails or premium sake you want, the restaurant has it all in abundance. (415) 285-3848

Photo: Courtesy of Myrtle & Marjoram

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