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Feast on Whole Lobster and Garlic Noodles at the Night Market This Weekend

Welcome to the Weekend Digest, with recs for what to eat, drink, read, and watch

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Mesquite lobster and garlic noodles from Lobsterdamus Lobsterdamus

Welcome to the Weekend Digest, a column from Eater SF where the site’s editors recommend what to eat, drink, read, and watch this weekend. Have you heard of a cool takeout item, or do you have a favorite book or movie, that you’d like listed here? Send it our way at sf@eater.com.


August 5

What to Do

626 Night Market is back in the Bay after taking off all of 2020 for all of the usual pandemic reasons. Inspired by the big night markets in Asia, it’s going down this weekend, August 6 to 8 from 3 to 11 p.m., at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. And the lineup of more than 60 food vendors already looks amazing, from mesquite-grilled whole lobster nested on garlic “noodz” to sticky-sweet ribs, Korean corn dogs to churro ice cream sundaes. It’s online tickets only, so click right this way.

What to Eat

For all those former East Coasters who go on about seafood nostalgia, Presidio Social Club is throwing down with a series of summer clam bakes. Diners may tie on a bib every Sunday in August, with a three-course prix-fixe menu featuring mussels, clams, lobster, corn, and potatoes en papillote (so presumably steamed in parchment, as opposed to a hole in the sand). Catch a reservation for $48 per person.

What to Drink

This is also the weekend that Black Cat saunters back open with strong cocktails, a fresh menu, and live jazz. Barman Jason Moser (Proper Hotel, Forgery, Central Kitchen) revamped the cocktail list, including the “Vaxed” cocktail with 12-year Scotch, cognac, grapefruit, lemon, vanilla, and peach-honey syrup. Chef Yainiel Negrón (Commonwealth, Proper Hotel) is serving shrimp “brandade” croquettes and pork belly sliders on pan sabao. And Theo Croker is up first on trumpet, with jazz sessions running for the next couple of weeks. Proof of vaccination is required at the door.

What to Watch

In not-food news, just in case you missed TikTok reactions to discovering dressage, the Tokyo Olympics continue this weekend, culminating in the closing ceremonies this Sunday, August 8. And what better way to celebrate displays of extraordinary athleticism than to feast on snacks on the couch? Eater National has an outstanding guide to all of the best Japanese snacks to eat while watching the Olympics, and of course Eater SF has a local guide to the most fantastic Asian snacks in San Francisco, to cover all crunchy-salty-sweet cravings.


July 29

What to Do

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is back for its second and final weekend, running this Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1. Between a fatal shooting in 2019 and skipping a year due to the pandemic in 2020, the famously aromatic festival has had a rough couple of years. But it’s back in action with safety precautions in place: This year the event is a drive-thru only, so grab those preorders to feast on garlic bread, garlic fries, and scampi, from the all-American comfort of your vehicle.

What to Eat

Avocado Con rolls back into SoMa Streat Food Park this Saturday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a popular food truck gathering dedicated to California’s favorite fruit-vegetable, featuring more than 12 vendors, and a DJ so you can “back that Hass up.”

Reminder that this is the weekend Milk Bar is popping up at Gott’s Roadside at the Ferry Building, this Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, from noon to 7 p.m. They say it’s going to be an “epic outdoor birthday party,” serving up Gott’s soft serve and milkshakes topped with Milk Bar cookie crumbles and other toppings. Grab a ticket on Resy.

What to Drink

Orbit Coffee Company in Oakland appears to have gone full cosmic with the drinks menu. In addition to their popular Vietnamese iced coffee, behold the Dark Matter Latte streaked with dark chocolate and cookie crumbles, and Ube Nebulae that layers an iced latte with purple ube. And as a weekend special only, you can get that iced coffee with a bucket of mini doughnuts.


July 15

What to Do

Plate by Plate, the AAPI-led nonprofit that typically hosts a big gala every fall, is throwing a local SF Restaurant Week, specifically to help support their favorite food partners. It’s a smaller and totally separate event from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) official restaurant week, but it still looks like there are sweet deals to be had. Running from Saturday, July 17 to Sunday, July 25, there are seven restaurants participating so far, including Palette Tea House, Rooh, and Media Noche. Click through to peruse the menus.

What to Eat

With a slew of openings and reopenings this spring and summer, there are so many new restaurants to try, but maybe this is the weekend to get some dope Friday night pizza. SSP Beer Hall is now open and serving several menus, including Sunset Squares sourdough pizza, such as that mapo tofu pie topped with tokyo turnips and sichuan peppercorns. Check out the new dining room filled with warm wood and digital art, or get it to go with takeout or delivery.

What to Drink

Oakland fans have the pleasure of waking up on the weekends in the gorgeous new headquarters for Red Bay Coffee, and San Franciscans no longer have to cross the bridge to get their fix, too. Swing by Red Bay’s new stall in the Ferry Building to grab a Saigon Latte before hitting the Saturday morning farmers’ market. While you’re at it, here’s the latest update on the best dishes within the landmark food hall.

What to Watch

Or, if you’re exhausted after a full month of full reopening, settle in at the movies. Roadrunner, the new documentary about Anthony Bourdain, comes out Friday, July 16, and fans are mourning Bourdain all over again. Of course, Tony famously loved San Francisco, so if you want to do this thing right, hit one of his favorite spots. The crab backs at Swan Oyster Depot feel like the right move. In one of many quotes that reads darker posthumously, the man did once say, “If I read about myself dying at this counter I’d say to myself, ‘That was one lucky guy.’”


July 8

What to Do

San Jose’s Dine Downtown keeps rolling for the next couple of weeks, serving prix-fixe menus and special dishes from July 1 to 18. There are 26 participating restaurants, bars, and other food businesses including Adega Portuguese restaurant and Pasteleria Adega of egg tart fame, Scott’s Seafood and Chowder House, 71 Saint Peter, and more. Check out the full list, don’t miss the note on free parking, and get those deals while they’re hot.

The Ferry Building is bringing back Ferry Fridays with music on the plaza this summer, starting this Friday, July 9, and running every weekend through September 24. Skip out of the (virtual or actual) office to catch live bands and DJs from 3 to 6 p.m., after grabbing a katsu sandwich from Delica, empanada from El Porteno, or other favorite snacks from the many vendors in the food hall.

Kapwa Gardens is going to make it rain purple with the Ube Food Festival this Sunday, July 11. Swing by the colorful community space in SoMa between noon and 5 p.m., and feast on ube horchata, ube ice cream sandwiches, and ube mini doughnuts. Chef Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage pop-up will also be there, previewing some of the pastries for his highly anticipated new restaurant Abaca.

What to Watch

Or kick back on the lawn, sip some big cabs, and catch an outdoor flick. Charles Krug Winery in St Helena will be screening Pixar’s Soul this Friday, July 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the movie rolls at 8:30 p.m. The winery will pour wines by the glass, and Heritage Eats food truck will be parked and serving burgers, chicken sandos, and waffle fries. Grab a ticket for $10.


June 30

Event

The Fourth of July fireworks display on the waterfront at Pier 39 is back this year, rocketing off at 9:30 p.m. The city is strongly encouraging anyone who wants to attend in person to get vaccinated. But of course, there are a many great vantage points high in the hills of San Francisco, for those who would prefer more space; this Curbed guide from a couple of years ago gives the lay of the land. If you want to feast on barbecue and beer while waiting for the sun to go down, read on. One sobering reminder, however: Even though the city has reopened, we are still in a drought and at risk for wildfires, so please consider leaving the legal firework displays to the pros.

What to Eat

4505 Burgers & Barbecue is a prime option in the city to feast on, well, burgers and barbecue, whether you want to hang out at the picnic tables on Divis, or pick up a tray to take to the park. The “Best Damn Grass-Fed Cheeseburger” is the best-seller, stacked with gruyere cheese and secret sauce on a griddled sesame and scallion bun. Or you could go big and finally get “the Presidential,” which means a platter of all of the meats — smoked chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, hot links, and bacon and cheddar links — with all of the fixin’s ($115, feeds six people, available for dine-in only).

What to Drink

After many months of getting shut down by the city, getting shut down by ABC, and even distilling hand sanitizer for a while, it appears that Seven Stills massive newish flagship is, finally, actually brewing beer. The brewery seems to be celebrating with a Friends-inspired “We Were On a Break!” hazy double IPA. Drink it from the tap at the brewery’s big new beer garden, or pick up a four pack to go.

Or Hit the Road

For all those who would prefer to get out of town entirely, the Eater SF Guide to Wine Country offers an essential roadmap to the wining and dining destination. For instance: This could be the weekend to finally feast on that pasture-raised, brown-sugared, and applewood-smoked pork from the Black Piglet barbecue food truck, and chase it with some pinot at Davis Family Vineyards — either before or after taking a laid-back float down Russian River.


June 24

Food Event

For all those who wish to escape the city for some summer adventures, Outstanding in the Field is finally back with its series of farm dinners, literally in the field, at long communal tables. The series kicked off last weekend at the apple orchard at Happy Valley Farm in Santa Cruz, and are already sold out for this weekend’s Texas-style barbecue at Markegard Family Ranch in Pescadero. Happily, there are still tickets available for later in the summer, going as far south as Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, and winding north into wine country. Check out the full lineup and snap up those last tickets while they’re hot.

What to Eat

Amex and Resy are partnering to host a Picnic in the Park, which sounds corporate, but means they’re packing up picnic baskets from a couple of favorite local restaurants. This Saturday, June 26, Liholiho Yacht Club is serving honey-sesame fried chicken, quinoa salad, and stonefruit mochi cake. And on Sunday, June 27, Red’s House is boxing up jerk chicken wraps, mac salad, and coleslaw. You can also expect sparkling water, bubbles for blowing, and a frisbee for tossing. It sounds fun, but the best part is that they do the schlepping for you — pickup is near the Palace of Fine Arts, so you can picnic against the backdrop of the iconic arches. Book tickets through Resy, of course ($45 per person).

What to Drink

Consider this your reminder that SF Pride Month is still going strong, and this weekend would have been the parade and party in the Castro, which are both canceled this year. But there are still so many ways to celebrate: Dirty Habit, the cocktail lounge with rooftop fire pits, has been hosting Thirst Trap Thursdays every Thursday in June, with live DJs, a photo booth, and proceeds going to SF Queer Nightlife Fund. And this Saturday, June 26, it’s hosting a Project RunGay ExDRAGaganza SeaZon 2! (as stylized by the bar). The event is a drag and runway competition, hosted by last year’s winner KaiKai Bee. A $75 ticket gets you unlimited drinks, an entree from the menu, and proceeds are going to the Imperial Council of San Francisco.

What to Watch

Stern Grove Music Festival is officially underway, playing across 10 summer Sundays. As always, fans can enjoy free music performances in the eucalyptus-shaded park; the only difference this year is that you do need to reserve a space. This Sunday, June 27, the headliner is Perfume Genius, and the food trucks pulling up will be Bowled Acai and Curry Up Now. And next Sunday, July 4, will feature the San Francisco Symphony, with fare from Vegan Mob and Humphry Slocombe. Because what better way to fete our country’s independence than by listening to live Gershwin and Sousa and feasting on vegan barbecue and mac and cheese? You’re also welcome to bring a picnic, and those of age are free to bring and drink alcohol, if you prefer to pack your own.


June 17

What to Eat

Megablack SF, with the support of CUESA and the Port of SF, is popping up with special food vendors at the Ferry Building this weekend. Juneteenth on the Waterfront is taking over the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, featuring eight Black food producers, including Peaches Patties Jamaican beef patties, Gumbo Social’s shrimp po’boys, Yes Pudding banana bread pudding, and more. The event runs this Saturday, June 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is free and open to the public, but you can get a tasting ticket for $40 if you’d like to try bites from each and shop the business’s merch — because who doesn’t need a tote bag to fill up with pudding cups.

What to Drink

Uncorked & Cultured is a media company that connects Black culture through wine, and it’s celebrating Juneteenth by swinging through Napa, together with Napa Valley Vintners and the Association of African American Vintners. They’ll be interviewing and filming five new episodes of their Sip Consciously YouTube series, tasting John Legend’s LVE wine collection at Raymond Vineyards, J.Moss Wines, Longevity Wines, and Theopolis Vineyards, and wining and dining at Buster’s Southern BBQ and PRESS Restaurant. Follow along this weekend on its YouTube and Instagram channels to discover Black winemakers and get a taste for their work in Napa.

Where to Listen

It’s the second year for Oakland Juneteenth Fest, which is a big chill party at Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Saturday, June 19, from noon to 8 p.m. There will be art, music, speakers, and more, and they’re promising food vendors, if you want to kick back on the lawn and drink in the culture.


June 10

What to Eat

San Francisco Pride 2021 is in full swing, and this year events are not just rolling out over one weekend, it’s spread out across the month of June. Lots of restaurants and bars are serving up a rainbow of special menu items, many benefitting great LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives. For rainbow dumplings, cake, and cocktails, please sashay this way. Because what is Pride without one of Canela’s rainbow market bags, all ready to tote to the park, and filled with Spanish sangria and ham-flavored potato chips?

What to Drink

Eater SF just wrapped Wine Country Week, with a batch of highly opinionated recommendations for where to wine and dine in the world destination. So if California reopening has you ready to hit the road, and thirsty for bold cabs and caviar in Napa, laidback chardonnay and popcorn in Sonoma, or backcountry pinot noir and biscuits in Russian River, here’s your essential roadmap.

What to Read

Lunchbox Moments is a new indie zine from a trio of food writers in the Bay Area. Shirley Huey, Diann Leo-Omine, and Anthony Shu decided to take the lunchbox moment trope and reclaim it as a title to celebrate Asian-American voices. The zine is a collection of essays and art featuring 25 AAPI contributors, and proceeds will benefit the SF Chinatown Community Development Center, which continues to do incredible work in the oldest and biggest Chinatown in the country, especially given the recent surge in hate crimes against the AAPI community. Copies went on sale on June 7 for $30.

What to Watch

SF Pride is hosting a couple of outdoor movie nights at Oracle Park: In the Heights on June 11 and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on June 12 (tickets are available online, and start at $24.99). Yes, there will be a drag preshow. And sure, the ballpark is still serving hot dogs and garlic fries, but there are also strong food and drink options just across the bridge in Mission Bay.


May 27

What to Eat

As all good eaters know, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of prime burger season, and there are so many juicy ones to stalk around town. One recent addition: Wilder restaurant in the Marina, the new rough and rowdy spot from the Westwood team, has a new burger for your consideration. Chef Jesus Dominguez spent a decade at Michelin-starred Taj Campton Place, before coming over to lead the kitchen at Westwood for the past couple of years, and now with Wilder he’s talking big burger game: two 4-ounce patties of freshly ground short ribs and American Kobe beef, all American cheese and special sauce, but slightly refined bacon-onion jam on a brioche bun. Burger obsessives, tell us what you think. And if you want to get really wild this holiday weekend, maybe also order the bone marrow with a “whiskey luge,” which sounds like a very Marina experience.

But for all those who might prefer a hot dog, this could be the sunny weekend to finally try Stix, the leading Korean corn dog destination in San Francisco, oh so conveniently located near Stern Grove. The corndog and boba shop first opened in 2019, but became a sensation during the pandemic, thanks to its crispy, crunchy, and cheesy corn dogs, rolled around in ramen noodles or crinkle-cut fries, and complete with the dramatically long cheese pull. Few can resist the charms of a deep-fried snack on a stick, especially with a sweet boba tea on the side, and both are a breeze to walk to the park.

What to Drink

As long as you’re having burgers and dogs, it’s time to stock up on beer. Fort Point Beer Co., the largest independently owned brewery in San Francisco, has a fresh release to ease into this warm weekend. The Natural Magic Hazy Pale Ale is in fact magical, not too thick and hazy, not too bitter and hoppy, just juicy, bright, with a big aroma and a sparkly finish. It’s a limited release, and there is a fresh batch available for this weekend, which can be ordered through the website. Fort Point is now offering delivery in the city, and claims that you can get beer dropped on your doorstep as soon as an hour after canning, which is a cool inside tap for locals. So get yourself a 4-pack of these pretty lilac tall boys, and kick back for a hazy afternoon. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


May 20

What to Eat

Peninsula Restaurant Week is running from May 14 to 22, which means that restaurants from Redwood City to Mountain View are rolling some delicious deals. Participating restaurants include Bevri Georgian restaurant in Palo Alto, of cheesy khachapuri fame; Zareen’s fast-casual Indian-Pakistani restaurants, pouring a free masala chai for orders over $10; and Milagros in Redwood City, with a trio of taco-and-margaritas pairings. Check out the full list of participating restaurants here.

What to Drink

The Napa Valley wine train is back in action, and better get a ticket to ride while you still can, because as travel restrictions ease up, Napa and Sonoma are already becoming busy destinations. The historic train officially reopened this past Monday, May 17, so this is the first weekend it’ll be chugging back to action. Guests climb aboard the passenger cars, and get a three-hour train ride through the valley, a four-course meal ($200), with options to add on wine, of course.

What to Watch

There’s a new Netflix food show coming in hot. High on the Hog is a new series based on Jessica B. Harris’s award-winning book, digging deep into Black food stories in America. The host is chef and writer Stephen Satterfield, who is both based in Oakland, and the founder of Whetstone independent magazine. It’s premiering next Wednesday, May 26, so not technically this weekend, but it’s going to be a big deal, so no time like the present to watch the trailer, and revisit Harris’s culinary history book, or flip through some recent Whetstone issues. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


May 13

What to Eat

There’s a plant-based Filipino food party happening downtown this weekend. OMG! (Oh My Gulay) seems to be a small food festival hidden away in Kapwa Gardens, a colorful community space in SoMa, but it’s featuring a few big names, including popular food truck Sarap Shop and the ultraviolet vegan bakery Ube Mami. Plant-based eaters who desperately miss Nick’s on Mission can catch a cooking demo from Chef Reina Montenegro, and there will also be (house) plants, crystals, and potions. It’s going down this Sunday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 967 Mission Street.

What to Drink

Barman Greg Lindgren is steadily reopening his own bourbon bars and plans to crack open the doors at 15 Romolo in the next week or two, which is very good indoor drinking news. But in the meantime, the cocktail veteran is refreshing the drinks at Izzy’s steakhouse, which is a rare steak and cocktail opportunity. The new spring cocktail menu includes a “Pacific cup” with bourbon, ginger, and a curl of cucumber; a “pluma rosa” with tequila, mezcal, and strawberry balsamic; and a “Steiner spritz” with vermouth and celery shrub. Because what is spring without celery shrub.

What to Read

Nick’s Cove, that classic road trip destination up Highway 1, came out with a new cookbook this week. It may not be the flashiest restaurant cookbook this year, but it’s quietly wonderful, spinning back through the history of the waterfront property, and serving up classic and comforting seafood recipes, including oysters, chowder, crab cakes, and more. Check out the full review over here, then pick up a copy from Omnivore Books. Even if you can’t book a cabin for an oyster-fueled adventure this weekend, consider it an armchair getaway.

What to Watch

The Balboa Theater, that wonderful old picture palace that dates back to the 1920s, is reopening this weekend at 50 percent capacity. And what better way to celebrate than with a Godzilla monster film festival, which kicks off on Friday, May 14 (tickets right this way). The theater is also still going strong with its popcorn parklet, an unexpected and fun new neighborhood hangout. “Serving up the best popcorn in town since 1926!” the theater wildly claims, and respectable local beer, too. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


April 29

Events

Zuni Cafe is hosting a bake sale in support of the AAPI community, with an all-star lineup of 32 pastry chefs. Boxes will include apricot-walnut torte from 20th Century Cafe, passionfruit-coconut doughnuts from the Progress, marcona almond cookies from Mister Jiu’s, coffee cinnamon rolls from Astranda, strawberry-vanilla conchas from Norte 54, and many more. All proceeds are going toward AAPI organizations in the Bay Area, namely AAPI Women Lead, Asian Pacific American Community Center, and Third Culture Bakery’s community safety kits. There are no preorders, so get a latte and get in line this Saturday, May 1 at Zuni Cafe, starting at 11 a.m. and until sold out.

Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate is a popular dinner series coming to San Francisco for the month of May. Originally launched by a couple of chefs in D.C., it’s a series of takeout dinners, which are all five courses, each course from a different chef. Teaming up in the Bay Area, it’s another impressive crew of star restaurants, including B. Patisserie, Liholiho Yacht Club, Nari, Nightbird, Rintaro, Sorrel, State Bird, and more. The dinners run every Tuesday for four weeks in the month of May, and there’s a possibility they’ll extend into June. Order online to pick up at Nari in Japantown ($150 for two people). Chefs are reimbursed a small amount, but the majority of the cost will be donated to a different local AAPI organization each week.

What to Eat

As SF hopefully eases into the yellow tier next week, restaurants continue to open and reopen this spring. Heartwarming news this week — Chef Heena Patel of Besharam has reopened the dining room, and is rolling out a full menu of her mostly veggie and incredibly comforting Gujarati cuisine, which won Eater SF restaurant of the year before the pandemic. Get those indoor and outdoor reservations while they’re hot, and don’t hold back on the flaky paratha, pickles, and chutneys.

What to Drink

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend, and why not break out the good bourbon? Charmaine’s rooftop bar at the Proper Hotel is offering a bourbon tasting, featuring three different vintages from the 80s and 90s, along with pimento cheese, buttermilk fried chicken, and pecan pie. It’s available all week from April 26 to May 1, and those who do the tasting are automatically entered into a raffle to win two nights at the SF Proper Hotel.

Across town, Benzo the miniature horse will also be making his fluffy annual appearance at Balboa Cafe, if you prefer to have a mint julep with a mini. That’s 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, the day of the race. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


April 22

Live Event

In this brief interlude between food holidays (after SF Restaurant Week but before Mother’s Day), maybe it’s time for a laugh. The Vault is bringing back their popular dinner and comedy show on the outdoor plaza, featuring a couple of notable standup comedians this Sunday, April 25. Comedians Andrew Orolfo and Logan Guntzelman are going to be cracking the jokes, and the Vault will be serving a three-course dinner for $89 per person, as well as cocktails. Tickets are selling out, so grab an outdoor reservation soon.

What to Eat

Reem’s Arab bakery has fired up their beautiful new oven in the heart of the Mission, and is running a few special treats for Ramadan: Marouk loaf topped with sesame seeds, marouk knotted bread filled with dates, shorbat addas red lentil soup, and atayef fried dumplings drenched in rosewater syrup and sprinkled with pistachios.

What to Drink

Aaron Paul from Macondray is a barman who proudly rocks a fruity pink drink, and he’s brought back a really cute one for spring. The “Bunny Poison” cocktail features gin, vermouth, rhubarb, celery, cucumber, and mint. Please don’t give it to a pet bunny, but do enjoy it with lobster rolls and chicken tenders.

What to Watch

In big broadcast news, the Oscars are on for this weekend. Mercury News has a very helpful guide for how to stream a view of the top nominees, for all those who care to cram. We do have a Lafayette local in the running, the Pixar artist who created the animated short film “Burrow”, which could be a cute thing to watch while drinking a bunny-themed cocktail. And, of course, there are a multitude of Chinese delivery options in San Francisco, including cool newcomers like Mamahuhu, United Dumplings, and Lazy Susan. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


April 15

Virtual Event

Many food businesses are continuing to do AAPI fundraisers, condemning the rise in hate crimes against the Asian-American community. In particular, Almanac Beer in Alameda is hosting a big one. This Saturday, April 17, they’ll be hosting pop-ups from Kristina Cho (frozen dumplings) and Thuy’s Treats (cream puffs), and donating a portion of their own beer sales for the day. And they’re calling on other small businesses to join them and take action, either by donating to nonprofits, hosting a pop-up, or otherwise boosting AAPI businesses. Now more than 100 small businesses have joined in from across the Bay, including notable breweries like Barebottle and Cellarmaker, their neighboring Admiral Maltings and St. George, and restaurants and bakeries from Brown Sugar Kitchen to Boichik Bagels. Check out the full list of participating businesses here.

Important notes: It’s also the last weekend of SF Restaurant Week, so get those deals while they’re hot. And the city may have officially canceled 420 for the second year in a row, but you know San Franciscans will find a way to celebrate, whether on the couch or in a park, and maybe some pizza and ice cream could help.

What to Eat

Anchovy Bar, the latest restaurant from the State Bird team, opened last fall, just in time to catch the tail end of our local anchovy season. But now, not only has the new restaurant reopened for spring, its namesake fish have also swum back into season. Chef Stuart Brioza is clearly excited for the triumphant return of his favorite oily little fish, and they’re back on the menu this weekend. Get a reservation while you can — they’re going to get slippery.

What to Drink

Sommelier Jirka Jireh of Ordinaire in Oakland is going to be hosting an Eater Wine Club session next Wednesday, April 21. Sign up now to get a box with either two or four bottles of natural wine, coming from North and South America, in varying hues of red, all curated by Jireh. Then tune in for the virtual wine tasting event next week, to learn more about her selections.

What to Watch

The new season of Top Chef: Portland premiered this month, and Nelson German of Alamar and Sobre Mesa in Oakland is repping for the Bay Area. Thus far, he has not been asked to pack up his knives and go just yet, making it through the first couple of challenges. Tonight’s new episode is titled “Pan African Portland,” and promises to take the chefs around some of the African diaspora restaurants in the area. Catch up on the first couple of episodes, then start tuning in at 8 p.m. on Thursday nights on Bravo. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


April 8

Virtual Event

San Francisco is in full bloom, and this weekend welcomes the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which is usually a big celebration in Japantown, with a parade, tea ceremonies, music, and dancers. For the second year in a row, it’s going virtual, if fans would like to zoom in this weekend or next (April 10 to 11 and 17 to 18). But regardless, it’s a great reminder to order takeout from a favorite restaurant in Japantown. Itani Ramen in Oakland also has a specific cherry blossom menu running through April 11, which includes a big picnic spread with karaage fried chicken, mini donburi, panko shrimp, chirashi, sushi rolls, and a pink cocktail ($85 for two servings). Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, go find some cherry blossoms in bloom to view, and feast on shrimp on a stick.

What to Eat

SF Restaurant Week is also running for the next 10 days, and with more than 150 participating restaurants, doing a variety of sit-down dining and takeout, those deals, deals, deals abound. Notably featured this year is the new La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, the city’s womxn-forward new food hall that’s been in the works for two years. So there is no time like the present to try a big plate of pupusas from Estrellita’s, complete with platanos fritos, guacamole curtido, salsa, and an agua fresca on the side ($25 for lunch).

What to Drink

Notable barman Craig Lane, who was a fixture at the late great Bar Agricole, appears to have found a new home at the Morris, and is still crafting beautiful drinks. In honor of the season, he’s mixing up a “spring cocktail bouquet” with three floral-themed canned cocktails: tulip with calvados, “white lily” with gin, and “chrysanthemum” with vermouth ($125). Presumably they go well with duck to make it a full spring feast.

What to Watch

Waffles & Mochi, the new kiddy TV show about food and travel, has already won the hearts of many fans large and small. It’s starring a muppet who is a mashup of a yeti and a waffle, a nonverbal sidekick who is … mochi, and also Michelle Obama, who happens to be a producer. There’s also an all-star roster of famous chefs and food personalities who drop in, including the Bay Area’s own Samin Nosrat and Preeti Mistry. Check out the full review from Eater, and dig in on Netflix. — Becky Duffett, deputy editor


February 18

Virtual Event

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is traditionally the biggest event in one of the oldest Chinatowns in the country, flooding Grant Avenue in a sea of red and gold, with floats, lion dancers, and the big dragon winding through. This year, of course, it’s going to be different — the parade is going to be a televised event, airing on local channels at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 20th. In the meantime, anyone can get out for a walk to visit the ox statues around the city, or see the float on display at Pier 27 (open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.) Then order in some celebratory takeout from these restaurants, flip on the TV to check out the party, and take a deep grounding breath to bring in the Year of the Ox. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Eat

You may have heard about the recent changes at Miss Ollie’s — how chef-owner Sarah Kirnon is creating a nonprofit, Carnival-inspired outdoor market called Sanctuary and how, until big gatherings like that are allowed, she’s teasing the new concept with special pop-ups focused on the food of the African diaspora. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check it out, there’s no better time than this Sunday, when chef Christian Washington will roll out a truly glorious-looking Southern brunch. The biggest challenge will be deciding what to order: the biscuit sandwich with smoky bacon and a runny-yolked egg? Kirnon’s legendary skillet-fried chicken served over cornmeal waffles? Bacon, eggs, grits, and chow-chow? Or maybe a big old bowl of seafood gumbo with local Dungeness crab. Catch them all while you can — next weekend, the menu’s theme will change once again. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Drink

Norte54 is teaming up with Nopalito in the Mission, to sell café y conchas out of the takeout window in the mornings. It’s exciting news for anyone who loves conchas, those seashell-shaped and sugar-encrusted pastries, but there are also hot drinks. Chef Gonzalo Guzman is doing champurrado, a hot chocolate that’s thickened with masa, making it extra thick and almost toasty. As well as café de olla, which takes Andytown coffee, sweetens it with piloncillo, the raw cane sugar, and simmers it with cinnamon sticks and orange zest. Go get yourself a comforting drink and a bun and take it to the top of Dolores Park. You might just get some fresh perspective on life. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Read

I have an oldie but goodie for you this weekend: a San Francisco Magazine long read from 2013 entitled “Mad Max.” Here’s the deal: Back in 2011, Marin County teenager Max Wade rappelled into the British Motor Cars dealership on Van Ness Avenue, all to steal a $200,000, bright yellow Lamborghini owned by internationally-beloved (but Bay Area based) celebrity chef Guy Fieri. It was a bizarre case that Eater.com once referred to as “one of the strangest car moments of Guy’s life,” and the crime — as well as an attempted murder charge — ended in 2014 when Wade, now aged 19, was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison following a trial at which Fieri testified.. The Bay Area News Group reported this week that a judge had cut Wade’s sentence by ten years, a headline that sent me back to “Mad Max” to revisit all the wild details of the case. If all goes well, Wade (who’s spent the last several years of his life in Marin’s San Quentin State Prison, will be eligible for parole in August 2025, when he’s 30 years old. Check out “Mad Max” here. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Watch

More than anything else, Bloodline, the heartwarming mini documentary about Oakland chef Tu David Phu that debuted nationally on PBS last week, is a love letter to Phu’s refugee parents. Gorgeously shot, the film traces the family’s journey from their home island of Phu Quoc in Vietnam to Phu’s decision as a young man to go to culinary school, against his parents’ wishes, since they’d seen how hard the restaurant life was when Phu’s father worked as a busboy and a cook. Mostly, though, the movie is a testament to how Phu’s real education came from his parents, who’d take him fishing under the Bay Bridge, or go to the market and bring home all the scraps of the fish — including the bloodline, the part his culinary school instructors had said was too fishy to use — and turn them into a beautiful dish. “The real revolutions in food come from people like my parents,” Phu says in the film. “You can give them any ingredient in any situation and they’ll make something delicious.” You can watch Bloodline in its entirety on Youtube. — Luke Tsai, food editor


February 11

Virtual Event

It’s a big celebration weekend, with both the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day coming up, and if you’re seeking a virtual home cooking experience that straddles both of those fine occasions, look no further than the February 14 season finale of The Cook In, the Youtube cooking series from the Sacramento-based culinary collective Last Supper Society. The guest chef will be Mister Jiu’s chef Brandon Jew, who will be leading viewers through a Chinese feast starring a whole steamed branzino and longevity noodles with Dungeness crab. If you’re able to snag a $100 meal kit for two before they sell out, you can cook along at home. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Eat

I’m not wild about the Valentines-industrial complex. It’s the New Year’s Eve of relationship management, seemingly intended to create unrealistic expectations for the coupled while not-so-subtly implying that the uncoupled are sad, lacking, or unlovable. But also like NYE, every year, I reluctantly engage. Becky has written an excellent guide to local Valentine’s Day specials that aren’t too Hallmarked up, and this history of local chocolate factories, as well as this guide to local chocolate shops, should cover most bases. Even though I’m happily coupled up (and have been for nearly 17 years), I’m most strongly mulling the Lone Wolf’s Valentine’s weekend meal kit, which for $85 includes a Dungeness crab cake, baked artichokes (my favorite food), and leek and Perigord truffle lasagne. Any V-day meal that celebrates solitude instead of mourns it is one I want to support. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Drink

Beer week is back and it’s going big this year, moving from our usual local SF Beer Week to an expanded statewide event called California Craft Beer Week. Breweries are introducing variety boxes that are available for takeout, and to name just one, Almanac has a big box featuring a dozen different brews, from hoppy IPAs to fruity sours. On the other hand, Woods is rocking the cute labels, including a Pugasus porter (with a flying pug on the label, obviously) and a rainbow of cans named after different SF neighborhoods. Check out our full guide over here, which also digs into the fun food pairings, from dumplings to doughnuts. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Listen to

There’s a moment in the new Reply All episode about last summer’s Bon Appetit imbroglio when a former magazine staffer recalls how the publication’s restaurant editor at the time summed up why the Chinese-American chef of the place he’d deemed that year’s third hottest restaurant in the country — clearly SF’s own Mister Jiu’s — had lost out to a sandwich shop: “He did pretty good for a Chinese guy.” As a Chinese guy myself who’s worked in food media for the past decade, I have a hard time putting into words how sick to my stomach hearing that made me feel. The four-part podcast series is pegged as an autopsy of what happened behind the scenes at the magazine that caused things to spiral so completely out of control at last year — the editor-in-chief resigning in disgrace after a racist photo of him resurfaced; multiple employees of color leaving the company citing a toxic culture of racism and exclusion. But the first episode of the series goes back 10 years further, digging into Bon Appetit’s “original sin” of setting up an editorial structure wherein white editors had all of the power and prestige while the people of color working in the test kitchen downstairs were marginalized and dismissed again and again. Hearing those ex-Bon Appetit folks give voice to those painful experiences was powerful — and not only because I, too, have been told by bosses that I was reviewing too many Asian restaurants, or that the “ethnic” food I wanted to spotlight was too ugly to give a splashy photo shoot. Whether or not you’ve experienced those kinds of workplace dynamics yourself, the podcast is well worth a listen. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Watch

As long as it’s Valentine’s weekend, when some may be ordering steak frites or chocolate mousse, why not indulge in French food romance. I love The Hundred-Foot Journey, in which a family immigrates to the French countryside and tries to open an Indian restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant. It’s got some cheese, but it’s also a Lasse Halstrom film, and he does hit those wild mushrooms with that sexy golden light. Or there is always Chocolat, in which Juliette Binoche plays a traveling chocolatier who attempts to open a sultry shop in a small religious town. That one’s actually set during Lent, so it’s timely right now, and why not eat chocolate while watching chocolate. Or never least, Ratatouille never disappoints. Pixar’s favorite film really comes into a whole new light during the pandemic, when you think about the food safety concerns of a rat running a restaurant, and it’s a fun fact that one of the characters was based on star chef Dominique Crenn. — Becky Duffett, reporter


February 4

Virtual Event

This week marks the 10th annual powwow of the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS), a multi-day event intended to gather local members of Indigenous tribes, as well as to help educate non-Native folks about American Indian culture. You can catch up on the week’s events here — the livestreams were all recorded and can be enjoyed at your leisure for free. On Friday, February 5, folks with an interest in Native foods should mark their calendars for 12-3 p.m. as that’s when chef and catering expert Tamarro Gabbert (a member of the Pawnee tribe) and Esteban Orozco (a member of the Wixárika tribe) will offer a cooking demonstration featuring a “Decolonized Indian Taco” and dishes to be determined by participants (there’s a Google doc where one can register and vote). Registered participants will be sent the recipes ahead of the class so they can cook alongside the instructors, with the hopes that in participating, you’ll “activate your inner medicine, strength, and creativity to heal yourself and family. Participation is free, but donations are gladly accepted here. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Eat

Somehow time continues apace, crucial games have been played, victors determined, and, somehow some way, the Super Bowl is in just a few days? If you’re like me, maybe you’ve lost touch with the sporting world during the pandemic, but if you plan on tuning in this Sunday, you might as well dig into a whole mess of tacos while you watch. Hermanos Verdes, the buzzy new pop-up in Castro Valley, is doing a nice kit that you can preorder online — enough of its signature pork chile verde (or beef barbacoa, or jackfruit tinga, or a couple of other options), tortillas, salsa, escabeche, and slaw to make five tacos that you’ll have to exercise great restraint to not finish scarfing down by the time they’ve finished singing the national anthem. Want other last-minute Super Bowl food ideas? We’ve got you covered. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Drink

With sportsball and snacks dominating the weekend, it feels like a moment for beer or margaritas. Even if you hate the new Anchor can design, plenty of local breweries have been serving up some fresh releases for the new year, especially in anticipation of California Craft Beer Week, which really gets rolling next week. In the meantime, maybe a margarita will could help cut through the chips and queso. Tommy’s, the tequila institution, is still on winter hiatus. But the Snug is tapped in with a nitro margarita right now, which not only has the classic kick of tequila, fresh lime, and sweet agave, but also an extra smooth and velvety mouthfeel. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Read

One of the most brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable short novels I’ve read in the past couple of years is Convenience Store Woman, by the Japanese writer Sayaka Murata. It tells the story of Keiko, a 36-year-old, perhaps autistic-coded young woman who never feels like she knows the proper way to interact with other people until she starts working at one of Tokyo’s ubiquitous 24-hour convenience stores — at which point, she says, after ringing up a customer with a basket full of discounted onigiri for the first time, “I felt like I’d become a part in the machine of society.” Darkly funny in the way it depicts the abiding love that Keiko develops for the mundane day-to-day happenings of the store and its “pristine, machine-made food.” The book will, among its many other pleasures, give readers who’ve spent any amount of time in a Japanese 7-Eleven — who’ve experienced the gentle tinkle of the door chime — a serious craving for Japanese convenience food: for rice balls and chocolate buns and bags of vaguely oceanic-flavored chips. It might even put you in the mood to hit up Umami Mart’s online conbini, the Oakland barware store’s well-curated selection of Japanese snacks. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Watch

KQED’s new series, Dishes of the Diaspora, kicks off this week, a web show intended to tell the stories of the Bay Area’s African immigrant chefs through their dishes. First up is Oumar Diouf, who at Uptown Oakland’s the Damel serves food with influences from his childhood home of Senegal and his former homes of Brazil and Argentina. While the episode is ostensibly about Diouf’s empanadas and acarajé (stuffed and deep-fried bean cakes), its just as much about Diouf’s cross-global journey to Oakland, from a childhood spent cooking to help his single mom, to his early-20s career change from professional soccer to the restaurant business. All that, in about five minutes! Keep an eye on this page for new episodes all month long. — Eve Batey, editor


January 28

Virtual Event

For 158 years, the Saint Andrew’s Society of San Francisco has celebrated the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns with a multi-course feast, loads of whisky, and song. This year, their Burns Supper has gone virtual, and on January 30 Chef Derrik Soares (of House Rules, among others) has concocted a dinner of recreated Caledonian Scottish fare, to be enjoyed during a three-hour online event of Scottish poetry, dance, music, and more. Yes, there will be bagpipes and haggis. The full menu is here, whisky pairings and all, and dinner is $150 per person, with tickets, if they’re still available on sale here. If you prefer to make your own dinner but still celebrate online, those tickets are only $50 and are still available — and for $60 more, you can add a bottle of Robert Burns Single Malt. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Eat

Palette Tea House

We’re now well in the thick of the local Dungeness season, which, at least in my household, means we’re steaming and cracking on a weekly basis. For more elaborate preparations, however, I like to leave things to the professionals, which is why Palette Teahouse’s new take-home crab set holds a lot of appeal: For $85 (to feed two or three), the meal comes with a whole crab, swimming in garlic butter, and garlic yifu noodles — the smell of that combination alone should drive you wild — plus seafood dumplings, king crab rangoon, and mango pudding to round out the meal. It’s a proper seafood feast — one that’ll have you licking garlicky fingers for the better part of the evening. Pre-order online via Tock. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Drink

If anyone could use a tall glass of sunshine to ward off the rain this weekend, Le Dix-Sept is going to be offering freshly pressed orange juice, along with the usual pastries. The botanically inspired bakery always promised fresh juices back when it opened, in the tradition of a Parisian breakfast with a pastry, coffee, and jus d’orange. And now that peak citrus season is here, they are making the most of those sweet Valencia oranges. It’s a special treat that’s only available on the weekends, meaning Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And as long as you’re treating yourself, why not load up on mini Liege waffles. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Watch and Read

This cold and rainy weekend is prime kimchi weather, as that all-purpose spicy-hot cabbage dish is just what we all need to warm back up. in between bites of my favorite kimchi pancake from Toyose (they are open for outdoor dining, but their beach-adjacent parklet might be too chilly for my weak California outerwear) I’m going to page through Luke Tsai’s report on Bart Grocery and Korean BBQ, a Daly City bodega purchased by tech workers who — here’s the surprise — wanted to keep things just as they are. Then I’ll revisit Noah Cho’s Catapult column, Bad Kimchi, which isn’t only about kimchi — but the food is regularly featured. Then, I’ll finally get around to watching Eater’s First Person video series, starting with the story of kimchi master Kwang Hee “Mama” Park. If that’s not enough to get me through this dark and damp weekend, I don’t know what will. — Eve Batey, editor


January 21

Virtual Event

San Francisco’s dining lobby, the Golden Gate restaurant Association, launches a game today called Takeout Bingo. Here’s the deal: Download their Bongo board here, then start ordering takeout dishes, marking off applicable squares like “lunch,” or “Noe Valley spot,” or “breakfast.” When you complete a full row (or, as the professionals refer to it, “Bingo”), share your board to social media, tagging @ggrasf and @eatdrinksf. That will be enough to put you in the running to win a”a selection of gift cards to San Francisco restaurants,” the GGRA says. You can get all the details here. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Eat

Breakfast man’oushe wrap from Reem’s Reem’s

You may have heard about the explosion that destroyed the main oven at Reem’s last month — a devastating blow for a restaurant whose literal bread and butter is the hot mana’eesh and other Arab baked goods that come out of that oven each day. One small silver lining for man’oushe fans: While it raises funds for a new oven, the bakery has gone back to its farmers market roots, rolling out its portable saaj ovens to bring fresh flatbreads to the Ferry Building farmers market every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at least through March. Even better, chef Reem Assil has brought back a deep cut from the original menu, the “Golden State” man’oushe: scrambled eggs, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and (optionally) chunks of sujuk sausage, all wrapped in a hot, crisp man’oushe. Snagging one of these on a Friday morning used to be the highlight of my entire week, but these particular wraps basically disappeared from the menu once Reem’s went brick and mortar. Trust me when I say they’d make for a pretty sweet way to kick off your weekend. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Drink

Smuggler’s Cove finally reopened for takeout tiki drinks. Which is a dramatic about-face, when you think about how much that tiki bar, and dare we say all tiki bars, are an immersive indoor drinking experience. In Smuggler’s case, part of the charm is that the over-the-top decor looks like the belly of a pirate ship, from the ropes in the rafters to the barrels in the basement. But until we can sway on the deck once more, at least we have some strong rum drinks to see us through. A painkiller seems like exactly what the doctor ordered to take the sting out of lockdown, and yes ice nerds, you can also order a bag of crushed ice to help it reach full efficacy. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Read

Ramen Forever: An Artist’s Guide to Ramen, a new art book slash cookbook and ramen manifesto by San Francisco-based artist Yarrow Lazer-Smith (a.k.a Yarrow Slaps), starts with an interview with former Lucky Peach editor Chris Ying in which Ying acknowledges that ramen, as a full-blown cultural phenomenon in America, has probably been “over” for a minute now. But even if our appetite for ramen thinkpieces has waned, Ramen Forevercurrently available for pre-order — still feels like a fresh addition, especially with its focus on visual artists. Highlights include interviews with assorted ramen luminaries, including one of the owners of Oakland’s Ramen Shop, and a reported story by Eater’s own Matthew Kang, about a Korean ramen shop in New York. Mostly, though, the book is worth checking out for its illustrated recipes, contributed by dozens of artists, which run the gamut from the purely practical (“just add lemon”) to more conceptual pieces like Opium War Lamian — “a rustic and flavorful noodle soup enjoyed by belligerents during an unjust, cruel, and brutal colonial conflict.” — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Listen to

Chef Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen is back with a second season of her podcast, Tanya’s Table, which was one of the many good food podcasts to rise out of the pandemic. Kicking off this season, her first guest is none other than Ayesha Curry, the restaurateur, cookbook author, and media personality behind International Smoke. These ladies are both big personalities in the Bay Area, who care deeply about the restaurant community in Oakland, so it’s sure to be a fun conversation between two smart entrepreneurs. Catch that first episode, which dropped just a couple of days ago, and stay tuned as Holland will be hosting actor Danny Glover, singer Bonnie Raitt, and more throughout the season. — Becky Duffett, reporter


January 14

Event

Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King Day, a National Day of Service for everyone in the U.S. In the past, we might have suggested that you spend the day working at a Bay Area food bank or other organization that fights food insecurity, and if you feel comfortable about leaving the house for an effort like that, here’s a list of places to volunteer on Monday and beyond. But with coronavirus cases still increasing in the Bay Area, that might not be possible this year. For an at-home service day, we suggest that you take a look at our how to help guide and identify some organizations you can assist from home, either via donations or work you can do remotely. — Eve Batey. editor

What to Eat & Drink

The City of Oakland is encouraging people to support local businesses while celebrating the holiday weekend, and has compiled a list of restaurants and bars that are currently open, as part of their #StayInOrderOut campaign. If you want to specifically support a Black-owned business, here’s also our roundup for the various guides across the Bay Area. As always, with so many temporary closures, these big running lists can change by the minute, so it’s definitely worth checking to make sure a specific restaurant is still open before making a special trip. But for Oakland, highlights include Kingston 11 for jerk chicken and curry goat, Alamar for shrimp boils and spicy mango margaritas, and Vegan Mob for plant-based brisket and mac and cheese. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Read

A number of Bay Area restaurants are taking this MLK long holiday weekend as an occasion to celebrate Black greatness — which seems like a worthy endeavor, too, if you’re picking up a book to fill out your weekend reading list. What better time, then, to throw some support over to Oakland’s Marcus Books, the oldest Black-owned independent bookstore in the U.S., specializing in “books by and about Black people everywhere.” Food-related titles that are worth a look run the gamut from Toni Tipton Martin’s Jubilee, an amazing collection of recipes and profiles spanning 200 years of Black cookbooks to Michael Twitty’s modern classic, The Cooking Gene, which traces the roots of African American culinary history in the South. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Watch

Now that you have your takeout meal from the Eat and Drink section of this guide, it’s time to fire up the TV. For just $7.99 you can own a streamable copy of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, a film I’ve been thinking about a lot for the past week, as Republican lawmakers continued to insist that the violent and largely white mob that stormed the Capitol building are no different than protesters engaged in the struggle for basic civil rights for Black folks since before many of those politicians were born. I know, I know — you need a break from the horrors of the last week, and you’re wondering if watching a dramatic adaption of real-life police brutality, oppression, and general bigotry from 1965 will make you feel any better about the our hopes to fight police brutality, oppression, and general bigotry in 2021. I’m here to tell you that it will, but it won’t be easy: this isn’t a Hallmark depiction of Dr. King and his work, it’s a complicated portrait of a painful and ongoing battle, but it’s one packed with warmth, insight, and hope. Selma is streaming on Amazon: it’s $3.99 to rent or $7.99 to buy. — Eve Batey, editor


January 6

Virtual Event

It’s Oakland Restaurant Week, folks — and, as far as this kind of city-wide dining promotion goes, the Town’s rendition has always stood out for the diversity and relatively low-key vibe of its participating restaurants. This year’s takeout-only rendition is no exception, but given what a devastating nine-plus months the local restaurant industry has endured, you probably have the wrong idea if you’re on the lookout for the kind of truly steep bargains you may have found in previous years. But if you’re looking to support one of your faves or a new spot you’ve been meaning to check out? The list of participating restaurants has continued to grow even since Eater SF’s preview of the event earlier this week — as of this posting, it’s up to 53 spots. A couple of deals and specials I’ve got my eye on: Taiwan Bento has a sweet $20 beef noodle soup and house-made chili oil crisp combo deal. And Kingston 11 is spicing things up a smoked roasted leg of lamb that isn’t on its regular menu. Check out our full write-up here. — Luke Tsai, food editor

What to Eat

The holiday chocolate stash may be sadly dwindling, but that just means ’tis the season for galette de rois as it was known in the Old World, or king cake as it’s called in Louisiana. Maison Danel, that sweet new patisserie, is doing a traditional French version with puff pastry and almond frangipane, and it comes in a party pack with a golden crown and a baby figurine to hide somewhere inside the cake, if you’re into playing games with desserts. Animal lovers may appreciate that it appears to not be a baby Jesus, but in fact a selection of super cute creatures. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Drink

In these cold dark days post Christmas, even after the twinkle lights have come down, I’ve been craving chai for something spicy and cozy. My favorite is from Samovar, and it’s best drunk from the top of Yerba Buena Garden, with a long view into the park and new year. Sadly, all three locations of Samovar are closed, but the online shop has their signature masala chai. It’s not a sickly sweet powder, it’s good black tea leaves, tossed with shredded dried ginger and whole cardamom and cloves. If you really want to treat yourself, pour it into that speckled mug from local potter Kiyomi Koide, and wrap with both hands. — Becky Duffett, reporter

What to Read

Take a break from doom scrolling and catch up on some longreads: For example, there’s this first-hand account of working with admitted angry person/chef David Chang, an item that inspired a lengthy look inwards from New York Times critic Pete Wells. Or you could see why everyone’s been talking about bucatini via this quite entertaining Grub Street report into its mysterious shortage on U.S. shelves. And, in case you missed it, we also have this deep, deep dive into how the folks at Healdsburg’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant, inn, and farm SingleThread are grappling with the region’s wildfires and the entire world’s climate crisis. There, that should distract you from CNN for while. — Eve Batey, editor

What to Watch

Set in the San Francisco Chinatown of the late 1870s, Warrior made its debut in 2019 on Cinemax, where it was watched by a passionate few. Now the show’s on HBO Max, with two full seasons in all their bingable glory. It’s an action-packed tale of the neighborhood’s Tong wars, executive produced by Shannon Lee from a treatment written by her dad, born-in-SF martial arts legend Bruce Lee. It’s basically San Francisco’s Deadwood, and you’ll never look at the neighborhood the same after you watch it. For an absolutely perfect weekend spent watching Warrior, I suggest you load up on takeout from your favorite Chinatown spots (which need our help) and put your phone somewhere you can’t reach it. You’re going to need both hands to manage those noodles, and, if given the chance, this show will suck you completely in. — Eve Batey, editor

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