Celebrated every autumn over the course of five days, Diwali is a time to acknowledge the victory of light over darkness. And this year, Bay Area restaurants are observing the Festival of Lights — one of the most important religious holidays in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism — with special menus and beautiful boxes of mithai, traditional Indian desserts often gifted during Diwali.
From San Francisco to San Jose, here’s where you can dine and drink this Diwali in the Bay Area:
Chef Heena Patel says Diwali is one of her favorite holidays, a time to reflect on the year and spend time with family and friends. “The anticipation and lead up always brings me back to my childhood and the memories of my mom making savory and sweet treats with our neighboring aunties,” Patel says. This year she and her husband and co-owner Paresh Patel are showcasing regional Gujarati dishes from her childhood with a four-course prix-fixe menu available only on November 4. The $95 per person meal includes dishes such as sev puri (crispy wheat crackers topped with tamarind-cilantro chutney and sev); samosas stuffed with potatoes, peas, mint, and coriander; pulav, a dish of basmati rice with cashews, raisins, peas, and cauliflower; and maska paneer starring housemade cheese, spiced spinach sauce, and silk chili oil.
Reservations for indoor and outdoor dining available from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tock.
ROOH co-founders Anu and Vikram Bhambri are decking out their modern Indian restaurant with candles and other traditional touches to celebrate the Festival of Lights with a four-course menu available on November 4. The $70 per person menu includes butternut squash and parsnip shorba with masala Parmesan crisp and a choice of either maitake mushroom kurkura and potato tikki with fried kale and yogurt mousse or lamb burrah cutlet. Third course options include tandoori artichoke or swordfish steak and stuffed chicken breast, while dessert brings coconut halwa or fermented sweet doi.
Menu available for dinner only. Reservations available on Tock.
You’ve got several options for celebrating Diwali with Amber India — not only are the restaurants in San Jose, Los Altos, and San Francisco serving a lunch buffet (complete with house made mithai and endless mimosas) on November 4, but the same three locations are also offering a special dinner platter from November 4 to 7. The platter includes a number of traditional dishes and desserts like khatta meeta kaddu (sweet and sour pumpkin) with poori (fried whole wheat bread) and malpua (sweet pancakes in syrup) plus a mithai sweet at the end of the meal. Finally, fans can also order a box of nine confections for pick up or delivery via DoorDash.
Lunch menus vary by location. Dinner reservations and mithai box orders available on the Amber India website.
Santa Clara’s Ganesha Sweets is also taking orders for mithai of all flavors and colors — from golden milk cakes made with slow cooked-milk, sugar, and ghee to sunny squares almond barfee made with pure cane sugar and almonds. Prices range from $8 to 12 per pound and there’s a Diwali special offer for a free box when you order four.
Orders available on the Ganesha Sweets website.