Starting on Monday, October 24 and running for five full days, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the Bay Area will celebrate Diwali or the Festival of Lights. It’s a time to reflect on the triumph of light over darkness, and one of the many ways to mark the occasion is, of course, with food and drink. To that end, San Francisco restaurants are hosting dinners, serving special menus, and offering gift boxes for anyone who might want to celebrate at home.
Here are four ways to celebrate Diwali in San Francisco this year.
Diwali Celebration at Besharam
Head to chef Heena Patel’s modern Indian restaurant Besharam in the Dogpatch this Saturday, October 15 for a one-night celebration of Diwali. The family-style Gujarati feast will include an array of vegetarian small plates and main courses, plus a dessert course from guest chef Hetal Vasavada from Milk & Cardamom. The menu ($125) offers Patel’s drunken pani puri, samosas, and an orange salad, followed by dishes such as onion basmati rice, hand-rolled naan, and maska paneer. Dessert will be orange and fennel tarts with rose whipped cream. Wine pairings are available for an additional $30 and reservations can be made on Resy.
Diwali Tasting Menu at ROOH San Francisco
On Sunday, October 23, and Monday, October 24 Michelin Guide-worthy Indian restaurant ROOH will serve a preset menu ($85) from chef Pujan Sakar to celebrate Diwali. Diners will enjoy four courses starting with canapes and followed by a choice of plates including wild mushroom vol-au-vent and Malabri shrimp and crab bonda. Main course options such as charcoal grilled cauliflower and tandoori chicken farcha come next, with two dessert options — coconut mawa gujiya and saffron malai ghevar — to end the meal. Reservations are available on Tock.
Diwali Celebration Box from Kasa Indian Eatery
If you want to celebrate Diwali at home, Kasa Indian Eatery is selling Diwali Celebration Boxes ($69.99) that include a Kasa chai kit plus a savory snack, a spice kit, and a box of sweets from Fremont Raja Sweet. The box also comes with traditional clay diyas (lamps) with tea lights and pink matches, a rangoli screen and powders, and incense sticks to set the vibe. Orders can be placed online for delivery or pick-up at the restaurants in the Castro and on Polk.
Diwali Gift Set from DECANTsf
Bar and bottleshop DECANTsf, co-founded by Indian-American sommelier Simi Grewal, has teamed up with a trio of three women-owned brands to put together a Diwali Gift Set. The centerpiece of the set is a bottle of Naidu Winery’s 2021 Russian River Valley pinot noir, which can be paired with Diaspora Co.’s newly-released Chai Masala for $71, Brightland’s Chili-Infused Olive Oil for $94, or get the whole trio for $107. Orders should be placed online before October 14 for delivery by October 24.