Mardi Gras celebrations are taking place throughout the Bay Area on Tuesday night, including in San Francisco.

With an influx of southern food eateries, many San Francisco restaurants are providing special menus for the occasion.

Brenda Buenviaje, chef and owner of Brenda’s French Soul Food restaurant in the Civic Center is a New Orleans native.

“The whole region is Mardi Gras. There’s no escaping it,” Buenviaje said about New Orleans. “It’s a huge regional party. Offices shut down, streets shut down, schools are closed.”

She says the restaurant will be open for Mardi Gras service, which is news since Brenda’s just started dinner service last week.

“We are celebrating our first Mardi Gras night. There is already a lot on the menu that’s iconic, New Orleans cuisine,” she says. “As a dinner special, we’re serving chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya”

Buenviaje said items like king cake, gumbo and red beans and rice are traditional Mardi Gras fare, classic Creole dishes.

Brenda’s French Soul Food is just one of several restaurants celebrating Fat Tuesday.

The biggest party will be in the Fillmore District, as a number of the local restaurants are offering southern fare and specials.

Street performers will be performing at the Fillmore Center Plaza and there will also be a Masquerade Ball.

Click here for more specials in the Fillmore.

Photo Credit: King cake from Cartozzo’s Bakery