Eeeek, it’s not only a new year, it’s a new decade. Could this be the year you finally move from coffee to matcha? Or try that famed fried chicken everyone’s talking about? Go to all the restaurants on your endless list of “Must-Go” restaurants? Perhaps “yes” to some of these. The more attainable route to accomplish your culinary goals is by taking every day one step at a time, follow your nose and instincts wherever they might lead, and find a few low-key / low-stress enjoyable and delicious events that are easy to commit to. Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
January 9th – 20th: Attend a restaurant at Oakland Restaurant Week
Get discounted meals while supporting your local community – what a way to start the year. On January 9th-20th, Oakland Restaurant Week is back for its tenth installment; with special menus, pop-ups, events and tours. And while other restaurant weeks have given up on added value or communal angles, this venture, powered by Visit Oakland, is still going strong. More information
January 11th: Pair Ice Cream with Whiskey
As cozy as it gets, National Hot Toddy Day is a made-up holiday inviting you to sip hot, delicious drinks. Sounds amazing, right? To celebrate, the homegrown ice cream brand Humphrey Slocombe is partnering with Glenlivet, the 12-year, single malt whiskey to create toddies, floats, whiskey-flavored ice cream and other delights. The sweet festivities are happening for just one day, from 6 to 10 pm. Free, register here.
January 12th: Unwind with Dumplings
Raise your hand if “doing more DIY stuff” was on your 2020 resolutions list. The opportunity now presents itself in the form of a thoughtful dumpling workshop, put on by local superstar blogger Kristina Cho. Learn to make and cook different dumplings, and then take some home, too. Tickets are $85, available here.
January 17th: Attend an Unusual Shabbat Dinner Shuk Shuka, a brunch and dinner pop-up run by a multi-religious crew, is something you’ll hear more about in 2020. This January, the organizers are throwing a casual, free-flowing Palestinian-Israeli Shabbat dinner with live music, serving challah, sumac chicken and other delicious family-style dishes. Part of Shuk Shuka’s mission is uniting people and making everyone feel at home, so leave your guard and inhibitions at home. Tickets are $60, available here.
January 19th: Buy Really “Good Food”
And by “good food”, we mean foods that have won the Good Food Award; given to products produced ethically, responsibly and locally. Right in time for a New Year, New You spirit of any given January, the organization is hosting a marketplace. Stop by Fort Mason on this special Sunday to shop 2020 finalists, talk to producers and discover new foods to fall in love with. Entry is $5, tickets available here.
January 26th: Go Foraging at a Winery
Interestingly enough, few things are as relaxing than mushroom foraging. On January 26th, Passalacqua Winery is offering a unique combo of wine and mushrooms, by partnering with Relish Culinary Adventures for a wild mushroom foray and lunch. Taking place in the hills around Healdsburg, the trip will educate you on edible mushrooms of a different kind, and showcase ways to cook them. Lunch will be paired with wines Passalacqua winemaker Jessica Boone. Tickets are $154, available here.
All Month Long: Go to Union Square for Sushi
With the tourists and visiting relatives blissfully gone, Union Square is a little more calm again, and near it, an oasis of sanity and minimalism is the new Sushi Nagai. With a Michelin star to his name, chef Tomonori Nagai has arrived to San Francisco to serve a precise, pristine omakase menu, with fine ingredients like Hokkaido uni and the perfect Japanese omelet. The price list is befitting Nagai’s presitge, but January 2020 happens only once in a lifetime.