Many restaurants around town are featuring special menus, offering deals and throwing events to honor the year of the monkey: so make this your foodie bucket list for an authentic Chinese New Year experience in San Francisco.
1. E&O Kitchen: This downtown spot is serving up special steamed buns, long life noodles and whole crispy fish – plus on-theme cocktails like the Brass Monkey with pineapple rum. Every table will get a lucky red envelope with the possibility to win a golden ticket, good for dinner for two at the restaurant. And on Saturday, February 20 there will be traditional Chinese lion dancers following the parade.
Photo courtesy of E&O Kitchen
2. Hakkasan: If you’re ready to go all out, Hakkasan is offering a limited edition menu showcasing dishes that will bring luck, joy and prosperity in 2016: for $138.88 a head, you’ll get the special menu with choices like wok-fried lobster, steamed dim sum platter and pipa duck – with a signature themed cocktail.
3. Kingdom of Dumpling: This hole-in-the-wall spot in the Outer Sunset is worth the trek: their soup dumplings are unparalleled and dim sum selection on point.
4. House of Nanking: Right in the center of all the action, House of Nanking on Columbus Street is an SF-mainstay. This cozy, crowded gem is worth the wait for a table, we promise. Just don’t leave without ordering the famous Nanking sesame chicken.
5. DIY Feasting: If you’d rather create a proper Lunar New Year spread at home, head to chef Brandon Jew’s favorite authentic market for the goods to do it yourself: Mow Lee Shing Kee & Co in the heart of Chinatown.
6. Celebrate during the work week: if you work in the financial district or are staying downtown, beat the weekend or evening crowds and head to our favorite wonton noodle spot, Hon’s Wun Ton, for a casual lunch.
7. Pop into some of the most classic Chinatown cocktail bars for a drink. Our favorites: Far East Cafe, Cathay House, Li Po (where you’d be amiss not to order the famous Mai Tai).