Huge Food and Drink Festival hits San Francisco This Weekend
Yes, San Diego is well loved by locals as a food, cocktail and beer paradise. While we may reign supreme (in our humble opinion) on the beer front, we may have some catching up to do in terms of dining. Yes, we have a number of big names and hot restaurants scattered from downtown, to Little Italy and Del Mar and beyond. We have a ton of variety in terms of ethnic cuisine as well, but nothing in California has quite the same impact as San Francisco.
San Francisco is home to an eclectic mix of residents, with a long history as a center of immigration. Since the tech boom, the area has also been infused with wealthy residents and up-and-comers from around the globe, coming to hit it big at companies like Google, Cisco, Airbnb, Stubhub, and Uber, just to name a few. Along with innovation in the tech industry, San Francisco is also well known for innovations in the culinary world.
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association was created in 1936 to support the wide variety of restaurants in the area and advocate for these restaurants. Through events like Restaurant Week (just like we have in San Diego), The Golden Gate Restaurant Association celebrates the culinary achievements of the San Francisco community. This weekend marks the ninth year of one the Association’s other big events: Eat Drink SF.
The event was founded in 2009 as “SF Chefs.” The name has changed to Eat Drink SF, and the celebration has grown larger from year to year. Each year, more than 150 restaurants participate in Eat Drink SF’s events, with more than 8,500 attendees over a four day period.
“Each year the festival showcases different talent and restaurants,” said GGRA Director, Gwyneth Borden. We have a number of restaurants participating in the festival that are less than a year old—Robin, ROOH, Dumpling Time, Mestiza, Salt & Straw, and so many more.”
Guest tickets include all food and beverage tastes from more than 30 different restaurants, including those mentioned by Borden (restaurants change at every session), as well as over 70 bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries. You’ll also in enjoy a main culinary stage and wine education programming to enhance the indulgent experience.
Borden explained, “Eat Drink SF is a celebration of the Bay Area’s culinary tradition and the rich cultural diversity of our food system. We’re lucky to have access to amazing food from local farms, ranches, and fisheries. The biggest goal for Eat Drink SF is to showcase the diverse nature of our dining scene and the current food trends that shape it.”
Eat Drink SF 2017 will begin with its kickoff party, Taco Knockdown, on August 24. Four signature Grand Tasting sessions will follow in the days to come –two evening and two afternoon sessions. The event will take place from August 25 – 27 at Festival Pavilion in Fort Mason Center.
Each day comes with its own Grand Tasting event with Saturday’s event being the largest. Guests will experience bites and drinks from the hottest chefs and mixologists. Guest Grand Tasting tickets include all food and drink with the opportunity to meet and eat with the chefs and culinary personalities that make the Bay Area a world-class dining destination.
In addition to being a celebration of the culinary world, the event will be showcasing another prized jewel of the Bay Area—the Golden State Warriors. Borden told the Entertainer that “their championship trophy will be on display during Friday’s Grand Tasting. Additionally, Warriors pitchman Franco Finn, will be the Master of Ceremonies for Friday evening, and Sunday we’ll close out with the Warriors’ drumline, Aftershock.”
In addition to food (and Warriors-themed) fun, don’t miss this year’s bar program; it will be the biggest yet with more than 70 bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries on hand to pour tastes and batch cocktails. There are also culinary demonstrations and presentations throughout the event.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a California (and San Francisco) event without some sustainability. Through a partnership with Recology and the San Francisco Conservation Corp, the goal is to achieve a zero-waste event. All paper products will be recycled, all disposable silverware and glassware is made of corn resin and will be composted, and there will be water stations for guests to fill up throughout the event.
VIP tickets are available for the Grand Tasting Sessions and give guests early access (45 minutes before general admission), entry to a private lounge (and restrooms) with exclusive food, and beverage options including Champagne pours from The Riddler and bites from The Perennial, Cotogna, and more. Compared with past years, Borden explained that “we also expanded our VIP section, which is now partially located upstairs in Fort Mason, offering a bird’s eye view over the whole event.”