31 Fun Things: Autumn Lights Festival, Día de los Muertos, Wharf Fest + More Bay Area Events
Feel the spark at Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt. (Courtesy of @jadorenana)

31 Fun Things: Autumn Lights Festival, Día de los Muertos, Wharf Fest + More Bay Area Events


Oakland's got it going on this week with OMCA's annual Día de los Muertos celebration, the Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt, and the openings of Vegan Mob and Brenda's French Soul Food.

Plus, Wharf Fest 2019 is your yearly excuse to eat chowder in SF's most touristy 'hood; Dirty Habit is showing Reservoir Dogs with drinks on the roof; Avery is hosting a decadent sake and caviar dinner; it's Cheese Month at the Ferry Building; and Autocamp Yosemite is holding its first annual Fall Festival with hikes, live music, and glamping.

Have fun this week!

Monday, October 14th

Aziza is open—again!

Dinner 5:30-10pm nightly; brunch Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 2:30pm

Aziza, 5580 Geary Blvd. (Outer Richmond), aziza-sf.com

Don't get us wrong, we love the restaurant Mourad. But sometimes we long for the comfy-cozier feeling of Aziza, the original Richmond District neighborhood eatery where chef Mourad Lahlou got his start, and later earned his first Michelin star. Well, rejoice! The Moroccan-Californian restaurant is back. Three years have passed, but much remains the same. Expect several OG dishes (chicken basteeya, beef cheek tagine) as well as some new additions. Look for Moroccan pancakes and shakshuka at brunch.

Clipping in Concert


The New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave (Oakland), thenewparish.com

Catch some vibes from the metal-meets-hip-hop group Clipping, from trio Ben Turner, Lexagon, and DJ Victor Vankmen. With a few new music and lyric videos recently out, this show will be a good one. // Tickets ($25 and up) are available on thenewparish.com.

Lord Stanley's Seafood Soirée

Through the 17th

Lord Stanley, 2065 Polk St. (Nob Hill), lordstanleysf.com

Ahoy! Seafood lovers should look forward to this limited-time five-course menu at Michelin-starred Lord Stanley, composed of such oceanic eats as oysters, caviar, prawns, uni, lobster, and scallops—plus dessert. // The dinner is $110 per person, reservations recommended.

Tuesday, October 15th

Burger Tuesdays

11:30am to 1pm

Willkommen, 2198 Market St. (Castro), willkommen.beer

Rosamunde's Sausage Grill in the Haight closed up quickly the other week (RIP). Locals may remember their secret, Tuesday-only burgers, which were available to-go to pair with a beer at neighboring Toronado. To keep the spirit of this iconic combo alive, nearby-ish beer garden Willkommen is adding a $6 Tuesday-only burger to their menu of Rosamunde sausages that are served in-house. Sounds like Tuesday night is planned.

Beer, Wine & Climate Change


The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero (Embarcadero), commonwealthclub.org

Ever think about how climate change is affecting the beer and wine industry? Tonight, a panel of experts—including Esther Mobley (SF Chronicle wine critic), Dan Petroski (Larkmead Vineyards winemaker), and Katie Wallace (director of social and environmental impact at New Belgium Brewing)—discuss. // Tickets ($12 and up) can be purchased on commonwealthclub.org.

Cheese Month

Through Sunday

Ferry Building Marketplace (Embarcadero), ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

Happy American Cheese Month! Work your way through Ferry Building vendors for tastes of exclusive dishes featuring Cowgirl Creamery cheeses all week long. After scarfing down melted raclette at Cowgirl Sidekick Café, cheddar cheese grits at Brown Sugar Kitchen, and Red Hawk triple cream cheese–filled empanadas at El Porteño, you're guaranteed to end up in a cheese coma. // Find details on ferrybuildingmarketplace.com.

AI, Robots + the Future of Humans

8pm to 9:30pm

CounterPulse, 80 Turk St. (Tenderloin), counterpulse.org

Curious about artificial intelligence and all things robots? Tonight at Litquake, award-winning author David Ewing Duncan (Talking to Robots: Tales From Our Human-Robot Futures) sits down with fellow geeks to talk about whether or not robots will really take over humanity. // Tickets ($10/advance, $15/door) can be found on flipcause.com. See the full Litquake schedule at litquake.org.

Wednesday, October 16th

Zadie Smith will be at City Arts and Lectures tonight.

Brenda's bring its Creole soul to Oakland.

8am to 3pm, Wednesday through Monday

Brenda's, 4045 Broadway (Oakland), brendasoakland.com

Yes, that Brenda has expanded her mini empire of Cajun food to the East Bay with a new fast-casual joint in Temescal. Expect many of her classics alongside 13 new po' boy offerings (including a vegetarian option), milkshakes, and four types of beignets. There's fried chicken, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, and countless breakfast options. Come hungry.

Zadie Smith


Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley), cityarts.net

Chances are you've read Zadie Smith's acclaimed first novel, White Teeth. Now's your chance to grab a copy of her new short story collection, Grand Union, and hear all about its various complexities—including rebirth, dystopia, and time from Smith herself. // Tickets ($29 and up) can be purchased on cityboxoffice.com.

DIY Pumpkin Succulent Centerpiece

7:30pm to 9pm

The Sill, 2181 A Union St. (Pacific Heights), thesill.com

Stop by indoor plant heaven, The Sill, for a workshop with Jen Ahlstrand of WestWind Succulents. You'll sip wine while you craft your own festive fall centerpiece, a pumpkin stuffed with succulents. // Tickets ($45) can be found on Eventbrite.

BoJack Horseman's Raphael Bob-Waksberg


JCCSF Kanbar Hall, 3200 California St. (Presidio Heights), jccsf.org

You're obsessed with Netflix's BoJack Horseman. Meet the creator of the talking horse and learn about his debut collection of stories, Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, packed with more of his unique humor. // Tickets ($30) can be found on jccsf.org.

Thursday, October 17th

Vegan Mob

Tues through Thurs 11am to 4pm; Fri 5-9pm; Sat and Sun 11am to 6pm

500 Lake Park Ave. (Oakland), sfveganmob.com

ICYMI, popular food truck Vegan Mob's new permanent location completed 900 orders—and completely ran out of food—when it opened on October 5th. Munch on vegan soul food favorites—think barbecue shrimp po' boys, brisket nachos, and brisket and mac and cheese burritos—and see for yourself what all the hype is about.

Autumn Lights Festival

6pm to 11pm, through Saturday

Gardens at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Ave. (Oakland), gardensatlakemerritt.org

Explore seven acres of outdoor gardens featuring light installations designed by Bay Area artists—and even watch some fire dancers—at this annual evening bash benefiting the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt. Plus, enjoy live music, beer and wine, and food from various local vendors. // Tickets ($20 in advance, or $25 on event day) can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Japanese Curry

Konomama, 4601 Geary Boulevard (Inner Richmond)

11:30am to 3pm, 5pm to 9pm, Tuesday to Friday; 11:30am to 9pm, Saturday; 11:30am to 5pm, Sunday

From the team behind now-closed Ken Ken Ramen, Konomama is a new Japanese restaurant with a curry focus over in the Richmond. Start with either the original or vegetarian curry base and add toppings like pork katsu, beef, barbecue pork ribs, potato croquettes, or fried tofu. // yelp.com/biz/konomama-san-francisco

Art & Fashion Wine Walk

5:30pm to 8:30pm

Union Square, San Francisco

What better way to explore Union Square's most stylish stores and galleries than with an evening wine walk? Pick up a special wine glass, map, and passport for the evening at Macy's, and then head to locations including Re:store, All Saints, Golden Goose, and Montague Gallery for wine, live music, and apps. Then stop by Feinstein's for more fun; when you turn in your completely stamped passport, you'll be entered for a chance to win a grand prize. // Tickets ($25) can be found on Eventbrite.

Friday, October 18th

Dance Workshop

5pm to 7pm

UNDSCVRD Court, 541 Stevenson St. and 7th St (SoMa), undiscoveredsf.com

Head to this outdoor basketball court that's half sports field and half artisan marketplace for a little end of the week dance sesh. Moves will be taught by Mix'd Ingrdnts for an hour and a half before things move to happy hour drinks. // Free to attend, RSVP via Eventbrite.

Autocamp Yosemite Fall Festival

Friday through Sunday

Autocamp Yosemite, 6323 CA-140 (Midpines), autocamp.com

In need of an outdoor getaway? Head to Autocamp Yosemite's inaugural Fall Festival for three days of DJ sets, hiking, outdoor yoga, and farm-to-table dining—plus stylish glamping accommodations, of course. // Book your stay and see the full event lineup at autocamp.com.

Belden Lane gets a Mexican joint.

During business hours

Tin Cactus, 56 Belden Pl. (Financial District)

One of downtown's cutest streets, Belden Lane, just landed a new Mexican restaurant by the name of Tin Cactus, owned by the team from neighboring restaurant Toy Soldier. Eat up tacos, mole, margaritas, and more.

Festival Musica Marin

Through Sunday

Various locations in the Belvedere-Tiburon Peninsula

Whether you're a music fan or a foodie, this mini festival has you covered with eats and beautiful chamber music. Many of the events will take place in the peaceful St. Stephen's Church, as well as in private homes. Add in Grammy Award winning artists, some tasty barbecue, and wine pairings and you've got yourself a good time. // Tickets ($95 and up per show, or snag a 3-day pass) are available on festival.musicamarin.org.

Saturday, October 19th

Forest Bathing

11am to 2pm

Red Car Wine, 8400 Graton Road (Sebastopol), redcarwine.com

Tap into your inner zen with a meditative walk through wooded Sebastopol with a certified forest therapy guide. End your journey with wines from Red Car, local cheese, and fruit. // Tickets ($45) can be found on Eventbrite.

Betabrand Sample Sale

11am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday

Betabrand, 780 Valencia St. (Mission), betabrand.com

Grab some stylish new threads for less at Betabrand's biggest sample sale of the year. As if the chance to score discounted Dress Pant Yoga Pants wasn't enough, you'll also find freebies and refreshments, and get a limited-edition T-shirt if you spend more than $75. And if you're one of the first 50 people to arrive today, receive early entrance to the sale and a free tote. // Register for the free event on Eventbrite.

Outpost: San Francisco City Market

12pm to 7pm

The Midway, 900 Marin St. (Bayview), themidwaysf.com

Stop by the Midway for this culture festival themed around Creating a Cooler Future, with experiences from Harley Davidson, Yeti, and Ketel One. After taking a wild foraged cocktail workshop or learning about creative storytelling, get groovy to live music; attend a travel, music, or transportation panel; and chat all things innovation over delicious bites and drinks. // Register for the free event on Eventbrite.

Dia de los Muertos Community Celebration

11am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St. (Oakland), museumca.org

OMCA is bringing back its Day of the Dead festivities for the 25th year. Stop by for crafting, food, dance performances, live music, special altars, tortilla making demos, art vendors, and a special exhibit, ¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of El Día de los Muertos. // Tickets ($13 and up) are available on Eventbrite.

Hop Chef

2pm to 5pm

Drake's Dealership, 2325 Broadway (Oakland), drinkdrakes.com

Gather 'round as 15 breweries share their specially crafted beer made from a random ingredient (think figs, yams, plums, honey, and even oysters). Take your time sampling them all, then cast your vote for the best // Tickets ($30) can be found on Eventbrite.

Wharf Fest 2019

Noon to 8pm

Pier 43 (Fisherman's Wharf), fishermanswharf.org

If you fancy a cup of chowder now and then, this local chowder competition is for you. Mix things up with some beer and wine tastings, as well as live music. // Tickets ($40 and up) are available on Eventbrite.

Sake & Caviar Dinner

5:30pm to 9:30pm, Saturday and Sunday

Avery, 1552 Fillmore St. (NoPa), averysf.com

Sake expert Eduardo Dingler is joining the crew at Avery for a divine tasting menu featuring nine courses of caviar from The Caviar Co. and nonstop sake, along with some sake-paired dishes from Avery's chefs. // Tickets ($598 per person) are available at exploretock.com.

Farm-to-Table in Tahoe


Edgewood Tahoe, 180 Lake Parkway, Stateline Nevada (South Lake Tahoe), edgewoodtahoe.com

Join the fight against type 1 diabetes at this benefit dinner in Tahoe. You'll enjoy four luxurious courses like brown butter gnocchi, a burrata salad and crab cakes, each paired with wine, plus a cocktail hour to kick things off. // Tickets ($225) are available on edgewoodtahoe.com.

Sunday, October 20th

Harvest Brunch with a View

10am to 1pm

Top of the Mark, 999 California St. (Russian Hill), topofthemark.com

Fancy yourself a fancy brunch? Head to the top of Nob Hill's InterContinental Mark Hopkins for amazing views and a gorgeous brunch spread (plus live piano music)—all paired with sparkling rose and sauvignon blanc from Sterling Vineyards. Winemaker Lauren Kopit will also be pouring their Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon at a special tasting table. Bottoms up! // Reservations ($109 per person) are required and can be made via Resy.

Healdsburg Crush Wine Party

11am to 3pm

Healdsburg Plaza, Healdsburg Ave & Matheson St. (Healdsburg)

What's better than a gorgeous fall day? One packed with wine, of course. Stroll through downtown Healdsburg, tasting your way through wine pours from more than 60 wineries. Do your best to win the silent auction wine bottles, enter a raffle or two, and grab a bite from local food vendors. // Tickets ($90) can be found on healdsburgcrush.com.

Tsuta Ramen is here.

5pm to 10pm daily

Tsuta, 155 4th St. inside the Metreon (SoMa), tsuta.com

The most epic ramen straight from Japan is descending on San Francisco. Tsuta has the honor of having received the first-ever Michelin star for a ramen restaurant, and is now opening a spot in our city, lucky us. Choose from three types of noodles with such toppings as red onions, corn, olives, mitsuba, leeks, hosaki menma, and bean sprouts. There will also be sides of edamame, fried chicken, a few small rice dishes, and pork dishes.

Outdoor Movie Night


Dirty Habit, 12 4th Street (SoMa), dirtyhabitsf.com

Cozy up with your pals or a special someone for a rooftop outdoor movie. Tonight, Dirty Habit will be showing Reservoir Dogs, accompanied by a glass of bubbly and eats for purchase. // Tickets ($15) can be found on Eventbrite.

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