Celebrate Year of the Tiger with special eats + events in San Francisco
Courtesy of David Yu/Flckr/CC

Celebrate Year of the Tiger with special eats + events in San Francisco


This February, Chinatown will roar to life with the return of its annual Chinese New Year Parade and Festival, an event that not even a surging Omicron can keep down.

In addition to the classic in-person events—the parade, the Flower Market Fair, the 44th Lunar New Year Run—some activities will also be offered virtually or in hybrid form. Restaurants, too, are gearing up, some with special holiday menus for onsite dining, others with prix fixe take home meals fit to welcome the year of the tiger. Happy New Year!

Where to Eat for Chinese New Year

Honey walnut prawns at Lazy Susan.

(Joseph Weaver)

Lazy Susan's Four-Course New Year’s Dinner

Celebrate the new year cozy-style with a celebratory four-course meal from Lazy Susan. The menu includes auspicious chili crisp potstickers, honey walnut prawns, Dungeness crab garlic noodles. and a truffle-rich Buddha’s delight. The $58 holiday menu comfortably feeds two is available from January 29th to February 15th.

// 208 Fell St (Hayes Valley), lazysusanchinese.com

E&O Kitchen & Bar's Chinese New Year Menu

E&O Kitchen & Bar’s Lunar New Year menu is back, along with two new drinks from beverage director Ace Chon. Start the year of the tiger off right with a prosperity salad, crab rangoon, scallop crudo, and Burmese curried long life noodles. Wash it down with the Drunken Tiger (spiced hot chocolate milk tea made with amaro and allspice dram) or the NA Black n’ Orange, a Thai iced tea made with oat milk. The holiday menu is available from February 1st through 19th.

// 314 Sutter St (Union Square), eandokitchen.com

Empress by Boon's Nine-Course New Year’s Dinner

Empress by Boon, Chinatown’s exceptional epicurean destination, channels authentic Cantonese cuisine with a special Chinese New Year prix fixe meal. The nine-course dinner ($168/person) includes small bites like Iberico pork buns and Japanese scallops with mango sauce, crab roe xiao long bao, two seafood dishes and two main courses, including wok fried chicken. At the meal’s end, egg tarts put the punctuation mark on the festive smorgasbord; available February 1st through 15th.

// 838 Grant Ave (Chinatown), theempresssf.com

Washington Bakery and Restaurant's Chinese New Year Menu

Classic Chinese New Year delights are up for order at the long-time Chinatown staple, Washington Bakery and Restaurant. Pick up a special holiday cake including the sweet rice version that symbolizes self-growth and a promotion at work, traditional poon choy, pork knuckles, and more. Pre-order two days in advance online and be careful not to miss your window: Once the holiday begins, the restaurant will only be open on January 30th and February 19th and 20th.

// 733 Washington St (Chinatown), wbrsf.com

China Live's Chinese New Year Menu

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at all three of China Live’s eateries. At the namesake China Live, items like red "shui jiao" water seafood dumplings and crispy fried Sichuan fish will grace the menu, while the fine dining Eight Tables by George Chen's prix fixe menu will skew towards celebratory favorites. At the swanky Cold Drinks Bar, dive into one of two Chinese New Year cocktails, the Gold & Crimson and the Harry "Starlite." Keep an eye out for lion dancers in the evenings. They'll be making a surprise appearance at some dinners; reservations strongly recommended.

// 644 Broadway (Chinatown), chinalivesf.com

Things to Do to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Parade

Courtesy of Mark Gunn/Flckr/CC

Chinese New Year Parade

Chinatown is roaring back to life this lunar new year with the long-awaited return of the Chinese New Year Parade on February 19th. Considered one of the best night parades in the world, the procession will include fabulous floats, ferocious lions, and fulminating firecrackers. Despite the current Omicron surge, the parade is expected to go on as planned and tickets for bleacher seats ($38 to $65/person) are on sale now. In the weeks before the parade, keep an eye out for Tiger on Parade, a public art project that has stationed six life-sized tigers around the city.

// 2nd St & Market to Kearny & Columbus, chineseparade.com

Chinese New Year Flower Market Fair

Held the weekend before the calendar turns from ox to tiger (January 29-30), the Flower Market Fair has all the sweet, bright, and life-affirming goodies you need for a successful new year. Come for the fresh flowers and plants (a symbol of growth), fruit (citrus is a symbol of abundant happiness), and Harmony Trays full of candy. Stay for the performances, Chinese magicians, acrobats, and folk dancers among them.

// 2nd St & Market to Kearny & Columbus, chineseparade.com

44th Annual Lunar New Year Run

Lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement for the 44th Annual Lunar New Year Run/Walk. This year of the tiger, the 5k/10k race will take place both virtually and in person. Complete your virtual run between February 20th and March 13th, or join the live race in Chinatown on March 6th. Register in advance to participate.

// 855 Sacramento (Chinatown), ymcasf.org

Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Join in the Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s hybrid new year’s fun. They will host an in-person festival on February 6th but virtual events including food and art demos, storytelling, and cultural presentations will take place not just this month but in April, too, when South and Southeast Asia celebrate the coming year.

// 388 9th St, 2nd floor of Pacific Renaissance Plaza (Oakland), oacc.cc

Lunar New Year at SF Symphony

Welcome the year of the tiger with a musical overture at the SF Symphony. The audio celebration will mark the debut of conductor Yue Bao and will include works by modern Chinese artists along with traditional folk songs; February 5th at 5pm, tickets are $25 to $85.

// 201 Van Ness Ave (Civic Center), sfsymphony.org

Lunar New Year Festival + Marketplace at The Crossing at East Cut

Leap into the year of the tiger with this new festival at The Crossing at East Cut. Lions will dance, celebrity chef and SF native Kathy Fang will demonstrate her cooking abilities, and China Live’s Marketplace will hock its wares. Local restaurants will also be in residence including Little Green Cyclo, Fang Restaurant, and the House of Nanking; 11am to 3pm January 30th.

// 200 Folsom St (SoMA), eastcutcrossing.com

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