Based on the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year will start on Feb. 16 this year, but celebrations for the Year of the Dog are expected to last for two weeks. On Feb. 24, the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco will start at 5:15 p.m. at Second and Market, and then weave through Chinatown. But the parade isn't the only event that will celebrate the Lunar New Year. There's also the Flower Market Fair on Feb. 10 and a number of other events around the Bay Area, including a Lunar New Year Bazaar in Oakland.
In fact, it's not just the Chinese New Year that's being celebrated. All the calendars that are based off the moon are kicking off their year. In San Jose that will include a three-day Tet Festival from Feb. 16-18.
To get in the mood, here are some restaurants (and one food truck event) celebrating the holiday with specials and events. Eat your way into the new year. You can also check out our guide to popular dim sum spots. Add your own favorites in the comments.
China Live (Chinatown): China Live opened its 30,000 square foot emporium and market earlier this year (along with its high-end Eight Tables experience on the upper floor), so it's no surprise the whole place is celebrating its first Lunar New Year with a special menu. The market restaurant will have items like red bean soft serve with chocolate mochi and rice porridge with black sesame glutinous rice balls. The bar will also serve specialty cocktails and Eight Tables will incorporate New Year's dishes — lotus leaf wrapped duck and braised Hawaiian awabi abalone with flower mushrooms — into its courses. Available the entire month of February.
M.Y. China (Downtown): M.Y. China is a San Francisco favorite (and a Check, Please! restaurant). This week, the James Beard Award winning chef and TV host Martin Yan announced his special Chinese New Year menu. Called Grandma Wu's New Year Dinner, the $288 meal serves six people and includes a Fortune Platter of roast duck, barbeque pork, calamari, and jellyfish, a Golden Lobster, and a sugar egg puff for dessert. Or you can just go with the classics: watch the noodles being hand-pulled.