Original 4445c3f99d39e80437721a51416c6550.png?1469556869?ixlib=rails 0.3

San Francisco July 28–August 3: Great Mac and Cheese Melt-Off & Heron Arts Party

The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this week

This week in San Francisco, get cheesy (in the literal sense of the word) at the Great Mac and Cheese Melt-Off. Then head to the Bay Area Pun-Off to get figuratively cheesy as well. The Heron Arts Block Party will add some much needed coolness to your week, and the Oakland redwoods are calling for your weekend.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.  

July 30 | Food festival
The Great Mac and Cheese Melt-Off
Indulge in creative versions of an ooey-gooey American comfort food classic at The Great Mac and Cheese Melt-Off, where 10 food trucks and booths will serve specials for lunch and dinner. Pick up a tasting passport to try lots of samples or just buy full versions à la carte. Expected highlights are Bacon Bacon’s deep-fried bacon mac and cheese, Red Sauce Meatballs’ Italian ricotta mac, and Dusty Buns’ duck-enhanced version.
11 a.m.–9 p.m. | Spark Social SF, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. North, San Francisco | From $5 | website

Click to plan your trip to San Francisco

July 30 | Competition
The Bay Area Pun-Off, 9; Summer Finale
If you need a breather from America’s favorite new tech game, consider an evening of old-fashioned wordplay at The Bay Area Pun-Off, 9; Summer Finale. That’s right, people will be coming armed with their best puns—and they don’t have to be funny, just punny, in order to win. Choose between purchasing a competitor ticket, which includes a free drink, or take the pressure off with an audience pass. Newcomers of all stripes are encouraged to join; organizers promise that you will be well trained in this enduring art.
6:30–10 p.m. | The Go Game H.Q., 400 Treat Ave., San Francisco | From $10 | website

July 30 | Festival
Heron Arts Block Party
The Heron Arts Block Party is a summer art show that makes noise. The lively visual fest from one of San Francisco’s coolest indie art organizations doubles as a hot concert with electronic musicians Matthew Dear, Shigeto, Lusine, and Christopher Willits—all sound artists from Detroit’s Ghostly International label—and an accompanying LED light installation. Food trucks, beer, and wine should help keep you there well into the night.
4 p.m.–12 a.m. | Heron Arts, 7 Heron St., San Francisco | From $35 | website

Red Sauce Meatballs' mac and cheese
July 31 | Escape the City
Tour the Redwoods of Oakland
You won’t have to go far this weekend to have a great escape, thanks to Oakland Heritage Alliance. The historic preservation organization will lead tours of the redwood trees in the hills above Leona Heights. Do note that the OHA considers this hike of three and a half hours to be moderately difficult, but make it through and you’ll be rewarded with the sight of the oldest tree in all of Oakland.
10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. | Meeting location revealed upon reservation, Oakland | From $20 | website

Now open | Restaurant
Sushi Hon
Min Choe, owner of Tamashisoul sushi bar on Union Street, has just debuted Sushi Hon in the Mission District—his contribution to the city’s growing omakase scene. The word “omakase” basically means that you’re getting the chef’s choice of the best offerings of the day—a pretty great deal, if you ask us. At Sushi Hon, 11 courses of fish and seafood sourced from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market cost $65, which is substantially lower than comparable places in the city (such as Kusakabe and Maruya). Of course, the bill can still add up quickly once you indulge in the extensive menu of Japanese liquors, sakes, wines, and beers, so be mindful that this restaurant is still one to splurge on.
2598 Harrison St., San Francisco | website

Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.

>>Next: Where AFAR Staff Go for a Weekend Getaway