What to do in and around San Francisco this week
This week in San Francisco it's time to enjoy A Charlie Brown Christmas as performed by the San Francisco Symphony and Jodi Benson from The Little Mermaid—prepare to join in! A different kind of musical tribute is taking place for The Grateful Dead, as local artists play a concert paired with a signing of the latest book about the band. San Francisco is finally getting two much-needed additions this week: An Alamo Drafthouse cinema, and an outpost of Mensho Tokyo, the cult ramen spot from Japan. And if you still have some Christmas shopping to do, try the KPFA Winter Crafts Fair this weekend in Richmond.
December 17 | Movie theater opening
Alamo Drafthouse San Francisco
The Mission District’s hot debut this week is not a restaurant but a swanky new movie theater. Alamo Drafthouse is a national chain known for serving good hot food as well as beer and wine to your seat. The local outpost’s menu was created by chef Ronnie New, most recently seen at Comstock Saloon. While we imagine most people will want to see The Force Awakens in the next few weeks, the theater will continually offer a balance of blockbusters (including Star Wars: Episode VII) as well as local and independent efforts.
Times vary | 2550 Mission St., San Francisco |(415) 549-5959 | From $10 | website
December 18–20 & 22–24 | Musical
A Charlie Brown Christmas—Live!
Can’t you practically hear Charlie Brown’s irresistibly shuffly Christmas theme song in your head right now? The classic holiday tune from composer Vince Guaraldi is even better when heard in the real world, performed by the amazing San Francisco Symphony. Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, stars as the lead vocalist, but audience participation is definitely encouraged.
Times vary | Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco | From $15 | website
December 20 | Concert and book signing
This Is a Dream We All Dreamed: A Salute to the Grateful Dead
The legacy of the Bay Area’s legendary Grateful Dead, which performed its final concerts in California and Illinois earlier this year, continues to be furthered in print through books like This Is a Dream We All Dreamed: An Oral History of The Grateful Dead by Blair Jackson and David Gans. Tonight’s combination book signing and concert features live tributes by local artists, including Henry Kaiser with Matt Hartle, Doobie Decibel System, Melody Walker, and Sweet Blossom.
8 p.m. | Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco | (415) 885-0750 | From $15 | website
AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to San Francisco has you covered.
December 20 | Restaurant opening
One of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year is Mensho Tokyo, the first San Francisco outpost of a cultlike ramen empire from Japan. Owner Tomoharu Shono will serve his popular tonkotsu ramen with a milky pork broth as well as decadent specials like tsukemen dipping ramen with foie gras. While the first day is guaranteed to draw ridiculous lines, it should be high on your must-try ramen list.
Mensho Tokyo, 676 Geary St., San Francisco | website
KPFA Winter Crafts Fair
Take a drive out to Richmond this weekend to enjoy a 45-year tradition at the sprawling KPFA Winter Crafts Fair. Find some one-of-a-kind gems for your last-minute holiday gifts among the 200 multimedia artists who will be exhibiting and selling their wares. Check out paintings, clothing, sculptures, musical instruments, and so much more. You’ll be supporting the amazing community radio station KPFA 94.1 FM in the process.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond | (510) 215-6000 | From $12 | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.