Here are the five coolest things to do in and around San Francisco this week. We publish a new list every Wednesday, covering Thursday through Wednesday. Stay tuned for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? Check out the AFAR guide to San Francisco.
September 11 | Restaurant opening
Chef Jason Fox (of Commonwealth, in the Mission) has created a more playful format at his new restaurant, Oro, which debuts in the mid-Market area this week. The menu comprises shared plates of varying sizes, and dishes planned for opening week include: pork shoulder with grilled cucumbers, smoked potato, and horseradish; roasted whole rock cod with cabbage, summer pepper, and celery salsa; and half chicken with tomato and Swiss chard panade and dandelion greens. On the booze side, expect a balance of Old World wines, future California classics, and craft cocktails with specialty ice. There’s also a “blind tasting menu” option, where Fox is in complete control of your evening’s adventure.
8 Mint Plaza, San Francisco | (415) 974-1212 | website
September 12–13 | Chocolate festival
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
Even though Ghirardelli Chocolate hasn’t been made in San Francisco for what seems like centuries, the company is still a sweet symbol of local ingenuity. An estimated 30,000 people will gather in Ghirardelli Square over two days to load up on tasting tickets to sample chocolate, confections, and wine from dozens of vendors at the 20th annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. It’s all a benevolent indulgence that benefits Project Open Hand, San Francisco’s wonderful nonprofit which delivers meals to the sick and elderly. And with separate categories for adults and kids, the Earthquake sundae eating contest is perfect for those who want to take it to the next level.
12–5 p.m. | Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street, San Francisco | (415) 775-5500 | From $20 | website
September 16 | Music
Rapper Snoop Dogg often moonlights as DJ Snoopadelic, mixing in his tunes with those of other artists. His stop at San Francisco’s intimate Public Works nightclub this week promises to be packed and colorful, as he pulls from his virtual bag (aka laptop) of party jams. Expect the likes of George Clinton–blessed funk, urban radio hits, and Snoop’s own blunted beats to keep the dance floor smoking all night.
10 p.m.–3 a.m. | Public Works, 161 Erie Street, San Francisco | (415) 496-6738 | From $20 | website
September 18 | Mass karaoke
I Forgot What Eight Was For: The 80s Alt Rock Music Video Sing A Long
San Francisco’s independent Roxie Theater hosts much more than film screenings, including monthly mass karaoke sessions with a variety of fun themes. This month’s installation is called “I Forgot What Eight Was For: The 80s Alt Rock Music Video Sing A Long” and will feature music videos from bands like The Police, REM, U2, and Violent Femmes. All the lyrics will be on-screen for easy crowd participation, so don’t be shy.
9:30 p.m. | Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco | (415) 863-1087 | $10 | website
Weekend escape | Food festival
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival
The 30th annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival combines a range of meals, classes, and outdoor excursions for a well-balanced look at the region’s culinary scene. Highlights include the Progressive Picnic hike on Northstar Mountain, the Tahoe Long Table Harvest dinner on the Manzanita Terrace at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe, and the Sunday Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting at The Village at Northstar. Act fast if you’re thinking of heading up for the weekend, as accommodations in the area are filling up fast.
Times, venues & prices vary | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.