The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this month
With spring fast approaching, the city’s weekly outdoor food truck festival Off the Grid is returning to Fort Mason. Help the Roxie movie theater raise funds for its operational costs with fun bowling, and plan ahead for Bay to Breakers in May. AFAR Local is now coming to your inbox monthly with the best events to help you travel deeper in your own city.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
March 3 | Food
Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center
A giant weekly street food party hosted by Off the Grid returns to the Fort Mason Center parking lot after more than four months of seasonal hibernation. Each year, the event grows into something more sophisticated and enjoyable. New features to explore this time around include a new layout with open-air tents designed to create a more relaxed experience for the throngs of hungry eaters who show up early. There are also new vendors to add to the already international mix, including Chinese, Japanese, and Cuban offerings. Catch the party every Friday through October 20.
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM | Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco | Free | website
March 8 | Fundraiser
Rolling With the Roxie
The Mission’s awesome indie movie theater the Roxie survives thanks to the generosity of the community, and it always needs donations. Its annual “FUNraiser” at Mission Bowling Club helps with that ongoing effort and is a pretty sweet way to experience restaurant-level food and cocktails, as well as bowl. Knock down some pins to do your part to keep quality creative film programming alive.
6:30 PM - 10:30 PM | Mission Bowling Club, 3176 17th St., San Francisco | From $125 | website
March 9 | Museum
Night at the Jewseum
The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s recurring evening cocktail and entertainment party Night at the Jewseum returns just before the Jewish spring holiday Purim. The museum puts a modern twist on the holiday celebration: The Meghilla, a Torah scroll that is traditionally read during the holiday, will be performed as a drag show with the help of gender illusionists Black Benetar and LOL McFiercen. Visitors can also take in the funny current exhibit Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show, featuring the work of the visual artist also known as Candy Ass.
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM | Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., San Francisco | From $5 | website
March 10 - 19 | Film festival
This diverse film festival is named after the host organization, the Center for Asian American Media, and it celebrates Asian American film, music, and food. The festival turns 35 this year and its organizers have put together an ambitious schedule of screenings and cultural events in venues throughout San Francisco. Highlights from this year’s plans include a screening of a new documentary on acclaimed local musician Thao Nguyen and Bad Rap, a film about female Asian American rappers that will be accompanied by live performances.
Times & locations vary | Free for some events; prices vary | website
March 10 | Musical
Pussy Riot Theater presents "Revolution"
The Moscow-based female collective Pussy Riot made headlines five years ago after being arrested for a cathedral performance that protested the Orthodox Church’s support of Vladimir Putin. It has since inspired artists and activists worldwide. Member Maria Alyokhina’s memoir, Revolution, is the basis for this new musical that explores art and protest in a hostile state. The musical Revolution is having its world premiere at the Warfield in San Francisco, a beautiful and historic venue that hosted a discussion with Pussy Riot last year.
9:00 PM | The Warfield, 982 Market St., San Francisco | From $25 | website
March 18 | Food festival
San Francisco Chocolate Salon
San Francisco’s premiere chocolate tasting and shopping spree event has moved to a new venue. This month’s edition of the San Francisco Chocolate Salon is expected to sell out early, so consider picking up advance tickets if you want a crack at cacao heaven. Arrive early to catch a screening of chocolate-themed films, cooking demos from local authors such as Irvin Lin (whose book Marbled, Swirled, and Layered is getting serious accolades), and copious sampling and gift-buying opportunities.
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM | Hotel Kabuki Ballroom (Garden Level), 1625 Post St., San Francisco | From $25 | website
March 21 | Comedy
San Francisco’s main comedy clubs—Cobb’s and Punch Line—aren’t the only bastions of funny live performances in town. Extra Toppings is a free weekly comedy event that goes down inside PizzaHacker, a pie shop with roots in the city’s street food scene. Come check out local talent blooming beyond the conventional road to success.
7:30 PM | 3299 Mission St., San Francisco | Free | website
March 23 - October 4 | Film
Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja
Disney fans will certainly be familiar with the work of Andreas Deja, who has animated such characters as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Scar from The Lion King, and Jafar from Aladdin. See some of Deja’s work from outside the corporation at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio, where he’ll be showing a new independent short film created with colored pencils.
The Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery St., San Francisco | From $25 | website
March 31 | Music
French for “new wave,” Nouvelle Vague is a Parisian act fronted by Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux that is perhaps one of the finest and most original cover bands in the world. Hear them transform new wave and punk classics into sensual bossa nova with freeform jazz licks. From the beginning of their career, they’ve chosen iconic songs like Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” Bauhaus’s “Bela Legosi’s Dead,” and Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” and made them their own. You’ll appreciate not only their cool flair but also how strong and timeless their selections are as you’re taken into different sonic worlds.
9:00 PM | Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., San Francisco | From $35 | website
May 21 | Race
Bay to Breakers
San Francisco’s 105-year-old costume-assisted 12K race isn’t until May, but now’s a good time to prepare yourself to run or walk from downtown westward, up the city’s famous Hayes Street Hill (it’s a doozy) and out to Ocean Beach. It’s also a fine moment to decide if you are rolling solo or with a crew and what you’ll wear. Also note that March 31 is the deadline to go on the website and pay for the option for your registration packet to be sent to you, rather than to have to wait to pick it up in-person at the Expo on May 19.
Race starts at Howard and Main Sts., San Francisco | From $55 | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.