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Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown

7 delicious ways to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year

The Chinese Lunar Year begins on February 8, turning the the calendar to year 4714, aka the Year of the Monkey. Spunky and full of fun, “monkeys” are naturally curious and know how to have a good time. For this Chinese New Year, there is no shortage of fun to be had in San Francisco and beyond—monkeys and their astrological friends can eat, drink, and revel in Chinese culture and events for as long as the moon cycle lasts.

DOSA’s Chinese New Year menu includes a healthy dose of Indian cross-pollination
Turn familiar conceptions of Chinese food on their head by exploring the wildly unique flavors of Indo-Chinese food. Originally settling in Calcutta more than 100 years ago, a small community of Hakka Chinese—that grew into what became the city’s Chinatown, known as Tangra—worked with the region’s indigenous spices and ingredients to develop a compelling cuisine that quickly spread throughout India. While DOSA is renowned for its South Indian food, on Chinese New Year the restaurant honors the Indo- Chinese traditions with dishes like crispy lamb (or paneer) chow mein boosted with green chiles and coriander, and Spicy Szechwan Prawns dressed with cumin, soy, and plenty of the fruity, spicy Szechuan chile.
When: February 7–11
Where:1700 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115 and 995 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Telephone: 415-441-3672 and 415-642-3672

Get your moon cake and other traditional holiday goodies at Eastern Bakery
Former President Clinton gave the thumbs up to the pastry at Chinatown’s Eastern Bakery, a non-descript shop that ranks itself as the oldest bakery in Chinatown. This small spot serves up traditional sweets and does a brisk business in moon cakes around the time of the New Year celebration. Stuffed with lotus paste and egg yolk, these thick pastries are a walk down memory lane for many—a box of these treats is a holiday gift tradition that many families continue to this day.
When: ongoing
Where: 720 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: 415-433-7973

At M.Y. China, chef Tony Wu rings in the new year with a tribute to his grandmother
Executive Chef Tony Wu of Westfield Center’s M.Y. China has designed a holiday menu that honors the Lunar New Year dinners his grandmother used to cook for the family: Grandma Wu's Chinese New Year family dinner, which includes an auspiciously numbered eight courses. Come with a crowd, though, since this special meal is designed for groups of six or more. (Regular menu, all-vegetarian, and crab and lobster menus are also available.) The feast begins with the Fortune Platter, loaded with helpings of roast duck, squid, jellyfish, cucumber, and pork, then goes on to wend its way through retro-sounding Good Luck Soup, Ocean Treasure, and Happy Opportunity (translation: organic fried chicken), among others. And if you stop in on February 15, the restaurant’s namesake chef, Martin Yan, will even be on hand to greet guests.
When: February 5–20
Where: 845 Market St., 4th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone: 415-580-3001

Crystal Jade has put together a festive southeastern Chinese menu
One look at the gorgeous bay views at Crystal Jade can be enough to energize you for the new year—and the selection of dishes from China’ southeastern region will give you a jump start right through your taste buds. To celebrate the new year, Crystal Jade is inviting groups large and small to sample these authentic Cantonese and Teochew dishes. Specialties include yusheng, aka prosperity salmon with shredded vegetables; a Teochew-style raw fish salad; and pen cai, or Treasure Pot, a scallop, prawn, and abalone casserole with more than seven centuries of history.
When: February 8–22
Where: 4 Embarcadero Ctr., Ste.1, Street Level, San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone: 415-399-1200

A night of music, dance, and great food—Imperial Dinner at San Francisco Symphony
Conceived as a fundraiser for the San Francisco Symphony’s multiple education programs—which benefit the San Francisco Unified School District and beyond—the Imperial Dinner and Concert on February 13 is a unique experience for music lovers. Dinner patrons are given premium seating to watch the Loong Mah Sing See Wui dance ensemble and hear Wu Man play pipa (Chinese lute) with the Symphony. After the concert, the seated multi-course dinner, featuring a few surprise guests, is sure to be a delight. All ticket-holders are also invited to the pre-concert reception, with a lion dance and acrobatic demonstrations as well as hands-on activities for kids and parents.
When: Saturday, February 13
Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: 415-554-0108

The Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito pulls out all the stops for the whole family with the Chinese New Year Festival
On President’s Day, the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito opens its doors to families looking for an all-in-one Chinese New Year experience. Sponsored by the Marin Chinese Cultural Association, a lion dance kicks off a day’s worth of events that’s perfect for both kids and their adults. A special exhibition of Children’s China transports you across the Pacific for adventures with pandas, a tea ceremony, and more, while throughout the day dance performances, storytelling, calligraphy demonstrations, Chinese games, and performances encourage participation in the exuberant spirit of the New Year. Clement Street’s Good Luck Dim Sum will be offering an array of dim sum and small bites—lotus wrap, egg rolls, baked pork buns, vegetarian steamed buns—and entrees like fried rice and skewered chicken with salad. For dessert, mochi, egg tarts, and sesame seed balls make the perfect complement to a cup of hot coffee or tea.
When: Monday, February 15
Where: Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito, CA 94965
Telephone: 415-339-3900

Take in the festivities at the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown
Gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, tumbling acrobats, and exploding firecrackers are just a few of the highlights of the Chinese New Year Parade. Purchase bleacher seats from their website, or finagle your way into the review stand to get away from the throngs that come out to watch this epic event. Miss Chinatown USA will be there to welcome the Year of the Monkey, but the parade’s finale is what everyone comes to see: A 268-foot long Golden Dragon, festooned with colored lights and trimmed with rainbow-colored pom-poms, makes an appearance accompanied by 600,000 firecrackers.
When: Saturday, February 20, 5:15 PM–8 PM
Where: Chinatown
Telephone: 415-680-6297

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