California’s northern region is home to many popular foodie destinations—San Francisco, Napa Valley, Berkeley, to name a few—but it also boasts lesser-known locales in the centre of agricultural hubs. Discover new hotspots or treat yourself to a multi-course meal at your favourite restaurant with these special January deals in the northern third of the state, listed north to south.
Mendocino County Crab, Wine & Beer Festival
Mendocino celebrates Restaurant Month with a weeklong seafood festival that celebrates the county’s local fisherman, winemakers, and brew masters. The 10-day Mendocino County Crab, Wine, and Beer Festival features dozens of events, like the family-style crab and cioppino feeds, gourmet crab-themed dinners, crab and wine pairings, crab fishing adventures, a wine competition, and the popular Crab Cake Cook-Off.
Yuba-Sutter Restaurant Week
Located in the Sacramento Valley, Yuba-Sutter County’s local ingredients play a huge role at the region’s restaurants—something you can taste for yourself in late January. You’ll find special menu items created specifically for Yuba-Sutter’s Restaurant Week, the region’s first-ever California Restaurant Month event. One spot to try: The family-friendly Dancing Tomato Caffé makes creative comfort food with a focus on supporting local farms.
El Dorado Epicurean
El Dorado County celebrates the annual California Restaurant Month tradition throughout January with plenty of culinary adventures along its bountiful Gold Country backroads. The El Dorado Epicurean Collection of Culinary Adventures is a monthlong celebration packed with exclusive seasonal offerings from innovative chefs, wine-pairing specials, farm tours, vineyard hikes, cooking demonstrations, and discounts on local accommodations.
Taste of Yolo Restaurant Week
Yolo County will showcase its farm-to-table culinary chops with a special Taste of Yolo menu at participating restaurants from January 22–28. The restaurants will feature ingredients from Yolo’s backyard, such as fresh organic produce, olive oil, meats, nuts, honey, locally crafted wine, and beer. Look for special items on participants’ menus—each restaurant will offer something new made from locally sourced ingredients.
Dine Downtown Sacramento
The growing foodie destination of Sacramento will highlight the best local fare during its 12th annual Dine Downtown Restaurant Week program. For 10 days, more than 30 restaurants will offer three-course meals for $35. Plus, Sacramento adds a feel-good element to your night out: One dollar from every Dine Downtown meal is donated to food literacy programs—just $4.11 provides a week of food literacy education for one child.
Vacaville Restaurant Week
Situated halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, Vacaville is an easily accessible destination for foodies and families. Enjoy a week of discounted pricing and specialty menus during Vacaville’s Restaurant Week January 13–21. The area is proud to boast its diverse dining options, with favourites like Buddha Thai Bistro—where chef Joey Jaraba’s spin on classic Thai dishes earned it a spot on Yelp’s top 100 places to eat in the U.S. in 2015.
Napa Valley Restaurant Week
The Michelin-rated restaurants and farm-to-table practices make Napa Valley a must-go epicurean destination. And during Napa Valley Restaurant Week, visitors can experience the area’s legendary food and wine at a more wallet-friendly rate. With multi-course prix fixe menus for lunch ($20) and dinner ($36 or $46), you’ll have the chance to try the latest culinary hotspots or revisit old favourites. Get the best of both worlds with a $46 three-course menu with wine pairings at high-energy TORC, or stop by Charlie Palmer’s Harvest Table for a $20 two-course lunch that features produce from the restaurant’s adjacent garden.
Sonoma Valley Culinary Excellence Month
With participating restaurants, wineries, and olive oil and cheese producers, it should come as no surprise that Sonoma Valley boasts an entire month of offerings, so you have time to taste the best of the region. This is Sonoma’s first time participating in the January event, which is good news for wine country visitors—this is your chance to try some of the area’s world-class cuisine at a discount.
Suisun Waterfront Restaurant Week
The seventh annual Suisun City Historic Waterfront Restaurant Week will return January 20-29, with participating restaurants offering prix fixe menus for breakfast or lunch (two courses) or dinner (three courses). Whether you want Greek, Italian, Mexican, Thai, or American cuisine, Suisun City’s got it. After December 30, menus from participating restaurants can be downloaded from Suisun’s website.
Downtown Benicia Restaurant Week
Charming downtown Benicia, about an hour northeast of San Francisco, celebrates with a week of deals: a dining “passport” offers a 15% discount at participating restaurants January 21–28. Stop by First Street Café to try its famous Dungeness Crab & Artichoke Sandwich, served open-face with fresh Roma tomatoes and melted Jack cheese. (It was featured in Bon Appétit magazine.)
Stockton Restaurant Week
Taste your way through Stockton’s best restaurants during Stockton Restaurant Week, when fixed-price meals can be found throughout the city. Local deals make it affordable to eat out multiple times throughout the 10 days. Grab a $10 lunch at the modern American Centrale Kitchen and Bar, Mediterranean-Italian Mezzo, or small-plate- focused Midgley’s Public House (plus many more). Or take advantage of the $15–$25 dinners offered at other participating restaurants.
Berkeley Restaurant Week
Berkeley’s best restaurants will offer special prix fixe menus for lunch (starting at $20) and dinner (starting at $25) during its Restaurant Week January 19-29. The epicentre for California Cuisine has no shortage of incredible food to try at all times of the year. Participants for 2017 include the healthy-meets-gastronomy Mission Heirloom, all natural sushi and Japanese AKEMI, and German slow food purveyors Gaumenkitzel.
Oakland Restaurant Week
Just over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, this hot foodie destination will offer two weekends of deals during Oakland Restaurant Week. More than 100 restaurants are offering prix fixe deals at $20, $30, $40, and $50 dollars. Sample the salami, pasta, and gelatos at Lungomare—they’re all made in house—or order the B&B Signature cocktail (with house barrel-aged white corn whiskey) to accompany your hearty steak at Bourbon & Beef.
San Francisco Restaurant Week
Recognized as one of the top dining destinations in the world, San Francisco Restaurant Week features dining deals at more than 125 restaurants across 26 neighbourhoods. With special two-course menus for lunch ($15 and $25) and three-course prix fixe dinner menus ($40 and $65), set out to find a new restaurant or revisit a favourite to enjoy special multi-course menus exclusive to California Restaurant Month. You can get up-to-date info on participating restaurants—including a menu preview—on the SF Restaurant Week website or Facebook page.
The Tri-Valley area—comprised of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville—is just 45 minutes east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The “Sunny Side of the Bay” is worth exploring for its restaurants and cafes, peaceful Livermore Valley wine region, and craft beer trail with more than 20 breweries. Throughout the entire month, the Tri-Valley area will offer discounted meals and California Restaurant Month specials. Check the website for participating eateries.
Downtown San Jose Restaurant Week
Order from the prix fixe menus in the urban heart of Silicon Valley, where innovative chefs feature specials made with local produce. During San Jose’s Restaurant Week, your meal will help to support feeding the hungry through Martha’s Kitchen—for every prix fixe meal sold, Sysco will donate $1 to the cause. San Jose’s range of restaurants makes it appealing to dine out more than once this week: from Farmers’ Union, a comfy tavern with sustainable fare, to Nomikai, a trendy lounge serving Asian fusion.