8th Annual Eat Drink SF Was a Foodie’s Haven

Written By and Photographed By: Andrew Merritt Eat Drink SF

San Francisco celebrated the shining beacon of its culinary and mixology culture at Fort Mason this weekend with Eat Drink SF. Celebrating its eighth year, the flawlessly executed party gives the sell-out crowd an opportunity to imbibe and consume concoctions from the best mixologists and chefs—as well as brewers and distillers—from local venues and worldwide brands. Boasting over 8, 500 attendees this year, the party has grown to epic proportions with over 160 chefs and 70 bars, distilleries, and wineries showing off the best bites and drinks they have to offer.

Lucky guests were surrounded by innumerable options to drink and eat as they navigated to taste as many morsels as possible. Some of the bites on hand this year included Brasserie S&P’s Chef Kevin Tanaka’s gorgeous Peruvian scallop crudo, plated on a shell with sweet corn pudding, Hobb’s bacon bits, and pickled blueberries. Michael Mina stepped it up with a gigantic tin of caviar being ladled out onto fluffy clouds of smoked sturgeon creme fraiche atop a crisp potato chip; their version of fish and chips. Also on hand was Chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food who partnered with Pellegrino to show off his perfectly cooked Salt and Pepper Wings. The best of the day was also one of the most simple; Chef Jenny Chamberlain of Hudson Valley Foie Gras served a grilled ham and cheese with a twist—it was cooked with butter infused with their opulent foie gras.

Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion and its magnificent views of the Golden Gate Bridge were an appropriate setting for the event, hosted by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, who is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. The event spanned the whole weekend, with a seemingly endless selection of events, demonstrations, and classes. Leading off was the Taco Knockdown hosted by Milagro tequila. The yearly competition pits some of SF’s best culinary talents in a bid to create the best taco in town. Competitors this year included Delfina, La Urbana, Matador, Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, Myriad, Palm House, AQ, Souvla, and Bar San Pancho trying to wrestle the title from last year’s winners Trick Dog and DOSA. New this year, and keeping in theme, was a boozy version: the Milagro Margarita Mix Off.  

With this year marking eight decades for the GGRA, legacy restaurants that have been satisfying locals and tourist bellies alike for over 20 years were celebrated. These institutions of dining include Alfred’s Steakhouse, Scoma’s, Tosca, and Sutro’s at the Cliff House. Buena Vista cafe was also on hand all weekend to pour their signature Irish Coffee’s featuring the delicious Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey.

The selection of drinks this year was particularly impressive, with cocktail demos featuring Selena Donovan of Maven, California Gold of Beretta, Alex Smith of Whitechapel, and Erik Adkins of the Slanted Door Group. In addition to the cocktail demos, there were beverage classroom sessions organized by the San Francisco Wine School with topics ranging from Chardonnay and Beaujolais to ‘50 Shades of Gris, ’ ‘Savvy Blanc, ’ and ‘The Dark Side of Pinot Noir.’ Rounding out the beverage category involved the San Francisco Brewers Guild pouring local craft beers all weekend.

It’s not all just cocktails and canapés however; the Taiwan Tourism Board featured a gigantic interactive dumpling steamer, complete with matching dumplings for your Instagramming pleasure. There was also the necessary cornhole set up alongside oversize Jenga and Connect Four when you needed a break between bites. The VIP area was an oasis of calm with even more to choose from.  Among them, Suntory was pouring some of their best Japanese Whiskey while The Battery poured cocktails and snacks were offered up by some of SF’s highest end restaurants like Sons & Daughters, Wayfare Tavern, Navio, and Piperade.

With this weekend in the books, the masses of San Francisco’s culinary fans can look forward to next year, which will continue to step up the adoration of the Bay’s most beloved industry.

Bay Area Foodies Unite! Eat Drink SF Celebrated Eight Years