Mardi Gras Celebrations in San Francisco

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In the San Francisco Bay Area on February 28th? Here’s a sampling of Mardi Gras parties happening around the city.

Thupdated The Elite Cafe is holding an unlimited crawfish boil, including a welcome Hurricane, for $40/person (they will be $50 at the door). You can also order a Sazerac and a frozen Hurricane (at extra cost) while listening to live music by the jazz and blues Charles Wheal Duo from 6:30pm-9:30pm. The party starts at 6pm.

~BOXING ROOM~ is hosting their sixth annual Mardi Gras party from 5pm-11pm, with specials like a crawfish boil, alligator-andouille sausage po’boys, and king cake, as well as Sazerac Jell-O shots and live music from Gaucho Gypsy Jazz. If you want to skip the party, you can still come by during the day for crawfish and king cake, starting at 11:30am.

One of the biggest Mardi Gras parties is at ~TOWN HALL~, which really pulls out all the stops. Look for bottomless Louisiana-style Hurricanes (keep an eye on those!), Abita beer, Leblon caipirinhas, and all-you-can-eat fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, barbecued shrimp, and oysters. There will be live music as well as samba dancers and face painters. Get ready to partay—and it always sells out, so don’t lag. 6pm, $85.

The new ALBA RAYS in the Mission is throwing a party, with live music, classic New Orleans dishes including boudin balls, pimento cheese on crackers, gumbo, charbroiled oysters, a jambalaya station (meat and vegetarian), a crawfish boil, beignets, and, of course, BEADS! Your $65 ticket includes a welcome Hurricane cocktail, a spread of NOLA food, live music, and beads. Additional drinks are available for purchase.

The new FINN TOWN is the Castro will have three special offerings: a Louisiana Hurricane ($12), a French dip special ($18), and a traditional king cake ($8). Customers who wear purple will receive a complimentary slice of cake, and the lucky winner who finds the “king” in the cake will receive a $50 gift card to the restaurant. 5pm-12am.

~BLUESTEM BRASSERIE~ is running a king cake special during dinner service from Monday February 27th through Thursday March 2nd. Bluestem’s pastry chef Lori Baker will be serving a limited number of king cakes ($11), and one cake each evening will hide a special prize (the winner will have their entrée for free that evening).

One more thing: Carnaval San Francisco is hosting celebrations at different venues for all ages, 6pm-9pm. The venues include Balançoire, the Make-Out Room, Latin American Club, and Bissap Baobab. You’ll find live samba drummers, dancers, and lively music, from salsa and soca to cumbia and rumba. Guests are invited to wear costumes and bring the family.

Marcia Gagliardi
Marcia Gagliardi is a freelance food writer in San Francisco. She writes a weekly column, Foodie 411 for the SFCVB on their “Taste” site; a monthly gossip column, “The Tablehopper” for The Northside; and regular features for Edible San Francisco. Her first book came out in March 2010: The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion.
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