Restaurants that Give


On page 40 of the March issue of Food & Wine magazine, there’s an article that caught my attention more than most. It’s no secret that I’m a serial restaurant-goer, or that I love trying new places throughout the Bay Area and in my latest hometown of San Francisco. But this article drew me to a few specific local restaurants for more than a well-known Executive Chef or a unique menu item. Instead, this article featured restaurants that give back to the community. If you’re not a Food & Wine subscriber like me, here’s the gist of it:

Commonwealth chef Jason Fox has a $60 tasting menu; $10 of which goes to a local nonprofit every time it’s ordered

Pizzaoioli’s Charlie Hallowell turns his Oakland restaurant into a community kitchen one Sunday out of every month to serve free soup to less fortunate community members

4505 Meats’ founder Ryan Farr is also on the volunteer staff of CHEFS, a culinary training program where he shares his job skills with recovering addicts, former prisoners and the area’s homeless

The timing of this article couldn’t have been better because I’ve been working on a charity event myself during the past few months and have been consistently surprised by the generosity and support of local businesses – particularly restaurants and bars – as I worked to put the event together. My boyfriend, Chris, and I are training for our first Olympic distance triathlon with Team in Training and as part of that commitment, we are each fundraising at least $4,900 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of making our guest bartending debut at Tonic on Polk Street in San Francisco, during which time 100% of the tips went to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. While I’m sure most of our friends and family that came out to support were there for the cause and the good time, I have to admit that the raffle was also a big draw! So what exactly what were we raffling off? Enter, local restaurants and bars:

$25 American Grilled Cheese Kitchen Gift Certificate
$25 Harry’s Bar Gift Certificate
$75 Perry’s Restaurant Gift Certificate
$50 McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants (client) Dining Certificate
Tour and Tasting for 4 at Clos du Val Winery in Napa
Trader Joe’s Italian Themed Gift Bag
One Dozen Cupcakes from SusieCake’s Bakery
One Pound See’s Candy Gift Certificate
$25 and 2 All Access Passes to the Hard Rock Café

Of course the raffle also included non-food items, like an authentic autographed Alex Smith jersey which fellow SacFoodie Liz Conant happened to win. But the buzz was all about the food, as usual! After this experience, I know that I’ll keep a closer eye on the ways in which my favorite restaurants are giving back to the community. Do you know of a restaurant in town that’s doing its part? If so, please give them a shout-out in the comments section below!

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