Cook and Her Farmer
The Cook and her Farmer, one of the many Oakland eateries participating in Oakland Restaurant Week which kicks off on Thursday Jan. 15. Photo: The Cook and her Farmer

January isn’t just a month for New Year’s resolutions. Here in the Bay Area, January brings not one, but two Restaurant Weeks.

Oakland’s Restaurant Week starts tomorrow and runs through Jan. 25, and is organized by Visit Oakland. In a big surge from last year’s offerings, close to 75 restaurants will be participating across the ten days. Those restaurants will offer lunch and/or dinner prix-fixe menus at $20, $30, or $40 per person. Reservations are available through Open Table, a Restaurant Week sponsor.

Just about every popular Oakland restaurant is offering Restaurant Week specials — expect menus from classic spots like Oliveto Café, Yoshi’s, and Flora as well as hot newcomers like The Dock at Linden Street, The Cook and Her Farmer, and Kingston 11. A full list of participating restaurants and menus can be found on the Visit Oakland website.

Chicken mulligatawney at Ajanta. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Chicken mulligatawney at Ajanta, one of the restaurants taking part in Berkeley Restaurant Week. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Given the diversity of restaurants on offer, this year’s Restaurant Week truly reflects the growing food scene in the 510.

“Oakland Restaurant Week gives diners the opportunity to experience why Oakland is one of the hottest food destinations in the country,” said Alison Best, President & CEO of Visit Oakland, in a prepared statement. “It’s a chance to try fresh, unique flavors and creative menu pairings. The city is extremely diverse, so diners will enjoy a variety of culinary options throughout our many neighborhoods.”

Berkeley’s Restaurant Week, which runs from Jan. 22-31, is smaller than Oakland’s, but it is equally diverse. Cuisines from Indian (Ajanta) and Japanese (Joshu-ya Brasserie) to German (Gaumenkitzel), and even Quebequois (Smoke’s Poutinerie) all make an appearance. Well-loved downtown restaurants Comal, FIVE, and Revival Bar and Kitchen will also offer special menus. The full listing, including menus, can be found on the Visit Berkeley website.

Like the Oakland event, participating restaurants offer lunch and/or dinner prix fixe menus, priced at $15 or $20 for lunch and $20 or $30 for dinner.

Both Restaurant Weeks are part of the statewide California Restaurant Month, a “promotional initiative created by Visit California in 2011 to encourage post-holiday travel to the Golden State during the month of January and to continue to position the state as the top culinary destination in the country,” according to Visit California’s website.

Updates on each event can be found on the Visit Oakland Facebook page and the Berkeley Restaurant Week Facebook page, as well as @visitoakland and @visitberkeley on Twitter and Instagram.

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Kate Williams has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and...