welcome to Eater 2022an annual tradition of Eater celebrating the past 12 months with the help of the Bay Area’s top food and restaurant industry experts. Post it and post an answer from the person who knows it best.
A few players come to mind: La Cocina’s coffee shop, the Fluid Cooperative Cafe, has spent a lot of time raising money for transgender and queer nonprofits. Cafe Milk, located in the Mission District, has hosted numerous craft he fairs and maker fairs for queer creators, clearly important amid rising anti-LGBTQIA+ hatred and policies. Finally, it’s not topical, but it’s still pretty important. [Birch & Rye] Chef Anya El-Wattar raised over $100,000 for Ukraine relief efforts throughout the year.
— Paolo Bicchieri, Eater SF Reporter
I’m just an El Garage fan. They are always at local events and are a trusted staple of the community. They are a locally grown Latina owned business that is a true reflection of the areas they serve.
— Alan Chazzaro, Food Reporter KQED
We truly appreciate the care and understanding that led to the opening of Auckland’s Gourd this year. It had lofty goals to ease tensions between its longtime residents. The business showcases her POC makers through a marketplace filled with coffee beans and seasonings, and inspires others by offering menus that highlight Persian cuisine on a grander scale. This is an ambitious project, but one done with heart and intention so that these goals can be achieved with real effort.
— Dianne de Guzman, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Eater SF
The first thing that comes to mind is the new iteration of Cafe Ohlone, an indigenous restaurant. The opening of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley is a historic and meaningful step toward celebrating Orlone culture and making it more visible in the community.
— Madeline Wells, SFGATE Food Reporter
Kitchen Istanbul. They welcome everyone to their restaurant. A warm welcome. They are aware of the problems happening in the world. They are conscious and make their guests aware as well. community. This same culture is alive and well in Nopa.
— Tonya Pitts, Sommelier and Wine Director at One Market Restaurant
I think it’s dope that Smish Smash did a toy drive in Auckland. Also, all the people who showed up in Auckland to celebrate the life of the late Jun Anabo, the hometown hero of Lucky Three Seven. I was moved to see the overflowing love for Anabo.
— Cesar Hernandez, Associate Restaurant Critic San Francisco Chronicle
While not a local cause per se, Michel Polzin, owner of the now-closed 20th Century Cafe, made thousands of dollars for Ukrainians earlier this year by selling her infamous honey cake. I loved the collection.
—Nick Bastone, Reporter Axios SF
When not managing Omnivore, the chef attends Foodwise fundraising events to support farmers markets and educational programs. I mean, we witness the incredible generosity of so many San Francisco chefs all year long. It’s impossible to call just one. Bay Area chefs are very supportive of the farmers who grow our food and act as stewards of our land. It’s a truly beautiful community centered around some of the best produce in the world.
— Sarah Henkin, Manager omnivorous books
UC Berkeley’s student population is undoubtedly in the figurative and literal heart of the city. It’s no secret that historically, the UC Berkeley Dining eatery has been fraught with problems. However, I found the proximity of Viks Chaat House and its well-stocked freezer section to be a boon for college students from India. Craving both decent food and the taste of home, anything you can buy, freeze, and reheat in your dorm room becomes comfort food. He knows at least one student who turned to them for convenience and comfort during finals week. We applaud Viks for having so many freezer-friendly food options and encourage other establishments to use this opportunity to better serve our young people.
— Nandita Godbole, writer craving for curry
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