Establishments welcome the holiday season with special food items


Limited-edition nog in stock at local Lunardi’s in Belmont, California. Nog is one of many holiday products Lunardi’s offers.

Restaurants, cafes, and stores in the Bay Area have begun to offer seasonal food items to transition from fall to winter and warmly welcome the holidays.

Since the late 1900s, many restaurants, cafes, and stores began offering holiday specials during the winter and fall. Nowadays, holiday and Thanksgiving specials have become a pleasure that many customers look forward to during the winter and fall seasons.

Popular cafe Starbucks is a big participator in the holiday drink offers, with their traditions linking back to the late 1900s.

“Starbucks introduced its first holiday drink in 1984 with Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee. Beloved for its special blend of Latin American and rare aged Sumatran beans, the seasonal blend has become a customer favorite and a Starbucks holiday tradition,” said Lauren Nimmons, a Starbucks media relations spokesperson.

This tradition has stayed alive throughout the years, as Starbucks is now celebrating its 20th anniversary of having holiday drinks. It encourages teenagers to celebrate the holiday season, and according to Nimmons, they are excited to keep the tradition alive and going.

“Having festive drinks from cafes during the holiday time gives me nostalgia and something to look forward to during winter time,” said Carlmont student Audrey Navasca.

The holiday drinks not only allure teenagers like Navasca, but they also attract adults. Many adults also feel nostalgic when getting a holiday drink or snack because it reminds them of past holidays spent with others.

“Every time I order one, it’s always usually like on a cold day out shopping for Christmas presents like at the mall. I love to go to San Francisco Union Square around Christmas and see the tree and everything, so usually whenever I have a holiday drink, it kind of transports me to prior Christmases shopping around with family or friends and just always brings a smile to my face,” said Greer Stone, a Carlmont history teacher.

Popular local grocery store Lunardi’s also participates in this tradition every holiday season. They sell items for every season, including Thanksgiving. According to Rhoderick Munsayac, a Lunardi’s manager, holiday items are a very competitive field amongst stores in the Bay Area, so even grocery stores use the holiday season to dabble in some competition.

“We have the usual stuff for Thanksgiving, you know, turkeys, cranberries, gravy. It obviously helps, you know, because other stores are so competitive,” Munsayac said.

A trendy and iconic limited-time transition drink between the fall and winter seasons amongst all ages is the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, which has subtle hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover, according to Squaremeal.

“I think sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte always kind of throws me back to previous holiday days. I guess it’s my comfort drink,” Stone said.

Different varieties of gingerbread houses sold at Lunardi’s. (Jae Lee)

The holiday drinks and special offers that stores present are delicious and festive. These are great ways to celebrate past holiday memories that people hold dearly while making new memories with delightful food and drinks. 

“I don’t celebrate Christmas, but like my mom would always make me hot chocolate, and I would always be with my family during winter time in a warm house, so I remember all of that when I get a holiday drink,” Navasca said. 

I think sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte always kind of throws me back to previous holiday days. I guess it’s my comfort drink.”

— Greer Stone