Hiring a Caterer for Your Wedding

What to know

San Jose has some of the finest spots to host a wedding, and to blend the amazing venue with the best food you need the right wedding catering service to make your day memorable. It is not easy to select the right company to work with; if you are struggling in making this decision, we are going to give you a few tips on how to find the right wedding caterer.


Begin with your budget in mind

Don’t start emailing caters before knowing how much you are willing to spend. Not only does your budget help you in identifying the companies that you can afford, but it also helps the companies prepare the right quote for your budget.


Get several proposals

Compare and contrast the cost of services and menu options form different catering service companies. You need to inform the caterers on what you anticipate about your event, from the number of guests to the type of affair you are hosting; it is their job to propose meal courses, bartenders, chefs and other dining specifics to you. These details are very important because you wouldn’t want your guest waiting for 20 minutes for a drink.


Be attentive to their style of communication

Food is an important aspect of catering, but how the service is delivered to your clients takes the experience to a whole new level. If the catering service company you are selecting takes time to respond to your emails or fails at getting your details correctly, it is wise to cross them off your short list. The level of attention to detail is important in this line of business, especially when it comes to events as special as the wedding day.


Your honest Catering Service, Handheld Catering

At handheld Catering Services, we have a highly experienced team of friendly event coordinators, who engage with you from the start. They are present to get the exact idea of what you need when it comes to your wedding and then present to you with a quotation that captures all the right details with a very cost effective price that is in-line with your budget.


Before the D-day comes, we make sure that you have a visual concept of what our catering will look like and we never disappoint, our word is our bond, and we will make sure that your guests enjoy the day with you.


We Would like to extend our services to you on your memorable day, kindly contact us by sending us an email at info@handheldcatering.com or call us at 408-692-4782 and we are happy to book an appointment with you.

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Where in San Francisco to Host Your Next Event

Imagine your boss appoints you to find the best place to hold a cocktail party for your new clients, and he asks you for the details about the venue where the event is supposed to be hosted in San Fransisco within the next hour, what would you do? The minute your boss leaves to handle other duties, you start thinking about a good budget, the places that you might know; it is an uphill task if you don’t have someone who can help with planning.

On top of that, you can’t plan for a boring party; you need to impress your boss and make it a killer event for the company’s new clients. We are here to provide you with a list of the best places that you can host your next corporate event. Handheld Catering has managed to short-list these three venues  that shine brighter than the rest. These venues are not only perfect for corporate events, but also for tech conferences and weddings. Now let’s dive into the list.

The Westin St Francis Union Square

This facility has a timeless yet modern style that makes it an iconic venue in San Francisco. If you are looking for a venue right on Union Square, this is the ideal place. It has 32 rooms where meetings can be held and large ballrooms that are equipped with the latest tech accessories. The Westin is your ideal location, whether you’re hosting 20 of your closest friends or thousands of money hungry techies looking for a new way to change the world.

The Nine Studios

If you want to rent the largest daylight studio in San Francisco that will amaze your guests, The Nine is the right venue. Located in SOMA, it’s the ideal place for hosting private events, the best part being that it is located on the top floor. The room is punctuated with natural light from its ceiling windows which illuminate the wooden floor. It also makes your guests embrace the view of the city.

Conservatory of Flowers

If you’re looking for a venue to host a cocktail party, a wedding or a corporate event in San Francisco, then The Conservatory is the ideal site for you. The most outstanding thing about this venue is that it’s a historical site that will bring a spark to your event like no other venue; there is no place like this in the whole of the Bay Area.

At Handheld Catering, we have good relations with the management of these venues, and we are more than happy to offer our catering services to your guests when hosting an event in these fantastic locations. Let us lift the worry of the meals from your end, and we let you focus on showing up to the event all smiles, as we cater to you with delightful meals. To make this happen, book appointment with us by calling 408-692-4782 or emailing info@handheldcatering.com, we are always happy to help!

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Best Wedding Venues in the Bay Area

When it comes to weddings, no one captures “the moment” better than the San Francisco Bay area, with all of its spectacular venues. As popular Bay Area wedding caterers, Handheld Catering has seen them all and wanted to mention a few for the benefit of your upcoming wedding:


Nestldown – located just minutes away from the Silicon Valley, the Nestldown has unbelievable views combined with a rustic elegance. Built on a 180-acre property that was originally designed for the owners and their families, the ponds, flower gardens, waterfalls and redwood trees create a scene that only serves to add luxury and style to any wedding event.


Palace Hotel, –  from the Grand Ballroom to the Gold Ballroom to the Ralston Ballroom, each ballroom accommodates 300-plus guests. Built in 1875, the Palace Hotel in San Francisco claims to be, “A romantic legacy that transcends time,” with, “personal, genuine, attentive service that promises a flawless event.”


Ritz-Carlton – This sprawling luxurious resort is set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with some of the best views around. The décor makes this place ideal for a never-to-forget wedding. Located in Half Moon Bay, whether you desire an intimate setting or one that accommodates up to 300 guests, the Ritz Carlton guarantees to give you the ultimate wedding of your dreams.


The Bridges Golf Club – As their website states, “Perched on a gentle rise in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, the Bridges Golf Clubhouse looks every bit the Mediterranean villa, with its tiled roof, white walls and Moorish turrets.” This exclusive county club has views of acres of velvety fairways from every window. A clean-cut, naturistic setting. Many catering events take place here, including weddings.


The Julia Morgan Ballroom – located in the Merchants Exchange, this spectacular venue is every architect’s dream. As their website states, “For more than a century, the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange has hosted the City’s most important special events, from Presidential visits to product launches and everything in between.”


The St. Regis San Francisco Hotel

Located in the SoMa district, with magnificent views of the San Francisco cityscape, the St. Regis is “pure elegance in an extraordinary setting.” Offering a modern interpretation of the St. Regis legacy, combined, “with the prestigious landmark of the Williams Building with a contemporary 40-story tower,” this popular place is an incredible venue for any wedding.


Thomas Fogarty Winery – Surrounded by beautiful vineyards and gorgeously manicured lawns, this winery accommodates up to 216 guests, and is the perfect intimate, elegant and relaxing setting for exchanging nuptials. The reception center flows down the mountainside, offering stunning views of the bay area from all three levels and is the perfect place for any catering event, including weddings.

Let Handheld Catering help you find the perfect place for your wedding. Call us today at (408) 465-0466.

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How to Make Your Corporate Event Stand Out

You’ve just been asked to plan a corporate event and are both excited and nervous. You hope this event will be so spectacular that it will stand out as one that will be talked about long after it’s over. All you need now is to figure out how to accomplish this.

Look no further.

At Handheld Catering, we’ve participated in countless successful events and have made our list of best practices when it comes to making sure your corporate event stands out as far different from the rest:

Prepare, prepare, prepare – and prepare way ahead of time. Successful corporate events do not just happen and are not “overnight successes.” They take months, and some take even years, to plan, including every single detail, so nothing gets missed in the process and the execution of the event is incredible.

List all major tasks that need to be completed – this list includes, date/time/place, budget, goals, theme, catering needs, entertainment, decorations, mailing list, contracts and photographer, to name just a few. Make sure to have this list approved to make sure you are on the right track.

Make a to-do list and timeline – from the above list, create a list of all the to-do items that need to be accomplished within each major task. Then, enter all task onto a calendar to create deadlines. For instance, under the catering category, list, “Call caterer,” then “select menu,” and so forth. Detail out this list, as much as possible, to avoid overlooking something. Mentally walk through your corporate event, from beginning, middle and end to make sure you haven’t missed anything.  Make sure you allow plenty of time, just in case an emergency arises. A good idea is to establish all dates, and then move them forward one week.

Budget – Know what your budget is, and then stick to it. Go through your list and attach a price to each item, as to what each major task may, or may not, cost. Gather quotes. When you have completed your financial outline, seek approval, to make sure you are in line with what is expected.

Recruit a committee – no one person can carry out a successful event alone, and the beauty of a corporate event is participating in a successful team effort. Get the word out, recruit, hold regular meetings often to update, send out a follow-up email to make sure everyone understands the progress made and what remains to be done. Make sure you are always on schedule for all deadlines, including checking in with the catering service, entertainment, florist and venue. Make sure close communication is always present to orchestrate the event. Your job is to make sure everyone else does their job. Be a resource to them and thank them, often, for their efforts.

Enjoy – through proper organization, your corporate event should be as enjoyable to you as it is to everyone else. Never be so stressed that joy of the experience gets lost. There is always help available for those who show appreciation and teamwork.

Let us help you execute your next corporate event; call Handheld Catering today.

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Best Hole-in-the-Wall Food in San Francisco

San Francisco is known for having some of the best foods in the world when it comes to endless fresh seafoods, unforgettable sourdough breads and everyone’s favorite: Ghirardelli chocolates. Also included on San Francisco best foods list should be some of the many unbelievable “hole-in-the-wall” eating establishments that also provide an incredible culinary experience. Our best picks, listed in alphabetical order, are:

The Blue Plate – located in the outer Mission neighborhood, The Blue Plate was the winner of the 2016 Diner’s Choice Award. Serving their own, “American fare with a Mediterranean twist,” they also boast of using the best Northern California produce from local farms.

Brenda’s French Soul Food – with a BFA in Painting and Drawing, owner and chef extraordinaire, Brenda, turned from her love and gift of art to providing customers with an incredible best San Francisco food experience. Continually excelling in the food and restaurant arena, she has received many accolades for her soul food fare.

The Front Porch –  with so many great reviews regarding their culinary delights, their southern-style chicken meals are intended to provide a one-of-a-kind palate pleasure. Formerly a popular place for the rich and famous, there is no additional cost for rocking in one of their many rocking chairs.

Nob Hill – this literal “hole in the wall” (based on its size) states on their website, “We specialize in authentic, home-style Italian food. We are a family owned restaurant that has thrived in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood for 20 years. Enjoy our cozy atmosphere and delicious food, which will keep you and your guests coming back for more.”

Tommy’s Joynt – as mentioned on their website, Tommy’s Joynt is the Original Hof-Brau of San Francisco and is one the longest living culinary institutions. Unchanged, year after year, their hot food and cold drinks parry their no-frills, best food atmosphere.

Cordon Bleu – this no-more-than-twenty-seat Vietnamese restaurant finds people coming from all over town to treat themselves to their signature dish: five-spiced roasted chicken on a tall bed of rice with a meaty sauce. Cordon Bleu is known for its huge portions and homemade style and is a must on San Francisco’s best food list.

Sam Wo – Known as the oldest restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, as their website states, Sam Wo, “was built shortly after the 1906 earthquake at the original location (813 Washington Street) by three immigrant siblings from the village of Taishan, China.” And is, “famous for inexpensive barbecue pork rice noodle rolls and porridge called jook until 3:00AM.”


When it comes to San Francisco’s city life, there are always more places and events to see than time allows, including enjoying so many best food meals that are quick to offer great flavor in an unforgettable atmosphere.

If these places aren’t big enough for your company event, Handheld Catering’s San Francisco Bay Area catering services can provide fresh and delicious food for your special event right to your doorstep or in a special venue. Gives us a call at 408-692-4782 or by emailing info@handheldcatering.com to discuss your event.

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Does Your Business Need Lunch Catering?

When it comes to the daily business environment, within the Silicon Valley or surrounding San Francisco Bay Area, the demands of each day can be so overwhelming. Too often employees are found perplexed about how and when to take a lunch break. Equally as challenging is the onsite unavailability of anything nutritious to eat. And then there are all those high-tech professionals that sometimes need to be impressed. Handheld Catering continually handles these dilemmas with our Silicon Valley catering services.

Whether you have an important, upcoming corporate event or a simple lunchtime thank you for your employees, our catering services are here to help. A basic meal can easily become an unforgettable experience for both guests and colleagues, as well as a phenomenal addition to any necessary lunchtime brainstorming sessions, and these are the reasons why:

Time efficient – whether you’re in need of a box lunch, buffet or even a sit-down meal, Handheld Catering is here to help. Our mobile kitchen is prepared to deliver food that is hot off the grill or cold and fresh from the fridge. And we make sure to park our culinary trailer completely out of sight. Leaving lunch to us, allows time for you to continue to address your business work load without too much of a break in flow. By using Handheld Catering, all you do is conveniently make your way to the lunchroom area and leave the rest to us.

Fresh nutritional value – Handheld Catering is known for its farm-to-fork approach. We only use locally grown fruits and vegetables to guarantee our food is fresh and flavorful. There is nothing better than avoiding all the junk food machines or the salty, non-nutritious fast foods we tend to pick up and start enjoying foods that will add nutritional value to your diet while not contributing to unwanted pounds.  

Delivered to your lunchroom table – no longer do employees have to waste busy business time trying to figure out who will leave the building to pick up lunch, only to return without one of the meals because there were so many to remember. By pre-ordering, we confirm each meal for each person and conveniently bring your food to you. This ease in obtaining lunch and enjoying a full catering experience is one of our customer’s favorite features.  

Increased employee morale – nothing increases employee morale more than being together doing something positive. The additional experience of adding a freshly prepared meal to your business environment is “the icing on the cake.” Since food is a necessity for any business, the fact that a quick solution to this dilemma is available brings delight to every employee. To have this type of “thank you” happen in the comfort of your very own office can make your employee’s day and motivate them to increase performance.  And best of all, many of our meals are as affordable as most fast-food chains.

Call Handheld Catering today and let us show you how we can turn your dull lunchtime meal into one amazing experience, with just one quick phone call at 408-692-4782 or by emailing info@handheldcatering.com today.  

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San Francisco Summer Festivals

When it comes to Summer Festivals, no one puts on greater, more festive events than San Francisco. And what’s even better is that most of these festivals are free. With this list, the opportunity is there for you to enjoy more of your Summer days and nights:

Stern Grove Festival – “For the Community, Building the Community,” and “By the Community” is the mantra for this nearly 100% donation-funded festival series. Taking place each Sunday throughout the Summer, this admission-free concert series is in its 80th season, with a line-up that includes: Ximena Sarinana (a Summer Classic from San Francisco Ballet); Cross-cultural funk (War, Global Electronica, Brazilian Girls, Moon Hooch); and Sunday Soul Jam (Mavis Stables).

Gilroy Garlic Festival – Touted as “Summer’s Ultimate Food Fair,” this popular San Francisco Summer festival began in 1978 when Dr. Rudy Melone decided Gilroy grew more garlic than anywhere else in the world, so he decided to celebrate this fact. And, he has, for 39 years. This year, from July 28th – 30th, you can celebrate the wonderful world of garlic with great entertainment, cooking contests, wine-tastings, arts & crafts and a kid’s area. Then, top this all off with some unforgettable garlicky foods, such as pickles, fries and even ice cream.

Berkeley Kite Festival – “Let’s go fly a kite, up to its highest height.” And you can, at the 32nd Annual Kite Festival & West Coast Kite Championships, held in Berkeley, from July 29th – 30th. Admission is free, but parking is $15.00. Make a kite or buy a kite. Either way, this is one fun event. Activities include free kite making, kite flying lessons and a giant creature kite expo.

Free Shakespeare in the Park – this fun San Francisco Summer Concert Series features Shakespeare’s, Hamlet. For 35 years this free and professional performance has pleased audiences from inside and outside the San Francisco area. Running from July 16 – October 8th, 2017 at five different locations, their goal is to offer the general public an opportunity to attend a live production.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival – As their website states, “The YBG Festival presents classical, world, and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance, theater, children’s and family programs, and cultural events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the region. Artistic excellence, inclusion, diversity and innovation are at the heart of our mission.” Check out their website for dates and times.

Beer Week in San Jose – running from July 21st – 30th in the South Bay Area, this 10-day event includes such exciting opportunities as: No Peeking! 6-Beer IPA Blind Tasting; Knee Deep Tap Takeover; Barebottle Brewing Company Flight Night; Beer Week Tap Takeover!; The Bruery Tap Takeover; SVBW Official Kickoff Party; and An Evening w/ Japan’s COEDO Brewery.

   San Francisco Summer Festivals are now in full swing, guaranteed to be an incredible addition to your unforgettable Summer fare.  

Are you hosting or sponsoring a local event in the Bay Area and in need of awesome catering?  Handheld Catering’s Bay Area event catering services can provide fresh and delicious food for your special event that all your guests will rave about. Gives us a call at 408-692-4782 or by emailing info@handheldcatering.com to discuss your needs.

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Planning Your Stay: Visiting the Bay Area for an Event

When it comes to San Francisco events, including those catered by Handheld Catering, you have nothing to worry about. Because their annual calendar is always full, this city accommodates visitors from all over the world, which is why San Francisco event planning is far from being a rocket science. In fact, it is very travel-friendly.

Usually, when a person thinks of visiting San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge comes to mind. While this bridge is truly one of greatest wonders of the world, San Francisco has much more to offer for every personality type, from adventurous to cultural to high tech to everyday tourist.

San Francisco is a small city only seven miles long. Boasting of a population of under one million, this town is the second-most densely-populated city in the nation, earning it the nickname of “city on a hill.”

With nearly 25 million visitors arriving each year to attend a myriad of events, like those catered by Handheld Catering, there are many resources available to make your stay more than enjoyable.  

If you are planning to come to the San Francisco area for an event, the first step you will want to take is to check the weather. June and July are famous for fog. April and October have the clearest skies. And remember, the ocean water is typically too cold to swim in anytime.

Other event planning facts and resources are:

  • Summer attracts the largest number of visitors while Spring and Fall are not quite as busy.
  • Like nearly everywhere else, hotel rates are the least expensive during the winter months, with the expectation of any type of huge event.
  • Hotels near the airport are less expensive. Within the city, hotels average $244 per night and run from two-star to five-star with some being pet friendly,
  • Airbnb, apartments, vacation rentals, hostels and bed and breakfasts are in abundance  
  • San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in the nation so, when it comes to fine dining or fast food meals, the options are endless.
  • San Francisco is sometimes referred to as “a collection of villages,” as in Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square and Golden Gate Park. In addition, there is Nob Hill, the Castro District, Haight-Ashbury and Japantown. Other attractions include Alcatraz Island, AT&T Park, Lands End and the many Walking Tours
  • Because of its small size, San Francisco is one of the easiest cities to navigate, using cable cars, public transportation and ride-sharing

Handheld Catering partners with many of the events in the San Francisco area. We

pride ourselves in providing high quality culinary experiences at every event we cater and enjoy meeting so many satisfied visitors who delight in visiting this unforgettable town.

Feel free to contact us today at Handheld Catering at 408-692-4782 or at info@handheldcatering.com with any help you might need regarding your next San Francisco event.  

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Stay Hydrated! Keep Your Team Happy & Healthy

At Handheld Catering, we a very aware that water is one thing we cannot live without. In fact, did you know we can survive without food longer than we can survive without water? Knowing the recommended daily allowance of water is eight cups per day–with more water necessary during the hot summer months and during exercise, we encourage hydration at all of our San Jose catering events. We keep fluids readily available and replenished often.   

Severe dehydration can create many health problems. However, most people don’t realize that even mild dehydration can be dangerous. Losing just two percent of your body’s overall hydration can result in headaches, confusion, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Outdoor events held in the San Jose area are subject to summer’s heat. Drinking lots of water helps regulate our body temperature. The last thing anyone wants to experience or witness is lightheadedness or worse. We are aware of this and go to great lengths to make sure all our customers receive the water they request.

Because nearly 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from fruits, vegetables, meats and other foods—resulting in less drinking water being needed, we know it is important to plan our meals with this thought in mind.

Here are some simple ways Handheld Catering suggests you keep hydrated at your next San Jose area summer event:

Always have a water bottle nearby – studies have shown that those who keep water within reach, tend to drink it more often. Do not put too many steps between you and your water bottle.

Plan your meals to include more water-friendly foods – there are many foods rich in water available during the summer months, like watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew and cucumbers. These foods are a vital part of our menu selection.

Drink water during your meals –  this is an easy one because our natural and cultural inclination is to accent every meal with one or more fluids.  

Avoid foods that deplete hydration – when attending or planning an event in the San Jose area, Handheld Catering suggests avoiding salty snack foods like potato chips and crackers. Cookies and cakes have minimal water to offer while alcohol is extremely dehydrating.

Know the signs of dehydration – if witnessing or experiencing dehydration, know that a normal urine color is pale yellow. If your urine is dark, like apple juice, you might be dehydrated. Dehydration also includes reduced urine output, thirst, fatigue and/or headaches. So, keep in mind proper hydration when planning all your San Jose area summer events.

Call us today at 408-692-4782 or email us at info@handheldcatering.com and let us show you how we can help your next event be a well-hydrated one.

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Summer Food Options

Summer is here in the bay area, which means the time has arrived for all those wonderful summer foods to take center stage at all your catering events. Fortunately, in the bay area, we’ve got terrific foods to choose from, and we here, at Handheld Catering, keep this in mind when it comes to our food selections for these unique and physically demanding summer months.

At Handheld Catering, many of our best choices, for your upcoming bay area events, keep summer specifically in mind. We realize that during these hotter months, it is important to focus on hydration and meals rich in nutrients. Our unique farm-to-fork approach continues to lead the industry because of our fresh flavors, nutrients and signature flavor.

Because of our commitment to use only local area foods in our catering menus, our meals do not lose their value and flavor, like they would through long-distance shipping. The look and appeal of fresh food makes all the difference as well.

Our years of experience in creating just the right type of summer offerings includes an abundance of green leafy green vegetables, thirst-quenching fruits and the all-important fibrous vegetables. Created with these facts in mind, our popular vegetarian dishes include:

  • The Vegetable Tower (grilled seasonal vegetables, charred tomato coulis, basil oil)
  • Stuffed Sweet Chili Peppers with Wild Rice and Wilted Spinach in a Spicy Tomato Sauce.
  • Seasonal Vegetable and Red Quinoa Streusel with a Roasted Red Pepper Coulis


Everyone knows lighter meals are easier on the digestive system, especially during summer. We have created several meals specifically for this time of year, including:

  • Chipotle, Honey and Lime-glazed Prawns
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs with an Apricot and Siracha Glaze
  • BBQ Chicken with a Chipotle and Lime Glaze


Often, our repeat customers select these meals

over and over again because of their satisfying taste, appeal and hydrating, nutritious effects.

Also included in our summer selections are our tasty roasted seasonal vegetables, such as our Caramelized Brussel Sprouts and our ever-popular Balsamic Marinated Grilled Vegetables. .

Because watermelon is 90 percent water, this, and so many other locally grown melons, also adds to Summer’s demands while appealing to your guests.

Let the team at Handheld Catering take your next bay area summer event to the next level, like we have for so many of our other satisfied and repeat customers. Call us today at 408-692-4782 or by emailing info@handheldcatering.com.

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