The middle of January can be a pretty slow time of year for restaurants, but Downtown Benicia Restaurant Week may have people thinking twice about staying home and eating in. The annual campaign is meant to generate excitement with special promotions and offers, plus seasonal cuisines to match the wintery weather.

This year’s campaign coincides with the seventh annual California Restaurant Month aimed at bolstering statewide tourism. Many First Street restaurants will participate in Benicia Restaurant Week tentatively slated for Jan. 21-28. The way it works is that people pick up a dining passport at Benicia Main Street Program, Benicia businesses or online and then frequent their favorite eatery, bringing their appetite and sense of adventure. The passport gives diners a 15 percent discount, though some conditions may apply.

The overall goal is to promote downtown restaurants during a typically slow month in the industry, said Nancy Martinez, executive director of Benicia Main Street, which is sponsoring the event. The promotion will also include a contest to win $100 in Downtown Dollars.  Last year 13 Benicia restaurants participated, offering diners a wide choice of cuisines and dining atmospheres. Martinez said many of the same restaurants will likely continue this year.  For a list of participating restaurants, go to or call 707.745.9791.

To add to the fun, we asked several local eateries about their most popular menu item and their healthiest menu item. Here are the responses.


Chicken Tikka Masala

Aroma Indian Cuisine
818 First Street, Benicia
Second location at 2032 Columbus Parkway

Opened: 2006
Most Popular Dish: Chicken Tikka Masala
Healthiest Dish: Cucumber Salad


Benicia Grill
4760 East 2nd Street, Benicia

Opened: 2008
Most Popular Dish: Mesquite Steak Sandwich
Healthiest Dish: Fajita salad with chicken or steak


Camellia Tea Room
828 First Street,

Opened: 1994
Most Popular Dish: Traditional Tea on 3-tiered tray
Healthiest Dish: Any of the entrée salads


Fried Chicken Dinner

Lucca Bar and Grill &
Lucca Beer Garden

439 First Street, Benicia

Opened: 2009
Most Popular Dish: Fried Chicken Special, Tues. & Wed. 5pm-close
Healthiest Dish: Roasted beet salad with the addition of chicken


Rookies Sports Bar & Grill
321 First Street, Benicia

Opened: 2011
Most Popular Dish: Rookies Burger with Fries or Rings
Healthiest Dish: Rookies Salad


Round Table Pizza
878 Southampton Rd, Benicia

Opened: 1987
Most Popular Dish: Pepperoni Pizza
Healthiest Dish: Salad Bar


640 1st St, Benicia
707.746.7830  Facebook

Opened: 1985
Most Popular Dish: Chile Verde
Healthiest Dish: Chicken, beef and shrimp Fajitas


Union Hotel Bar & Restaurant
401 First Street, Benicia

Opened: 2003
Most Popular Dish: Hanger Steak with Mashed Potatoes
Healthiest Dish: Ahi Tuna Salad