Why National Surf and Turf Day Only Comes Once Every Four Years

Celebrate the extra 24 hours of 2016 in the most ostentatious way, with steak and lobster
Surf and Turf

Photo Modified: Flickr / Bloomsburys / CC BY 4.0

Celebrating the extra 24 hours of 2016 with the decadent dish of steak and lobster.

We always feel that February 29 should be celebrated: A bonus day in the year is certainly not something that should be disregarded. Thankfully, one intelligent food-lover once decided that this special day should also be National Surf and Turf Day. Today, we’ll be celebrating these extra 24 hours of 2016 with the decadent dish of steak and lobster. 

Sadly, it is still a Monday, not a magical extra day which postpones the start of the week, so you still have to go through your normal routine of getting up, going to work, sitting through meetings, and going home. But once you’re working day is done, it’s time to let National Surf and Turf Day take over.

Although it seems a shame to celebrate the ostentatious surf and turf dish only once every four years, our wallets are somewhat grateful. This dish’s name is said to have been coined on the East Coast in the 1960s, and is now considered one of the must culinary kitsch dishes that it is still acceptable still to serve. We don’t know who created it, but he or she certainly had very ostentatious taste, deciding to combine the two most expensive menu items: steak and lobster. Since the ‘60s, the meat and seafood dish has become a steakhouse standby, and although it may not be as fashionable today as it once was, it is still wonderfully popular.

It seems apt to celebrate this rare, special day of February 29, with a fairly obnoxious meal, which is probably not your regular order. Make the most of the leap day, which hopefully you’ve been saving up for over the last four years, and make a dinner reservation at your favorite steakhouse, or go home via the butcher and fishmonger to pick up everything you need for your evening meal.


Just in case you’re not a fan of this traditional, and perhaps a little outdated surf and turf combination, experiment with your own modern takes on this old-school dish. As long as you combine meat and seafood on the same plate, it counts as surf and turf, or “reef and beef” as the Australians would say.  We love the idea of swapping the fancy steak and grilled lobster tail for a lobster roll and a hot dog. Or, why not combine the land and the sea in a more subtle way, with these delicious scallops wrapped in bacon? However you choose to celebrate National Surf and Turf Day, make sure you make the most of it. You won’t have the excuse to indulge again for another 1460 days.