Other than running the marathon, my recent visit to San Francisco was filled up as these visits usually are - catching up with as many of my favorite people as possible, walking all over the city, and eating as many of my favorite foods as possible. Eating is usually a big and important part of my travels and on San Francisco visits I'm always trying to find a balance of enjoying some of my old favorites while also being open to new discoveries.
I love food and I like to optimize my experiences. While I enjoy the occasional over-the-top meal (a la French Laundry), in general, I'm a bit more basic in my food preferences and tend to appreciate perfect executions of somewhat common/straight-forward, unfussy foods. I'm blessed with a husband and friends who are willing to tag along for the ride as I seek out the perfect meal, even if that occasionally means having each course at a different venue. I'm definitely a believer in the "life's too short to eat bad food" approach to things - and I've certainly been known to leave a bad meal in search of a better restaurant rather than waste a meal with bad food. While Boulder has some good food options, there is really no comparison with San Francisco and so I've usually got a long list of food I want to eat on each visit to the Bay Area.
So, while I wasn't able to eat all of my favorite foods on my recent SF trip (I'm back again in a week though so will have another bite at the apple, so to speak), and I had a few horrible food moments (desperation raisinettes and a wonder-bread like soft pretzel at the double-feature movie we saw), I did get a chance to re-visit some of my favorites as well as experience a few new good options.
- Chocolate sable cookies (from Miette) and Billecart-Salmon rose at Ferry Building Wine Merchant
- Almond croissant and raisin walnut roll from Boulangerie (Bay Bread)
- Ham and warm sheep's milk Cheese terrine (with champs) at Piperade
- Yank Sing for dim sum
- Chocolate chip cookies at the Grove
- Valdeon toasts and Billecart-Salmon rose (notice a theme?) at Terzo
- Margherita pizza and chocolate budino tart at A16
- Green Papaya salad at Slanted Door
- Cinnamon hot chocolate cake at Bittersweet Cafe
- Peaches from Frog Hollow Farm
New (for me) and worth repeating
- Christopher Elbow chocolate bars from CocoaBella
- Bombolone (Raspberry and Chocolate) at I Preferiti di Boriana at the Ferry Building
- Dinner at Plumpjack (Fabulous app of pain perdue with burrata and amazing black forest cake with chocolate pudding and cherry soup for dessert)
- Pasta-load dinner at Bacco - solid Italian restaurant in Noe Valley
On the list for upcoming San Francisco visit (again trying for the blend of the old favorites (OF) and new discoveries..)
- Tacubaya (OF - love their pork tacos)
- Sketch (OF)
- ici (have been wanting to try this relatively new Berkeley ice cream spot for quite some time)
- Picco (OF - love their pizza and soft-serve ice cream)
- Tartine (OF)
- Bong Su (OF- Actually have preferred this place over Slanted Door for Vietnamese food of late -- still holding out for their Boulder location....)
- Charles Chocolates factory tour and retail store
- Hamburgers at the Village Pub and Peninsula Creamery (OF)
- Dinner at Scott Howard and Nopa
If anyone has any suggestions for must-eat foods in San Francisco (particularly the new and fabulous), please send me an email or leave a comment!