Oh hey, Golden Gate Bridge (Image: Yvette Caster)
“Make sure you have flowers in your hair when you go to San Francisco,” says the Scott McKenzie song.
But when you travel to the state famous for fog, redwoods, and a particular bridge, don’t be surprised if you can find flowers in your food too.
During my time in the country in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, I discovered culinary delights from dolls with bay flowers to lavender ice cream.
While it’s hard to summarize all of the options in just one article (sorry, China Town), here are a few ways to take a foodie tour of San Francisco.
Soft pumpkin spice made from nutmeg and cinnamon with dark chocolate pieces (Image: Yvette Caster / Metro.co.uk)
I had one of the best ice creams of my life at Lush Gelato – an incredibly soft pumpkin spice made from nutmeg and cinnamon with dark chocolate pieces that vaguely tasted like coconut. It was $ 5.75 for a two-measuring spoon cone.
A few doors down, XOX Truffles were selling smooth dark chocolate truffles for $ 15 for $ 20 or $ 3.75 each.
Original Joe’s serves up a stunning Chicken Parmigiana (breaded poultry with excellent marinara sauce and Monterey Jack cheese) for $ 26.95.
Dark Chocolate Truffles from XOX (Image: Yvette Caster / Metro.co.uk)
Those not worried about smooching someone soon should try The Stinking Rose, a restaurant dedicated to all things garlic and even serving garlic wine.
Meanwhile, movie buffs may appreciate Cafe Zoetrope – an Italian cafe owned by Francis Ford Coppola that sells wine grown in its vineyards.
Or try the Vesuvio Cafe – a colorful bar known for its diners who include Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan.
Try chowder in a bread bowl at Boudin (Image: Yvette Caster / metro.co.uk)
This is a good place to try some of the seafood that makes San Fran great.
Specialties are dungeness crab and clam soup, which is served in a bread bowl. I had the latter at Boudin for $ 9.99 – you will smell the sourdough before you see the place. The chowder was very thick, with clumps of clams and potatoes in it, and complimented the bread.
The mission district
Curry Up Now’s samosa is a delight (Image: Yvette Caster / Metro.co.uk)
Less touristy and shabby, but established as a top food destination, the Mission District is where you’ll find classic Mexican food and a variety of hipster restaurants.
There are mission-style burritos that are more tightly wrapped than others, with no rice, sour cream or guacamole, tacos and quesadillas. Taqueria La Cumbre claims to be her birthplace.
Meanwhile, Panchita’s, a Salvadoran restaurant, serves $ 5 dolls – pancake-like creations made from cornmeal. I tried one filled with Monterey Jack cheese and the aforementioned Lorocco which tasted like nothing I had before, although it might be compared to a flowery asparagus.
Curry Up Now, formerly a food truck and now set up on South Maple Avenue, serves premium handcrafted samosas with tamarind and coriander sauces – $ 8.50 for two.
Make sure The Rebel Within is on Craftsman and Wolves (Image: Yvette Caster / metro.co.uk)
The Craftsman and Wolves bakery makes a fine line in breads and desserts. It’s known for The Rebel Within, a hearty $ 8 muffin made with Asiago sausage, spring onions, and a whole egg. The thick, cheesy and lightly flavored creation would make for a delicious, unusual breakfast or lunch. When I visited, pill desserts were also popular – bar-shaped delicacies with peach and earl gray flavors.
Cool and quirky, Mission Cheese serves up cheese flights, grilled cheese sandwiches, racklette, and mac and cheese. The delicious $ 8 California Gold Sandwich included San Joaquin Gold cheese, chèvre, and canned figs.
A s’more at Dandelion (Image: Yvette Caster / Metro.co.uk)
At Bi-rite Creamery, you can find lavender honey and black sesame ice cream, while dandelions are a must for chocoholics. Here you can watch chocolatiers create the king of candy from scratch and enjoy hot chocolates, cold chocolate drinks, mochas and a delightful selection of desserts including a brownie bite flight.
I tried the Ecuadorian s’more for $ 4.50 – salted dark chocolate and burnt marshmallow on biscuit. Although the marshmallow wasn’t melted as I would have liked, this was an unusual, tasty treat.
The ferry building
You need a fresh oyster (Image: Yvette Caster)
This place is full of independent top stalls and there is also a farmers market outside on Saturdays. I tried California oranges and homemade chocolate, and bought alpine strawberries.
I had brunch in the sun at MarketBar at the end of the building. The $ 19 eggs benedict were great, fresh with a touch of coriander, mild pepper salsa, and pomegranate.
Some notable booths in the building are those of the Hog Island Oyster Company – their shellfish are some of the best I’ve ever had.
Cowgirl Creamery drew long lines for their grilled cheese (starting at $ 8.75), while Brown Sugar Kitchen, which serves American favorites like chicken and waffles, was also popular.
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The secret breakfast sundae in Humphry Slocombe ice cream (Image: Yvette Caster / metro.co.uk)
No visit to the Ferry Building is complete without trying the fantastic Bonkers Humphry Slocombe ice cream. I tried their decadent $ 8 Secret Breakfast Sundae – Bourbon Ice Cream with Cornflake Biscuits, Cornflakes, and Bourbon Syrup. I recommend leaving some ice cream to melt to eat with your corn flakes.
Beer at the Lagunitas Brewery (Image: Yvette Caster / Metro.co.uk)
Beer fans can take the 45 minute pilgrimage from San Fran to the Lagunitas Brewery for a tour – they last 1 1/2 hours and run between 1pm and 5pm every day.
This includes a beer tasting and training in all aspects of hops, e.g. B. how different flavors from black cherry to onion can be created.
There is also a restaurant, shop, small amphitheater that hosts concerts and a wide range of limited edition beers.
When I visited, I tried Lagunitas IPA Pale Ale, quite bitter for me, Hazy Memory which was sweeter with apricot notes, A Little Sumpin ‘Sumpin’ which was spicy, and Willettized – thickly aged in rye oak barrels that was like coffee taste .
I also had Watermelon OG Low-G – a slim, gluten-reduced slammer with watermelon juice.
Where to stay and how to get there
Book a stay at The Handlery (Image: The Handlery)
I was at the Union Square handlery. The hotel was in a great location, right in the middle of it all, and especially good for shopaholics with so many shops, high street and designers close by.
The decor was quite dark and the bathrooms small, but the hotel has a nice pool.
Rooms start at £ 125 a night.
I flew from Heathrow to San Francisco with United Airlines. The journey took 11 hours and a return trip costs from £ 323.
Where to stay in Heathrow:
I stayed at the Premier Inn Heathrow (Bath Road) which had a lively restaurant and bright foyer.
The chain says they now have the “best” hollow fiber pillow ever on the Hypnos beds in every room.
I appreciated being able to choose between the firm and soft versions and the bed was definitely comfortable.
Breakfast, which was included, was a reasonable buffet with hot and cold favorites. Rooms start at £ 44.50 a night.
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