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Eating our way through San Francisco

April 4, 2011

What better way to tour a city than by eating everything in sight, and walking around until you are hungry again.  All of those hills make working off [some of] what you eat even easier! Mr. Latenightjam and myself recently toured the great city by the bay, and can’t wait to go back!

I would also like to give a big shout out to Mighty Girl for her Top 10 Worthwhile Tourist Attractions in San Francisco and Top 10 Ways to See San Francisco Like a Local.  We listened to almost all of them, and would have done more if it weren’t so rainy and we weren’t so short on time.

Salted caramel and vanilla swirl from Bi-Rite Creamery

So good, we went back two days later…

Roasted banana, earl grey, honey and lavender...yes, those are ice cream flavors...

Breakfast at St. Francis Fountain

This was one of my favorite meals of the whole trip!  We had the Nebulous Potato Thing and the Chef’s Mess.  Also, they had great coffee and kept the refills coming!

After that big breakfast, we did some hiking around in the rain, including the amazing walk from Levi Plaza to Coit Tower.  After that walk, I didn’t feel guilty about all of the snacking we did at the Ferry Building:

Boccalones Cone o Meats

Sandwich from Acme Bread

Clam Chowder...unfortunately due to rain, this could not be enjoyed outside on the water...

And here we arrive at my first photo failure of the trip: Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  Listen people, when you have amazing food in front of you, sometimes getting your camera out isn’t your first priority.  Let’s just say that the ice cream didn’t last very long.  It was awesome, and you should go to Mitchell’s.  You already know what ice cream looks like.

Croque Monsieur & Quiche at Tartine

Speaking of photo failure, this is a really bad photo of some really good food.  Tartine had a line commensurate with its fame, but when you are on vacation, who cares?  I would recommend going, but not on a weekend…

Beers at Anchor Steam

We managed to book a tour at Anchor Steam Brewery.  If you are planning on going, call early!  We barely got a spot when we called two months before our visit.  Totally worth it if you like beer, and like free beer even more.

Whiz Burgers...perfect follow-up to a brewery tour

This seemingly-random spot on 18th and Van Ness was like a trip back in time, except you can get fresh avocado on your burger.  Take that, back in time!

This was followed up by an evening at Bourbon & Branch, which does not allow photographs.  They do allow awesome drinks in at speak-easy style bar that requires a secret password.  Make sure you make a reservation, or you get sent to the other public side.  Its worth it- a reservation gets you a seat with great ambiance, no crowds and table service.

Brunch at Zazies

After brunch we checked out Golden Gate National Park (yay beaches and bison!), the Conservatory of Flowers (small but pretty, worth the $5 if you are a San Francisco native or still carry around your old student ID card…), and Green Apple Books (plan on spending a long time there).

Dinner at Firefly

More bad pictures of good food…Firefly was amazing (our host’s favorite resturant), and worth heading a bit off the beaten path.  Plus, there are some great views from walking around nearby Billy Goat Park, ocmplete with secret staircases…

Dim Sum at Koi Palace

Perhaps our most unexpected eating took place in a strip mall south of SF in Colma/Daly City, near not one but TWO Targets.  Judge not!  Any dim sum spot that is totally PACKED at 9:30am on a Sunday morning full of people who certainly look like they know their dim sum has to have something good going on.  And they did.  My goodness, they did…

Americano and gibraltar at Ritual Roasters

It seems to me that San Francisco has good coffee in the same way that it has hills and fog: frequent, sometimes in unexpected places, and jealousy-inciting in visitors.  Ok, I might be the only one who really likes the hills and fog (who knew my paleness and large calves could be such an advantage!), but they really do have great coffee.  We also had Blue Bottle and Four Barrel.  Mr. Latenightjam took a particular liking to Peerless.

Well, that about sums up our food-tour.  Some food wasn’t captured by the camera, such as burritos in the Castro, and some other ice cream trips (vacation=ice cream in my family).  In case you were wondering, we also cooked a few meals.  As you can imagine, the grocery shopping was on par with dining out.  Lots of local, well-made and delicious food.  We also did some other tourist type things (walking along the waterfront, Crissy Field and Golden Gate Bridge, touring the Castro and Haight).  All in all, it is a great city to visit and I would recommend it to anyone…

Disclaimer: for some of you who have come to know me as a “vegetarian”, or as I like to call it, “flexitarian”, you may have noticed some meat in these photos.  Ignore this post.  I won’t know what you are talking about if you bring it up…

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