For this special edition of Foodie Fridays, we're taking a tour of the diverse San Fran foodie scene with guest hosts Nass and Lana. Make sure you have this thorough roundup readily available on your next trip up to the Bay. Take it away, Nass and Lana...
Hip, hip, hooray for the San Fransisco Bay! Last month, FoundTrack homegal Lana and myself set off on a business trip up north. And by business, we mean stopping by all of the businesses below to get our munch on. On our way to SF, Lana gave me a great insider's guide to St. Helena, a charming town near Napa Valley where she spent her college years. St. Helena is definitely worth a detour if you're ever planning to check out California's famed wine country. Below are some of the best spots we hit up on the Main Street strip.
- Giugni's Grocery Co. - Might be the best sandwich I've ever had, seasoned with their signature Giugni juice, which makes for a great gift and gives Bay Cities Deli a run for it's money.
- Woodhouse Chocolates - Handpick your own custom box of chocolates.
- Taylor's Refresher - NorCal's version of In-N-Out with more variety and less locations. Try the White Pistachio shake and make sure to chill out in the beautiful back patio. (Pictured at left)
- Villa Corona - The mouth-watering bean and cheese burrito with chicken was one of our favorites.
- Ad Hoc - Thanks to Lana's OpenTable reservation, we scooped seats at the famed Thomas Keller restaurant in the neighboring town of Yountville.
If You're Going........to San...Fran...Cisco!!!
We kicked off our Foodie forage in the city at Pizzeria Delfina. With a line out the door and a smell to adore, we opted out of our reservation at its upscale parent partner next door and waited with impatient excitement to get our hands on not one, not two but three of these pies. We savored the tastes of their Margherita, Salsiccia and Prosciutto pizzas—with a lovely wine pairing of course—as we devoured them on the sidewalk of the charming Mission neighborhood. Think of this as the SF equivalent to LA's Pizzeria/Osteria Mozza.
Photo: Food GPS
As if indulging in pizza and wine weren’t enough hedonism for one night, our sweet tooth guided us to our next chomping ground, motivated purely by it’s namesake: Candybar!, San Francisco’s first dessert lounge located in the Western Addition neighborhood. From local art deco along the walls to impressionistic presentations on your plate, you almost feel guilty eating something so beautiful….NOT! We felt not one ounce of guilt as we tag-teamed both their coconut cream cheese frosted red velvet cake and their hazel and pinenut crusted apple a la mode with cream cheese & caramel filling.
Photo at left: SF Citizen
One cannot visit the Bay without sampling the d-lish dim sum delights San Fran has to offer. Not wanting to waste our time on some MSG’d out dive (which most of the time are the best!) we decided (with recommendations from local SF taxi driver natives) to visit Yank Sing. This un-pretentious James Beard award winning dim sum establishment had us singing their praise with food so juicy, mouthwatering, and droolingly delicious, without being greasy. The only problem was that our eyes expanded far bigger than our stomachs as we slurped their famous house soup dumplings while gesturing at a million other things we couldn’t wait to consume. Our bill had more stamps than the postal service. Personally, we loved the shu mai—and oh my was it delicious,—and we also bowed down to the cha su bao. The bacon wrapped shrimp, onion pancakes, shrimp dumplings, egg custard, and sesame balls were all great as well. Not to mention their house black bean hot sauce (available for purchase) which has the unique ability to make everything taste better.
Photo at left: SF Photocraft
Photo at right: yanksing.com
Bonjour! La Boulange! (Yet another recommendation from a taxi friend.) La Boulange is an amazing French café chain which serves an array of traditional pastries (which are out for sampling), organic breads, coffees, sandwiches, and desserts. Whether you are in the mood for something sweet or savory, for a little Bit O' France from the money in yo' pants, this place has something guaranteed to fit your fancy and tickle your pickle ; ) I must say their TARTs were off the CHARTs with such standouts as roasted cauliflower gratin, rustic apple, and goat cheese with fruit. Also, nobody can beat their tuna cheddar, which melts in your mouth AND in your hands so make like Lana (pictured right) and eat it fast…also their Almond Croissant has a fragile yet crisp shell and a soft and gentle core so spend some quality time with this one.
Photo at left: Like Me
1) Blue Bottle Coffee - For fans of Intelligentsia, this one's for you. All we can say is, artisanal microroasting = great coffee and amazing hot chocolate...
2) Minamoto Kitchoan - The Tiffany's of Japanese delicacies, beautifully presented treats are shielded under glass casings to protect from foodieholics like us. (Pictured at left)
3) House of Nanking - Trust me, let your server order for you, it's worked for me the last two times I've visited. That should of course include sesame chicken with sweet potatoes, and delicious sweet tea with berries and rosebuds.
NEXT TIME on Foodie Fridays: The bánh mì battles may be in full swing, but we've picked our favorite: Viet Noodle Bar in Atwater Village.
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