San Francisco

Blog, Food, Travels, Wine

Golden Gate BridgeOne of my dearest friends lives in San Francisco (yes… it would be the legendary Premila), so I am fortunate to visit the city regularly. Since San Francisco has the luxury of a vast supply of fresh and locally produced and sourced food and wine, the tasty possibilities are infinite. You kind of can’t go wrong here. That being said, I do have my go-tos and am asked frequently to list them. Et voila:

Coffee:

Blue Bottle Café

Embarcadero
1 Ferry Building
+1 510 653 3394
Blue Bottle is for those who truly appreciate all of the passion that goes into a superbly prepared cup of coffee. Amateurs, please stay home. It helps to minimize the queue.

Drinks:

Bourbon and Branch

Downtown
501 Jones Street
+1 415 346 1735
This chic speakeasy is a sassy place for sexy cocktails before or after dinner. Head toward the hidden back room. Reservations are required.

Press Club

Downtown
20 Yerba Buena Lane
+1 415 744 5000
If pressed for time and a trip to Napa/Sonoma can’t be squeezed in, this is a convenient wine tasting room “teaser”. Each area is marketed by visiting vintners who have hands-on knowledge of the vinification of their wines and the story of their winery. Generally speaking, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable. Sadly, I’ve not seen the kind of foot traffic required to keep this great concept going. Consequently, over the years, it seems that there have been fewer visiting vintners.

Restaurants:

Boulevard

Embarcadero
1 Mission Street
+1 415 543 6084
A little upmarket, but if you fancy a more casual dining experience, just belly up to the bar. The food is divine and consistent. I love this place.

Hog Island Oysters

Embarcadero
1 Ferry Building
+1 415 391 7117
East coast v west coast? I’m all over oysters from the west coast – those briny, creamy, succulent bivalves. Get the Kumamotos and ask for guidance on their other fresh options.

Contigo

Noe Valley/Mission
1320 Castro Street
+1 415 285 0250
I’m a sucker for flavorful Spanish tapas. Contigo is easy, fun and adorable.

Nopa

560 Divisadero Street
+1 415 864 8643
Meals are extremely fresh while being very mindful of sourcing. This place is always packed and the cocktails hold their own. Random, but they are obsessed with Mas de Daumas Gassac (Grand Cru of the Languedoc), which I get. You’ll notice this as soon as you crack open the wine list.

Breakfast/Pastries:

Tartine Bakery

Noe Valley/Mission
600 Guerrero Street
+1 415 487 2600
Make sure you hit the gym to burn off all of that butter because once you catch a whiff of what Tartine has to offer, you won’t be able to resist. On many an occasion, I have done a quick stop here before the airport to grab a little treat for later.

Chocolate:

Michael Recchiuti Chocolate

Embarcadero
One Ferry Building
+1 415 834 9494
Since I first discovered Mr. Recchuiti’s chocolates (10+ years ago when the stores for the Ferry Building were still in the tented Farmer’s Market across the street), I have never left the great city of San Francisco without carting away these insanely delicious confections. Peanut butter pucks are my absolute fave, especially now that I’ve relocated to Europe and they don’t quite get the symbiotic relationship between peanut butter and chocolate. Fleur de sel caramels are a very close number two.

 

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