San Francisco Eats, Om Nom Nom

How do you work up an appetite in San Francisco?

You slam your coffee and get started by walking across the Golden Gate Bridge!

The earlier, the better — try to beat those hordes of clueless cycling tourists if you don’t wanna get run over!

I spent three awesome days in San Francisco last week — and, as one of those people who puts adventurous eating and traveling on pedestals of near-equal heights, hearing all the people I knew tell me, “Ohmigawd, San Francisco? You have to eat the food there!” only drove up my excitement and expectations!

So, where to start?

Two obvious stopping points for pastry aficionados: La Boulange (croissant bread pudding = must-try recommendation!) and Miette, a bakery that’s been on my list of “places to eat from before I die” for a long time.


My friend and I sampled Miette’s buttermilk panna cotta, chocolate pot de crème, lavender shortbread cookies, and their chocolate cupcake with strawberry Italian meringue buttercream.

The must-try recommendation: the cupcake — perfect, moist chocolate cake with fresh, flavourful buttercream. So good!

Also, one more stand-out shop in the Ferry Building Marketplace (home to many local businesses, relatively tourist-free): the Cowgirl Creamery. They sell local and international organic cheeses, and ate the best damned grilled cheese I’ve ever had in my entire life from their cafe next door, the Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick.

Later that day I had another amazing food experience on Fillmore Street, close to the trendy Chestnut neighbourhood: Patxi’s Chicago Pizza.


Honestly, this was probably the most satisfying pizza I’ve ever dug into! I’d never eaten Chicago-style deep dish pizza before — was it ever amazing!

Maybe it was the flaky, pie-like pizza crust… perhaps it was the soft, oozing cheese and house-made tomato sauce… it could have been the drizzle of honey and ranch dressing on the crust… or the fact that my friend and I had been walking for hours and hauled ourselves from sea-level to the famous Lombard Street hill and then some… but this pizza (and beer) was like an oasis in the dessert.

Better than anything I’ve ever had at home, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since!

Last, but not least, my foodie friend took me to Off the Grid — a Friday night conglomeration of hungry people, live music, and over 30 street eat vendors that gather in the parking lot at the Fort Mason Center.

Left to right, top to bottom in the photo above: an Off the Grid folding chair (non-edible), a tiramisu with mochi dumplings from KoJa Kitchen, a tuna-miso rice ball from Onigilly, and pumpkin fritters with peanut sauce, green onions, and lavender from Azalina’s.

The must-try recommendation: rice balls from Onigilly.

I pretty much lived off onigiri while I was hoofin’ it around Japan a few years ago, and this rice ball took me right back to that time in my life. In fact, the organic, top-quality ingredients made it even better than anything I’d had in Japan. True story.

The time I spent gallivanting around San Francisco was short, but sweet (and savory)!

My friend told me that “you could eat out three times a day for the rest of your life in San Francisco and never eat at the same place twice” — and I believe it! Everything I ate was worth trying at least once, and a lot of it would be worth eating over and over again.

To really enjoy San Francisco you’d better bring a fat wallet and an empty stomach! Yum!

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14 thoughts on “San Francisco Eats, Om Nom Nom

  1. billpeeler says:

    Oh, what I would give to go to San Fran and eat at all these places as well! Looks like a lot of fun food and fun times —–

  2. peasepudding says:

    Always wanted to go to San Fran, I love the idea of the street vendors where you can sample lots of different things. We are only just getting into the Food Truck scene here.

  3. Kim says:

    I’m so jealous – I’m determined to go to San Fransisco one day. That pizza looks insane!

  4. daisy says:

    You’ve been traveling a lot lately. That’s wonderful. Looks like you had a great time in San Francisco. It is a great food city, isn’t it? Every time I go, I discover so many new restaurants and cafes. I can’t wait to see how SF has inspired you in your baking.


    • Christine says:

      Yeah, I’ve definitely been getting out and about — and it’s been long overdue, since I spent the last 5 years working and studying full time! For the first time in my life I’ve had the free time and the cash to do a little traveling… I’ll get a job soon, but not before I hang out in Portland for a weekend. 🙂

      • daisy says:

        I like your new profile photo, with the trademark blue streak, still intact.

        I was just in Portland a few weeks back, and it’s another great food city, with much better prices than SF. Have a great time!

  5. Michelle says:

    Oh, I so love S.F. Looks like you did it right!

  6. Joanne says:

    Hey, those pictures are great! I would love to go to SF one day.

  7. I love the photos! Havent been to SF in years but I’d love to go back.

  8. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    Everything looks so amazing! San Francisco is one place I definitly need to visit. Pretty much just for the food, haha. That pizza is ginourmous! (and it looks soooo sooo good)

  9. EveryCraving says:

    Can I just say you are living my dream right now? I want to travel and eat at every amazing restaurant/bakery out there. Everything you ate looks TO DIE FOR. I’ve never had a Chicago deep dish pizza but I want it’s definitely on my bucket list. And the best chocolate cupcake? Sign me up.

  10. lulu says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Miette! You lucky girl!

  11. I live just across the bay and the only place on your list I’ve ever been to is the Cowgirl Creamery at the Ferry Plaza Market. I’ve heard of Miette, but haven’t gone there. The rest of your list is new to me (I lived in San Francisco for thirteen years). You do need a capacity for eating to enjoy the Bay Area, but you don’t actually need a fat wallet: there are many inexpensive places to enjoy great food as well: next time you are here, get a slice of pizza from Berkeley’s Cheese Board (they make one flavor a day), visit the French bakery on Solano near Colusa, eat lunch at Slow, drink a coffee at Peet’s, have a wonderful Indian meal at Ajanta. If you have more money, your options multiply, but you might miss simple wonders like the vendors at the Farmers’ Markets selling the freshest produce and pastries.

    • Christine says:

      Wow — I’m going to have to keep all those places in mind for the next time I visit SF. I’ll also pass them on to my friend, who studies in Vancouver, but is otherwise a resident there (she’s the one I stayed with). Thanks for all the tips! 🙂

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