What We Ate in a Weekend in San Francisco
Mike and I love to visit San Francisco at least a couple of times per year and almost always around the holidays. There’s so much to love about the city; it's SUPER easy to get around, there's always something going on, and the food is an experience all its own. This past weekend, the hubs had to work, so I flew to San Francisco to hang out with a friend from college who just moved to the area. Our mission: to stuff ourselves silly with all of the best food the city has to offer.
Here's a list of all of what we ate in a weekend in San Francisco:
Tucked away on Brennan street, with little more than a simple red emblem adorning a wood gate between two office buildings, you might miss this cozy little tasting room if you weren't looking for it. We stopped in to Jax, SF's hottest up-and-coming wine joint, to meet up with a group of friends for a glass of wine (sparkling water for me) before dinner. Even though I did not get to partake in the wine drinking, the other group members shared that the wine selection was vast and the cheese and fruit plates were simply divine. I also found the atmosphere and energy of Jax so inviting and warm, we could easily have sat there for hours with nothing but a glass of the Y3 pinot noir and a good conversation to pass the time.
One Market - Financial District
This was my first time dining at this exquisite restaurant and it did not disappoint. Recommended by our friends at SF Travel, One Market's delectable farm-to-table dishes are a must if you're visiting the area. Try Chef Mark Dommen's bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin cooked to perfection with dandelion "persilade" salsify, or grilled octopus paired with red quinoa, sumac, mint and beet molasses. If you have room for dessert, I highly recommend the chocolate toffee almond crunch cake prepared by pastry chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler. Tip: If you're a wine drinker, there's a terrific 'flight of the month' prepared by the house sommelier Tonya Pitts, who collaborates with Chef Mark to find the perfect pairing to highlight the flavors in each course.
La Boulangerie - Hayes Street
Nothing prepares you for a day of shopping in the city like a fresh baked pastry and a coffee. This quaint little bakery on Hayes makes everything from scratch on a daily basis (including their salad dressings). La Boulangerie's comfortable atmosphere is great for a quick bite or pastry, but during the lunch hour they are quite popular, so be advised you may have to wait in line, but it does move quickly. While I wasn't crazy about my seasonal green salad, I'd highly recommend any of the tartines. I had the tuna melt tartine and it was absolutely superb!
Chantal Guillon - Hayes Street
Every time we are in the area, I simply must get a box of macarons from this little shop! Much to my friend's chagrin, this visit was no different. These are easily some of the best macarons I've ever had, and believe me, I've tried a few. They're perfectly made in the shop with some of the yummiest flavors I've tasted. My favorites are the red velvet, Tahitian vanilla, and salted caramel.
The Stinking Rose - North Beach
Another SF favorite of mine whenever I'm in the area! My aunt referred me to this classic Italian eatery on my first trip to San Francisco with Mike, and I've been OBSESSED with it ever since. While I wouldn't call myself a foodie or a culinary aficionado by any means, I grew up with a very Italian family and I'm willing to wager that even my Sicilian grandpa would be hard-pressed to deny the bagna calda this place serves up. For any not familiar with Italian cuisine, bagna calda is oven roasted garlic cooked in olive oil to perfection and meant to be eaten with bread. If you're visiting the city and looking for comfort food in a fun kitschy atmosphere (think Buca di Beppo), this is the place!
Colibri - Union Square
In addition to a solid table-side guacamole, Colibri offers incredible main dishes such as this filet mignon with goat cheese and sauteed spinach in a chipotle chile sauce. They also have an impressive list of top shelf tequilas for margaritas, each with descriptions of their flavors. This place is a great stop for a quick bite in between shopping or site seeing around Union Square.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or cafe in San Francisco that we simply NEED to know about? Please share in the comments below!