San Francisco, whether you call it the City by the Bay, the Paris of the West, Fog City, Baghdad by the Bay, San Fran, the Golden City, the City, Frisco, or just plain SF, one thing is undeniable: it’s a foodie’s paradise.
There are so many great places to check out, and if you follow the advice of locals you’ll find some gems that even we don’t know about. For now, though, we’ve gone for the top 5 spots that we can vouch for.
So, if you’re a foodie and are planning a trip to SF, be sure to add these gourmet hotspots to your list.
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1. The hippest restaurant: True Laurel
True Laurel, the brainchild of renowned chef David Barzelay and skilled bar director Nicolas Torres, is a wonderful marriage of eating and drinking that will get your foodie heart fluttering.
Here you can enjoy Dungeness crab and aged cheddar fondue, crispy hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, steelhead trout crudo, and fried sweetbreads, among other delightful dishes.
The drinks don’t disappoint either, with the highlights of True Laurel’s many fantastic cocktails being: Grandma’s to Blame, Humps for the Boulevard, Top Dawg, and In the Pines, Under the Palms.
Why do foodies love True Laurel?
Because its hip combination of light bites and breezy cocktails are just what you want on a night out. Check out their mouth-watering menu for more info.
Photo credit: True Laurel
2. The best place to grab a coffee: Ritual
As a foodie, you’re not only interested in what the Paris of the West has for you to eat; knowing where to grab the finest coffee around is a planning essential, and Ritual is the crème de la crème of bean houses.
Despite only being in operation since 2005, Ritual has already earned a reputation to rival the much more established coffee venues, and it’s no surprise when you read their brew guides.
They’ve got cold brews, Kalitas, Hario V60s, AeroPresses, French presses, and Chemexes. But it’s not just Ritual’s fantastic coffee that makes it the best that San Fran has to offer; its youthful, energetic, and deliciously hip vibe means you’ll know you’re drinking in the coolest coffee house around.
What makes Ritual so great for foodies?
A great cup of coffee is as much about appearance as it is about taste, and Ritual doesn’t just look the part, it’s a vision of smoky elegance.
If coffee’s your cup of tea and you want to learn more about how to make the perfect cup, check out this fantastic barista guide by Celcius Coffee.
3. The crispest wine you’ll drink: Blackwell’s
You and I love to visit delightful restaurants, bistros, and cafés, but taking your palate on the road and taking in the scenery is one of the most liberating parts of being a foodie. When going rogue in San Fran, you need the finest wine to aid you in drinking in the sights and smells, and that means paying a visit to Blackwell’s.
Formed in 2004 by wife-and-husband team Dita and Gary Blackwell, this wonderful store has a family feel and indulgent wine-tasting sessions every Saturday. After selecting your perfect bottle, you’re just a 30-minute walk away from the gorgeous Strawberry Hill, where you can enjoy a glass of wine in front of a beautiful lake.
Why do foodies adore Blackwell’s?
A great bottle of wine is one of the staples of the foodie lifestyle, and you’ll be sure to find the crispest glass of red or white around when you visit Blackwell’s.
The great thing is that you don’t have to be in Frisco to get your wine from Blackwell’s. After setting up their shop, Dita and Gary opened Blackwell’s online, meaning you can still drink the crispest wine in San Francisco long after your holiday has ended.
Photo credit: Blackwell’s
4. The finest food market: Ferry Building Marketplace
Drinking in the foodie atmosphere of an area and feasting on the day-to-day vibe that it has to offer is an essential part of travelling. So, to have the full foodie experience in Frisco, you absolutely must to visit the city’s top food market.
There really is no candidate for the top spot other than The Ferry Building Marketplace, an iconic venue that’s been open since 1898. Every Saturday it brings together the finest food vendors in Fog City, giving you the chance to buy baked goods, cheese, produce, and all sorts of tasty treats.
There’s so much to take in that it would be unfair not to give you a taster. Check out the video below to see just how wonderful it is!
Why is the Ferry Building Marketplace heaven for foodies?
It’s a cathedral of all things edible, and you simply shouldn’t miss the opportunity to worship what makes SF so delicious.
It’s also a place that’s ripe with inspiration, one whose wonderful small businesses will give you food for thought about setting up the foodie venture you’ve always dreamed of.
5. The best gelato in the USA: Cotogna
We foodies know that you simply can’t leave a city satisfied if you haven’t sampled the best dessert around. When you’re in the City by the Bay, the treat you need to cure your sweet tooth is an ice-cold gelato, which means a visit to Cotogna has to be on your menu.
You’ll find Cotogna in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square, giving you a chance to take in some sights after you’ve had your delicious gelato. The really wonderful thing about this rustic restaurant is that not only do they serve the finest gelato in the city, but the finest Italian fare, full stop.
What makes Cotogna a foodie favourite?
You can’t overstate the value of a delicious dessert, and a visit to this wonderful restaurant is the perfect ending to a foodie holiday in San Francisco.
You’ll be so impressed by Cotogna’s gelato that you’ll want to make your own when you get back home. Creating a wonderful gelato isn’t just a skill, it’s an art form. To help you make the most stylish and tasty gelato possible, we recommend that you read this wonderful article, then you’ll be the real deal.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on marketing, social media, and everything that’s hip in the digital world. She’s a passionate foodie, and lives for being adventurous with her dining while travelling.