Do you fancy yourself a foodie? Love San Francisco? Great, you’re already ahead of the game by combining two amazing things. As one of the planet’s best food cities, San Francisco is world renowned for its cuisine. Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth and love baked goods or you just can’t resist a good cup o’ Joe, come to “The City by the Bay” for incredible scenery and must-see attractions, but stay for the amazing delectable delights.
There’s an interesting display within the Bakery Museum at Bistro Boudin nestled in Fisherman’s Wharf that highlights some of the famous foods that originated in San Francisco. So, we were inspired to come up with the following five destinations in San Francisco that are must-visits for the food lover.
1) Bistro Boudin
One of those famous foods is “San Francisco Sourdough.” Also at the Boudin building in Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll come across a full-service restaurant upstairs featuring a diverse menu and regional wine selections to fit all tastes, but the clam chowder and sourdough bread bowls should be #1 on your list. Great food isn’t all you get here. You’re also treated to incredible views of Alcatraz, Angel Island and Marin. Dine with your family and friends, take in the breathtaking sunsets from the patio, or sit and chat in the bar and lounge. Once done your meal, head over to Bakers Hall, where you’ll find the Marketplace and Café, as well as an espresso bar, regional delicacies, gourmet gifts, and café open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In good weather, you can sit in front of the outdoor fireplace and enjoy the panoramic views of the Wharf.
2) Z & Y Restaurant
Another of the foods that originated in San Francisco is the fortune cookie. Sample this sweet yet simple dessert and a whole lot more with a trip over to Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. You’ll be hard pressed to find something you don’t like on the menu here, with 150 items to choose from for lunch and dinner daily. The specialties include chicken with chili peppers, whole fish in spicy sauce with hand-pulled noodles, steamed soup dumplings, bitter melon with honey, and stir-fried Chinese cabbage with chili peppers. In fact, Z&Y was named one of the Top 100 Restaurants in 2016 in the Bay area by the San Francisco Chronicle.
3) Buena Vista
Known locally as the birthplace of the Irish coffee, Buena Vista Cafe should be a definite stop on your tour if you appreciate a good cup of java made by the experts. You’ll find it located to the left of the Powell-Hyde Cable Car’s last stop in Fisherman’s Wharf, beckoning you into its diverse offerings for breakfast, lunch or dinner. From Dungeness crab omelet to savory grilled sourdough toast, you can’t go wrong here. Of course, your meal wouldn’t be complete without a cup of their signature Irish Coffee, crafted from organic Peerless Coffee. The Buena Vista has a whole page on their website devoted to the background of Irish coffee. Check it out here: http://www.thebuenavista.com/home/irishcoffee.html.
4) Trader Vic’s
Though its San Francisco location is now closed, why not embrace the challenge to take a trip across the Bay Bridge to the original location? You’ll be glad you did, as this is the birthplace of the Mai Tai. Two million Mai Tais are sold at Trader Vic’s locations all over the globe every single year. It all started in 1944 when Vic “The Trader” Bergeron poured the first Original Mai Tai, a refreshing mix of lime juice, orange curacao, sweet French Orgeat, and rock candy syrup. So, if you’re in the mood for a frothy, rum-soaked concoction, head to Trader Vic’s.
5) Tadich Grill
San Francisco just so happens to be the birthplace of the Crab Cioppino, and there’s no better place to get an authentic Cioppino than Tadich Grill. This is a traditional, authentic San Francisco restaurant that also has the proud distinction of being California’s oldest restaurant. Heed our warning: Tadich Grill doesn’t take reservations. You’ll have to wait in line along with everybody else. Who knows, though, you may spot a celebrity or two while waiting. This place is packed at lunchtime and dinnertime, Monday through Saturday — but for good reason. Check out the timeline of its history here.
A visit to San Francisco wouldn’t be completed without stops at the above five places. If you’re a foodie, you’ll appreciate the tastes, sounds, and history of these establishments, gladly adding them to your must-visit list whenever you’re here.