San Fran has always been on my list of must-see cities. And finally, I can cross that off my list. And I’m SO glad this city was on my list to begin with. It’s a beaut! I need to go back. Who knew such a glorious little seaside city resides in the state of California?! Sorry, but it stood out to me from other CA cities, almost as a Boulder-esque type community but with palm trees/water/seafood/hipsters&hippies/colorful pastel houses “painted ladies”. These are bold generalizations I’m making here people, but isn’t that the fun and the purpose of having a blog? I think you’re expected to make bold generalizations. It’s a blogging rite of passage.
The following is the map we (Calvin and I – or Calvothy) used to wander about the city. Wander sometimes means get lost and getting lost in unknown places is probably one of my favorite things in life. Okay, so this map was really just some lame hotel wall art. But so retro it deserved a snapshot.
Are you ready for what’s going to hit you next? A quick tour of SF, old school animated gif style!
Please don’t judge any of my shots from this trip. I def wasn’t on my A-game. I was on my what-am-i-eating-next game.
Okay, I digress. I’ll get to what was most important to me, along with seeing the sites, the food.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places we stopped for nibbles and bites and what-nots. SF has some damn good food people!!
Swan Oyster Depot
The Gist: Hole-in-the-Wall Mom & Pop Seafood bar
We waited for an hr and a 1/2 to get a seat into this small little family-owned seafood joint. What lured us in? It was one of Anthony Bourdain’s fave eateries in the city. That Bourdain. He gets you every time. If you start to google Swan Oyster Depot, just a little, Anthony Bourdain’s name will follow. He described this seafood haven as “perfect happiness” and admitted to eating there daily while filming. So naturally, I had to try it out. And yes, it was pretty tasty. How can you go wrong with super fresh seafood, being its tantalizing seafood self and tempting you while you endure your grueling wait…mr. crab staring back at you through the window begging you to stick it out and give his claws a try …it’s a pretty good marketing ploy if you ask me. The atmosphere was very casual and the large apron-adorned scruffy men behind the counter scooped fresh meat with their bare hands onto your plate. Weird, but I still wanted to eat everything in sight. They actually fingered my oysters as they navigated around the plate, naming where each little round came from. Ya, I know, that sounded dirrrrty. Just like their dirty fingers touching my oysters. haha. We ate on, nonetheless, and everything tasted great. I will say, clam chowder was really soupy and didn’t contain much clam. Sad. And the 1 1/2 hr wait (did I mention that already?). Those were the cons. The rest was all thumbs up. Good call, Bourdain!
The Gist: French Bakery with the BEST croissants!
This place was SO good we went back after the first visit. When you only have a limited amount of vacation time in a city and limited stomach room, this is kind of a big deal. But after we experience the croissant full of buttery, flaky goodness, we had to go back and sample more.
We also tried out the quiche, lemon tart, and one of the most memorable things I ate in San Fran, the croque monsieur (open face sandwich w/ bechamel, gruyere, thyme, pepper, topped with smoked ham and asparagus…drool). The bread alone would have done it for me.
If you’re in the area, you must go to this place! It was a pretty small, low-key location tucked in the Mission District. While you’re there, you can check out all the amazing graffiti nearby.
Okay, this is becoming the longest post EVER. There needs to be a Part II. Just decided.