This time last year, my husband and I jetted off to Spain for a honeymoon in foodie heaven. We spent about three days noshing on aged Manchego, cured jamón, and pan con tomate before becoming completely debilitated by ferocious food poisoning. As an act of revenge, we recently spent our first anniversary making up for lost calories in one of America’s finest food Mecca’s: San Francisco.
This was my first time to the bay area – actually, it was my first time to California – and I absolutely fell in love with it. The views, the bay windows, and the crisp air had me hooked in the first hour, but it’s the wildly wonderful food scene that will keep me coming back for years to come. We hit up as many restaurants as our stomachs would allow including Incanto, Flour+Water, Zuni Café, Mission Chinese, R&G Lounge, Katanaya, Sebo, Absinthe, Boulette’s Larder, Swan Oyster Depot, Bourbon and Branch, and the Slanted Door. And, we may have picked up a few sweets in between meals as well. Don’t judge – walking up those notoriously large hills really works up an appetite! Check out my favorite desserts below.
1. After landing in San Francisco, we took the BART directly to Tartine. Seriously. The giant gougere was moist with melted cheese, and I snagged a pan au chocolate just as the baker pulled it from the oven. http://www.tartinebakery.com/
2. Every coffee blog and aficionado I know practically begged me to go to Blue Bottle Coffee. Here we found a sleek interior full of mad scientist equipment made especially for brewing coffee sans the bitter astringency. We grabbed some single origin Joe and sunk our teeth into an ultra-moist brandy walnut cake. http://www.bluebottlecoffee.net/
3. Despite the fact that Boulette’s Larder is inside the swarming Ferry Building, it has somehow avoided becoming a tourist trap. It’s quaint, mellow, and dishes up an ever-changing menu that bridges country-French, and American-farmhouse cuisines. We had two memorable breakfasts here, and left each time with little brown paper bags full of coconut macaroons, salted peanut butter cookies, and cloud-like English muffins. But my favorite bite was of the custard-y, caramelized canelé. http://www.bouletteslarder.com/index.html
4. I cannot resist chocolate-hazelnut anything, so I snagged the perfect macaron at Miette. https://www.miette.com/
5. I never thought it possible to love sorbet more than ice cream, but after having this scoop of pistachio at Scream, I’m a total convert. These guys use a pactojet (someone buy me this for Christmas, pretty please) to turn the freshest farmers’ market ingredients into an extra-dense, extra-pure pint of amazingness that has the mouth feel of top quality ice creams. I swear. http://www.screamsorbet.com/
6. I also sampled scoops of mint chocolate chip, and carrot cake ice creams from the innovators at Smitten Ice Cream. By using liquid nitrogen, they are able to whip up each order individually, and ensure an insanely smooth texture. It’s ice cream of the future, people. http://smittenicecream.com/
7. Always a sucker for classic flavor combos, I couldn’t help but order this chocolate budino topped with sea salt and espresso whipped cream at Flour+Water. Paired with a fruity dessert wine, it was kind of ridiculously good. http://www.flourandwater.com/