As part of my on-going Staycation series I have a special guest post from Bay Area Food Blogger: Brenda Ton of Bites & Bourbon!
I get out to new restaurants on occasion but for the ins-and-outs of the Bay Area foodie scene Brenda is the go-to person! She is the food blogger for the E’ville Eye (Emeryville’s local news site) and has teamed up with a variety of food bloggers and restaurants around the bay including San Francisco’s Sorabol restaurant.
For all the nitty gritty on some of the best places to eat in SF, here’s Brenda!
Guide to Good Eats in San Francisco
There’s so much great food to explore in San Francisco, which makes it one of the best food destinations in the world. Here are some of my favorite places that you absolutely cannot miss when looking for good eats in the city. I’ve got you covered for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and dessert. Happy Eating!
Breakfast should be taken very seriously and it’s best to make a moment out of it. When you choose a place to begin your day with, the food experience should be great because that’s exactly how you’d want the rest of your day to go. If you like southern food, eggs benedict, or perfectly crafted pastries you’ll want to check these two places out.
I only have wonderful things to say about this little cute French bakery located in Lower Pacific Heights owned by Belinda Leong. When you enter the shop, you are immediately greeted with a selection of beautiful pastries that look like art. My favorite item to get is the kouign amman, Leong’s signature pastry that is similar to an airy croissant. The kouign amman is lightly sweet, crispy outside and soft with a sugary center inside. There are plenty of other options to choose from; I also love the bostock passion fruit cake and their macarons.
Location: 2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Brenda’s French Soul Food
The first thing people fall in love with is the southern charm. Once the food comes, they become completely engaged with this place.
The fried catfish benedict, available only on weekends, is incredible. The hollandaise is perfect, rich and buttery. The fish is fried to crispy perfection and once you begin to slice the fish with your fork for a bite, you will notice the tender and delicate flakiness.
The beignets at Brenda’s are a lovely treat. I highly recommend getting their sampler, which consists of four offerings: plain, chocolate, seasonal and crawfish. The inside texture of the beignets are soft and pillowy with a nice solid exterior.
Location: 652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102
It’s hard to narrow down restaurant choices when everyone’s taste ranges, but if I absolutely had to slim it down to a couple of my favorite places for lunch or dinner, I’m choosing based on places that I think no one should ever miss when in San Francisco and how often I think about the food I had. When you know you want to come back immediately to taste the rest of the menu, it’s a really good sign. The two places I recommend are great for anyone looking for a local experience with a Spanish or Thai twist.
Michael Chiarello’s Coqueta is the best place for Spanish tapas in San Francisco – and in the entire bay area. Both seafood and meat lovers will enjoy a wide selection of small plates to share and devour. You can’t miss the cocktails, which are all refreshing, vibrant, well-crafted and thoughtful. I’d highly recommend getting the “gaucho” bone-in 32 oz. natural beef ribeye with aromatic moorish pepper, the prized jamón ibérico de bellota, thin slices of ham from heritage pork that will melt in your mouth, and wood-grilled octopus with fingerling potatoes, pimentón, and olive oil. Be sure to end your meal sweetly with sheep’s milk cheesecake pops – they are incredible.
Location: Pier 5, Embarcadero Drive, San Francisco, CA 94105
You can find many Thai restaurants, but only one Kin Khao. Founded by Pim Techamuanvivit of popular food blog Chez Pim and Chef Michael Gaines, who formerly worked at Manresa, Kin Khao successfully takes us on a trip to Thailand without having to buy expensive airfare. There’s no other Thai restaurant in San Francisco that showcases authentic, bold flavors with an impressive balance. The curry pastes, sauces, and relishes are made in-house daily, using fresh and seasonal ingredients sourced locally.
Location: 55 Cyril Magnin, San Francisco, CA 94102
I am an ice cream fiend. San Francisco has a great selection of handmade and artisanal ice cream spots, but there is only one place that I frequent and can’t get enough of.
The ice cream at Bi-Rite is out of this world. It’s so good that I am happily willing to travel from the east bay to get a scoop (more like two scoops). My favorite flavor is the salted caramel, a deep molasses-like caramel with hints of deep toasted marshmallows. My second favorite is the ricanelas, which is a mix of snickerdoodle cookies and cinnamon ice cream. The combination together almost tastes like horchata, a popular Mexican drink. If ice cream isn’t your thing, they also have popsicles, soft serve and baked goods. You can find the full menu of flavors and offerings here: http://biritecreamery.com/icecream. Bi-Rite Creamery’s unique flavors and quality has set the bar for ice cream. You should expect to wait in line for 15-45 minutes – it’s worth it.
Location: 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 and 550 Divisadero St. San Francisco, CA 94117
To read more San Francisco or East Bay restaurant reviews and recommendations from Brenda, visit her food blog at Bites & Bourbon.