San Francisco, just about 6 hours away from Southern California, can be visited as a nice quick weekend getaway. I’ve been to the Bay Area a couple of times in my lifetime and each time is a different experience. One of the times was pretty surprising to me as I saw another side of Northern California I haven’t seen before. The dark side. I was exposed to seeing all the prostitutes in Richmond, drug addicts looking for their next high near Treasure Island, and theft in Downtown San Francisco. We can argue about many things, but one thing is for sure, San Francisco does not lack in places to eat.
Tried and True
1. San Tung
EVERYBODY will tell you to go to San Tung for the chicken wings! I haven’t tried anything else but I’m told that everything else is just “eh”. Also, the wait time is ALWAYS long and people are always waiting, so call in to order your wings ahead of time so you can pick it up and eat it without having to wait long! You must eat it as soon as possible though when it’s hot, it will not be the same once it gets cold.
What to order: Original Dry Fried Chicken Wings (12 pieces)
This place is a MUST visit every time I’m in the Bay area. Try posting a Facebook status on where you should visit in SF and I guarantee you that Tartine Bakery will appear. I am always in line to get the cream tarts but I’m sure their other bakery items are good too. I usually take it to go and eat it at Dolores Park but there are tables and chairs inside, if you can snag one.
What to order: Banana Cream Tart
There is a reason why Bi-Rite Creamery has 9,000+ reviews on Yelp. Damn, ice cream here is good! There are a lot of unique flavors you can choose from here and there’s a flavor for every palette. Lines can get long but I’ve been to Bi-Rite when there were only 1-2 customers ahead of me, so the wait time is by the luck of the draw!
What to order: Your favorite flavor of ice cream! Personally, I really enjoy floral and fruity flavors so one of my favorites is the Honey Lavender.
4. Boba Guys
Pick and choose your location carefully, there are some Boba Guys where there are nowhere to park. The first time I came here I was dropped off while my driver circled around the area for me to pick up a drink. The first time I ever came here, I got the Lychee Rose which I was pretty disappointed in. I completely wrote off Boba Guys until I decided to give it a second chance again. During the second time, they had “new” creations and when I saw the words Strawberry and Matcha together, I knew I found my drink. This drink comes out beautifully layered and it tastes great!
What to order: Strawberry Matcha Latte
Wonderful food, great atmosphere, fun entertainment and beautiful presentation. What more could you want from a Thai restaurant?
What to order: Fried chicken
Personally, I haven’t tried but I heard good things.
1. House of Prime Rib – This is a must for me next time I’m back in the Bay Area! Thick cuts of prime rib. Make sure you make a reservation before you go if you can!
2. Hog Island Oyster Co – Very popular place to get oysters! I have been told that the clam chowder here is a must!
3. PPQ Dungeness Island – Dungeness Crab!
4. Burma Superstar – Apparently you need to get the tea leaf salad!
5. State Bird Provisions – EVERYONE and their moms recommend this place!
6. Liholiho Yacht Club – Everyone recommends this place too!
7. San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery – Ice cream flights!
8. Sons & Daughters – This place is $$$$, pre-fixe menu for $150 plus $89 beverage pairing. Great for a special occasion!
9. Home– Rainbow lattes? Sign me up! Have you been seeing colorful lattes on Instagram? Home is where it’s at!
10. Flour + Water
11. Plow – Great for Brunch! Be expected to wait in a very long line.
12. Kitchen Story – Another brunch place!
13. Arsicault Bakery – Amazing croissants to be had here!
14. Anthony’s Cookies – My friend swears up and down for these cookies.
All Hype, No Substance
Despite the small interior, Brenda’s French Soul Food left much to be desired. With all the hype on Yelp and from friends, I expected more from this place. I got the beignet flight (because, flights) and gumbo. The beignets flight came with 3 different ones and were mostly bread and the filling wasn’t very tasty to me. The gumbo was basic. I feel like I didn’t order the right thing here but I’m not too sure if I’m willing to come back.
I couldn’t figure out why this place was popular. I tried to come here at least 3 times already but they’ve always been closed and when I finally got it, I thought it was all just hype. I’ve had egg tarts in Hong Kong and Golden Gate doesn’t even compare.
“The Rebel Within” failed to deliver for me. The muffin outside was bland and the egg was mainly just for the pictures.
Everybody has seen those “I Got Baked in SF” sign pictures. Like many other SF establishments such as Ike’s Place and Philz Coffee, Mr. Holmes has also made an appearance south of California to a city called Los Angeles. However, Mr. Holmes took it a bit further and ventures down to Tustin, where I was able to try it. I’m glad I don’t have to wake up super early in the morning to stand in line for these cruffins. Although, I’m curious if there is a difference between the cruffin from SF to the cruffins down to Southern California.
This was recommended to me by a friend. I was suggested to get the Lomo Saltado and ceviche here, which I thought was both nothing special and very little portions.
The ice cream was not bad, but it wasn’t one of my favorites and nothing worth writing home to. There weren’t any flavors I really enjoyed but I had sampled a lot of their flavors, so much that I think the employee was a little annoyed at me. The customer service here was not too friendly and there was barely another person there aside from my friend and I. Also, the ice cream melted a little too fast for my liking.
I really wanted to like this place, I really do.. maybe I didn’t choose the best flavors but the wings didn’t blow me out of the water. Hot Sauce and Panko was okay tasting, not bad but I don’t crave for it.