San Francisco Food Adventures

Recently back from an exciting adventure in the Golden Gate city, otherwise known as the City of Fog. Rest assured, I’ve explored some delicious neighborhood gems that are a must the next time you visit.

Pirate Cat Cafe and Studio

Food Persuasion level: [rating=4]
Yelp
[singlepic id=47 w=320 h=240 float=center]
This little café exudes a bohemian spirit, nestled in a colorful residential area. Yes, “Radio” is in their name because it is also a community radio station. Huh? Well it works.  A San Fran neighborhood secret, I had to bribe a local with Ghirardelli chocolates.

pirate's bay radio cafe in industrial district

There are known for their creative lattes. Their star drink, Maple Bacon Latte – $5, Maple infused with a subtle hint of smoky bacon, the taste of coffee does pull through. I tend to like my drinks on the bitter side and, I found this a bit too sweet for my liking.

maple bacon latte

My fave, the Cayenne Mocha, dear lordy, it rendered me speechless, which is almost impossible. I became persuasively addicted, I couldn’t get enough, the dance it played in my mouth was delightfully excruciating. It was not too sweet and the spicy kick from the cayenne in the end of every sip gave it a memorable finish.

Pirate Cat Cafe on Urbanspoon

Ghirardelli Square Cafe

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf
Food Persuasion level: [rating=2]
www.ghirardellisq.com

strawberry cheesecake parfait at ghirardelli chocolates

Packed with tourists, to be expected, Fisherman’s Wharf is included in every tour guide’s itinerary. Even so their XXX Large sundaes are worth a try. The overflowing cup of sugar is pricey, at $8 a sundae. We passed on their most popular dessert, the chocolate chip, double chocolate, with chocolate sauce, think it made me diabetic just saying it.  Instead, we ordered the other evil, strawberry cheesecake sundae, delicious after 2 spoonfuls and then wickedly sweet after the 10th.

San Francisco’s famous chocolate, Ghirardelli was average. Ghirardelli white chocolate squares had a similar plastic quality compared to Nestlé’s Oreo and Crème. None the less, I recommend it to any chocoholic because you can actually see the entire process of how chocolate is made. From the cocoa beans to the finished product, this is what arrives at your table. Each station has a plaque describing the actual process the cocoa is going through.

chocolate process at ghirardelli shop

I also recommend this as it is directly across from one of San Francisco’s best cupcakes.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop on Urbanspoon

Kara Cupcakes

Fisherman’s Wharf
Food Persuasion level: [rating=4]
www.karacupcakes.com

A quaint and bright bakery, more importantly their cupcakes were fantastic! I daresay, it might even be better than the cupcakes in Vancouver, BC.  S’mores Cupcake, chocolate cupcake topped with a melt in your mouth marshmallow. [singlepic id=58 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Coconut cupcake, vanilla cupcake coated with coconut crème cheese frosting.

kara's cupcake- vanilla

Lastly, raspberry dazzle, a raspberry filled chocolate cupcake with ganache frosting….mmmm.  The cupcakes itself were fluffy and light and not too sweet.

After a few hours of sugar indulgences I was pretty high. So we marched our way to the seafood stands.

Kara's Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Nick’s Lighthouse

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Stand
Food Persuasion level: [rating=2]
www.fishermanswharf.org

wharf's street vendor

Tiny sampler of their Grilled Calamari – $3, the sauce was great, calamari was fresh but, unmemorable.

marinated calamari at nick's lighthouse

Their famous Clam Chowder -$4 chock full of seafood and very creamy was decent.

crab chowder at nick's lighthouse

Take a stroll further down the wharf, be weary of the street performers, they are quite aggressive. They refuse to let you take a picture unless you toss them a bill and, will call on you out when you begin to walk away without donating.

street performer at fisherman's wharf
Nick's Lighthouse on Urbanspoon

Boudin Bakery

Fisherman’s Wharf
Food Persuasion level: [rating=3]
www.boudinbakery.com

boudin bakery

It’s a mini gourmet market, with cookbooks and various high end oils and vinegars, more importantly their bakery. The teddy bear buns looked too adorable to eat and, the crab bun looked too scary.  Their sandwiches are made daily and absolutely delicious.

Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf on Urbanspoon

Truffle Shop

Downtown
Food Persuasion level: [rating=4]

mushroom shop @ the ferry building

I’ve been hard at work search for a store dedicated just for truffles. Well mission complete, they have all the different kinds of truffles you would like, plethora of oils, white and black pates and my fave truffle salt -$41, worth every penny.

I made truffle pizza with it. Shaved asiago cheese and arugula, S&P. Remember put the truffle sauce near the end or it would be become dry and loose flavour.

Hong Kong Lounge

Little Chinatown
Food Persuasion level: [rating=4]

Vancouver is recognized for hosting some of the most famous Asian Cuisine Chefs when I was heading to San Francisco, I was repeatedly cautioned it does not compare. So I expected the worst and came out relatively satisfied. Hong Kong Lounge restaurant had a very good variety of dim sum dishes. The sticky rice – gigantic it was the size of a pound cake and absolutely mouth-watering.

Hong Kong Lounge is very comparable to Kirin in Vancouver.

For a list of the top restaurants, café’s and places to see voted by San Fran locals visit the Bay List

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