San Francisco is one of my favorite cities ever. The weather is amazingly set at 55°F year-round. The food is right up my alley: wine, fresh seafood, some variety of Asian food on every street corner. The people are nice and outgoing, and everyone dresses so casual. No heels? Heck yes!
I have the fortune of being able to visit some of my best friends in San Francisco each year. I recently just got back from one of those trips which made me think. I love traveling and finding great food spots in every city I go to. Why not start sharing those finds? So it is only fitting that my favorite city in the world gets my first Travel + Eats blog post. There are so many great places to go to in the Bay Area, this is just one weekend’s worth of eats. On my next trip out west, I will try to add completely new options to the list.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Hog Island has a couple of locations (one of them is even in Napa) but we always do a lunch at Hog Island in San Francisco at the Ferry Building. I love to sit outside, so waiting in line is totally worth it and goes by fast with a cold beer in hand. The raw oysters are great, and we also got grilled oysters, clam chowder and grilled cheese made with Cowgirl Creamery cheese. Add a bottle of rosé to wash it all down and you’ve got yourself a beautiful al fresco lunch! Enjoy a nice walk around the Ferry building after lunch and grab a cup of coffee, taste olive oils, and buy some cheese at Cowgirl Creamery (basically God’s gift to earth). After that, walk over to Pier 23 for a drink overlooking the bay. See below for more on Pier 23.
Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point
This was a Sunday *very* well spent. We took an Uber out to Sausalito (but you can also take the ferry which is always fun) and ended up at Cavallo Point, a historic hotel overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. We requested to sit outside at the restaurant, Murray Circle, since the sun was shining that day. They have this beautiful long porch where you can enjoy your meal and watch people play with their dogs in the park out front. We delighted in the raw oysters (some of the best we had all weekend), the most amazing mussels, a crab sandwich, and chicken lettuce wraps.The Bloody Mary was a noteworthy order here!
Leo’s Oyster Bar
Alright, everyone, Leo’s Oyster Bar is the it place in town and I am very excited to say it was wonderful! First of all, this is the cutest restaurant I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor and search “Leo’s Oyster Bar” and take in the most precious photos. ever. I will own a beach house one day and it will be dripping with pink and green palm wallpaper…
Anywho. You will want a reservation for this place. Pro tip: call ahead and request the back room, a windowless retreat to Palm Beach, Florida in the middle of the city. Let me just start with the cocktail: The Garden Party. Such a harmonious blend of Hendrick’s Gin, Jardesca, egg white and rosemary. Wow. Along with our cocktail we had, of course, some yummy oysters (both raw and hot) and some fries with a delicious Dynamite sauce.
Right next to Leo’s Oyster bar is Wayfare Tavern. We sat upstairs at the bar and watched the smiliest bartender named Joy pour our drinks. She was so great and talkative and answered all of our questions. We started with popovers, and I tell you they seriously melt in your mouth. I think I ate 3. Neiman Marcus, you have met your match (and you are going to lose, sorry). At this point I was stuffed but we managed to try some beef tartare and deviled eggs, none of which was a disappointment. I do want to come back and try more of their menu next time! And honestly, to get some more popovers.
(Excuse the subpar photo here, popovers are brown and just plain ugly, and beef tartar just doesn’t photograph well in the dark.)
Cocktails and such
The Buena Vista
What better start to a vacation day than an Irish Coffee? The Buena Vista has been serving it’s world famous Irish Coffees since 1952.We were told they make 2,000-3,000 Irish Coffees on a busy day! Sit at the bar and watch the bartenders go to work. They line up cups, fill them with hot water to heat the cup, dump the water out, fill them with freshly brewed coffee, then put in the good stuff ;). Regular, non-alcoholic coffee has never looked so boring.
A short walk from the Ferry building is Pier 23, where you can sit on the porch, drink a cocktail and watch the sailboats on the water. It’s nothing fancy, and it’s perfect. A nice place to waste an hour or an entire afternoon. We enjoyed some beer on tap and a Moscow Mule here while groups of bikers whizzed by.
Smitten Ice Cream
So, this place is awesome. You pick out your base flavor then add toppings and all of the sudden the wizards behind the counter take a liquid and churn it into ice cream within minutes. How did that happen? I have no idea. But it was amazing and delicious all at once. I told the girl behind the counter to give me her favorite – so she went with fudge topped with cookie dough, pretzels and chocolate sauce. But honestly, you can’t take a wrong churn here. See what I did there?