Thursday, October 21, 2010

(Edible) San Francisco

Here are the photos from the San Francisco portion of our vacation. Of course, it was a very food-centric trip. I didn't take pictures of every place we went, but most of them. I'll put links at the bottom of the post if you want more information.

This is the vegan meatball sandwich from Ike's--a tiny sandwich shop with amazing food (vegan and non). I read somewhere that Peta voted this to be the number one vegan meatball in the US. It was yummy, and huge. I've had other sandwiches here before and they were all delicious.

Humphry Slocombe ice cream is a tiny little place about the size of my living room, but somehow, in their small space, they manage to make the best ice cream ever. I'm not the only one that is crazy about their ice cream, the shop has been written up in bunches of magazines and newspapers. This was the first time I'd been there and I ordered some kind of coffee flavored concoction, and Dave had something with malt. Both were fabulous and we were craving more after about 10 minutes (and are still craving it a week later). I'm including a link below to a neat New York Times article about the shop. Don't bypass Humphry Slocombe if you're a vegan since they have sublime sorbet (try the blood orange).

A close second in ice cream deliciousness is Bi-Rite Creamery. We split a scoop of the toasted coconut and it was incredible. There was huge fresh coconut flavor along with the nuttiness of the toasted coconut. Just down the street from the creamery is Bi-Rite Market, a small gourmet grocery store with lovely produce and lots of hard to find ingredients.

Tartine Bakery is legendary in San Francisco, and rightly so. They sell beautiful French-style pastries and light meals--sandwiches and quiche. They also bake beautiful bread in the afternoons. If you can't make it to the bakery, there are two Tartine cookbooks available--one for the pastries, and a just released book on their breads.

The first stop we made in San Francisco was to the Ferry Building--a marketplace of only food-related vendors. It's perched right on the bay, so even if you're not in the mood to shop it's a pretty place to eat lunch or grab a snack. I have several favorite places in the Ferry Building-- Miette for pastries, cookies, and cakes; they make the best brownie I've ever had--a layer of thin crispness on the outside and gooey fudginess within. Ciao Bella Gelato makes great gelato, of course, but I love their fruit sorbet. The mango sorbet is chock full of fresh mango flavor. And if you can't get to the Ciao Bella shop, they recently released a cookbook so you can now make their delectable frozen treats at home.

The chocolate candies at Recchuiti are crazy-good. I had a piece flavored with tea and Dave had something with berries. Even though I'm not a big chocolate person, I could eat this candy every day. And perhaps I would if it wasn't quite so expensive (though so totally worth it). We limited ourselves to 2 pieces.

I love using Scharffen Berger chocolate for baking and they have a small stand in the Ferry Building. I bought a few limited edition bars and I plan to use those when making holiday goodies.

The Ferry Building takes recycling very seriously! I think that many of the San Francisco restaurant take-out containers are biodegradable now--made from potatoes or something.

Heirloom tomatoes in the Ferry Building.

La Boulange is a truly French bakery with crusty baguettes and flaky croissants. They also sell these amazing skinny French fries wrapped in paper cones. The day we were there they served the fries with truffle oil. I especially like their bread; it's super crusty on the the outside but still some how light and chewy--both at the same time--on the inside. The walnut baguette is exceptional.

If the love of my life was a place to shop, it would be Rainbow Grocery. I love it so much I almost want to live there (but only if I could bring Dave, the critters, and our swimming pool). Rainbow is an all vegetarian and vegan grocery store that sells thousands of amazing things, many you can't easily find anywhere else. And, they have really good prices. It's not a fancy store like Whole Foods, but it is jam-packed with stuff I, (and probably you), want to buy. They have every possible spice, flour, nut, cheese, seed and tea; plus local and exotic produce, organic and cruelty free toiletries and cosmetics (their colorful and good-smelling hand-made soap selection makes me swoon), and baked goods like vegan cookies and big pretzels. Rainbow also has a gigantic vitamin and supplement selection. It's practical enough to be an all-around grocery store, but also a great place for unusual, and usual, ingredient stock-up shopping. (Can you tell that I love it?)

Lobster mushrooms at Rainbow Grocery.

Chocolate from Fog City News, Rainbow Grocery, and the Ferry Building.

Omnivore is a small book shop (they have only two employees) selling only food related books. Cookbooks! If you've read my blog for even 4 minutes you know that I love cookbooks. I had to use some serious self-restraint to limit myself to just one book. I wanted to buy pretty much everything, and it was extremely difficult to pass up the vintage baking books.

Eye of the Goat Beans? Seriously, who knew there was such a thing? Of course, I had to have them.

Fog City News is a tiny newspaper-magazine shop in the Financial District that also sells chocolate bars imported from all over the world. Each time you buy a bar they write it down on a little card they give you so that you can keep track of what you've tried. I bought two white chocolate bars, both flavored with berries. One bar was from England and one from Italy. Both were delicious.

Walnut baguette from La Boulange and a morning bun from Tartine.

World Market stores are pretty much everywhere in the US, but by far the best of their stores is in San Francisco. It's huge and there is always a big selection of sale items. It's a great place to stock up on dishes, and basic pots, pans and utensils.

I still have to write up the other portions of our trip, and I'll work on that tomorrow. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the cord for my camera so there are very few photos of Las Vegas and none of the Mohave Desert. I tried using my cell phone but it wasn't a huge success. It's typical, I can never seem to remember to pack the cords to recharge my stuff. (Just ask Dave--it drives him crazy.)

Omnivore Books

Rainbow Grocery

Fabulous New York Times article on Humphry Slocombe sent to me by my buddy Jill.

Humphry Slocombe

Ike's Place

Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite Market

World Market

Tartine Bakery

La Boulange Bakery

Fog City News

Ferry Building


Recchiuti Chocolates

Ciao Bella Gelato

Scharffen Berger Chocolate


Tartine Bread

The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home


  1. I want to go to San Francisco with you and sample all the goodies that you talked about. You are the queen of finding tasty little gems, it seems! It sounds really delicious and fun.

  2. Your trip to San Francisco sounds so fabulous! You ate and brought home a ton of great-looking food!