Unfortunately all I had was 48 Hours in San Francisco which is definitely not close to enough time to explore all the spots I wanted to eat at but I had to squeeze in as much as I could.
I always stay at The Mandarin in San Francisco which is fantastic. The hotel was recently redone and is a short walk from the Ferry Building and Union Square which makes it very convenient. When I got to the room, they had yummy pastries and fresh tea which helped me quickly forget my long flight from London. I have stayed at the hotel multiple times but had not been in almost a year, and both the bellman and concierge still remembered me and asked about Vegas and why I had not been in a while – those little touches certainly always make me feel right at home.
Mandarin Oriental San Francisco http://www.mandarinoriental.com/sanfrancisco/
222 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94104, United States
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Moving on to food – I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend Oli who I met a long time ago at Coi in San Francisco (http://coirestaurant.com/). I was having dinner with my mother at the bar and Oli (who had come by himself from LA just to eat at Coi) was sitting next to us. We started chatting when Oli whispered to us that the waiter had not described the dish accurately and that the beets we were being served were actually a different varietal. I immediately knew we would become good friends. He is a diabetes doctor in La who travels the world to eat, and sometimes will eat at three places in one night (app, entree and dessert) to eliminate the agony from having to choose (I must adopt his philosophy and stop struggling to decide between the multiple reservations I make when I travel).
We were emailing back and forth about the blog and our upcoming trips and I mentioned San Francisco. He immediately emailed back and said I needed to try Crafstman and Wolves in the Mission (www.craftsman-wolves.com). As an obedient pupil, I stopped by before my dinner at Heirloom to grab a pastry for next evening’s meal at a friend’s house. Tip: do not go at 7pm as a lot of the goodies are gone, but I still managed to drool over the food. Their savory goods also look delicious.
I bought “The Devil”, an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and toffee which I consumed when I got to the hotel, despite the huge meal I had at Heirloom (http://www.samstewartetc.com/heirloom-cafe-san-francisco/). It was not overly sweet but the caramel on top was rich and delicious. Bravo Oli and thank you!
Craftsman and Wolves http://www.craftsman-wolves.com/
746 Valencia Street San Francisco, California 94110
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The next day, after lunch at Coquetta (http://coquetasf.com/) I couldn’t help stopping by the Ferry Building for some ice cream at Humphry Slocombe (http://www.humphryslocombe.com/). Advice: don’t go to the Ferry building for ice cream on a sunday, the lines are insane so I actually went back for it Monday.
To be fair, I had tried it once before and was not blown away but wanted to give it a second chance. Don’t take me wrong, it is super creative and good (flavors like Chocolate Smoked Sea Salt, Elvis The Fat Years and others) but I still prefer Bi-Rite (http://biritecreamery.com/). The other ice cream I LOVE but didn’t have time to visit during this trip is Smitten Ice Cream (http://smittenicecream.com/), they make one cup at a time using liquid nitrogen and have just a few flavors per day. It is one of the best ice creams I have ever tried, the mint chip is divine!
Smitten Ice Cream http://smittenicecream.com
432 Octavia St. #1A San Francisco, CA 94102
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I couldn’t resist my favorite coffee, the New Orleans delicious iced coffee at Blue Bottle. I had it on Sunday and again on Monday.
Blue Bottle Coffee http://www.bluebottlecoffee.com/
Later in the afternoon, still trying to figure out what to bring to my friend’s house for dinner, I went to another one of Oli’s places. One that he had not been but was on his list. B Patisserie was conveniently located on Divisadero, close to where my dinner was.
Once again, I went mid-afternoon on a Sunday so they didn’t have big cakes to take to dinner and I settled on their massive cookies, which were delicious. I also had been advised by Oli to try their famous Kouign Amann. I am not Oli, and had to look it up when he emailed me but basically it is is a round crusty Breton puff pastry baked delicious pastry, with a variety of fillings available. I of course went for chocolate. This was so much better than any Pain au Chocolat I have ever had as the puff pastry had more surface to get crunchy and it was sweet, flaky perfection, enveloping gooey rich chocolate. So tasty!
B Patisserie http://bpatisserie.com/
2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States
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After a great dinner at my Beatie and Mike’s house, happy to be back at the hotel. Gorgeous night in San Francisco.