Homer and I took a 10 day trip to California and I wanted to share some of the good (and not so good) stuff we ate while we were there and some travel tips. First up was San Francisco!
Pictured first is the window display at Swan Oyster Depot
. We were lucky enough to be staying around the corner from this place at an AirBnb Apartment
. AirBnb has gotten some bad press lately but we had a great experience. Swan is only open for lunch and there is usually a line but it is totally worth the wait. You can also just buy fresh seafood for take away, but half the fun is sitting at the counter engaging with the staff. We shared some oysters and I had the shrimp cocktail while Homer opted for the clam chowder.
Swan is located on Polk Street which is a sort of up and coming street in Nob Hill. It has some fun restaurants and bars.
One of the places that I knew I had to go to in San Francisco was the Zuni Cafe.
We made reservations prior to arriving in town, and I would recommend making one if you want to eat there.
Zuni is known for its Roast Chicken for two, and so of course we ordered it. I can honestly say that it was probably one of the best meals I have ever had. The chicken is on a bed of mustard greens and bread salad. The service at Zuni is also top notch, our waiter was great.
One place that we found while we were in San Francisco was the Magnolia Brewpub
. We ended up there for a late lunch after walking through Golden Gate Park. It was totally jammed and mostly with hipsters but the food was really great as was the large selection of brews. That is a picture of Tristan’s Duck Crepinette above. Considering the amount and quality of the food the price point is excellent.
Tristan had wanted to try Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers
so we ended up there for lunch on the day we were exploring around Union Street. The burgers were pretty decent and the menu has something for everyone.
One place we tried but that didn’t live up to the hype was Foreign Cinema
. I had read some good things and certainly the patio is gorgeous but the food was so so. I would try their Lazlo Bar next door before shelling out the dough to eat here.
A final food related tip is to have an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe,
a San Francisco institution. The man making them has been doing so for several years and it was fascinating to watch him work.
A couple of tips and things we found helpful:
- We bought a Muni Passport at the airport and used it everyday. While not good for travel on the BART it does work on every city bus, streetcar and cable car line. The fact that it works on the cable car line alone is worth it as a ride each way on one of those things is $6.
- San Francisco was quite cold compared to stinky hot Toronto. If you are going, pack things you can layer, footless tights were my life saver. If you go to a baseball game make sure to pack a heavy jacket, I was frozen by the end.
- The Ferry Building is a great place to get supplies and dine when visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, it is a bit of a walk (or just hope on the streetcar) but really the best option in that neck of the woods. Do NOT eat at any of the crap restaurants in the Pier under any circumstance.
- We stayed in Nob/Russian Hill and found it very central to explore all of San Francisco. The neighbourhood is safe and has lots of great places to dine and shop. While I don’t metion it above, the Nob Hill Grille was the first meal we ate in San Francisco and if I lived there this would be a great neighbourhood joint.
Next up LA!