San Francisco is a middle ground of two polarized cities, New York with its hustle bustle and Los Angeles with its laid-back vibe. What does all three have in common? Delicious food, cool neighborhoods, each with their own kind of beauty. That’s part of the reason why I love San Francisco. It’s a pleasant city to walk in, but the city is still well-connected by buses and trams and being the home base for Uber and Lyft, you are never more than few minutes away from one. My brief time in San Francisco was predictably spent to hunt for the best coffee, bakery, ice cream and brunch in San Francisco. The choices are overwhelming but traveling by myself limited what I could digest because my tummy can only hold so much. Here goes San Francisco in a bite (or a sip!)
Have a Shot at Blue Bottle
Blue Bottle was the first coffee shop I went to in San Francisco. By then, I was at the end of the trip and craving for a legit cup of coffee. I went to their outlet at Ferry Building and there was always a line. If you’ve heard of Blue Bottle’s reputation before, I can say that they live up to it and thrive in it. It has to be one of the best cappuccino I’ve ever had, with the Hayes Valley blend and my preferred level of creaminess for steamed milk and foam. I returned the next day to try their cold drip, woke me up but not as legendary as their cappuccino. They don’t have seating area, but go outside the door and you will be greeted by the Bay Bridge. Definitely worth a shot (or a filter)!
Baked and Bitten
My hostel happened to be within walking distance to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, so I paid a visit just after I dropped my things off.
All several pastries caught my eyes, but I was recommended to The California, which I ordered without asking what it actually was. I saw the small packet of Kikkoman soy sauce then I was like, “Wait, what? Ain’t this supposed to be a croissant?” and then turns out it’s… *drumroll please* smoked salmon wrapped in nori in a flaky croissant. I have never tasted a savory pastry like it, and I mean it in a good way. It is quite pricey for a pastry, but worth the splurge.
Be Right at Bi-Rite
Okay, can’t stop with the puns but really, Bi-Rite will be such an amazing thirst quencher in a normal summer weather (definitely not a summer in San Francisco then, because SF’s summer is not normal!). It opens at 11 and I was their first customer of many for that day, the line can get as long as 40 minutes so come early! Every ice cream is handmade in small batches with locally sourced ingredients. The flavors are pretty unique too and always changing. I tried their Sundae Best, which is milk chocolate, walnut brownie and fudge with brandied cherries. It’s pretty fudgy (well d’oh) but it tasted so good you can’t go wrong with it. It doesn’t matter if you are in the Mission District area or not, you should make it your business to be right at Bi-Rite. While you’re at it, pop by Tartine Bakery just few blocks down the road, its morning buns are delicious but be prepared to wait in line.
Feeling Billionare Eating a Millionaire
Upon the recommendation of a friend, I had a big breakfast at Sweet Maple which was located just outside SF’s Japan Town. Japan Town’s architecture is still very much influenced by Japan, so it was really kawaii. When I got there around 9, the place was packed but since I was on my own, I got a seat on the bar immediately. This is the kind of restaurant you want to go to after Sunday Mass with your family. I had their Blackstone Egg Benedict with their infamous Millionaire’s Bacon, baked with brown sugar, cayenne, red and black pepper. It’s even featured in United States of Bacon. Thinking about it makes me drool already! The bacon is sweet and savory, and it just melts in my mouth even if it’s a thicker kind of bacon. It’s definitely the star of the dish. The eggs are cooked perfectly, the yolk bursting out when I poked it and as well as the potatoes which was crunchy on the outside but tender as I dug into it. What a stellar brunch!
Until next time,