The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Visiting San Francisco this week-where would YOU go?

clazar123's picture

Visiting San Francisco this week-where would YOU go?

I'm just there for 4 days but I plan to maximize my visit. Any suggestions other than the following?


  • Tartine
  • Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista
  • The Blue Mermaid for Chowder
  • Red Blossom Tead Company
  • The Stinking Rose for everything garlic at a high price-great garlic pesto and bread
  • Local source groceries (including grains)  (I might have to buy some locally grown flour to grow a starter from!)
  • Local source eateries

Seeking some non-food recommendations and sources:

  • Custom clothing and tailoring (ladies) (in my dreams)
  • Hand painted silk scarves-local artisans


I will be on local public transportation (with a backpack,map and good shoes!) and flying in and out so that places some restrictions.

Any and all fun suggestions appreciated!

ANYTHING related to bread and dough really appreciated!



dmsnyder's picture

Well, I'd go to brother Glenn's - some of the best food in San Francisco. Otherwise ...

Ton Kiang on Geary near 22nd St for dim sum.

Today! The farmer's market at the Ferry Building.  Rancho Gordo for the best heirloom dried beans and New Mexico dried red chile. The Slanted Door for Vietnamese-influenced small plate deliciousness. Acme bread and Sharfenberger chocolate, also there.

The noodle restaurant in the Japenese Cultural Center (can't remember the name) for soba with tempura.

So many other possibilities!


GSnyde's picture

Thanks for the high praise, David.  And your house offers some of the best food in  Fresno, too.

While immodesty forbids my denial of David's evaluation, it's tough to get reservations at my place on short notice.


Zoologuy's picture

I'd check out Thorough Bread and Pastry which is at 248 Church Street about 5 blocks NW of Tartine. I was disappointed to visit the latter for brunch and learn they didn't sell loaves until 4:30 pm. At least some of the pastries at TB&P are made by interns at SFBI's main location in South San Francisco. I don't see anything on SFBI's class schedule for this weekend so there may not be anything to see there (just north of SFO), but call and ask [(650) 589-5784].

breadforfun's picture

Near the south-eastern end of Golden Gate Park (museums, open space) where Lincoln Ave. intersects 9th Ave. is a great bread co-op called Arizmendi Bakery, which has good baked goods of all kinds, including breads, muffins, scones and pizza.  This area is also restaurant-filled with excellent places like Ebisu (sushi), Hotei (Japanese noodles) Marnee Thai, Park Chow (just to name a few).  There is also the Social Kitchen and Brewery a block south.  A little off the beaten track is San Tung (Chinese) a couple of blocks west on Irving St., and Lime Tree, a couple of blocks east, serving southeast asian food.  The area is right on the N-Judah streetcar line. 



clazar123's picture
  • SFBI  looks a little out (distance wise) from my hotel at California and Van Ness. My husband would NOT want to stop on the way to the hotel from the airport.
  • Thorough Bread and Pastry looks delightful!
  • So what is Glenn's address??  :) Maybe I will show up at his door! Your gatherings alway look delicious and happy.
  • Farmer's Market-great source for local grown and things that don't grow in Wisconsin:  Almonds,pistachios,figs,dates, ?jujubes?
  • Any source for local flour or grain? I could take a small bag on the plane.

Is Boudin's worth a visit or is it all expensive, touristy stuff? They seem to take a lot of credit (as in -all the credit) for San Fran sourdough.

So many possibilities!



Crider's picture

I don't know of any place else, though I haven't lived in SF for more than 15 years! Also, you might want to consider  Tommaso's Restaurant for pizza on the outskirts of North Beach. They have the oldest (since 1935) wood-burning oven in SF. Not the best pizza in SF, but one of the best experiences. North Beach is very close to Chinatown. There are dried jujubes in Chinatown.

GSnyde's picture

...but I'd proudly recommend:

--Pizzeta 211 (211 23rd Avenue, near California Street) for the best pizza in the City, if not the World.

--Tadich Grill (on California Street downtown) for the best seafood (including clam chowder) in the City, if not the World.

--Betelnut (Asian restaurant on Union Street) for unique and delicious food (the appetizers are the best).

I'd second the recommendations above for Tartine, Thorough Bread, Slanted Door, Ton Kiang, Ebisu, and the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.

A great part of the City most tourists don't find is Crissy Field, a great Bay front walk near the Golden Gate Bridge.

I wish you a very happy visit.


clazar123's picture

Thanks to all for the great ideas. I will be burning lots of calories as I walk/busride between all these places.

Glenn-Thank you for the recommendations. I had never heard of Crissy Field but it sounds wonderful! I am a nature buff as well as a foodie.

I wish I had more time! The last time I went to the San Fran area I went on a bus to the Muir Woods with the beautiful redwoods-the tour was running behind so we had 30 minutes there! Barely enough time to admire one tree let alone take a hike on any of the trails.

No one has recommended Boudins so I guess that isn't going to be on my list.

Janetcook's picture

Reading all this makes me homesick....Grew up in the City but have been away for over 35 years.....Best food in S.F. was served at our house but as a child I didn't appreciate it.  3 good meals a day prepared by my mom who did not like to cook at all but did for 5 of us kids for many, many years.  Nothing special about it other than it was made by her and nourished us all for as long as we lived under her roof :-)

Enjoy your stay.  I second Glen's recommendation about walking along Crissy Field.

Take Care,


cranbo's picture

I second the following suggestions of others:

Acme for bread
Slanted Door for eats
Betelnut for eats

To add to places in Ferry Building

Cowgirl Creamery for cheese
Boccalone for sausages

clazar123's picture

I'm not sure who said that but it is true.  My mom's unspohisticated fare nourished 5 souls,also.

It is indirectly because of her that I decided to "conquer" bread. She baked cakes and cookies really well and her baking powder biscuits were as light as feathers but her bread was awful. What she taught me about bread I had to unlearn! I was determined to figure out how to make a good loaf-it always frustrated her not to be able to but she had her hands full. Now I can make some pretty darn good bread but my baking powder biscuits are like hockey pucks! Watch your teeth! Unfortunately she is not around to teach me her tricks so I will have to rely on heavenly guidance for that lesson (and TFL). 

A walk along Crissy Field is called for. I hope the weather cooperates next week and the fog and rain are brief, though I've "done" San Fran in the rain before. It made the chowder taste better!

I still have the thought I'd like to have a custom piece of clothing made-maybe even a foundation garment, if any ladies from TFL can chime in with recommendations-even if it is an email.

Thanks to all.


Janetcook's picture

My biscuits are like hockey pucks too and nobody here really likes biscuits anyway....but txfarmer just posted a blog with a recipe for biscuits and they looked heavenly.

Good Luck,


BurntMyFingers's picture

Several have mentioned Acme bakery but I want to point out they have a beautiful commercial baking operation which is in full view as you stand at the counter ordering bread. A real treat for a home baker to see what sales volume and money can do!

clazar123's picture

I've made it to some places so far and missed others-still have a couple days. Turns out there are about 6 major events in town this weekend and it is difficult to get around. Fleet Week,America's Cup,Oracle convention?,Jazz Festival,Castro Fair,and there were a few other things ,too.

I visited THorough Bakery and Cafe and recommend it to all. Delightful bakery and bread,delicious coffee (best I have ever had) and an unexpected quiet haven in their patio out behind the bakery.It is a little off the beaten path but,actually, there were a number of interesting shops nearby.

Crissy Fields may not be reachable-I can't see how to get there by public transportation-it stops quite short.I have enjoyed other natural areas-the Bay is quite gorgeous and the weather has been beautiful.

Panchos Restaurant is a little hole in the wall where a lady makes the tortilla for your dinner after you order-you can watch her do it.Best tortillas ever!And reasonably priced!

TOAST is a great breakfast place.Last time I was here it was a local diner-a little grungy and tired. Someone renamed it and spiffed it up. Breakfast food was great and the whole grain and sourdough toasts were both excellently made breads.Both are on Polk street near California.

More in a few days.Chinatown tomorrow but I'm afraid the crowds will be overwhelming-elbow to toe,nose to nose or nuts-to-the-,butt.(the last is a military term)

Grateful for all the suggestions and having a great getaway!