Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop, Blue Bottle Coffee, cable car, city, clothes, clothing, Dolores Park, Doughnut Plant, ferry building, fisherman's wharf, Food, frascati, ghirardelli square, Golden Gate Park, lavender, lavender shortbread, macarons, miette, New York City, Palace of Fine Arts, Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco, san francisco recommendations, san francisco restaurants, shortbread, Tartine Bakery, travel, trolley, union square
Wondering about the lack of posting over this past weekend? Well, I was away! I was on my trip to San Francisco (you know, the one I got some lovely help planning from some of you?!)!
The trip truly went by too, too fast. Sadly, I didn’t get to do nearly as much as I would have loved to do. Hopefully, in the future sometime I’ll be blessed enough to go back, and for a much longer visit! That way, I can do some of the many things I missed: MOMA, Alcatraz, more eating (more on that later), more exploring, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, walking the Golden Gate, and SHOPPING(!), among other things (like meeting bloggers like Shermineh!). Yes, it’s true…I didn’t get to shop! But really…there simply was NO time, and I’m always one to try my hardest to fit in some good shopping.
Now, on to further recaping of the trip:
I ate a lot. I really did. And it was so worth it. (Hey, to my credit, I did do a lot of walking too!). Here are some of the places I tried:
- Dynamo Donuts. I was excited to go here, as it was featured on the TV show Unique Sweets. On that show, one of the doughnuts they talked about was a filled lemon doughnut. It sounded divine, and I was sure I would order it. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it! Instead, I tried a rhubarb doughnut. While good, I wasn’t wowed. However, I should mention that I’m not a big doughnut-lover, and tend to like cakier doughnuts (as opposed to yeast). In my mind, Dynamo does not even come close to comparing to my beloved Doughnut Plant in NYC. Sorry. Tip: They have a maple bacon doughnut that is supposed to be fantastic. I didn’t try it because I don’t like bacon (I know, gasp!)
front: rhubarb doughnut back: spiced chocolate doughnut
from Dynamo Donuts
(photo belongs to me)
- Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar. I went here expecting to grab a cookie (this show was also featured on Unique Sweets), but ended up also trying an egg salad sandwich. Now the cookie was very good (I had the one with cocoa nibs), but the sandwich is really what blew me away. The bread…oh, that bread! It was a freshly made foccacia with an undertone of olive oil and sea salt. Seriously…the texture and taste were absolutely spot-on, and perfect with the egg salad. I’m dreaming about this sandwich still. They also had some free flavored water which was quite good. Tip: Have a sandwich here (preferably the egg salad, if you’re like me!)! Try a cookie too. The cocoa nib one I had was good, but I’d be intrigued to try the one with kettle corn (I think it was called “the circus”).
that sandwich…you know, the egg salad one with heavenly bread
from Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar
(photo belongs to me)
- Frascati: Man, oh man was this a thoroughly divine meal. I started with the stone fruit bruschetta, which was a great take on a classic bruschetta, and then had the perfectly cooked sweet corn risotto. Even though I was stuffed, I tried the blueberry peach cobbler for dessert. Every thing about this meal was perfect…the food, obviously, but also the restaurant’s ambience. I sat at a table nestled in a quaint corner at the very front of the restaurant…perfect for people watching and trolley watching. Tip: Try.this.restaurant. You won’t regret it. (Reservations are accepted).
- Tartine: I went for breakfast to this famous little bakery in the Mission, and even though I was prepared for a long, long line, the line wasn’t half bad (I actually saw it longer later on in the day while passing through the area). I had one of their famous morning buns and some hot chocolate. The center of the morning bun was delicious…soft and delectable with a hint of orange. The outside of it was not quite as good, but the inside made up for it. The croque monsieur was definitely a popular item, and I had a taste of it…quite good. I really would love to go back for a dessert item here, as everything in the display case looked great. Tip: If crowds aren’t you’re thing, skip this, but do try to make it for either breakfast or dessert (or a snack!).
(photo belongs to me)
- Pizzeria Delfina: Upon Shermineh’s suggestion, I started out with the roasted corn with chili butter. Although you might be tempted to skip this and save room for pizza, don’t! It was really good! (Thanks Shermineh!). I tried two pizzas – the Panna and the 4 Formaggi. Both were quite good, but I would have to say the Panna won out as my favorite, although, to be perfectly honest, I kept going back and forth between which one I liked better. Tip: They don’t take reservations, but the wait is worth it. You could always walk to Dolores Park while you wait. And please, try the corn and pizza!
- Bi-Rite Creamery: After a satisfying meal at Pizzeria Delfina, I headed down the street to this ice cream shop. I was excited to see that with the smallest size, you could still try two flavors. I opted for the Salted Caramel and Creme Fraiche, but next time I would go for the Salted Caramel and Honey Lavender (yes, together those two are heaven). Next time, I would also size up as the smallest size was…well, small (because it was good!). Tip: Try this place! The line may seem intimidating, but it moves along nicely. Walk to Dolores Park as you devour your treat!
- Blue Bottle Coffee (Ferry Building): The hot chocolate was rich and the coffee good. The freshly made waffles made a nice breakfast, as did the fruit buckle. This is definitely a better-than-average coffee shop, especially for its food. Tip: For a relatively quick breakfast (maybe even an on-the-go breakfast), this is a great place to go.
- Miette (Ferry Building): My original plan was to grab breakfast at Blue Bottle and then grab some treats from Miette for later in the day, but when I arrived, Miette was closed! I had checked the hours prior to leaving for my trip, so I was confused and upset, as it was far after the 8:00 they had listed! Luckily, I stuck around a bit longer and at 10 they opened their “doors” (stand). (I just checked their hours again and found that they have hours for Sunday listed twice…once says 8 and the other says 10????). I got a rose geranium macaron, a vanilla macaron, a raspberry macaron, and a chocolate macaron, as well as some packaged lavender shortbread. Among the macarons, my two favorite would have to probably be the vanilla and raspberry, with the rose a close third. And the lavender shortbread? I love it! The lavender flavor is subtle enough that it’s far from soapy tasting, but just strong enough to give a little kick! Love! Tip: Go! Sample the macarons and try the lavender shortbread! Oh…and maybe one of their adorable little cakes.
- What I wished I could have tried: Even though touristy, I was enticed by the offerings at the Ghirardelli store at Ghirardelli Square. All those ice cream treats looked divine! Also, there was a little shop serving tea at Ghirardelli Square…I would have loved to try that too. Obviously, there are many more places I’d love to try, but those are my top.
Things I Did:
- Powell Street Cable Car Ride: Yes, I did it. I stood in the infamous long line to ride the Trolley. Even though the wait was long (I’m guessing around an hour), I enjoyed ever minute of the ride as I stood on the outside. Views were abundant, especially as we neared the water and got great views of Alcatraz. Tip: While not for everyone (standing in line), I recommend this ride anyway.
The Powell/Hyde Street cable car: worth the wait!
(photo belongs to me)
- Ghiardelli Square: Go here to try some food, as I wish I could have done. I just walked around for the most part, but I did get a free sample of a yummy caramel filled chocolate square from one of the Ghirardelli shops. Tip: Try the ice cream for me!
- Lombard Street: This windy road is an iconic San Francisco site, and one I highly recommend. The houses on the street (and in the general surrounding area) are beautiful, but I certainly could not imagine living there, with all of those tourists taking pictures. Really though, you must go for a fantastic photo opportunity. Tip: Make sure you walk to the bottom of the hill/road. Take photos!
I told you Lombard Street was a great photo opportunity!
(photo belongs to me)
- Angel Island: Upon arriving (off the ferry), I made the wrong decision of getting a bite to eat before renting a bicycle, as I had hoped to do. By the time I finished eating, all of the bikes were gone! Darn! I took a tram ride instead, which allowed me to still see the whole island. There are some beautiful views, now that’s for sure! Tip: If you’re renting a bicycle, do so before you eat!
- Fisherman’s Wharf: I really didn’t spend much time here, and I’m glad too. It’s tourist-y overload. Tip: Perhaps walk through once, but you’d be fine skipping it altogether.
- Muir Woods: On my last day, I rented a car and took the reasonable 30 minute trip up to Muir Woods. I parked in a designated parking lot and then took the shuttle, which took you on a winding road (some people may feel the need to close their eyes, though the views are good!). Obviously, the woods were beautiful and a nature lover’s paradise. For the less adventurous, you can stick on flat ground and make the trip rather short. On the other hand, you can take a more rigorous hike, if you feel up for it. I did the hike which promised beach views, but I was underwhelmed with the view. Tip: Gorgeous setting. Make it here if you can. The farther into the trails you go, the less people there will be.
the stunning natural beauty that is Muir Woods
(photo belongs to me)
Another piece of advice: When looking to go to San Francisco, you’ll be advised to wear layers and pack warm clothes, but looking at the temperatures you might be tempted not to (“60/70 degrees? that’s not too bad!”). Trust me though, that is good advice to follow! With the fog, it really is cooler than you’d think. Also, by the water you feel a significant temperature drop. Keep warm!
Well, that’s about it! I told you my trip was short! Final advice: San Francisco is such a gorgeous city filled with beauty…perfect especially for those who love design – the architecture, the landscape, the clothes, the food, etc! If you’ve never been, start saving now for a trip!
Thanks again to everyone you gave me such fantastic ideas…your help made my trip so much better! Thank you!
If you have any questions about my trip, places I ate, or things I did, don’t hesitate to ask!