San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures and influences. Bustling and charming, when you’re finished taking in the city’s world-famous sights, you’ll find it home to a huge variety of cafes, bars and restaurants – which showcase the sights, sounds and tastes of a thriving culinary community.
The waterfront district reveals a historic fishing industry – and no visit to the city would be complete without sampling its produce. Seafood choices take in everything from busy fast-food joints to exclusive restaurants. You’ll find traditional crab, lobster and shrimp options alongside speciality dishes which represent a spectrum of styles from South America and the United States, to Europe to the far East. Must-try dishes native to the city include the Crab Louie salad and the Italian-influenced Cioppino fish stew.
The city’s Asian heritage is a huge part of its culinary landscape. An elaborate Chinese archway on Grant Avenue marks the start of San Francisco’s huge Chinatown, but Asian food, including Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese varieties, is available almost everywhere: from street-side Dim Sum bars to trendy sushi restaurants. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to try authentic rice rolls, noodle dishes and other staples but if you’re looking for authenticity, seek out some fresh-baked moon cakes, tea-smoked eel – or even pickled chicken feet, in one of hundreds of Asian dining establishments scattered across the centre.
San Francisco has a reputation for diversity and difference – and anyone searching for something unique in the city’s food scene won’t be disappointed – an incredible range of speciality eating establishments promise truly memorable experiences. The Foreign Cinema restaurant serves an impressive mix of Californian and Mediterranean food against a backdrop program of – you guessed it – foreign and independent film screenings. Opaque is a high-concept ‘dining in the dark’ experience, where you’ll dine in the pitch black – and receive your food free from any visual distractions. The counter-intuitively named ‘Stinking Rose’ restaurant offers a selection of dishes constructed entirely around garlic: garlic salads, garlic fondue – and even the Chateau du Garlique Transylvanian wine.
When it comes to dessert – or if you’re just hoping to indulge yourself – San Francisco brims with small but popular bakeries and cake shops, offering innovative and delicious creations. Citizen Cake, on Grove street lets customers sit in or take-out and offers an unmissable Mocha Mu Su genoise cake complete with buttercream, mousse and ganache. For anyone with an incurable sweet tooth, Kara’s Cupcakes and Ghiradelli’s chocolate and ice cream shop are essential stops in the Marina district and deliver a huge menu of temptations and treats – perfect for summer days wandering the city’s colourful streets, or strolling along the pier!
This post was brought to you by the lovely people at Titan Travel, if you’re feeling inspired to taste the delights of San Francisco, why not do so on one of Titan’s California holidays?