Once upon a time I went to San Francisco and it was so magical that I’m writing a blog post about it. Ah yes, the summer of 2013; the warm nostalgia hits me like the acoustics of a Simon & Garfunkel tune. I mean how can you not lust over the salty air, gorgeous views, famous bridges, eclectic shops and overall cool-coast vibe?
Not surprisingly, San Francisco is home to a thriving food scene that’s carving the path for eateries across North America. With more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States, SF’s sophisticated culinary culture has foodies flocking from around the world. So why does San Francisco’s food game have everyone salivating?
- Locally Sourced: No frozen food here. San Francisco’s restaurant culture takes pride in its ability to offer made-in-house menu items by capitalizing on locally sourced ingredients. The city’s geography favours this philosophy by offering bountiful farm lands, orchards and the Pacific coast. Beyond the ingredients, Chef’s take special interest in maintaining relationships with farmers and local suppliers to ensure they’re over-delivering on the farm-to-table mantra. SF’s focus on sustainable eating is stronger and more apparent than ever, which bodes well with today’s quality-conscious consumer.
- Variety: Over the last few decades, a wide range of cultures, ethnicities and walks of life have made this coastal city their home. As a result, SF’s food scene is garnished with cultural diversity from Filipino to Italian and everything in between. If you’re not in the mood for local seafood, your options are pretty much endless giving you the perfect excuse to go on an edible excursion almost every night.
- Ambience: In simple terms, the restaurant vibe in SF is just, well, cool. Eateries across the city offer sleek yet honest branding and careful details. The cookie-cutter environments often experienced when visiting popular franchises feel impersonal and uninspiring, which is exactly what you won’t find when dining out in SF. They take food beyond the plate by crafting authentic eating experiences through atmospheres and ambience.
- Chinatown: With the largest Chinese population outside of China, San Francisco’s Chinatown offers twenty-four square blocks of Chinese-American culture including a spectrum of authentic restaurants, food vendors, bakeries and tea rooms. From Hunan to mooncakes to clay pot cooking, you can distinguish your taste buds with new tastes or relish in your favourite flavours on a daily basis. Most of Chinatown’s menus are easy on the wallet, so shop around, read reviews and ask locals for recommendations if the selection is overwhelming; keep calm and ramen on.
- Clam chowder in a bread bowl: You heard me; chowder bread bowls exist and they’re a bucket-list must. Strap on your tourist sandals and parade down to Fisherman’s Wharf for a steamy bowl of authentic west-coast clam chowder served in a crispy sourdough bread bowl. Fisherman’s Wharf is home to multiple boardwalk vendors serving fresh chowders, steamed crabs and carbs. You can usually determine which vendor is best by appearance, price and menu. Most options are slightly over-priced but it’s totally worth the experience and portions are typically large. Beware of the hungry seagulls (seriously).
Check out what Pinterest thinks you should eat in San Francisco here.