San Francisco Best Eats
I am a die hard foodie. That is one of the main reasons why I travel. I'm always on the look for a new unique restaurant, or a unique take on something so simple like a grilled cheese. San Francisco is probably one of the most diverse cities that I've been to. The amount of different cultures in such a small condense area is amazing. As a traveler, I feel like you could travel around the world through the food here.
The following is a list of my favorite restaurants that I ate at while visiting the city.
Zazie Bistro is located in the neighborhood of Cole Valley in San Francisco. The restaurant specializes in American style brunches and Provençal dinners.
What makes this restaurant really unique is that it is tip free. The owner of the restaurant, Jennifer Piallat, pays her staff livable wages, fully funded health and dental insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, paid family leave, and a 401(k) with employer match. This reflectes in the prices on the menu.
The brunch menu had your typical brunch items, but some with a twist. I ordered their Miracle Pancakes, which are unique flavors of pancakes that changes daily. When I was there the flavor that day was a Lemon Ricotta pancake with Meyer Lemon curd and Raspberry jam on top. The pancakes were light and fluffy, which was not what I was expecting looking at them because they were thinner than normal pancakes. The tart Meyer Lemon curd with the sweet raspberry jam paired really well with the pancakes and a light drizzle of maple syrup. Get there early if you plan on having their Miracle pancakes because they only make so much batter each day. They were out by noon, and that was on a Wednesday.
My friend Justin, who I had brunch with that day, ordered their Divorcé Eggs Benedict, which had a poached egg, lemon hollandaise sauce, avocado, tomato, fontina cheese, and bacon on it. This style of eggs benedict was a fresh take on the classic. Paired together, all of the ingredients worked really well and gave an almost freshness taste to the classic eggs benedict.
We both got a side order of the home fries on the menu. They were the best that I have ever had. They were large chunks roasted russet potatoes with whole cloves of garlic. The potatoes were crispy on the outside but warm and tender on the inside. The whole cloves of garlic were roasted to where they resembled caramel when you ate it.
I will be coming back to Zazie the next time I am in San Francisco. It is by far one of the best brunches that I've had, and I go out to brunch a lot.
Sweet Maple was the place that everyone mentioned when I asked for recommendations of brunch places in San Francisco. Sweet Maple is located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. They serve classic American style breakfast and brunch with Asian influences.
I ordered the Kim, which is their Korean influenced eggs benedict. It had fried tofu, sautéed Napa kimchi, scallions, and Meyer lemon hollandaise. I ordered it without the poached egg since I do not eat eggs, and I also wanted to see if you could have a vegetarian version of eggs Benedict. And you can! Even though it did not have the texture or taste of a poached egg, the tofu made a great substitution in its place.
It also came with a side of their Potato Medley. The medley consisted of roasted Chilean Purple, Yukon Gold, Gemstone Red Russet, and Sweet potatoes. The Potato Medley tasted amazing and went really well with their Sundried tomato and sriracha ketchup.
I went here on my last day in the city, and I was told on the weekends there is normally a line outside the door and a wait of over two hours. I'm glad that when I went it was a weekday, but if you find yourself wanting to come here during the weekend, I suggest waking up early to get in line. If you do end up having to wait, it is worth it.
El Farolito Taqueria
Now if you know me, you know that whenever I travel I always try to find the best Mexican food in the city. San Francisco was no exception. There were so many Mexican restaurants to choose from in San Francisco. After asking around for the best Mexican restaurant, El Farolito Taqueria was the one that I kept hearing.
The night that I went here it was after one in the morning. When I arrived, there was a line outside the door, and mind you this was at 1 AM Wednesday morning. If I have learned anything about finding the best Mexican food, it is that you should always go to the place with the longest line. That is how you know it legit.
After waiting in line, Justin and I finally ordered some of the best Mexican food I've had. I ordered their vegetarian tacos that had frijoles (beans), onions, cilantro, avocados, and tomatoes. Although what was on the taco was was very simple, the flavor was amazing. My friend Justin ordered the quesadilla suiza with steak and queso.
There has only been one other time when I had Mexican food that was this great in the states, and that was in Norfolk, Nebraska. If you find yourself hungry after a night of drinking in the Mission District, you should definitely make your way to El Farolito Taqueria.
The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
This is where my friend took me the moment I got off the plane in San Francisco, which was the best option for that night since it was a little chilly and rainy.
Located just a few blocks west of the South Beach Harbor. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has your classic grilled cheese, but what they are really known for are their grilled cheese creations they've created over years.
We ordered two different kinds of grilled cheeses and split them because we wanted to try as many as possible. The first one we ordered was their Mac n Cheese Grilled Cheese. They make a creamy and cheesy mac n cheese then stuffed it into a garlic buttered sourdough. If you haven't had a mac n cheese grilled cheese, then you need to. It is life changing. If you need that cheese fix, this is going to be the grilled cheese for you.
The second grilled cheese we ordered was their Mushroom Gruyère grilled cheese. This grilled cheese had fontina, gruyère, roasted wild mushrooms, roasted potatoes, melted leeks & onions purée, thyme butter on levain bread. When I saw this on the menu I knew I had to get it. What drew me towards it was that there were potatoes in it. If you know me, potatoes are one of my favorite foods. The textures and flavors were something that I never knew you could get from a grilled cheese.
I will be coming back here the next time I'm in the city.
Roam Artisan Burgers is a small burger restaurant located in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood. The restaurant focuses to using sustainable meats and produce. As well as other high quality ingredients on their menu.
On their menu, they have several unique and classic burger combinations. I ordered their French and Fires burger with the veggie patty. It had truffle parmesan fries, gruyere, avocado, caramelized onions, watercress, whole grain mustard, and piquant sauce. While it sounds like the toppings wouldn't work together, they do. The crispness and saltiness of the fries work great with the butteriness of the avocado.
I also ordered their Truffle Parmesan French fries and their brussels sprouts. The fires were some of the best truffle fries I've had. They were light, crispy, salty, with a slight bite from the parmesan and truffle oil.
The brussle sprouts were completely different from other roasted brussel sprouts I've had in the past. They had a very Asian flair to them. They were cooked with red chilies, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and olive oil. The flavor was so intense but in a good way. I could have eaten these brussle sprouts for the rest of my life. They were that great. However, they do not have them all the time, their veggie side changes with the seasons to match what's available.
If you're looking for a place to grab a quick lunch, Roam is that place.
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