The United States may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about culinary tourism. However, if you look a little closer, California may be the exception to the rule.
Especially in San Francisco, where you can eat very well without losing your shirt. Here are our five suggestions depending on the type of day you’re having.
1. THE EXHAUSTING DAY
Cha Cha Cha
A day of soaking up the sights of San Francisco on foot means you’ll be ready for a decent meal at night. After walking through Golden Gate Park, stop at this hip California-style restaurant, in the coolest neighborhood of the city, the hippie Haight-Ashbury. If the place is full, wait on the bar side with a pitcher of sangria. For dinner, order tapas… lots of tapas!
1801 Haight Street
2. THE HEALTHY DAY
Ferry Building Marketplace
The Market is a very inspiring place. You’ll find local products from wines to chocolates and several restaurants and cafés, too. Every Saturday morning, the outdoor Farmer’s Market attracts lots of locals.
3. THE RAINY DAY
Don’t let California’s occasional downpours stop you. After making an obligatory pilgrimage to City Lights Bookstore to find the writings of the Beat Generation, set foot next door, at the Vesuvio Café. This is where Cassady and Kerouac started it all — the spiritual home of cool. (vesuvio.com)
4. THE GEEK-CHIC DAY
Reserve a day for SoMA (South of Market Street), downtown, Mission and Castro (the gay village) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary. A pastry and a coffee on the rooftop, or a light meal at the restaurant on the first floor -- you decide.
5. THE VEGGIE DAY
Being the birthplace of the beats, the hippies and U.S. liberalism, vegetarian food is a big deal here. You’ll be spoiled for choice.
One of the best restaurants in town, Greens has a lot to offer, even if you’re not a vegetarian. And the view of the Golden Gate Bridge makes the experience unforgettable. Make sure you take a three course meal, allowing for the opportunity to sample the rich menu and try a glass of Textbook, a marvelous Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley.