Healthy and Sane

Eating my way through San Francisco

September 28th, 2010 · 32 Comments · San Francisco

I’m back from California and am once again trying to somehow make sense of 300+ pictures and tell a little story for you guys. You know my stories – they usually star lots of food. That’s how we do it in the Healthy and Sane family 😉

Btw, before we begin, I just wanted to remind you to please VOTE for my second challenge post so that I could advance to level 3 of Project Food Blog. I cooked the chili crab the night before our vacation, scouting out the crabs and then facing my fears (all while being sick) … and then blogged about it while in San Francisco. That’s dedication, don’t you think? This week I hope to have the chance to throw a dinner party – definitely a challenge given that we just got back, I’m still getting over my cold and I have plans for every night of the week. But I’m willing to do the hard work. I just need your votes to make it all worth it! Thanks again!! 😀

All right, so San Francisco. I’m not going to lie – we flew there to eat. It’s known to be a foodie city and well, I love food. San Francisco climate also allows farmers to grow produce all-year round so the city is known for their local/seasonal movement. I was excited! I emailed everyone I knew has ever been to San Francisco, read lots of reviews and restaurant recommendations online and jotted down more restaurants than meals we could possibly fit in our 3 days there. It was really fun drooling just thinking about the upcoming trip. :) And then I got a cold the day before our flight. I woke up coughing my lungs out the morning of, and continued coughing and sniffling through the nearly 7-hour flight there (yes, unfortunately, I was one of those people)… and then in our cab. It was miserable. I just hoped that I could get better soon to actually enjoy the trip. I’ve been looking forward to it for nearly a year (since I was bombarded with a million Foodbuzz festival 2009 posts and fell in love).


After settling in in our hotel room (in a smoking room because that’s all they had before official check-in time and I couldn’t wait to get in), I sent Adam off to Walgreens. A nap, a shower, a “healthy” amount of drugs and a whole lot of will power got me through the rest of day 1. I could stomach not much more than 1/2 of this tomato soup in a bread bowl from Boudin (which is an institution in SF!! We went to the one in Fisherman’s Wharf – it was a gorgeous bakery with awesome edible goodies and cookware).

We did a bit more exploring that day. The HILLS were killer for this sick girl. The best part was that despite canceling all of our dinner reservations we found that every single random restaurant we checked had a sustainable/organic menu so I still got to sample lots of amazing food without compromising my standards. My favorite spot in day 1 (that went unpictured) was Farmer Brown – their iced tea was delicious (Adam enjoyed a beer, of course) and the pulled pork sliders were the best I’ve ever had! The vibe was phenomenal too. I knew the food would save this trip even if I had to fight that damn cold. 😀


We checked into a new hotel which was smoke free and didn’t make me dread going back to the room for a quick nap here and there. [I totally want a window bench at home now!!]

A trip to the Ferry Building was not to be missed. We made sure to go when they also had their farmers market there. I brought my appetite this time. :) We walked through the building twice – there were so many options! Adam got pretty excited about the “Tasty Salty Pig Parts” at Boccalone.

I ended up with a roasted pork sandwich from Il Cane Rosso, which was phenomenal! The pork was so tender and juicy.

Since I had my camera out and all, I figured I’d take a few pictures of the inside for you 😉

You probably can’t read the small print – it says “organic, of course.” That made me and Adam laugh, because after reading every menu in every restaurant and seeing that the restaurant was committed to sustainable practices and sourced organic food (locally, if possible) – we always said “of course.” It was seriously SO cool! I want this for Boston so bad!!!

They take the term “slow food” literally – I had to wait in line for my sandwich forever and then waited forever to get a cupcake… except changed my mind at the end. Sometimes a wait is good. Except I totally want one now :) More scenes from the FB….

I LOVED this ranch’s set up. They made vegetables and fruit look like art.

Look at the rhubarb in vases!!

Scenes outside the building…

SF’s “street food” was the fanciest I’ve ever seen. Again – all sustainable, local, fresh and amazingly creative.

[The juiciest plums I’ve ever tasted – I got one for dessert :) ]

Sorry, ladies – he’s taken 😉

More walking around SF… and more eating of course.

[My sister and I used to LOVE beard papa‘s puffs. This little guy brought some good NY memories :) ]

Oh and of course I needed a (red velvet) cupcake to make up for the one I didn’t get before…

CRAZY awesome. The cream cheese frosting was so tasty. I also bought some cookies for a homeless woman and her dog and she seemed to like it (the dog was totally out and didn’t care for it though :( ).

[Union Square]


Egg, goat cheese, spinach and mushroom sandwich on a housemade english muffin. Simple and delicious.

If I ever turned around and Adam was looking off into a completely different direction…

… there were probably some Ducatis parked or driving by. He was ready to move to SF just for that!

So we’ve been eating well so far, but what did I think of the city? To be honest, I thought it would be way cuter. The food scene was awesome. The Ferry Building was super cool (I really perked up when we got there despite having a fever 😳 ), the Mission District was full of amazing restaurants but definitely up and coming in that dirty but somewhat hip way (think: Brooklyn) … but the rest of the streets seemed too large, hilly and not that exciting. The fisherman’s wharf (except for the giant Boudin bakery) is my idea of a touristy nightmare. Anyways, I was SO happy when on our last day there, I finally found the San Francisco I imagined it would be. On Fillmore st! It was full of cute boutiques, small bustling restaurants and this gem that totally made me realize I could move to SF. Fraiche is my idea of heaven. I loved everything about it – the sleek, clean vibe, the creative (and organic, of course 😆 ) mix ins. I mean there was hand-shaven chocolate. I want to go back!!

[Vehrona chocolate frozen yogurt with raspberry syrup, almond chips and shaven chocolate]

Our walk over to Chestnut St and Union St (both cool too) provided a bit a calorie burn and spectacular views.

… and I decided that a cupcake was a respectable lunch. I make up the rules on vacation (especially when I’m sick and do not crave salads!!)


Our dinner plans were pretty special the last night. We met up with Lara and Matt for a few drinks and food. Lara was my very first commenter on Healthy and Sane (outside of family members) and we’ve kept in touch ever since. It was really cool to meet her in person! The food was definitely secondary (read: I didn’t care for it) but it was still a really fun night. 😀

I’m so glad I was semi-healthy for this meet-up. This is one “reservation” I did not want to cancel. Lara, can I talk you into moving to Boston? 😆

DAY 4 – the last morning

Sorry, I know this is getting looooooong (this is not even everything!). Last one, I promise. Before heading to Napa, we stopped by Yank Sing for some dim sum. Adam needed to try some and I was hoping to taste some sustainable Chinese food for the first time in my life. I don’t think it was, unfortunately (the only restaurant we saw that wasn’t!) so I stuck to the traditional steamed shrimp dumplings and the vegetarian offerings. All were delicious! :)

Pea shot dumplings

Spinach dumplings

… and then it was time for Napa!!!

Sorry for the long post. Let me know if you want to see a few pictures from Napa. I can cover that tomorrow :)

Thanks again for reading my ramblings (and please don’t forget to vote!). :mrgreen:

PS – Who’s going to the Foodbuzz festival this year? I’m considering flying over but need a roommate… or 10 :)

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Megan

    Looks like an incredible trip! We’re supposed to get something like the ferry building market here in Boston… I cannot wait! My sister sent me a picture of the tasty salty pig parts place when she was in SF. I hope you’re feeling better (I’ve been sick all week so I feel your pain).

  • #2 - Lizzy

    Voted for you! Such a great post with so many fun events!! And lots of yummy food. I need to get back to San Fran now that I am a foodie : )

  • #3 - Jen

    Looks like a great trip so far. Great pics. Can’t wait to hear about Napa!

  • #4 - Michelle

    Your trip looks like it was just what you needed…plenty of good food and friends! I love the pictures of the dumplings!

  • #5 - Shannon

    aah, so glad to see this post up! bummer about your cold, but it looks like you were still able to try some amazing food!!! umm, fraiche please! isn’t the food/freshness/awareness amazing?!

  • #6 - Tiffany

    God, I love Boudins. I daydream about their sour dough!

    I miss my California cuisine. San Francisco is my favorite city in the country for food. Did you make it to House of Nanking at all (the aesthetics alone make it worth the trip, lol).

    Bummer to be sick on vacation, but those cupcakes look like they’d be tolerable enough to make a couple sneeze no big deal 😉

  • #7 - MelissaNibbles

    Wow! I want to go there just for the food too. I’m glad you had a great time and enjoyed everyday to the fullest :)

  • #8 - Lauren

    What a wonderful documentation of a yummy trip :). John is traveling to San Fran on a business trip for the next few days, but somehow I doubt he’s going to have time to check out any of those fabulous eateries.

    You of course have my vote for round 2!

    I’d love to go to Foodbuzz, but simply can’t afford it :(.

  • #9 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    i totally agree about San Fran being a foodie town – my husband and I literally ate our way through San Fran and Napa last summer, amazingness. I’d love to see some of your Napa pics!

  • #10 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    that pancake looks delish

  • #11 - Sues

    Wow, it looks like an amazing trip!!! Love all the cupcakes :) I’m super excited to head back to San Fran for Foodbuzz, even though it will be a bit of a whirlwind trip. You should definitely come!!

  • #12 - Betsy

    Sorry you were sick for the first part of your trip Elina but the photos are gorgeous and it looks like you had a great time!

    I would like to see Napa pics!

    I am not going to the Foodbuzz fest because I have too much going on but I want to, maybe next year.

  • #13 - Jasmine @ Eat Move Write

    I love these pictures. My husband and I honeymooned in SF and this really made me miss it. We went in March and nearly froze our tails off.

    I would love to see pics of Napa. I’ve never been!

  • #14 - Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    Oh look, Lobster mushrooms! Awesome!

  • #15 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    You take such beautiful pictures, I love reading this post and all the highlights of your trip. I haven’t been to SF in years and my friends there have been bugging me to visit, I think it’s time I plan my trip! My sisters and I love beard papa’s too!

  • #16 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Love the recap! Definitely would enjoy hearing and seeing your visit to Napa!

    So many great pics! You’re right that those fruits and veggies look like art! I love San Fransisco and this takes me right back. So neat you could meat up with the Thinspired couple!

  • #17 - sister inna

    omg so amazing. i’m toootally drooling.
    most of the beard papa locations in nyc have closed down ( i don’t know why — D and i were avid “supporters”), i miss them so :(
    i want a food-cation too.

    • #18 - Elina

      The one and only location closed in Boston too. I was so happy to see them in SF! Wanna come with me in November? 😉

  • #19 - Daisy

    I think I came down with the same sickness as you last friday. I was out of work yesterday with a fever, up all night coughing, sneezing, the works. :( A weekend of nonstop drinking probably didnt help my cause.

    I love SF! I want to go back so badly. I never made it to the FB, but I did hit up Alcatraz, GG Park and Haight-Ashbury! There is so much to see, do and eat. Can’t wait for Napa

  • #20 - Allie

    beuatiful pictures. i had the cold of death too. must have been going around boston.

  • #21 - Shannon

    What a week you had! I have only spent a short amount of time in San Francisco, but its a great city and I’d love to spend more time there. Thanks for sharing so many pictures. Looks like a great time!

  • #22 - eliza

    what a fun post! thanks for being honest and so cute :)

  • #23 - Katie @ The Small Boston Kitchen

    What an amazing trip! I love how you told the story through pictures, they came out great. Made me really want to head out that way!

  • #24 - Gwyn

    So I love all your photos and your trip looked amazing. I have to admit I wasn’t sold on a trip to SF until I saw the FarWest Fungi picture. That looks like a place I could hang out! Love your post!!!

  • #25 - Drinking in Napa

    […] Eating my way through San Francisco […]

  • #26 - Cara

    So we’re planning to go to Key West in December and now you’ve totally got me re-thinking. Damn!

  • #27 - One Healthy Apple

    Your pictures are beautiful. I work a few blocks from the Ferry Building and am pretty ashamed that I have never tried their street food. Some parts of SF are hit and miss- but it can really be beautiful- depending on where you go.

    I’ll be at foodbuzz, but not staying in a hotel since I live here 😉

  • #28 - We are not Martha

    San Fran is seriously the best city. Your gorgeous pictures are making me SO excited to head back out in November! Speaking of… I reallyyyyyy hope you’re going to the foodbuzz festival!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) Go, go, go! :)

    Also, that picture of Adam in front of the palm trees and your caption cracked me up. He looks like a celebrity with his shades on!! Cool dude!


  • #29 - PFB C#3: Luxury dinner for 6

    […] Eating my way through San Francisco […]

  • #30 - Week 3: the unknown (+new challenge)

    […] Eating my way through San Francisco […]

  • #31 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Finally getting around to reading this in full!

    I am so glad you got to try Fraiche…I am totally obsessed with it! My favorite is their soy fro yo…it’s amazing if you like the taste of soy like I do :)

    We had so much fun at dinner with you guys. I wish we lived closer so we could do it more often.

    My dad loves that dim sum place! I haven’t been myself, but I will be sure to go now that I’ve seen your photos. What a nice post to capture your trip :)

  • #32 - Jess

    Ahhh!! This totally reminded me about my trip to SF/wine country! Only difference? We were in Sonoma vs. Napa. Isn’t it amazing there though?? LOVED IT THERE!! So glad you did too! :)