eating (and drinking) around san francisco

Red's Java House

Sisterly bonding at Red's Java House.

Though Slow Food Nation was certainly the main purpose for my recent visit to San Francisco, this richly diverse city is one of the best places to eat (and drink) any day of the year. I felt extremely fortunate to be there for many reasons, especially to enjoy an opportunity to hang with my seees-stir, Lauri (and also to crash on her sofa for 4 nights). As the trusty and most excellent General Manager of Range Restaurant (our dinner there during the first evening of my visit was a sublime treat), she is dialed into the local food scene on many levels..... from street food to fancy pants, she knows ooodles of great places to sip and nosh in the city she has made her home since 1996. Because there was an ongoing heat wave, plus the fact that I was walking about 10 miles around town each day and am perpetually hungry during any vacation I take..... it seemed that it was always either 'beer o'clock' or time to eat something yummy (or both)!

El Cachanilla

Lauri orders us lunch at El Cachanilla.

Red’s Java House (on the Embarcadero, top) is a great pitt stop for cheap, cold draft beer, free homemade chips & salsa and an ocean view. Situated next to a working boatyard overlooking San Francisco Bay, The Ramp offers more beer, a diverse crowd and pretty decent calamari. The fresh and authentic fish tacos in the Mission's, El Cachanilla (above) proved especially convenient, being only a one block waddle from Lauri's home. Chow (Church Street location) is one of my all time favs; its super friendly staff serve up consistently delicious, hearty, rustic fare that always satisfies (try the home made, warm gingerbread cake with caramel sauce and pumpkin ice cream- lordy!!). Every Saturday is the Alemany Farmers Market which is far more extensive and casual than the Ferry Building's Farmers Market. Though its industrial location is not nearly as scenic, its prices are certainly far more reasonable. Get there early and stock up for the week. Not only will you have had an opportunity to meet and buy from the growers directly, you will head home with a stunning bounty of locally grown, healthy food that will cost you less than a buggy full from Safeway.

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