Zuni Roasted Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad

The list that details how we will pack our tummies while adventuring away from home can be as essential as the one that reminds us to pack our toothbrush. Here are some post-mortem thoughts on our travels that may be useful to you one day.

When it comes to filling your stomach, there are few cities that can compete with the abundance and quality that can be found in San Francisco. It’s a city that I would have on annual rotation if I could. We’ve been several times, and as soon as the ticket is booked, I’m making reservations and carefully selecting our dining destinations. Sure San Francisco is beautiful, the rolling hills, pastel hued Victorian walk ups, the famed bridge, a bustling China town, but to me the food is the star. These are the places that I will be back to over and over. I recommend you do the same.

Zuni Cafe – A San Francisco institution. A mecca of California cuisine at its best that draws upon what is local, seasonal, and fresh. And the chicken. It takes an hour. It is perfectly roasted. It’s served with a Tuscan bread salad that has beautiful bread chunks that have been perfectly sopped with sweet chicken drippings and a perfect vinaigrette. It has a cult like following and is worth the wait and the hype.

Tartine Bakery – Simply the best bakery ever. EVER. Follow the aroma of baking goodness and get ready to queue.

Bar Tartine – Beautiful food that is seasonal, fresh, and simple but inventive in the Mission. I was wild over the gorgeous French beans that were lightly battered, fried, and served with creme fraiche on our last visit. And brunch is outstanding.

Yank Sing – Dim Sum heaven. I’m still dreaming about the soup dumplings. I only wished that I had a second stomach. Seriously.

The Slanted Door – Modern Vietnamese that is so fresh, fragrant, and perfect in the Ferry Building. With incredible food and views of the Bay Bridge, don’t even think about going without a reservation. The shaking beef and cellophane noodles with crab are divine.

Michael Recchiuti – This little chocolate shop in the Ferry Building is my favorite chocolate in the whole wide world. I love it so much that when I’m in the states, due to a terrible “no shipping to Canada” policy, I have it shipped to my hotel. The rose caramel, cassis strata, and fleur de sel caramels are insane.

Boulette’s Larder – Chef Amaryll Schwertner’s breakfast mecca in the Ferry Building is not to be missed. With a daily changing menu that is fool proof from beginning to end, it’s tempting to eat there every day. Perfectly prepared dishes like poached eggs with kimchi pork, or baked eggs in lobster cream with escarole will start your foodie day off just right. Even the toast is exquisite.

Mamacita – Mexican food in the Marina. A perfect place for a stroll to walk off the amazing guacamole, ceviches, tacos, and perhaps a flight of tequila?

Quince – Italian inspired fine dining in a buttery glowing intimate space. The food is exquisite. The pasta courses are so good that I’ve been tempted to order more than one and skip the main. This address will be a splurge, but a worthy one.