SF Chefs celebrated its fifth anniversary as one of the city's favorite food festivals. The 2013 Grand Tasting Tent saw leading local restaurants prove why the Bay Area rocks the culinary world.
'Bay Area' on Serious Eats
Locals and tourists mob San Francisco's historic Ferry Building for awesome food with locavore flare. We're taking a tour with stops at our favorite vendors.
From home brewing and Thai cooking classes to foraging walks and farmers markets, the San Francisco Bay Area has dozens of events on offer for food lovers of all stripes. See what's on the calendar for the next two weeks.
From hand pulled noodles doused in a savory sesame paste sauce, to a bowl of Chinese bacon and smoked peppers, to tender Afghan mantoo dumplings, Chinatown's offerings go far beyond the wide ranging variety of Chinese cuisines. Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Middle Eastern restaurants all hold court here.
Oakville Grocery is almost as much a Napa institution as the rolling fields of wine grapes that surround it. A gourmet grocery-store-cum-sandwich-spot, Oakville has long been a destination for wine country picnickers and limo tours in need of sustenance in the middle of a long day of tasting. We recently tried all the sandwiches on their menu, and then took a tour of nearby Rudd Farms, which provides much of the grocery's goods directly.
Cheap oysters, BYO beverages, beach setup, and water views? Tomales Bay Oyster Company has it all. Here's a look at one of the cheaper, more fun ways I know to knock back a few dozen oysters.
It began as a hobby, with a musical nickname bestowed upon him by satisfied diners. Informed by years on the road that involved making pizza for musicians from Naples, music manager Greg DiGiovine was slowly consumed by his alter ego, Tony Tutto.
Mozzeria is a great spot for Neapolitan pizzas, both traditional and imaginative. They do everything right by using the best oven, wood, and ingredients. But what sets them apart is that the owners and many of the craftspeople and waitstaff involved in building and running the place are Deaf.
Piccino provides a most inviting setting for a lunch of salad, pizza, and a glass of wine. Yet if the Margherita mostly fulfills the promise of the ambiance, the more daring topping combinations can prove quite jarring.
San Francisco pizzaiola Sharon Ardiana makes her money turning out pies with unorthodox toppings, yet the ingredient list on her pie that most lingers in my memory would almost be at home in your corner slice shop. The Atomica pizza that Ardiana serves at Gialina arrives covered in tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, strips of mushroom, and some red onion. She also adds some chili—not enough to go thermo-nuclear, just a gentle heat that ties together the sweet of the sauce, the bite of the onion, and the earthy mushroom flavors. I've called her a topping wizard in the past, and that certainly holds true on this pie.
If you're looking to take advantage of one of the few true summer days in the Bay Area, and wouldn't mind enjoying a slice of wood-fired pizza along with your vitamin D, Bar Bocce's patio might be right up your alley.
Delarosa, while still a great exemplar of the power of seasonal, fresh ingredients on pizza, falls short of its two predecessors. This isn't to say that Delarosa is not good. It is—very, and the Marina restaurant is almost always packed to the gills. However, when considering their pizzas, I continually find myself drawing unfavorable comparisons to the Italian-style classics of Beretta and the winning California pies at Starbelly.
You know those mornings. Those mornings when coffee just isn't enough. When you need a jolt of something extra—a sugar rush. Fortunately, the Bay Area is amply stocked with sweet breakfast treats: from French-style pastries to (almost) classic blueberry muffins. We searched far and wide for the best of the best, and narrowed the field to our 11 favorite breakfast pastries all over San Francisco and beyond.
You may remember when we mentioned that Coffee Bar was set to host San Francisco's "Nomadic Pizza Throw-Down", a mobile vendor pizza taste-off that raised $2480 for tsunami victims in neighboring Japan. At this event four mobile pizzaiolos made pizza for over 300 charitable/hungry people whose $12 admission bought a beverage, a slice from each competitor, and a vote to decide the winner. Coffee Bar called it a "tasty approach to global citizenry". What follows is a rundown of the pizzas sampled from the day.
Tucked away in North Berkeley, Gioia Pizzeria is serving slices like those owner Will Gioia remembers from his Brooklyn youth—though it's doubtful Gioia was ever served a slice of pizza with asparagus and mint at his corner slice shop back in NYC.
In this beautiful short video from Pizza Quest, renown baker and pizza hound Peter Reinhart visits Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco and talks to owner–executive chef Craig Stoll and his head pizzaman, Anthony Strong. Well worth the watch, folks.
3611 18th Street, San Francisco CA 94110; 415-437-6800
2406 California Street, San Francisco CA 94115; 415-440-1189
Deli Board does their meats well, all of them, so be sure to pick a combination that is meat-centric. Like the Jay, one of their daily "Board" specials (posted every morning). It's a hefty pile of tissue-thin, succulent turkey, hot cherry peppers, provolone, and tangy "board sauce."
The lavish interior at Ristobar does not evoke confidence that this is a pizza place. But the oval-shaped pies that come out of the kitchen are highly enjoyable and so light that you feel you could eat several without filling up.
On some of Sumo Grub's dishes, the tempura-fried exterior actually elevates the final product. On others, such as the pizza, it feels more like a stunt. But if that stunt earns you a plate of fried goodies, it's not all bad.