San Francisco is the place my family goes when we want to try new foods outside of our comfort zone. Notice, the key word here is "want". Half the time that we pile into the car, expecting to do something completely out of character when we reach the City, the realities of our unadventurous natures step in the way and obstruct us from going to half of the wacky restaurants that we’ve been meaning to eat at.
That being said, I guess there are some pros to never expressing my full-fledged foodie instincts at San Francisco. For one, now I am more than familiar with some classic San Francisco hot spots. We often eat mouth-watering bread bowls with clam chowder at Boudin and walk over to Ghiradelli Square for an equally delicious sundae as dessert. So, let me be your food critic for both of these signature San Francisco eateries.
Photo by Farica Yang / Unsplash
The Boudin Bakery is on Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf. The bakery, where you order food, is like a mini sourdough bread factory. If you’re not familiar with sourdough, understand that you’re missing out. Get yourself a loaf of the best bread known to mankind as soon as possible.
At the restaurant, sourdough turtles, koalas, and crustaceans decorate shelves and walls. There’s a grand display of rolls, loaves, and buns, available for purchase. It feels like what could have been a boring and standard factory was designed into a warm environment with food and little friends made of that food inviting you further inside. It is truly a breathtaking sight for any carb lover.
Once you make your order, you can sit outside and enjoy the beach like weather of the piers as you wait for your food. You can get dishes such as salads and sourdough pizzas, but clam chowder served in a hollowed out loaf remains the timeless classic.
It is definitely distinct from other clam chowders I’ve had before, even the clam chowder that I’ve had at other Boudin branches across the Bay Area. Something about the chunks of potato and the chewy clam in the creamy white soup topped with chopped green onion is magical when it reaches your tongue while on a pier in San Francisco.
As you make your way through the soup, you can eat the bowl too. And the texture of the sourdough when it meets the soup becomes something soggy yet heavenly.
After licking up the last few crumbs of your bread bowl, make your way over to Ghiradelli Square, across from the Golden Gate Bridge. It is designed as a cross between a social hub and a chocolate store, making it a place I definitely wish I frequented more. Ghirardelli creates the infamous squares of delectable chocolate often with caramel, mint, or syrup fillings. Why not give a sundae made by the same company a try?
Overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay, Ghirardelli Square is the perfect place to visit to wrap up your trip to the city. Constantly bustling with people, the Square is where many people go for dessert featuring infamous Ghirardelli chocolate incorporated in brownies and fudge sauce. The world famous hot fudge sundae may be a little overpriced, but it’s all for good reason.
You may not think you can finish it all. But trust me, you can.
It has vanilla ice cream, enveloped in layers of their special hot fudge and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Maraschino cherries and bits of peanuts are put on top. Upon first glance, it's nothing more than what you'd expect in a sundae. But upon your first bite, you'll learn it is far from nothing less.
Other sundaes are also available. Land's End and Strike it Rich have salted caramel brownies and butterscotch, respectively. Furthermore, don't forget to stock up on your stash of chocolate and buy as many little squares in different flavors as your heart desires.
San Francisco has more food-related attractions than one could imagine. One day, I'll probably break out of my circle of comfort and try something more daring in the City, but for now, you can never go wrong with the iconic tourist-attracting restaurants which never fail to provide simple yet satisfactory meals for all.