Summer Eats in the San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast burritos and a massive doughnut from Rose Cafe in San Jose.

this was going to be a summer eats in sf post, about all the eats i had in sf while i was working and living there. but then i was looking through my pictures, and was like ooh but what about this and this and this? things that weren’t necessarily eaten in sf during the span of my internship. so, behold, a photo dump and me dreamily waxing about all the bougie summer eats in the san francisco bay area that i consumed.

i was lucky to have such an incredible summer, when i was pre-occupied with what was easily my favorite internship yet. maybe because i actually got to do something besides cold email grad students (half of whom would shut me down and say that their school directory wasn’t meant to be used in such a way and blah blah. YOU THINK I WANTED TO BE DOING THAT?!). maybe because of the really friendly intern cohort i had the privilege of being part of. and maybe because of all the food i got to try.

This black sesame kouign amann (from b. patisserie) is filled with sweet black sesame paste and topped with sesame seeds. #kouignamann #bpatisserie #blacksesame #bpatisserie

day 1 of my internship was already off to a pretty solid start. i went out to lunch with my department, and had shrimp and grits. (not the best choice for an unseasonably warm day in sf, but that’s besides the point). as soon as i left the office at the end of the day, i promptly rushed into b. patisserie 2 minutes before closing to celebrate national kouign amann day with a black sesame kouign amann. if you like liquid black sesame, and you like kouign amanns/croissants/BUTTER, then you would like their black sesame kouign amann. i know they trot it out along with their other lunar new year seasonal offerings too, so fret not if you haven’t tried it yet.

and then, i ended up at vidcon, a youtube convention, on day 2 of my internship. there was a fancy steak dinner that was easily the longest and most expensive dinner i’ve ever had, there was spanish food in downtown disney, there was shrimp ceviche at the airport. work travel is fun :3

Szechuan noodles from Chong Qing Xiao Mian in San Francisco. #noodles #szechuan #sanfrancisco #chinatown

i was feeling a little isolated from the interns, kind of because i was pre-occupied with moving in and settling in and then jetting out of the office. but i knew i was going to get along with them when we went out for szechuan noodles at chong qing xiao mian. if you can share an obscene amount of carbs and laugh through it all, i think that’s a pretty good indicator of people clicking.

Matcha butter mochi and ube pandan ice cream from Garden Creamery in San Francisco. #icecream #gardencreamery #sanfrancisco

i feel like everyone is obsessed with salt & straw, humphrey slocombe and bi-rite creamery in the sf ice cream world. none of them are bad, but none of them are great. greatness came to me in the form of garden creamery, whose startling pink shop is smack dab in the mission. they have flavors like matcha butter mochi and genmaicha and ube pandan that feed the part of me that never gets sick of asian food. my friend got the passionfruit banana, a vegan nice cream, and even that was phenomenal. idk what kind of sorcery this is, but i like it.

Bixby Creek Bridge in Carmel is set amongst lush green hills and plenty of fog. #bixbycreekbridge #carmel #travel #california

i also went to carmel for a day trip. we wanted to do sparklers, but sparklers aren’t allowed on the beach. whoops. it was super windy and cold anyways, so i doubt they would have lit. we ate at a fancy place in downtown and had pan-fried gnocchi and bread pudding, and then made salted caramel kahlua shakes when we got home. #health

This Kahlua salted caramel milkshake has plenty of fudge, an ice cream sandwich and strawberry kit kats. #kahlua #saltedcaramel #icecream #milkshake

there was also this breakfast burrito and doughnut date at rose cafe & donuts with 2 high school friends and a middle school friend, though we all (okay, all of us who’ve been since one of us hasn’t) agreed that ali baba in davis has better breakfast burritos. i apparently also have a thing for large doughnuts.

Birthday dinner at Marlowe in San Francisco complete with Thai curry, risotto and a burger. #marlowe #sanfrancisco #burger #risotto #curry

and then when one of the breakfast date girls turned 21, she and another friend stayed over in my apartment for a night filled with pricey marlowe food, dan tats and dranks (i had a regrettable sugar snap pea cocktail that tasted like alcoholic green juice, though i am into moscow mules after tasting one at that bar, provided that there’s only a drop of vodka).

Carrot mochi with brown butter and pistachio dukkah (State Bird Provisions, San Francisco). #mochi #brownbutter #dukkah #statebirdprovisions #sanfrancisco

and then for my late 21st birthday celebration, my parents took me to state bird provisions. let me tell you, that was pretty ground-breaking. they had a carrot mochi dish with brown butter and pistachio dukkah that i want forevermore, and the ice cream sandwich was much more than your typical drugstore variety. i wasn’t impressed by the dishes that yelpers seemed to love, but i guess that goes to show that yelp shouldn’t be your end all be all.

Indian vegetable dishes with fried bread from Dakshin in San Francisco. #dakshin #indianfood #sanfrancisco

a couple of the interns and i went to dakshin for dosas. we had a masala dosa with potatoes, as well as this platter of tons of veggies, and i was in heaven. they thought it was kind of expensive and bland, but i was blown away. (and then we switched roles when we went to dumpling time, and i was very salty about the bland and expensive and slow dim sum).

The Utah headquarters, aka a glass building smack dab in the middle of nowhere. #utah #office #travel

we went to utah for an intern trip to visit hq, where we met the utah interns and bemoaned the lack of things to do and expensed an all you can eat brazillian steakhouse dinner (the ability to expense the dinner was more satisfying than the food, which must have had some relation to the great salt lakes. i’m funny sometimes, i think). also where i met my new love, harmon’s, home of the cheap limoncello gelato.

This baked Hawaii (Liholiho Yacht Club's take on a baked Alaska), is filled with caramelized pineapple ice cream and vanilla chiffon cake. #bakedalaska #liholihoyachtclub #sanfrancisco #icecream #cake

for our last hurrah, a few of the interns and i went to liholiho yacht club for dinner. i had a life-changing octopus and curried raisin and castelvetrano olive dish. the pics for that didn’t come out great, so i give you a picture of the baked hawaii with caramelized pineapple ice cream, aka the reason i wanted to go. it was ho-hum despite the grandeur, but i shook off the disappointment with a rousing hour of scream-singing destiny’s child and backstreet boys in a not-very-sound-proof karaoke joint.

1 year ago: Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble, Garlicky Swiss Chard with Olives, Parmesan and Raisins
2 years ago: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes, Quinoa Pilaf with Swiss Chard and Dried Apricots
3 years ago: (Vegetarian) Egg Gratin with Swiss Chard and Cherry Tomatoes, Somen Salad
4 years ago: Basic Waffles, Vegan Apple Pie Smoothie

A compilation of my favorites bites and adventures in the Bay Area! Including a kouign amann from b. patisserie and Bixby Creek Bridge in Carmel.

more bay area adventures

The flavorful rice and gingery sauce make this khao mun gai (Thai chicken and rice) from Rooster and Rice in San Francisco.

Rooster and Rice (and 12 Other Restaurants I Went to in SF)

Apricot, blackberry jamble and earl grey ice cream from Tin Pot Creamery in Palo Alto, CA. #icecream #dessert #tinpotcreamery #paloaltoca

Palo Alto: The HSM3 Tree is Impossible to Find

44 Replies to “Summer Eats in the San Francisco Bay Area”

  1. Matcha butter mochi? YES PLEASE! I’m hungry reading about your delicious adventures, Heather! Have a great week!

    1. it seemed kind of light on the butter mochi, but also not sure how they would incorporate that (would chunks of butter mochi lose the chew and just get hard and frozen? idk). it was still an awesome matcha ice cream though (:

  2. Sounds like a great internship! After a (former) life full of business travel, I can honestly say, the food possibilities are often the best part! Also a nice hotel is always good!

    1. the food may have been one of the best perks (but then again, when is food not the highlight?!).

      1. Agreed. Can’t think of a time….

  3. Sounds like an incredible internship! Now I’m hungry and want some sun

    1. i’m kind of over the sun for a bit (it’s in the high 70s right now and i had to turn on the a/c when i was driving this afternoon), so you can take it for a bit (:

  4. Lets just talk about that LIFE CHANGING OCTOPUS A LITTLE MORE because now I am thinking about my life changing octopus experience… UGHHH!!!! SO STINKIN’ DELICIOUS! I need to figure out how to perfect it. And now that I know YOU like it, it gives me more motivation to find a way to cook it, so you can make it too!!!

    1. OCTOPUS IS THE BEST (and tbh i’m surprised you’re into it because most people are like …octopus). in other unusual seafood enjoyment news, have you had jellyfish? i really like that too.

  5. OMG so many delicious adventures. So glad you enjoyed your internship! I’ve been on that side of cold-emailing too and it’s really not so fun haha. You’re making me hungry with your food stories!

    1. yeah, cold-emailing is not fun at all. nor do i feel like it’s really effective or efficient, so it really should be banished as a work activity (;

  6. It’s so cool to see another SoCal blogger!

    It has been a few months since I’ve been in SF but always love looking at the cool eateries up there! Glad that your internship went well for your first day. That kouign amann looks interesting. Work travel is definitely fun! Haha, I make sure to take advantage whenever I can ;). I’m probably one of hte few people who still hasn’t been to Salt & Straw yet. All of the food looks delicious, especially the milkshake!!!

    Thanks for sharing some of these cool eateries from the Bay!

    1. they have salt & straw in la too, so hopefully you can try it out sometime! they also have a soft serve bar in portland (along with the usual salt & straw’s), with a really tasty coconut and roasted strawberry soft serve (plus they have BLACK SESAME MAGICAL SHELL).

  7. Ooo I have seen some of these this week on your Instagram! All of the food you tried looks great, I would love to try that purple (maybe dark blue?) ice cream from garden creamery. I’m happy you enjoyed your internship!! πŸ™‚

    1. yeah it was purple! ube coconut. it was tasty when i sampled it, but that gorgeous purple color sealed the deal (:

  8. I love all the food you ate! I will definitely have to hit up some of those places next time I’m in the city!! Xoxo πŸ™‚

  9. Just love the colour of the garden creamery ice cream!

    1. yeah!! they were so bright, but also not artificial looking like rainbow sherbet looks (;

  10. Haha! Sounds like you had one amazing summer, Heather. Food is funny like that. It can absolutely bring people together (I mean we all have to eat, right), and it sounds like food was a bonding point for the interns. Also, is that an ice cream sandwich stuffed into a milkshake? Haha! Awesome!

    1. yeah! we made kahlua milkshakes, and decided to be extravagant about them (hence the nice fudge drip and sprinkle rim and ice cream sandwich and strawberry kit kats haha).

  11. Wow! So many different kinds of food! I live vicariously through your food excursions Heather, because living in Indiana, I’m a little sheltered. OK…A lot sheltered! Imagine that? It’s been about 12 years or so since I’ve been to Cali, and I miss it! It’s too bad that baked hawaii with caramelized pineapple ice cream was not amazing like you thought it would be. It looks freaking amazing, dang it! Anyhoo, Happy Hump day! ha!

    1. ahhh hope you can visit california soon – there’s so much to eat (oh, and i suppose see/do πŸ˜‰). i think i wanted more pineapple in the baked hawaii. next time i should just bring some pineapple along in a container and eat it with the dessert (or maybe just try to make it at home!).

  12. Yum! All of these dishes seems mouth-watering and delightful! Great pictures!

  13. So many places! They all sound great and so many different types of food too!

  14. I love people who try so many different things..and don’t just stick to one favorite cuisine!! Your post is full of amazing food pictures..and I have got major cravings now!!

    1. there’s so many different cuisines in sf that it feels like a waste to just stick to one thing (;

  15. Wow, so many great eats!
    Could lick the screen!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. they need to invent lick-a-screen or smell-vision asap (;

  16. You have me drooling here. Everything looks and sounds so delicious and I’m digging for that matcha butter mochi. Got to get me some:)

    1. it’s more of a matcha ice cream than matcha butter mochi ice cream, but still super tasty (:

  17. LOL! Your last hurrah sounds like so much fun! I don’t have the nerve to sing in front of people (it’s just as well since I can’t carry a tune). What a great internship and incredible dinning experience you had in SF! All the food look amazing!!

    1. for me, it’s about how comfortable i am with the people i’m karaoke-ing with. i can do a private karaoke room with friends, but if you put me in a karaoke bar with a bunch of strangers, i don’t think that would go over so well πŸ˜…

  18. Those wraps look soooooo good I’m drooling

    1. they were breakfast burritos! so tasty (and that doughnut didn’t hurt either).

  19. UM OK so now I have my to do list the next time I am in SF! My sister used to live there so it was my vacation home as I joked…now she lives in LA which is also a great vacation home but I still miss my SF visits! Looks like it’s gotten even tastier!

    1. ahhh yes hope you can get to sf for a food trip asap! la is a fun food place too, but i like how easy sf is to walk around in (plus those unprotected lefts in la make me sweat).

  20. I LOVE trying the local cuisine whenever I am in that neck of the woods! Great post, and crazy yummy looking photos! < 3 –

    1. same! i don’t really get people who travel super far… and then go to a place that they could go to at home.

  21. Always so much fun reading your food travels! Those NOODLES! <3 and your ice cream looks like a mini bee hive! I really should get out more πŸ˜‰

    1. ahhh the noodles were so good. the perfect amount of spicy where it tingles, but you can still taste the flavor of everything else instead of being overwhelmed by the heat!

  22. All the food looks so good — especially the noodles!! Glad you had a great internship — it’s awesome that they flew you out to Utah as well!

    1. yeah! they were super generous with work travel, and i got to go to a convention that i’d personally been wanting to go to for a while.

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