Category Archives: Food & Drink

Best Hangover Breakfasts

By Ben Pack
Photos by Frank Leal

You wake up, and through your squinting eyes you remember that it’s Sunday. You try to piece together last night, but somewhere between that second shot of Jager and the AMF you lose it. That doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters now is recovery. Most of society is already up and functioning, so you gather your friends and decide it’s time to go. Where to, you ask? Well we’ve got you covered. We have assembled five of the best hangover breakfasts for you to get set on your day. From greasy, to soupy, to meaty; we’ve got the bases covered. Now hurry, that essay due tomorrow isn’t going to write itself.

 

HRD Coffee Shop is caffenating the SOMA district with freshly brewed coffee and feeding hungry San Franciscans with oddities as their entrees such as the spicy kimchee burrito or BBQ pork scrambled eggs. HRD Coffee shop is located on 3rd street and Bryant. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
HRD Coffee Shop is caffenating the SOMA district with freshly brewed coffee and feeding hungry San Franciscans with oddities as their entrees such as the spicy kimchee burrito or BBQ pork scrambled eggs. HRD Coffee shop is located on 3rd street and Bryant. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

HRD Coffee Shop
521 3rd St

Go here if hungover on: Soju
Suggested Item: Korean Breakfast Cheeseburger $6.50

Let’s be frank. When looking to crush a hangover, you don’t need the classiest establishment around. You just need good food, and HRD has got you covered there. HRD offers both American and Korean options when it comes to getting your morning right. The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, but don’t let that hack Guy Fieri influence you, it’s actually a great place to eat.

The bright white walls in the front may be a little harsh on your headache, but after you pass through the door you’re immediately hit with the smell of grilled pork products and can move into the much warmer dining space in the back.

The item to get is definitely the Korean Cheeseburger. It’s a delicious burger topped with the traditional mayo, lettuce, and tomato; but also with hash browns, spicy pork, bacon, and a fried egg. These burgers are stacked high and may be a mess to eat, but they will easily crush any residual aches and pains caused by a late night out. And for only $6.50 they’re more than worth it.

Another option worth exploring is the Korean breakfast burrito. A burrito with two scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, spicy pork or chicken, and kimchi all for under $6.

Breakfast is served until 10:30, so if you’re a late riser after drinking it will be a rush to get there in time but it will be oh so worth it.

 

The Shanghai House is the outer Richmonds Chinese food spot. Located on Balboa Street and 28th Avenue, The Shanghai House is offering crowd favorite dumplings and potstickers for San Franciscans to explore. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
The Shanghai House is the outer Richmonds Chinese food spot. Located on Balboa Street and 28th Avenue, The Shanghai House is offering crowd favorite dumplings and potstickers for San Franciscans to explore. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Shanghai House
4052 Balboa

Go here if hungover on: Rice Wine
Suggested Item: Steamed Pork Dumplings 10 for $4.95

If greasy and fatty isn’t your jam when it comes to a hangover cure, why not try Shanghai House. It’s small, fast, and crowded. There’s usually a line out the door, and if you’re whole party isn’t there the efficient (read: fast but really rude) wait staff won’t even acknowledge your existence, so come in one car. That being said once you get in and seat yourselves around the table you will be transported to a world of pure imagination. And dumplings, lots and lots of dumplings.

Shanghai House offers many Americanized Chinese dishes, but you are better off just bypassing all of that and going straight for the dumplings. They only offer pork and vegetarian options for dumplings, but the quality of them makes it easy to polish off ten (or more) by yourself, and it’s worth it at under $5. Another choice, if you’re not in the mood for delicious soup-filled satchels of divinity, is the vegetarian goose, which is actually crispy bean curd stuffed with mushrooms for just over $4.

 

The Boulevard Cafe is the defining line of San Francisco Estalbishments, Sitting conveniently on John Daly Blvd in Daly City. Boulevard is creating delectible traditionally American food, with excellent service and a full bar.
The Boulevard Cafe is the defining line of San Francisco Estalbishments, Sitting conveniently on John Daly Blvd in Daly City. Boulevard is creating delectible traditionally American food, with excellent service and a full bar.

 

Boulevard Café
2 Poncetta Drive (Daly City)

Go here if hungover on: Vodka Redbull
Suggested Item: “The Hangover” $10.50

While just out of the San Francisco City Limits, it’s important to offer at least one choice to our commuting alcoholics, and if you’re coming from Daly City, Boulevard Café is where you want to be. Formerly the Red Roof Café, offers typical diner food at reasonable prices. But you don’t care about that. You want a big plate of greasy, messy food so you can forget about last night when you sang along with Rihanna in the middle of the club. Whatever dude, don’t worry about it, that was awesome. Those girls totally loved it.

If you find your way in this reputable establishment, be sure to go with the appropriately titled “Hangover” plate. Hash browns topped with chili, two eggs, cheese, green onions, jalapenos, tomatoes salsa, and toast. This massive plate costs a mere $10.50, and will not only cure your liquor hangover, it will also put you in a new, arguably less painful food hangover. If you want something a little more traditional you can’t go wrong with their ham and cheese omelette. But get the Hangover, man. It’s called the Hangover!

 

Pork Store Cafe sits off of Haight and Masonic and offers the busy Haight crowd with their version of breakfast offering every itteration of bacon and eggs that can be possible. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
Pork Store Cafe sits off of Haight and Masonic and offers the busy Haight crowd with their version of breakfast offering every itteration of bacon and eggs that can be possible. Photo on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Pork Store Café
1451 Haight Street

Go here if hungover on: Microbrews
Suggested Item: Pork Store Special $9.50

When you wake up regretting having one too many, the only cure is meat. Satisfy this craving by paying a visit to the Pork Store Cafe, which specializes in, you guessed it, pork. Whether it be chopped, cutlet-ed, or baconed; Pork Store offers many delicious breakfast options when it comes to pigging out… on pig.

The atmosphere is very homely. You feel like you’re on a country farm with mom in the kitchen, cooking you up something special. Then you look outside and see all the hipster homeless and remember you’re in the Haight.

If you want to shed your mortal coil and transcend into a pork-fuled Nirvana, the Pork Store Special is for you. The plate is two of their signature pork chops, coupled with two eggs, hash browns, and a biscuit or toast. Another choice dish is the chicken fried steak. And if you’re a vegetarian, I’m sure you could get toast or something. But go home, you’re ruining everyone’s fun.

 

Sea Breeze Cafe is nestled in the outer sunset, off of Judah and 45th street. Offering a blend of classic American comfort foods with their own blend of subtle fusions from their chipotle eggs benedict al the way to dinner plates including their own rendition of Mamas meatloaf.
Sea Breeze Cafe is nestled in the outer sunset, off of Judah and 45th street. Offering a blend of classic American comfort foods with their own blend of subtle fusions from their chipotle eggs benedict al the way to dinner plates including their own rendition of Mamas meatloaf.

Sea Breeze Café
3940 Judah St

Go here if hungover on: Rum
Suggested Item: Chipotle Benedict $9.95

Why not wash away your nausea after a night full of pillaging with the salty sting of the sea. Located blocks from the beach, the Sea Breeze Cafe offers an extensive menu of breakfast options, as well as lunch and dinner. But you’re not there for that. You’re there because you need to get something in you to soak up last night’s sorrows.

The “house favorite” Chipotle Benedict will also be your new favorite. The special is the pretty straightforward: poached eggs and canadian bacon on an english muffin coated in a chipotle sauce. Let the spice wash away the residual taste of alcohol as you enjoy this spin on a traditional breakfast. Since you’re right there anyway, Sea Breeze offers plenty of seafood options, including a salmon fillet over eggs, if you want to be healthy or whatever.

Food Tours

By Vanessa Serpas
Photos by Gabriella Gamboa

Gourmet Walks chocolate tour guide Nicole Lewis (middle) has tourists try fine chocolates in front of the Ferry Plaza on Friday April 19, 2013. Gourmet Chocolate Tour is an artisanal tasting trip from the San Francisco Waterfront to Union Square
Gourmet Walks chocolate tour guide Nicole Lewis (middle) has tourists try fine chocolates in front of the Ferry Plaza on Friday April 19, 2013. Gourmet Chocolate Tour is an artisanal tasting trip from the San Francisco Waterfront to Union Square

By Vanessa Serpas
Photos by Gabriella Gamboa

Whether you are a local or new to San Francisco, one item you must cross off your “things to
do in SF” list is a food tour. With San Francisco’s eclectic neighborhoods and diverse culture,
there are great restaurants all throughout the city that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
And the great part about the food tours is that you can leave all the details to your tour guide.

All you have to do is purchase your ticket and show up to taste some great dishes at some of
the best locations in the Bay Area. Below are some great options for you to try.

Grub Crawl
780 Potrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
www.grubcrawl.com / $40 – $50 per person

Baseball season is here and the Giants are back at it, working on getting another
championship win! After all the magic that has happened at AT&T Park, what fan
wouldn’t want a private tour of the stadium? Well you’re in luck! You can join Grub Crawl’s Grubbin’ like a Giant walking tour.

This unique tour stops at three different restaurants – Ironside, Pedro’s Cantina, and
Public House, where you are presented with the best dishes from each eatery. And
don’t worry you don’t get teased with just a taste of the best dishes, you get to dig
into the whole thing, but make sure to pace yourself because you are guaranteed to be
stuffed at the end. Once you’ve stuffed yourself you’ll grab your
roadie (beer) and head to AT&T Park for an exclusive tour of one of the most beautiful
stadiums in baseball. Can’t think of a better way to end a night of great food and drinks
with friends.

Gourmet Walks chocolate participants try fine chocolates at the Buyer's Best Friend kiosk in the Ferry Building on Friday April 19, 2013. Gourmet Chocolate Tour is an artisanal tasting trip from the San Francisco Waterfront to Union Square.
Gourmet Walks chocolate participants try fine chocolates at the Buyer’s Best Friend kiosk in the Ferry Building on Friday April 19, 2013. Gourmet Chocolate Tour is an artisanal tasting trip from the San Francisco Waterfront to Union Square.

Gourmet Walks
1 Ferry Plaza, SF, CA / (415) 312 – 1119
www.gourmetwalks.com / $52 – $75 per person

Everybody loves chocolate. So why not take a Gourmet Chocolate Tour, or even better,
an ULTRA Chocolate Tour. I know what you’re thinking, how can anything possibly be better than a gourmet chocolate tour? You can sip on wine while you’re at it! The ULTRA tour lets you relish in savory chocolate delights at 7 different locations and pairs it with the perfect wine to
take the taste from delicious to sensational. The very knowledgeable tour guide fills
you in on the history of chocolate and shows you the best way to examine and taste
your treat. And for any San Francisco newbie, some fun
history of the city is added as well. Of course, if chocolate isn’t your thing, Gourmet
Walks offers three other great food tours you can enjoy.

Local Tastes of the City Tours
588 Sutter Street, SF, CA / (415) 665 – 0480
www.sffoodtours.com / $59 per person

Delve into the North Beach and Chinatown neighborhoods with a tour of the local
businesses offering tasty morsels to excite your palate. Local Tastes offers the
flexibility of touring day or night and even same-day bookings. If you’re thinking of
doing your tour in the day then you’ll be heading to North Beach to try everything
from baked goods, savory chocolates to specialty meats and olive oils. Night tours head
into Chinatown to visit local tea shops and sample some of the tastiest dim sum in the
neighborhood. Not only do you get to sample the goods from local shops, but you also
get to watch how they are made and ask questions of the talented chefs and bakers. As
you stroll through the neighborhood, your guide will also fill you in on the fascinating
history of North Beach and Chinatown. Come alone, come with friends, or book a
private tour for a group.

Diving Deep: Rhys’s Guide to the Best Dive Bars in SF

By Rhys Alvarado

Li Po Cocktail Lounge
Li Po Cocktail Lounge

Li Po Cocktail Lounge
916 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-0072

Bathroom-o-meter: 1.5
Happy Hour: None

In the heart of the nation’s first Chinatown lies one of San Francisco’s oldest dive bars. Dating back as far as the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge, Li Po Cocktail Lounge remains with the same lantern above its entryway, the same faded murals of bonsai landscapes and the same Buddha shrine behind the bar that serves up their house famous Chinese Mai Tais.

Here, locals slam cups for games of liar’s dice while sipping Chinese whisky and ginger ale backs. Early in the day, you can expect waves of tourists looking to catch an afternoon buzz, followed by an afternoon surge of locals and Financial District workers looking to get sauced after that drag of a board meeting.

 

Summer Place
Summer Place

Summer Place Cocktail Lounge
801 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 441-2252

Bathroom-o-meter: 1
Happy Hour: None

Welcome to a smoker’s paradise. Just above the Tenderloin, on the corner of Bush and Jones street is Summer Place’s sign that’s as yellow as a cigar puffer’s teeth. The Summer Place is one of few bars that allows it’s cancer-stick-sucking patrons to light up inside —they even provide the matches. The Asian bartender is nice, but the AC/DC pinball machine is sweeter. Stella and Lagunitas are on draft. So kick back, warm up to the fire, and breathe in a sure dose of second hand.

 

Saloon
The Saloon

The Saloon
1232 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 989-7666

Bathroom-o-meter: 2.5
Happy Hour: None

This place is so old, I sometimes wonder if the people pouring the drinks are the same people from the bar’s opening some 150 years ago. No fancy red velvet stools, no pretentious wallpaper. Half the light bulbs don’t even work. Just old walls that have seen far too many nights and live Rhythm and Blues daily. This is the best place for live entertainment in North Beach. Try not to order any mixed drinks, or the Pabst that’s sometimes on draft. Stick to beer in bottles. Who knows what kind of sinks they wash their glassware in. If you’re taller than 6’2”, you’ll probably find yourself limbo-ing down the stairs to get to this bathroom. No cover charge except for $5 on Saturdays.

 

Broken Record
Broken Record

Broken Record
1166 Geneva Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 963-1713

Bathroom-o-meter: 1
Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. $1 off all draft beers

If you find yourself lost in the Excelsior, or are unfortunate enough to live there, this is your watering hole. Covered in black paint and orange Edison light fixtures, the Broken Record has been a neighborhood staple for the past six years. In the last three, owner Jason King was the first in the city to implement a system that allows Jameson, Four Roses Bourbon and Buleit Rye to be poured on tap. If those three aren’t fit to your liking, the bar hosts 300 others that are sure to kick your connoisseur ass. The kitchen serves bar food that’s a notch above most. Try the spicy pork wings with a garlic chili glaze and a shaved papaya salad. Or get at the smoked fried chicken sandwich with celery root, watercress slaw and a maple pecan dressing. The daily happy hour from 4-6 p.m. will get you a buck off all draft beers, but not the draft whiskey. Bartender Nero Caesar said that the joint was named the Broken Record because some of the early patrons that used to frequent the bar used to sound like one, telling the same story over and over again. The other names King had in mind: Buttercup’s Boozery, The Flounder or Jason’s House of Booze and Food. We’re glad King chose The Broken Record.

 

Delirium
Delirium

Delirium
3139 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-5525

Bathroom-o-meter: 4
Happy Hour: ‘Til 7 p.m. $1 off drafts, $1.50 off well drinks, $2.50 Pabst, $2 Tecate

The bathroom in this place looks like the training grounds for graffiti artists. Off 16th and Mission, Delirium, with the dim glow of pendant lights hanging from the ceiling, glass tile windows and it’s fuschia and blue colored laminate tile, is reminiscent of a hospital horror scene. Here, regular divers drink the staple $2 Tecate. The bar is lined with red lights along its corners and an illuminated sign that reads “Service for the Sick” leaves a faint blush over the countertops. A small, steamy and hardly ventilated dance floor with barely any ventilation opens up when the bar is busy. The bar hosts DJs nightly after 10p.m. and 80s dance music on the weekends. Happy hour everyday ‘til 7 gets you a $1 off drafts, $1.50 off well drinks and $2.50 Pabst.

 

Buckshot
Buckshot

Buckshot
3848 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 831-8838

Bathroom-o-meter: 3.5

This place is either a taxidermist’s heaven or a vegan’s hell. From alligators to ‘coons to Diamond Back rattlers to antelopes to elk to bison to bobcats to antlers of all lengths and curves, Buckshot is sure to satisfy your honky-tonkiest hillbilly desires. During the week, this is the neighborhood hangout to score a $2 Pabst and Tecate. On the weekends, the college bunch pack the place for games of skee ball, pool or one of the few arcade games that works. Do your friend a favor on his birthday and order him the “Ike Turner” which includes a shot of Hennessy and a slap in your face – all for $12. The food here ain’t bad either. Try the house pork sausage corn dog with Blue Moon batter, and if you’re feeling dessert, try the Guinness float with coffee ice cream.

 

Portal's Tavern
Portal’s Tavern

Portals Tavern
179 W. Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 731-1208

Bathroom-o-meter: 1

For a lonely drink, head to Portal’s Tavern, where Randy the bartender will smother you with stories of his glory days of attending UNLV in the 80s. The regulars that do show up have been coming here for years. Their Facebook page shows that the bar has had a huge following—some couple even took their wedding pic in front of it. The wooden half-moon bar that surrounds the well looks as if it’s placed on an old red-brick stove top. The dark wood and fireplace give the bar a woodsy cabin feel. The jukebox here hosts good soul and rock cuts, some that don’t even work. The bartender was nice enough to replace my dollar with a few extra songs.

It’s 5 o’ clock Somewhere

Gold Dust Lounge
Gold Dust Lounge

By Babak Haghighi
Photos by Virginia Tieman

“To alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
-Homer Simpson

Let’s face it: for better or for worse, San Francisco has a drinking problem.

Alcohol. Booze. Hooch. Sauce. Hard Stuff. Heaven in a bottle. Poison. Call it what you will, but the stuff’s everywhere—and apparently, it’s popular.

These San Francisco bars open their doors before the sun rises. Enjoy beer for breakfast and kill last night’s hangover before it even hits you at these early morning watering holes.

Ace's bar
Ace’s bar

Ace’s – Tenderloin / Lower Nob Hill
998 Sutter Street (at Hyde)
Open daily: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.

49er faithful, look elsewhere. Ace’s Bar brings a slice of New York to San Francisco’s Tenderloin. That means this is the go-to spot for New York Giants fans, Yankees fans, and, God forbid, Mets fans to catch the game. The divey, New York-themed neighborhood bar is friendly both to the graveyard shifters as well as those on the nine-to-five grind. Ace’s is open daily from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. and features cheap drinks all day. No happy hour necessary. There’s also a free barbeque on Sundays.

Free. Barbeque.

Drink of choice: Manhattan (why not?)

Clooney's
Clooney’s

Clooney’s – Mission
1401 Valencia Street
Open daily: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Writing a novel about a group of rowdy drunkards who hang out at a bar? Go to Clooney’s. Observe the characters. The novel will write itself. This hole-in-the-wall dive bar features a horseshoe bar and an array of interesting regular patrons. Clooney’s is the divest of dives in the Mission. The daytime crowd can get—well, really drunk. Dogs are welcome, but they won’t be served at the bar. This is one of those bars “where everyone knows your name,” probably due to the horseshoe bar which forces everyone to stare at one another. Clooney’s is also home to The Galley, which is essentially a closet that serves some of the best damn pub food in the city.

Drink of choice: Trumer Pils on tap!

Gold Dust Lounge. 165 Jefferson Street, San Francisco
Gold Dust Lounge 165 Jefferson Street, San Francisco

Gold Dust Lounge
165 Jefferson Street
Open daily: 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.

After being evicted last year from its Union Square location after nearly 80 years of operation, the Gold Dust Lounge was reopened on February 1, 2013 at a new location in Fisherman’s Warf. It’s back and bigger than ever. Very big. Very new. Very velvety. It’s luxurious. It’s classy. It’s fancy. Elegant chandeliers hang above the bar, walls and pillars are painted gold, bartenders wear red vests and bowties—in short, it looks like a Las Vegas casino. Gold Dust Lounge is open everyday from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m., and there’s live music every night performed by Johnny Z and the Camaros, who have been playing at Gold Dust Lounge for fifteen years.

Drink of choice: Irish coffee ($3.50 until 8 p.m.)

Vesuvio Cafe
Vesuvio Cafe 255 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco.

Vesuvio Café – North Beach
255 Columbus Ave
Open daily: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.

The alleged birthplace of the “Beat” movement remains as popular today as it was in its heydey in the 1950s. Despite its historic significance, this is no tourist trap. Vesuvio still retains all the characteristics of a friendly neighborhood bar, and its bohemian aesthetic remains intact. It’s open every day of the year from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. There’s two floors, a bunch of seating, music, art, and the cocktails flow like water. Oh and Jack Kerouac used to hang out here. Like a lot.

Drink of choice: Absinthe

Gino & Carlo Cocktail Lounge
Gino & Carlo Cocktail Lounge

Gino and Carlo Cocktail Lounge & Sports Bar – North Beach
548 Green Street (between Columbus & Grant)
Open daily: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Gino and Carlo is one of the few remaining gems from North Beach’s seemingly ancient history. The Italian family owned bar has been in operation since 1942, and the building has been a bar since even before that. 12 beers on tap. 12 beers in bottles. The beer selection is great, but the cocktail selection is better. The bar gets an older crowd during the week, but the typical young crowd takes over on weekends. Gino and Carlo is also one of the best spots in the city for sports fans. Every Bay Area sports team is celebrated here. Giants, Sharks, Warriors– Gino and Carlo has got you covered. Come in on “Orange Friday” to watch a Giants game and take advantage of the all-day Blue Moon specials.

Drink of choice: North Beach Campari

A Sweeter Look at San Francisco

 Words and Photos: Jennifer Sandoval

San Francisco is a city for foodies. More than any other American city, San Francisco has the highest per capita of restaurants, putting even New York to shame. The city-dwellers take pride in their abundance of small “mom-and-pop” shops and specialty food purveyors unique only to this amazingly diverse city. Among these stores are sweet shops, which make some of the best cookies, macarons, and other treats. Whether you’re in San Francisco for the weekend or have been living here for years, these shops are not to be skipped out on.

Hot Cookie
Location: 407 Castro Street

Dan Glazer, 54, stands near the window of his snug shop in San Francisco’s notorious Castro District. His smile doesn’t falter for a second, until the moment he spots a rack of cookies two inches too close to the display window.

“Can you push the tray away from the window?” Glazer asks the woman behind the counter as he points to the imperfection. She fixes the rack and goes back to work.

“See how I’m so picky,” he laughs as he reflects on what his favorite thing about owning Hot Cookie is (which he ultimately decides is the people whom he works with). Glazer opened Hot Cookie nearly twenty years ago. He decided to give the business a try after moving to the city. He had no idea how popular the store would become.

“As a business owner, you don’t know how successful it’s going to be. I put everything on the line for this store.”

The shop sells a variety of cookies, from traditional items like white chocolate macadamia, to cookies packed with more wild ingredients. One of the more unique items is the mocha-cayenne cookie, a holy matrimony of chocolate and spice. The one notorious item the store is known for selling is the ever-popular penis-shaped cookie. Not only can Hot Cookie satisfy your sweet cravings, it also gives you the option of buying underwear. Placed on the shop’s walls are countless photographs of customers flashing their branded rears in support of the store and its delicious treats.

Chantal Guillon
Location: 437 Hayes Street

Nestled along one of the quaint sidewalks of Hayes Valley, (otherwise unofficially known as “Little France” because of the four different shops within its modest perimeter that sell macarons) stands Chantal Guillon, named after the owner of the store who opened up the petite shop in 2009.

The shop has a total of sixteen different flavors of macarons. The ingredients for these gluten-free macarons are imported from France and Italy, but made locally in a more “traditional” French style way.

“We decided to have one product in order to give all my energy and knowledge in order to reach excellence in that product,” says Guillon. “First is quality.”

Guillon has seasonal options to her menu, too. For Halloween, she created the pumpkin spice macaron, and for the holiday season, she will be coming out with other flavors including nougat and påte de fruit. After a few seconds of flipping through a French-English dictionary, a staff member informs her that the English translation is “crystallized fruit.”

Guillon offers a flavor for all kinds of people. “Each of us have different tastes, someone may think ‘too sugary’ or ‘too sweet’, others may think ‘too sour’. You have to follow your own taste. That’s why we have sixteen different flavors, because everyone is different.”

The shop itself is a treat. “When you make a shop, you want it to be a reflection of yourself,” says Guillon. “When you are in a good place, that looks pretty and nice, you feel comfortable, and we can share with the [customers] and the people who come around, [so that they feel welcomed in a better environment].”

Miette
Location: 449 Octavia Boulevard

A couple blocks down from Chantal Guillon stands one of San Francisco’s cutest confiseries. The store carries a variety of sweets, including chocolates, marshmallows, hard candies, and other treats. In their front display case are jars filled with large macarons of several flavors of unconventional ingredients.
The staff favorite, according to Jeremy Suzio, who works at the Hayes Valley Miette confiserie, may be the rose geranium macaron, which he says tastes like a rose smells. Suzio started his career at Miette a year and a half ago and has since achieved a managerial position (or as he refers to it, “Senior Shop Boy”). Among their choices of macarons is a new seasonal option, the coffee macaron. Suzio says that the flavors of the macarons are subtle but wonderful.

Miette may look like an adorable candy shop, but their cupcakes pack a powerful punch. Their gingerbread cake (laced with a secret ingredient: purportedly Guinness beer!) with cream cheese frosting was voted number four in the top sweets in the nation by Food Network’s Alton Brown. Another favorite among the younger crowd is the oh-so-gooey old-fashioned cupcake with Italian meringue, which tastes like a s’more minus the graham cracker.

Dianda’s Italian American Pastry
Location: 2883 Mission Street

Among the bustling pedestrians and taqueria shops along Mission street is Dianda’s Bakery, which opened up in San Francisco in 1962. The bakery sells everything from cannolis to trés leche cakes.

Dianda’s is currently celebrating their fiftieth-year anniversary, and to promote their products, the bakery places a sticker on the box commemorating their achievement. The bakery also promotes their products by claiming that all products are baked fresh daily on their premises, using the finest ingredients.

Although the shop may not have the best appearance, their bakery is visible to customers who are curious to see the items being made on the other side of the counter. The treats appeal to all kinds of customers by offering a mix of Italian and Mexican baked goods. The shop also offers birthday cakes, which the workers will personalize quickly with lettering before packaging it into a simple white box and branding it with a “Dianda’s” sticker.

Anthony’s Cookies
Location: 1417
Valencia Street

Anthony’s Cookies doesn’t look like an average cookie store. The store is lined with large bottles of milk, and a long wooden table sits on one half of the room. Chalkboards are hung up on the wall, informing customers of the array of cookies that are being made by staff members behind the counter. The rustic appearance of the shop doesn’t stop a line from quickly forming inside the store to try these delicious mini-cookies.

Anthony Lucas, a former student at San Francisco State University, started out by baking cookies for money while in school with no culinary training, and expanded into his very own shop on Valencia. Anthony’s Cookie is now the number one gourmet producer in the Bay Area.

Some of the flavors of cookies are cookies and cream, oatmeal cranberry, and peanut butter.
In an interview with Google, Lucas expressed that he was never a baker and never intended to be a baker, but strived to do something he loved in the field of mathematics.

“I never in my life was good at baking, I know my mother, she was good at baking, but the most I ever came to baking was licking the spoon after she got done whipping whatever she made.”

Lucas believes that the main building block to success of any scale of business is not losing sight of the customers. “We’re very strict on the hiring process. Because if somebody comes into your shop, you don’t want to disappoint them.”

“If you can open up a food establishment in San Francisco, and be successful, you can pretty much be successful anywhere.”