My husband Mark and I just got back from a six-day trip to San Francisco. Yes it was six days without the kids. I was bliss! As I mentioned in my post about travelling, Mark and I like to stay on track when we’re travelling. We’ll have some extra drinks of course, but typically we’ll search out for places to eat that use whole foods so we don’t feel bloated and horrible on our trip. It makes a difference let me tell you!
I thought I would give you a little rundown of where we ate on our trip and how we made modifications to our meals.
The Hearth by Lynn Crawford
Toronto Pearson International Airport
As you probably know, many airports leave little to be desired when it comes to a search for healthy food. We left Toronto early in the morning and even though we ate something small at home before we left, we wanted a bit more to eat to sustain us for the five-hour flight. We found The Hearth and it was perfect. Unlike most of the restaurants in the airport, food at The Hearth is made at the actual restaurant—versus in the central catering kitchen. This means that the food is fresh, unpackaged and for the most part pretty healthy. I was able to get a couple of poached eggs, bacon (yes now and then I have bacon!) and asked for a side of greens. They didn’t really have greens that early in the morning, but the waiter was so kind and brought me some watercress and a cute bowl of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
Cafe du Soleil
345 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Mark and I were heading straight to see the Giants play, but I wanted to get something to eat before we went into the stadium. On our way down we walked by Cafe du Soleil—a quaint French cafe that served the most delicious salads along with all of the other yummy French fare of course! We were a bit late for the game (oop!), but it was worth it in my opinion!
K-OZ Restaurant and Brewery
121 7th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
K-OZ was attached to our hotel in San Francisco and we were happy to see that they offered great coffee and a couple nice breakfasts. We were able to have eggs and sub our toast and tater tots for a huge side of greens for two mornings that we were there. Perfect for a day for walking up all of those damn hills!
1796 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
The day after our baseball game, we jumped on double-decker bus for some city sight seeing. This is the best way to get to know a new city because then you can jump off anywhere and go back later if you love it. After being on the bus for an hour, we decided last minute to jump off at Union Street. This was one of our favourite areas of the city. It didn’t have a lot of tourists, the streets were quiet and it had a lot of cute little shops and restaurants including Lite Bite!
We went to Lite Bite first for a juice and smoothie, but we went back later for lunch. There were so many options for lunch from fresh salads, soups, sides and snacks. We had salmon with a side of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and a kale salad. Delish!
560 Divisadero (at Hayes)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Thursday night we headed up over to NOPA which specializes in organic, local, wood-fired cuisine. I made reservations for this place six weeks in advance—it’s that busy. The food we had here was hearty, earthy and delicious. I had the most flavourful avocado toast I’ve ever eaten. Mark had half a chicken for dinner (ha!) and I had a vegetarian Moroccan tagine. We needed to walk off dinner, so we headed up-hill again to a little jazz place in the Haight-Ashbury district called Club Delux. So fun.
Copita Tequileria y Comida
Sausalito, California 94939
On Friday we headed out on another tour to Muir Woods which had a drop off in Sausalito—a gorgeous little bay-side town that reminded us so much of being in Europe with its homes built into the hills. We arrived around lunchtime so we headed to the main street and found a Mexican restaurant called Copita Tequileria y Comida. Copita specializes using in seasonal ingredients in its menu items and makes everything from scratch. Everything on the menu is gluten-free. We had delicious chips and quac of course, as well as ceviche and fish tacos. It was a beautiful, fresh meal.
3068 N Cabrillo Highway
Half Moon Bay, California 94019
After our stay in San Francisco we rented a car and headed down the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea. You may have heard that sometimes that traffic isn’t great in California, so during one of our slower driving moments, we saw The Barn—a farm-to-table establishment offering fresh, homemade food using local and seasonal ingredients. Their burgers are made with local grass-fed beef! So we stopped for burgers and a salad and it was the perfect pit-stop during our drive.
Basil Seasonal Dining
Basil, San Carlos Street
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
We had reservations on Saturday night for Basil Seasonal Dining—again the reservations were made in advance. Basil is located in a quaint courtyard area in Carmel and has a few tables inside and a few tables located outside on the patio. We chose to stay inside because this area of California is cold at night! Everything at Basil uses seasonal (as per the name), locally-grown and organic ingredients. It’s also considered a Green Restaurant which takes into consideration how an establishment uses various facets of its restaurant whether it’s efficient water usage, sustainable food, energy efficiency and more. Abalone was on the menu which I read about in Omnivore’s Dilemma so we decided to try it. I also had a goat ravioli pasta dish and Mark had a roasted veggie plate. We also tried some Crème brûlée and strawberry sorbet because strawberries are in season there right now. Everything was fantastic.
San Carlos between Ocean and 7th
We found Carmel Belle after our night at Basil. To look at it at a glance, you might see a plain little food court inside a mini shopping area. But upon further inspection you would see a hub for delicious, whole, real food. I believe everything is organic and/or local. The high quality of the ingredients is noticeable. This is beautiful food. We enjoyed a gorgeous salad, sandwich and soup and came back after for a tea and smoothie.
After Carmel we went back up to visit Mark’s dad’s cousin Annette and her husband Lorne in a place called San Carlos and she put on a beautiful dinner as well. Annette loves to buy everything from the local farmers’ market. We had salmon, asparagus, rice, local crusty sourdough bread and a beautiful local fruit salad. For breakfast the next day we had pasture-raised eggs and more of that yummy bread.
Taking it all in
It was so easy to eat well in this area of California. I barely had to think about it—it just was there to enjoy. There were few fast-food joints (although I wasn’t really looking for them). People seemed to care about the food they were eating.
It was a great trip and got me thinking more about our local foods. I’m determined this year to visit the markets more often and build meals around what I find there instead of relying on my organic greens from California. Local food just tastes better. I challenge you to do the same this summer! If you’re in Ontario you can find your closest farmers market here: farmersmarketsontario.com.