Ryan Hunter Bluestone is a food connoisseur and amateur chef who enjoys sampling various dishes, ethnic food travel, and immersing himself in the world of top-notch dining. In the following article, Ryan Bluestone discusses why San Francisco is a haven for any food aficionado. From decadent clam chowder bread bowls, world-renowned sushi, a and award-worthy ice cream, there’s something for every tastebud in this city.
While cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge might be the first landmarks that spring to mind when tourists think of San Francisco, visitors quickly realize that the food is simply sublime. It’s the place to be for those who want to dip into diverse dining while looking out across the water.
Ryan Bluestone says that San Francisco is a haven for the traveling foodie. Here are some of his favorite items:
The Most Decadent Clam Chowder Bread Bowl
The east coast of the United States of America may have given the world clam chowder, but it was the west that first served it in a sourdough bread bowl, and San Francisco boasts the best of the best.
Ryan Bluestone says that the best western clam chowder boasts a thick, creamy white sauce with onions and ground pepper ladled into a big, round, hollowed-out sourdough loaf, that you eat as your bowl. You get the perfect combination of the warm soft inside that drinks in some of the soup, to the perfectly crusted outside. Dipping that crusty bread-bowl’s lid into the creamy warm soup, is a memory of San Francisco you will not soon forget. It’s a dish that keeps everyone coming back for reorders every time they visit this iconic city.
According to the tourists and locals alike, and Ryan Bluestone’s favorite, the best to sample San Francisco’s famous clam chowder bread bowl is at Boudin Bakery. Boudin Bakery has grown to over 29 locations in the city, with their flagship location at the famous Fisherman’s Wharf along water at the North end of the city. Next time you’re in the city, be sure to stop at any of their locations for what is the real San Francisco treat.
Cioppino: A San Francisco Delicacy
Ryan Hunter Bluestone explains that Cioppino is San Francisco’s ode to the Pacific Ocean. Typically made with clams, shrimp, dungeness crab, mussels, squid, and fish combined in an aromatic tomato broth, with an Italian flare, it’s certainly one for the seafood-loving diner.
Depending on the restaurant, diners may experience Cioppino with a slice of San Francisco’s famous toasted sourdough or even French bread for soaking up every last drop of that delectable broth.
Ryan Hunter Bluestone says that while there are many places to try this delicious dish throughout the city, Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood, Mersea Restaurant & Bar, and Anchor Oyster Bar are three of the best. Give one of them a try and add a Cioppino, “one for the table,” the next time you’re heading out for Italian seafood in this beautiful city.
Beer From Another San Francisco Landmark, Anchor Brewing
Anchor Steam Beer, crafted by Anchor Brewing, one of San Francisco’s significant landmarks, is a deep amber tipple with a creamy head. Rich in flavor, it provides an all-new experience to even the most well-traveled craft beer aficionados.
According to Ryan Bluestone, they mix caramel and pale malts before being fermented in open-air containers. The brewery utilizes a process called kräusening to create its tipple, giving those with a taste for beer nothing but the best. Founded back in 1896, it moved to its current spot over on the famous Potrero Hill. In 2017 it was purchased by Japanese brewing giant Sapporo Breweries, who make their own famous beer, Sapporo.
Ryan Bluestone says that it produces California common beer or steam beer, and one of the last breweries to still brew that way. Many sources suggest Anchor Porter and the Anchor Brewing Company themselves are the most popular places to try it.
The Mission Burrito – The Most Flavorful Carne Asada Burrito
Even foodies who aren’t seafood fans will always find something to tickle their tastebuds in San Francisco, a melting pot of neighborhoods and cultures, from Chinatown to The more-heavily Hispanic area, the Mission District. Over in the Mission, you’ll find many taquerias and spots where the smells of heaven mixed with guacamole, steam out into the streets.
The best Carne Asada burrito is one of the many dishes available in the Mission, explains Ryan Bluestone. There are many wonderful street side cafes or spots with a picnic table, to full sit down restaurants that are busting at lunch time and dinner equally. One of the most famous, and another Ryan Bluestone favorite, is at La Taqueria restaurant. This Mission staple, offers the most tender and flavor-packed carne asada.
The marinated, quick-cooked steak makes this one of the juiciest burritos on the market. Add some French fries, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, onion, and pico de gallo, and there’s no wonder that it takes center stage at many eateries and restaurants across the city, like La Taqueria. Their pork carnitas burrito is also high up on his list. Try them both!
Carefully Crafted Ice Cream
Travelers often mistake San Francisco’s ice cream offerings for run-of-the-mill creations, but that couldn’t be further from the truth according to Ryan Bluestone.
The chefs working in this Californian city treat ice cream with the same care normally only afforded to higher-brow desserts. Of course, San Francisco’s most famous ice cream (and chocolate of all kinds!) spot would be right at Ghirardelli, in their own Ghirardelli square, with it’s own chocolate and ice cream manufacturing, soda fountain, and outdoor square.
However, Ryan Bluestone says that those who love never-seen-before flavors should head to the equally great, if less well known, Humphry Slocombe. This smaller parlor produces all sorts of fantastic flavors including Secret Breakfast containing cornflakes and bourbon, salted caramel cocoa nib, Hong Kong milk tea, Blackberry Honey Graham, and Vietnamese Coffee, just to name a few.
Ryan Bluestone’s favorite however is the Smoked S’mores Ice Cream, a gooey, reminds-me-of-summer-camp delight. Chocolate covered marshmallows and pieces of graham crackers are mixed into a smoky ice cream. Yum.
Sure, stop over to see Ghirardelli and pick up some fudge or a bag of chocolate squares in all sorts of fun flavors to take home to the house, but for the best ice cream and fun flavors, don’t miss a stop at Humphry Slocombe or Swensen’s, where the locals know better.
San Francisco: The Place for Culinary Excellence
Whether it’s the best sourdough and soup, seafood, burritos in the Mission, historic beer, or ice cream, San Francisco locals have always had distinctly discerning tastebuds, but as many excellent offerings to match them. There are countless down-and-dirty to finest-dining options in this world class city with a great blend of US history and ethnic neighborhoods to treat yourself in. San Francisco chefs are constantly looking to improve their creations to meet the growing demand for excellence, and it’s safe to say that they do just that.
Ryan Bluestone says that while its many known landmarks (like the Golden Gate Bridge) are a feast for the eyes, the San Francisco food scene provides an even better feast for all the senses. It’s safe to say that diners will never be left wanting in San Francisco. There’s truly something for every palette — the more adventurous, the better.