On a beautiful day like today, one of the top San Franciscan things to do is pack a picnic and head over to Dolores Park to soak in some rays and enjoy great people watching. Located between the Mission District and the Castro, there’s no shortage of good eats. Some of my favorite places to pick up food are below:
Ike’s Place is known for some pretty epic sandwiches. They a huge selection of sandwiches with a variety of options for meats, bread, and toppings, but all of them are served with Ike’s dirty sauce, which is what makes the sandwiches so delicious. The place is well known and is always packed though so be prepared for a wait.
Bi-Rite Market is a local gourmet market that is a must for any serious foodie. There’s a deli counter where you can order sandwiches which change seasonally. The market is small but carries a well curated selection of artisanal products and is full of local Northern California treats like Acme bread and Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. There’s a great selection of cured meats, fresh baked breads, cheeses, and many other ready-to-eat products, and of course wine, making for a great spot to pack a picnic basket!
And let’s not forget Bi-Rite Creamery, the sister store to the market serving ice-cream and baked goods. No matter the time of day or the weather, there’s always a line for the delicious ice-cream. But with flavors like the famous salted caramel, honey lavender, and earl grey, who can resist? And it doesn’t help that they are constantly coming up with new flavors so you have to keep coming back!
And finally my absolute favorite weekend treat are the pastries at Tartine Bakery. I’ve tried nearly all the pastries and brunch items here and they are all delicious. My favorites are definitely the morning bun (pic above), which is similar to a cinnamon roll but with an orange zest to it, the frangipane croissant, essentially an almond croissant, and the croque monsieur. But they also have butter, chocolate, and ham & cheese croissants, quiches, scones, and bread pudding, all yummy. A word of warning though, there’s always a line, even at 9am on a Sunday (who wakes up that early on a Sunday???), and if you get there past 10:30am, there’s a good chance they’ll be out of the popular items, namely the morning bun and many of the croissants. But they also have mouthwatering desserts, sandwiches, and fresh baked bread, so you can still get something delicious if you happen to be there later in the day.
And here’s a picture of Dolores Park from today. See the throngs of people down there? So yeah, just know that when it’s an absolute gorgeous and warm day like today, the park will be crowded and there will be very interesting people watching going on but that’s all part of the local San Francisco experience :D