For those of you planning to travel to San Francisco and/or Half Moon Bay (which is just an hour drive away from the city) anytime soon, and haven’t made any plans yet, here are some of my favorite food spots and what I think you should never miss from them :
1. Campton Place Restaurant
Campton Place is a restaurant serving Indian-inspired Californian cuisine. We were served a very interesting “smoky dish” called Spice Pot, as our first starter. This was filled with Indian “chaas”, tamarind chutney and cilantro, and the clay pot it came with was beautifully presented – surrounded by rocks and moss (which were not edible of course!) Inside the pot was a mishmash of radishes, herbs, yogurt, black lentils and mustard seeds.
Our second appetizer which was also excellent was the Maine Lobster cooked in curry and coconut cream. This was mixed with potato and some young peas, which added that extra texture and crunch to the dish.
For the main course, I highly suggest you order the Slow-cooked Lamb Rack served with basmati rice, snap peas and cumin-lime yogurt. This dish is a prime example of Cal-Indian cuisine, as it showed how they can combine classical cooking techniques with local, seasonal ingredients and Indian flavors.
And for dessert, one should not miss their Dark chocolate mousse with figs. The mousse was smooth, light and delicate, and it paired well with the sweet and fruity taste of the fresh figs.
Everything we had in this restaurant was simply outstanding. Campton Place is truly deserving of its 2 Michelin stars.
Campton Place Restaurant
340 Stockton Street, San Francisco;
Tel. +1 (415) 781-5555
2. Tartine Bakery
Tartine Bakery is an institution here in SFO and is known to be one of the best bakeries in town. Every bread, cake and pastry is done well with the highest quality and most premium ingredients. Both locals and tourists alike jam-pack this place!
I was able to try their delicious Lemon Tart that one would think is really quite simple, but one bite and you would know that they have indeed perfected the recipe with the right amount of “lemon tang and sourness” to it. I paired it with a cup of dark espresso and it was a marriage made in heaven!
Their Lemon Meringue (yes, I love anything with lemon!) is an amazingly light cake made of lemon-moistened genoise (sponge cake) layered with caramel and lemon cream, topped with torched meringue. This is a cake that is neither too sweet nor too sour. And as I am writing this, I am actually day dreaming about it!
Last but not the least, is their Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, a cake perfect for all dark chocolate lovers out there. This is a cake that is very rich, chocolate-y, and decadent… and believe me, worth every calorie!
600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco
Tel. +1 (415) 487-2600
If you love crabs, then this whole roasted Dungeness Crab from House of An’s Crustacean is the only one that will satisfy your craving. This simple crab dish served with plain garlic noodles is one of my best “meal pairings” to date!
So do yourself a favor (and yes thank me later for this tip), and order one whole roasted Dungeness Crab for yourself. Because believe me, you wouldn’t want to share this finger lickin’ good crab with anyone else!
1475 Polk Street, San Francisco
Tel. +1 (415) 776-2722
4. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
I have 3 big favorites from Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, the hotel where we stayed for a good week (and a place I didn’t want to leave!) :
a ) My breakfast : Smoked Salmon on warm and toasted gluten-free poppy seed bagel with cream cheese and topped with slices of sweet avocado. This I say, is the breakfast of champions : it’s very healthy and nutritious! Everything on this simple plate tasted amazing because of its freshness!
b) My kind of cheese : Raclette[youtube id=”8JR22_e_qW8″]
I had so much of this amazing Raclette Cheese on our last day in Half Moon Bay, which happened to fall on a Saturday, when the hotel had its much-awaited Farmer’s Market Weekend Brunch. So yeah, you can say that I took advantage of the buffet spread and ate as much of this melted cheese as I could!
c) Our nightcap : S’mores
The kiddos and I really enjoyed our stay in Half Moon Bay, with its fresh air and cool, crisp weather that got even colder at night. And what is a cold summer by the ocean if there is no camping and roasting of marshmallows in the open fire? So we decided that we would end every night with a S’mores night! The hotel provided us with the perfect kit: Ghirardelli chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows, sticks and our own fire pit right by our room’s terrace! No wonder, we didn’t want to leave this place and we always had sweet dreams every night! 😉
1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay
Tel. +1 (650) 712-7000
6. Barbara’s Fish Trap, Half Moon Bay
If you are a lover of all things fried, especially of fish and chips and calamari, then look no further if you’re going to be in this side of California. Another big must in Half Moon Bay is Barbara’s Fish Trap. This was worth the 30 minute drive from our hotel and the long queue outside the restaurant. The seafood they use here are very fresh.
Tip : Make sure you get the picnic tables outside, which is overlooking the beach so you get the perfect ambience while eating your hot and crispy fish and chips and calamari!
Barbara’s Fish Trap
281 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay, California; (650) 728-7049
8. Sam’s Chowder House, Half Moon Bay
Sam’s Chowder House opened in Half Moon Bay in 2006 and has since received numerous citations from food magazines and experts. Due to the increasing popularity of their much-loved lobster roll and clam chowder, they started to go around the city using their food trucks — and they are known to be the first mobile gourmet seafood truck in the US!
We got really lucky when one day, their famous food truck decided to make a pit stop right in our hotel. As you can see from this photo, their sandwich is filled to the brim with freshly cooked lobster! No scrimping of ingredients here, that’s for sure. This ridiculously delicious sandwich ended our one-week holiday in Half Moon Bay, just perfectly!
Sam’s Chowder House
4210 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay, California
Tel. +1 (650) 712-0245
San Francisco and Half Moon Bay are two cities that gave us a lot of good eats and fun memories. I will definitely return… because I may have just left my heart somewhere in between! 😉
To read about how I spent the first few days in San Francisco, click here
(Note: it’s about the most exciting game I’ve ever watched in my life!)
And for the rest of my trip, search #TSMinSanFrancisco on your Instagram, or click here.