Like I mentioned earlier in the week, one of the hardest parts of moving was leaving behind my favorite San Francisco spots. The ones where they knew my name, my kids & my coffee order. (Arlequin! Village Market! b. Patisserie! I miss you all so much!) It took a lot of aimlessly driving around with grumpy kids “Are we there yet?“-ing in my backseat & enduring some garbage recommendations from Yelpers who think cheap=five stars, but I’ve finally got a new repertoire of regular hangouts, and it’s SOLID.
I used to be way, way too cool to drink Blue Bottle Coffee. I mean, I liked it in 2005, but drinking Blue Bottle in San Francisco in 2014 was the coffee equivalent of still wearing 7 For All Mankind Jeans. (Or being a tourist.)
But it turns out I was being a total dick, because now the Blue Bottle W.C. Morse Cafe is one of my top 3 cappuccinos in the whole East Bay. Go there for a quick post-workout Iced Americano, bring the kids for a breakfast playdate with friends, or treat yo’ self to a late-afternoon affogato. (Or just be like me and do all three, all the time.) P&V also recommends: Popeye Eggs & a cappuccino. (Even if they slipped me a penis-cino that one time.)
Excellent Mexican food, on-point cocktails & the prettiest outdoor patio where I don’t have to be mortified if my kids get the wiggles? Just take my money, Dona Tomas. P&V recommends: the house specialty Carnitas plate (perfect portion size for sharing with your minis), “Carter Meets The Devil” cocktail & secret off-menu kids’ quesadilla. Oh, and if everyone behaved themselves at dinner, cut through the patio to Temescal Alley for post-dinner ice creams at Curbside Creamery.
Breakfast pastry is v. high on my list of life priorities, so finding Fournee was game-changing. I come for a classic French Croissant that truly rivals Tartine Bakery, Pain Au Lait for baller PB&Js & the best breakfast deal in town: a $4 croissant wrapped around a thick slice of ham with a perfectly baked egg in the middle. (YEAH.) P&V also recommends: Chocolate Eclair, Seasonal Fruit Croissant & special edition Pain Au Lait with herbs & duck fat for legendary Thanksgiving stuffing.
In the same way that coffee & breakfast pastry were new town must-haves for me, a new pho joint was essential to my husband’s daily happiness. Monster Pho is probably pretty happy, too, because my husband is now one of their best customers. P&V recommends: Rare Steak Beef Pho (his regular order) & Grilled Pork Rice Plate (which is HUGE and comes with soup & a fried egg, so it’s perfect for children to share).
I should really, honestly, truly not be telling you about Homestead because I rather like not having to jockey for a table, buuuuut it wouldn’t feel right not to mention the uber-charming neighborhood cafe that’s basically my office. The coffee is terrific, the rotating assortment of housemade donuts is CRAZY (think chai tea & fresh strawberry cream) & the very reliable WIFI is freeeeeee! P&V also recommends: Seasonal Egg Custard, the daily to-go lunchbox & making a reservation for dinner, which is local, sustainable & EXCELLENT.)