Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gluten Free in San Francisco

Since moving to California last July, we have been to San Francisco four times.  It is an hour and a half from where we live, so it makes for a fun day trip.


We always eat breakfast at Mariposa's San Francisco Ferry Building Bakeshop, which you can read about here.  Last weekend, my husband and I split a Pain au Chocolat and an apple turnover, my new favorite pastry at Mariposa.  When we lived in Orlando, I used to order the Pain au Chocolat online.  Mariposa does ship a selection of their baked goods, but they are best fresh from one of their bakeshops.


The first two times we stopped in, I had Mariposa's gluten free and dairy free almond bear claws, which are very good, but I wish they would go back to making them like they did years ago, when I first tried them on a trip to San Francisco.


Another favorite of mine are the vegan blueberry plum yummy tarts, which I like to bring home and freeze for future breakfasts.  Last weekend, I was told that I could only buy six pastries, so that limited the number of yummy tarts I could purchase.  Next time we drive up to San Francisco, I will pre-order my yummy tarts on Mariposa's website, because I was told pre-orders do not account against the six pastry maximum.  We always end up buying a few brownies and cookies to take with us as well.


Down the hall from Mariposa is Urban Remedy, which is also 100% gluten free.


My favorite Urban Remedy juice is the After Party, which contains carrot, apple, beet root, ginger, and lemon.  I also love their inflamm-relieve, which contains pineapple, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne.  


They do offer salads, bowls, wraps, rolls, and snacks, but I have only tried their juices.


At Farm Fresh To You in the Ferry Building, we discovered Bi Alimenta Gluten Free Pasta Rustica.  We love their orecchiette and trofie, and are looking forward to trying the gnocchi and garganelli we bought last weekend.  You can read my review of their orecchiette and trofie here.



On our first day trip to San Francisco, we had dinner at Asian Box, a 100% gluten free fast casual restaurant serving Asian street food inside Macy's Union Square.  You get to pick a base (brown rice, jasmine rice, Asian salad, or chilled rice noodles), a protein (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu), toppings, and sauce.  I chose brown rice with shrimp, pickled vegetables, crispy shallots, lime, and tamarind vinaigrette.  All boxes include sauce topped vegetables, but you can opt for steamed vegetables instead.  We enjoyed it so much, we have visited the Asian Box in Palo Alto twice since trying it in San Francisco.  You can read my review of Asian Box here.



After having dinner at Asian Box, I ate a gluten and dairy free chocolate chocolate chunk cookie I had purchased at Mariposa earlier in the day.  This amazing cookie is like a cross between a cookie and a brownie, and will delight all chocolate lovers.  I always buy at least one when we stop at Mariposa.


The second time we visited San Francisco, we dined at Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen, a 100% gluten free restaurant we fell in love with four years ago when we vacationed in California.  Sadly, their restaurants in Napa and The Castro are no longer open, so we visited their original location on Valencia Street, which has very limited seating.  A few years ago, Pica Pica was featured on the Food Network's Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives.


For an entree, we all picked shredded beef pabellon sweet yellow arepas with sweet plantains, black bean puree, and queso fresco.  For a starter, we shared beef and cheese empanadas, and all agreed the cheese empanadas were our favorite.


A visit to Pica Pica is not complete without a glass of their sangria.  Overall, we enjoyed our meals, but miss their other restaurants, where we enjoyed the food and atmosphere more.


On the way home from our Easter Break trip to Napa, which you can read about here, we stopped in San Francisco to walk around and have lunch at Hot Spud, which we dined at twice when we vacationed in California four years ago.


Everything at Hot Spud is gluten free, except their wonton strips, croutons, and blue cheese.


On this visit, I ordered a baked potato stuffed with butter, cheese, and steak.  It was very good, but I regretted not adding peas like my husband did.


My daughters both ordered baked potatoes like I make them at home, with chicken, bacon, butter and cheese.


All of Hot Spud's desserts are gluten free.  I chose the sweet potato brownie, which was very good.  After lunch, we walked over to PIER 39 to see the sea lions, which is just a few blocks away.


Last weekend, after having breakfast at Mariposa, we walked down to AT&T Park to see a Giants game.  I don't enjoy baseball that much, and I am a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, but I plan on seeing another Giants game soon, because of the amazing gluten free options at AT&T Park.


Underneath the scoreboard, you can find Hearth Table, where all of the food is made without gluten containing ingredients.


I first learned about the gluten free options at AT&T park from a G-Free Foodie post, which you can check out here.


I ordered the grilled garden zucchini flat bread with shaved parmesan, olive oil, garden thyme, and toasted almonds.  It was heavenly, and you would never know it was gluten free.  Even my daughters, who are not fans of zucchini, enjoyed it.


For a beverage, I ordered a glass of their seasonal fruit-infused spa water, which was strawberry the day we visited.  They also had cucumber mint spa water, wine, gluten free beer, and two garden cocktails, the peppermint patty and a strawberry smash bourbon punch.


I was in the mood for something sweet after eating my flat bread, so I ordered a mixed berry parfait with yogurt, minus the granola, because I could not verify that it was made with purity protocol oats.  It was very good, and definitely something I would order again.


My gluten-eating husband chose the flat bread with house-made fennel sausage, roasted eggplant, caramelized leeks, and goat cheese.  I did not try it, because I do not like eggplant or goat cheese, but he said it was great.


I wish I had ordered the salad with baby wild arugula, roasted beets, and shaved parmesan before we left, because about an hour later, I was hungry, and all I could think about was this salad.


Muir Woods and Napa are a short drive from San Francisco, and I highly recommend visiting both.  Sausailto is right across the bay, and is home to Copita Tequileria y Comida, a restaurant you can read about here.

Some time soon, I hope to have dinner at Firefly Restaurant, which makes gluten free fried chicken.

What are your favorite restaurants for gluten free dining in San Francisco?

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