Taking the Kids: Eating our way across San Francisco
Line up with the locals for the best croissants and pastries at Tartine Bakery in the Mission District, or check out Tartine Manufactory for a meal. (There is now a location at San Francisco International Airport, too!)
San Francisco is also a city where it's easy to let the kids lead the way food-wise. Let each one choose what kind of food you will have and then seek out locally owned restaurants featuring different kinds of cuisine. (Www.SFEater.com is a good source.)
They'll definitely want to have Bi-Rite Creameryice cream or a sundae at The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop at Ghirardelli Square near Fisherman's Wharf, which was once Ghirardelli's chocolate factory. Another history lesson here: Domingo Ghirardelli, an Italian immigrant, first sold confections to miners during the Gold Rush. In 1852, he opened his first shop in San Francisco, which eventually became Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Today, Ghirardelli Square offers special seasonal events and houses other shops and restaurants.
Have you ever had Cioppino? It's a fish stew in a red sauce, a Fisherman's Wharf tradition, we learned at Cioppino’s Italian restaurant, run by the fifth generation of the same family.
It seems in the early 20th century, someone would make the rounds of the fishing boats yelling "Chip in" (which, in an Italian accent, sounded like "Chip-een-o") for contributions to a communal stew. One fisherman would toss in a fish; another a Dungeness crab, a third some vegetables ... and today, you'll see San Francisco Cioppino at most seafood restaurants here.
It's a good story to share over dinner. Enjoy!