Winter 2016: San Francisco Travel + Eats Diary

golden gate bridge sunset colors san francisco
sunset by the Golden Gate Bridge (taken from Crissy Field beach)

San Francisco is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to visit. Even though I was just there last year, I still had a long list of things to do or try. That list continues to build, and I hope I can bring Nick there sometime soon for an actual vacation! I felt only a tiny bit bad snapping him all of my good eats while he was shoveling snow back home ; ) Some highlights from my visit include touring the grand city hall (shown in this post), catching a striking sunset by the GGB, and of course the yummy cuisine on every corner!
casual tourist outfit swing dress scarf san francisco
Boohoo dress sz 0P, ASOS scarf, BP ankle booties (old color; borrowed from friend)
Goyard St Louis bag, Ray-Ban mirrored sunglasses

I posted this Instagram outfit from a Saturday trip across the bridge to San Rafael, where it was gorgeous and sunny. It was chilly when we left SF, so I was glad to have my warm blanket scarf which could easily be stuffed into a purse later. Please note this dress is lightweight and runs very short (mine's 30" long) so I made sure to wear bike shorts underneath, and will be styling it as a tunic too. The length does not change in a size up. It's comfy for lounging and the swing silhouette is especially forgiving for large meals (didn't intend to cause a slurry of confusion with my "food baby" on Snapchat!). I also wore this same outfit with black tights and booties - you just need a slip skirt to keep the dress from clinging to the tights.san francisco ice cream taco sundae
Ice cream taco from Cream

Cream is more known for their mix & match ice cream sandwiches, I believe, where you can choose up to 2 different cookie flavors, ice cream, then toppings for your masterpiece (here's mine). I stopped by Tuesday night and it was apparently "taco Tuesday" there, so I figured when in Rome...
koi palace dim sum soup dumplings colorful san francisco
Dim sum at Koi Palace

In the world of soup dumplings (steamed dumplings filled with meat + hot broth), Koi gets creativity points for this colorful variation. My initial thought was "such unappetizing-looking colors!" but after learning about the flavors, each shade made a little more sense. There's 1 regular pork dumpling, and kale, black truffle, crab roe, and beet flavored ones. No one at my table was interested in the unusual flavors so I got to sample the entire basket to myself. It was pretty good, but Din Tai Fung still reigns supreme in my mind (just not their wait time...)!
boba guys strawberry calpico matcha latte
Strawberry calpico drink + matcha green tea latte from Boba Guys

Who remembers little Calpico drinks from childhood? Boba Guys prides themselves in using quality ingredients, loose-leaf teas, and nothing from powder, which is literally the opposite of most Asian beverage places. The description for this drink was housemade Calpico using fresh strawberries and kefir yogurt, and it was ah-mazing (with reduced sugar).
orenchi tonkotsu ramen san francisco
Orenchi ramen from Orenchi Beyond (also a location in Santa Clara)

I've tried to eat here a few times before but they were all sold out. This time I went again on a lunch break and the place was pretty empty! Overall, pretty good Tonkotsu broth that was milky in color but not oily in your mouth. The Takoyaki octopus-filled balls were better than many others that I've had!
carbon grill all you can eat korean barbeque san francisco
Carbon Grill BBQ - I think owners of all-you-can-eat places do a little mental fist bump whenever they see petite women walk through the door. I love to eat but usually in greater frequency with smaller portions. I try not to overdo it at these places, unlike my dad who treats it like a pro sport, skipping breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner the night before whenever we had plans for the buffet!

The calamari steak (so tender), scallops on half shell, and marinated short rib were my favorites, dipped in the green chili sauce and paired with kimchee in lettuce. I can't wait to go back and try the lemongrass wings amongst tons of other options. The owner is super friendly and carries a shot glass in his pocket to go around drinking with customers (aloe soju was our favorite) - let's just say the night ended a bit fuzzily!

I also got to join my friends a few times for TV & takeout at night. I love the food from hole-in-the-wall spots, but much prefer eating it comfortably in a home setting while watching favorite shows! Some of the tastiest meals, not pictured, were:
- Marnee Thai: got pad thai, green curry, and spicy shredded roast duck salad (soo good)
- Yummy Yummy: bun bo hue is super flavorful and slurp-worthy
- Sol Food in San Rafael - Puerto Rican comfort food. Long lines but the pollo al horno // chicken & rice dish is so satisfying, especially with their house-made hot sauce and limeade. You can also substitute plantain pieces instead of bread for their sandwiches.

52 comments:

  1. YUM! I was just in SF about a month ago, and I didn't get to try any of these places out. Everything looks so good, especially the drinks from Boba Guys.

    www.deasynoel.com

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  2. Great shots and looks! the foods look so delicious :)

    http://chicglamstyle.com

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  3. Looks like you went to all the best places! How do you make a hair bun?

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  4. Love your dress and the icecream look delicious.
    http://dressmecasual.blogspot.com/

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  5. Speaking of food babies, if you ever decide to have children, I have found out that maternity dressing is challenging for all but PETITE maternity dressing is another other wordly challenge...I have come up with some tips of my own if you ever decide!!

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  6. Looks amazing, I want to visit SF so bag!
    Have a great weekend! xx

    www.aimeroseblog.com

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  7. Growing up in SF, it's always been one of my favourite places to visit (now that I live in Canada). So many great food photos in this post, it's making me hungry! Have a great weekend :)

    http://www.mintnotion.com

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  8. Beautiful pictures and you look lovely! :)

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  9. Love your food diaries! Everything looks so good! The soup dumplings look neat--I would have enjoyed sampling the flavors as well, and the ice cream taco looks incredible!

    Lifestyle by Joules

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  10. Hi Jen. Are your sunglasses polarized?

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  11. As always, looks good. Can I just say how excited I was when I saw you went to Boba guys and I've been there too!? I was only in SF for a couple of days, but whenever I see your posts I wonder if we've ever been to the same places... glad it finally happened! I loved Boba Guys, but my cousin isn't a big tea drinker so she wasn't a fan haha.

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  12. I'm glad you had a blast in my hometown! Did you or have you ever been to San Tung, next to Yummy Yummy? Good for you for scoring a seat at Orenchi Beyond. I still haven't been to either location. And thanks for the AYCE tip since it's close to my hairdresser.

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  13. so sad that reading your post too late means all the small sizes are gone in a flash! Wanted to get that maxi in 0P and now only 4P is left. boo! Thanks for sharing though and sharing the love in SF. Love it here!

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  14. Hi Jean,

    Glad you enjoyed your time in SF! Here are my suggestions for your to-do list the next time you are back in town:

    - The Attic in San Mateo for their yummy adobo wing lollipops and crab butter fried rice

    - The Legion of Honor Museum for its beautiful architecture and location - you have pretty views of the GGB nearby!

    - Golden Gate Park - my favorites in the park include Stowe Lake (great date place as you can rent foot paddle boats), Japanese Tea Garden, De Young Museum (you get a bird's eye view of the city from its observation tower)

    - LoveJoy's Tea Room - cute and dainty place with mismatched china. They have a delicious assortment of teas and nibbles.

    - Filbert street steps - Start at the steps near Levi's Plaza. The stairs take you through luscious greenery and your end point is Coit Tower in North Beach.

    Enjoy!

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  15. love the post! And love that pretty nail polish color. What's the name?

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  16. Sol Food is my absolutely FAVORITE!!!

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  17. Such a great post + you look so cute. Love the scarf!

    Blonde in Cashmere

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  18. Definitely need to bring your hubby next time! If you do hit Orenchi again, you need to try their ramen with pork cheeks! It's so delicious and it's my favorite.

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  19. I love San Francisco and go there almost every year! I've never tried Koi but I'll remember to try it out the next time I visit!

    Polly
    http://gemsandjoy.com

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  20. So many food porn! I was lucky I was eating my dinner while I was reading the post! Still I couldn't stop my mouth from watering.

    abcgirljournal

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  21. One of my favorite stops in SF is Blue Hawaii Acai! It's the best acai bowl I've ever had, my family is from Honolulu.
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

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  22. Delicious! This ice cream taco looks crazy!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

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  23. Amazing photos!

    http://www.llindatt.blogspot.com

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  24. Awesome pictures. You look beautiful. :)

    http://www.lifeofardor.com

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  25. Whoa, how do you even eat that taco?! I'm the same with eating, I eat small portions but more frequently. I haven't found any xiaolongbao that's even close to the deliciousness of Din Tai Fung! Ah, my stomach's growling at the thought of it!

    Lauren Lalipop

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  26. Tasty photos! Would especially love to try the Boba Guys!

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  27. Cream does ice cream tacos now? I have to go and check it out, when they first opened in the Bay Area, they were so popular!

    Thanks for all the links to the products and posts. It's so helpful, and so are your fit notes!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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  28. That calamari steak sounds so good, and the first photo in this post looks incredible! Love what you're wearing in that photo as well. Bookmarking this post for the next time I visit SF.

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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  29. The food looks amazing and I really want to visit SF!
    Jabeen x
    http://www.spilling-the-beans.co.uk/

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  30. San Francisco is one of those places that I've been dying to visit but just never got around to, even though I've been to L.A. many times. Now I'm really motivated to find time to go!

    a small bit | bloglovin | twitter

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  31. Lovely blog and photos!

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  32. I am getting some serious food envy from reading this post! All the food looks so yummy!

    xx
    Yvonne
    http://tellmeyblog.com

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  33. These all look delicious! I'm going to San Francisco in a few months and can't wait to go back.

    www.citybelleblog.com

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  34. Nice photos :)
    BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
    Maria V.

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  35. Jean, do you think this brown color would go well with our Asian skin tone?
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/blanknyc-faux-leather-jacket/3485962

    Also, do you know if BP will bring back those cute tall transit boots:http://www.extrapetite.com/search?q=BP+TRANSIT+BOOTS? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hm I dont know, hard to tell with shades of brown until you try it on in person! And I'm not sure about the Transit...sometimes they skip a year and bring things back so I never say never!

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  36. Great post! Love your outfit!
    xx
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    http://mllecoconath.com

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  37. Hi Jean,

    Loved all the food photos! Funny you ate at Carbon Grill. My brother in law owns it. I still need to try Boba Guys.

    I'm still bummed I didn't get a chance to meet you when you had an event at Anthropologie last time.

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    1. Wait, Ed is your brother in law? How funny!

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  38. Love the nail polish! Can you PLEASE tell me what color that is??? :)

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    1. Thanks! It's OPI Tiramisu for Two. I got it in the gel version but it comes in regular too

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  39. Any chance you can post your nail polish shade?

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  40. Hi Jean. Any chance you could do a video or maybe a pictorial on how you styled your blanket scarf in the first outfit above? I tried comparing it to the other video tutorial you have on how to style a blanket scarf but I don't think the style in this post was in the video? Unless it was please let me know which one it is and I'll need to practice harder! Thanks :))

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    Replies
    1. Hi! It's the handkerchief style, but after folding it into a triangle, I rolled it really tightly (to try to compress the volume) from the widest point towards the narrowest point a few times, before wrapping it around my neck

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  41. Great post! All this food looks delicious :)

    xo,
    Lily | pslilyboutique.com

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  42. You look super gorgeous! such a great look! Absolutely love your dress Boohoo Dress, ASOS scarf and ankle boots. Food looks so delicious!

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