Travel

San Francisco Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Gemini Bottle Co.
2801 22nd St., Mission
Gemini Bottle Co. takes its aesthetic as seriously as its inventory. The store is beautiful in a pared-back, minimal way that encourages customers to hang out and really look around. This is the Mission spot you pop into for small-grower natural wine, a jar of anchovies, bountiful CSA boxes from local farmers, and fresh, hook-and-line caught fish. There’s a robust selection of craft beers, plus all the accoutrement you need to stock a bar at home—right down to the glasses. Gemini holds weekly complimentary tastings, runs a wine club, and keeps environmental concerns at the forefront of their business. Images courtesy of Lauren Hanussak.
Pie Society
Citywide
Angela Pinkerton honed her dough skills at Che Fico and Eleven Madison Park, and thanks to her new endeavor, we can all reap the benefits. Pie Society celebrates simplicity. Expect perfectly baked, rustic pies in nostalgic flavors like peach, key lime, and zingy passionfruit curd. The crust is flaky and buttery, and the fillings are sweet but never too sugary. Pie Society is a one-woman show, so quantities are limited (order ahead early). And remember, there are few experiences more pleasant than rolling up to an outdoor picnic or Friday night barbecue with a fresh, homemade pie baked by an absolute pro.
Sunday’s Snacks & Convenience
1522 Fillmore St., Japantown
Sunday’s Snacks & Convenience is the epitome of grab-and-go food culture. For a stupendously expensive city like San Francisco, every chicken katsu sandwich and breakfast musubi is priced affordably. There’s something for everyone—the house-cured bacon, egg, konbu, shiitake, and rice musabi is $3. In line with so many new businesses in San Francisco, Sunday’s is currently a weekend pop-up within Boba Guys Fillmore. We say currently as dozens of these newly-minted entrepreneurs are running with the wild success of their pop-ups and opening brick-and-mortars around the city. (The next pop-up location kicks off in June at the Asian Art Museum.) In the interim, we’ll be at Boba Guys on Saturdays to pick up our soy-braised pork belly sando on soft, pillowy milk bread.
Flour Craft Bakery
129 Miller Ave., Mill Valley
We heard about Flour Craft from a Coeliac staffer and were instantly intrigued. Verifiably good focaccia, sourdough, and brioche? Genuinely tasty airy scones, muffins, and brownies? Whole lavishly decorated cakes? At Flour Craft, the gang’s all here, and every doughy bite is gluten-free. Like all great businesses, this bakery was born from necessity. Founder Heather Hardcastle struggled with gluten and couldn’t find treats and baked goods to satisfy her sweet tooth. Aside from pastries, this spot serves up a full (and deliciously healthy) breakfast and lunch menu every day. Images courtesy of Erin Scott.
Lucinda’s Deli
535 Scott St., NoPa
To have a great sandwich spot in your back pocket during the age of WFH brings the peace of mind we all need. Lucinda’s Deli—a basement spot near Alamo Square—churns out subs that merit the long lines. We’re partial to the veggie Avo Smash (fried and pickled onions, cashew romesco, cucumber, and tomato layered with avocado) or the Roast Beef (jazzed up with Thai barbecue sauce) and a Topo Chico. These are hefty sandos that keep a grumbling stomach at bay until dinner. And while you can order the full menu for delivery, the nearby park is a lovely spot to enjoy your sub and a glimpse of the owner’s dog—and deli namesake—Lucy is worth the wait in line.
Palm City Wines
4055 Irving St., Outer Sunset
Curated by the former wine director at Nopa, the wine list at Palm City is meticulous. But what gets San Franciscans to come out in droves are the hoagies (warning: they’re huge). Palm City is a wine shop, a wine bar, a sandwich shop, and a small plates dining spot. In essence, it’s an Outer Sunset gathering space brimming with good vibes. Let’s get back to the wine for a second: Palm City’s list is a special one, packed with tiny producers committed to biodynamic and organic principles (like the Italians behind Tuscany’s Castel Del Piano).
Daily Driver
2535 3rd St., Dogpatch
The Daily Driver is a collaborative effort between several makers, all united in their love of the perfect bagel. David Kreitz makes the boiled, wood-fired bagels, his wife Hadley churns the organic cultured butter and organic cream cheese, while David Jablons and Tamara Hicks scouted the space and brought the vision to life. That vision encompasses the bakery, creamery, coffee roastery, and dining space. And once you bite into an everything smeared with cream cheese and topped with gravlax, there’s no turning back. Luckily, you don’t have to. Aside from dining in and pickup, the Daily Driver has an up and running bagel club. Order your goods on Wednesdays for pickup or delivery on Fridays. Not only will you get half a dozen of organic bagels and all the toppings, but you can also mingle (virtually) with other club members and taste new Daily Driver flavors first. Images courtesy of Frankie Frankeny.
Queens
1235 9th Ave., Inner Sunset
Self-described the “neighborhood Korean superette,” Queens serves up classic Korean deli food, which is surprisingly tough to find in San Francisco. Beyond ready-to-eat banchan, spicy stews, kimchi dumplings, great wine, and mung-bean pancakes, you’ll notice artisanal Korean microbrews, small-batch soju, dehydrated mushroom starter packs for at-home dashi stock, and all manner of Korean groceries. Queens works with a series of local farms (all listed on their site for transparency) to grow traditionally Korean produce and heirloom Asian vegetables for their kitchen to work with.
Jina Bakes
1581 Webster St., Japantown
Jina Bakes got our attention with their Daeho-inspired Kalbijjim croissant, but it’s the convenience (and delight) of their weekly pastry box that sealed the deal. Other than the famous croissants, what’s included? Expect treats like matcha cream puffs, butter mochi, panna cotta, strawberry cake, and handy portable pour-over coffee sachets should you choose to work through the box on the go. Each package comes with specific storage and reheating instructions, and the goods included change regularly. Preorders open early on Sunday mornings for the following weekend (pickups and deliveries happen on Saturdays). A permanent brick-and-mortar bakery space is under renovation in Japantown .
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