A world of flavours in San Francisco

There's no denying San Francisco's many assets, some of which are still little known to the general public, such as its gastronomy. It's hard to imagine that the city is one of the world's great food cities, but it is. And it's with this in mind that a guide is offering a world tour of the city's flavours.

Chef preparing a gourmet dish

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San Francisco, the gastronomic capital of the United States

In recent years, the gastronomy sector has developed particularly well in the San Francisco area. So much so that it is now known the world over as one of the capitals of gastronomy. A huge number of restaurants have opened in recent years, and San Francisco now has the most restaurants per capita in the United States. The city boasts eight Michelin three-star restaurants and some of the world's most talented chefs.

A chef and his assistant working in the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant.

- © Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Three districts, three regions of the world

San Francisco has so many restaurants, it's hard to know where to go and which one to choose. This guided tour will take care of all that for you, by taking you to sample the culinary specialities of three of the city's districts: Chinatown, the Chinese quarter, North Beach, the Italian quarter, and the Mission District, with its Oaxacan specialities. For two hours, a guide will be on hand to guide you through the tasting sessions, show you the emblematic places and monuments of these districts and tell you all about their history.

San Francisco gastronomic tour San Francisco

San Francisco gastronomic tour

Choose between Chinatown, North Beach and the Mission District and embark on a guided tour focusing on gastronomy
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£79 / person
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Chinatown

The tour starts at 11am at the most legendary entrance to Chinatown: Dragon's Gate. From there, the guide will take you to some of the little places where you can sample the region's culinary specialities. During the two-hour tour, you can visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and taste the famous biscuits, drink traditional Chinese tea or enjoy the best homemade dim sum you've ever tasted. The guide will then take you to Stockton Street where you will experience the street markets. The tour finishes at 1pm after a visit to St Mary's Cathedral.

Bowl filled with Chinese cakes and fortune cookies, San Francisco

- © Kit Leong / Shutterstock

North Beach

For those who prefer to discover Italian culture and cuisine, the guided gastronomic tour of North Beach is the right choice. The meeting point is on Kearny Street at 2pm near the Columbus Tower. During the tour, you'll hear about the history of the Church of St Francis of Assisi and that of Peter and Paul, not forgetting the murals by Luigi Brusatori. In addition to these historical discoveries, you will taste Italian specialities, starting with an Italian coffee and traditional sweets, a slice of pizza and to finish with a very special cocktail...

Traditional Italian wood-fired pizza oven

- © Andrewshots / Shutterstock

Mission District

For this visit, we head for the Mission District and its Mexican restaurants. At 11am, the group meets in front of the Mission Church of Saint Francis of Assisi or Mission Dolores for a 2-hour visit. The first stop is the Café de Olla restaurant, renowned for its Mexican specialities such as quesadillas, tamales and tortillas. After a delicious, gourmet meal, you'll head down Mission Street to 24th Street, where you can sample the famous tacos at La Taqueria, the pastries at La Reina Bakery or the delicious coffee at the original Philz Coffee Shop.

Practical info

The tour lasts around two hours and is led by an English-speaking guide. Meeting points and times vary according to the district chosen.

  • For Chinatown, the price is 65.30 euros per adult and 49.20 euros for children aged 5 to 11. Under 5s, the visit is free.
  • North Beach costs 75.30 euros per adult and 59.20 euros for children aged 5-11.
  • For the Mission District, the cost is 85.40 euros per adult and 55.20 euros for children aged 5-11.

Unfortunately, the tour is not wheelchair accessible. Reservations can be made at very short notice, but it is advisable to book in advance, as cancellations are free up to 24 hours before the start of the tour.

Where to sleep nearby?

San Remo Hotel San Francisco
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San Remo Hotel

2-star hotel in North Beach combining old-world charm with modern facilities
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by Faustine PEREZ
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