• Art Deco

    Art Deco Secrets of the 20's & 30's

    This architecture tour of downtown celebrates the 20's & 30's Art Deco & Art Nouveaou styles that beautify our surroundings, yet we've grown so accustomed as to take them for granted; we will pay homage.
  • The Mission

    The Mission District

    San Francisco's 1st neighborhood, The Mission District is still the heart & soul of this vibrant city. This area is so rich in culture, that we have 3 Mission food tours & 2 neighborhood walks.
  • North Beach

    North Beach

    North Beach is that rare thing -- a neighborhood that manages to be a perennial hit with tourists, and also to remain beloved by San Franciscans. It's San Francisco's Little Italy and the home of the beatniks.
  • Scenic Running

    Scenic Running

    Just a short run from the urban landscape of San Francisco's busy city streets you will find numerous trails and parks offering phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the City Skyline and other gems.
  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    Established in the 1840s, San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Our food and walking tours are 2nd to none.
  • Parrots!

    Parrots!

    Wild Parrots in San Francisco? Yes there are officially at least two flocks of wild Parrots here. These Parrots have evolved into a brand new species of parrot indigenous to San Francisco.

Explore San Francisco Blog

A Cannoli and Coffee Moment

A Cannoli and Coffee Moment

North Beach cannoli and coffee go so well together that I am glad I live in the Mission District.

But if you are sharing a cannoli with a good friend, do you know the proper way to cut a cannoli in half so that you don’t crush the delicate pastry? One of our customers will demonstrate in this video, and below that is a tried and true recipe for delicious iced coffee, New Orleans Style. Buon Gusto!


New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee
Adapted from the NYTimes; use Blue Bottle Coffee‘s special chicory blend for true New Orleans flavor. Not crazy about chicory, I use Graffeo Coffee (located in North Beach). Graffeo has been in business for decades and IMHO is the best coffee in San Francisco.
Coffee concentrate will last two weeks in the fridge.

Ingredients:
1/3 of a cup coarse ground coffee
1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
milk
ice
good dark-grade maple syrup or agave syrup
almond extract

Directions:
In a glass jar gently mix coffee grounds and water trying not to agitate the beans too much. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight, or twelve hours. Strain through cheesecloth or coffee filter to yield a dark, powerful coffee concentrate. Pour two inches or so of concentrate over ice, fill rest of glass with milk. For a Yankee twist sweeten with a glug of dark maple syrup, or use agave syrup. Add a drop of almond extract to really put it over the top. Stir and enjoy.

 

Graffeo Art & Science 2

Graffeo Art & Science 2

Graffeo Art & Science

Graffeo Art & Science

Graffeo Beans

Graffeo Beans

On our Explore San Francisco, North Beach Food Tour, we often stop at Victoria Pastry and Graffeo Coffee. If you are interested in attending, please contact us and let us know that you want to visit these two establishments on your tour!

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What the Hills Y’all: Adventures of a Texas Girl living in San Francisco

what the hills y’all: Explore San Francisco Food Tour, Mission North

What the Hills Y’all: Adventures of a Texas girl living in San Francisco

Have you ever been on a food tour? I’ve never been on one, but since I live in San Francisco in a mecca of food comas, I thought it would be great to take my mom and sister on one while they were in town.san-francisco-food-tourI’ve always been somewhat of a foodie, and living here gives me an overwhelming amount of choices that any diet plans can be thrown out the window in one bite. So while my husband and I are trying to find our next favorite food spot, and my mom and sister in town, we decided to embark on a food adventure which promised to fill our bellies with San Francisco deliciousness. Start your drooling…san-francisco-food-tourOur roughly 3 hour Mission North Food Tour with Explore San Francisco started with hot dogs with sauerkraut and continued through empanadas, tapas, southern cuisine, chocolate and ended with ice cream. We left with our bellies so full we didn’t mind the 20 minute walk back home.san-francisco-food-toursan-francisco-food-toursan-francisco-food-toursan-francisco-food-tourWith the abundance of culture, warm sun shining and not a cloud in sight, the wind was the only thing that reminded us of the San Francisco weather (and that maybe we should’ve brought a jacket!).san-francisco-food-tourI would highly recommend this tour to anyone either visiting San Francisco, or looking to find a new spot. We bookmarked some restaurants I can’t wait to go back to (talking about you Chile Lindo and SouthPaw!!

Restaurants Covered:

4505 Meats

Chile Lindo (empanadas)

SouthPaw BBQ

Bi-Rite Creamery

Dandelion Chocolate

Picaro (tapas)

 

 

525954_379205988805426_1713766787_n Explore San Francisco Food Tours

Mission District Food Tour – North

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Lard Becomes Fashionable Again

 

 

Why Fat is Back on the Menu

Lard is being smeared on sourdough, draped over scallops and boiled up for triple-cooked chips – and it might even be good for us. Are you a fan of pig fat?

 

Lardo di colonnata

Lardo di colonnata, the fanciest of fats. Photograph: Alamy

You’ve got to love food fashion. Just an arrhythmic heartbeat ago, or so it seems, lard was the artery-clogging work of the devil. These days, if you’re not scoffing whipped fat on sourdough, you’re just not keeping up.

I realise that not all of us are lauding lard, but there’s no denying it’s having a “moment”. Across the land, lard – aka solidified pig fat – is being draped over seafood, smeared on toast, flung on pizza and boiled up for triple-cooked chips.

Before the second world war, Britons couldn’t get enough of the stuff, of course. But concerns that it travelled straight from lips to hips, furring our arteries in the process, saw it slither from favour. Privately, chefs have always loved lard for its flavour and versatility – it produces heavenly pastry and crispy, flavoursome tatties – but until recently it has been their dirty little secret. So what’s changed to bring this love for lard out of the closet?

The trend for nose-to-tail dining – eating all parts of the animals we kill for human consumption – has something to do with it. But our views about eating animal fat are also changing. While the official line on saturated fat (the type found in meat and dairy) remains to limit our intake, a growing body of evidence is challenging the accepted wisdom that animal fat increases the risk of heart attack and disease. Some writers such as Gary Taubes, the author of Why We Get Fat, even argue that lard can be good for us. So with the heat off fat, and sugar taking its place in the firing line, it seems we’re enjoying a lardy binge.

Marianne Lumb, the chef and owner of Marianne restaurant, loves lard, especially the fanciest of fats, lardo di colonnata (back fat from Tuscan pigs). “I think it’s so popular in my kitchen because it is so versatile,” she says. “We introduced lardo di colonnata in our canapés by slicing it very thinly and using it instead of rice paper to wrap mint, radish and carrots. I also use it on a scallop dish, again sliced very thinly, and I gently blowtorch it so it goes translucent. It offers delicious flavour and also a real visual treat to a dish.”

She says customers need no persuading when it comes to ordering a dish garnished with fat, although she concedes description is key. “My front of house, Francesca, pronounces lardo di colonnata in perfect Italian, which makes it sound irresistible, compared to just ‘lard’!”

Lardo, pig butter, prosciutto bianco, salo – call it what you will, I love it all, from the herb-infused, whisper-thin posh stuff to the discards nicked from other people’s plates after a steak supper (yes, my family is repulsed).

But I do wonder what my late granny – who used to fondly recall the bread-and-dripping austerity suppers of her childhood – would make of our growing appetite for chic lards and drippings. I’m fairly sure she would have had a good chuckle at my recent experience at the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste awards, where I and other judges were asked to ruminate on a selection of fancy fats. As delicious as they were, I reckon Granny would opt for the stuff scooped from the bottom of the roasting pan – along with the all-important meat crud – any day.

What about you? Do you like your food draped in fat?
Or is fat a food fad too far?

 

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BYOB Summer Brunch Pop-Up

From Sosh:   HAUTE BRUNCH POP-UP WITH CHEF ANTHONY YANG   We know you love brunch (who doesn’t?), so we wanted to let you know about one of the coolest brunches in town: Ante Meridian, a pop-up brunch by star chef Anthony Yang (formerly of Per Se and Michael Mina). In a converted mansion called Read the full article…


Dandelion to open new chocolate factory in Mission

From Google, Maybe, to Chocolate Yes Tweet By Lydia ChávezPosted May 23, 2014 10:34 pm Google May Come to the Mission District, Feb. 17,2014 Where New Tech Arrives, Old Tech Once Roared,Feb.28,2014 Start-up Sells for Millions, Founders Turn to Chocolate, Nov.23, 2011 It looked earlier this year that Google or another tech company would be moving into the old Howard Read the full article…


Clarion Alley Mural Project VS Tour Guides (Including Explore SF?)

As Tourism Rises, So Do Mural Turf Clashes Sign posted on Clarion Alley. Tweet By Daniel HirschPosted May 19, 2014 7:05 am The Mission’s status as a global tourism destination has never been more acutely felt—walking down any of the Mission’s increasingly famous mural alleys, French, Japanese, German, Korean, Swedish and the ubiquitous snap of cameras can Read the full article…


Tosca, reviewed

TOSCA CAFE Bloomfield and Friedman have shifted lately into empire-building mode. They’re actively looking for another space in New York (with some recent hitches) beyond the four Manhattan restaurants they already run, and there were brief rumors about the duo opening their first venture in Los Angeles. Their western expansion already began early last year when the two Read the full article…


Auto Body shop on 16th Sells for $8.7 Million

From Lydia Chavez at Mission Local The Urban Group Real Estate announced the sale of 3140-50 16th Street, a former auto body shop, for $8.7 million, according to a press release. Louis Cornejo, president of Urban Group, represented the seller, Jesse Henry, who grew up in the projects in Hunter’s Point and ran Superior Automotive Read the full article…


Looking Back at the Oldest Building in San Francisco Friday, SF Curbed, by Alex Bevk

1856 Then photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY Public spaces change fast here in San Francisco, and for better or worse, it can be pretty crazy when you see what the City used to look like. Every week, we’ll bring you Then & Now, a comparison of historic photos of the Bay Area with Read the full article…


Hidden Gems of San Francisco: Hidden Temples of Chinatown

Hidden Gems of SF EXPLORE SAN FRANCISCO: CHINATOWN By Alixx Ortiz San Francisco’s Chinatown boasts a significant number of temples dedicated to a variety of gods and family ancestors. I’ve visited a number of them, and am always impressed at how willing the volunteers and staff are to chat with visitors about the particulars of a given Read the full article…