Gluten Free San Francisco, With Fun Along The Bay
This gorgeous, eclectic city on the Bay has so much to offer and if you need to eat gluten free, San Francisco has plenty of options. If you are taking cabs, Uber or any public transportation, just be sure to plan your gluten free dining according to where you will be sight seeing in the city, otherwise, a lot of time will be spent jumping from one bus to another just to get on the other side of town for a gluten free pasta dish.
GLUTEN FREE DINING AND BAKERIES
Below is a quick list of a few of my favorite gluten free restaurants while visiting San Francisco. I did enjoy a couple of Thai restaurants and though they were not understanding my gluten free needs, I simply had them bring me some grilled chicken and rice and I added some lime juice on top with hot sauce. You can make a meal work if the wait staff just doesn’t get it. Also, most sushi is a great gluten free option and I bought gluten free soy sauce at a local market and just kept it in my bag.
PICA PICA MAIZE KITCHEN is an all gluten free restaurant, from the main meals to the sauces and side dishes. It’s always busy and it’s counter service. Absolutely one of the best meals I have ever had in my life! Fresh ingredients and loads of flavor. Located on Valencia in downtown San Francisco.
L’OTTAVO has a few gluten free pasta dishes and the staff is very accommodating. Great food and wonderful romantic ambiance. Prices not bad either. L’Ottavo is located on Sutter. This delightful Italian restaurant was not on any gluten free list, I simply went inside and asked. Glad I did, we ate there twice in one week!
While in Sausalito, a quaint shopping town just over the Golden Gate Bridge, be sure to check out BRIDGEWAY CAFE and AURORA RISTORANTE AND PIZZERIA for great gluten free options. Bridgeway Cafe is limited, but when in a pinch for a quick lunch, it works. However, Aurora Ristorante and Pizzeria is a known gluten free restaurant with great gf pizza and pasta dishes. One of my all time favorites! Great atmosphere and I recommend it for lunch or dinner.
While at Pier 39, shopping and watching the sea lions sunbathe, definitely dine at WIPE OUT BAR & GRILL. Great gluten free options, delicious food, fun servers and great casual atmosphere!
MARIPOSA BAKERY located at the Ferry Building. There are many vendors inside and I highly recommend you visit here. The Ferry Building is like a big farmer’s market. Mariposa Bakery is one of the best gluten free bakeries in town. I was able to order breads and cupcakes and ship them home. Check out their website, they ship! Delicious baked goods with your allergy needs met! Friendly, knowledgeable staff too! Stop by while in San Francisco, well worth it!
MUST SEES, MUST DOS!
Well, obviously you must see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies and Haight & Ashbury. My advice is take a Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour. There are several bus tours, so pick one you feel best about, there are many reviews so decide for yourself. We did another bus company and wished we did Hop On, Hop Off . Many tourists prefered them over the one we took. I would get a day pass and ride the whole journey through and figure out what you wish to see. It’s a great ride though the city and the bus goes over the Golden Gate Bridge. PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL NOT SEE SAUSALITO AND ALCATRAZ FROM THIS TOUR. (Some tour buses offer a bus change to Sausalito, but I recommend taking the ferry or renting a car if you are also doing Muir Woods.) There are separate ferries you can take to Sausalito and Alcatraz. Buy tickets in advance for Alcatraz, they sell out fast. I recommend renting a car and doing Sausalito and Muir Woods for the day. See Muir Woods when it opens, then on the way back to San Francisco, visit Sausalito before going over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Here is my advice on seeing the crooked street on Lombard: rent an Uber! Have the driver take you down the road and get good photos and video. There is not really a place to stop along the way, these are private residences. Also, the reason why you want an Uber is because there is a lot of walking to get to it. No bus tour stops nearby. So save your legs and call Uber. So worth it. Tip your driver extra too!
Again, definitely rent a car and see Muir Woods. After walking up and down hills in the city, your feet will thank you for it.
San Francisco Trolley rides are a must when visiting San Francisco. My advice, ride the California Street Line, it is not crowded at all. The other lines run near high volume tourist areas and sometimes you must wait over half an hour. We enjoyed the California Street Line very much. Great way to take in a bit of this hilly city!
Two great bus stops to get off at are definitely Haight & Ashbury and The Castro. Both places have the history of the hippy movement and the LGBT movement. While in Castro, be sure to visit the Human Rights Campaign Action Center and Store. It is in the original building where iconic gay activist and former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk had his camera shop. It is very historical and the entire area has some awesome cafes and coffee shops.
I am a carousel junky! I couldn’t miss this hidden jewel! Created in 1914 by the Herschell-Spillman company, this old time carousel still holds her charm. She is located in the Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate Park Carousel is loved by the young and old. While there, take in the beauty of the Golden Gate Park, but take a map, you can easily get lost, it’s huge! It’s bigger than Central Park in NYC by approximately 20%.
Pier 39 was one of my all time favorite places in San Francisco. I highly recommend the shopping and dining. Two big attractions to see and support: The Aquarium by the Bay and the Sea Lion Center. Well worth it to learn about the precious sea life inhabitants of the Bay Area. There is a carousel there too, yes, I rode it! Has 2 levels too!
One more must see: The Walt Disney Family Museum
If you are a die hard Disney fan, you MUST visit The Walt Disney Family Museum. It is just outside the city and has many Disney family pieces, original art, collectables and movie reels of some of Walt Disney’s beloved films. Give yourself a good hour to hour and a half to see this. Their cafe and gift shop is worth seeing too!
So there you have it, some of my favorite highlights of San Francisco. San Francisco is a refreshingly diverse city filled with culture and beauty. A week is definitely a good amount of time to hit the places you wish to see. I loved speaking to the Uber drivers, they all came from other countries and had wonderful inspiring stories to share. The food was amazing and only my legs hurt a bit. Be sure to pack comfortable, worn in sneakers for this hilly city.
If you leave your heart in San Francisco, it only means you need to return to her….make everyday a new adventure!
June 27, 2019
May 31, 2019