San Francisco – The City Tour

Posted : Wed, Dec 20, 2006 12:29 am
Filed under : Eating Out > Gluten Free USA > Traveling Gluten Free

San Francisco Ferry Terminal

We began the morning with a stroll through China Town & North Beach (little Italy) before making our way down to Fisherman’s Wharf. We had planned to have lunch down there on the water, but could not find the right sort of cafe. Everything was either a diner or a coffee shop serving bagels. Obviously for me a bagel was not going to work for breakfast plus I really wanted egg’s benedict. We toured the sights around Fisherman’s Wharf & then decided to head on over to the Ferry Terminal Building & try our luck. We had heard that they have some very nice markets/food shops (even though it was almost lunch time & we were still looking for breakfast).

The Ferry Terminal did have nice food stores but still no nice little breakfast cafe. Time was getting on & by this stage we were starving. We searched the surrounding streets but everything was geared to fast food, coffee & bagels. Eventually I went into the 7-11 & bought an orange juice & some mixed nuts just to get me through. Looking back I guess we at least we were seeing some of the city in our quest for Gluten Free food.

We decided to catch the ferry to Sausalito & try our luck over there. We had heard that they had lots of nice little cafe’s overlooking the harbor plus it would give us a chance to view the Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz. With a fresh latte in hand we settled ourselves on the outside deck & relaxed in for the picturesque ferry ride.

To our delight 5 mins after arriving in Sausalito we found a lovely little cafe with home style food and an all day breakfast. I was past my craving for egg’s benny buy this stage & decided on a 3 egg omelette. I explained to the server about my Gluten Free needs & it was no problem accommodating me. Very satisfied we strolled around the harbour for a few hours before returning to the city.

Gluten Free Breakfast

That night we decided to eat at the mexican restaurant next to our hotel – Colibri Mexican Bistro. It had a great atmosphere & excellent service. I explained to our waiter that I required a Gluten Free meal & he instantly advised me which dishes would be suitable. After taking our order, the usual complimentary bread & dips were brought to the table. My husband tried one & said I think this is actually a corn tortilla not a flour tortilla. We called our waiter & who advised that it was corn & gluten free. Actually his comment was, “I would not bring something to your table that you could not have”. I was impressed. It is very rare that you find a waiter so attentive to your needs. Our meals were delicious, like no other Mexican food I had tasted. I was beginning to believe our friend from the airport’s comment that ‘San Francisco is an eater’s city’.

Our next day began with a trip on San Francisco’s infamous cable cars. Again we thought we would just get breakfast whilst we were out and again it was 3pm before we ate. We toured from Union Square, to Lombard St, to Fishermans Wharf, to Golden Gate Park, to the Beach and back to the city before finding somewhere suitable to eat. It was a great day out & thank goodness for mixed nuts and water because our first meal of the day was Gluten Free Penang Thai Curry at 3pm.

My impression of San Francisco is that it is a great city & that has excellent Gluten Free food once you find it!


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Gluten Free in San Francisco

Posted : Tue, Dec 19, 2006 3:57 am
Filed under : Eating Out > Gluten Free USA > Traveling Gluten Free

Well it is almost Christmas & the time of year to be with family & friends. My husbands brother is getting married so we decided to come home to Australia for a 5 week holiday.
Our Gluten Free stories begin at Vancouver Airport….

After missing our flight to San Francisco we had a couple of hours to spare at the airport & decided to go for lunch. There was not too much to choose from so we settled on the little cafeteria near our departure gate. Another friend was also flying out that afternoon and he came & joined us for a drink. Now as we had been in a hurry to get to our flight I was carrying absolutely no gluten free food (against even my own advice) so I stood there at the counter scanning the menu at the limited options. The breakfast meals were looking good but they had stopped serving at 10am (if only the all day breakfast could be standard) and a salad was no going to cure my hunger so I decided fries was the solution. I advised the cashier that I was allergic to gluten (i.e wheat, barley & rye) and would it be alright if I read the ingredients label from the fries box. She was a little unsure at the request but even still went & got me the box from which the fries came. Now in Canada for some reason they feel it necessary to coat their fries in flour, so it is generally a hit & miss exercise trying to have them. To my surprise when I read the label they were actually coated in Rice Flour!!!! This totally improved my mood from missing our flight & I immediately ordered a great big tray of fries, a peach cider & some beers for my husband & friends.

Golden Gate Bridge

Once arriving in San Francisco caught the shuttle ride into the city were I got chatting to another passenger about what to do & see over our couple of days. San Francisco was her home town & she gave us the in’s & out’s of what to do & where to go. One thing that stood out was her comment that San Francisco was ‘eaters city’ and that there were endless fabulous restaurants to be enjoyed. She was not wrong!

Our first experience was at a local indian restaurant about 2 blocks from Union Square called “Chutneys”. It is a ‘cheap & cheerful’ kind of place with incredible food. I checked with the server before ordering my meal that there was no Gluten in the dishes & I was assured all was fine. I could not help but order the Butter Chicken & my husband ordered a Curried Vegetable & Lamb dish. Both dishes were Gluten Free & really tasty. I would even say some of the best indian food we have ever had.

We strolled back to our hotel (Hotel Diva) and were very impressed with our first culinary experience in San Francisco.


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