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The Best of Northern California: Bottega, Cakebread Cellar, Swensen's, Sushi Rock, Stacks, Gelateria Naia, ZUNI, Caffe Delucchi, Lucky, Chowder's, and Spring Mountain


Michael Chiarello's Bottega Restaurant in Yountville, California, Napa Valley.   The Wood Oven Roasted Half Cornish Chicken fresh cranberry bean, sweet corn; cherry tomatoe ragĂș, wood oven roasted pepperonata was delicious.  The almond cake is a must have!

Bottega on Urbanspoon

Cakebread Cellar

Their buttery wine tastings are matched with recipes to create at home.

Ghirardelli Square

A chocolate mecca - sample and watch the chocolate being made in front of you.  Chocolates, candies, and ice cream.  Save your appetite, look for coupons, or just window shop.

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA
Parking can be a challenge, so plan on a weekday or non-peak hours.

Swensen's Ice Cream Shop

The original location in San Francisco at 1999 Hyde Street, San Francisco.

Sushi Rock

Looking for some Japanese sushi, with a lively bar, and music? Check out Sushi Rock near China Town.  A fun place for a Friday or Saturday night.  Reasonable prices, good flavors, and I had a great waitress.

Sushi Rock on Urbanspoon


San Francisco location.
Great breakfast and menu items.  American classics, homemade, farm-fresh.  A place with a lot of locals, big portions, order a mix of pancakes, waffles, and crepes to share at your table.  

Stacks Restaurant on Urbanspoon 

Gelateria Naia

Little Italy location.
Real flavor, pure quality, great variety.
A perfect treat to take along as you walk along the shops and park in the area. 

Gelateria Naia on Urbanspoon


Lunch at Zuni.  One of the best restaurants for lunch.  Ate in the kitchen area, how different is that?  The salads and dressings are terrific. 

ZUNI Café on Urbanspoon

Lucky Stores ("Lucky's")

Lucky Stores ("Lucky's") is back! In 1998 it was bought out and disappeared. Now it is back in Northern California, though without their old spokeswoman Stephanie Edwards.

Caffe Delucchi

This was a fantastic find in North Beach/Little Italy, between Washington Square and the 
Transamerica Pyramid.  I ordered the grilled chicken panini, with applewood smoked bacon, provolon, lettuce, tomato and red pepper aioli on green onion focaccia. 

Caffe Delucchi on Urbanspoon

The Jelly Belly Factory Tour and Store

1 Jelly Belly Lane  Fairfield, CA 94534
The Jelly Belly factory tour and store will cure your sweet tooth!  President Reagan:  Popularized the Jelly Belly (his jelly bean mosaic below).  The factory is located a distrance from San Francisco, so think realistically about your time if on vacation.  The tour takes about 40 minutes.  Plan to go on a weekday and plan your other activities carefully.  The wait time can be 15 minutes to over an hour.  Eat first, especially if taking children as this will cut down on the temptation to chow down on a ton of candy.  

Boudin Bakery

This bakery is an institution and at one time was the place to check out.  Over time other locations have been added.  Good food, although if on vacation you may wish to try something a bit more unique.  


Pier 39
Chowder's clam chowder is served in a sourdough bread bowl with loads of clams, celery, onions, diced potatoes and crispy bacon.  Share a break bowl or don't plan on eating dinner, as this is a large portion to eat.  

Chowder's on Urbanspoon

Spring Mountain Vineyard

St. Helena--The largest vineyard, among the smallest production, and supplies grapes to several wineries throughout the world.

Spring Mountain's barrel and connected wine cave.

Spring Mountain Estate:  Tiburcio Parrott

Jesse Bluma Los Angeles restaurants

Shop Pointe Viven for baked goods 
to take on your next trip.

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