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What's Up With Crepes in SF?

My first experience with crepes was in Paris. There you can wait a few minutes for a simple crepe with the filling of your choice wrapped in paper, taking it with you as you walk. It seems in San Francisco, when ordering a crepe, you must be prepared to sit down at a table and have a giant crepe plus potatoes and a salad.....really? Even if you ask for it to go, and plainly state that "I am walking" you still get a gigantic crepe in a big box that you must eat with a fork and knife. I just moved to the city, and I'm loving walking around its gorgeous streets.....someone please tell me of some crepe stops where I can get a simple crepe that I can take to go.

 
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  1. Amazingly enough, since this isn't Paris, the food choices are different.

    That said, I agree that what most places in the Bay Area call a crepe is a perversion of a real crepe.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Yes, Ruth, and vive la difference! While nobhillbilly will not be likely to find Parisian style crepes here, neither will they find (debatable, I know) New York style pizza, Philly style cheesesteaks, east coast style bagels or L.A. style burritos among other treats. Instead of seeing it as a lack of quality, keep an open mind when exploring the food options here and you'll be bound to find some things to enjoy and appreciate. Then when you visit Paris again, you can, for example, try an ice cream and think of how it just isn't the same as your favorite cone from San Francisco. We have a lot of great food here. Welcome to the city, and happy exploring.

      Nobhillbilly, I have seen people milling about Sophie's Crepes on the second floor of the Japantown Center holding crepes in paper cones. I cannot vouch for quality or flavor, but they do meet your hand-held criteria.

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      Sophie's Crepes
      1581 Webster St # 275, San Francisco, CA

      1. re: PersnicketyChicky

        The crepes at Sophie's are more like waffle cones--the fruit and whipped cream fillings are the main points.

        But I think the real difference is no one here is likely to know what "I am walking" means. You don't see a lot of people walking through the streets of San Francisco eating sices of pizza or burritos or bahn mi or whatever.

        Sounds like we could use a crepe cart. I'd be surprised if there isn't something like it--the waffle wagon perhaps.

        1. re: Windy

          There is a crepe cart on Howard between 1st & 2nd called Creperie St. Germain. I've had crepes there twice and really enjoyed them; they are more in the style of Ti Couz than Crepevine, which is a major plus. They're served in a paper cone-type thing so could be eaten while walking.

          http://www.creperiesaintgermain.com/

          1. re: Windy

            Windy - I disagree to a point. Yes, those J-town crepes *can* be filled, but that does not necessarily make them the main point. Living in that neighborhood, I often just order the classic butter and sugar and their nutella version is legendary.

            There is often a line at Sophie's but less than fruit and whipped cream is their selection of gelato which I believe many prefer as an accompaniment; green tea or black sesame are the favorites.

            But these are definitely "walking crepes!"

            1. re: CarrieWas218

              Thanks Carrie, I'll give them another chance then, with fewer fillings. They still seem more like waffle cones than French crepes, but agreed, they are portable.

              Frosty Melon, that cart was definitely not in the Financial District when I was working nearby. Looks fantastic.

              1. re: CarrieWas218

                Sorry, but even with simple fillings, I was really disappointed in Sophie's. They cook their crepes too long and the Nutella one came dried out and cardboard-like, versus the crispy at the edges, soft toward the middle crepes that are the norm from Parisian crepe stands.

                Sophie's style of crepe, with lots of fillings like ice cream and fruit, are more suited for their drier pancakes, as they are more sturdy.

            2. re: PersnicketyChicky

              Thanks Chicky.....I'm so happy to be here, loving the food and everything that is San Francisco. I don't mean to compare it to Paris or any other city for that matter. I am also grateful for the many places to get a crepe here, I just wished there were more places that sold a "quickie crepe".

          2. Have you been to Ti Couz? one of my favorite places anywhere for crepes. Amazing.

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            Ti Couz Creperie
            3108 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            1 Reply
            1. re: cakebaker

              Ti Couz does not offer what the OP is after. Their menu warns that they do not package any food to go; it's in the form of a funny poem, but basically they object to the idea of fast food.

              Sophie's or the crepe cart are probably a better bet for portable food.

            2. I can't vouch for the SF Farmer's Markets, but the Sunday one in San Rafael has a booth that sells crepes to be eaten on the go.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Civil Bear

                Oh, that reminds me of the crepe guy who used to have a window at Hayes and Laguna. Antoine maybe? He had a cart weekends at the Saratoga market.

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  There is a crepe stand at the Fort Mason farmer's market on Sundays.
                  There is a crepe store with a take-out window at Pier 39.
                  Sweetheart cafe on Grant also offers crepes.

                  I can't vouch for any of them, or their styles. I make (and over eat) crepes in the comfort of my apartment...it's so easy and oh so good.

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                  Pier 39
                  , San Francisco, CA 94102

                2. Have you considered Genki Crepes on Clement? I've only been there twice but the crepes were decent and pretty easy to eat. In fact, my sister ate one while driving back to our grandmother's house.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2408...

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                  Genki Crepes
                  330 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: krakauer

                    very similar in concept to Sophie's in J-town, so the above discussion re: Sophie's applies to Genki. I like both.

                    1. re: krakauer

                      I second Genki's. While they are often filled with ice cream, you can get a simple or savory crepe that is portable. I like Genki better than Sophie's. Pier 39 has tourist crepes (never tried them) but I am guessing based on venue they would be portable.

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                      Pier 39
                      , San Francisco, CA 94102

                    2. There is a fantastic crepe stand serving just what you want (I hope!) on 11th street in SOMA, between harrison and folsom.
                      It's inside a van set back within a small parking lot.

                      The staff and chef are french.
                      Crepes are made to order. Cheap and delicious.
                      There's a menu with lots of fillings/combos to choose from, and you can name whatever combo you like.
                      They are prepared to walk away, but there are benches where you can set and enjoy if you prefer.

                      Looking around on the net, I just discovered it's called "Crepes a Go-Go",
                      350 11th Street, SF.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pauliface

                        That's the closest I can think of. The truck reminds me of one that used to park at the crazy South Van Ness and Mission intersection. I'm still hunting for the best combo for my tastes, but the crepe itself isn't dried out. Filling quality could be better, but if you want a walkable crepe that constitutes a full meal for $5 or so, Crepes a Go-Go is pretty much it.

                      2. Brittany Crepes at the Temescal Farmer's market is very good. Simple, served on a paper plate and eaten on the go.

                        1. I didn't try it, but walked past Crepes A-Go-Go down in the Marina this afternoon. Seems to be similar to Sophi's about making a creme to go...