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SF Gifts for a world traveler?

I'm looking for gifts for a friend from the Indiana. She's in her early 20's and has traveled all over the world. She has been to SF many times. I'm going to visit her after she comes from from a year in Tunisia.

She wants me to bring her an In-N-Out burger, which I have done before...but of course, it's not exactly at it's prime after a 5 hr flight. So she'd be satisfied with a few packets of the sauce. haha But I'd like to bring her some unique items. She enjoys food but enjoys more funky and hipster than fancy.

I know she'd love a bottle of Anchor Steam but anyone know how well (or not) it would travel in checked luggage?

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  1. You can pack liquor bottles in shoes or in a wine carrier inside your suitcase. In N Out sells t-shirts and caps these days, which might travel better than a burger.

    Random things I've brought: 4505 chicharonnes, local chocolate, Frog Hollow and Swanton Berry Farm jams, Blue Bottle coffee, Sabores del Sur alfajores, bread (from Thorough, Tartine, Acme)

    Good places to shop: Rainbow, Bi-Rite, Canyon Market. There's an Acme inside Terminal 2 at SFO, if you're flying American or Virgin.

    After a year in Tunisia, I would probably crave Mexican food most, followed by pizza and sushi.

    Swanton Berry Farm
    25 Swanton Rd, Davenport, CA 95017

    Blue Bottle Cafe
    66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    Canyon Market
    2815 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA

    Sabores del Sur
    712 Bancroft Road Suite 236, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    1. You can always go with something cured. Pork should taste especially good to somebody coming back from a year in Tunisia, and anything at the Fatted Calf (Hayes Valley) or Boccalone (Ferry Building) has enough salt and fat to last through several five-hour plane rides.

      Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
      1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

      Fatted Calf
      644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

      1. a case of great fruit, like cherries, which are in their prime now.

        1. these are all great suggestions (i'm making mental notes for the times i bring s.f. gifts!).

          but are they truly "funky and hipster"?

          reading the original query this am, i could only come up w/ items i would view as delicious, but part of "mainstream" bay area foodie culture (eg. june taylor or dry creek peach jams, acme or tartine bread).

          1 Reply
          1. re: sundeck sue

            "funky and hipster" mean different things in Indiana than San Francisco; I wouldn't tend to put In N Out or Anchor Steam in that category. But 4505 Chicharones, absolutely.

            1. All wonderful suggestions. Sadly, she was never a pork person...so Boccalone is out. She's also had 4505 Chicharones before but was indifferent towards them (crazy, I know.)

              In-n-out is just a random California craving and Anchor Steam because she likes beer. haha
              Maybe hipster and funky aren't really the right words...I guess just less olive oil/truffle salt set?

              I guess with this post, I was looking for things outside the jams and bread, even though those are lovely suggestions too.

              Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
              1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

              1 Reply
              1. re: chaseshadows

                Anchor steam is available coast-to-coast and an acquired taste. I find it a bit heavy.

                When I get back to SF I want a fresh ice cold lagunitas, but that doesn't travel well (by FRESH I mean the handful of bars.

                A growler of whatever's fresh from Russian River meets all your requirements (unusual, hard to get, hipster, very tasty). Flying with a growler is neigh impossible.

                What about a plate of Bhel Puri from Vik's? Or chicken 65 from a place in sunnyvale?

              2. If she likes cooking I would bring her some Rancho Gordo beans. I send these to people every Christmas, and all my friends have gotten hooked. My friend (also from Indiana) also loves anything from Kika's Treats. I would suggest just going through the Ferry Building farmers market on a Saturday and picking up a bag of assorted goodies. You can get a lot of the stuff already mentioned in this thread there.

                Rancho Gordo
                1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559

                1. Well, it's salmon season around here now, and I know that they ain't got any in Tunisia. So how about packing a whole salmon on ice in a chest, and having a BBQ in Indiana?

                  Or an alternative: a variety of yummy tamales.

                  1. Does she like good coffee? there are some good coffee roasters in the Bay Area, my favorite being Blue Bottle

                    Blue Bottle Cafe
                    66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103