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Local Bottled Water Question...San Francisco

I've spent quite a bit of time reading through this board and have put together a list of restaurants to try (or avoid) over the four days I'll be in San Francisco, attending a business conference. It's been quite a few years since I've visited your city and I'm looking forward to enjoying new eating experiences.

I'm staying at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco (600 Stockton St.) and am looking forward to following your food recommendations while I'm here from Oct 20 until late on Oct 23.

Along with my food exploring, I'm trying to buy bottled water for my daughter's collection. The bottles need to be plastic (for safety) and sized around 16.9 fluid ounces, or so. She has 374 different water bottles in her collection and, with most of the national labels already accounted for, I'm trying to find regional and/or private labeled bottles.

Since stopping at every eatery or business I pass and asking if they sell their own "brand" of bottled water is an impossibility, I'm hoping you can help. If you can think of a restaurant/business that has it's own privately labeled water (or carries an unusual brand) and is in the same general area as the Ritz Carlton (I won't have a car), I'd appreciate knowing about it. Also, I'm quite willing to take a taxi, if the trip is a fairly short one.

As you can guess from the paragraphs above, the water doesn't necessarily have to have a restaurant's name on it. Regional waters sold in retail stores and also non-restaurant, private labeled water bottles are also fair game. Even if I have to buy a six-pack or a case at a grocery, drug or liquor store and keep one bottle for my daughter and give away the rest to whoever is leaving the store and wants it for free, that's OK.

Google wasn't much help as the search results were mostly about the governmental bottled water ban. But I did find a regional brand that's not in the collection...Alhambra.

Any help you can provide in finding bottled water for the collection would be GREATLY appreciated! I'll be checking back here often to see if there are any suggestions

Thanks,

Ken

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  1. Calistoga. Arrowhead (So. Cal).

    There's a very strong anti-bottled water trend hereabouts so maybe slim pickings.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks for the lead on Calistoga...I'll try to track some down.

      Arrowhead is sold in other parts of the country and has already be added to collection.

      I know about the anti-water feelings. Google has lots of info about it. Back in 2003 the city started bottling it's own water under the name Hetch Hetchy Mountain Water. Would have liked to buy one for the collection but I'm sure it disappeared long ago.

      Gotta go...my flight to SF is getting ready to board!

      1. re: ChiKen

        This is a label rather than a brand, but when I was in Mollie Stone's on California Street the other day, I saw that their small section of school-pride (probably football party-related) food products included Stanford and Cal bottled water (along with canisters of roasted peanuts and the like).

        1. re: ChiKen

          Crystal Geyser is another NorCal brand. It and Calistoga can be found in just about any market.

          I believe the City & County of San Francisco bottled [tap] water can still be purchased at the City Hall gift shop.

      2. Interestingly the selection is better in parts of the Bay Area outside of San Francisco itself. My favorites are Foster Farms and Sunnyside.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          I've never seen Foster Farms. Sunnyside is a house label for Raley's/Nob Hill. I'd go with Calistoga, which actually represents a specific place in Northern California.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Foster Farms might now use the Crystal label.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Don't think Sunnyside Farms is exclusive to Raley's as I've seen it elsewhere. Also, Raley's has Raley's house label water.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                Thanks for the info about Raley's. Unfortunately, the web site for this chain shows that their nearest stores are quite a bit out of my travel range, on this trip. As usual, there's always something that's JUST out of reach!

            2. Most chain supermarkets and drug stores sell "their own" brand

              1. Would be worth going to Rainbow Market to see what they stock -- it is definitely the most interesting market in town with small providers and diverse inventory.

                2 Replies
                1. re: CarrieWas218

                  Would this happen to be the Rainbow Grocery, located at 1745 Folsom St?

                  1. re: ChiKen

                    Yes - it is a one-and-only... The only comparable store in the Bay Area is Berkeley Bowl in the East Bay.

                2. Probably a reach, but does anyone know if the Fizzary has water at all or is it just soda?
                  http://www.thefizzary.com/

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: absc

                    Just soda...

                    Darn fine soda, but just soda.

                  2. Update:

                    Well, since the conference ends at about noon on Wednesday (and I'll be on a 4:30 flight back to Chicago), I thought I'd take the time to let you know about my successes...and failures.

                    Mollie Stone's yielded both the Stanford and Cal bottled water. And BevMo had their own brand (BevMo!H2O). I also stumbled upon two other brands while wandering around near the hotel: Vita and Waiwera Artesian Water.

                    This brings my daughter's collection up to 379 different bottles. There may end up being one or two more because I'm going to stop at Rainbow Grocery on my way to the airport.

                    Haven't yet come across Calistoga. And a call to City Hall (and the Public Utilities Commission) let me know the city no longer bottles their water for consumer sales.

                    So, to those of you who took the time to read this thread and respond to it, I want to offer a big "Thank You!" from both myself and my daughter.

                    Ken

                    1. Probably too late for you in San Francisco, but if you have time, stop in the Vera Bradley store in San Francisco Center (Powell and Market), They usually will offer customer complimentary small individual bottles of chilled water with various Vera Bradley patterned labels.