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Food Souvenirs from San Francisco

Hey all,

I'll be in SF this weekend and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on the best local food/drinks to bring back as souvenirs. I live in Houston so we have quite a melting pot of foods available, but I was looking for local products that would travel well to bring home to family and friends (any myself!)


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    1. re: wolfe

      That's what I would suggest, too. I'm still kicking myself for not doing it the last time I was in SF.

      1. re: wolfe

        Second/Third. The Ferry Building is actually filled with authetic SF food/gift items. It's one of those rare places that's set up for ease of convenience for visitors/tourists but the vendors and restaurants and farmer's market (on certain days) are absolutely authentic, local and the majority are extremely good.

        1. The Ferry Plaza truly does have a lot of great local stuff, many options to choose from.

          This is an old topic, but I think all of the recommendations are still solid:


          1. bottle of oysters, Swan Oyster Depot.

            fatted calf beef jerky.

            plum preserves, Judy (name ???0

            reichutti chocolates.

            charcuterie from molinari.

            pre-packed pints from sketch ice cream.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kevin

              Are you thinking of June Taylor Preserves?

              1. I truly have no time to go to the Ferry Plaza before my trip next week and am kicking myself for not thinking about it when I was there 2 weeks ago. So I will either get a box of See's Candy (the night before I travel) or a loaf of Boudin's sourdough bread at the airport...

                3 Replies
                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                  A quick search showed that evidently See's are available in the Houston airport. LOL. Who'd have thunk? I was almost embarrassed a few years ago when I took some friends a load of Boudin's SD. Really blah. How about some cute cable car snow globes?!?!? :)

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I'm not surprised. I was in Las Vegas about 15 years ago and there was a Ghiradelli Chocolate shop near Harrah's.

                    My niece wants something edible that her fiance hasn't had, and he hasn't had sourdough bread or See's. I guess they can't get them in Atlanta, or he just hasn't had them anywhere else he's lived...I think he's from Arkansas.

                    1. re: alwayshungrygal

                      How about chicken feet?!?!?!? Just kidding :)

                2. Blue Bottle: roasted coffee beans
                  Josey Baker bread at The Mill
                  Dandelion chocolate


                  I love shopping at Phoenicia Foods in Houston!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Cynsa

                    Phoenicia is a great spot - I used to work right across the street. Definitely miss that. It's too bad their restaurant/bar is pretty sub par.

                  2. Second on Molinari Salame (not "salumi," thank you), and bottled Oysters from Swan's. How about a Sacripantina from Stella Pastry, some real Italian roast coffee from Graffeo, or XOX truffles?

                    The sad thing about threads like this is that they are filled with mentions of things that didn't even exist 10 years ago. It leaves the impression that San Francisco had no food culture before the turn of the century, and maybe to most of the posters here it didn't.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: soupçon

                      I think part of it. As someone who grew up here, I'm wracking my brain to think of older companies that make edible goods that preserve well but are not available nationally (e.g. we used to get gifts such as Sees brittle a lot, but that's now available nationally, or ghiradelli chocolate, or Peets coffee beans also all available nationally, or almonds, olive oil etc. now also CA nuts and olive oil are exported nationally and even internationally).

                      It's the nature of our economy for either a business to grow and grow till they are no longer local (see Blue Bottle now), or to fade if it's a family business if the next generation does not want to carry it on.

                      So it makes sense that a lot of the local successful companies are young no? Or make goods that don't travel well e.g. ice cream.

                      1. re: soupçon

                        On that note, fortune cookies from Golden gate fortune cookie factory or Mee Mee.

                        Those little fennel seed flavored dried sausages that are sold most gourmet shops.

                        1. re: soupçon

                          All salami are salumi, but not all salumi are salami.

                        2. Tierra chili sauces from the farmers market at the Ferry building are local. There are many different kinds and you can taste them all. Unlike other chili sauces they have layers of flavor in addition to just heat. They are good on everything.

                          Also Poco dolce chocolate tiles. They are not overly sweet (poco dolce means little sweet) and the perfect size for a guilt free dessert at home. Sold in several stores in the Ferry building. My favorite chocolate indulgence.

                          1. Bugia cookies from Liguria Bakery, although if you try them none may make it back to Houston.