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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gourmet Walks, A San Francisco Food Tour Company

Gourmet Walks is a Bay Area company, founded by Andrea Nadel (foodie, chocolate connoisseur and mother of three), that offers several food tours around San Francisco. It was a food adventure I was invited to attend on a rainy Sunday by my foodie friend Carl Mindling. He and his wife were taking the tour and he wanted me to tag along. Was I up for it? Absolutely!

We had a great time. Of the seven people on the tour that day, five of us were local (to the Bay Area) and one couple was from Texas. Where did we go? We were taken to one stop I had been to, several I'd recently driven past but had never noticed before, and others that were tucked away on side streets that I'd never been on.

For the cost of the ticket ($65) you receive samples at each stop and a walking, guided tour that talks not just about the food but offers historical insights about the city of San Francisco itself.

I'm not going to reveal the names of the places we went to but I will share with you that we made 7 stops in three hours walking just over a mile around a small, hip district in San Francisco known as Hayes Valley. Nestled between many indie fashion boutiques are restaurants and purveyors of specialty food items. We were able to sample an assortment of savory and sweet offerings including:

Salumi (sliced, salt cured meats), olives and cornichon (tiny pickles) at a charcuterie (pronounced char-koo-tuh-ree which is French for a shop that sells preserved meats). I sampled the olives :)

We enjoyed this gorgeous cheese plate with thinly sliced apples, fresh grapes, more olives and what I'd swear were almonds that were somehow infused or flavored with truffles. Oh, and a glass of white wine. But I gave my wine away since I don't drink alcohol.

Artisan Chocolates

And French Macaron Cookies.

(I chose raspberry and caramel)

We didn't sample but peeked inside a sake shop...

And had some French Fries down the street.

There were eight gourmet dipping sauces to go with the fries. The White Truffle Artichoke Ketchup was my favorite. My second favorite was the Thai Chili Ketchup.

We sampled a fantastic oolong tea....

While snacking on fresh dates filled with goat cheese and walnuts...

Then sampled this herbal tea.

Our final treat was a gourmet Gingerbread Cupcake!

Does that sound like fun? It was. Even in the rain we had a great time. And if you've never been to Hayes Valley before and love fashion you have double the reasons to go. With just a bit of luck you may discover both a new favorite boutique and culinary stop you'll love.


  1. wow, that sounds amazing! What a fund way to explore the city. I've always felt the San Francisco is essentially about the neighborhoods.

  2. So true! There are like little cities unto themselves. When I first moved here I was so confused. Union Square? Cow Hollow? The Marina? Filmore, Union and Chestnut streets? South of Market? The Design District? The Embarcadero? They are plentiful and all offer some great places to visit, eat at and shop.

  3. Oooooh how could I forget to mention The Castro, Haight Ashbury, Russian Hill, China Town, Pacific Heights and Nob Hill. I could go on and on... LOL


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