One of the many reasons to love travel is because it’s an excellent excuse to eat well in the interest of understanding different cultures and places through food. From giant burritos in San Francisco, to that perfectly gooey giant slice of New York pizza, there are local treats all across the country that are worth getting on the road for. In Portland, Oregon, which is a bit of a foodie haven thanks to its sustainable locavore culture, there are not only bucket list-worthy eats to try, there are also a lot of quirky places to try them, like food carts and converted buses.
The brand-new General Manager over at HI-Sacramento, Marc Johnson, hasn't been in town long. This consummate traveler's fresh off a string of stints living in Washington, Texas, and even London. But even though he just unpacked his bags in Sacramento a few months ago, he can already tell there's something special about this town. "The more I see of it, the more I want to see," he says.
The first time you take a stroll through the Tenderloin, the San Francisco neighborhood surrounding HI San Francisco City Center, you might feel a little disoriented: you thought you were in San Francisco, right? So what’s with all the Vietnamese signs, restaurants, and markets?
It’s a typical Tuesday afternoon at Café Franco: the hiss of steaming cappuccino milk muffles the crooning of Sam Cooke. There's a low murmur coming from over in the corner, where friends are catching up over peanut butter cookies at a long, reclaimed-wood table. Behind it all, the click-clack of laptop keys keeps an erratic beat.
These sounds do not combine to make up what most people would call “typical hostel noise” – and that’s exactly the way Café Franco likes it.
We've got flavor -- lots of it. The San Francisco Bay Area has long been a home for dreamers, nonconformists, and creative souls who embody a rich legacy of diverse cultural influences. It's no surprise then, that a wealth of goods, ideas, foods and philosophies can sport a Made in the Bay label. In this, the first article in our newest ongoing blog series, we'll share the fascinating stories behind Bay-born edibles. From breakfast foods to desserts and everything in between, there's sure to be something on our list that gets your mouth watering. There's nothing quite like experiencing the unique flavors of a new place, so while you're here, roll up your sleeves and dig into these Bay Area delicacies. Bon appetit!
It's easy to know when you've reached the heart of San Francisco's Castro Street; it’s a place that boldly proclaims that you've arrived. Rainbow flags line the road and a giant art deco marquee that reads "Castro" announces the name of the theater it adorns and lets you know what neighborhood you’re in. Shops and businesses along the street entice customers with quirky names and humorous or provocative window displays. This part of town has a spirit of its own; one that is integral to the larger culture of San Francisco.