What is it? A walking food and drink tour of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood from Avital Tours.
Why I went? There’s a lot of food tours these days, but this one focused on a neighborhood known more for its tie-died history than its culinary authority. I don’t get to the Haight-Ashbury too often, so I wanted to see what was up in the hood.
Costs: The three-hour tour, typically on a Sunday afternoon, cost $84. I was invited to a media preview of the tour, so attended gratis.
The Stops: The tour, on this day led by food writer and blogger Virginia Miller of The Perfect Spot, gave an inside look at some new and some old favorites, including:
- Bacon Bacon: First stop was one of the newcomers to the neighborhood, Bacon Bacon, which is one of the food truck-to-mortar bricks success story. We met owner Jim Angelus (and his cute daughter, Sloan) and tried an off-menu “piggy” taco (served up during his Tuesday Tacos pop up) and Mexican hot chocolate.
- The Alembic: One of the area’s most popular bar, the Alembic is going through transition and is actually expanding. But we still got to chat with bar manager Ethan Terry, who served up one of the bar’s standards called the Southern Exposure.
- Anda Piroshki: This kiosk is part of the Second Act Marketplace, which is the former Red Vic’s Theater turned into a community food commune. Anna Tvelova, owner, showed us how she made her piroshki and we ate a huge beef and cheese piroshki.
- Second Act’s Secret Garden: Behind the Second Act is a garden used by neighbors Alembic and a few others. We chatted with Betsy Rix, owner of the former Red Vic and now Second Act.
- The Fizzary: The second location of this unique soda shop (original shop in the Mission), we got a chance to try soda made by the owners as well as explore the hundred others from across the country.
- The Ice Cream Bar: The last stop took us into Cole Valley, the tiny adjacent neighborhood, and the popular Ice Cream Bar to try an original Green Russian lactarct soda (created actually by Miller).
My POV: While I’m familiar with places like the Alembic and Ice Cream Bar, it was my first time to the Second Act Marketplace, Bacon Bacon and the Fizzary. So this local-focused tour company can still introduce you to something new even though you live in the Bay Area. This tour is well-thought-out with enough munching and drinking along the way to keep you satisfied and motivated to keep walking.
Get Hooked Up: To learn more about the Eat Your Drink tour and others offered by Avital, visit its website.
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