Slow Food in San Francisco
Hippies are history and have been for a long time, even in San Francisco, the one-time capital of flower power. Still, many of the people living in the North Californian city have preserved their very special environmental awareness. Known as “Lohas” in reference to their lifestyle of health and sustainability, they now see consuming ecologically sound products as the way to change the world for the better. Their exclusive weekly markets and first-rate restaurants provide ample proof that eco can also be exquisite - and delicious!
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Weekly markets and local delicatessens
Local farmers come to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market three times a week to sell their produce. The market is run by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, an organization active mainly in urban areas.
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market: Tue, Thu 10am-2pm, Sat 8am-2pm; One Ferry Building, Tel. +1-415/291 32 76, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
/farmers_market.php. Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture: www.cuesa.org
The Ferry Building Marketplace accommodates some 40 businesses, most of them food stores selling a wide selection of fine Californian produce and products, from sustainably caught fish (San Francisco Fish Company) to chocolates made from organic ingredients (Recchiuti Confections) and eateries, but also other retail outlets. A free guided tour of the building and market is available on Tuesdays and Saturdays for anyone interested not just in sampling the wares but also learning more about the place.
Ferry Building Marketplace: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm; Tel. +1-415/983 83 00, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Guided tour: www.sfcityguides.org
"Eat local!" True to the motto of the slow food movement, a farmers’ market is held once weekly on the first floor of the Crocker Galleria shopping mall. All produce on sale is local and much is also organically grown. The selection is huge and borders on the exotic since many of the farmers specialize in varieties of fruit and vegetables traditionally grown by their Chinese and Mexican forefathers. For organic bread and cake baked to original German recipes, go to Esther’s German Bakery.
Farmers' Market at Crocker Galleria: Thu 11am-15pm; Crocker Galleria, 50 Post Street at Montgomery Street, Suite 3220, Tel. +1-415/393 15 05, www.thecrockergalleria.com
From eco-cafés to established luxury restaurants
Three restaurants, one mission: All branches of Plant Cafe Organic cook wherever possible with 100% organic ingredients – often locally sourced. They also offer an eclectic, multicultural menu of hamburgers, salads and strict vegan meals to suit every palate.
The Plant Cafe Organic. Marina Café: 11am-9:30pm (Sat and Sun from 10am), 3352 Steiner Street, Tel. +1-415/931 27 77. Pier 3 Cafe & Restaurant: Mon-Sat 7:30am–10pm, Sun 7:30am–9pm, Pier 3, The Embarcadero, Tel. +1-415/984 19 73. Downtown Café: Mon-Fri 7:30am-3pm, Tel. +1-415/693 97 30, 101 California Street. www.theplantcafe.com
The Nopa doesn’t go in for fancy decor but the organic burgers and steaks it serves are deliciously juicy. The menu also includes fish and vegetarian options. The Nopalito, on the other hand, places the emphasis on sophisticated, Mexican-inspired cuisine – and naturally also uses only ingredients from regional organic producers. The latest dessert creation: Prickly pear paletas.
Nopa: Bar opens daily at 5pm, food served from 6pm-1am, brunch Sat+Sun 11am-2:30pm; 560 Divisadero, Tel. +1-415/864 86 43, nopasf.com. Nopalito: daily 11.30am-10pm; 306 Broderick Street, Tel. +1-415/437 03 03, www.nopalitosf.com
Sustainably luxurious: When it comes to ecologically sound hospitality, hotel guests can look forward to the very best in San Francisco. The two design hotels Orchard Hotel and Orchard Garden Hotel are both LEED certified (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) according to the rigorous standards of the Green Building Council.
The Orchard Garden Hotel: 466 Bush Street, Tel. +1-415/399 98 07, www.theorchardgardenhotel.com
The Orchard Hotel: 665 Bush Street, Tel. +1-415/362 88 78, www.theorchardhotel.com
pictures: Aaron Kohr; David Wakely; PR