The Irish have been extremely influential to the city of San Francisco. They came, settled, became prominent politicians and businessmen, established Catholic churches and schools throughout the city, helped build the city’s transporatation system – and brought in their baked goods.
Lindsey Danis of examiner.com has asserted that San Francisco’s bakeries help to keep Irish heritage alive in the area.
Every city has their standard Irish pubs, but the Sunset, San Francisco’s largest neighborhood, and one with a traditionally hefty Irish presence, is sprinkled with authentic Irish restaurants and markets.
Danis points out that though many of the Irish have left the San Francisco neighborhood, the handful of Irish establishments stand tall in the area to remind passerbys of the Irish who contributed so much to the city.
If you find yourself in San Francisco jonesing for a nice slice of warm Irish brown bread, a meaty shepherd’s pie or even just a nice Irish point, here are eight Irish eateries that can satisfy your craving:
John Campbell's Irish Bakery
5625 Geary Street
Master baker John Campbell traveled all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland to bring his treats to the US. His store sells classic Irish baked goods including scones, soda bread and brown bread. Meat pasties--chicken curry or ground beef--and shepherd's pies are very popular savory baked goods. The clear must-haves are the blueberry scone, soda bread and the chicken curry pastie. The scones are light, buttery and inexpensive; they rank as some of the San Francisco's best. Though technically in the Richmond, John Campbell's supplies smaller Sunset markets with scones and Irish bread, and prepares brunch goods for its neighboring bar, the Blarney Stone. If a pint and pastry isn't Irish, I don't know what is.
2240 Taraval Street
The Copper Kettle Bakery and Café in Central Sunset, offers an array of Irish breakfast foods to start your day. If your stomach is up to the challenge, The Copper Kettle features a Irish breakfast complete with white and black pudding and a ton of sausage. For people who enjoy a lighter fare in the morning, the bakery has a small selection of traditional pastries, brown bread, oatmeal and doughnuts. The real favorite here is the Irish Breakfast roll, bangers (Irish sausage), rashers (Irish bacon), potatoes and eggs piled into a soft baguette roll. Jokingly referred to as the “perfect hangover cure” the breakfast rolls is a full traditional breakfast on the go. The Cooper Kettle’s lunch menu features classics like Irish stew, fish and chips, shepherd's pie and curry chips.
Buena Vista Café
2765 Hyde Street
Fisherman’s Wharf - Ghirardelli Square
So many things draw tourists and locals to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Though better known for the fresh seafood, people also flock to Fisherman’s Wharf for the best Irish coffee around. The Buena Vista Café, a small restaurant famous for its Shannon-style Irish coffee, sticks out amongst the nautical cuisine of the area. But for people looking to taste a bit of the Emerald Isle on the Pacific, you’ll find it at the Buena Vista Café. The story of Buena Vista’s famous Irish coffee dates back to 1952, when then-owner Jack Koeppler, was challenged to make a traditional Irish coffee. After many trial and errors, Koeppler discovered that a combination of frothed cream and strong whiskey made the best Irish coffee. To this date, the Buena Vista Café serves over 2000 Irish coffees a day, and holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest Irish coffee made.
Celtic Coffee Company
142 McAllister St
Though some people think that the best coffee comes from Boston or Seattle, the Celtic Coffee Company in the heart of Civic Center is proving that the Irish are best at the brew. Recently acquired by Irish owners, the small coffee shop features a variety of specialty coffees and teas, direct from Ireland. Along with fresh baked goods and delicious homemade soups, the Celtic Coffee Company is the perfect place to have a bite to eat. People rave about the friendly service and Irish décor, which makes the Celtic Coffee Company a great find. Sorry folks, no Starbuck-ese spoken here, but maybe some Gaelic. Slainte!
Crown and Crumpet
900 North Point
Sugar and spice and everything nice. The Crown and Crumpet tea room in Nob Hill, San Francisco brings a touch of royal elegance to the California coast. Decorated with fancy tea kettles, dainty table clothes and napkins, crystal chandeliers and pink everything, the Crown and Crumpet would be the perfect place to treat your little Irish princess to a real British tea party. The Crown and Crumpet features more than 38 varieties of English and Irish teas and delectable pastries. Finger sandwiches and traditional treats like clotted cream, jam and lemon curd are perfect compliments to the teas. The Crown and Crumpet is the perfect place to feel pampered like royalty for an afternoon.
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