San Francisco: A Day at the Ferry Building & Lunch at The Slanted Door

IMG_8485The last week has been super crazy! Spring Training is finally winding down so I packed our stuff in Scottsdale and took an 11 hour road trip to San Francisco for the start of regular season baseball. I took the drive a few days before Scott got in so I can unpack and have the house stocked for when he finally makes the trip up. I’ll do the hard labor and he can focus on baseball, where he gets to pitch the first of three exhibition games against the reigning World Series Champions San Francisco Giants before the regular season starts at AT&T Park… pressure. 

Fortunately, I didn’t have to make the drive alone. I had Frito Bandito in tow along with my IMG_8484sister Sue who made a 24 hour appearance in San Fran before having to fly back home to Tampa to work at HSN. In that 24 hours, I played tour guide where we walked the Embarcadero and spent the day site seeing and shopping local vendors at the Ferry Building during their Tuesday’s Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and that’s the best times to go and snag a bite from one of the featured food vendors out front and while you wait, you can shop the freshest ingredients from the local farmers and the specialty shops both at the Ferry Building and in the park across the street.


Inside the Ferry Building was its normal hustle and bustle of tourists and local business men and women taking their lunch break and shopping the indoor market from the vendors that are regular staples in the building, including Top Chef Master winner’s Chris Constentino’s shop Boccalone featuring artisanal salamis. Some are just passing the time while they wait for their ferry to come into port.

We shopped the bookstore on the backside of the building and candy shops inside that push samples on you as you pass by. My sister and I looped around to this vendor that was handing out samples of their sea salt almond brittle with dark chocolate multiple times. The guy eventually caught on that we passed a few times and he kept pushing the candy on us more! Sue ended up buying a large bag of it to take back home to Tampa.  

While in the bookstore I of course browsed the cooking section and I swear I didn’t plan it, but the cookbook for The Slanted Door and Bar Tartine were right next to each other and those were the two places I was taking my sister to that day for lunch and dinner.

One of the best parts of going to the ferry building is the view. Located along the Embarcadero, you get to marvel at the views of the brand new Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland & Berkley.

I can go on and on about every single shop there, but today I want to talk about what we had for lunch. This is one of my favorite places to take my out of towners because itIMG_8478 has the best Vietnamese food, but you have to plan ahead. This place books up weeks in advance and they do not do take out! Total buzz kill, but makes sense because they are already so busy. I’m talking about The Slanted Door. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant that does a fun and modern take on traditional Vietnamese dishes, including pho. The first time I had the pleasure to dine here was when a few of my girlfriends had come into town last year for a girl’s trip and this was the first restaurant I took them to for dinner and I was hooked!

The whole menu is amazing, so you won’t be disappointed, but a few suggestions are starting with the crispy imperial rolls. They are a deep-fried egg roll and you have a vegetarian option as well as a combination of pork and shrimp with rice noodles. They are served with lettuce, mint, and rice noodles and are meant to be eaten similar to a lettuce wrap with a dipping sauce. I can mow down at least a dozen of these! The crunch of the fried egg roll with the crispness of the fresh lettuce and bright mint, creates the perfect marriage. The flavors are so clean and reflects the farm to table concept which is the epitome of San Francisco. The cellophane noodles with dungeoness crab is a must! One dish that I can’t get away from is the organic chicken clay pot. It reminds me of Filipino adobo and I can’t help but order it to share with the table every time. I definitely recommend ordering a couple entrees for the table and everyone share it family style, that way you can try different menu items and not feel like you missed out on anything.

The restaurant feels like an open air cafeteria with artistic paintings of different breeds of dogs along the walls. The main dining room has windows surrounding the building with views of the Bay Bridge along with outdoor seating. They also have a modern bar and lounge if you want to grab a drink while waiting for your table. I recommend using the app Open Table to make a reservation here and you can see what is available ahead of time since they do not take same day reservations.

(Left to Right: Organic Chicken Claypot with a side of jasmine rice & Cellophane Noodles with Dungeoness Crab)


Here are a few other pictures from our adventures that day. We took a rickshaw along the Embarcadero from Pier 39 & Fisherman’s Wharf down to AT&T Park.


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