Stocked to bursting with handcrafted sandwiches, savory sides, and organic fair-trade coffee, this unassuming deli sates the appetites of on-the-go customers. A chalkboard menu presents the vegan breakfast sandwich with a colorful flourish of penmanship, along with the avocado hero, with the green fruit acting as "meat" amid ample veggies and cheese. Eco-friendly java from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company gives customers a welcome jolt to their morning in case they forget to kiss their toaster, and freshly squeezed juices and gluten-free pastries accommodate health-conscious breakfasts.
Marisa and Chad North both know the struggles of controlling gluten intolerance. Marisa began showing the symptoms of the condition at 18 months of age. Her mother, also diagnosed as gluten intolerant, knew how to modify her diet, but it often left Marisa feeling alienated from her friends. Chad wasn't aware of his gluten intolerance until he was 14, when a collapse from exhaustion turned out to validate the diagnosis that eight doctors had once ignored. Their shared histories and efforts in healthy eating inspired the two to create Sans GlutenFree Grocery, a store that that stocks only gluten-free edibles that are tasty, nutritious, and safe, removing would-be imposters with a series of trapdoors.
Since 1969, Real Food Company has been a San Francisco health resource. GT's Kombucha, a tea with superfood properties including probiotics, antioxidants, and an edible cape is one of Real Food's most popular items ($3.39). Enliven innards with a bottle of San Pellegrino, whose effervescence tickles impurities to death ($2.29 for 750 ML). A slice of imported, double-cream brie ($10.99 for pound) is a sure-fire way to wow holiday guests. Real Food's hormone-free meats come packed with delicious flavor and peace of mind—New York strip steaks are $13.99 per pound. Their selection of natural beauty products, including Avalon Organics hand and body lotions ($11.45), allows anyone to feel the loving embrace of Mother Nature directly against their epidermis. The store also sells their own brand of multi-vitamins ($5.29 for 30 tablets), including a variety of contagion combatants, and iron ore to give the skin a healthy, metallic sheen.
Omni Chemists keeps customers primped, polished, hale, and hygienic with an array of products designed to pamper the body inside and out. Keep your hide from resembling your leather breeches with a bottle of Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant ($50 for 2.6 oz.), or wash away the residue that subtly accumulates over the course of a long day or short food fight with Nuxe 3 Roses Cleansing Milk ($22 for 7.6 oz.). Email Diamant toothpaste ($14.99 for 50 mL) keeps mouth stones polished and ready to show off to strangers, and Mason Pearson hairbrushes ($50–$253) keep tresses from tangling into kitten-tempting balls of head thread. Groomsmen and groomed men can lacquer their lip locks with Clubman moustache wax ($4.95 for 0.5 oz.), de-fuzz the rest of their faces with a jar of Caswell-Massey's sandalwood lather shave cream ($16 for 8 oz.), and finish with a soothing slap of Proraso liquid cream aftershave ($16 for 3.4 oz.). A variety of apothecary products are also on hand to soothe troubled tummies, aching noggins, scratchy neck pipes, and hexed spleens.
Spuntino offers a multitude of handpicked, delectable deli options, including a rotating menu of more than 50 artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and gourmet grocery items as well as imported wines from small producers in Italy, France, and Spain. Grab a bottle of crisp, fruity Ceago sauvignon blanc ($17) to pair with a hunk of creamy Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog goat cheese ($22.50/lb), or marry an imported bottle of L’ Ancien Beaujolais ($18) with a wedge of Ubriaco del Piave, a cow's milk cheese with a dark-purplish rind, due to a youthful soaking in red wine ($26.99/lb). Smash a Detroit St. Brick (chèvre speckled with green peppercorns, $28.99/lb) through passing mouth windows, or team up with a quaff of Parrina Bianco (a trebbiano, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc blend, $15).
With the right dishes, a tiny boardwalk fish stall can grow into a prestigious seafood restaurant. Just ask the Alioto family. In 1925, Sicilian immigrant Nunzio Alioto, Sr., took the reins of stall No. 8 on Fisherman's Wharf, feeding Italian laborers with hearty seafood cocktails served out of paper cups. Eight years later, when Nunzio passed away, his wife, Rose, took over, steadily expanding the operation to keep pace with Alioto's growing reputation, not to mention the influx of customers brought by the construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.
Today, the family still serves the traditional Sicilian recipes of Nunzio and Rose—but on the top floor of a three-story building, overlooking the spot where the modest fish stall began. The chefs work largely with fresh, local catches for the seafood-centric menu, preparing hauls of sea bass, swordfish, scallops, and of course, dungeness crab—a standout favorite among the critics that have sung Alioto's praises in the press. Though many cite the crab cioppino—a spicy tomato and shellfish stew—as their preferred dish, Frommer's lauds the dungeness crab, whether it's "cracked, caked, stuffed, or stewed." Sicilian classics such as the fried calamari are also a huge draw, not to mention the restaurant's third story ocean vistas, a vantage point City Genius hails as "one of the best views of the Bay."