By Katherine Greene
Embracing the diverse gastronomic history of the city, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is partnering with Bay Area broadcast personality Liam Mayclem to offer guests one-of-a-kind tours throughout the area’s culinary hotspots.
Mayclem, known locally as KCBS Radio’s “Foodie Chap,” will guide guests on one of four tours scheduled throughout the month of August. Foodies can pick from Valencia Street: Gourmet Corridor, A Taste of San Francisco, San Francisco’s China, or the Craft of the Cocktail tour.
The first of the four excursions, the Valencia Street: Gourmet Corridor culinary tour, will explore the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, which has become a breeding ground for emerging culinary ideas and traditions. The tour begins with a taco-making session with Chef Telmo Faria in the Tacolicious kitchen, continues with a chocolate tasting at Dandelion Chocolates, and then to a craft beer pairing at The Abbot’s Cellar. To round out the evening, guests will learn the art of pastry with Craftsman and Wolves’ chef and owner William Werner.
To experience a more traditional taste of the city, guests can venture on A Taste of San Francisco. The tour explores some of San Francisco’s most celebrated eats starting with a trip to the Boudin Bakery at Fisherman’s Wharf—famed for its sourdough bread. Next, to take the chill off the ever-present San Francisco wind, guests can sample the Irish coffee at Buena Vista Cafe on NorthBeach. After a pizza-making lesson at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, voted Best Pizza in America by USA Today, the evening ends with a San Fran original—Cioppino at Tadich Grill.
The trip to San Francisco’s China delves into the city’s renowned Chinatown. With help from journalist friend Ben Fong-Torres, Mayclem will expose some of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets. After touring the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and stopping by the Golden Gate Bakery, celebrity chef Martin Yan at M.Y. China will demonstrate traditional noodle pulling. The tour is complete after a stop at Hakkasan for cocktails and dessert bites with Chef Courtney Lewis.
The final trip closes out the month with a look into the city’s cocktail culture and history, dating back to the 1800s. Starting with a re-creation of the city’s early drinking days at the Comstock Saloon in North Beach; stopping at one of the best Tiki bars in the U.S., the Smuggler’s Cove; and partaking in two separate spirit tastings—whisky with Chef Charles Phan at Hard Water and gin with distiller Arne Hillesland at Distillery No. 209—visitors are sure to have a lively time (guests must be 21 and over).
Each tour is completed with dinner at the Ritz-Carlton’s Parallel 37 and is $299 per person, including tax and gratuity. A $60 sommelier-selected beverage pairing during dinner is also available. Reservations are required in advance, and each tour is limited to 12 participants. There is a 48-hour cancellation policy.