I began my history-food walking tour adventures more than 20 years ago, when I had a line-cooking job, that allowed me to have Saturdays and Sundays off.
My "entertainment" was to hang out in Old Oakland, visiting and shopping at Ratto's International grocery, Mi Rancho Tortilla factory and Oakland Chinatown, which because of the influx of Chinese people from Vietnam was undergoing a renaissance. All the while I was learning about ingredients, culinary traditions and cooking.
I was also interested in the history of Oakland and Old Oakland in particular.
The first tour I launched was my Old Oakland and Chinatown walk with lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. It was a hit!
I started thinking about what other neighborhood, I knew a lot about and of course, I had been hanging out in North Beach since I came to San Francisco. I loved studying its history and talking to old timers about this vibrant Italian neighborhood.
This is the only tour that gives participants the full North Beach experience including Italian history, food knowledge and a spectacular repast at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. We dine on salad, green beans with garlic, meatballs and 3-4 kinds of pizza. We're celebrating 20 years of fun and food!
We go behind the scenes in a focaccia bakery, a chocolatier and visit an Italian butcher, shrine and ceramic store. Of course, we visit Sts. Peter & Paul church.
We meet across from Sts Peter & Paul church on Filbert St. between Columbus & Stockton.
There are two Parking lots at Filbert and Columbus. There are about 8 blocks walking, in total, with many stops. We go rain or shine, but not in monsoons.
The Saturday tours runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. including lunch $80. Private tours for 10 or more on weekdays or on Saturdays for a minimum of 15.
On regularly scheduled tours, you must give us at least 72 hours notice to receive a refund.
From time to time, I conduct two other tours, which can also be reserved as private tours for groups and company team building. The public tours are scheduled on Saturdays.
We will visit a Buddhist monastery, a unique musical instrument store, a Fortune cookie factory, a taste of dim sum, an herbalist and a tea tasting. $80 includes a 6-course banquet.
This tour starts at 4:00. At 6:30 pm we will stroll to my favorite white-tablecloth Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and enjoy a banquet that includes: seafood, Peking duck, and fried rice. The spectacular Winter melon soup is steamed for 24 hours. We meet at the corner of Sacramento & Grant at 4 pm. Park at Portsmouth Square garage and walk up.
Limited to 20 people. Sorry, no vegetarians. You must like seafood, since this is a Hong Style restaurant. This tour is available any day for a minimum of 10 people and up to 20.
Yes, my original Mission Tour with mural walk is back!
It includes Casa Sanchez, Brava Theater, St. Francis Fountain, Casa Lucas and the murals.
Delicious tastes of Latino products; the Balmy Alley Murals; and a fabulous lunch at an excellent Mexican restaurant.
We meet in front of the Walgreens at Potrero and 24th. Street. Two blocks away there is a public parking building (across from SF General) and also some non-metered street parking.
We'll start off with coffee and a freshly made donut at Dynamo Donut & Coffee.
Then we'll cruise to Casa Sanchez where we will try their salsas, chips and Mexican cheeses and sausages I will have for you to taste.
I'll talk about Brava and St. Francis Fountain. Visit Casa Lucas and Sanchez and St Peters. Lunch will be at an excellent Mexican restaurant. 11-4 p.m.
Secrets and Tastes of Nob Hill is a walking tour, which includes the history of the prominent families who built their mansions on the Hill and a tour of Grace Cathedral.
We enjoy a wine tasting at the Fairmont, a visit to the spa at the Huntingon, lunch at the Ritz Carlton. $80 - 4 hours
Check out my online calendar for upcoming dates & times for my North Beach, Chinatown & Latino Mission Tours.
If you would like to book your tour date or to find out more information regarding a specific tour, e-mail me with your contact information, questions or comments and anything else you may want to include.
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