Market Street. If you’ve been to San Francisco, chances are, you’ve been down this street. It starts at The Embarcadero and opens on the iconic Ferry Building, where locals and tourists alike jump on a boat to take in the bay or just get to work.
Never straying more than 8 blocks off Market, this street becomes the constant as we explore the art of SFMOMA, drink cocktails under the open sky, and indulge in the smoke lounge of Moe Greens. But first, some pastries.
VIVE LA TARTE
We meet up with Julie Vandermeersch, who owns Vive la Tarte with her husband. Before falling into their passion of the bakery, they had corporate jobs in engineering and, at a certain point they figured, why not give that all up for something they love?
Julie invites us into the back of the bakery and shows us the many breads, pastries, and croissants the bakers are working on.
Yes, they’ve got avo toast. And yes, it’s incredible. They’ve also got monkey bread, which may not be new in itself, but the way they do it is revolutionary.
To talk about the monkey bread, we first need to talk about croissants. Julie says that croissants are trending in the baking world right now, and that they sell about 500 to 600 a day. The excess from shaping the croissants are set aside to make monkey bread.
Not traditionally made with flaky croissant dough, when you take a bite, you get this fall-apart goodness with a touch of sweet from the sugar on top. This, by the way, is not the modernized part. After you’ve had a few bites, you begin to get a firey taste at the back of your mouth. That’s because they’ve added turmeric and cayenne pepper into this delectable pasty—truly innovative and fantastic.
Julie doesn’t let us go without giving us some cheesecake and a loaf of freshly baked sourdough.
A long room that feels like an old school bank, only in this case, the bank tellers are budtenders, eager to tell you about their many cannabis products.
Moe Greens has a mid-century modern ‘70s vibe with green lighting, softwoods, and of course, classic gold wallpaper lining the walls.
As you make your way to the back, you come across the lounge, where you can take the products you just purchased and give them a go.
We snag a Soothe pen and walk out onto, you guessed it, Market Street. Time to find a place to enjoy that cheesecake and sourdough bread.
MISSION DOLORES PARK
From this magnificent vantage point, you overlook this city in all its glory. Its iconic skyline gets lost in the slow-drifting clouds that roll through the skyscrapers. As one must, we take a seat on a spot of grass. We rip open the bread and are hit with an aroma of fresh-baked goodness. But then, oh then, there’s that first bite of cheesecake.
This is…melt in your mouth, walking on clouds, phenomenal. The crust on the cake maintains a crunch which stands out especially with how airy the rest of it is. There’s an almost granulated sugar texture to the crust but without the sweetness. It’s just so good.
Now, a drink or two to wash it all down.
A trendy bar. Normally a description of some place with handle-bar mustache sporting bartenders in overalls. The Peacekeeper is not that. It is, however, one damn cool bar that slings drinks made from fresh juices, which yes, they juiced on site.
We meet up with Alec, who helped open the joint just a few months ago. Alec whips up “the Red Rose,” a tomato juice-looking drink with a surprisingly smooth and spicy taste. “The Peacekeeper” has a pineapple start, and as soon as you take a sip, you feel a kick to the back of your throat from the chili-infused tequila.
The grey bar stretches past a fireplace at the center of the room to a pool table underneath an upper balcony. But the best part of the bar, besides the killer drinks, is what happens when you tilt your head back—you see that the roof is retractable, which fills the space with sunlight and a gentle breeze. Drinks enjoyed, it’s time for some art.
You walk into a cavernous space, with light wooden floors as to not distract from the artwork. That’s right—it’s the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The museum houses numerous works of art, however, we become intrigued with Roy Lichtenstein’s Figures with Sunset.
The surrealist piece keeps you looking at every nook and cranny of the work: the various dots and shapes intermixing make you somehow small. It’s not happy nor sad, but somehow you’re dragged in as though you’re a part of this warped world.
And now, back to reality.
CHARMAINE’S ROOFTOP BAR
Perched atop the San Francisco Proper Hotel sits Charmaine’s. You walk out onto a patio that looks down Market Street and that has a sunset that almost seems manufactured. Yes, they’ve got great drinks, but that city view is the best way to bid this street adue. Until next time, Market Street.