San Francisco & Napa Valley: Day 2 (Part 2)

December 27, 2012

I cannot say that by dinnertime I had worked up an appetite again, however I have discovered that when I am on a guided vacation with Trafalgar Tours it is essential for me to make room in my stomach for all of the meals, because each one always leaves me saying, “That was the best meal I have ever had.”  From our hotel we took a cable car into Chinatown, which is the largest outside of Asia and one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco.  The history is incredibly fascinating, but the food is definitely the main attraction.

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California

Every guided vacation includes at least one “hidden treasure” along the way.  J.P. Smith, our incredible Travel Director, had two planned for us: one in Chinatown and the other somewhere in Napa Valley.  Our first hidden gem was a quick stop at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Company.  Open since 1962, they have been supplying fortune cookies locally, as well as worldwide, and specialize in making custom-made and adult-style fortunes.  As you walk down Ross Alley, you may just pass the factory if you are not carefully looking for it, however most likely the delicious aroma of the freshly made cookies will draw you in.  From the entrance you can see fortune cookies being made right in front of you.

San Francisco, California
Our dinner was held in the award-winning restaurant Tommy Toy’s, which is famous for its traditional Chinese banquet dinner.  It is both a dining feast and a visual experience.   Once you walk inside the glamorous setting you are immediately transported back in time to the royal opulence of the Qing Dynasty.  The late-owner, Tommy, spent years flying back and forth from China, collecting ancient artifacts to decorate his beloved restaurant.  He deeply treasured his personal collection of original Chinese fans.

Our candlelit six-course dinner was presented on fine china and I felt as though I was an Empress every time I was served.

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a city that deserves more than a couple of days to really see and experience it.  Unfortunately for us, our time with the City by the Bay had come to a quick end, although fortunately for us we would now be traveling to Napa Valley.

25 thoughts on “San Francisco & Napa Valley: Day 2 (Part 2)

  1. Susan @ Cruise Vacation

    What a romantic feeling I had. Thanks for sharing. all pictures are superb cool and I’d love to visit this restaurant and want to candlelight dinner with my partner. Amazing memories you had it dear quite jealous but it’s fine. 😉

    Reply
  2. Roxanne

    Ohhh Andi, I love those photos of the process of making fortune cookies. I’ve always wondered how that happens, and I envy you for seeing it at work. Beautiful images – I hope you know that such a warm glow always emanates from your stories!

    Reply
  3. My Traveling Troop

    The last time I ate in San Francisco’s Chinatown, it was at a over priced, touristy restaurant with rude service. I would love to try a restaurant like Tommy Toy’s next time. I love the story of how the owner traveled back to China to collect ancient artifacts. The food looks marvelous too!

    Cheers,
    Kristina

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      Oh no, I’m sad you had that experience. I’ve had similar all over the world! Just makes you really, really appreciate great service when you find it. Hope you can check out Tommy Toy’s next time you’re in Chinatown dear!

      Reply
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  5. Camels & Chocolate

    Wow, you even managed to make Chinatown look appealing–like in NYC, I always stayed away from that place (unless I craved dim sum!). Too congested and dirty for me, though it’s not so bad at night when the crowds have subsided.

    Reply
  6. Charu

    Such wonderful memories, and yes, Tommy Toys blew me away. With name like that, I kept thinking–would I love it? But the attention to detail including the fine silver and place settings and yummy vegetarian options were so on point!

    Reply

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