Photo by Lauren Loftus

Just Back From: San Francisco with Justin Beckett

Written by Savanah Yaghsezian Category: Adventures Issue: January 2018
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beckettsChef Justin Beckett takes at least one or two trips a year to San Francisco. As someone who's conquered 24 restaurants in 36 hours during "eat-a-thons" in the city, Beckett knows some fantastic food spots. "I'm a little weird; I don't go for the $300 dinner… We like to eat simple foods," Beckett says. After years of traveling with his wife and two kids, the owner of Beckett's Table and Southern Rail has racked up a handful of family-friendly foodie destinations.

Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Beckett makes sure to stop by Tartine Bakery every time he's in San Francisco. He orders "one of everything," which includes chocolate croissants, croque monsieur, cheese bread and morning buns. If you enjoy a cup of coffee with your breakfast, get ready for a caffeine overload. Beckett says Tartine's coffee is served in a "small bowl" that is a "two-hand coffee cup experience."

Gordo Taqueria
As an avid lover of burritos, Beckett knows exactly where to go to satisfy his cravings in the Bay Area. Gordo Taqueria's "super" burritos are large enough to cut in half and save a portion for tomorrow's lunch. Beckett says it's a "delayed inevitability" that you'll finish the second half that night. Besides burritos, Gordo also has a variety of tacos and quesadillas.

Bar Crudo
If you find yourself in the Lower Haight, Beckett recommends Bar Crudo, which specializes in fresh seafood and raw food-based recipes. Beckett suggests a bowl of the "famous" chowder. "[Bar Crudo] is salt of the earth [and] delicious," he says. It's perfect for anyone craving a taste of the sea.

California Academy of Sciences
Whether you have kids or are just a kid at heart, Beckett says the California Academy of Sciences is an unforgettable experience. The exhibit is a four-story dome that replicates the atmosphere of a tropical rainforest. Over 1,600 animals live in the habitat, including an albino alligator that Beckett's kids loved. The steamy tropical enclave in the cool, foggy California city will make you feel like you got two trips for the price of one.