The winter holidays are a coming, even if there’s not much winter weather here to prove it. Market Street is lined with “snowflakes” and the ice skating rink is up at the Embarcadero, which is enough for us to start unabashedly looking around town for our favorite holiday foods.
First stop: Gingerbread.
The only seasonal flavor we may like better than gingerbread is pumpkin, but Halloween and Thanksgiving have been in gone so it’s time to get our sugar and spice from another source.
You can get a nice hunk of warm gingerbread topped with pumpkin gelato at the Chow restaurants year-round, but we think it tastes extra special this time of year. You can also get a warm gingerbread bundt cake with pumpkin ice cream at Chenery Park Park in Glen Park.
We’ve noticed that most ice creameries and gelaterias have spruced up their flavor selection with a gingerbread option—our favorite being the “Gingerbread Individual” flavor at Holy Gelato in the Inner Sunset.
If you need it in the morning, Zazie makes gingerbread pancakes with lemon curd and poached pears that taste like nobody’s business. You can also add some caffeine into the mix and grab a gingerbread latte on your way to work. Most every coffee shop that serves specialty coffee drinks is making their own variation, but we got all into the Tully’s version a couple of days ago.
And if it’s a cookie you crave, Citizen Cake has yummy and cute Gingerbread Folks as well as Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies: gingerbread cookies with crème fraiche filling. But we think the Specialty’s gingerbread cookie (limited time only) hits all of the right notes and with so many of them downtown, it sure makes things convenient.
Haven’t had enough?
Check out the Palace Hotel Gingerbread Competition going on through December 31. You can vote for your favorite gingerbread house (created by local celebrity designers and a Palace chef). Prizes will be awarded and all money raised, plus a cash donation from the Palace, will benefit nonprofit charities selected by the winners.
Chow [Official Site]
Chenery Park [Official Site]
Zazie [Official Site]
Tully’s [Official Site]
Citizen Cake [Official Site]
Holy Gelato [Official Site]
Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery [Official Site]
Palace Hotel [Official Site]
[Photo: Via Gaetan Lee/Flickr]