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Alissa Merksamer

Delicious + Festive Local Candy Bars for Halloween

Ramona Bar from Double Dutch Sweets

There are several Bay Area companies eager to sweeten your night of trick-or-treating or trick-or-drinking. Whether you’re into ribbons of caramel, coconut or good old fashioned partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, check out these new releases and nostalgic favorites:

Upscale Mexican Heats Up in San Francisco

Locals have long admired the beef brisket enchiladas and homemade tortilla chips dredged in cotija and chile de arbol sauce at Mamacita and NopalitoAnd, yes, every Saturday, lines twist outside for fried rock cod tacos and chilaquiles at Mijita and the Primavera. But now several new Mexican spots are serving up more elegant fare. Check them out the next time you need a taqueria break.

8 Must-Try Treats at the SF Street Food Festival

Pull on the stretchy pants and get an early start if you want to beat the hungry hordes that will once again invade the Mission for the sixth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival.

9 Honestly Great Gluten-Free Treats in San Francisco

If you were gluten-free ten years ago, the only cake you ingested came from your personal oven and probably had a chalky texture and curious aftertaste. Now, next to every glutinous layer cake, you’ll find a GF alternative.

Five Local Companies Serving Stellar Pasta Sauce

Making a quick pasta sauce from scratch is easy enough, but between work, happy hour, improv class, and yoga, who has time? The supermarket’s wall of jarred options is dizzying; many come saddled with sodium and sugar, and most taste the same. If you focus on locally-made versions, you'll discover amazing options prepared with Northern California ingredients created by entrepreneurs who micromanage every aspect of their businesses to ensure consummate quality.

5 Must-Try Items at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company

Devil's Teeth BLT. Photo via Devil's Teeth

For nearly three years, Devil’s Teeth Baking Company has been seducing Outer Sunset families, Ocean Beach surfers, and – more recently – tourists, with its all-American lineup of sweets and savories. Find giant ginger cookies concealing chunks of crystalized ginger, pie slices that erupt with seasonal fruit, and the famed egg, bacon, and cheddar breakfast sandwich served on a biscuit. Bargain prices make binging easy.

Where to Find the Sweetest Passover Treats

For those who believe morning croissants and midday cupcake breaks make life enjoyable, Passover is rough. The weeklong Jewish holiday, which begins the evening of April 14th, bans chametz, or leavened grains, which include wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. While coconut macaroons straight from the Manischewitz can carry nostalgic appeal on the first days, they lose their allure by midweek.

Best Local Products at Fancy Food Show

Every January, specialty food makers from around the world pack into the Moscone Center to tout their products, compete for awards, and reveal current and emerging food trends in the packaged food industry.

‘Science of Cocktails’ Makes Drinking Smart

Flaming Cocktail

In this city, cocktails are complicated. Ordering one usually demands a dictionary, adventurous palate, and trusting deference to the mixologist formerly known as “bartender.” For any curious lush who ever wanted to know exactly what comprises a botanical or whether there’s a chemical difference between a martini that’s shaken versus stirred, the fourth annual Science of Cocktails returns to the Exploratorium on Friday, January 24th.

Four Fantastic Local Fruitcakes

Robert Lambert fruitcake

Poor Fruitcake.  For how many Christmases have you been the twice re-gifted door stopper or the impromptu discus hurled at the shoulder of the most annoying relative?

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