'Tis the season to feast your eyes on the best gingerbread houses in the city, including a two-story Victorian that's big enough to dine in plus a tasty rendition of the historic Sutro Baths.
Don't eat the house.
A Two-Story Gingerbread Marvel
Where: Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St. (Nob Hill)
When: Through December 31, 2019
At 25-feet tall and 35-feet wide, the Fairmont San Francisco's two-story edible Victorian was crafted by the hotel's culinary team using thousands of gingerbread bricks and more than a ton of royal icing and candy décor. It's so life-size, you can even make reservations to host a dinner party for up to 10 guests in the house's oh-so-sweet dining room! Private reservations start at $300 for the first two hours and $150 each additional hour. They also offer Gingerbread House proposals for $500 per hour and include red roses and sparkling wine. // For reservations, call 415.772.5144; for more information, visit fairmont.com.
Sutro Baths Gingerbread
Where: Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero (Embarcadero), waterbarsf.com
When: Through December 31
Last year, pastry chef Erica Land took her inspiration from San Francisco's famed Painted Ladies and made cookie abodes with cast-sugar stained glass windows and a fondant-tiled roof. This year, expect a gingerbread interpretation of the Sutro Baths.
Gingerbread Cable Cars
Where: Epic Steak, 369 The Embarcadero (Embarcadero), epicsteak.com
When: Through December 31st
Waterbar's sister restaurant, Epic Steak, also debuted a local spin on the gingerbread house last season. Twenty-eight hours went into the making of the restaurant's gingerbread Conservatory of Flowers, which was founded and sided with gingerbread, had center domes made from Rice Krispies, royal icing lacquering the sides, and edible glitter to mirror the white-glass panels that cover the iconic building. Keen eyes noticed the gummy Legos banding the center dome to create a "stained glass" effect, completing the entire table-size gingerbread model. This Christmas, look for an equally impressive gingerbread cable car display.
Location: Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St. (Union Square), westinstfrancis.com
When: Through January 2, 2020
This Union Square hotel eschews gingerbread for pure sugar in two magical candy palaces. The Medieval Castle here was originally created in 2005 and evokes a French chateau with grand turrets, rooms, and colorful illuminated windows. The castle is surrounded by a medieval village and a train circling a snowy ski resort, a pond, and snow-capped trees. Meanwhile, the St. Francis Enchanted Castle is three-level winter wonderland of elaborate gingerbread trees, candies, and gift boxes.