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Upcider Cider House & Gastropub – San Francisco

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Upcider is a second floor food and drink establishment we had the pleasure of visiting on a recent trip to San Francisco. They define themselves as a “cider house-gastropub” and this tag line is right on the money. Though they also boast a fairly impressive craft beer and wine menu, the real beverage star here is cider.

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When presented with the menus, we were surprised to see that the cider offerings take up more space than the food and beer menus combined. A full page of domestic ciders are available, with staples like Angry Orchard, Woodchuck and Crispin in bottles ranging from 12-25 ounces. Other lesser known North American cideries also appear on the menu, mostly located on the West Coast. However, the most interesting options (to us, at least) were the few dozen international ciders in house. Mostly European (with the exception of a few from New Zealand), we chose to order a bottle of sidra from Spain.

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Sidra is simply what cider is called when it comes from certain regions in Spain (similar to Bordeaux wine). Isastegi was the bottle we decided on and it was a delicious compliment to our meal. Like craft beer and wine, cider can also be paired with food, though it’s typically overlooked for more popular beverages. However, not all ciders are super sweet so they can easily compliment savory meals. The Isastegi sidra is bubbly, dry and slightly tart, with qualities similar to a subtle champagne. These flavors allowed it to pair nicely with the plethora of small plates we ordered for our table of four.

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Food-wise, we enjoyed the Turkish and potato flatbreads, as well as the calamari and garlic fries. They were all delicious and the bold flavors combined flawlessly with the subtle delicate cider. Portions were generous, the quality was high and pricing was fair (a bottle of cider to share was on par with what you’d pay for a mid range bottle of wine). Not to mention the space was welcoming with floor to ceiling windows that allowed you a great view of the city bustle below.

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Full disclaimer: this location is on the cusp of a slightly rough part of town, or so we were told, so you might want to take a cab to avoid walking through somewhere you shouldn’t. That being said, we never felt unsafe and even found a small crepe place down the street for dessert. Though the crepes were a perfect treat after dinner and drinks, the highlight there was an extremely intoxicated fellow patron who managed to drop his crepe, eat it off the floor without missing a beat and say “dope” about eighty times in one mostly incoherent sentence. We even ran into him the next day at an In N Out on the other side of the city, still wearing the same plaid shirt and orange pants he was sporting in the crepe shop. Oh San Francisco, you sure are charming.

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Written by A+K

October 21st, 2013 at 3:56 pm

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