The holiday season is in full force in San Francisco. Trees in Hayes Valley are wearing snowflake sweaters and offices around the FIDI are organizing white elephant gift exchanges. Yes, the season is upon us, which means you now have license to eat any myriad of sweet treats you desire. So cozy up, drink up and indulge. Here are 6 winter inspired offerings sure to put a smile on even the grumpiest of Scrooges!

1. Hot Butterscotch- 20th Century Cafe


When the rainy weather hits and the scarfs come out, herds flock to cafes to fight off the cold with a true and tested cup of hot chocolate. But cocoa better beware, because drinking chocolate isn’t the only sweet beverage that makes you grateful for the rain. 20th Century Cafe’s Hot Butterscotch is a worthy advisory to any hot chocolate. Sure you can find it on the menu even when ugly sweaters aren’t being worn, but snuggle up with a cup of this deliciously sweet butter/sugar nuptial and you’ll feel the holiday spirit wash over you.

2. Latkes- Wise Sons Deli


Jewish children everywhere eagerly gobble these up during Hanukkah, but you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy these fried potato pancakes. Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen serves up a latke plate with homemade apple sauce and sour cream so good you might just go out and buy a menorah. You can find them frying these bad boys up, along with other Jewish favorites (i.e. noodle kugel and matzo ball soup) at their 24th Street, Mission location.

3. Lavender Shortbread Wreaths- Craftsman and Wolves

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Pine cones and ribbon be damned these shortbread circles are the best wreaths to hit the Holiday season… maybe ever. If you’re a food magazine junkie you may have scene these bad boys gracing the cover of Bon Appetit. They’re as beautiful as they are delicious, but not quite so beautiful that you feel guilty for eating them as is the case with the “bûche de noël” (with it’s yogurt button mushrooms and white chocolate-coffee twigs), also featured on their seasonal menu. The price is right too, you can get one of these floral infused treats for just $5, but don’t kid yourself you’ll probably need a few.

4. Winter Warmer Ale- Magnolia Brewery


Drinking is a crucial part of the holiday’s and Magnolia Brewery has managed to infuse all the things you love about winter into one pint. This mahogany colored ale smells of warm winter spices and tastes like them too, coupled with a sweet malty flavor and a hint of chestnut. It arrives the day before Thanksgiving and departs before Valentine’s Day, so get it while it’s still on tap. A few glasses of this brew and you’ll feel like caroling around the neighborhood.

5. Guinness Gingerbread Ice Cream- Humphrey Slocombe

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What says holiday cheer more than Guinness and ice cream? Okay, maybe those things don’t scream winter season, but gingerbread definitely does and when you add it to the equation you get a frozen holiday treat that’s well worth a brain freeze. Of the wacky and wild flavors that Humphrey Slocombe’s brings to the table this is our favorite for honoring the season. The Guinness adds a malty, molasses punch to the warm, spicy gingerbread and somehow a cold creamy spoonful ends up leaving you warm and fuzzy inside. These flavors are in your face and loving it.

6. Eggnog Pie- Flour and Co.

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What conversation about holiday treats would be complete without eggnog? Since it’s obviously not enough just to drink the good stuff, Nob Hill’s Flour and Co. has packed it into and holiday pie that’s so addicting it should come with a disclaimer. Everything you love about egg nog whipped into a smooth custard, plopped into a flaky crust, there’s even bourbon involved.

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