The blissful combination of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows was first documented in “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts” in 1927. The secret of “some mores” was handed down from Cadettes to Brownies to Daisies over the years, becoming “s’mores” along the way and landing at campfires everywhere.
Today, San Franciscans are putting their own strange twists on the theme.
Make Your Own S’mores, Luna Park
Take the s’more chores into your own hands with Luna Park’s DIY presentation ($9.50), which keeps ceramic cups of bittersweet chocolate and marshmallows bubbling over flickering little flames. Getting the sweet fillings onto the accompanying graham crackers isn’t a neat task, but it is a delicious one.
694 Valencia St., S.F.; (415) 553-8584, www.lunaparksf.com
Papua New Guinea S’more, Dandelion Chocolate
A flash of the blowtorch adds color to a giant housemade marshmallow’s cheeks under a limpid pool of smoked-cocoa pleasure and flecks of salt. The open-faced s’more ($4), which rides a soft graham cracker, takes its exotic name from the source of its cacao nibs, the raw form of cocoa. Take it on a stroll down Valencia Street and feel the envious stares of the six-figure salaries crammed into a passing Google bus.
740 Valencia St., S.F.; (415) 349-0942, www.dandelionchocolate.com
S’mores Nachos, Velvet Cantina
The sweet nachos ($6.49) arrive from the kitchen full of promise, and still on fire. The flame quickly goes out on the charred mass of mini marshmallows and Mexican chocolate, leaving easy access to the addictively crunchy fried tortilla strips — dusted with cinnamon and sugar — that lie beneath.
3349 23rd St., S.F.; (415) 648-4142, www.velvetcantina.com
Drunken S’more, Candybar
Go home, s’more, you’re drunk. It’s not the confection’s fault: The server immediately spills a potent shot of Bailey’s caramel sauce all over its soft graham base, lightly toasted marshmallow and chocolate sauce ($10). The whiskey pour does have a tendency to overpower the core s’more essence; halfway through, you’ll be feeling a bit lightly toasted yourself.
1335 Fulton St., S.F.; (415) 673-7078, www.candybarsf.com
Milk Chocolate Ganache, 1760 restaurant
A s’more can dress up without becoming a total snore, as shown by 1760’s rendition ($10), which is deconstructed down to a thick stripe of chocolate ganache alongside scoops of hickory ice cream, dollops of toasted marshmallow and drizzled bourbon caramel. The hickory ice cream is a nice nod to the smokiness of a campfire; as for 1760’s bourbon caramel: When your big sister is Michelin-starred Acquerello, the family campouts must be truly epic.
1760 Polk St., S.F.; (415) 359-1212, www.1760sf.com
Towne S’mhore, Hooker’s Sweet Treats
If 1760’s confection wears its molten marshmallow like a chic Chanel suit, the Towne S’mhore ($2) likes to hike it up a bit and slather the chocolate on extra thick. The cheeky Tenderloin confectioner tops its graham-cracker bottoms with marshmallow, nuts and dark chocolate under a sprinkling of toasted coconut.
442 Hyde St., S.F.; (415) 441-4628, www.hookerssweettreats.com
Classic S’more, Rob Hill Campground at the Presidio
Now that you’ve sampled less-than-traditional s’mores, it’s time to pay tribute to the classic. This s’more isn’t cheap ($132 — that’s $125 for a night at the campground, plus about $7 for a bag of jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers and some chocolate bars from the nearby Safeway on Marina Boulevard). The s’mores at The City’s only overnight campground, however, are near some stellar views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
1475 Central Magazine Road, S.F.; (415) 561-5447, http://www.presidio.gov/explore/Pages/rob-hill-campground.aspx