10 of the Best Italian Cooking Classes in San Francisco

by Jessie Frizzell  |  Published February 25, 2024

Home to a vibrant food scene, what better way to immerse yourself in San Francisco’s culinary culture than by joining a cooking class by one of the city’s very own chefs?

(Photo: @ S@ndrine / CC / BY 2.0)

The rolling cityscape of San Francisco brings to mind vignettes from the 1960s, when ragtag artists found their home in the famous Californian city, giving rise to the Beatnick movement. Under the watchful eye of the hulking Golden Gate Bridge, the city has certainly evolved since those times, most prominently emerging as the tech capital of the world. Despite the changes this has brought, San Francisco still retains its cultural core, including a rich food culture, particularly evident in neighbourhoods that have grown into bustling ethnic enclaves with their own distinct cuisines.  And on that note, here are some of the best Italian cooking classes available in San Francisco.

Farmer’s Market Tour and Cook Seasonal Lunch

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San Francisco’s setting, close to rolling hills and farms, provides fertile soil for food production. And what better way to get the full regional experience than to try some of this food yourself?  A veritable masterclass in buying locally in San Francisco, this class includes a trip to a local farmers’ market where you’ll create a bespoke farm-to-table meal, using the freshest seasonal ingredients to plan and prepare a four-course lunch. Your chef-cum-guide will even suggest wine pairings to go with the meal. 

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Hand-Crafted Italian Meal 

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Whether it’s date night or you’re simply looking to try something new, this cooking class helps bring some variety to your cooking arsenal. Chef Karen teaches you to rustle up a hand-crafted Italian meal completely from scratch. You learn how to make  fettuccini noodles and your own ravioli with fillings that change seasonally. To finish off the meal, you’ll be taught how to concoct a melt-in-the-mouth tiramisu. Feel free to bring your own wine and beer to accompany the meal or to sip on while you’re cooking. 

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Italian Cooking Class: Sardinian Gnocchi

Sardinia is a small island located off the Tuscan coast in northern Italy, where the flavours imparted by its food play harmoniously with the typical Mediterranean pallet. During this class, you’ll learn how to make Sardinian gnocchi like they’ve been doing on the island for time immemorial. The gnocchi that we all know and love is made from a mix of flour and potato. Sardinian gnocchi, however, while equally delicious, is firmer in texture and pairs best with rich sauces – as you’ll soon discover. To accompany the meal, there is a mixed green salad and something sweet to round out the culinary experience.

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Gourmet Italian Cooking Class 

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Bordering the Pan Handle and the inland-most end of Golden Gate Park, the neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury is dotted with streets lined with charming Victorian townhouses, which is where you’ll be taking this private cooking class in the  chef’s state-of-the-art kitchen. Here, incorporating local and seasonal flavours, you learn to prepare a four-course restaurant-quality gourmet Italian meal. This is a great option for small groups wanting a more individualised and in-depth cooking experience, with the chef guiding you every step of the way. Once complete, you get to sit down and enjoy the meal that you put together with your own fair hands.

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Handmade Ravioli Class

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For a traditional cooking experience, you won’t find much better than this handmade ravioli class, where you’ll learn how to make pasta the old-fashioned way, with no machines, no fancy equipment – just pure arm strength and determination. Ideal for anyone looking to add some variety to their kitchen  skills, the class is only available to those aged 21 and over and drinks – including alcoholic beverages – are available for purchase at the venue. 

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Neapolitan Pizza-Making Class

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If you’ve watched the film Eat, Pray, Love, you’ll remember the iconic scene in the Naples pizza shop. The two women hold enormous slices of pizza with pillow-soft crust and thick-cut mozzarella. This Neapolitan pizza-making class shows you step-by-step how to recreate your own slice of this famous dish. You’ll learn how to make the light and airy sourdough crust and sauce, with the chef providing toppings. All of the ingredients are fresh, and many are locally sourced from farms in the area. The meal concludes with a dessert prepared by the chef. Guests are also allowed to bring their own drinks to enjoy during the meal. 

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Italian Cooking Class

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This class is a popular option with cooking novices Blending the flavours of Italy and Spain, the class not only teaches you to prepare a fabulous meal but also some of the basics of meal preparation, such as how to hold a knife when chopping and how to properly season a dish. The class is open to all-comers, but can also be privatised for larger parties. If there are vegetarians among you, let the chef know ahead of time and they will be catered for to allow everyone to enjoy the experience as well as the family-style meal at the end. 

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New York Style Pizza-Making Class

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Learn how to make your very own New York-style pizza at this fun pizza-making class. The head chef will teach you the all-important skill of stretching the dough to give you that signature New York thin crust and, by the end of the class, you’ll be spinning it over your head like a seasoned pro. If you’re looking to take the class with friends, it can be privatised for groups of six people or more, and they offer alternative venues for groups of over 25. 

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Team Building, Group Cooking Class & Private Dinner Party

If you’re looking to book something for a large group, this experience may well fit the bill. They only allow private bookings, so your group of 10-30 people will be the only ones in the class. You can bring your own drinks, though there is a corkage fee, but they also offer an unlimited beverage option for an additional charge. Though the Italian cooking class is their most popular, they also offer Thai and Japanese Sushi-themed classes.

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Handmade Pasta Class

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This course is a great option for anyone looking to stick to a slightly smaller budget. Using a traditional pasta roller, you’ll learn to make homemade fettuccini and pappardelle. The chef guides you through concocting a traditional Marinara sauce, as well as a creamy alfredo sauce for the fettuccini. What is great about both of these recipes is that they’re made up of ingredients that you probably already have at home.. The class is only open to those aged 21 years or older and they have a BYOB policy as drinks are not provided.

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