Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — a movie based on the children’s book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett — might very well be the next Ratatouille for mini foodies and their parents.

I don’t think they’ll be calling in Thomas Keller for a culinary consult, but I do know that Cloudy… is one of my husband’s favorite childhood books, and I think a movie treatment is genius. I was initially a little nervous to hear the movie wasn’t coming from Pixar. However, after watching the Sony trailer, my nerves are totally dispelled, and I can’t wait to see it.

Clearly, it won’t be exactly like the book. In fact, it appears the writers used the book more as a jumping off point rather than copying it verbatim, which makes sense because the book is really just a grandfather regaling his grandchildren with stories about a town that would easily beat out San Francisco and New York for best eating.

The movie takes this concept a step further by inventing individual characters, like Flint Lockwood — the inventor who is responsible for turning his town into a culinary mecca with all sorts of foodstuffs falling from the sky — and other townspeople, who get caught up in the euphoria and insanity of experiencing manna in a non-biblical sense.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is due out September 18th, but in the meantime, all this talk of meatballs has gotten me hungry, so here’s a roundup of my five favorite meatballs in the Bay Area. You might want to think about dining at one or all before seeing the movie to combat any meatball envy you’re sure to experience during the movie. Better yet, see if you can sneak some meatball action into the theatre with you.

Meatballs available only on Mondays.

2355 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA

Mayfield Cafe and Bakery
Wood-oven baked meatballs available from the lunch menu.

Town & Country Village
855 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA

Pizzeria Delfina
Neapoletan meatballs in sugo only at their California Street location.

2406 California Street
San Francisco, CA

Meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce available from their antipasti menu.

1199 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA

Saigon Sandwich
The vietnamese meatball sandwich — bánh mì — is a perfect storm of flavors.

560 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA

If you want to make your own meatballs, I’ve found that the recipe Simply Recipes adapted from A16’s original to be quite wonderful.

Finally, no piece about meatballs could go by without this little delight:

Foodie Movie: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 17 August,2009Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Sam Breach

    You gotta try the Piccino meatballs – they are my favourite – small and crispy.

  • Ooh, yeah, I’ve never tried Piccino’s meatballs. Do they have them all the time or only on certain days?

  • Fernando

    I definitely agree with your comments on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I was totally clueless that the movie was based on a children’s story book, until, my wife who is an educator, corrected my ignorance. I read it every night to my four year old son. We both love it.


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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