Click through the slideshow above to see the most iconic Bay Area dishes, drinks and snacks

If you stop to think about the quintessential Bay Area foods, what comes to mind? You might say It’s-It ice cream or sourdough bread, and you'd be right, of course, but they're only two examples of iconic dishes linked to the Bay Area.

In our search for iconic local dishes, we immediately thought of foods that were invented here. But we also included the food and drink we've come to adopt as our own, as is the case with one popular Irish coffee in San Francisco.

Buena Vista Cafe's Irish coffee wasn't invented in S.F., but you could argue that it was perfected here. Former Buena Vista owner Jack Koeppler was inspired to recreate the spiked brew he tried at Shannon Airport in Ireland. After plenty of trial and error, locals got a taste of Ireland in 1952. It's been a hit ever since.

ALSO: Meet the bartender who's served San Francisco 5 million Irish coffees

Pisco punch on the other hand had its start in San Francisco and dates back to the Gold Rush. During the 1850s, pisco punch was invented at the old Bank Exchange & Billiard Saloon, where the Transamerica Pyramid now resides. At the time, the drinks were considered a status symbol. KQED wrote that the drink symbolized “everything about the newfound wealth and ambition of Gold Rush San Francisco.”

The stiff drink was a fusion of Peruvian brandy, pineapple, lime juice, sugar, gum Arabic and water. If you want to try it for yourself,  you can still find it at a few local bars like Comstock Saloon or The Old Ship Saloon.

ALSO: San Francisco firsts: All of the city's surprising historic moments

Chronicle Food Editor Paolo Lucchesi put together a list of drinks and food made famous in the Bay Area in 2012. We've added to his selection — and let you know where to find them — in the slideshow at the top of this story.

Let us know in the comments section if we missed any of your favorites.

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Susana Guerrero is an SFGATE producer. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @SusyGuerrero3