San Francisco Travel Guide

March 6, 2014

I was in San Francisco last weekend and on the flight there, I did a little math to figure out how many times I’ve visited the Bay Area in the past 3 years – nine! If that’s not an indication of how much I love San Francisco, I don’t know what is! We got married in Napa last July, so we made a couple of trips for planning, but most have been for fun. My sister-in-law and one of my best friends both work for Google in Mountain View, so I’ve always got a place to stay (and the best hosts!). If you haven’t been before, or if you want some of my tried-and-true suggestions, please reference the list of my favorite food, drink spots and activities below! Also, please offer any recommendations – I’ll be going back again soon (hopefully!), and always love to try new places.

Other San Francisco posts here. Pictures from this weekend below! Find a Google map with these locations here.

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Favorite Restaurants/Drinks

  • The Plant (Various): Hands-down, one of my favorite restaurants in America – there are so many delicious vegetarian options that I rarely order the same thing twice (try them all!)
  • Radish (The Mission): The veggie burger is so unique and delicious – very nutty (add cheese!)
  • Mission Cheese (The Mission): A cheese and wine lovers dream
  • Dosa (Pacific Heights): The Indian food here is melt-in-your-mouth delicious – try the paneer masala dish
  • Zazie’s (Haight Ashbury): Holy cow – the line here is indicative of how good the food is – come early for breakfast!!
  • La Boulangerie (Various): Starbucks didn’t decide to use La Boulange baked goods for no reason! I live for the coffee + oatmeal in the humongous ceramic bowls
  • Tacolicious (Various): I wouldn’t normally recommend Mexican food this far from the border, but it’s worth it! Amazing guacamole and Marina Girl Salad (YUM)
  • Helmand Palace (Russian Hill): My first taste of Afghani food and I hope not my last! Be adventurous!
  • Kokkari (Financial District): Hands down, my favorite restaurant in SF – the baked feta appetizer is all you really need, but you’ll want and love everything else too
  • Sweet Maple (Pacific Heights): Famous for their bacon, this place has some amazing veggie/vegan options (great salads and oatmeal)
  • Millenium (Tenderloin): One of the best all-vegetarian restaurants I’ve ever been to… get a bunch of dishes amongst your table and share!
  • Reveille Coffee Co (Financial District and Mission Bay – my favorite location!): Modern, glass wall coffee shop with amazing drip coffee and the tastiest homemade granola you’ll ever try
  • Woods Polk Station (Russian Hill): Tiny little beer (and wine) bar with a selection of empanadas (the cheesy aroma will lure you in)
  • The Brick Yard (Cow Hollow): This yuppie bar has a great atmosphere and gets pretty darn crowded during happy hour
  • Rickhouse (Financial District): I’m obsessed with the front doors alone, but the entire bar (quiet lounge area upstairs) is really cool (with great cocktails!!)
  • Cultive (Cow Hollow): My favorite frozen yogurt in San Francisco – the flavors taste fresh and not artificial (or as anti-artificial as cookies ‘n cream froyo can be!)]
  • Souvla (Hayes Valley): A very simple Greek menu, but the most delicious meal and make sure to order the Greek frozen yogurt… seriously heaven on earth!
  • Smitten Ice Cream (Hayes Valley): The eclectic flavors taste a little different than what you may be used to, but I’d sample them all! Delicious.
  • House of Nanking (Chinatown): Get to this (rather) hole-in-the-wall Asian restaurant in Chinatown early if you don’t want to stand in line outside! It’s that good! I got two tofu dishes and was in heaven – and stuffed!!
  • Greens (Marina): Ah, this vegetarian restaurant has my heart! The glass windows look out onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and Sasha (a carnivore) recently said the stuffed pepper was his favorite dish of our entire vacation!
  • Jane on Fillmore (Fillmore): This tiny cafe has a simple, but delicious menu, and is perfect for a ladies lunch.
  • The Mill (Fillmore): Amazing coffee spot near Alamo Square Park – gorgeous interior!

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Restaurants on My “Must Try” List

Betelnut, Umami Burger, Presidio Social Club, and Outerlands

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Favorite Activities

  • Mingle with the hipsters and sip on Ritual Coffee in the Mission or Reveille Coffee (various locations, but Mission Bay is the best/prettiest/offers more food – on this map)
  • Rent a GoCar and drive around the city in this baby-sized Smart Car
  • Grab San Francisco’s famous Blue Bottle at the iconic Ferry Building
  • Sip on New Orleans style iced coffee from Blue Fog Market
  • Act like a paparazzi in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Shop at boutiques on Union and Fillmore Streets and in Hayes Valley
  • Explore Chinatown
  • Smell the amazing bread being freshly made at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Reminisce the greatness of Full House and sit in the park in Alamo Square (love the Painted Ladies!) – grab a coffee at The Mill beforehand!
  • Take pictures on and walk down Lombard Street
  • Go to the gorgeous sandy beaches of Point Reyes (where we took our engagement pictures)
  • Check out the redwood trees at Muir Woods
  • Go to Dolores Park to play, or if you’re getting coffee at Reveille in Mission Bay, then go to the Mission Bay Kid’s Park

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Activities on my “Must Do” List

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Other City Tours

ParisDurango (Colorado)AustinHoustonBaliWashington, DC

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Me (6.5 months preggo belly!) and Georgia

8 thoughts on “San Francisco Travel Guide

  1. Dale

    Great guide! SF is one of my favorites, but I’ve only visited a couple times while I was attending college in Santa Barbara. Must go back!

    Reply
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  3. Breezy Williams

    LOVE this! My husband and I are moving to East Bay this summer so I’ve been trying to find things to do nearby. I have only been to San Francisco a handful of times and never know what to do so this is super helpful! I love all the food options, that’s always the hardest part for me. We wait until we our hungry to find a place to eat then end up starving, grumpy, and at some “okay” restaurant.

    Reply

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