- Bi-Rite Creamery3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110recommended Bi-Rite CreameryGet This: Honey lavender ice cream - Maldon sea salt - blood orange olive oil - hot fudge. It's called the Dainty Gent and he's as sweet as it gets!
- San Tung Chinese Restaurant1031 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122recommended San Tung Chinese RestaurantSo I went to spend a weekend with some friends in SF. When I get there I am told we are going to have wings for dinner and that they are to die for. If you read anyone else's review, yeah you will see ... read morethat too. So we show up at this literal itty bitty Chinese joint in the sunset about 8:30-8:45ish and its standing room only OUTSIDE! Well we finally get into this joint and we made the cutoff, yeah if you show up after about 9:15 you will be turned away. We watched it happen. Also they may run out of some of the food items. PRO TIP: BRING YO JACKET FOO. You will need it while waiting outside. So yeah back to the ughhh WANGS!!! Dayem these were crispy and crunchy and chickeny and totally different from any that I had had before. Make sure you get the dry wings as they are fully basted and dripping. I cant fathom what the wet wings look like! We also got two other items: the Garlic Green Beans (super tasty and yummy) and the Noodles with Peanut Sauce. Yeah I cringed over peanut sauce covered noodles also... I was thinking this will be absolutely nasty. So when I bit into it, I was totally surprised. It was basically Chinese Satay noodles with seafood mixed in. My friend ate all the scallops and mushrooms (yeah I know I know I'm not a fungai eh?) and I had all the shrimpies! BUT wow this stuff was decadent and went real well with the wings and green beans. PRO TIP: Drop off a passenger while you find parking to get your name on the list. It will save you a good 15-20 minutes waiting in line at least. Definitely the weirdest food I have ever had together at a Chinese restaurant, but DAYEMZ that grub was tasty. Then again since I hadn't eaten anything but a Costco Polish dog all day, I coulda just been hungry. Regardless, this stuff was awesome. The service was a lil curt (cept for the guy in glasses who directs people to tables). Otherwise yeah this place is too small and should try to expand (unless they like having 20 people milling around in front all day and night long). I definitely want to go back though ASAP. Wow it was good.Schel @schel74
my favorite restaurant on the west side of SF in the sunset district
recommended Fort BakerSo you want to find a super unique place to do a photoshoot, see San Fran at water level from across the bay, or perhaps look up at the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge and see ships pass below it ... read morewith SF in the background? Well this is where you need to come to do it. It is a special fun unique place. Fort Baker is a bit daunting to find how to get down to it. You need to exit the 101 N right after the Vista Point Overlook… on Alexander Ave (Sausalito exit). Make the first left on Bunker Rd and follow it around and back underneath Alexander Ave. Bunker Rd will take you down to the Fort proper as well as Horseshoe Bay, the Marina, and the pier. There are some unique hiking trails, tidal zones, and picture taking opportunities down here. They have some large open grass areas that you can play sports or games on... tour the museum that is down here as well. Essentially, if you wanna have something fun happening you can make it occur here for sure. As you can see from the pics, a lot of people are crabbing off of the pier! This is some great fun stuff... so check it out and enjoy it someday. I cant count the number of times that I have been here. But I have gone here for over a decade to provide a unique look at the SF bay etc... Ohhhh did I mention that this place was free as well? woo woo!!!Schel @schel74
unique view of the GG bridge and SF from water level 5 mintues from the north end of the bridge
- Golden Gate Bridge Vista OverlookVista Point Road, Sausalito, CArecommended Golden Gate Bridge Vista OverlookSo this place is not on the headlands like the other GG Vista Point. This is the location on the North East not North West end of the bridge. It is only accessible from while traveling north from San ... read moreFrancisco. Follow US Highway 101 north across the Golden Gate Bridge. Take the first exit called "Vista Point" and turn right into the parking lot. This lookout point provides another unique view point of the picturesque city of SF and a lot of the Northern Bay Area. However this truly unique location provides restrooms, and 4 hour free parking. Sitting high up on the bluffs over Horseshoe Bay and Fort Baker… you often get an intense view of the Frisco. This particular lookout point is much more likely to be clear and not enshrouded in the the fog than on the North West side of the bridge. This location is frequented by cyclists, motorcyclists, commuters, tourists, walkers (both zombies and regular), joggers, and skaters. I mean everyone has stopped here at least once it seems. The view looking at SF is extremely unique and a lot of fun to see. I highly recommend going to this place. After you arrive here, I suggest going down to Fort Baker down below...Schel @schel74
awesome view of SF, Alcatraz, and the GG Bridge
- PresidioPresidio, San Francisco, Californiarecommended PresidioThe Presidio is one of if not my most favorite part of San Francisco. This is simply due to the fact that it doesn’t feel like you are living, working, or simply spending time in one of the largest ... read morecities in the world. Time slows down here and the woods / greenery allow you to relax and enjoy nature/life in a very relaxed way. I recently spent a weekend here staying with a friend. We ended up taking some hikes, bbq’ing, spending time in the back yard, etc. It made us feel like we were in a different part of the country, until we took a short 5 minute walk and entered the Marina District of SF. Having the giant trees, open grassy areas, hiking/biking trails, and minimal background din make this such a wondrous place. The location of the Presidio is awesome as well. You can reach many parts of SF in a short amount of time; The Marina, The Sunset, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park, etc etc etc If you have never been, I cant more highly suggest going through this beautiful forested part of SF that is an area like no other city in the world that I have been to from Bangkok to New York to London to Athens. Its truly one of a kind.Schel @schel74
go see a forest in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world
- Golden Gate BridgeLincoln Boulevard & Doyle Drive, San Francisco, California 94129, United Statesrecommended Golden Gate BridgeI will keep this one short. This is an iconic image known the world over. Almost anywhere you go if you show them a picture of the GGB they will know it or SF where the bridge is located. Interesting ... read morefact: As soon as the maintenance crews have completed painting the bridge, they start over at the other end and begin again. This is due to the super corrosive salt water and constant shrouding of fog. If this was not done, the bridge would rust out extremely quickly. The lanes available change constantly on the GGB. Lanes are constantly reversed throughout the day. It only costs to drive southbound into SF from Marin County. The bike lanes and walking/hiking path allow some full blown experiences. Interesting fact 2: Be careful as there have been more suicides here than any other specific place on earth. So many that they installed special nets to catch the jumpers... But this place is super super beautiful. I hope you can enjoy it and check it out as many times as I have.Schel @schel74
international icon!recommended Golden Gate BridgeIt's about a two-hour/six-mile walk from the Ferry Buidling to the Golden Gate Bridge if you follow the water's edge. It's a long walk but you'll pass by/near some classic SF sights: Pier to Alcatraz, ... read moreFisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Fort Mason, Palace of Fine Arts, Crissy Field, and Fort Point. Clearly if you stop at all of these spots, it'll take you a lot longer to get to the Golden Gate but, just walking by these sights makes for a scenic route, plus it's relatively flat too.Liza Prado
A great walking tour....recommended Golden Gate BridgeA classic must-see if it's your first trip to San Francisco. Sure, you can drive over the bridge (you'd best pick a sunny day, because in the fog you might not see anything at all). But better yet, ... read morewalk or cycle across it. Another interesting perspective on this landmark is from Fort Point, made famous by the scene in the Hitchcock movie "Vertigo" where Kim Novak jumps into San Francisco Bay.
- Twin PeaksTwin Peaks, San Francisco, Californiarecommended Twin PeaksSo you want to go to one of the most awe inspiring vistas over a major metropolitan city in the entire world and it just so happens you are in SF and not Rio... well guess what! You my friend are in ... read moreluck! If you make your way up to the top of twin peaks next to the giant antenna structure, you will be given one of the most gorgeous views on the face of the earth IMHO... after winding your way up the curvacious road to the summit you will roll up on a two tiered parking lot complete with pay binoculars. And over half of San Francisco and the rest of the bay area just about is laid out below you. The view of SF is like you are on a helicopter. This is one of those places you just have to experience to truly understand. So next time you are in the bay, take your booty up here and check out this special place... Just be careful not to take the express way down to Frisco! That would kinda hurt. But the best thing about this place is that it is free, never closed, and sometimes you see some very interesting people.Schel @schel74
must see this place!
- Haight-Ashbury1500 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-2913recommended Haight-AshburyHipster part of San Francisco! Not to be missed since this is pretty unique. Enjoy and I guess get sucked in too while you're at it.
recommended Twin PeaksCome up here during the day or on a cool cloudless night. If you go up while foggy the road is dangerous and you won't be able to see anything anyway. This is best done with a DSLR camera during the ... read moreday and a camera with a tripod at night. The views of the city from here are great. You can see as far as Oakland on a good day all the way around to the Golden Gate and out to the South Bay.
- Pancho Villa Taqueria3071 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103recommended Pancho Villa TaqueriaPancho Villa's is a classic, no frills, SF taqueria in the heart of the Mission district (there's another one of the Embarcadero but, I don't think its as good). Stand in line, buffet-style, and watch ... read moreas the servers put together a mean burrito or taco plate. There's a fresh salsa bar plus aguas (fruit drinks) and Mexican sodas--chips are thrown in too. In the evening, roving mariachi bands typically liven up the place for tips.
- Baker BeachBowley Street, San Francisco, CA 94129recommended Baker BeachOne of the best beaches in San Francisco, Baker Beach has postcard perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge on one side, and the open pacific on the other. It's popular with locals, especially on ... read moreweekends, who come with everything from elaborate picnics to just a frisbee and a dog. Be sure to wear layers--temps can range from balmy to downright chilly. To get here, take the MUNI #29, which stops at the entrance or if you've got a car, follow the main drag in the Presidio until you reach the beach on the western edge (there's plenty of parking in two free lots).
- Ferry Plaza Farmers Market1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111recommended Ferry Plaza Farmers MarketWhenever a friend or relative comes to town, my first thought is to send them straightaway to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. With excellent views of the Bay, a collection of some great foodie options ... read moreand the chance to explore downtown further during the afternoon, it's the perfect start to the weekend. Get a cup of Blue Bottle coffee from the stand outside or the store within. Another popular option are the chilaquiles from the Mexican stand out back, complete with perfectly cooked eggs, tortillas and an oh-so-tasty sauce. And all you have to do is wake up in time. The Market gets a bit crowded as you pass noon—lines increase and food supplies diminish—so you'll want to aim to come around 10 to get the most of your day.Keane
You can get a lot of local food here from the booths and also inside the Ferry Building. There's Blue Bottle coffee and Acme Bread. All of it is high quality and local. The Farmers' Market is fun, but it gets busy too. If you want food from the outside stalls, get in line early!
- Ritual Coffee Roasters1026 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110recommended Ritual Coffee RoastersMy mom makes me weak. My dad makes me depressed. There are many things I wish I wasn't. Restless. Impatient. Emotional. Delusional. Arugula. And so I blame my flaws on my folks, focusing on what I ... read morelack genetically rather than the good I possess. Negative thought occurs so frequently it exists as a persistent sermon, waking daily on the wrong side of bed until there isn't a pleasant side left. And I toil away everyday until work and a lackluster life settle into some routine agenda. A limit for credit cards. Not having enough chairs. But then, for some reason, something clicks inside and I'm reminded of the better things in life - music and inspiration from hopeful love lust, espresso shots from freshly-roasted beans, sexy cafes, sexier people, and sharing tables with strangers in a place more cozy than cramped... So, I'm reminded of warmth and light, hopefully in such a way I repeat the mantra on a daily basis, until upward thought becomes a ritual in and of itself. My mom makes me kindhearted. My dad makes me deep.Keane
An institution and one of the greatest coffee roasters in the city.
- Zare at Fly Trap606 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107recommended Zare at Fly TrapThere's a giant National Geographic world map hanging on one of my closet doors. Every night when I brush my teeth, I look at it for a full two minutes (as required to let the fluoride in the ... read moretoothpaste fully absorb), traveling visually through the shapes of countries and names of remote places. With a quick sideways glance, I leap from the Isla de los Estados in South America to Boosaaso, a port city along Africa's eastern coast, while along the way marveling at how the epic Trojan War was centered in that tiny little blot known as the Aegean. My favorite destination, however, is the Mediterranean. From Lebanon to the Pillars of Hercules, it housed some of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. More importantly, it offers many of the world's most robust and savory cuisines. Zaré at Fly Trap offers a culinary vacation of the entire Mediterranean coast. From Southern French and Italian to Moroccan and hints of the Middle East, the exoticism of their food (and drink) menu is wholly compelling. I ordered the Sumac Couscous Salad and it came piled with crab and dusted with delicious herbs. My friends' entrées were even more impressive, and their portions well justified the prices. Service was fantastic (Chef Zaré even came by to see if things were alright), the drinks were delicious and we all left feeling as if we had experienced something a little more than just food... like dining out but a damn lot further.Keane
Great restaurant. Very casual but intimate.
- Toronado547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117recommended ToronadoToronado is legendary across the world for its amazing beer selection. It's legendary with me and my friends because it's strictly unpretentious and cheap. If you love beer, come here for happy hour ... read moreand grab a few pints. PRO TIP: Decide what you want before going up to the bar so you don't annoy the—sometimes—gruff bartenders. Cash only. PRO TIP 2: Grab a sausage from Rosamunde next door (they have vegan options) and bring it into the bar. They'll take your tray back to them after you're done.Keane
If you like craft beer, this dive bar is THE place.
- The View Lounge at Marriott Marquis55 4th St, San Francisco, Californiarecommended The View Lounge at Marriott MarquisMy God, what a breathtaking view. Imagine taking the Death Star and moving it ever so gently over downtown San Francisco (without regard to gravitational laws), and think about the view you'd get from ... read morePalpatine's royal throne. This is what you get at The View, the top-floor bar at the San Francisco Marriott. Drinks are overpriced (as expected—the "well drink special" is still $8 and most cocktails are $14), but service is wonderful and the space is nice. It's not very large, so you should definitely arrive early.Keane
Amazing views from this rooftop hotel bar.
- Fifth Floor12 4th Street, San Francisco, CArecommended Fifth FloorAfter attending a photo shoot for Fifth Floor's upcoming new website, we were all given certificates for the fabulous restaurant. So, naturally, we decided to all go together and pig out on some ... read morereally exquisite shiznit. I started with a Grapefruit Vesper martini (a nice rendition of Bond's drink of choice) and the Crudo as my first plate - fresh and flavorful cuts of sashimi. For my second plate, I ordered the Grilled Octopus. Bursting with flavors of coconut - really fantastic. Following this, I had the Muscovy Duck - thick slices of smoked duck breast in a mouth-watering duck jus. Amazing. But what really blew my mind was the Gateau Basque I had for dessert. It's several almond custard tarts and orange cake sticks with cherry marmalade and bitter almond ice cream. To die for. The staff was amazing. Unlike other fancy pants restaurants I've been to, the waiters here are very down-to-earth. They don't crowd your space, but rather enhance the experience with their fun personalities. So thanks, Jennie Lorenzo, for creating dishes as delectable as they are beautiful. See you on your website (hopefully)!Keane
This is a great restaurant. Pricey, though.
- Ferry Building Marketplace1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CArecommended Ferry Building MarketplaceWhile it's hardly a well-kept secret, the Embarcadero's restored Ferry Building is one of the city's most accessible sights, and unlike the abomination of Fisherman's Wharf, a place well worth ... read morevisiting. With lovely architecture that's miraculously survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, today the building houses a host of fine eateries (Slanted Door, anybody?) and market stalls, and a fantastic-if-pricey local farmers' market three times a week (Saturday is the big day). For the first-time visitor to the city, it's more than worth an hour of your time.Matthew Crompton
From Fisherman's Wharf, just walk down along the Embarcadero to this wonderful marketplace in a cool old building. This is one of my favorite walks in San Francisco, and should let you see some of the best of the city in a day. Good luck! =)
- Fisherman's WharfThe Embarcadero & Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133recommended Fisherman's WharfA tourist hell and prime location to be wiped off the map this beautiful city, it's a hokey nightmare of the worst kind, and fails at any kind of authenticity. Do not mistake this for the real San ... read moreFrancisco.Matthew Crompton
From there it's just a walk downhill to Fisherman's Wharf, a tourist hell, but one that you should see at least once.
- Coit Tower1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard, San Francisco, CA, United Statesrecommended Coit TowerWith fabulous 360-degree views over the whole of downtown SF, this tower crowning Telegraph Hill is a must-see for visitors to the Bay. Iconic, historic, and reputedly shaped to look like the nozzle ... read moreof a firehose, it's a great place to stop and take in the views on a walk thru North Beach, and you may even spot some of the famous parrots of Telegraph Hill in the surrounding trees!Matthew Crompton
And from North Beach, walk up the hill to see Coit Tower.
- North BeachNorth Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133recommended North BeachSF's "Little Italy", North Beach is a neighborhood with plenty of character and no shortage of good restaurants and bars to go with it. Visit City Lights bookstore here and have an espresso and a ... read morecannolli at one of the sidewalk trattoria.Matthew Crompton
Have a stroll thru North Beach.
- ChinatownGrant Avenue at Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108recommended ChinatownA neighborhood near the tourist's 'ground zero' at Union Square, Chinatown is a place where locals don't tend to go. Not as egregious a crime against authenticity and good taste as Fisherman's Wharf, ... read moreSF's Chinatown is still full of hokey tourist crap and mediocre Chinese eateries (there are good ones there too, of course, but good luck finding them at random). Take a stroll through on your way to North Beach, but don't expect too much.Matthew Crompton
Up thru Chinatown.
- Union Square250 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1815recommended Union SquareUnion Square is the nexus of SF's significant tourist economy: the swank hotels, the chic department stores and clothiers, the art galleries that neither you nor anyone you've ever met could possibly ... read moreafford to buy from. It's a place absolutely saturated with all the trappings of upscale tourist zones the world over. Even so, there's a real beauty to walking through the place at dusk -- passing the cable-car stop at the end of Powell St, the kids in baggy pants buying a fat slice at Blondie's Pizza, a gaggle of Japanese businessmen in town for a conference, a French couple arguing over where to get 'un cafe', suits fresh out of work in the Financial District, and more than a few demonstrably crazy street people wandering in from the Tenderloin. It's a nexus for a reason: in the lights and the noise and the flood of people, you can really FEEL the life of the city here, see the madness and the diversity in it. For years, it was one of my very favorite places just to walk through for a few minutes, and really feel a PART of the life of San Francisco.Matthew Crompton
Walk up thru Union Square.
- SF MoMA 151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-3107recommended SF MoMASF's premiere modern art museum, both the collections here and the cool modern building that houses them are top-notch. Everyone will have a different favorite, but their collection of early modernist ... read morepainting is particularly fantastic, with great pieces from Rothko, Kahlo and Paul Klee.Matthew Crompton
I'd start here.
- Craftsman and Wolves746 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California 94110recommended Craftsman and WolvesThis is an amazing bakery and lacks the long lines of Tartine. The cheddar pepper croissant is tasty, but the Rebel Within muffin (it has a soft boiled egg inside) is a must try. On the sweet side, ... read morethe passion fruit pot de creme is a perfect combination of a little bit of sweet, sour, crunchy, and creamy.
- Hog & Rocks3431 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110recommended Hog & RocksThis is a great restaurant for pork and oysters (as reflected in the name). There is sometimes a chef's special where one type of oyster is just $1 each. Great deal! They have some awesome local hot ... read moresauce for the oysters too. The meat sampler comes with 3 different kinds of prosciutto and is more than enough to share with 2 other people. They top each one with a different item that really complements the specific meat. I would also recommend the garbanzo fritters just because of the amazing green tomato ketchup that comes with it. Yum! The duck with confit was good too, but the portion on the smaller side. From what I've heard, the menu is constantly changing, so you might not be offered the things I had. The staff is friendly and attentive.
- Hog Island Oyster Company1 Ferry Plaza #11, San Francisco, CA 94105recommended Hog Island Oyster CompanyLocated inside the Ferry Building Marketplace, you might have to get a map to locate this little restaurant tucked away next to other restaurants and shops. There are no reservations taken, just line ... read moreup and wait for your turn to get a table. The Hog Island sweetwater oysters on the half shell are delicious. Meaty and slightly sweet. The baked Casino oysters were also very tasty. Definitely get the clam chowder as it comes loaded with clams still in the shells and is very filling. The prawns were good, but nothing special, so I would focus on the oysters and clam chowder. I also saw the next table get the grilled cheese sandwich, which I thought was overpriced, but it looked amazing and huge (enough to share between 2 to 3 people, especially if you’re ordering other things). The food comes out very quickly and the staff pretty friendly. They’re good at getting people in and out so that you’re not waiting in line for hours.
commented on this trip
The seaport! SF is gorgeous... Eat good seafood at the seaport &/or have a great meal in Chinatown (which is truly one of THE best Chinatowns), and you MUST take a trolley!
- Marin Headlands948, Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965-2608recommended Marin HeadlandsThe Marin Headlands should be on the "must visit" list of San Francisco. Just north of the city in Marin, it's easy to get to by crossing the Golden Gate bridge. You can just drive in and stop at the ... read moremany spots along the road to take in the view, or enjoy other activities like road biking, mountain biking, hiking, running, or going to the beach. It's a big place with lots of things to explore.Mike G
On a clear day drive across the Golden Gate bridge and up into the headlands for a spectacular view of the Golden Gate with San Francisco in the background.