San Francisco might be my favorite place to go out to eat. Each time I visit, I make it a point to try something new and different because I know I won’t be let down. I feel like you can get anything in San Francisco because of how many people from different cultures call it home. I also love the small, homey vibe of the restaurants. In my opinion the coziness makes the whole experience even tastier. Over the past year, I’ve been to San Francisco three times and have had AMAZING dinners each visit. I love how you can feel like you’re in another country without ever leaving the city. If you’re looking for somewhere to sit down for a great meal I highly recommend the following places!
Cafe Europa for Ukrainian/Polish
B-Star for Burmese fusion
Tony’s for Italian
Leopold’s for German
I asked my cousin for her recommendations as well (born and raised in SF!):
Elephant Sushi on Hyde Street for Japanese
Don Pisto’s in North Beach for Mexican
Tartine Bakery & Devil’s Tooth Bakery
Woodhouse Fish Company on Fillmore Street for seafood
Bonus restaurant on her radar: Swan Oyster Depot
San Francisco continues to win over my heart (and stomach) each visit, and I always leave feeling a bit more cultured 🙂
Since it was my fifth visit to San francisco I figured it was time to expand my explorations of the area, and the one place that kept coming to mind was Sausalito! It kind of feels like another world, very European with its cliffs and bays and sailboats and sunshine. So I didn’t think just driving there would do it justice; it deserved more of an adventure.
We decided to rent bikes and cycle our way there across the Golden Gate Bridge. It probably ended up being close to 7 or 8 miles, but it wasn’t a super challenging ride (except for the couple uphills). Spending an afternoon riding bikes felt so carefree and wonderful, and I had never realized what a great way it is to explore. Even in complete fog, it was epic! I would 100% do it again on a sunny day in the city.
We rented through a company called Blazing Saddles which I was mostly happy with. Beware: they tried to rip us off ferry tickets, so be cautious before you pay that you haven’t been over charged for anything.
Once on Sausalito we headed straight to Bar Bocce where we ordered shandys, relaxed, and took in the beautiful views. Instead of biking back, I suggest taking the ferry. There’s something so special about seeing a city from the water, and they have a bar on board (cash only) to keep the party going.
If you have a spare day in SF or want to visit Sausalito I highly recommend doing it this way!
At the end of May, Ollie and I flew up to visit family in San Fransisco. I didn’t plan on blogging about it, but it ended up being such a fun memorable trip I wanted to share the highlights and offer an alternative reference for how to spend 36 hours in SF.
We got off the plane and headed straight towards Palo Alto. Ollie was really interested in seeing some of the famous Silicon Valley, so we stopped by the Facebook campus. There are a bunch more stops you can make if you want, but it’s a lot of just looking at buildings from the outside. We decided just going to Facebook was enough.
Next up was Stanford since it’s so close to Facebook, and Ollie is obsessed with visiting college campuses. It was a gorgeous day to stroll around coffee-in-hand and check out the apparel in the bookstore.
After a morning outside the city we headed back towards SF and straight to Southern Pacific Brewery for a pint and some nibbles. Next was our main event of the day– enjoying park drinks in Dolores Park. This was a highlight of the weekend!
We headed back to my fam’s house to get ready for the evening ahead. We had dinner at an authentic German restaurant then stopped by The Wave Organ, which is a really cool sculpture that makes noise (music?) when waves hit. We snapped photos of the Marina and The Golden Gate Bridge before heading out to some bars in the Marina District.
After a big night out we lazily headed to Fisherman’s Wharf the next morning (where you can see Alcatraz in the distance). We wandered up to North Beach which is such a cool part of the city! I fell in love with the views. It also led us to the other highlight of the weekend–eating pizza at Tony’s. I cannot recommend this place enough. They use a coal oven, which is big on the east coast but there’s apparently only 3 coal ovens in California. Our waiter also was telling us about how many awards the owner has won. Here’s an excerpt from their website: “Tony has won numerous awards including Best Pizza Margherita at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy and Best Pizza Romana at the World Championship of Pizza Makers in 2011. Tony was the first American and non Neapolitan to win this coveted award in Naples.” Wow… you can taste the skill that’s for sure.
Another place you shouldn’t miss in North Beach is Vesuvio Cafe, a historic bar of the Beat Generation. Definitely go in for at least one drink and learn about all the famous writers that frequented. (I wish I had seen Kill Your Darlings before visiting–would have appreciated it that much more.) We stopped into an Irish bar for one last drink before sadly heading to the airport. San Francisco continues to impress, and I can’t wait to get back! might already have the next visit booked 🙂
The last time I went to San Francisco I wrote this post if you’d like to continue with your SF wanderlusting!
San Francisco is one of the most popular cities in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that there are endless options for tourists–Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, the Pink Ladies, etc. However, when I came to SF for my most recent visit, I wanted nothing to do with the tourist attractions. I wanted to relax and enjoy the city the way a local would. Enter my cousin Ellen: born and raised in San Fran and the perfect person to show me this side of the city. Don’t get me wrong- the tourist attractions are great to see, but once those are out of the way, I feel like that’s when you’re really able to experience a place (wherever that might be, not just San Francisco).
Here’s what we got up to over 2 days, which made for a fantastic girls weekend!
Saturday: We grabbed breakfast sandwiches from Devil’s Teeth Baking Company and headed straight for Sutra Baths. After enjoying breakfast next to the ocean and exploring the baths, we hiked Lands End Trail to the Labyrinth. No trip to San Francisco is complete without views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Later that day, we took a picnic to Golden Gate Park and enjoyed music and people watching at Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival. I love how you can openly drink alcohol in the park-so fun sipping wine under the sunshine. After, we went to a wine tasting and then had a delicious Polish meal at Cafe Europa. We ended a great day at some fun bars in the Marina.
Sunday: We slept in and enjoyed breakfast and good conversation at home. Then we were off to the Mission District where we browsed the shops and art stands, drank award-winning Bloody Marys at a biker bar, admired the amazing street art, and took in the dichotomy of Mission Street and Valencia Street (traditional and hispanic vs new money from hipster techies). We ended at a rooftop bar, where we enjoyed hours of drinks and food overlooking beautiful San Francisco.
It was a perfect girls weekend, and I highly recommend this itinerary for those wanting to step away from the typical San Francisco tourist spots!