Things to do, see, and eat in San Francisco and beyond

Greg

Things to do, see, and eat in San Francisco and beyond

Neighborhoods
Bernal is a walkable, friendly neighborhood with parks, great food, and a growing population of coyotes. Cortland Ave forms the neighborhood center and is an easy 10-minute walk from our house. If you walk North from Cortland you can continue up to the top of Bernal Hill, which offers panoramic views of the City, Bay, and even Golden Gate Bridge. The Alemany Farmers market happens every Saturday from early until 1pm, at the very east end of Crescent Ave. Don't wait until 1 because many booths start closing up by noon. This is one of the largest and most affordable farmers markets in the city with an incredible selection of fresh produce, along with homemade pastas, baked goods, tacos and pupusas. If you're there in summer don't miss out on organic stone fruits for $2/lb, grapes, strawberries. It's a cornucopia. Restaurants Piqueo’s Peruvian (yumm) Vega - delicious Italian food, reasonably priced. Black Jet Bakery for delicious baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee Progressive grounds (sit-down café with garden) Wild Side West (bar) has a beautiful outdoor space in back Holy Water (bar) Avedano’s butcher shop for take-out and groceries GOOD LIFE (groceries) Little Nepal Nute's Noodles United Dumplings Barebottle Brewery - great for families, different food truck every night except Tuesday Succulence - nice gift shop Epicurian Trader gets daily deliveries of Tartine bread - their country loaf is one of my all-time favorites Bernal Heights (Mission st): Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack Coco's Ramen and Sushi Pizza Hacker - great pizza and family friendly Tilak Indian Cuisine Cuisine of Nepal Balompie 3 - Pupuseria - my favorite pupusa spot in the city Old Devil Moon - brew pub with eats Blue Plate Iron + Gold (bar) Front porch (sustainable soul food) (the best fried chicken, ever) - You can also sit down at the Rock Bar across the street for drinks and order off the Front Porch Menu - highly recommended St Mary's Pub on the corner of Crescent/Mission for local dive flavor
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Bernal Heights
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Bernal is a walkable, friendly neighborhood with parks, great food, and a growing population of coyotes. Cortland Ave forms the neighborhood center and is an easy 10-minute walk from our house. If you walk North from Cortland you can continue up to the top of Bernal Hill, which offers panoramic views of the City, Bay, and even Golden Gate Bridge. The Alemany Farmers market happens every Saturday from early until 1pm, at the very east end of Crescent Ave. Don't wait until 1 because many booths start closing up by noon. This is one of the largest and most affordable farmers markets in the city with an incredible selection of fresh produce, along with homemade pastas, baked goods, tacos and pupusas. If you're there in summer don't miss out on organic stone fruits for $2/lb, grapes, strawberries. It's a cornucopia. Restaurants Piqueo’s Peruvian (yumm) Vega - delicious Italian food, reasonably priced. Black Jet Bakery for delicious baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee Progressive grounds (sit-down café with garden) Wild Side West (bar) has a beautiful outdoor space in back Holy Water (bar) Avedano’s butcher shop for take-out and groceries GOOD LIFE (groceries) Little Nepal Nute's Noodles United Dumplings Barebottle Brewery - great for families, different food truck every night except Tuesday Succulence - nice gift shop Epicurian Trader gets daily deliveries of Tartine bread - their country loaf is one of my all-time favorites Bernal Heights (Mission st): Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack Coco's Ramen and Sushi Pizza Hacker - great pizza and family friendly Tilak Indian Cuisine Cuisine of Nepal Balompie 3 - Pupuseria - my favorite pupusa spot in the city Old Devil Moon - brew pub with eats Blue Plate Iron + Gold (bar) Front porch (sustainable soul food) (the best fried chicken, ever) - You can also sit down at the Rock Bar across the street for drinks and order off the Front Porch Menu - highly recommended St Mary's Pub on the corner of Crescent/Mission for local dive flavor
Mission Neighborhood (very Latin and hipster) Dolores Park = our best urban park, in a wonderful neighborhood, with great views to downtown from the SW corner Murals and street art throughout the Mission neighborhood – 24th street between York and Valencia is especially vibrant and Balmy Alley is one mural after the next Great restaurants along Valencia Street between 16th and 24th Arizmendis bakery (also pizza by the slice) La Taqueria (our favorite taqueria) Al's Place - Michelin Star rated - exquisite - if you can get in Delfina pizza and also Delfina Italian Tartine (BEST bakery in the city) – great to eat there or take picnic to Dolores Park for view of downtown Lolo (creative Mexican small plates, cute atmosphere) Farmhouse Thai Mission Local Mission Chinese (rated best restaurant in the US, most creative chinese, raucous atmosphere) Mission Cheese (great for happy hour, amazing cheese selection and wine list) Little Star Pizza - thin crust and deep dish - it's always hard for me to choose since they're both so good Tacolicious (delicious, might be long wait) Gracias Madre (amazing vegan Mexican – fun outdoor seating) Bi-Rite Creamery (ice cream) The Chapel (bar) Latin American Club (bar) Lone Palm (bar)
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Mission District
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Mission Neighborhood (very Latin and hipster) Dolores Park = our best urban park, in a wonderful neighborhood, with great views to downtown from the SW corner Murals and street art throughout the Mission neighborhood – 24th street between York and Valencia is especially vibrant and Balmy Alley is one mural after the next Great restaurants along Valencia Street between 16th and 24th Arizmendis bakery (also pizza by the slice) La Taqueria (our favorite taqueria) Al's Place - Michelin Star rated - exquisite - if you can get in Delfina pizza and also Delfina Italian Tartine (BEST bakery in the city) – great to eat there or take picnic to Dolores Park for view of downtown Lolo (creative Mexican small plates, cute atmosphere) Farmhouse Thai Mission Local Mission Chinese (rated best restaurant in the US, most creative chinese, raucous atmosphere) Mission Cheese (great for happy hour, amazing cheese selection and wine list) Little Star Pizza - thin crust and deep dish - it's always hard for me to choose since they're both so good Tacolicious (delicious, might be long wait) Gracias Madre (amazing vegan Mexican – fun outdoor seating) Bi-Rite Creamery (ice cream) The Chapel (bar) Latin American Club (bar) Lone Palm (bar)
Downtown Huge / fabulous farmers market at the Ferry Building Saturday morning between 8:00 am-1pm (at the end of Market street in the clock tower building) – but, if you are not here – can also see on Tuesday and Thursdays 7am-2pm Slanted Door (sit-down, hard to get into) – or, Out the Door (same Vietnamese, but takeout) Hog Island – amazing oysters, wine, and grilled cheese -- can sit outside Humphrey Slocomb = amazing ice cream, but the original café on Harrison and 24th St in the Mission is more fun Rent bikes from down there – ride over the Golden Gate bridge down to Sausalito and take the Ferry back. Yerba Buena has great performances – and garden for having a picnic if you are downtown (Boulange café) Plant Café (organic healthy, bayside tables) La Mar (creative Peruvian)
Embarcadero Center
Downtown Huge / fabulous farmers market at the Ferry Building Saturday morning between 8:00 am-1pm (at the end of Market street in the clock tower building) – but, if you are not here – can also see on Tuesday and Thursdays 7am-2pm Slanted Door (sit-down, hard to get into) – or, Out the Door (same Vietnamese, but takeout) Hog Island – amazing oysters, wine, and grilled cheese -- can sit outside Humphrey Slocomb = amazing ice cream, but the original café on Harrison and 24th St in the Mission is more fun Rent bikes from down there – ride over the Golden Gate bridge down to Sausalito and take the Ferry back. Yerba Buena has great performances – and garden for having a picnic if you are downtown (Boulange café) Plant Café (organic healthy, bayside tables) La Mar (creative Peruvian)
Near City Hall Hayes Street between Gough and Laguna = great walking street of boutiques, restaurants, and a new urban park with outdoor beer garden and food trucks Chez Maman (French bistro) Bar Jules (great for locally-sourced dinner) Beer garden (next to park, pop-up) Souvla has Greek inspired gyros and yogurt, great fries. It's delicious, if a bit overpriced
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Hayes Valley
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Near City Hall Hayes Street between Gough and Laguna = great walking street of boutiques, restaurants, and a new urban park with outdoor beer garden and food trucks Chez Maman (French bistro) Bar Jules (great for locally-sourced dinner) Beer garden (next to park, pop-up) Souvla has Greek inspired gyros and yogurt, great fries. It's delicious, if a bit overpriced
Ocean Beach is giant and gorgeous. Roll or stroll along the ocean front Hwy 1 now closed to cars. Pop into the backyard of the Beach Chalet for drinks and snacks while you lounge in the grass or sit at a table. On the south end of this neighborhood you'll find the San Francisco Zoo. They have really cool exhibits - from grizzly bears to lemurs, ecosystems and critters from around the world
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Outer Sunset
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Ocean Beach is giant and gorgeous. Roll or stroll along the ocean front Hwy 1 now closed to cars. Pop into the backyard of the Beach Chalet for drinks and snacks while you lounge in the grass or sit at a table. On the south end of this neighborhood you'll find the San Francisco Zoo. They have really cool exhibits - from grizzly bears to lemurs, ecosystems and critters from around the world
Haight Street has a strange mix of gutter punks, hippies, and tourists. I don't love the vibes but there are some gems that draw me there. It's a jumping off place for Golden Gate Park. The Whole Foods on Stanyan St is an easy place to pick up picnic supplies Citrus Club is one of my favorite noodle fusion places Kezar (cole and carl st) – high-end pub/California food Zazie (one of best brunches in city, there will be a line) Free Gold Watch is a print shop on Waller St with a sizable pinball arcade If you walk south on Stanyan to 17th St, there are stairs on your right that access a network of trails that wind through the forested open space above UCSF. From there you can continue walking along trails over to Twin Peaks for panoramic views of the city, Bay, and Pacific Ocean
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Haight-Ashbury
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Haight Street has a strange mix of gutter punks, hippies, and tourists. I don't love the vibes but there are some gems that draw me there. It's a jumping off place for Golden Gate Park. The Whole Foods on Stanyan St is an easy place to pick up picnic supplies Citrus Club is one of my favorite noodle fusion places Kezar (cole and carl st) – high-end pub/California food Zazie (one of best brunches in city, there will be a line) Free Gold Watch is a print shop on Waller St with a sizable pinball arcade If you walk south on Stanyan to 17th St, there are stairs on your right that access a network of trails that wind through the forested open space above UCSF. From there you can continue walking along trails over to Twin Peaks for panoramic views of the city, Bay, and Pacific Ocean
The Panhandle parallels Haigh St. At the East end is the Divisadero Corridor which has lots of bars and restaurants Nopalito has great food and margaritas Club Waziema offer delicious Ethiopian food in a dive bar setting Souvla has Greek inspired gyros. It's delicious, if a bit overpriced La Urbana Crudo
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Panhandle
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The Panhandle parallels Haigh St. At the East end is the Divisadero Corridor which has lots of bars and restaurants Nopalito has great food and margaritas Club Waziema offer delicious Ethiopian food in a dive bar setting Souvla has Greek inspired gyros. It's delicious, if a bit overpriced La Urbana Crudo
Crissy Field is an amazing recreation area with restored wetlands along the Bay, near the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge Warming Hut for coffee Great hiking trail connects Crissy Field to Baker Beach. Baker Beach is gorgeous and more secluded than Ocean Beach. The north end of Baker is a nude beach
Crissy Field Avenue
Crissy Field is an amazing recreation area with restored wetlands along the Bay, near the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge Warming Hut for coffee Great hiking trail connects Crissy Field to Baker Beach. Baker Beach is gorgeous and more secluded than Ocean Beach. The north end of Baker is a nude beach
Sightseeing
This park is huge and full of hidden treasures. Two not-so-hidden attractions are the Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum. If you don't feel like paying the entrance fee to either, it's free to take the elevator to the top of the tower in the De Young. The views are exceptional. Other notable attractions: the conservatory of flowers and the dahlia garden the rose garden the botanical garden the carousel and playground buffalo trails, trails, and more trails
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Golden Gate Park
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This park is huge and full of hidden treasures. Two not-so-hidden attractions are the Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum. If you don't feel like paying the entrance fee to either, it's free to take the elevator to the top of the tower in the De Young. The views are exceptional. Other notable attractions: the conservatory of flowers and the dahlia garden the rose garden the botanical garden the carousel and playground buffalo trails, trails, and more trails
Just north of San Francisco, on the other side of the Golden gate bridge, you will find miles of open space, trails, and beaches. Moving north from the Golden Gate Straight are: Rodeo, Muir, and Stinson Beaches. If you can visit during the week and avoid the weekend crowds, you'll have an easier time with traffic, parking, food accessibility - everything. Rodeo has no services. Muir has one restaurant. Stinson has more. All three are lovely. Above them looms Mt Tamalpais (Mt Tam)--the highest peak in the North Bay. Trails circumnavigate the mountain and a paved road leads to the summit.
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Rodeo Beach
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Just north of San Francisco, on the other side of the Golden gate bridge, you will find miles of open space, trails, and beaches. Moving north from the Golden Gate Straight are: Rodeo, Muir, and Stinson Beaches. If you can visit during the week and avoid the weekend crowds, you'll have an easier time with traffic, parking, food accessibility - everything. Rodeo has no services. Muir has one restaurant. Stinson has more. All three are lovely. Above them looms Mt Tamalpais (Mt Tam)--the highest peak in the North Bay. Trails circumnavigate the mountain and a paved road leads to the summit.
Just up the coast from Stinson Beach is Point Reyes National Seashore. Here you get further from the crowds. It's less developed. There are Tule Elk and pristine beaches. If you're there during a good oyster month - this place offers some of the freshest
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Point Reyes
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Just up the coast from Stinson Beach is Point Reyes National Seashore. Here you get further from the crowds. It's less developed. There are Tule Elk and pristine beaches. If you're there during a good oyster month - this place offers some of the freshest