I went to San Francisco for a conference and a long weekend a few weeks ago and I forgot how much I love that city! The food, the shopping, the parks, the homes, the history, it’s amazing! I wanted to give you a run down of some of my recommendations.
Always dress in layers. San Francisco is always colder than people think it will be.
It’s so humid say goodbye to having any good hair days here.
Where to Eat
Mr. Holmes Bakeshop – I won’t lie to you, I googled best instagram restaurants before heading to SF and I’m not ashamed because it brought me to this place which was adorable AND a culinary delight!! This bakery is famous for their cruffins (croissant + muffin) and everyday is a different flavor which you can find out about on their Instagram. They only come in one flavor!! The bakery opens at 8 and you should be in line by about 8:30 if you want to get a sticker which promises you 2 cruffins when they arrive at 9. If you’re not in the mood to cruffin it up, the other bakery items are fantastic too! The churro croissant, savory bread pudding, and chocolate croissants were some of my faves. They also have intelligentsia coffee here. If you want to make your wait in line easier, go with a friend and have one of them go to the other side of the bakery and grab you both some treats to enjoy while waiting for the cruffin. Definitely take a photo under the “I got baked in San Francisco” sign before you take your goodies (there is no where to sit at the bakery). We enjoyed ours at Lafayette Park which was gorgeous!
Tartine Bakery & Cafe – This bakery is super popular for a reason, it’s delicious!
Bodega – Awesome casual cafe/wine bar with beautiful food.
Nopalito – OMG amazingly delicious Mexican comfort food. Definitely make a reservation and get the Totopos con chile if you like spicy!
DOSA on Valencia – Incredible upscale Indian food.
Aziza – Fancy fine dining Moroccos restaurant great for a special occasion.
Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream – Try the Secret Breakfast flavor.
SFO Airport – Ugh truly one of my favorite airports. Love the gourmet food shop with a whole case of cheese to choose from and wine! They have Pinkberry too!
Where to Drink
Local Edition – This is an underground speakeasy that my friend’s roommate recommended to me as a good place to meet people and there definitely was tons of young good looking people enjoying their fun, fancy cocktails!
Hobson’s Choice – I found this place while searching Yelp for Happy Hour deals (which are M-F 5-7pm $3.50 draws & House punches and a few other drinks). The fruity tiki drinks are super tasty and they have a Bloody Mary bar if you’re into that too.
Fireside Bar – This was a chill little spot where pretty much everyone was on a date, but nice if you want to have a convo with friends or a date over drinks in some mood lighting.
Churchill – Another fancy cocktail spot that gets very busy on the weekends. I liked the Bees Knees cocktail.
Where to Shop
The Booksmith – Coolest bookstore ever in the Haight/Ashbury area. Definitely pop in here.
Ambiance – This is a chain and I went in to 2 different locations on my most recent trip and the staff is amazing! So sweet and truly helpful it’s like having lots of really nice stylists help you out! Take their help!! They have a nice range of prices and good sales too. I highly recommend this one.
Haight/Ashbury area – This is a few blocks of great vintage and boutique shopping that is similar to Melrose Ave in LA, but with more of a hippy vibe. I got a great deal at Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange (consignment stores) I feel like the selection is really good at these locations. They also have an Ambiance in the area (see above).
ALAYA – Boutique with super cute clothes, candles, tarot cards, and crystal jewelry. Great place to find a gift. Pop in here while you’re waiting for your table at Nopalito.
Cary Lane – I got the cutest crystal ring here for $12 and they have great deals because they are a boutique that has brand new designer samples, overstock, and past season apparel.
Westfield San Francisco Centre – If you’re in the mood to shop in a bunch of chain stores (there’s just something so comforting about it) come check out this big old mall with an enormous Nordstrom and a fancy grocery store on the bottom floor! There’s also a Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off 5th nearby where I got my pleather jacket I always wear.
What to See and Do
I love me a good hop on and off bus because it gives you a great view of the city and works out to be a great deal when you use it to get to different parts of town. A few photos I took from said bus:
Non Stop Bhangra party at Public Works – One of the most fun things I’ve done in SF! My dad’s friend loves Indian dancing so she brought me to this party and it was a blast! Everyone was so nice it was like you were at an Indian wedding. Check out the schedule here.
Muir Woods – Super gorgeous park that’s a great place for a hike. You’re going to need to cross the Golden Gate bridge to get there and I recommend stopping in Sausalito on your way back to SF!
Where to Stay
I can’t give a ton of guidance on this since I’ve mostly stayed with friends when visiting SF.
CLIFT Hotel – Very swanky, cool, an eclectic.
SF is such a great city I hope you love it as much as I do!