Places we Love: By no means an extensive guide, but a quick compilation of some of the things we’ve done that we would highly recommend.
We’ve spent a good amount of time in San Francisco over the last few years – work trips, friend visits, vacations. We spent some time there a couple of weeks ago, and fell even more in love with this vibrant, hilly city. Of course we focus a lot on the eat and drink the city has to offer, but we loved just wandering around and climbing to all the places with the best views. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite spots in the city – starting with our favorite places to eat and drink. As we find more, we’ll add more!
Tartine Mission It’s like a gravitational force. Can’t be in the city without going at least once. (I’d like to say by that I don’t mean once each day, but that would be a severe misrepresentation of my feelings for this place.) Honestly, it’s one of my biggest inspirations – so if you like what I do, you’ll like what they do. So get these things: morning bun, bread pudding, banana or coconut cream tart, ham and cheese croissant (GET THE HAM AND CHEESE CROISSANT. Do not stop until you have this in your hand.), quiche, sandwiches. If you go in the evening, GET THE BREAD. Thank me later. (Warning: you must be able to stomach paying $8.25 for a loaf of bread – admittedly a massive loaf of bread, but still.) Website
Pizzeria Delfina Mission Conveniently, next door to Tartine. I’ve heard there are better pizza places in San Fran and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are, but here you can get fantastic Neapolitan-style pizza, fresh and interesting antipasti, and even better people watching. Whether you sit here or at Tartine, you’ll find yourself caught in a swirl of The Mission’s upper crust bustling around you as they swim between Tartine, Bi-Rite Market, Bi-Rite Creamery, Dolores Park, and the fancy Delfina next door. Website
Bi-Rite Market and Creamery Mission Same block as the previous two (and now you know why I somehow find myself at 18th and Dolores every day we’re in the city). Crowded, certainly. Pricey, definitely. Jam-packed with hipsters, without a doubt. But the food – THE FOOD! Local, artisan, and absolutely of the highest quality and with a selection that seems impossible given the tiny size of the store. Super helpful and friendly staff, and with the feeling of a hometown corner store. It’s like walking into my dream pantry. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a loaf of Tartine bread, come here to get sandwich fixings and get ready to have one of the best meals San Francisco has to offer. And then maybe head across the street to the Creamery to pick up some ice cream for dessert. My suggestion, if they have it: one scoop roasted banana, one scoop malted vanilla with peanut brittle and milk chocolate. Website market and website creamery
Rhea’s Deli Mission Yes, again in The Mission. I know there is more to San Francisco than The Mission, but there’s enough good food there that I probably wouldn’t ever have to leave. In fact, that sounds like a fantastic, delicious idea. You’d never guess it from the exterior (or the interior, let’s be honest), but this place gave me one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Creative combinations and fantastic ingredients seem a little out of place in a glorified quick stop-style corner store, but don’t hesitate. If they still have the one with turkey and spicy cranberry sauce, get it. Yelp page (no website, and don’t even think about finding an accurate menu online)
Burma Superstar Richmond (and other locations around the Bay) Burmese food! Who knew. Like an explosive, glittery parade of flavors from Thailand, India, and China. We struggled to order just two things when we stopped in for lunch, and I can’t wait to go back to order everything else that caught my eye on the menu (in particular the chicken curry noodles, pea shoots, and coconut chicken soup). The samusa soup and tea leaf salad were suggested by the waitress, and are now highly recommended by us. Website
Rickhouse Financial District I won’t lie and tell you it’s not a bit pretentious, but everyone (everyone!) loves a pretentious artisanal cocktail now and again. Or at least I do, so I like this place. A lot. Sometimes I want to walk into a bar and see a veritable Garden of Eden of herbs and fruits ready to be mixed into something boozy and delicious. I could deal with a little less suspender and/or bow tie action from my bartender, but I’ll let that one slide. Make sure you look through their voluminous bar menu (if you have the patience), or just tell them to make you something delicious. Website
St. George’s Distillery Alameda Not technically in San Francisco, but worth the trip for a visit if you’re in the city. Located in a renovated airline hangar, this distillery and tasting room offers a chance to taste some of the best artisanal spirits in the world. St. George’s was the first to make flavored vodkas infused with actual botanicals (leaves, twigs, whole fruits) instead of chemical compounds (like those grocery store brands). They also make killer brandies, whiskeys, tequilas, rums, and absinthe, among other options … it’s always a surprise what they have when you get there! The idea of a vodka tasting might seem a little strange, but the quality and the taste of what they have will blow you away. Two tips: 1) Try to coordinate being there when you can get a tour of the distillery, to see the whole process behind what you’re about to drink. 2) Consider taking the ferry over from the San Francisco Pier (you’ll be happy you have it for a ride back after you’ve done all that tasting …). Website