My SF City Guide: A foodie’s manifesto + more

April 29, 2016
There is so much to love about San Francisco, from the historic architecture to the incredible food – SF is one by far one of my favorite cities. During the few years I lived there, I explored a great deal and found some pretty incredible spots to munch, sip, see, and simply enjoy – including grocery stores/co-ops.

That said, I figured I’d share a few (okay, a little more than a few) of my recommendations for anyone who’s a lover of good food, and good vibes, like me.

Let’s get started, shall we? In no particular order…

Cafés, and recs for healthful eats:

  • Jane on Fillmore – ask anyone, it’s a go-to. 
  • Heirloom Cafe – unassuming, romantic date spot. 
  • Plowbest chi seed pudding! Also, be sure to stop at Front on the way – I love their drip coffee.
  • Plant Cafe – healthy amazingness, plus quick and easy. 
  • Cafe St. Jorge – their avocado toast is on point, seriously. 
  • 20th Century Cafe really charming, and delicious! A good spot for lunch with girlfriends. 
  • Rose’s Cafe – solid brunch location – but plan head, it’s especially packed on weekends. 
  • Nourish Cafe – Mission salad wrap, avocado toast with pesto, and green açaí bowl are my favorites (also, the cashew cream cheese is kind of addicting)! Bonus: they always have some yummy treats – l love their baked goods.
  • Blue Hawaii Açaí Cafe – great açaí bowls! I still love Earthbar though, it’s attached to Equinox on Union street – their açaí bowls are huge, and so, so good.
  • Judahlicious great açaí bowls and waffles, also have an assortment of sweets that I can never pass up!
  • Green Heart Foods their bowls are delish, and they have amazing nut milk.
  • Seed + Salt I love the beet burger (add caramelized onions) and eggplant BLT in a collared green leaf instead of bread (add eggplant bacon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good it is).

Coffee shops: 

  • Wrecking Ball – two words: pineapple wallpaper (IG pic must-have, obvi)
  • Le Marais
  • Saint Frank
  • Hollow – a little hideout spot.
  • Sightglass
  • Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – heavy on the baked good, hence its name. 
  • Peet’s Coffee & Tea – but really, it was founded in the bay area and it’s one of my favorite “chain” coffee shops. I order Matcha tea, made with half hot water and half steamed almond milk – and for a little extra sweetness (if opting for unsweetened) I’ll add honey, or Stevia drops (which I almost always have in my purse). 

Restaurants/more restaurant-like: 

After hours/bars: 

  • Rickhouse – fun, fun, fun. 
  • BiergartenI’m not much of a beer fan, but it’s a fun with a group; mellow and laid back. 
  • Bourbon & Branch
  • Press Club – wine bar, SOLD.  
  • Chambers eat & drink – perfect for cocktails, and also a fun place to brunch, overall, a really upbeat atmosphere. 
  • Local Edition
  • Harper & Rye
  • Lion Pub – in lower pacific heights (where I used to live!), not much else around, but they serve some pretty tasty fresh pressed juice cocktails – greyhounds are my favorite there. 
  • Jones – outdoor terrace and tasteful drinks, also good for grub – and they have Sunday brunch too.

Co-ops/Grocery stores:

  • Rainbow Grocery – it’s a like a candy store for healthful peeps! They have bins and bins of nuts, dried fruit, teas, herbs and spices and endless nut butter. Also, one of my favorite places to pick baked goods – if you give them some notice, they can pretty much accommodate any dietary restriction and make a batch of delicious treats.
  • Real Food Company – a great go-to market for natural goods, especially if you live in the Marina. They have pre made organic food that is great for lunch or an easy grab for dinner.
  • Other Avenues – just a few doors down from Judahlicious, easy to pop into for odds and ends for your kitchen after you fill up on a delicious meal.
  • Haight Street Market – small, but get’s the job done!

Things to do, just because: 

  • Ferry Building Marketplace – the weekly Thursday and Saturday farmer’s market is the best.
  • Bar Boccebiking to Sausalito is always fun, you can take the ferry too! 
  • Presidio/Crissy Field – the prettiest views of the golden gate – and obviously, biking the golden gate is a pretty wonderful experience too. 
  • Alamo Square – great park for a picnic or just to relax, and you can see painted ladies from it!
  • The Fillmore – great date idea; there’s always a show happening! 
  • The Independent – again, usually some good shows. 
  • Cobb’s Comedy Club
  • Fillmore Street – my old stomping grounds (Fillmore and California), fun for shopping and walking a round with a coffee in hand. 
  • Williams SonomaI know, a pretty random “to-do,” but the one in Union Square is huge (their flagship store) and worth a look if you like that kind of thing, and they also offer cooking classes! 
  • Paxton Gate – it’s the best for knickknacks and little gardening books and such. 
  • Lyon Street Steps – if you’re looking to get a sweat in, and don’t want to go to the gym, try running the stairs a few tines (at the bottom is a home that was featured in princess diaries)! 
  • Lands End – great for hiking, and/or a day date. 
  • City Lights Bookstore – for lack of better words – it’s just a really cool, unique book shop!
  • Bloomers – one of my favorite places for flowers.
  • Bud Stop – also one of my favorite flower shops, it’s on Union St., and wroth an IG pic, if nothing else!
  • The Fairmont Hotel – fun to see if you haven’t because it’s just gorgeous on the inside, with tons of history. 
  • Flora Grubb Gardens – charming little garden, with coffee!
  • Woodshop – awesome pieces, totally guy approved. 
  • Mission Bowling Club – so much fun and has a full bar – not your average bowling ally, and you might have to wait a bit for a lane, so go with good company! 
  • The Buena Vista Cafe – I consider this more of an “activity” than a place to eat, though they do have food, it’s know for its original Irish coffee – it’s kind of one of those things you just have to do if you’re in SF, for the experience! 
  • Mike’s Bikes – chances are if you’re moving to SF, you might need a bike – Mike’s Bikes has it all.
  • Ghirardelli Square – another one of those have-to-do/see places in SF – plus, you can get a great piece of dark chocolate at the famous Ghirardelli. Stop into ElizabethW, they have beautiful treasures, including candles, soaps, and more – great for gifts!
  • SF Museum of Modern Art
  • SF Ballet – especially during the holidays!

Vintage/antique finds: 

Do you have any SF recommendations? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.