city guide: San Francisco
I had the great joy of journeying to the Bay Area to celebrate my friend's baby.
These are the things I would eat/see/do again.
The great thing about a really expensive city like San Francisco is any restaurant that can afford to make rent every month is probably a pretty tasty place to eat.
High-quality Greek cuisine, in the heart of Hayes Valley. Order their rotisserie roasted lamb, chicken, pork or sweet potato in pita or salad format (also available Greek-style, which means fries in it). Or, just stop by for their version of fro-yo: frozen Greek yogurt topped with a choice of baklava, sour cherry or olive oil and sea salt.
Prices are reasonable, food is memorable, atmosphere is cozy and relaxed.
Blue Bottle Coffee
I had the mocha. I told the barista it was my first time and I needed a suggestion. She asked if I like chocolate. I do. This did not disappoint. So smooth. She treated.
The atmosphere is pretty white and hip so if that’s not your style just snag something to go or grab something from their line of “road trip- ready” drinks which are now available in heaps of grocery stores nationwide.
ENO Wine Bar
This was near my hotel in Union Square. I had a long day and the Golden State Warriors were winning the fourth game of the NBA finals so TBH I didn’t want to venture far.
I love cheese and wine but by no means know anything about it. This spot is super casual and does not judge if you just gulp your wine instead of swirling, savoring and sipping (not speaking from experience or anything).
I started with the baked brie and Cali-Fermentation wine flight (yes, wine flights!).
I realized I was out of food before I was out of wine so I also ordered the prosciutto and fig salad and a side of the homemade rosemary crackers. I brought home a bottle of Piocho by Happy Canyon Vineyards to share with my husband. It’s super tasty, easy to drink, tbh enjoying rn. Highly recommend, will return.
Fog Harbor Fish House
My husband’s aunt and uncle treated us to this restaurant a few years ago and I was walking around with memories of this being the best meal I ever ate. That being said, I was not wowed this time around. The restaurant is located at Pier 39 which is a tourist destination. That’s not my complaint. I felt like the server kinda ignored me the entire time and the food was just okay. Plus the front of the restaurant is wide open and two flies kept buzzing about my table.
I ordered the Ahi tuna poke and clam chowder in a house baked bread bowl. The food all came at the same time so maybe that’s why the chowder just felt like boring mush? The tuna is served on mango and avocado (a bomb combo you must try) with these fried wonton chips. Two chips. R u kidding me? The chip to tuna ratio was way way off.
That all being said, the view of the harbor is unparalleled. The seafood is 100% sustainable and the drinks are served with ocean-friendly paper straws.
This is not in SF, it’s in Lafayette, CA. The restaurant is located in a historic 80 year old farm house in downtown Lafayette and run by long time Lamorinda residents. The menu emphasizes American comfort food and farm-to-table ingredients. We went here for brunch and sat outside on their puppy-friendly patio. I had the avocado toast with a fried egg and coffee. Twas yummy. We also had a table pancake (a concept we invented: a pancake shared amongst the table). We petted like four dogs and Steph and Ayesha Curry were spotted on the way back to our car. 10/10 worth the drive.
Go for the food, stay for the bottomless-ish mimosas.
I love shopping at Credo.
The USA has banned or restricted only 30 ingredients from personal care products. But in Canada, that number is 600. In the EU? Over 1,400. That means companies selling cosmetics in the US are held to different (re. lower) standards.
With the highest safety and sustainability standards in retail beauty, Credo provides carefully vetted, clean beauty products. All store associates are trained estheticians and makeup artists who love talking about beauty, one-on-one. The atmosphere is never pushy, giving you freedom to play with the products on your own or with help.
Seconds to Go
Thrift shop on Fillmore Street with used clothing, household items, books & more, benefitting Convent and Stuart Hall, two Catholic schools. While this store offers tons of designer finds, I picked up the cutest Golden Nuggets tee for my little guy for six bucks.
A beautiful play on classic shapes, modern detail and Parisian charm, the Clare V. line continues to evolve with each new collection. Though she started with laptop cases, Clare now produces a full range of bags and accessories, including tech, travel, small leather accessories, men's, t-shirts and shoes. While the brand has continued to grow, the line continues to be made exclusively in Los Angeles since 2008. In addition to the core collection, Clare has collaborated with exciting brands and artists including Steven Alan, & Other Stories, artist Donald Robertson, Mike D., Sephora, Garrett Leight and Equipment, and supports an ongoing partnership with Every Mother Counts.
I picked up this cute little card case for my hubby, sans monogram so I can steal it for myself later.
A concept boutique hotel in Union Square. Feel fancy yet?
A hotel that bills itself as, “sophisticated San Francisco Retreat”. Located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, this hotel is a short drive, bike ride or transit from some of SF’s most iconic landmarks.
Alamo Square Park
Green space with a playground, tennis court, and views of the Painted Ladies from the intro of Full House.
Feel sand between your toes and get panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Located on the southwest side of the GGB, this park has postcard-perfect views of the famous structure and is a great place to spend your afternoon.
Clothing optional in some spots, you've been warned.
Lombard Street/Cable Cars/Coit Tower
Three Bay Area classics you must experience.
Lombard Street is this crazy crooked street and most def worth checking out. Cable car, cliche? Yes. But even so, still awesome. Coit Tower offers a 360 degree view of the city.
Tourist trap? yep. no doubt. But beautiful views of the water, good food, world's fattest sea lions.
Tommy Wiseau - Clay Theater
The dude James Franco played in the Disaster Artist shows up at the Clay Theater the second Saturday of every month to be there as crowds view his cult-favorite laughably-bad lovable disaster movie, The Room.
Golden Gate Park
Larger than Central Park in New York City, this vast 1,017-acre urban park has been transformed into an environmental wonder. You’ll find Redwoods and Monterey Pines, lakes and waterfalls, windmills and tulips, and bison. Yes, bison!
One of the most beautiful, amazing parks you’ve ever seen. Hands down. Gardens in every flavor: the Japanese Tea Garden, the Botanical Garden, the Rose Garden, Tulip Gardens. The DeYoung Museum. You could spend days at the California Academy of Sciences. Incredible. Amazing. Must go.
Reincarnated from a marsh and dunes to racetrack, to one of the first airports in the West, Crissy Field is now restored as a beautiful multi-use park with a pleasant Golden Gate Promenade leading to Fort Point and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. This is a popular spot for locals on the weekends - featuring picnic tables, areas for walking, jogging and bicycling, a beach as well as an environmental center. For bird lovers, if y’all still exist, the tidal marsh is a gathering for a diverse population of birds including herons and grebes.
Between BART and Uber if you are traveling without a child, you do not need to rent a car.
Do not rent a car.