San Francisco, the city of 40-something hills is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, the sea lions at Pier 39 and some of the best fish tacos I have ever eaten. I recently spent an unforgettable week in San Francisco with my family for my dad’s birthday. Here I present to you the ultimate breakdown to the City by the Bay.
San Francisco is home to some amazing restaurants and exquisitely fresh fish. We didn’t eat a bad meal all holiday. A few of my favourites included:
Don Pisto’s was my favourite meal of this trip, everything was super fresh and seasoned to perfection and the restaurant itself had the low lit, shabby chic ambience that I have come to enjoy so much. Don Pistos serves up succulent meat and fish dishes with accompanying tacos and a ceviche du jour. We had the squid skewers, chicken enchiladas and pork tacos (all divine) and a king prawn ceviche for extra measure.
They also have a margarita made with agave wine instead of tequila, it was more floral than it’s predecessor but maintained the drink’s zesty bitterness. Don Pistos was one of those places where I wanted every plate that went past to be mine, it’s an absolute gem that is not to be missed.
Horsefeather describes itself as a ‘casual neighbourhood cocktail gathering space’ and I wish that it was in my neighbourhood. The drinks are strong (my Old Fashioned was a highlight) and we were sat within 30 minutes. The menu changes often but if you see the kimchi mac and cheese on the menu, order one for now and one for later, it is glorious. The tuna pokè bowl is not to be missed either, in fact everything was great but these two stood out. We went for dinner but I would also love to visit during the day as the terrace looks like the perfect brunch spot.
Original Joe’s is one of San Francisco’s mainstays, having been around since 1937, serving up Italian American cuisine. Tourists and locals flock to Joe’s for a perfectly cooked steak or a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. All of the food was good but the creamed spinach was my favourite part of the meal. This place is pretty old school, think big leather booths and suited and booted waiters but it isn’t stuffy in the slightest and is situated near some great bars.
We stayed at the W which was right next to the SF Museum of Modern Art, as it was a 10 minute walk from Union Square it was a perfect location for us. The hotel itself had comfortable, spacious rooms, a great bar and lemony amenities from Bliss. The W also had a great gym so I had no excuse not to sweat out at least 10% of all the wine/tequila/fries.
Other nice hotels include the Zeppelin hotel, a boutique on Post Street and the Proper Hotel, near the Civic Center which had the best rooftop I’ve seen in a long time. There are also a lot of reasonable airbnbs around, I’d stay near Clay Street.
It is difficult to get bored here, fun activities included wandering around Chinatown, touring the AT&T Park and walking through Hayes Valley to Alamo Square.
My favourite days included:
Pier 39 is a great walk from 3rd Street, we watched the sea lions and enjoyed the sun. We then did a boat tour which took us from bridge to bridge, it is super touristy but you learn loads about San Francisco and Alcatraz and on a sunny day you get some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a stunning collection of modern art. Spread over 5 floors you are taken on a visual journey and there is so much colour. Highlights for me included a room full of hanging lights and Chuck Close whose portrait of Roy Lichtenstein had my mind completely boggled. I’m a sucker for a museum gift shop and this one is great.
On my favourite day of the trip my brother and I went on a very long walk. We walked to Fisherman’s Wharf and then carried on along the coast down to Chrissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge and further on through The Presido down to Baker Beach. I would absolutely recommend this to anybody with a day to spare day in this city, it was ace and the views are second to none.
Not that you need my advice but be prepared for some pretty steep hills and wear sun cream. The sun paired with the sea breeze means you will get burnt far easier than you think. Other than that, enjoy!
Let us know in the comments where you loved in San Francisco or where you’d like to see next on the blog.