See San Francisco like a local

A Perfect Day in the City

From sunrise to sunset there are so many options in lovely San Francisco but where to go when you only have a day or so and you don’t even know where to start? I have compiled a list of my very favorite places to stop in, check out, dine, grab a quick one, browse, and relax. Why should my list matter? Well, I have traveled all over for food, wine, and craft beer. I have relied solely on the “Local’s suggestion”. When it comes to the best dish on the menu, can’t miss sunset spots, new hot wine bars, you name it, I went because a local told me to and in 10 years, I have never been let down. So from this local to you, here are my sweet spots.


All You Knead.

There are many breakfast spots to chose from and it can be a really tough call because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. From the Mission to Geary to Inner Richmond, there are several fantastic places to eat but my very favorite, one place I will wait for hours for is on Haight Street: All You Knead. Serving the fluffiest omelettes made up of suggested ingredients or built-your-own and served alongside country potatoes {add katsup + sour cream please!}.


Crossroads Trading Company.

Weather you are a shopper or not, this place will suit you because all of the clothes are separated by colors making it very easy to find what you might be looking for or didn’t even know you wanted. An awesome shop located both on Fillmore and Haight with a wide variety of clothing and accessories that won’t break your bank.

City Lights Bookstore.

I could spend hours in this shop. It’s incredible. Old, very San Francisco, crammed with shelves and bookcases filled to the brim with classics of all kinds.



Next to City Lights is a classy old dive bar like place {in the greatest sense of that term}. on the famous street: Columbus Avenue. It’s dark and roomy with a narrow staircase up to a second floor where people can hang out uninterrupted and sip on a classic manhattan or dark and stormy like a City native. It’s priced right, they have a full bar, and a great beer list. It’s my very favorite bar in the city, it feels like San Francisco in there.


Pacific Cafe.

Way out in Outer Richmond district is this quaint little cafe that is known for their big dishes of fresh seafood. From lobster to oysters to abalone, there is something here for every seafood lover. It’s not your typical restaurant. There is always a wait and since sometimes it can be a drag waiting for a table, they greet their guests with a lovely glass of white wine. Brilliant and delicious. I highly recommend the abalone. It’s not too often you’ll see this delicacy on a menu and they cook it just right: thin, breaded, and melt in your mouth.


Swan Oyster Depot.

This place needs no introduction. It’s over on Polk street and when walking down, it’s not easy to miss because there is a line down the street, sometimes for blocks. Swan is family run and a San Francisco staple. A long, narrow bar like those you may run into on the east coast. Run by men, they cook and plate up large dishes of insanely fresh fish daily. Shrimp louie, freshly shucked oysters, clam chowder are all my favorites paired with a glass of chablis. These dishes are all best shared because they are so large and it’s nice to try a few things. Swan is such an old school San Francisco place,they have been doing things the same way for many years. The staff is not super chatty but they are thorough and fast. They do like to get people in and out as much as possible because their capacity is limited (this you’ll see right away, there are no “seats in the back”).


California Academy of Science.

Many people have this on their list already but some may not know that every Thursday night they do the “Nightlife” from 6-10pm. It’s for the 21 and older crowd. It’s a more “adult” way to see the exhibits: with wine and cocktails! The academy is a wonderful place to explore any time but if you happen to have the opportunity to be in the city on a thursday, I highly recommend this experience.


Water bar.

The most spectacular view of the Bay Bridge you will find. The food is phenomenal and the best seat in the house is by the window, of course everyone wants to sit there. If you’re lucky enough to get that seat, great, otherwise, sit at the bar first. The restaurant sits under the bridge making it easy to get lost in watching the lights. Sit outdoors when the patio is open. Water bar offers the most magnificent view of the skyline.

Of course there are those spots where everyone who comes to San Francisco wishes to visit: the Boudin Bakery for a clam chowder bowl, Alliottos for the view at the Wharf, Lombard street because it is the coolest road on earth, Coit Tower,  and the top of the Mark. I recommend all of those things but when limited on time, it’s nice to be able to get away from the crowds in order to fit more in and delve into the city like a local would.

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