To Do: San Francisco
Last month I celebrated two years in San Francisco! Which is crazy. I remember Garner and I saying we'd live in SF for two years and then probably move back to Texas... but now it's been that long and we feel like we've just settled in!
I'm constantly asked for San Francisco recommendations when friends and family travel here. So now that I've been here for two years, and am somewhat of a local, I'm sharing my tips with all of you. Let me know if you enjoy these spots too!
B. Patisserie - Amazing bakery! I go there at least once a week to get the chocolate Kouign Amann and/or chocolate banana croissant. They also received the "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie" award the past two years.
Sweet Maple - One of my favorite brunch spots. They are known for their "Millionaire's Bacon" which has won numerous awards. There is usually a wait on weekends, but with free coffee while you wait and the location being on the infamous Fillmore St., you can caffeine up and shop around while you wait.
Cliff House - Famous brunch spot that's been around since 1858 and overlooks Ocean Beach. I love their warm popovers they serve when you sit down, and people rave about their bloody Marys. It's also located right next to the historic Sutro Baths and beautiful Lands End hike (can easily burn off all the popovers after brunch).
Frances - In my opinion (and many others), this is the best restaurant in SF. It's difficult to get into, so make sure to make dinner reservations a few months in advance and when you're there, definitely get the bacon beignets and lumberjack cake.
Foreign Cinema - Great food and a great atmosphere. As it's really popular, make sure to have reservations in advance. Before/after, go to El Techo next door for margaritas and an amazing rooftop view of the city.
Salt & Straw - Unique ice cream flavors that are really yummy. My favorite is the peach vinegar cobbler with toasted nutmeg (drooling just thinking about it). Located on Fillmore St.
Tipsy Pig - Known for their Strawberry Fields cocktail, many of Tipsy Pig's drinks find the perfect balance between sweet and refreshing. They have a great back patio with heaters and string lights. It's located in the Marina district which is where most 20-somethings live/hang out.
Park Tavern - Located in North Beach right on Washington Square, this restaurant/bar is perfect for a drink before dinner or for Happy Hour. It has a great atmosphere, wood-beamed ceilings and according to Instagram, Lebron frequents when he's in town.
Top of the Mark - They may be $14, but these are some of the best martinis in the city. It's located on top of the Mark Hopkins hotel, has a 360-view of the city, and usually has live bands and dancing on weekend nights.
Bourbon & Branch - A fun speakeasy with many secret rooms and an entire book of cocktails. You have to make a reservation in advance to receive the password, and there are no phones allowed inside, nor are you allowed to order a Cosmo. It's such a fun place to hang out (we had Garner's birthday here!) but make sure you take a Lyft/Uber as it's in a rough part of town.
The Interval - Named one of the best bars in America, this place is definitely unique. You walk in feeling like you're in a library, except for the dozens of spirit bottles hanging from the ceiling. These are bottles people purchase and drink upon each return.
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge - I recommend starting at Golden Gate Park and biking to Sausalito. You'll see all of the Presidio and have amazing views of the Bay. Then you can grab lunch in Sausalito and take the ferry back to the Ferry Building downtown.
Off The Grid - All the local food trucks gather at the Presidio on Sunday afternoons. When there is great weather, grab a blanket and a few friends so you can picnic with a view of the GG Bridge and the Walt Disney museum.
Golden Gate Park - You can easily spend an entire day visiting the Japanese Tea Garden, Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers (where we got engaged!) and the buffalo exhibit (yeah, there are really buffalo roaming in the park).
Hike Twin Peaks or Lands End - Twin Peaks will give you a view of the city, while Lands End will give you a view of the Bay. After Lands End, visit the Legion of Honor art museum where you'll feel like you're in Europe and can see famous paintings/exhibits.
Tea at the Palace Hotel - Located downtown, this gorgeous hotel takes you back in time with it's stunning décor and crystal chandeliers. Make a reservation in advance to ensure your spot at afternoon high tea.
The Fillmore or The Independent - Two incredible and intimate venues that will ensure a great concert or show.
Beach Blanket Babylon - This hilarious and witty musical has been continuously performing in North Beach since 1978. Cotogna is a great nearby dinner spot (make reservations in advance), as well as Tony's Pizza (there's always a wait but it's worth it!).