San Francisco.. Need some recommendations

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rhett7660, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #1
    Hello all,

    I will be visiting San Francisco in February, and I am looking for some suggestions on place to go, place to eat etc.

    So far, I have on the schedule:

    Places:
    Alcatraz
    Golden Gate Bridge
    lombard street

    Restaurants:
    None so far.

    So if you know a really good place to eat, have a beer (we are both beer drinkers!) please post it!!!! Or a good spot to go shopping and walking around.

    We will be in the vicinity of: 700 block of Mission Street.....

    Thanks a bunch in advance.
     
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #2
    The usuals come into play here, especially if you are going to the GG Bridge and Alcatraz:

    Pier 39
    Embrarcadero
    Fisherman's Wharf
    Ghiradelli Square

    Restaurants... depends. Do you like Garlic? If so, I would suggest (just for kicks) The Stinking Rose. Their slogan: "We Season Our Garlic with Food". Everything on their menu has garlic as an ingredient. Maybe a bit pricey, but at least worth a visit.

    If they are available and open (they should), you could hop a bus over to San Rafael, and get a tour of Guide Dogs for the Blind. No matter how crappy a day you may have, nothing gets you out of that funk than being bomdarded by and playing with puppies. :)

    Are you driving? Oakland has a pinball museum open if you are so well-minded. BART may have the means to get to all of these places, but I'm local to the region, so I'm having to drive into the bay anyway.

    I'm sure others will chime in, outside of the Apple flagship store. :D

    BL.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Excellent recommendations. If you are staying in the city, rhett7660 I would avoid renting a car. Driving and parking are a nightmare. San Fran has an excellent transit system. I spent 10 days there about 20 years ago and only rented a car for the last couple of days to drive out to the wine country.

    Enjoy, it is a beautiful city to visit.
     
  4. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #4
    Sweet! Thank you!!! We are flying in, but will have a rental car for driving around. Two of the days, we are doing a Napa Valley train ride and wine tasting.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #5
    Embarcadero
    Fisherman's Wharf
    Golden Gate Park and Bridge but theyre not that close to each other.
    Union square is pretty touristy also

    As for restaurants, there are so many but some of my favorites are
    Samovar Tea Lounge
    Fatted Calf
    Tadich
    Taylor Street Coffee Shop (best breakfast I've had in a city)
    St. Vincent
    Sebo (sushi)
    Flour+Water
     
  6. ravenvii, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #6
    From someone who actually lived in SF:

    I don't know why the others keep recommending Fisherman's Wharf. Don't waste your time.

    Do take the trolley up there from Powell St, though (don't bother with the line at Union Square -- go up Powell, and just hop on the trolley at a stop sign. Seriously! :)). But when you're at the end, instead of going to the Fisherman's Wharf, just go to Ghirardelli Square -- very touristy but pretty decent nonetheless.

    If you're there on a Saturday, definitely go to the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. Go there early! (about 10 AM or 11 AM, no later). Try the lamb hot dog -- unbelievably delicious. And buy some chocolate brittles before you leave. If you're there on a Wednesday, check out the farmer's market at Civic Center -- not as clean as the Ferry Building (there's a ton of homeless people there), but grab the kettle popcorn, and if the truck hasn't left yet (go early!), grab a Belgian waffle. Both are blow-your-minds unbelievable.

    While you're at the Civic Center. be brave and go north a couple of blocks to Golden Gate -- there's a burrito place between Hyde and Larkin called El Castillito. After you've eaten a burrito there, you'll never be the same. Honest.

    Do check out the Castro -- a great couple of blocks to take a stroll. Stop by the Castro Coffee Company -- forget Blue Bottle, this is where you can get great coffee.

    Do check out the Golden Gate Bridge. Do check out Golden Gate Park. Do check out the Seacliffs (stop by the little diner hanging right off the cliff for some excellent chili, then take a walk north on the old train tracks (the tracks themselves has long ago been removed, leaving a nice trail) along the cliff -- excellent views of the sea). Do check out Chinatown -- kitschy and touristy as hell, but great atmosphere. Go west a block to Stockton to see the *real* Chinatown.

    Alcatraz? Well, why not. Worth going once.

    Also check out Valencia -- great bars and nightlife there. And there's Puerto Alegre, where you can find the best steak nachos in America (IMO, at least).

    Places to eat:
    The previously mentioned farmer's markets.
    The previously mentioned El Castillito.
    The previously mentioned Puerto Alegre on Valencia. Just get the nachos, don't bother with anything else.
    Stinking Rose is great, too.
    While you're in Chinatown, stop by Sweetheart for some boba drinks. Best in the city.
    If you like dim sum, Yank Sing has the best dim sum south of Vancouver.
    If you're willing to go out of the way for the best Guinness you'd drink outside of Ireland, go to The Star and Plough, in the Richmond. Looks like crap, atmosphere is crap, but the Guinness... blows... your... mind. If you're not a Guinness megafan, ignore this one.

    And for some mind-blowing dessert, go to the mall at Powell, go up to Nordstrom's, then go to the top floor, and go to the cafe there. Have some vanilla ice cream and bread pudding. Make sure to have a mop ready, you'll need to mop up your blown mind afterwards.

    And lastly... make sure you make your way to Paxti's on Hayes. Forget Chicago, this is where you will discover deep dish pizza -- and I've been to Chicago.

    And an obligatory nod to Mozzeria, a (fancy, or 'gourmet' if you will) pizza place owned and run by the Deaf on 16th Street.

    I could go on and on, but I think that will fill up your days nicely.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    This is one thing I did, and enjoyed it.
    Go to Pier 39, rent a bike and ride to Sausalito, you can take the ferry back to SF. You get to ride up to the Golden Gate bridge, cross it and enjoy some time in Sausalito.

    There's an old fort at the base of the bridge, don't speed past it on the bike. Its worth a trip in there.
     
  8. palmerc2 macrumors 65816

    palmerc2

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    SF is the food capital of the nation, some of the best meals I've had were in SF. I go every couple of months and always like to go to different spots, do a search on Yelp and / or Zagat and you will not be disappointed.

    The one restaurant I consistently go back to is Fly Trap on Folsom. The food is unbelievably good, highly (highly) recommended.

    The most esteemed restaurant, and probably the most expensive in SF, would be Saison on Townsend. With a menu going up to $400 per person, going would definetly depend on your budget.

    I'll second ravenvii on Patxi's, easily the best pizza I've ever had....it's Chicago style pizza, but amazingly way better than Chicago.

    Go to Le Garage in Sausilito. The French fare is nothing too unique, however it has a million dollar view on the Sausalito marina. While you're there, go to Vista Point for a spectacular view of the Bay Area.

    Another point to go to would be the top of Twin Peaks, for another extraordinary view of the Bay Area.
     
  9. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #9
    Outstanding!!!! Thank you all very much, I am in the process of making our itinerary now!!!

    Between pizza, beer, and views I think we are set!!!!!

    Thank you again!
     
  10. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    What more is needed in life?
     
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #11
    Oh heavens yes: Fly Trap and Tadich! Explore the Marin headlands too.
     
  12. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    If you love food and beer, you're going to the right place.

    http://21st-amendment.com
    http://www.anchorbrewing.com
    http://magnoliapub.com/dogpatch.html

    Pizza is another deep subject.

    My favorite deep dish in SF is Little Star Pizza. It's a smaller, more refined pie then Patxi's, but they are superior IMO.

    Tony's in North Beach for coal-fired goodness a New Yorker would approve of. I also love their Chicago style roast beef sandwich.

    Flour+Water is great, prepare to wait forever for a table.

    Coffee? Check.

    Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ritual Roasters, Reveille. All soooo good.

    Mexican? Oh, yes.

    Tacqeria Cancun is my favorite. That Al Pastor! Also vote for El Farolito. Nopalito is great if you want more refined fare.

    Tadich Grill is really a must. A slice of well-preserved old skool SF.
     
  13. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #14
    I've, actually, stayed there in the past: very nice rooms and a nice central location. :)
     
  14. Wiggle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #15
    As a native Chicagoan, I'd tell you shut your mouth, but now that I live 2 blocks from Paxti's on Hayes...you are pretty much right.
     
  15. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #16
    This made me laugh and well, solidifies the wife and I having pizza!!!!
     
  16. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #17
    Just thought about this. You could also take a trip to Vallejo. There is a ferry that runs from the Embarcadero straight to Mare Island that you could take to see the historic naval base (outside of the one at Alameda), let alone historic Vallejo.

    You might be able to get a car from there to head to Napa, since it is right up the road from there..

    Only drawback is that it would limit your time there to the schedule of the ferry..

    Just a thought..

    BL.
     
  17. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #18

    Probably won't have time on this trip... we are doing three days in SF and then driving up to Napa and doing two days there.

    However I am putting this down in my notes, for when I plan our second trip...
     
  18. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #19
    Wanted to say thank you to all who gave us some suggestions. The places we ended up going to were as followed.

    We hit the following two beer pubs:

    http://21st-amendment.com
    http://magnoliapub.com/dogpatch.html

    21st was the stand out! God the food was incredible and loved their "strong beers."

    Not to mention it was beer week in SF! So they had some special treats on hand.

    We also went to Star & Ploughs, but the place was freaking closed. There was no time frame on the doors or windows. So we waited about a half hour (afternoon) and it never opened. So we ended up going down the street to "The Bitter End". It was a good, no complaints. There was nobody in the place so we pretty much had it all to ourselves. Even the guy at the bar didn't know when S&P opened! We laughed.

    Did the usual tourist thing:
    Alcatraz
    Pier 33-39 and everything in between
    Ghirardelli square

    We tried to do the bike thing, but man was it crowded so we passed on it and ended up walking pretty much the entire pier area and then driving down to the bridge.

    Did the Haight/Ashbury walk, which was pretty cool. Nothing like being asked several times if we wanted any drugs. Ha... Hit plenty of the shops and thrift stores.

    Golden Gate Bridge, walked up to and also did the lower point part. The day was gorgeous, no clouds, was not cold at all. Got some really cool shots.

    Tried to get into Patxi's, but good freaking god there was a massive wait. So we ended up going to "Little Star Pizza." It was outstanding!!!

    Went to the following places for breakfast:

    Honey Honey Cafe & Crepery and Taylor Street Coffee Shop. Taylor Street was by far the better place and the breakfast was soooo freaking good. We ate there twice!

    Did Lombard street five times! Yeah we were having fun. Walked it once.... Drove it four times!

    Went and saw the Painted Ladies and the park that is right across the street from them.

    Found a really good pastry shop right next to our hotel, Beard Papa... oh my god......... I will leave it at that.

    Went to a local dive bar called "Tempest", had to because that is the wife's name. Had a few ice cold beers. It is a dive bar.

    We also went to Super Duper Burgers, and yup they are pretty darn good.

    I think that was everything we did in SF, lots of driving and parking, picture taking etc.... we had a great time. The only thing we did not get to do was get on a trolly, so we are already planning our next trip there.

    Oh, we also did Chinatown. The place was packed, I mean beyond packed. We walked it, and did some shopping.

    We also did Sightglass for a cup of coffee, since it was right around the corner from us, well walking distance and it was not bad at all........!

    Wanted to say thank you again for all the recommendations.

    We then drove out to Napa Valley, and the did the Wine Train, which wasn't bad at all. The food was good and the nostalgia of riding a train was pretty cool.

    By far and large, though the place called the "Fume Bistro & Bar" had the best food we had on this trip. The place was outstanding!!! If you are in the area, please try it out. We found it looking through Yelp since we had some time to kill. Well worth it and god the food is good. All of it was good!
     
  19. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
  20. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #21
    Wow, a lot of San Fran love here.

    I definitely need to plan a trip... How does it compare to NY or L.A.? It sounds like there's even more to do in San Fran than NYC.
     
  21. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #22
    As far as the touristy thing goes, it's almost an even push between SFO and NYC.

    With NYC, you have all of the things there (Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Times Square, etc. etc.), plus are only 90 minutes from Philadelphia, and all that they have.

    Same with SFO. You're 45 minutes from what San Jose has to offer, a little under 2 hours to Sacramento, 4 to Reno, 90 minutes to Napa.. And this isn't even counting what is in SFO proper.

    Los Angeles is a different beast mainly because of 1 thing; while they have some mass transit, almost everywhere you need to go requires a car. you can Subway or BART around NYC and SFO; you're requiring a taxi or car rental to anywhere in LA, let alone SoCal. And with that, you're looking at the concrete jungle that is the freeway down there. When it takes you 45 minutes to go 5 miles on the freeway, you know it's a problem.

    As far as the tourist thing goes, NYC and SFO > Los Angeles.

    BL.
     
  22. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    As a native San Franciscan who lives in New York, I wouldn't quite say that. SF has a lot of stuff concentrated in a small area, and a lot of interesting places within driving distance outside the city. NYC is bigger and has a lot more things to see and do, especially at night. SF still largely closes up shop by 9-10PM, except for the bars.

    Glad that the OP got to Tempest. It's a dive, but it's a serious beer bar for serious beer drinkers. Should've gone up the street to Rosamunde's for a grilled bratwurst while you were there.

    Beard Papa is a Japanese chain. Tasty cream puffs. I haven't yet tried to track down a location in NYC, but I assume they're here somewhere.

    Glad you enjoyed 21st Amendment and Little Star. Some places in NYC actually sell 21st Amendment, and we figured out how to bake our own Little Star-style pizza at home.

    I've never been to Fume. There are quite a few amazing restaurants in the Napa Valley.
     
  23. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #24
    Not knowing of these restaurants/places makes me feel seriously out of the loop. :eek:
     
  24. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #25
    The one on Mission st.


    Los Angeles does suck because there is no mass transit to help you really get around. You do need a car. We didn't take any public transportation in SF, but in NY that is all we used. The subway system in NY is killer.
     

Share This Page