life on pine ✧

san francisco, california | TRAVEL GUIDE


to SLEEP


Airbnb SF is actually lacking cool boutiquey - hotels. I often recommend people use Airbnb because it ends up being cheaper and feeling more local. There are so many great ones if you dig – here are some of my favorites.

Hotel G Right in the middle of Union Square which puts you in a good spot to hit up public transportation – aka the bart. Check out their wine bar Klyde for oysters and other delicious bites + drinks.

The Clift An artsy boutique hotel near Union Square that has awesome cocktails, a huge fireplace, and great prices on rooms. 

Huntington Right on top of Nob Hill, this landmark hotel has an extremely sophisticated old school vibe. Their bar is beautiful and romantic and brings you back in time.

eat, drink & explore
[by neighborhood]


alamo square & nopa

Bar Crudo {dinner} Favorite spot for seafood in the city. Most everything here is served raw. Great happy hour if you can make it. 

Green Chile Kitchen {lunch} With their wall that opens up to the street, we love coming here for beers and New Mexican fare on a sunny day.

The Mill {breakfast or lunch} They really only serve coffee, pastries & toast - expect a line.

NOPA {brunch or dinner} Always perfect for brunch or dinner, but try to get a reservation if you can. the wait is wild. Also one of the few places that servers dinner until 12AM. 

Nopalito {lunch or dinner} Fancy organic Mexican – great margaritas and atmosphere. They also catered our wedding!

Mojo Cafe {lunch} Half bike shop half cafe with a parklet out front that is great for people watching.

Powder Taiwanese shaved ice - lighter than ice cream and so darn good. Perfect after lunch or dinner dessert.

hayes valley

Arlequin Cafe {brunch, lunch, wine shop} one of the best patios /garden in the city – i love their ham sandwich.

Biergarten {beer, wine & snacks} SF's only true beer garden – if it's warm out, this place is on fire. if it's cold out, it's still packed with people wrapped in cozy blankets.

Absinthe An old school Parisian style brasserie with creative cocktails.

Fig & Thistle Wine & beer bar serving meats & cheeses amid cozy living room furnishings.

Fatted Calf [butcher] The best butcher in the city. Avedano's in Bernal Heights a close 2nd. 

Suppenkuche {dinner} Really fun German restaurant, but come early –i've waited 2 hours for a table before. 

Welcome Stranger {shopping, mostly men} one of my favorite places to browse for gifts. 

the mission

Beretta {brunch or dinner} a classic california / italian spot.

Central Kitchen Salumeria {all}: central kitchen is one of my favorites in the city for a fun dining experience. next door is their little sandwich shop/market, salumeria.

Craftsman & Wolves {coffee shop} pop in for coffee and pastries - new location off of Polk St now too.

Flour & Water Make a reservation 3 months in advance OR sit alone at the bar – their homemade pasta is out of this world.

Mission Chinese This byob chinese restaurant is too fun with a big group – started in sf, now in nyc and paris.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessin {lunch} Hip jewish deli on 24th street.

Stable Cafe A true gem of a coffee shop with a very SF vibe and big sunny patio. Great place to do work as well.

The Voyager Shop One of my favorite places in the mission to wander for gifts.

Alamo Drafthouse [movies, cocktails, dinner] This new stylish theater in an old abandoned theater shows new & classic films with cocktails and creative bites served seat-side. Originally from Austin, they have the coolest old school atmosphere, IMO officially the best theater in SF.

Dolores Park: a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon people watching and picnicking with materials from bi rite.

BAR FAVORITES

Casanova {divey}

Homesteads {divey & cozy}

Trick Dog {craft cocktails}

fillmore & pacific heights

Delfina {pizzeria – lunch or dinner} Fesh, handmade, delicious California/Italian food – in a cozy neighborhood environment.

Fraiche [breakfast or dessert] Homemade organic yogurt / frozen yogurt.

Jackson Fillmore [dinner] Just straight up cozy italian with a warm, dim lit ambiance. 

Jane Cutest & best place for brunch on Fillmore. They also have a cool new location in the Tenderloin. 

Kabuki Theater Great place to catch a flick and you can order drinks at the theater. 

State Bird Provisions [dinner] Another one of those *book three months in advance type places* but,  if you can get in, this place is unique, adventurous, and cool.

north beach

15 Romolo [cocktails] Cozy, vintage vibe and quirk-ily placed in the back alley of a strip club. best pimms cup in sf!

Chubby Noodle [dinner] Delicious treats like kung pao wings, pork ramen, and steamed chicken buns. Check out the rest of their tasty menu.

Cotogna [dinner] "Rustic italian" and farm to table.

Tosca Recently re-opened and renovated, but they manage to keep the charm of this SF staple. Food, cocktails or a coffee at the bar - it's a unique place to see. 

Vesuvio Known as the Jack Kerouac bar, this place is rich with history and one of our go-tos for catching up with an old friend.

Don Pistos [dinner] Newer age Mexican spot, with a fun energetic vibe and in the middle of the NB action. 

Tacolicious [dinnner] Delicious tacos and margs - also have great locations in the Mission and Marina. 

downtown

Coqueta [happy hour] Best gin and tonic you will ever have.

Hardwater Whiskey bar specializing in New Orleans inspired cuisine. 

Gott's [lunch or dinner] Waterfront at the ferry building – best for fish tacos, burgers, and fries (wine & beer a plenty).

Ferry Building Everything is fun inside. hog island oyster, blue bottle coffee, cowgirl creamery, heath ceramics, tuesday & saturday are the farmer's market

Rickhouse{bar} Craft cocktails, best for whiskey or punchbowl

Wayfare Tavern {lunch or dinner} Famous for their fancy fried chicken and popovers.

Leo's Oyster Bar New swanky and cool, you need a reservation because the word is out in SF. Their fresh seafood is delicious and drinks refreshing & unique. 

the haight

Alembic [dinner] Menu includes things like foie gras, bone marrow, and tongue. Also less rare items, but the food is great and surprisingly not pretentious for SF.

Golden Gate Park This park is massive! grab a bike and take advantage of the car-free roads, and make sure you visit the bison.

Magnolia [lunch, dinner] Gastropub – good food and good beer.

Maven [dinner] fun for cocktails and dinner seated at the bar preferred.

Prada 22 [dinner] Home style puerto rican cuisine – small inside, delicious food {those plantains!} and for a moment you feel like you are somewhere much more tropical.

Ragazza [dinner] Have a bottle of wine on their back patio before diving into one of their delicious pizzas.

nob hill

Bob's Donuts Fresh out of the oven donuts at 130-2am...they are geniuses. 

Flour and Co. Cutest place for coffee and a quick bakery style breakfast.

Hi-Lo Club Only true craft cocktails you'll find on polk street and it's a gem.

Le Beau Market A little European style grocery store that we live at. 

Swan Oyster Depot The longest line you'll ever wait in for oysters, but an sf staple! Their seafood is crazy fresh. 

soma

Bloodhound A cozy dive with animals heads on the wall, buck hunter, and good music.

Darwin Cafe My favorite place to grab lunch / dinner when i worked in SOMA.

marina & russian hill 

Blue Barn {lunch} Best sandwich / salad combo in the city and a great patio for afternoon beers or rose.

Delarosa {lunch or dinner} Hip and fancy pizza/pasta /Italian. Get a feel for the Marina ambiance...it's our go to when we have friends in town. 

Fort Mason Park Stare at the Golden Gate Bridge while lounging {or partying} in the park.

Leopold's Austrian restaurant with great food and fun environment before going out. If you are feeling brave order das boot!

Super Duper Burger Organic & local burgers / fries / shakes.

Tipsy Pig {brunch + bar} I love their outdoor patio for brunch or drinks. 

dogpatch & potrero 


Dogpatch Saloon {bar} Local watering hole for drinks before or after your nearby dinner.

Front Cafe Great for grabbing a good coffee.

Piccino {all} Pizza and red wine and sun soaked patio.

Plow {brunch} Might be my favorite brunch spot in SF. The lemon ricotta pancakes are out of this world!

Smokestack @ Magnolia Brewing Co. Beautiful rustic space with some of the best BBQ you can get in Northern Cal, also great for cocktails and craft beers.

The Ramp Beers and outdoor seating on the water overlooking the sailboat docks.

Serpentine {dinner} good food - good vibes - good drinks.

outer sunset

To Eat & Drink

Outerlands [pictured below] my favorite for both brunch & dinner, cocktails and gorgeous design

Beachside Cafe cozy neighborhood cafe serving breakfast & lunch 

Judahlicious smoothies and acai bowls perfect for a post-surfing snack 

Devil's Teethlocals line up for breakfast sandwiches and fresh baked bread/pastries 

Trouble Coffee Coffee & toast with an awesome parklet, the perfect place to hang if outerlands has a wait

Andy towncorner coffee shop that locals go out of their way for. Famous for their snowy plover which closely resembles a coffee float

To Shop & Explore

The General Store California modern shop with bohemian vibes. An "I want everything" experience at it's finest, with a beautiful garden + table out back to sip and enjoy your coffee. 

Case for Making Beautifully designed art supply shop for local artists, but fun to browse for all. 

Mollusk Surf Shop Also in Venice beach, this surf shop sells boards, wetsuits, gear, books, clothing and other fun accessories in a cheerful modern environment. It's design meets surf culture and you won't leave without  buying something.

Golden Gate Park Such a massive park, but full of so many wonderful things. De Young Museum, Botanical Gardens, Academy of Sciences, bike riding, picnic meadows and even free swing lessons ;)

Ocean Beach A favorite spot to surf for many SF locals. On a warm day this beach makes you feel like you're in SoCal. On a cold day, it's cozy to bundle up and watch the surfers. 

Sutro Baths Read more about their history here. Fun to grab a snack or drinks at the Cliff House as you look over the baths and ocean.

 

MORE POSTS FROM AROUND SF: