San Francisco Guide

All of my favorite places to eat, drink, shop, explore and more in San Francisco.

FOOD

Media Noche

3465 19th Street

If I had to choose one favorite place to eat in SF, it’s Media Noche. It’s a fairly new Cuban counter-service restaurant that makes both the best ceviche and best sandwich you may ever eat. I’m not kidding. Their pulled pork is unlike anything you’ve ever had. I eat here at least twice a month. Even their salads are incredible; they’re literally half lettuce, half meat. Just the way a salad should be. The decor is nearly as beautiful as the food is delicious, and the exterior features the now Insta-famous flamingo mural. Everything is incredible but I recommend the El Cubano, the Media Dia (the breakfast version of the El Cubano served on sweet brioche with bacon and an egg), the ceviche (pictured above), the Verde Salad with Lechón, the Lechón Asado Bowl and the moon bars for dessert.

Bob’s Donuts

1621 Polk Street

This 24 hour donut spot (do I have to say more?) is home to some of the best donuts I’ve ever had. The plain glazed and apple fritter are my favorites but I recommend just ordering an assorted half dozen of whatever is hot for a taste of the freshest items. They also have a giant $10 donut that comes with a challenge of eating it in 3 minutes for a t-shirt and your name on the wall. It also doubles as a great birthday cake.

Black Sands Brewery

701 Haight Street (Lower Haight)

Not only does the decor at Black Sands perfectly match my aesthetic (skulls, black accents, and marble tables), but everything on the menu is incredible. Their menu rotates with the seasons but some of my favorites are: Avocado Toast, Summer Grain Bowl, Chips & Queso, Fast Food Fries, Dungeness Crab Garlic Noodles.

Souvla 

531 Divisadero Street, 517 Hayes Street, 758 Valencia Street

Fast-casual greek food that’s perfect for when you don’t feel like cooking, but want something homemade, or just need a quick meal. Their menu is very simple and offers the option of a sandwich or salad for three types of a meat plus a vegetarian option. You’re also nearly required (because I say so) to get a side of greek fries and get their frozen greek yogurt for dessert. My favorite topping combo is the sour cherry syrup with baklava crumbles.

The Mill

736 Divisadero Street

A joint venture between SF favorites Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread, The Mill is a neighborhood staple for breakfast and marble countertops. Their simple menu features a handful of baked goods and toast combinations that rotate often, but the cream cheese on rye and jam on whole wheat everything are my favorite. Make sure to pick up a loaf of fresh sourdough to take home too. They’ve also started doing pizza in the evenings so you can make a return trip for dinner, or take a slice to go. The Mill is packed on the weekends and it’s nearly impossible to get a table, so I recommend going during the week right at 7am when they open. It’s a great way to start the work day.

Iza Ramen

237 Fillmore Street, 1155 Folsom Street

Iza is hands-down the best ramen I’ve ever had and is definitely worth the wait in line. Menu highlights include Salmon Tartare, Hiyashi Chuka Cold Ramen, and the Iza Tsukemen, which is when the ramen noodles are served in a separate dish from the broth for a totally different and even more delicious experience.

Delarosa

2175 Chestnut Street, 37 Yerba Buena Lane

Delarosa is home to some of the best pizza in SF and if you like burrata cheese, or if you’ve never had it, you must go. Menu highlights include: burrata bruschetta with hazelnuts & honey, Italian ham, gruyere, & black truffle spread panini, margherita with burrata pizza, and the pancetta, cremini, panna, mozzarella, pecorino pizza.

Bao Down

648 Bush Street

Canadian transplant Bao Down is one of my favorite places to meet friends for dinner. If you’ve never had them, bao buns are steamed Chinese dumplings that kind of look like little pillows or fluffy taco shells. They’re sold individually so you can try all of the different fillings from pork belly to ahi tuna to fried chicken and more. You also have to try the kimchi fries. And thank me later.

Outerlands

4001 Judah Street

Another favorite brunch spot, Outerlands is more than worth the trip to the Sunset district. The wait is usually an hour plus, so go early to put your name on the list before they even open. I pretty much require you to order the sourdough peach fritter to start, and highly recommend the eggs-in-jail for your main.

Trouble Coffee

4033 Judah Street

Just a couple doors down from Outerlands, Trouble Coffee is one of the coolest coffee shops in SF. It’s tiny but is jam-packed with character and skater vibes so serious you’ll probably feel like you’ve transported outside of SF. They also have some cool merch stickers with bad-ass quotes on them.

Salt & Straw

2201 Fillmore Street

There is no competition, Salt & Straw is the BEST ice cream on this planet. It will change your life, because you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before. Thankfully there’s only one in the city and it’s out of the way, or I’d be there daily, and my body would kill me. But it would be worth it. Anyway, it’s a Portland-based chain that just opened in SF a few months ago so there is always, always a long line. So your best bet is to go at night, an hour or two before closing time, which is 11pm. Their specials rotate monthly, but I love that each location of Salt & Straw partners with local food companies to source the ingredients for their variety of flavor offerings. My favorite is the Olive Oil & Lemon Curd. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, which they’ll let you do for as many flavors as you want to try.

Tawla

206 Valencia Street

When you’re in need of a fancy dinner or just want to try something completely new, head to Tawla. It’s an eastern-mediterranean restaurant with a cool interior and even a back patio. The menu is just so creative and unexpected and different that you will be so pleasantly surprised. I’ve gone here a couple times and each time the menu has been different, since it changes with the seasons, so I can’t recommend any specific dishes other than that you must start your meal with the House and/or Seeded Bread.

As Quoted

3613 Sacramento Street

New kid on the block As Quoted is one of the most aesthetically pleasing eateries in SF. Marble countertops and all- white decor serve as the perfect backdrop for their organic salads and sandwiches, turmeric lattes, and bone broth. Their menu is full of dairy-, gluten-, nut-, and soy-free options. I’m a big fan of the avocado toast (duh).

Jane

2123 Fillmore Street, 925 Larkin Street

A go-to for breakfast and lunch options on the healthier side, Jane has two locations plus a stand-alone bakery. You’ll almost always be fighting for a table, but their menu is full of salads, toasts, juices and more. I recommend the avocado toast + smoked salmon.

Little Gem Restaurant

400 Grove Street

This gluten-free restaurant is the place to go when you want something on the fancier side but still want to be healthy. Even if you aren’t avoiding gluten, the menu is full of delicious California and globally inspired dishes. I recommend the Bibimbap + Salmon Tartare.

Tartine Manufactory

595 Alabama Street

Tartine Bakery is an SF favorite for bread and pastries, and also always has a line. So the owners opened Tartine Manufactory, an beautiful sit-down restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s the best of the bakery just without the line. And in my opinion, even better than the bakery because their menu is to-die-for. It changes regularly but their dinner includes a “bread service.” You really can’t go wrong here.

Golden Boy Pizza

542 Green Street

Frequented by those with late- night pizza cravings, Golden Boy is worth the trip to North Beach at any time of day. They make focaccia pizza, with only three flavors available at all times. There’s always a line and it’s cash only so avoid going late at night on the weekends if you can. I’m a purist so my favorite is the plain pizza.

Nourish Cafe

189 6th Avenue, 1030 Hyde Street

Nourish is a 100% plant-based and vegan cafe that’s ideal for a healthy breakfast lunch and dinner. They’ve partnered with a bunch of local SF favorites like Kite Hill and Tartine to create a menu that features items like vegan wraps, grain bowls, smoothies and an array of toasts. They also make blue matcha and turmeric lattes. Make sure to check out the refrigerated section for their daily dessert specials too.

Seed + Salt

2240 Chestnut Street

Seed + Salt makes vegan food that’s as creative as it is delicious and is a must-visit if you find yourself in the Marina District. Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory, Seed + Salt has you covered for breakfast and lunch with items like chickpea frittatas, sandwiches made with walnut chorizo and eggplant bacon, coconut quinoa porridge, veggie-packed wraps, salads and more. Bonus, all of their desserts are gluten free.

Wrecking Ball Coffee

2271 Union Street

Wrecking Ball makes the best almond milk latte in SF. Plus, the baristas are super friendly and their walls are decked out in an Instagram-friendly pineapple wallpaper.

Bowl’d

Check their website for daily truck locations

Bowl’d is a food truck that only serves two items: acai bowls and poke bowls. Their bowls are as simple as they are delicious without making a fuss over toppings. If you find yourself near one of their trucks, it’s worth the wait in line.

Homegrown

222 Battery Street

If you’re craving a hearty sandwich (for breakfast or lunch), Homegrown is the place to go. They’re a sustainable company that uses organic produce from their own farms to create a menu of sandwiches and salads, all will enjoy, including gluten-free options. I recommend the turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich. I always tell myself I’ll save half for later but never do.

Poki Time

2101 Lombard Street

If you’re in the Marina district, stop by this poké place for bowls packed so high you can make two meals out of them. I’m also a huge fan on their mini macaron ice cream sandwiches.

Urban Remedy

1957 Union Street, 450 Hayes Street, Ferry Building

Urban Remedy is an organic food company that makes ready-to-eat meals, juices and snacks. They’re perfect for grabbing food on-the-go for breakfast or lunch and their juices are the perfect pick-me-up.

OTD

2232 Bush Street

Owned by the same family as The Slanted Door (which is next to impossible to get a reservation for), OTD serves up modern Vietnamese food in a sleek and Instagram-friendly environment, complete with marble tables. It might sound strange, but OTD is one of my top places for brunch. And if you’ve never had Vietnamese brunch, I recommend their grilled lemongrass pork over rice that’s topped with a fried egg. There’s nothing like pork for brunch. Trust me.

Sweetgreen

171 2nd Street

If you’re downtown, Sweetgreen is the best place to grab a healthy and delicious lunch or dinner during the work week. Unfortunately, we only have one location in SF so if you’re pressed for time, order ahead on the app for easy pick-up so you don’t have to wait in line. I have a really hard time resisting their kale Caesar salad.

Juice Shop

Pretty self-explanatory, Juice Shop serves up a variety of juices and elixirs throughout the city. Worth noting, the glass bottles come with a $2 deposit (so each juice is $11), which you’ll get back if you return the bottle.

Project Juice

With six dedicated locations throughout SF, Project Juice is another great option for healthy on-the-go smoothies, juices, and breakfast treats. My favorite is the Blue Moon Smoothie + Almond Butter. Yes, it’s $12, but it’s worth it and got me through when I had my wisdom teeth removed.

Pressed Juicery

If you haven’t tried their freeze, go to the SOMA or Market Street locations — they’re the only ones in SF that currently sell the freeze. I’m a fan of the vanilla and often pick up an immunity shot while I’m there.

Hog Island Oyster Co.

1 Ferry Building

Hog Island is a waterfront restaurant with a variety of offerings from their raw bar. If you want to sit outside, you’ll have to wait in a fairly long line, but there’s almost always no wait to sit inside. Even better, their bread service is Acme Bread and they serve Cowgirl Creamery grilled cheese so you can hit three of my favorite Ferry Building spots in one.

Rainbow Grocery

1745 Folsom Street

A co-op market in the Mission that stocks a lot of health brands you won’t find anywhere else in SF like Hu Kitchen and Honey Mamas. Their bulk section takes of half the store it’s so big and you can get everything from flours and grains to cleaning products and kombucha. But be careful, a lot of their regular items cost a lot more than if you were to buy them at your local Whole Foods or regular grocery chain.

Joe & the Juice

525 Market Street, 235 Montgomery Street, 301 Howard Street

Joe & the Juice is the Danish coffee and juice chain that’s simultaneously taking over the US and getting me through the work week. With two more locations set to open in SF in the coming months, Joe & the Juice is a staple for getting your coffee fix. I personally don’t think their juice is all that great or worth the money, but their coffee will have you wired in seconds. And I love it. Plus, their locations are designed differently but all have ample seating and European cool interiors.

Repose Coffee

262 Divisadero Street

A great little coffee shop with a perfect window seat for people watching. If you’re into matcha, they make what I think is the best matcha latte in SF.

Loving Cup

535 Octavia Street, 2356 Polk Street

Loving Cup makes organic and all-natural desserts, but is best-known for their frozen yogurt. The flavors are pretty creative but I recommend the banana “faux yo.” It’s a vegan soft serve made with cashew milk that’s just as delicious as any non-vegan ice creams.

Neighbor Bakehouse

2343 3rd Street #100

If you happen to find yourself in the Dogpatch neighborhood, make sure to stop by Neighbor Bakehouse. It’s a total hole in the wall but has some really delicious pastries and fresh loaves of sourdough. If you like almond flavored things, get the almond bostock.

 

SUSHI

It’s my favorite food so it get’s it’s own category.

Nara Sushi

1515 Polk Street

My go-to sushi spot. It’s what I call “divey sushi” — cheap, hole in the wall style with an expansive and incredibly delicious menu. Bonus, they’re open until 1:00am on Friday and Saturdays for when you need to eat after a trip to the bars, and they’re just a few doors down from Bob’s so you can grab dessert after. My favorites are the SF 49’ers roll, Spicy Lambada roll, Spicy Ocean roll, TNT roll, and Cherry Blossom Roll.

Akikos

431 Bush Street

A fancier sushi spot, tucked away in the Financial District. It can be tough to get a reservation (and you need one in order to eat there, even for the bar) so plan to go here for special occasions or when you’re not the one paying for dinner.

Marina Sushi

2020 Lombard Street

Another great divey sushi spot, but in walking distance from all of the Marina & Cow Hollow bars, so it makes for a great pre-going out dinner spot.

Sushi Raw

682 Haight Street

My neighborhood spot from where I order takeout and force myself to do pickup so I’m not paying delivery fees for the two block trip.

Yuubi Japanese

501 Balboa Street

On the opposite side of town in the Inner Richmond, Yuubi’s another great spot for ordering takeout, especially since they have free delivery on Caviar.

 

SHOPPING

No Shop

389 Valencia Street

Wallflower

1176 Valencia

Azaela

956 Valencia Street, 411 Hayes Street

Wasteland

1660 Haight Street

Held Over

1543 Haight Street

Decades of Fashion

1653 Haight Street

Static

1764 Haight Street

St. Lightning

1813 Polk Street

ReLove

1815 Polk Street

Picnic 

1808 Polk Street

General Store

4035 Judah Street 

The Perish Trust

728 Divisadero Street

Afterlife

988 Valencia Street

Life

604 1/2 Haight Street

The Booksmith

1644 Haight Street

Lola 

900 North Point Street E207, 1415 Grant Avenue

Jackson & Polk

900 North Point Street

Therapy

545 Valencia Street, 1445 Grant Avenue

Everlane

2170 Folsom Street

Rare Device

600 Divisadero Street

 

VIEWS/HIKES

Corona Heights

Roosevelt Way & Museum Way

Twin Peaks

501 Twin Peaks Blvd

Land’s End

680 Point Lobos Avenue

Dolores Park

Dolores Street & 19th Street

Sutro Baths

1004 Point Lobos Avenue

Alamo Square

Hayes Street & Steiner Street

Lombard Street

Lombard & Hyde Street

Ina Coolbrith Park

Vallejo Street & Taylor Street

Bernal Heights Park

3400-3416 Folsom Street

Fort Point

Long Avenue & Marine Drive

Buena Vista Park

Buena Vista & Haight Street

Baker Beach

Golden Gate Park

Crissy Field

Point Reyes National Seashore & Lighthouse

 

TOURIST STOPS

Painted Ladies

The famous Victorian homes featured in the opening credits of Full House can be seen from Alamo Square.

Fisherman’s Wharf

The only reason to go here in my opinion is for In-N-Out; it’s the only one in the city.

Ghiradelli Square

Get some free samples of chocolate at the Ghirardelli stores then head to the shops (a few mentioned above) for cool gifts, clothing, cards and more.

Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is full of great shops, restaurants, food stands and more. The farmer’s market takes place here on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. My favorite stops inside are: Sow Juice, Acme Bread, Blue Bottle Coffee, Urban Remedy, Hog Island Oyster Co., Cowgirl Creamery (get the cheese toastie), The Gardener and Gott’s Roadside.

Golden Gate Bridge (duh.)

It takes a few hours to walk across, up to Marin Headlands, and back. So if you don’t have the time (and depending on the fog) you can get a good view of the bridge from Crissy Field, Fort Point, Land’s End, Baker Beach or Ocean Beach.


Planning a trip to SF? Have a question? Email me: styledbyskylar@gmail.com

This list is updated regularly.


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