Where to eat, explore and relax in the City by the Bay
San Francisco is truly the golden nugget in the great state of California. After all, it did flourish during a gold rush in the 1800s. The city is now a 21st-century center where diverse, timeless and sometimes quirky culture meets modern tech. Come by once and you’ll understand why Tony Bennett sings about leaving his heart here.
Fine dining abounds in San Francisco: dungeness crab, sourdough bread and cioppino are local classics. Crack some crustaceans at The Franciscan and enjoy the view of Alcatraz and the Bay along with your meal. Ocean delights are also abundant at Tadich Grill, which has been visited by the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Clark Gable and Cary Grant. For a more homey take on seafood, share an order of cioppino with a friend or two at Sotto Mare in the North Beach neighborhood.
No visit to San Francisco is complete without tasting a burrito from the Mission District. Fall in love with a carne asada or carnitas variation at Taqueria La Cumbre, the originator of Mission-style burritos. The joint is so iconic that it was featured on Man vs. Food.
To go beyond the expected tourist fare, stop by Marlowe for some stylish comfort food. The white hexagonal floor tiles and quilted stainless steel walls are inspired by classic butcher shop decor, and the dishes — from bone marrow to steak tartare with quail egg and crostini — display the same attention as the high-quality meat.
Distinct neighborhoods — with their own unique establishments, crowds and character — make up the overall charm of San Francisco. You can find yourself in the hustle and bustle of high-end Union Square. Just a few miles west, you can explore the old-school record shops and thrift stores of the Haight-Ashbury.
To enjoy the natural side of San Francisco, take a hike along Land’s End for a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also see the wondrous ruins of Sutro Baths, once the city’s luxurious bathhouse. The palatial Legion of Honor, which showcases a vast collection of European art, is also in the area.
To cap off a perfect day or evening, take in an unparalleled view of the Bay on Twin Peaks.
Live like a rock star at the Phoenix Hotel in the gritty Tenderloin district. This retro motor lodge — anchored by a picturesque pool area — is a favorite of famous bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam.
For the perfect mix of art and tech, book a stay at Hotel Zetta. Murals adorn the common areas and the Jawbone Big Jambox and G-Link connectivity are amenities in all guestrooms. In your downtime, have fun with pool, shuffleboard, Plinko and Jenga in The Playroom.
To visit Asia without leaving the United States, check out Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. Rooms contain Japanese art, sliding shoji screens and traditional bathrooms with deep soaker tubs. In between your meals and shopping in the Japan Center, reflect by the hotel’s koi pond or in their zen garden.
Wherever you stay in San Francisco is not as imperative as where you go. Get out and experience all that this down-to-earth yet magnificent 7×7 city has to offer.
Want to continue exploring San Francisco? Enjoy Joanne Wong’s photographs from the City Limitless series… View Story
Written by Karen Datangel
Headline image by Steven Coffey