San Francisco

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Our home and the most beautiful place in the world. Known for the Golden Gate Bridge. The local newspaper is the San Francisco Chronicle.

See Bay Area for nearby cities. Also see Angel Island.

Pick-up Basketball

Richmond Recreation Center (18th Ave, between Clement and California). 2011 hours:

  • Tuesday: 12:30-6:30pm
  • Wednesday: 2:45-6pm
  • Thursday: 11:30am-3pm; 5:30-8:45pm
  • Friday: 2:30-5:30pm
  • Saturday: 9-4:30pm

Sundays at 5pm at the Eureka Rec Center. Costs $5.

Other possibilities to explore:


Local Blogs

These are the local blogs I follow to keep up with what's going on in the city.

Party Ideas

Escape party

Joey the Cat skeeball and arcade event space


Secret Spaces of San Francisco

Western Neighborhoods Project. Includes the Richmond, the Sunset, and West Portal.


Cindy Alvarez forwarded me an article about Frisco Fried.

Bernal Heights

Avedano's Holly Park Market, a butcher specializing in local, sustainably raised meats and run by three women



See: Taking Chinatown Eats With Wok Wiz Tour Guide Frank Jang

Cole Valley

Duboce Triangle

L'Ardoise is an awesome French restaurant nestled in this neighborhood. Jumpin' Java Coffee House is right next door and has free WiFi.

Fillmore District

Financial District


Fisherman's Wharf

Sadly, my favorite fish n' chips place, Taits, is now closed. However, this Argentinian food truck, Tanguito, sounds intriguing.



Hayes Valley

Alice Waters likes Sebo for sushi. So do Anthony Bourdain and Chris Cosentino. Meg likes their Sunday izakaya.


Inner Richmond


In the netherland on Geary between Arguello and Masonic

More Patricia Unterman recommendations:

Secret sushi spots:

Bay City Smog: Park Presidio 76

4850 Geary Blvd (between 12th and 14th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours: M-Sat: 8am-6pm

Inner Sunset

Canvas Cafe is no more.

Tart to Tart (Irving, between 7th and 8th)

19th and Taraval Smog Test (at Shell Gas Station)

2399 19th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94116
Hours: M-Sat: 8am-6pm


Soko Hardware for Japanese cooking and gardening tools.


More Patricia Unterman recommendations:



Muddy Waters (Valencia, between 16th and 17th)

North Beach

  • Macellato apparently for fried chicken sandwich

Outer Richmond

Planning Association for the Richmond

Food and drink:

Patricia Unterman recommends Hakka Restaurant.

Places to walk:

Bought some from House of Flowers for my sister's 27th birthday. They're okay -- friendly, family-owned, decent selection, close to my apartment -- but they're not at the Mills the Florist (Palo Alto) or Jacob Maarse (Pasadena) level.

I looked at Balboa Green Garden Florist (Balboa and 37th) and My Flower Shop (Geary and 25th), but I wasn't thrilled with either. Small shops with limited selection and no example bouquets on display.

I used Richmond Test Only Center on July 3, 2006 for 2006 smog check.

1934 Clement St. FL1 (between 20th and 21st Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Hours: M-Sat: 8am-6pm

The home of the founder of the Church of Satan is in the Outer Richmond.

Outer Sunset

Oceanside is the old name for the Outer Sunset area near the ocean. There's a great three block stretch on Judah west of 41st Ave with funky cafes and great organic market called Other Avenues.

Outerlands, which opened in early 2009, looks like a great place for healthy and delicious soups, salads, and desserts, with a casual and cool ambiance. The food, however, didn't meet our expectations and was slightly overpriced. It's okay if you want something healthy and warm ambiance, but it's not worth a special trip.

Patricia Unterman recommends The Pizza Place for homey, family-style pizza, Just Won Ton for won ton soup, and Beachside Coffee Bar and Kitchen for comfort food.

Pacific Heights / Nob Hill

Royal Ground (Polk and Sacramento)

Cafe Casablanca (Polk and Sacramento)


Potrero Hill

Sally's Restaurant

300 De Haro Street, #300 (16th Street)

Near 101.


Fort Point (off the Golden Gate Bridge has a bunch of guided tours, including a pier crabbing demonstration. It's free, but it fills up months in advance, so reserve quickly. Goes from March through October.

Presidio Social Club

Presidio Heights

  • Spruce. This is one of a handful of $$$ places in Presidio/Laurel Heights. But the burger at the bar is supposed to be very tasty.


Little Skillet has the best fried chicken in the city.

Brickhouse Cafe

Ruchi is a great, homey South Indian restaurant.

426 Brannan Street (between 3rd and 4th)

Just off I-80.

Moya is a new Ethiopian restaurant.

Citizen's Band is an upscale diner.

Spice Kit has gourmet Korean and Vietnamese fast food.

Cupola Pizzeria is supposedly a surprisingly good Italian restaurant in the Westfield.

Tenderloin / Union Square

Brenda's French Soul Food is a creole place near the Civic Center. Referred by Moka.

Show Dogs is a gourmet hot dog place on Market near 6th. It's solid, but it's expensive and not worth a special trip. The dogs at Zog Dog on Market and Montgomery, while conventional, are just as tasty, if not moreso, and they're cheaper.

More Patricia Unterman recommendations:



Must eat places. These are for the entire Bay Area, not just San Francisco. We tried to select only destination places, places that we'd encourage visitors in town to visit for a special San Francisco experience if they were only in town for a few days. Also see San Francisco/Burgers.

Koo Sushi
Roli Roti porchetta sandwich
Saravanna Bhavan South Indian food
Gialina's All of their pizzas are outstanding, but their chocolate dessert pizza is special.
Humphry Slocombe ice cream
Bakesale Betty's fried chicken sandwich
Pho Dong Vietnamese food
Golden Boy Pizza Late night, post-carousing Sicilian pizza.
La Palma tortillas
La Quinta Mexican food
La Oaxaquena This Oaxacan place is hit or miss, but their tacos are a definite hit.
Aziza Gourmet Moroccan
Cha-Ya Vegan sushi. It doesn't sound good until you realize that practically everything is deep fried.
Cinderella's Bakery Russian food.
Falafel Drive-In Falafel
San Tung Dry chicken wings
Chez Panisse The capital of organic California cuisine.
Anh Hong Seven courses of beef.
Tartine The bread.
Bay Bread The bread.
Hog Island Oyster Company Oysters straight from Tomales Bay.
Oyaji Japanese izakaya.
Kappou Gomi Not even sure how to describe it. Delicious Japanese food.

On the bubble:

Red's Java House Hot dogs
R&G Lounge Authentic Cantonese food.
Shanghai Dumpling King Xiao Long Bao
Marnee Thai Duck pad kee mao
Dotty's True Blue Cafe Brunch
Fraiche Yogurt

Gap analysis:

  • Italian
  • Chinese
  • pub grub
  • brunch

Street Food

Roli Roti Best pork sandwich ever. Chicken is underseasoned. I like the duck when it's available (although it's also a bit underseasoned. The roasted pork is continuously marinated in rendered fat and is obviously delicious.
Namu Claim to have invented the Korean taco. Also at the San Francisco Ferry Building on Thursday's. A Fanny Singer recommendation.
4505 Meats The DIY butcher also does truck food, also at the SF Ferry Building on Thursday's. A Fanny Singer recommendation. You can taste the food quality, but I don't crave any of their food. There are better craft hot dogs, sausages, etc. Except for their chicharrones. Their chicharrones are exceptional.
Let's Be Frank On weekends and holidays at Crissy Field. A Fanny Singer recommendation.
Taco El Ray In Berkeley at the foot of Ashby Ave. A Fanny Singer recommendation.
Peko-Peko A Fanny Singer recommendation.
El Tonayense These much lauded taco trucks in the Mission are good, but nothing to write home about. Can get equivalent tacos at local taquerias.

Tourist Tips

I think I pulled these tips from a Conde Nast website -- can't remember which. This was from one of a series of articles on different cities, offering insider tips on avoiding tourist traps. I pulled the ones I either most agreed with or didn't already know to do.

  • Don't...TAKE THE POWELL STREET CABLE CARS. Lines snake around the cable car terminus at Powell and Market streets, the beginning of the two major cable-car lines (Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason), which carry tourists to Fisherman's Wharf. While you wait -- sometimes as long as an hour -- you're held hostage by D-grade accordion players, panhandlers, and evangelists threatening hellfire. All this hassle for a ride on a toy train?
  • Instead...TAKE THE CALIFORNIA STREET LINE. Take the cable car line tourists don't know about: the California Street line. There's rarely a queue for this lightly traveled route because visitors don't know what to do at the end of the line, Van Ness Avenue. But we do: Grab a picnic lunch of succulent Cowgirl Creamery cheese and crusty French bread near the beginning of the route at the Ferry Building Marketplace and hop on the cable car at the foot of California Street. Then, from the terminus at Van Ness Avenue, walk to Lafayette Square, in swanky Pacific Heights, for a hilltop picnic in the shadow of stately townhouses. Afterward, window-shop Upper Fillmore St alongside the city's skirt-and-sweater matrons. (Tip: For a great photo on the cable car, shoot east downhill as you approach Stockton Street; the Bay Bridge tower is briefly framed just right between downtown skyscrapers.)
  • Don't...TAKE THE FERRY TO SAUSALITO; instead...TAKE THE FERRY TO TIBURON. Ride the ferry to Tiburon, a village in Marin County with a picturesque main street straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. You'll get the same amazing shots as you sail past Alcatraz and Angel Island, and once you arrive in port, you'll have room to roam away from the herd. Poke your head into cute boutiques, snag a table for the obligatory dockside lunch at Sam's Grill (beware the seagulls swooping down on your fish and chips), and you've pretty much done Tiburon. But that's part of the charm. For full immersion in the kick-back Marin County lifestyle, snag a bay-view room at the Waters Edge Hotel and sip cocktails as the sun slips into the Pacific beyond the Golden Gate Bridge.

Dry Ice

United Liquor Stores sells dry ice and styrofoam containers. There's a UPS store down the block for shipping.

2401 Chestnut Street (@ Divisadero)
Hours: 7am-1am