Whenever people tell me they are going to visit San Francisco I ask where they are staying and they are almost always staying at some hotel in or near the Tenderloin. Don't do it! Stay anywhere else! San Francisco is a gorgeous city, but it's easy to get stuck in dirty areas or tourist traps (that being said, the Tenderloin definitely has some good bars and trending spots). If you're looking for amazing food, local favorites and a taste of the many neighborhoods in SF, check out these places instead:
Outerlands If you're looking for locally sourced American brunch in a cozy, rustic setting by the sea, and are ok with waiting a few hours for a seat, this place is perfect. I usually put my name down then take a stroll to Trouble Coffee, Mollusk and sit by the sea until my table comes up.
Boogaloos This was my go-to brunch with a twist. I only ever get one thing: Desayuno Tipico. Two eggs over easy, black beans with salsa, grilled plantain cake topped with tamarind sour cream and corn tortillas.
St. Francis Fountain Best classic diner with the perfect coffee pot coffee. Old school candy shop and ice cream parlor, too.
Blue Bottle Best soy latte, ever. My favorite location is in Hayes Valley--take a stroll in the little park and grab a drink from their roll-up garage.
Ritual No, they won't ice your latte. Don't even ask. But they will give you the best drip you've ever had. And you won't mind how much you paid for it.
The Mill Their toast is AMAZING. Say yes say yes!
Philz Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite everyday drip coffee. I always get the Tesora with medium sugar and medium cream. Stop by a panaderia on the way if you are going to the mission location.
Caffe Sport If you are going to North Beach and want dinner, this is my favorite spot for seafood in a kitschy atmosphere. It's a little pricey but worth every penny.
Zarzuela Looking for an affordable, authentic Spanish meal? In one of my favorite neighborhoods? Check this place out in Russian Hill. There's delicious ice cream across the street.
Pizzeria Delfina Best thin crust pizza. To work around the wait - either order take out and eat in Dolores Park or wait for a table to open up at 500 Club.
Halu I LOVE RAMEN. SO MUCH. This place is not only delicious, but it is Beatles-themed. Last time I went they didn't have their bacon-wrapped mochi, the most amazing thing ever, so be sure to ask in case it's your lucky day!
The Phone Booth This is my favorite bar in San Francisco. It is often full of hipsters, so go on a weeknight if you can (I avoided on weekends). There is a pool table and a juke box. A great place to end a night.
Hotel Biron Best place to meet someone for a glass of wine and some good conversation. It feels very European and is kind of hidden.
Trick Dog Your friends will think you are pretentious, but that's ok because their cocktails are fantastic. Dinner is good here too...I still dream about their kale salad.
El Rio The best for outdoor drinking, weekday karaoke (I think it's on Wednesdays) and shuffleboard.
The Homestead Excellent low key high brow place! They have peanuts and old fashions.
Local Edition If you are downtown, stop in for some 20s paper boy style and delicious cocktails.
Painted Bird There was a time in my life when I only shopped at this place. It was wonderful. They have a nice range of affordable pieces for your eclectic closet -- thrift and vintage.
Little Paper Planes Filled with gorgeous, handcrafted goods and their new house-made clothing line. I love everything in this store.
Acrimony Sleek, Minimal, Fun -- pieces for men and women that will elevate your wardrobe.
Mill Mercantile Well made clothes in Americana style or Japanese interpreted Americana.
Bikram Yoga Hot yoga in the mission. A nice, friendly studio where you will feel comfortable sweating buckets.
Urban Flow Great if you are a bit more advanced or want to push yourself to the next level.
Yoga to the People Donation based with a mission location that looks over the city. Go for the candlelight practice.