Despite a lot of closures, San Francisco is still an excellent foodie city. Do your research, make reservations. Eater SF is a good resource.

I haven’t spent a ton of time in the city as a tourist, but my favorite sites include the Ferry Building (lovely dining options and shops), Alcatraz, the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, and the San Francisco Zoo. Pier 39 can be skipped.

A sampling of restaurant options and hotels – 

Civic Center / Hayes Valley

  • **Absinthe is a perfect French bistro, great food, really charming setting.
  • **Zuni Cafe: a classic, serving excellent French-inspired California cuisine. Great cocktails, chicken is amazing.

Ferry Building & Surrounds

  • **Boulettes Larder is a great start to the day, with classic breakfast items in a communal dining space. 
  • **Coqueta is a tasty Spanish tapas place. It’s a great location, with a large industrial-styled interior and nice outdoor seating, by the water.
  • **Hard Water: deadly whiskey cocktails, southern small plates. Pretty good. (Closed)

Fisherman’s Wharf

In general, I think this area is a waste of time. However, the **SS Jeremiah O’Brien is great if you’re into naval history and WWII. 


  • **Nopalito: this is a popular Mexican spot that consistently gets good reviews. I found it pretty average, and the setting is a bit too casual, could pick it up a notch above the picnic table furnishings. 

The Mission

  • **Foreign Cinema: I strongly associate this place with work events. There’s a pretty outdoor courtyard with movies playing in the background, food leans ‘mediterranean California cuisine,’ excellent cocktails. Festive.
  • **Taqueria Cancun: I won’t get into the politics of the best burrito, but this place is top 5.

Nob Hill

  • *InterContinental Mark Hopkins: while I love this location, the hotel is feeling rather tired. For the price, there are better options. Breakfast not included.

The Richmond

  • **Burma Superstar: it’s good, as we know from trips to Burma it’s Rakhine province cuisine, there are several locations. A bit overhyped, but still tasty. 

SOMA and Southpark

  • **25 Lusk is fancy, industrial, space for crowds. I think the food is fine? Nothing that stood out.
  • **The Palace Hotel was a really nice experience. It’s old, but in beautiful condition, the central dining area and lobby has a beautiful glass ceiling. Rooms are good sized, with very comfortable beds..
  • **Yank Sing serves expensive Dim Sum. It’s delicious, high end, and speedy, catering to expense accounts and important family celebrations.


  • **Farmer Brown: southern, great fried chicken. Cleanliness spotty at best.  (Closed)

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