SF City Guide: Welcome to My Hometown!

As you all may or may not know, I’ve been taking a little break from all my travels to focus on my Design classes for 2 months. (I’m already halfway done! yay!) It’s been so rewarding and I honestly feel almost overwhelmed with all the info in such little time. That being said, I realized that I live in such a popular destination for travelers that I should do a city guide for my hometown San Francisco! For those of you who may already live in SF, you may want to read on for some cheap delicious eats you may not know about yet! 😉

SF Touristy Things

If you stop by my city you’ll likely want to do the activities we’re known for:

  • Walk, drive, bike or run the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Ride a cable car
  • Fishermans Wharf
  • Check out Alcatraz
  • Marshall’s Beach Lookout *pictured above
  • bike around Golden Gate Park
  • Check out the SF MOMA

Keep in mind if you are visiting us here, bring a jacket! Weather in SF can turn 0-100 real quick, as in 100mph winds. Maybe not that serious but you catch my drift.

SF eats!

Alright lets get to the good part – places to eat in SF! There’s so many options in San Francisco I’ll organize them from the cheaper to pricier side.

Cheap SF eats

You’ll generally find cheaper food in the Chinatown, Tenderloin and I guess Sunset districts of San Francisco but don’t be deterred by this fact because it will also be some of the most bomb diggity food you will ever shove into your mouth. (sorry I got a little aggressive there but food makes me excited)

  • Chinatown – Golden Gate Bakery for bomb AF egg tarts. Get there early because the line builds up
  • Tenderloin – *shoutout to KHwa for these gems*
    • Saigon Sandwich – for the best damn banh mi I’ve ever had. I love pate and they dunk it on at this place. Ca$h only so come prepared! It’s about $4-5 / sandwich! What a steal!
    • Lers Ros – Pork Shoulder appetizer. Get it, don’t worry about what it is – look it up after haha. Also some great pad see ew and other dishes. They like things spicy here though so ask for mild if you can’t handle like me.
    • Sai Jai Tai – Also some bomb pork shoulder over fried rice
    • Turtle Tower – Known for their Pho Ga, some people say its bomb, some people disagree. You should try and decide for yourself. And while you’re at it – get a cafe sua da (viet iced coffee) and you can’t go wrong
  • Sunset District
    • San Tung Chicken – delicious fried chicken, yum!
    • PPQ – 2 locations, get there early because lines also build up here!
  • Mission – I almost forgot this section but…
    • La Taqueria – get a super quesadilla El Dorado style and thank me later 😉
    • El Faralito – when you’re craving a late night burrito/ quesadilla or whatever. This is the spot.
Medium priced SF eats

Alright, if you’re STILL hungry there are a bunch of mid level priced options as well and some great happy hour options. Here’s a few of my faves:

  • Ferry Building
    • Cowgirl Creamery – at certain times of the day they have raclette cheese!
    • Frog Hollow – Avocado toast (experience some of that basic bay area yuppie life)
    • Gott’s Roadside – Good old fashioned burgers! Although they now offer a vegetarian option that I hear is pretty close to the real thing!
    • Hog Island Oyster Co – Fresh oysters, delicious chowder and Acme bread. What more could you ask for really? No reservations though so go at an off time for quicker seating.
  • Brunch – this is a whole section unto itself because SF peeps take brunch seriously, maybe not as seriously as New Yorkers but we love our brunch.
    • Brenda’s Soul Food – famous for their beignets, get there before they open or be prepared to wait a couple hours.
    • Fillmore Social Club – fusion brunch!
    • Plow – another place with a long wait, but some delicious ricotta pancakes.
    • Tartine Manufactory – a location with great aesthetics and a carb lovers dream land.
    • Straw – I’ve actually never been here because the wait times are nuts but it’s on my list!
  • Italian – the North Beach is a great area for some good pasta!
    • E Tutto Qua – Friendly Italian homey vibes even though they’re a large restaurant.
    • Isa – This restaurant participates in SFRW every year and I think I’ve been every year for the past 3 years.
Fancy Foods in SF

This travel guide is honestly turning into a food guide so I’ll list out a few of my fancy (pricier) food faves here:

  • La Folie – French Contemporary food served on gold bubbly plating so you know they’re fancy.
  • Omakase – just as the name suggests, it’s a 1 Michelin star japanese omakase style restaurant. Limited seating so reserve ahead.
  • Liho Liho Yacht Club – this could fall under medium $ depending on what you order. But my favorites include the clam dish and their baked alaska dessert is bomb.
  • Lazy Bear – 2 Michelin star Communal Dining experience. Reserve ahead! (good luck with getting reservations!)
  • Gary Danko – 1 Michelin Star!

photos by: russellrabanal

Views in SF
  • Bernal Heights – A great view of the city, dog friendly and if you’re lucky the swing will still be intact!
  • Twin Peaks – Another popular viewpoint
  • Ina Coolbrith Park – a steep hike but cool, closer views of the city once you get to the top!
  • Dolores Park – not really views, but on the weekends it’s the most popular spot to picnic!
  • Mt. Davidson – hike to the top to get to the big cross.

And I’ll wrap it up here for now! There are honestly so many other things to do and see in SF. I haven’t even listed out my favorite coffee shops – but I’ll probably save that for a later date. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Have you been to SF? Are you from here – if so, let me know something I should try out!



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