Where to Eat in San Francisco.

Where to Eat in San Francisco.

When I travel I LOVE to eat. It is always a challenge deciding on where to dine, especially when your travels take you places at the last minute. On our trip to San Francisco we found a few gems that I want to share, obviously in two days I couldn’t be everywhere but I enjoyed these places so much I would go back for sure!

1) Salumeria (3000 20th street, SF  415.471.2998)

Salumeria, located in the Mission District is a great spot for lunch. Open 11- 6 we arrived around 3:00 and it was pretty packed. We enjoyed a fabulous cheese plate, some salads and a Salumi plate  (Italian meat board)  and well…Yummy. It is a typical trendy SFO spot and has a lovely airy vibe to it. I would say if you are looking for a wonderful lunch in a hipster environment this is the place.

2) Outerlands ( 4001 Judah Street, SF 415 661-6140)

We were looking for the best brunch in San Francisco so we did what everyone else does…. we Googled it, and found ourselves jumping in an Uber car heading to beautiful Ocean Beach. (10 minutes from downtown) Outerlands offers a very interesting menu at reasonable prices. We arrived at 8:45 and the resturant only opens at 9:00. Hanging on the front door was a clipboard to write your name on to get in line. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the table so we strolled over to Trouble Coffee (see below) to grab a coffee while we waited…. and boy was it worth it!

The food was excellent, I had the quiche which was creamy and delicious, all of our meals were interesting, fresh and tasty. I would highly recommend Outerlands, they make great brunch cocktail to! Pictured below is our table outside of the restaurant.

How to incorporate Outerlands into your San Francisco itinerary?  Plan your day visiting Outlerlands at 8:45 for 2 hours,  then stroll to Ocean beach 20 min, UBER car (10 min) to Golden Gate Park (2 hours), end with a walk through the Haight-Ashbury District 30 min. This is what we did and honestly it was wonderful.

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1513) Trouble Coffee ( 4033 Judah St, SF)

This gem, located only a few shops down from the fabulous Outerlands is totally cool with interesting employees that will make a fabulous coffee for you and if you are up to it a slice of toast to tide you over before brunch at Outlerlands. It is hip, different and the coffee is delicious. My latte pictured left was perfection in a cup. Ever since I returned home I have dreamed and searched for a comparable coffee but alas, it looks like I will have to return to San Francisco and Trouble Coffee to get it.

3564) Sushiritto (226 Kearny Street SF, 415-544-9868)

This was the last meal I ate in San Francisco, and it was UNREAL. There is nothing even close to this in Toronto and I want to know why? Sushiritto is basically a sushi roll the size of a burrito that you eat with your hands, pictured left was my delicious lunch, a “Satori” that has Kampachi Yellowtail, Cucumber, Pickled Red Onion, Sweet Corn, Red Tobiko, Avocado, Wasabi Mayo for $13.00 it was amazing!  Located two minute from The Palace Hotel and the financial district, if you are a fan of sushi this is a MUST TRY.

There were other restaurants, street meals (Seafood chowder!) and take out snacks, but these were my favorites and now… I am feeling kind of hungry.

Coming up next : Getting around SFO. Transportation Options… BART, UBER, Feet

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What can you do with two days in San Francisco?

What can you do with two days in San Francisco?

So you have two days in San Francisco, what are the “best” ways to spend your time? Here is what I did and what I thought was good, bad and well, skippable….

The Good

2791) Alcatraz : Make sure you book your tickets online before you leave for SFO. We booked ours only 4 days prior and lucked out, there were tickets available. I checked today and there are no tickets left for a month, so PLAN EARLY! You book the tickets with the  National Parks Service, It is $30.00 for the ferry to the island and a super interesting audio tour of the cell block. Yes, it is touristy, yes there are lots of people but it is worth going! I think this attraction would likely appeal to kids eight and older only though. I saw lots of families dragging their kids around and thought, ugh, no thanks. There is no food or drink for sale on the island so make sure you don’t arrive hungry.

The ferry ride to Alcatraz is fantastic. Be sure to stand on the Port side of the ferry for best views of the city and photo ops. We even saw a dolphin, actually a “Harbour Porpoise”  on our way to “The Rock” Time needed 2-3 hours.

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2) Ride A Cable Car : Man was this ever fun, for $6.00 you can hop on a Cable Car and be whisked up the hill from Market Street to Fisherman’s Warf. This is a MUST DO. Everyone on board is having fun, laughing and enjoying something that is incredibly unique to the city. Time needed 30 minutes.

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3) Visit Lombard Street “The Crookedest Street”

Lombard Street is a stop that you don’t want to miss, billed as the Crookedest street because it220

has 8 hairpin turns It is really interesting to watch the cars wind their way down the street, pedestrians can walk down steps that are surrounded by stunning flowerbeds with hydrangea’s, bougainvillea’s and fabulous apartments.  You have a fantastic view from the top of the hill. Just make sure you walk DOWN the hill rather than up, unless you want a big work out! Time needed 30 minutes

4) Golden Gate Park

196To be honest we just breezed into the park and did not spend nearly enough time here. I think you could budget 5 hours or more here and we only spent about 45 minutes. The main reason for our visit was to visit the de Young museum of fine art. The view of the park from the look out tower in the museum was breathtaking. If there is one attraction I feel that I did not get to see enough of it is the Golden Gate Park and the Museums and Japanese Tea Garden, on my next visit I will plan to spend a day here for sure. Time needed: 45 minutes this time…next time 6 Hours.

3235) Golden Gate Bridge (See Separate Post on this coming soon) My sister and I did a hike along the Bridge to Sausalito. We arrived at Fort Point ($15.00 Uber ride from the Palace hotel) at 7:00AM and then hiked for almost two hours to Sausalito. This to is a must do, if hiking for two hours is not your thing you can just walk the bridge, take some pictures from the other side and then return to the city. Time needed: One hour to walk the bridge only.

6) Visit the Mission District (See Separate post coming soon regarding dining in the Mission.) We went to the Mission with our hipster friends for lunch, it is a super cool place to visit with a great selection of restaurants and bars. Time Needed 2 -3 hours depending on if you visit for lunch or dinner.

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7) Visit Ocean Beach

Ahh Ocean Beach, like The Mission we ventured here initially for food and to try out what was listed as the best Brunch in San Diego at Outerlands with our super cool friends Bridget and Gareth. (review coming soon) It did not disappoint and the area is fabulous. After Brunch a walk to the beach and on to the Golden Gate Park, this  is a not to miss morning out in San Francisco. Time needed 3 hours.

The Bad

Fisherman’s Wharf: This was probably the biggest let down for me in San Francisco. I had visions of a real working Wharf with Fishermen, Sailors and market stalls, but it, alas, like so many parts of the world is just a “Disneyfication” of a Wharf. There are piers and boats but also lots of chain restaurants and tourists.  Lots of ice cream eating, stroller pushing groups of tourists. Lots of T-shirt stalls, Low end souvenir stores, basically a Tourist Trap. You have to catch the ferry to Alcatraz from this area, so you will see it, just get in and get out. There are a bunch of sea lions lying on Pier 39 but what you have to walk through to get there is not worth it! I would only do Fisherman’s Wharf if I was with kids as they would like the Sea Lions but man getting through the hoards of Tourists to see them is likely not worth it.

Skippable

Chinatown : If you, like me, live in a city that has a relatively large China Town, you may find the Chinatown in San Francisco a bit of a let down. We walked through Chinatown from Fisherman’s Warf back to Union Square, it was an enjoyable stroll but nothing I would say I had to do again.

Union Square: Again, this is a square, like many other squares in America that have shiny stores around it, commercial, Blah…. You will likely walk through it on your way to a restaurant, bar or hotel so don’t worry about prioritizing a visit here.

Up Next : Where to eat in San Francisco. YUMMMMMMYYYY.

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Above: San Francisco and Alcatraz taken from the Port side of the Ferry.

Where to Stay In San Francisco? The Palace of course. The Palace Hotel Review.

Where to Stay In San Francisco?  The Palace of course. The Palace Hotel Review.

After travelling to Paris and staying in less than stellar accommodation, I made a promise to myself NEVER to stay in a substandard hotel when visiting a city. After spending the day sightseeing,  walking and enjoying the city, there is nothing better than retreating to your Luxury Accommodation, and The Palace did not disappoint. Accommodation in San Francisco is on the pricey side, but The Palace is a solid choice.  At $305 per night I am pretty sure there is not another hotel that offers the superior service, great location and super comfy beds that we found.

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On Arrival you are greeted by a gorgeous fresh flower display, and the tea room (below) is stunning. Being a historical hotel the reception area is a little blah, It reminded me of the Waldorf Astoria in New York, but the very bubbly check in staff brightened up the space and before we knew it we were whisked up to our room.

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The Room:  We requested a quiet room  and that is exactly what I got. I have travelled enough to know that it may be exciting to look out of a window and see the bustling street view below, but this is not conducive to good sleeping, a large city always has its sirens and street noise.

The Palace has rooms on an inside court which are absolutely quiet, peaceful and wonderful. I read complaints on Trip Advisor that people were disappointed with this view, I will take a quiet room at night over a view when I am staying in a city. So, If you are staying at the Palace in San Francisco, ask for a courtyard view if you want a perfect, quiet sleep. The beds are heavenly, the towels plush, robes and slippers, perfect. You get a great amenity kit which is perfect when flying with carry on only.

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The Public Areas : 090We made a trip to the Pied Piper Bar and Grill for a drink and were treated to fabulous service and outstanding cocktails. We were made to feel very special as the staff were extremely attentive.  When my sister asked about the type of liquor in a specific cocktail, they literally brought out all the liquor that was in the said cocktail and had her taste each one.

The Pool and Gym: After walking for pretty much an entire day, a soak in the Jacuzzi and a quick swim was on the menu. The Gym was well supplied with all the necessary equipment and the Pool and Jacuzzi were fist rate.

The Tea room/ Breakfast room : This gorgeous and I mean gorgeous space is perfect for afternoon tea, a quick coffee in the morning or a lavish breakfast.

Special shout out to Alyssa in Sales, for checking in with me and making sure that everything was perfection. We had a great stay, I just need to stay longer next time!  If you are looking for some luxury, I would definitely recommend the Palace. It has a great location, wonderful staff and offers, peace and tranquility from all the sights and sounds of San Francisco.

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Tips: Request a room on an inside court for peace and quiet.

The BART station is right in front of the hotel, so if you want to take the train from the Airport, it is literally door to door service for $9.00 per person vs $35.00 for an UBER car.

Coming up next, what to do with two days in San Francisco.

San Francisco – Ya, its totally awesome.

San Francisco – Ya, its totally awesome.

074So, after hearing from everyone how fabulous San Francisco is, I finally got to see it for myself. It was a whirlwind of outstanding food, interesting attractions, gorgeous scenery, laughs with good friends and lots of selfies. I will post reviews of the following:

The Palace Hotel

Attractions: Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Warf, The Golden Gate Park and more.

Dining Options: Salumeria, Trouble Coffee,  Three Nine Eight, Sushirrito, Outerlands.

Golden Gate Bridge Sausalito Hiking

Uber Ride Service and getting around SFO.

Pictured above, me being oh so cool as we cruise to our lunch spot in The Mission District,  Salumeria. Review coming soon.

Two nights in San Francisco is not enough, we were non-stop action all the time. If time permits I would suggest three nights at a minimum. But, if you, like me only have two nights to spare you can see a lot of the city, just be prepared to walk till you drop. Review of the Palace coming up tomorrow.

Picture below, Ocean Beach.

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