After an memorable week in L.A, we flew up to San Francisco for a long weekend. Its somewhere we have been longing to visit for a long time, so the expectations were high! As with everywhere we ever go to – be it a European city or a tropical escape far away – I always research and try to gather as many local tips and recommendations as possible. The travel itinerary is something I start working on months in advance; its my pride and joy during our holiday and has been an absolute life – and time saver throughout our escapes. When that said, its not a strict itinerary – we both love to go off-track and just explore and discover without a plan and schedule (what a holiday is all about) – but its useful when you want to avoid the typical tourist traps and to fully experience the city through the eyes of a local.
After checking into our hotel (we stayed at the Clift Hotel) – we headed straight for breakfast at the organic Tartine Bakery. After queuing outside for 15 minutes at this popular place, we indulged in the the most delicious Croque Monsieur, with chanterelle and pickled carrots (not to mention mouthwatering pastries). Perfect start to the mini vacay!
Exploring the streets of the Misson district (also commonly called “The Mission”), San Francisco’s oldest neighbourhood – which hosts all the hottest new restaurants and galleries.
We ventured over to The Mill, for some seriously delicious bread and coffee (you can’t beat a slice of their cinnamon and caramelised sugar bread!).
Obligatory testing of the city’s greens from the Juice Shop in the charming area of Hayes Valley!
Shopping in the Mission!
Exploring the bohemian area of Haight Street, becoming particularly engrossed in the local organic market…
Dinner at Foreign Cinema, a Californian-Mediterranean fusion restaurant, situated in an outdoor space whilst showing old movies. Decent food in a magical setting!
An absolute MUST when in San Francisco on a Saturday morning – the Ferry Building Marketplace. With an abundance of food stalls with fresh produce, flowers, juice and mouthwatering meals for breakfast and lunch; make sure you come here with an empty stomach to sample fresh peaches, cheese, seafood and lemonade.
After feasting at the Ferry Building Marketplace – we rented some bikes and headed towards the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
A beautiful ride along the beach towards, and across the bridge – we continued towards Sausalito, a cute little village town with a picturesque high street, where we stopped for some wine and lunch at Barrel House Tavern, overlooking San Francisco from across the ocean.
One of the food highlights from our whole Californian adventure, was at the Japanese sushi restaurant Ichi – voted San Francisco’s best sushi since 2008, where we were fortunate to be seated at the bar for a Chefs Selection menu, being fed piece-by-piece by the owner himself. The experience and food was nothing less than spectacular…
Getting ready for day three in the city!
Brunch at Nopa – one of S.F.’s most popular weekend haunts – did not disappoint.
Exploring the charming Fillmore – one of the nicest areas we came across – filled to the brim with quirky boutiques, contemporary designer brands, cafes, galleries and restaurants.
After Fillmore, we wondered down to Union and Chestnut – two more lovely areas with equally as charming boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.
Last evening in San Franscico, en route to flour + water for dinner – a rustic restaurant serving up handcrafted Italian grub, including pasta, wood-fired pizza and seasonal salads.
San Francisco was a great city, with a multitude of contrasts, fun and vibrant areas, amazing food, incredible setting and unique athmosphere. Although, as with everything when you have very high expectations – one can often be left a bit disappointed. The city was great, but at times we found some of the areas a bit edgy (being warned by the locals of the many no-go zones) but after 2-3 days we got used to it and really started falling for the place. Its definitely somewhere we want to go back to and explore more – a long weekend simply scratched the surface – but, thanks to many useful, local recommendations – we left with amazing experiences and unforgettable impressions.
Now – let the road trip begin! Tune in for the last instalment of our Californian adventure next week.