San Francisco is one of those cities that excites and fascinates me. Its beautiful skyscrapers, famous bridges, and water views take my breath away whenever I am in this city and thankfully, I find myself in this town frequently.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to relocate to San Francisco and until this day it’s one of my biggest what ifs. What if I had moved there, how different would my life be? What if I experienced the city daily – would I still love it as much as I do now?
Never mind that this fascinating metropolitan was rated of the most expensive cities in the world and that my decision to stay put was only because I simply couldn’t afford to move there.
Yet, I still love it.
I enjoy flying into either San Francisco or Oakland airports and seeing the water below me and cityscape in the distance. I relish driving into the city and seeing the famous pyramid shaped building (one of my favorite structures). I adore the sight of the Bay Bridge lit up at night.
This city fills me with a sense of affection and happiness unlike any other. Especially because it also serves some of the most diverse and delicious meal options in the country. All you foodies out there are in for a real treat. Even the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf and The Embarcadero areas—filled with countless souvenir shops, thousands of daily tourists, and excursion options—include delectable choices. You just need to know where to go. Here are some of my favorites:
Boudin at the Wharf
Home of The Original San Francisco Sourdough, Boudin at the Wharf is famous for its sourdough bowls that are a must-try when you are in the area. This location offers casual setting and a menu including soup and chili bowls, burgers, pizzas, salads, and more. It also contains a demonstration bakery where you can watch bakers perfect their craft and a bakery museum. If this isn’t enough to tempt you, Boudin at the Wharf offers 2-3 hours of free validated parking—and parking in Fisherman’s Wharf can cost up to $50 a day!
Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Franciscan Crab Restaurant is one of those places that looks like a total tourist trap, but turns out to be one of the best places to visit in the city! Its menu provides options to please any palate, from its cheese and charcuterie spread, to pastas and steaks, and its famous Dungeness crab and seafood dishes. Since 1950, this restaurant has been visited by famous artists, presidents, Bay Area locals, and tourists—and there’s no question as to why: in addition to offering a delicious culinary experience, it also offers some of the most stunning views of Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge. When dining here or making reservations, ask to be placed at a window-side table, which will likely include binoculars to help you enjoy the view even more.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Hog Island Oyster Co. is located in the historic Ferry Building and offers a mouthwatering selection of fresh oysters from the Northern California coast, delicious chowders and stews, and one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches made with Cowgirl Creamery’s cheese. It also offers phenomenal cocktails, and breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge. Whenever I’m in the city I make it a point to come here, even if only for appetizers and cocktails. Note: they do not take reservations and the waiting lines can often be long.
Scoma’s Restaurant is a hidden gem among the piers of Fisherman’s Wharf and is a favorite for fresh seafood among Bay Area locals. The Scoma Family prides themselves in creating an Italian family setting serving the freshest seafood: “Early in the morning local fishermen bring their catch to Scoma’s pier. Our chef then selects the very best for our pier to plate menu.” – The Scoma Family. If you are a seafood lover and only have enough time to visit one seafood restaurant in this city, this place is it. Reservations are recommended and free valet parking is available!
The Slanted Door
Using the finest and freshest ingredients, including organic produce and humanely-raised meats, The Slanted Door’s Executive Chef Charles Phan creates a masterpiece of modern Vietnamese cuisine that will leave you beyond satisfied. Meals are worth ordering family style to ensure you taste as many plates as possible, all while enjoying expertly crafted cocktails. Located in the Ferry Building (directly across from Hog Island Oyster Co.), The Slanted Door is situated with views of the majestic Bay Bridge and connected to the Ferry Building Market Place where you must also spend time lost among the vendors. Reservations are a must.
Wishing you peace, love, adventure, and a fully belly,