San Francisco bound...

Just booked a trip end of July to San Francisco to run the half marathon there. Never been.

Looking for suggestions on shopping, eating, design sights, etc.

Also open to hotel / AirBnB suggestions. I have Hotel Tomo booked which looks pretty hip and (I think) centrally located in Japantown, but I’ve never been there so all I could go off was the reviews and map. Race starts near Embarcado Plaza so want to be somewhat close as I need to get to the start by 5am or so (!). At under 2 mi, looks like I could run/walk it or cab I would think.

Any thoughts or ideas welcome! Core77 forums have always been a great travel resource!



[ Deleted ]

Super, thanks, Keno. Keep the suggestions coming!


Hey Richard I’ll have to come back and keep adding suggestions

Beer/Bar: Lagunitas Brewery is nearby, Harper and Rye, Zeitgeist for a dive bar scene

Food: Leopolds (good German food), Blue Barn (Sandwich/Salad spot, super fresh), Brenda’s French Soul Food for brunch (long wait, be aware)
Saigon Sandwich (hole in the wall vietnamese sandwiches, super cheap and incredible), The House (Asian Fusion, sorta pricey)

I’ll come back and add more design spots and stuff to do later!

Oh man Aaron, I think you need to raise the standards for Richard. :slight_smile:

Bar: Rickhouse: (best Old Fashioned in the city)

Wayfare Tavern: (might be my favorite restaurant in the city, and that is saying something. You get a popover when you are seated)
Quince (maybe my second favorite)
Perbacco: near the Trans America building (check that out)
Tacolicious (coming from someone who lives in SoCal, dang good tacos)


Coffe shops/pasteries (breakfast):
LaBoulange (Starbucks bought it, but I still love it)
Blue Bottle in Mint Square

Neighborhoods to see: Hayes Valley, Upper Filmore (Pac Heights), Union St (Cow Hollow). Also, the top of Lombard (the curvy st) is a great view.

Some of my favorite hidden spots in SF:

Aquatic Park Pier/Maritime Museum: the Maritime museum is an art deco/nautical modern gem. The Pier curves way out into the bay and has great views of both the golden gate, bay bridge and alcatraz. Stop at St Frank Coffee on the way:

Maritime Plaza: this is an urban hiking must see. You feel like you on a city st, but if you look around you will see there are stair cases and up there is basically an above street level park. Totally open to the public but no one realizes it. Views of the bay and feel alone in the middle of the city. A bunch of buildings all connect together up there including all of the Embarcadero Center buildings, Maritime building, and Gateway apartments. While you are over there pop into the Hyatt regency which has one of the largest concrete atrium spaces in the US.

St Mary’s Cathedral. I’m not a church kind of person, but this place is amazing:,_California)

and of course, The Xanadu Gallery in Union Sq designed by Frank Lloyd Wright:

Haha my apologies Richard and Michael :smiley: ! I haven’t had much downtime to explore the city yet now I feel like a bum after Michael’s list!

Maybe my coffee suggestions will be better:

Four Barrel
The Mill (Really good toast for breakfast)

I can’t keep up with the high class stuff :astonished:

Ha. Michael. I think we share similar tastes.

Thanks for the suggestions both. I’m taking note of them all and excited for the trip. Can’t believe I’ve probably been to over 20 countries but never out to Cali.

Now just need to start hill training for the race. Good thing I’ll burn likely over 2500 Calories just on race day so I can not feel bad about all the good food and drinks later in the trip :slight_smile:


To YO’s excellent restaurant list, I’d add:

State Bird Provisons
Saison (one of the best meals I have ever had)

…and of course the ever popular NOPA

I do dig Mission Chinese too but maybe it’s past its prime?

The Wayfare Tavern is solid but I just really don’t that like Tylor Florence guy :wink:

If you have the time, bike or run over the Golden Gate Bridge and get breakfast at Cibo in Suacalito. Excellent pastries. I recommend the home made pop tarts.

Yes, totally agree with @Yo on going over the Golden Gate Bridge and getting into Sausalito. I would also recommend a place called “Fish” for lunch. Awesome fish tacos and chips with guac.

If you like whiskey - bourbon and rye varieties - do yourself a favor and hit Hard Water.

On the Embarcadero. While tourists tend to wander in, try not to mind them (you’re one of them, after all). Talk to your waiter about the types of whisky you prefer and enjoy a few good pours.

My recco: anything from Thomas H. Handy 2009-2015. They’re all priced the same and they’ll all satisfy.

Grab some fried chicken while you’re at it. Reward yourself for getting that 13.1 completed.

Speaking of, the Ferry Building is worth checking out.

Bump. Leaving this Thursday. Keep the recommendations coming! I’m taking notes.


Here are some good places I can think of.

Hooker’s Sweet Treats - tell them Magic Mike sent you :wink:
amazing chocolates and caramels, they also serve other desserts and Sightglass coffee. You can pick
up there chocolates elsewhere, but it’s always good to visit the originations point.

Sons & Daughters

Hyatt Regency Hotel - just walk through the lobby, it’s magical

City Beer Store -

If you are making the trip north to Lagunitas (or anywhere North for that matter) hit up
Russian River Brewing

If you find yourself in fishermans wharf area by anychance you should check out.

Its an arcade dedicated to old mechanical games. Super fun to play some marble baseball.

Seconding Fisherman’s Wharf for The Exploratorium:

. . . an awesome, experiential/educational science/tech/etc museum whose exhibits are some of the best I’ve seen: really great designs around communicating abstract concepts in extremely smart, effective, and interactive ways. A great place. Of course with requisite funky gift shop full of cheap to expensive fun things.