Affordable San Francisco
Collected by Murissa Shalapata , AFAR Local Expert
Sometimes you get to know a city more deeply by looking to see what's behind the pricy tourist spots and travel like a local.
3176 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Six bowling lanes, a full bar, and delicious "technique-driven comfort food" await you at Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco. Thoughtfully designed, this 21-and-up venue champions local artists by displaying their works on the wall. With indoor...
933 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
The line for burgers and fries at Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Refresher and don't you forget it) in St. Helena can be ridiculous in the afternoon, but if you go in the morning, you'll have your choice of picnic tables—either in front...
Chinatown, San Francisco, CA, USA
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Most dim sum places in the San Francisco Bay Area are pretty typical of what you can find in Asia, culture and all. And while I love authentic as much as the next person, there is a place that has elevated the art of the dumpling. I am not alone...
772 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A trip to San Francisco isn't complete without a stop in Chinatown and that usually means a dim sum lunch. We headed to New Asia after tastings of tea as suggested by the tea shop owner who lived in the area. New Asia certainly isn't your average...
730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens is a wonderful tea café called Samovar. This is the place for tea connoisseurs as they offer tea varieties from all over the world as well as limited edition teas. Samovar also offers tea and food pairings...
800 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Be surprised by the beauty of Diego Rivera's murals up close, at the San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut Street. This private art school was founded by Ansel Adam's and the work by Rivera can be found in the wall of the 'main gallery' once...
599 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Housed in the gorgeous Harrington Galleries space at 17th and Valencia in the Mission, this PUBLIC bicycles shop is not to be missed. Not only is each bicycle a work of art, but the presentation of the accessories and bike-inspired art will appeal...
220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
For a dose of culture, head to Park Life in the Inner Richmond. The goal of this gallery-cum-retail space is to feature today’s most engaging contemporary art. Located in a 1,400-square-foot former furniture store, Park Life showcases 10 exhibits...
570 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
On Market Street - that main thoroughfare of downtown San Francisco - there's a Japanese store that has everything for your traveler needs. Cheap. Most of the items sell for less than 5 bucks, but don't let that dissuade you. It's pastel colors,...
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
4519, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
In an age when many independent bookstores have surrendered to the advance of chain stores and Amazon, City Lights is a true survivor. Since it was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, it has served as a gathering place for San...
Jack Kerouac Alley, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
You may not see it if you don't look beneath your feet in the bustling and bombarding crowd within San Francisco's Chinatown. Once you stumble upon Kerouac Alley past the Vital Tea shop you'll notice you are standing before a plaque dedicated to a...
3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
This bakery just opened across the street from Woodshop. It’s a godsend. It’s been rough finding good coffee out here, but they serve Blue Bottle Coffee and breakfast sandwiches on house-baked biscuits.”
901 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA
Six years after opening its doors, Sol Food has become a Marin institution. I eat here several times each month (and post about it often, to the chagrin of some of my FB friends) so I've tried just about everything on the menu. Sandwiches make for...
1 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Cheese fan? Love the childhood favorite grilled cheese sandwich, but want something a little more sophisticated? The Melt is your answer. With several locations in the city as well as a food truck to boot, this restaurant has an interesting...
Pier 7, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Pier 7 is a secret. I have found myself there many times and never understand why there are rarely any crowds. At sunrise or sunset with your back to the city you can get gorgeous photos of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. The beautiful wooden...
364 9th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Serving only freshly made mochi in about six flavors daily you have to find and buy before they run out! They always have red bean and sesame but the other flavors change. This is the freshest mochi I have had outside of Japan and in some ways I...
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