Insider's San Francisco
Collected by Jenna Francisco , AFAR Local Expert
San Francisco is a tiny city with tons to experience. Even though I live just 2 hours away, I never feel like I have enough time to really get to know this culturally rich city. That means I turn to local people for advice. Here are some insider tips from those who know the best of San Francisco.
Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
San Francisco, CA, USA
Consistently rated one of the best food trucks in San Francisco, The Chairman is a culinary delight! They have a small menu of steamed and baked buns with exotic fillings (including a great vegetarian offering), but everything is unique,...
449 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Miette describes themselves as San Francisco’s most charming pastry shop, and it would be hard to disagree. Bright, colorful, and cheerful, these American takes on classic pastries are some of the best you’ll find in the city. Miette (which means...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
It's no wonder that on any given weekday afternoon, the line for ice cream at this legendary San Francisco establishment goes out the door and wraps around the block. Once you try it for yourself, you'll understand: it's just that good. With...
150 Stockton St, Level Four, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
For a chic stop on a San Francisco tour, take the Neiman Marcus elevator to the fourth floor and dine at The Rotunda. The lunch menu is varied and contains "light" options for the ladies who lunch. Travelers can revel in a quiet respite just off...
Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
Polk Gulch, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
ArKi is short for The Architect’s Kitchen since the owner, Tim Setiawan, used to be an architect before he got into the business of serving divine beignet-style donuts, fried to order, served piping hot and delicious. The truck offers several...
1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
This is a very special place in Berkeley for several reasons. First the cheese and the pizza - which draws huge lines - are amazing! But its location in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto directly across the street from Chez Panisse is cemented in history...
442 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Despite its tongue-in-cheek name, this sweets shop and cafe located in the gritty Tenderloin district is one of my favorite finds in San Francisco. The salted caramels here melt in your mouth. They also have a good variety of coffees from...
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
If Chinatown is one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods, continue walking for another ten minutes and you’ll arrive at one of its newest attractions, the Ferry Building. Actually, the building itself is not new, having been completed in...
San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
The Vaillancourt Fountain is located in a large open square right across the street from the Ferry Building. After getting your foodie fix at the Ferry Building, or possibly after arriving after your cruise around the bay, it's worth stopping by...
Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...