Walter Cronkite once said, “Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible. ” THIS is so true. I just turned 31 and for my birthday I decided that I wanted to go back to the city where I went to university and show my husband around. Ugh, it was definitely difficult to leave and I actually had to hold back the tears as we drove out of the city. San Francisco is always bustling with people, things to do, places to see, events to attend–its purely magical.
I was single when I lived in SF 3 years ago, so the experience was completely different back then. I was in my mid twenties, a student, and free to stumble in and out of my sweet little Nob Hill studio as I pleased. This time around, we didn’t make it back out after dinner and a cat nap. What can I say? Thats just how the cookie is crumbling these days 🙂
What I was most excited for this trip was where we were going to eat.
My husband and I sometimes joke that we should become food critics because we love food THAT much. It is truly what makes us one. Corny? perhaps. True? absolutely! So, upon arriving (at 12 am), we decided that we were going to wait until we were done cruising Polk Street to check in to our hotel. Well, my husband forgot his passport in the car, and while it was only a few blocks away, we figured that we’d barely make it back in time for last call (think traffic, busy nightlife and LOTS of one way streets)
Instead of heading back, we got our phones out, searched Yelp for Thai (my favorite food) and found a little gem called Osha Thai in the Tenderloin district.–I really hate to say ‘be careful’ in this part of town because most of the panhandlers are totally mellow and don’t bother you if you don’t bother them, but get in where you feel most comfortable–The best part about this gem was that it was almost 1:30 and the restaurant was still jam packed. Ah, I just love a lively city. Apparently they are open until 3am on Saturdays. How cool is that?! The food was delicious and full of flavor. If you love your Thai–or even if you don’t, the Pad Thai and the Pad Keemao were absolutely delectable.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, checked in and called it a night. We had a long day of site seeing so we did the right thing skipping the bars. Our hotel, The Mystic Hotel, was so cute! We had a ton of Expedia points saved up so our room was only $65 a night! We were centrally located, the staff was amazing and everything was super nearby! We highly recommend staying here if you’re looking for something totally decent with an amazing price tag.
The entire next day we spent exploring the city. We went EVERYWHERE! We started by going in circles (courtesy of me, I’m so damn indecisive) then we settled on heading out to Hayes Valley for breakfast. We walked around a little, but since it was still early, there wasn’t much open. We stopped by the Grove for brunch. it’s truly a must eat.
Next we headed up to Alamo Square (Full House anyone?!). You have to visit this amazing little park if you want one of the better views of the city. Its gorgeous! on this particular day, the view was unobstructed and a clear blue. Bring a blanket, some wine and beer and your pup on a weekend and you’re golden until the sun goes down.
Afterwards, we made the short journey to Haight and Ashbury. Head over towards Masonic, turn left and walk until you hit Haight. You will go through the panhandle which is a really sweet park in the center of San Francisco. Haight and Ashbury is so fun, its a tourist trap-kinda, but its so fun! If you go, make sure you stay for dinner and head over to Cha Cha Cha’s. Their Spanish rice and shrimp is to die for and their sangria ain’t half bad either.
Then we bee lined it down to Zeitgeist, which is a super fun, punk bar beer garden. They have 64 different beers on tap(!)
You are pretty free to do what you want here. People were drinking (some, a little too much), smoking pot and just enjoying their Saturday afternoon. I was on Cloud 9 because my babe was having so much fun and it was my birthday 🙂
After hanging there for a couple of beers, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. We decided on Hayes Valley once again for food and it did not disappoint. I had always heard great things about Chez Maman but had never tried it. I always heard you need a reservation, but we didn’t have one and we just decided to charge it anyway. So glad we did. There was a fairly long wait but for some reason we only had to wait like 3 minutes before we were seated! Pure magic, I tell ya. I ordered the Mac n Cheese, which was covered by a crispy layer of melted cheese. It needed a little salt but I am always happy to add salt than the alternative. The hubby got salmon and it looked delish!
Sunday morning, we decided to walk over to China Town, since it is literally just around the corner from the Mystic. We were distracted by the Embarcadero to our left, so we headed down that way to see what the locals do on the weekends. The Embaracadero on a Sunday is a place where you can pick up food, try some restaurants and enjoy the waterfront.
After the Embarcadero, we headed back to our car and decided to head out. We were sad to leave San Francisco, but I knew that I would be back again. I am freaking obsessed with the city. There is so much to see and do, it truly makes for an amazing place to live and whomever gets to do so is incredibly lucky!
Some times taking a taxi is cheaper than taking an Uber. Check with a local taxi before you press confirm.
Places to eat:
CHA CHA CHA
MAMAS OCEAN BEACH
THE STINKING ROSE
Where to hang, drink and party:
TONGA ROOM TIKI BAR
COQUETA (THANKS, HONEY)
Sites to see:
UNION SQUARE DURING WINTER
ST IGNATIUS CHURCH
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
GOLDEN GATE PARK
What are some of your favorite SF spots?