A Weekend City Guide to San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A couple weeks ago, I made a short trip to the west coast. I was mainly there to visit Stanford's campus (Eek! But that's another story for another day), but that only took up my Friday so I decided to make a weekend out of it and spend a couple days in San Francisco. It so happened that my friend Willa was also there that weekend and I was more than happy to have a travel buddy!


Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building
Ferry Building Marketplace - One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA
The Ferry Building is one of my favorite places in SF. I come here every time I'm in SF. There is pretty much a store dedicated to every one of my favorite foods, and I especially love going to the farmer's market that opens on Saturdays to check out all the vendors. Here are a few of my favorite stops:
~ Coffee at the Blue Bottle Coffee Company
~ Ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe
~ Pretty sweets and pastries at Miette
~ Steamed pork buns at Imperial Tea Court
~ Dried fruit (think apricots and nectarines) at Frog Hollow Farm
~ The best fried eggs and cheese on toast at il Cane Rosso (a new discovery for me)

Shopping at Union Square
ALL the shopping packed into one central area. I didn't take any photos, but my Willa and I spent a solid six hours shopping :P. There are all the usual suspects - Jcrew, Madewell, Nordstrom, Tory Burch, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, etc. But there are also some of the more specialty retail stores like Jins (prescription glasses from Japan) and Barney's (maybe not as special but it's not in Minneapolis :/ ).

Dinner at Brenda's French Soul Food
Brenda's French Soul Food - 652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA
This was my second time at this restaurant and it was just as good, if not better than the first! Come here for good ol' comforting soul food. They don't take reservations, but we got to the restaurant around six in the evening on a Saturday and only had to wait around 20 minutes. The service is fast too. Some of my favorite dishes - shrimp and grits (soooooo good!), catfish des allemands, and the garlic shrimp gratin (this dish takes longer to prepare but it's worth it, beware it's surprisingly spicy, in the best way!).


Window shopping, coffee, and mani-pedis on Union Street
Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters - 2771 Union St, San Francisco, CA
We had a slow start on Sunday morning and by the time we got to our brunch spot, there was a line (no surprise here). Not about to let a little wait ruin our day, we decided to stroll along Union Street and window shop until a table opened up. The houses in the area (Pacific Heights / Marina District) are gorgeous and my friends all think I'm weird I couldn't help but stop every ten steps or so to take photos. Along the way, we stumbled upon Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and got some delicious lattes to wake us up!

Nails 2001 - 2213 Union St, San Francisco, CA
As we were walking, we noticed quite a few manicure salons on that same street and we promptly booked ourselves some mani-pedis for after brunch. The best part - it only cost me thirty dollars for a mani and a pedi!!! Wut... that is unheard of in Minneapolis and they did such a great job. By the time we were done exploring, our table was waiting for us.

Brunch at Rose's Cafe
Rose's Cafe - 2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA
This cafe is perfect for a slow Sunday morning, it has the cutest Parisian decor that makes you just want to sip on a cup of coffee and lazily watch the passerby's. We indulged in some breakfast pizzas (it was really already lunch time) - smoked salmon with creme fraiche and scrambled eggs for Willa, breakfast pizza with smoked ham, fontina and eggs for me. I couldn't finish it all, and the second half of the pizza made for a good dinner.

Take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay area
Battery Spencer - Conzelman Rd, Sausalito, CA
With our tummies full and happy, we were ready to stretch our legs a bit. We decided to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to the other side which is Sausalito. There are a few areas where you can stop for photos, but my favorite is Battery Spencer. You can also drive / hike further along the hill for different views of the bridge and the SF skyline. The weather was wonderful that day (slightly chilly with a breeze) for a little hike but we didn't have much time. Hiking or a mini camping trip in Sausalito is now on my to-do list!

I would also recommend biking across the bridge if you've never done it. You'll get to enjoy the scenery from a different perspective and you can catch the ferry back to the city. Be prepared to be surrounded by lots of tourists though!

Pre-Flight Snacks and Drinks at the View
The View - 39, 780 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
Before catching a red-eye back for work the next day, I managed to squeeze in a meet-up with one of my friends who recently moved to SF. She suggested that we meet at the View, aptly named for its good views of the city. It wasn't too crowded and I easily snagged us a couple spots by the signature large arched window. Good conversation accompanied by a view of San Francisco all lit up by night - the perfect ending to a short weekend in San Francisco.

I hope this gives you some good ideas for the next time you visit SF!

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