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Things to Do in San Francisco and the Best Restaurants

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

San Francisco is a city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island to vibrant neighborhoods like the Mission District and the Financial District, there's something for everyone to see and experience. The city is also known for its delicious food scene, featuring everything from casual street food to upscale Michelin-starred restaurants.


Whether you're looking for delicious seafood, classic American cuisine, or a taste of San Francisco's famous sourdough bread, there's a restaurant for every taste and budget. In this article, we'll look at some of the best things to do in San Francisco and the best restaurants to check out.


Guest Blogger: Patricia Hart, Freelancer, and Travel Lover


Table of Content: "Things to Do in San Francisco and the Best Restaurants"


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San Francisco, also known as the City by the Bay, is a vibrant and diverse city located in the northern part of California. Known for its iconic landmarks, beautiful views, and delicious food, Many tourists visit San Francisco in order to experience the best of the West Coast. This article will explore some of the top things to do in San Francisco and the best restaurants to try while you're there.


Top Things to Do in San Francisco


One of the top things to do in San Francisco is to take a tour of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge spans the Golden Gate Strait, connecting the city to Marin County, and offers breathtaking views of the bay and the city skyline. Visitors can walk or bike across the bridge, or take a guided tour for a more in-depth experience.



Another must-see attraction in San Francisco is Alcatraz Island. This infamous island was once home to a maximum-security prison, and it now serves as a historical site and museum. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and take a tour of the prison, learning about its history and the famous inmates who were held there.


If you're looking to experience the city's vibrant culture, head to the Mission District. This neighborhood is known for its street art, music, and delicious street food. Visitors can explore the colorful murals that adorn the buildings, visit the local art galleries and shops, and try some of the area's famous burritos and tacos.


Another great way to experience the city's culture is to visit the Exploratorium. This interactive science museum is a great place for both kids and adults to learn about science and technology in a fun and engaging way.



Unique things to do in San Francisco

that you might not find in other cities


  • Take a ride on the famous Cable Cars: San Francisco's cable cars are a National Historic Landmark and one of the city's most iconic symbols. They offer a unique and fun way to see the city, and a ride on one of these historic vehicles is a must-do for any visitor.

  • Visit the California Palace of the Legion of Honor: This museum is home to an impressive collection of European art, including works by Rembrandt, Monet, and Degas. The museum is located in a beautiful building that is a replica of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur in Paris, and it's set in a lovely park with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Explore the murals of the Mission District: The Mission District is home to a vibrant street art scene, and visitors can explore the colorful murals that adorn the buildings in the neighborhood. Some murals have a political or social message, others are just there for the beauty of it.

  • Visit the Museum of Ice Cream: This interactive museum is dedicated to all things ice cream, and it's a fun and unique destination for visitors of all ages. The museum features interactive exhibits, installations, and of course, ice cream tastings.

  • Go on a sunset sail under the Golden Gate Bridge: Take a sunset sail on a boat under the Golden Gate Bridge and see the city from a different perspective. This is a unique and romantic way to experience one of the world's most famous landmarks.

  • Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA): The SFMOMA is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the United States. The museum offers a rotating selection of exhibitions from around the world.



Best Restaurants in San Francisco


North Beach


North Beach is a neighborhood in San Francisco known for its Italian-American heritage, and it's a great place to experience the city's delicious food scene. The neighborhood is home to a variety of Italian restaurants, cafes, and bakeries that serve up authentic Italian dishes and delicious pastries.


One of the most popular Italian restaurants in North Beach is Tony's Pizza Napoletana. This historic pizzeria is known for its authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, made with fresh ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven. They also serve antipasti, pasta, and seafood dishes.


Another popular Italian restaurant in North Beach is Mama's. This family-owned restaurant is known for its classic American-Italian dishes, such as lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, as well as for its warm and friendly atmosphere.


For a more upscale dining experience, head to Perbacco. This Michelin-starred restaurant serves up modern Italian cuisine, featuring dishes such as risotto with saffron and seafood, and handmade pasta.


For a taste of traditional Italian pastries and coffee, head to Liguria Bakery. This historic bakery has been serving up delicious focaccia and other baked goods since 1911.


If you're looking for a casual spot with a great atmosphere, head to Caffè Trieste. This historic café has been serving up delicious coffee and pastries since 1956, and it's known for its live music and poetry readings.


These are just a few of the many excellent Italian restaurants and cafes in North Beach, San Francisco. The neighborhood is a great place to experience the city's delicious food scene, and it's a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Italian-American cuisine.


Ferry Building Marketplace


The Ferry Building Marketplace is a historic building located on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The building was originally built in 1898 as a terminal for ferries crossing the bay, and it has been converted into a gourmet food market featuring a wide variety of local and organic products, including produce, cheese, meat, and seafood. The market also features several restaurants and cafes, making it a great destination for foodies looking to sample some of the best food San Francisco has to offer.


One of the most popular restaurants in the Ferry Building Marketplace is Hog Island Oyster Co. This seafood restaurant is known for its fresh oysters and other seafood dishes, as well as its beautiful views of the bay. They also offer a raw bar and a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.


Another popular restaurant in the Ferry Building Marketplace is The Slanted Door. This upscale Vietnamese restaurant serves up a modern take on traditional Vietnamese cuisine, featuring dishes such as spring rolls, pho, and lemongrass chicken.


For a more casual dining experience, head to Gott's Roadside. This popular restaurant serves up classic American fare such as burgers, shakes, and fries.


For a taste of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, head to Cowgirl Creamery. The shop serves up delicious cheeses from local and regional producers, along with sandwiches and salads.


For a sweet treat, head to Acme Bread, a bakery that serves up delicious bread and pastries made with organic flour, and also has a café.


These are just a few of the many excellent restaurants and food shops available at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. The market is a great place to experience the city's delicious food scene, and it's a must-visit destination for anyone looking to sample some of the best food the Bay Area has to offer.


State Bird Provisions


State Bird Provisions is a Michelin-starred restaurant located in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood. The restaurant is known for its unique and delicious take on American cuisine, featuring dishes such as quail with black garlic and ginger, and seafood with sorrel. The restaurant is also known for its small plates and dim sum-style service, where dishes are served from carts and trays that are brought to the table.


The restaurant is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. The menu changes daily and focuses on using seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is known for its inventive use of ingredients and flavors, as well as its attention to detail in the presentation.


The restaurant's atmosphere is relaxed and intimate, with a casual yet elegant decor. The service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the wine list features a wide variety of California wines.


State Bird Provisions has received critical acclaim, including a Michelin star, and has been named one of the best restaurants in America by the James Beard Foundation. It's a must-visit destination for foodies looking for an innovative and delicious dining experience in San Francisco.


Saison


Saison is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant located in San Francisco's Mission District. The restaurant is known for its modern take on French cuisine, featuring dishes such as duck with blackcurrant and foie gras. The menu changes daily, and the restaurant focuses on using seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.


Saison is helmed by Chef Joshua Skenes and his team, who are known for their precise and minimalist approach to cooking. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list, with a focus on natural and biodynamic wines, and a variety of beverage pairing options.


The restaurant's atmosphere is elegant and refined, with minimalist decor and an open kitchen. The service is attentive and knowledgeable, and the restaurant has received critical acclaim for its food and service.


Saison is considered one of the best restaurants in San Francisco and the United States. It's a must-visit destination for foodies looking for an upscale and sophisticated dining experience.



Conclusion


In conclusion, San Francisco is a city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island to vibrant neighborhoods like the Mission District and the Financial District, there's something for everyone to see and experience. The city also boasts a thriving food scene, featuring everything from casual street food to upscale Michelin-starred restaurants. Whether you're looking for delicious seafood, classic American cuisine, or a taste of San Francisco famous sourdough bread, there's a restaurant for every taste and budget. With so much to offer, San Francisco is a destination that should not be missed.



Travel Plan Your Next San Francisco Trip


This is a Food Travel Guide to San Francisco and Guide to Things to Do in San Francisco and the Best Restaurants. To start planning your travel to San Francisco, check out these helpful Travel Tips and Travel Resources:


  • Always start your Travel Planning by using a Trusted VPN Service like NordVPN to avoid Algorithms interfering with your multiple searches for the best price. It will save you a lot of money in your overall Travel Budget.

  • Check out Expedia for flights, stays, and car hire at your destination.

  • Find Hotels, Accommodations, and Rentals at Booking.

  • iVisa has the latest Travel recommendations and hassle-free online Visa applications.

  • Make sure you always Travel Safely and Awesome with Travel Insurance for Travelers from Safety Wing.

  • Create Travel Memories on your destination. Get Your Guide and find Tour Guides, Activities, and more things to do in San Francisco.



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