SF TOURISM



"Where do you recommend shopping/dining/visiting in San Francisco?"

We get asked this CONSTANTLY, so we've compiled here the places Dyanna and JT frequent. For a fairly complete listing of just about ALL of San Francisco's vintage/thrift stores--go HERE.

These are not paid endorsements nor are they guarantees of a great experience. Read on, use what you will, and enjoy your stay in San Francisco.

HAIGHT STREET - Pretty much all the stores are worth going into and browsing if you have time. These three are our personal favorites:
0. Wasteland (1660 Haight Street)
1. Static (1764 Haight Street)
2. Held Over (1543 Haight Street)

MISSION DISTRICT - Dyanna can shop all day in these stores:
0. Goodwill (Corner of Van Ness and Mission)
1. Thrift Town (17th and Mission)
2. Mission Thrift (2330 Mission)
3. Community Thrift (623 Valencia)
4. Salvation Army (1500 Valencia)
5. Schauplatz (791 Valencia)

NIGHTLIFE - We like to go to these bars. We don't do clubs:
0. Castle Edinburgh (950 Geary) - Go to 1964 or on the weekend.
1. The Knockout (3223 Mission) - Go almost any night, but obviously, fridays and saturdays are best.

DINING - We like the food from these restaurants. They are all affordable with the exception of Slanted Door, which is somewhat pricey.
0. Aux Delices (2327 Polk) - Really tasty, clean, and charming mid-range Vietnamese restaurant. Order the Crispy Garlic Chicken and the beefsteak.
1. Tai Chi (2031 Polk) - Our favorite Chinese delivery joint. Your can order General Tso's Chicken or Orange Beef online! Convenient.
2. Slanted Door (1 Ferry Building) - Epic view of the bay. Decent vietnamese food. Order anything, it will be tasty. Kind of an expensive menu. Get a window table--you're paying for the ambiance and the view.
3. Out the Door (1 Ferry Building/845 Market/2232 Bush) - A cheaper version of the Slanted Door. 3 locations. Order spring rolls. The rest of the food doesn't compare to San Jose Vietnamese food, but it'll suffice.
4. Blue (2337 Market) - A tasty and affordable American restaurant in the Castro. Get the ribs if they have them, otherwise--order anything.
5. Brenda's (652 Polk)- Best Creole brunch in town. Get the crawfish beignet and die happy.
6. Tad's Steak (120 Powell) - Best cheap steak in town. (I prefer the Palace Steak House but they closed.) I don't like expensive steak joints. I can cook it better myself. I like this place when I am too lazy to grill a steak at home. If you must have an expensive aged steak, try Harris' on Van Ness.
7. Burrito Express 2 (1812 Divisadero) or Nick's Crispy Tacos (1500 Broadway) - some of the BEST crispy tacos in town. Definitely get some agua fresca too. Melon flavour.
8. Fresca (170 O'Farrell) - Tasty tacos in the basement of Macy's by Top Chef MASTER--Rick Bayless. Use the green lime sauce. Bomby.
9. Citrus Club (1790 Haight) - Good asian noodle joint on the Haight. Get the Jade noodles with shrimp. Divine.
10. Chow (215 Church) - Good all-around American restaurant. There's more than one location. Order anything.
11. Sparky's (242 Church)- Across from Chow. 24 hour hipster diner. They deliver. Curly fries. Enough said.

TOURISTY STUFF - These are worthwhile activities.
0. Chinatown is crowded and touristy, but still kinda fun.
1. The Embarcadero is clean, pretty, and easy to get to. You can see the Bay Bridge.
2. Golden Gate Park can be pretty as well. Ideally, you should ride a bike through it.
3. Golden Gate Bridge can take a while to get to. Walking across it is pleasant.
4. Academy of Sciences is kinda expensive, but worth the admission if that's your bag.
5. Conservatory of Flowers is beautiful and inexpensive to visit.
6. SF MoMA is worth a look if you enjoy modern art.
7. Union Square is a theme park, but still fun to walk around and shop.
8. Westfield Centre is a picturesque shopping mall with many levels.
9. Alcatraz can be somewhat interesting, but requires a ferry ride to visit.
10. Hayes Valley is a safe and fun place to walk around and shop.
11. Polk Street is a slightly grittier place to walk around and shop.
12. Dolores Park is where you will see all of SF's hipsters. It's a must see on a nice day. You get a great view of the city from the highest point of the park.

JT'S WARNINGS:
0. Be careful with beggars. Ignore or decline politely, walk on. I do not advise handing out money or change. But do as you wish.
1. Be careful in any dodgy-looking neighbourhoods. (The Tenderloin, Mission District, SoMa, Bayview, Bayshore, Hunter's Point, and Portrero Hill all have areas that have high crime activity.) Hold your purse/iPhone/expensive item tightly, close to yourself, and be vigilant. Indecent criminals will snatch them from your hands. I've seen it happen in to people on the street and on public transportation. Chances are, you are fine 99.9% of the time, most places in SF look scarier than they really are--but it only has to happen once. I want you to be safe.
2. Avoid the trolley/cable car. If you simply MUST ride it--don't wait in line. Follow the tracks until you get to the next stop. Then you can just hop on without waiting in that epic queue. You still have to pay $5.00 or whatever.
3. Instead of the cable car, take a Muni Ride or BART ride for a true San Francisco experience. It isn't pleasant, but I think it's a must if you want to see how locals truly get around town. If you can ride one--try to obtain a bicycle. Riding around SF is sublime. Don't be timid. We have bicycle lanes.
4. Avoid Fisherman's Wharf. That is NOT San Francisco.
5. Avoid Alamo Square. It's just a quiet park surrounded by pretty houses.

We hope you enjoy your time in San Francisco--and see the good things about it that we see.

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If you're looking for a NY Tourism page, you're going to be waiting a while. Dyanna is very busy, and not nearly as patient or kind hearted as JT when it comes to doling out tourist recommendations. She advices checking out some of the New York happenings on this website