I travelled to San Francisco in August, 2017, with it being my first ever trip to the US, I fell in love with the city. What was it that really took my heart in San Francisco? The food? The culture? The vibrancy? The food? The sea lions on pier 39? Did I mention the food?
A Disappointing Start..
I suppose you could say I was rather disappointed with the first stop we made in San Fran. After my 11 hour flight, I met my dad and his girlfriend and we headed straight to the accommodation, dropped our bags off and set out straight away, not wanting to waste our first day. We beelined straight up to pier 39, one of the main tourist attractions, where there is everything from Asian restaurants to cowboy themed shops. It was FAR too crowded for me, too much going on, but not enough REAL San Francisco.
We had a boat tour going from this very pier, and not knowing our way round, we decided to get some food before we set sail. The restaurant we chose to go too was unfortunately less than memorable, and more than expensive, definitely not worth what we payed. We vowed from this point on not to eat in such touristy places, but to ask our taxi drivers or other locals we made friends with for the best spots for food. The boat ride under the Golden Gate was super enjoyable, but pretty cold, though we did see a huge whale which made up for it.
Escape from Alcatraz
After our rather disappointing start, we headed over to see Alcatraz, (or Azkaban as I kept calling it, I’m the worst with place names..) This was one of the most eye opening experiences, we all hear how Alcatraz was this amazing fortress. With the guided headphone tour, we saw the EXACT cells of the prisoners that escaped, and it talked us through exactly how they escaped, which I found amazing. I love anything slightly mysterious or crime related, so this was right up my street.
However, what I didn’t realise about Alcatraz, was the huge impact it had on the lives of the Native American activists that took over the island once the prison had shut down. They stayed there for over two years, 19 months to be exact, after their demands to the U.S. government, which we to provide funding for it to be turned into a Native America cultural centre and university! This really intrigued me, and I loved seeing all the graffiti from their time on the island.
We soon found out the place to go for food was The Mission District, and started out on our second night at Loló, an amazing Mexican restaurant, with tapas style servings accompanied by brightly decorated walls in a fun and busy setting. We absolutely loved it, and even though they suggested about 6 small plates between us, we ordered 9 as the menu has so much choice. I especially remember the kale salad and grilled beef tacos being amazing. They have a huge variety of vegetarian and gluten free options available, so something for everyone! Check out their website here!
The second place I believe to be worth mentioning is Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, this was honestly one of the most amazing breakfasts I have ever had! I believe there are more than one bistro, and they don’t just do breakfasts, however we went to the one at 3150 24th Street, and it was so nice. The decor was stunning, lots of old photo frames hung over the walls, thought do note it is rather small, so we had perhaps a 15 min wait for a table, but this didn’t bother us and was totally worth it. I had the corned beef hash, and it was unbelievable. We all said it was one of the best places we have eaten at. Head over to their website here!
Food for thought..
I just wanted to emphasise that this is not a payed or sponsored post, neither of the restaurants above even know I am writing this, and I visited them nearly a year ago! I am a massive believer in sharing ideas and experiences, both good and bad! So, if you happen to be in the area, or planning a trip to San Fran, make sure to check all these places out ~ any questions and feel free to get in contact with me!