Most of you are new around here and may not know that before we lived in Brooklyn, our story started in San Francisco. It’s the city where we first met, fell in love, got married in the beautiful City Hall, and started our family. A lot has changed since we last lived there, but it still will always feel a little bit like home.
Last week, we travelled back to the west coast to celebrate my Mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. While we were there, she and her wife took the kids for a few nights so Aaron and I could have some time to be alone in the city. 48 hours was just enough time for me to get out, explore, and see all my old favorites (plus a few new ones). So today I’m sharing with you my guide for how to spend 48 hours in San Francisco.
After arriving at SFO, hop in your car share of choice and make your way into the city. Drop off your bags at the Proper Hotel, where you’ll be checking in later. This hotel is new to the scene and owes it’s modern and whimsical design to Kelly Wearstler. Everything she touches pretty much turns to gold so you know you’re going to be in Instagram heaven here. Even the smallest rooms are decently sized, get good light, have bathrooms stocked with Aesop products, and a well appointed mini bar full of everything your heart could desire. Plus, you’ll get VIP access to Charmaine’s – the hotel’s hip rooftop bar (more on that later).
You can borrow a bike from the hotel, jump on a Bird scooter, or take BART to the Mission for a delicious breakfast at Tartine Manufactory. I highly recommend the Coddled Eggs and Strawberry Tartine. The best part about going early is you’ll avoid the long wait that you can definitely expect if you go later in the afternoon. Afterwards you can pop in Heath Ceramics and
Next, walk down Valencia Street to do some shopping. You can find a little bit of everything here; get the SF uniform at locally based Everlane, find the perfect vintage at my personal favorites Afterlife, HeldOver, Community Thrift, and Mission Thrift, or pick up a perfect souvenir at Little Paper Planes.
All that shopping cardio probably worked up an appetite. Stop in Media Noche for a snack of refreshing Topo Chico, ceviche, and enchiladas. The food is fresh, bright, and yummy. It’s perfect for a midday pick me up.
If the weather is nice, walk over to Dolores Park to rest your legs and take in all of San Francisco hanging out, listening to music, drinking, and enjoying themselves. Bi-Rite Ice cream is also right around the corner from there so you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth as well.
This is the perfect time to head back to the Proper Hotel, shower, and get ready for the night. Once you’ve taken the time to get ready, head to the rooftop bar Charmaine’s for delicious drinks and breathtaking city views. They also have a few snack options (the fries looked to die for!).
Dinner in SF is hard to narrow down to just a few options. It’s honestly one of my favorite cities to eat in. But of course, there are a few favorites that I have to go to no matter how many times I come to town. Locanda is one of those places. It’s always going to be good and you have to try the Jewish artichokes.
I haven’t been in the nightlife scene for awhile there, but Amnesia just down the street is always sure to be a good time, whether it’s live music or a cool DJ. It was on
If you’re looking for a good breakfast, SF is not the place to sleep in. There are limited options and most have just a few tables so the lines get long very quickly. Outerlands and Plow are my favorites for breakfast, but you can’t go wrong with the SF classics like Mama’s or Brenda’s. If you just want a good cup of coffee, my top picks include The Mill, Philz, Sightless Coffee, and Saint Frank.
I’m going to give you a second option, incase last night was a little rough and you needed to sleep in a bit. Roll on out of bed and walk up Leavenworth until you come to my favorite greasy spoon, Golden Coffee. This place was across from my old apartment and for less than the cost of a green juice, you can get 2 eggs, bacon, hash browns and a coffee. The perfect hangover cure.
Make your way to Steiner Street to see the Painted Ladies from Alamo Square. Grab a few pictures and then walk a few blocks to Hayes Valley. Also another great shopping district. Be sure to check out Azalea, Metier, and Le Point. Grab lunch at Little Gem. For dessert, you can also grab ice cream from two choices of famous ice cream shops – Salt&Straw or Smitten.
Spend the rest of the afternoon biking or walking over the Golden Gate Bridge. The biking isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s the fastest way to take in all of the sights. Plus, if you make it over to the Marin side, you can reward yourself by taking a ferry back to SF. If the exercise seems too much for you, you can always take in the beautiful view from Chrissy Field. Walk around the Marina and Pacific Heights to see the beautiful homes – most of which have the most charming Victorian details and a front door covered in blooms all year round.
Now that you’ve officially worked up an appetite, it’s time to reward yourself with a big, hearty meal and I happen to know the two restaurants that can deliver exactly that. First up, State Bird Provisions. This place has a great reputation and for good reason. It was one of the most memorable meals of my life. Come hungry. Order pretty much everything. You’re not going to be disappointed. If Asian inspired meals aren’t your game, check out Liho Liho Yacht Club. This Hawaiian focused menu has some rich and delicious favorites.
That’s it friends! I hope you get a few good ideas if you’re headed out to the City By The Bay. If you have any other questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer! Or if you’re a local and have other recommendations leave them below too!