City Guide: San Francisco, California

GoldenGateBridge

Let's be honest here, the Annmarie Skin Care team is mostly California based, so when we decided to add city guides to our blog, we naturally decided that we would start with the East Bay Area and now we're really excited to bring you a San Francisco guide from people on the team that have lived here for almost a decade.

San Francisco is a cultural hub and a city full of incredible things to see and do. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the beauty and the bustle of the city—take it from us, these recommendations are vetted and guaranteed to leave you with a good sense of the city.

San Francisco, California

Breakfast

While there are many quintessential brunch spots in San Francisco, these are an absolute must. Whether you are visiting from out of town, or live in the city, these (in my opinion), satisfy your deepest breakfast cravings or cure your weekend hangover. All of these place have a great selection of vegan and vegetarian options, too!

Plow—Timeless California cooking, with classic brunch dishes—all farm to table! This spot usually has a 1-2 hour wait, so get there early. I usually go alone and sit at the bar. Plow has the best breakfast potatoes! They flash fry them and toss with fresh herbs. Their scrambled eggs are pretty to die for too! What to order? “The Plow”—it's a great way to try a bit of everything,  just make sure to ask for their homemade ketchup and aioli to dip those taters in!

As Quoted—It’s a “farm inspired community eatery”, truly one of the cleanest and most delicious cafes in my opinion. They have great coffee, turmeric and beet lattes, green smoothies, bone broth, and a healthy selection of organic salads, open sandwiches and paleo items.

Lunch spots

Souvla—Casual, locally sourced Greek fare. Seriously the best salads and there's something for everyone.

Nourish Cafe—for healthy smoothies, acai bowls, gluten free toasts and salads! All vegan and organic.

RT Rotisserie—best rotisserie chicken, salads, wraps and vegetarian friendly items, accompanied with dipping sauces like their “Douglas Fir Sour Cream.” You will not be disappointed

Gracias Madre—Plant-based Mexican restaurant apart of the Cafe Gratitude Family. It’s got a great vibe and the food is substantial and delicious!

Dinner

Statebird Provsions—it's a bit hard to get into, so attempt to get there after 8PM on a Monday or Tuesday night. Reservations are difficult, but this food is incredible and will so be worth it!

Kokkari—Try to make reservations but if you can't, they always have places at the bar. Kokkari holds it down with the incredible SF vibes and the phenomenal food.

What to See

Twin Peaks—Best view of the city from 922 feet elevation! The top of this “mountain” is undeveloped and offers sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Transamerica Building, East Bay… and every nook and cranny of beautiful San Francisco. I like driving up there, parking and walking around the trails to self-reflect. Bring a jacket though, it’s chilly and often windy!

Golden Gate Bridge—Only the most iconic bridge in the world! When crossing this bridge from San Francisco in to Marin County, it’s pretty unbelievable. Fun fact: “International Orange” is the color the bridge is painted, and a team of Golden Gate Painters are there everyday to paint, keeping it fresh and bold! What a job.

Golden Gate Park—This beautiful park consists of 1,017 acres of greenery, trees, attractions, trails, biking routes and museums. I love visits to the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Gardens, De Young Museum, Academy of Sciences and all of the musical events they have year round, including Outside Lands and smaller, more intimate parties like “All Day I Dream”.

Baker Beach—On an actual summer day in SF, this is the place to be! The north side is actually an urban nudist beach, where you get the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge (and some other things too, wink wink).

Dolores Park—A sight to be seen! Hundreds of people, young and old, converge to eat, drink and be merry in this beautiful park with hilltop views of the city. Grab a burrito to go on Valencia or Mission Street and head to Dolores for a free outdoor party, almost any day of the week. Plus a new incredible play structure for kids.

Where to Shop

Mission District—You can walk around all day and have feel like you’ve covered all of your bases. From sustainable clothing shops like Reformation, to my favorite herb shop The Scarlet Sage Herb Co., to Rainbow Grocery (best co-op market in the bay area!), to unique vintage & antique shops, discount fabric, book and furniture stores.

Hayes Valley—quite a gem for shopping, though a little more on the pricier side. There's a nice mix of local and higher-end clothing shops, lots of shoe stores and they hold an event called Urban Air Market which is a curated marketplace for sustainable design!

Of course, Haight St. is a must go if you want all things vintage, funky, affordable and if you are looking for costumes for Burning Man!

Self Care

Ritual Skin Care—A gem located in Hayes Valley. Katie Woods, owner and esthetician, offers some of the best treatments in San Francisco including customized facials and body sugaring! She also uses Annmarie Skin Care, which is a plus if you are looking for holistic skin care.

Studio Soothe—Another skin studio that offering Annmarie Skin Care, Studio Soothe is located near Golden Gate Park, offering holistic facials and massage.

International Orange—Voted Best Day Spa in San Francisco and Marin, IO offers everything from skin, body, acupuncture and various wellness packages. Amazing selection of skin care, too!

Suchada—If you are a fan of thai massage, this is the place! They offer an extensive service menu of herbal treatments and packages, too.

Drinks and Nightlife

Amnesia—A tiny bar/venue in the Mission on Valencia Street with live music every night, usually bluegrass/folk style, except for Saturday nights when there's a DJ.

The Independent—an incredible venue pretty centrally located. They have a great almost show every night with a beautifully curated artist line up.

Exploratorium after dark—Every Thursday night the exploratorium hosts an adult party from 6-10. Have a few drinks and play with art and science for a few hours.

Other great bars to check out—Anina, Third Rail, 15 Romolo, Comstock Saloon, Pacific Cocktail Haven, Bourbon & Branch, Trick Dog, 20 Spot (wine bar), Horsefeather or Madrone Art Bar (if you like dancing!) Blackbird and El Techo.

Are you a San Francisco local? Add your favorite spots in the comments below.

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