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5 Places Mentioned
5 Most San Franciscan Places to Try and Why
Restaurants & Bars 1

5 Most San Franciscan Places to Try and Why

Liana Lau
Published about 2 years ago

San Francisco. A quintessential mirage of Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Within the seven-by-seven square miles of rolling hills stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the San Francisco Bay, bestows presumptuously an array of restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, artisan cheese shops, ice cream parlors, gastropubs, breweries, and so on. The ultimate question is what defines San Francisco?


Blue Bottle Coffee

What makes Blue Bottle a San Franciscan coffee pioneer? With only 24-48 hours lead time, from the roaster to your hands, you can only fathom the aromatic richness within each cup. Making its mark with the New Orleans iced coffee, a 12-hour cold brew with roasted chicory, stimulates all the senses on a whole new level. With multiple locations throughout San Francisco, the opportunity to indulge freely without any qualms is only a step away!  


With its San Franciscan cotillion in 2002, Tartine has made its mark as the classic breed of artisan boulangeries. On any given morning, a line forms along Guerrero Street with eager patrons. Croque monsieur and quiche slices are bountiful, with decadent croissants to heavenly tarts, the spectrum of buttery delights are infinite. Lunch is no exception, with a menu of intricate savory pressed sandwiches accompanied by house pickled carrots, Tartine is an iconic landmark not to be missed. Within the bounty of immaculate baked good, we have a protagonist. The bread loaf — daily selection consists of country, walnut, sesame, with browns to accommodate, such as ancient grains, and so on. Whole and half loaves are available everyday after 4:30pm. Advanced orders can be placed 3 days prior.


Plow resides in the quaint rolling hills of 18th Street located in the Dogpatch/SOMA (South of Market). Pancakes? Lemon ricotta. Sausage and Eggs? House-made sausage patty with soft scramble eggs to perfection. Oatmeal? 3-grain porridge …. You get the picture. Locally sourced quality ingredients is their jam and they do it well, never overcompensating by quantity. If the menu seems daunting, “The Plow” will give a satisfying preview to the breakfast necessities.  

Bi-Rite Creamery

In 2006, the heart and soul of a 4-year old child was incapsulated into a heaping scoop of salted caramel ice cream. When strolling down 18th and Dolores, making way to join the festivities on the grasslands of Mission Dolores park, you spot a line of people patiently waiting. Your curious mind wonders, intrigued by what or whom has created this mass; behold, Bi-Rite Creamery. When approaching the selection on display, it is hard not to notice the intensity of flavors ranging from Honey Lavender, Roasted Banana, Crème Fraîche, to Ricanelas. With every taste, your eyes widen and the 4-year old grin of a child appears, slowly and surely. Did I mention they also have sundaes and soft serve?


In the Northern Panhandle area, nestled in a corner emerging from the hustle and bustle of Fillmore, mounts four plated letters, Nopa. Upon your arrival, you are welcomed with a warm smile from the hostess, insisting to take your coat prior to seating. While escorting you through the high ceiling interior, aromas from the open kitchen fill your lungs lavishly with scents, of smoked wood, sweet garlic, with fragrant umami tones. Once seated, the waiter approaches, soon becoming your ally by the end of the night and provides an experience never to be forgotten. Nopa staples that will leave you salivating: Little gem salad, seasonal flat bread, pork chops, broccolini with anchovy lemon breadcrumbs. Don’t forget to ask about the selection of rare Georgian wine!

Header image by Jakob Owens.

Blue Bottle Coffee,
Tartine Bakery,
Bi-Rite Creamery,

About the Author

Liana Lau

A true believer that the impossible is possible, an eternal optimist, world traveler by nature, opportunist at any given moment, and a lover of life with every second and moment it has to offer. Born and raised within the hills of San Francisco, California, the influential melting pot of cultures through vitality and dissimilarity, conjured a delicate soul to take in all the beauties the world, one croissant at a time .