- Walking up and down Valencia St in the Mission is fillllllled with stuff to eat and buy and see.
- Coit Tower is pretty, and you can get a great view from the adjoining park without paying to go up in the tower. But! the green space directly to the east of it, between it and Embarcadero, is like being in The Shire in the middle of the city. Magic!
- Dolores Park, 20th/Dolores, the southwest corner has the best free view of downtown.
- If you go to Dolo, because yolo, it’s fun to grab an ice cream sandwich at Bi-Rite – for which you do not have to wait in line because they are pre-made and since nobody is scooping a thing for you, you can avoid the wait & get the treat in yo mouth sooner.
- Inside Golden Gate Park is the de Young (beautiful building, amazing viewing spot that’s free to get into, pretty cool modern art), close to the California Academy of Sciences (arts, sciences, fish), and the Japanese Tea Garden are all pretty cool.
- If you walk out that way, the strip on Haight close to GG Park has some fun spots: Parada 22 and The Alembic are great for drink and food), and Free Gold Watch (actually on Waller, about 24 retro pinball games and a few old school arcade games).
- Serrano’s Pizza in the Mission, 21/Lexington, is pretty amazing. They make each slice custom for you. Bigger than your average. I’m a fan of the Valencia.
- Mau on Valencia is delish and affordable Vietnamese. Get the fried pork rolls with lettuce wraps, Cha Giao or similar. It could be a meal
- If you’re feeling a touch upscale, Starbelly is fun and has great cocktails and pizza and pasta. Plus a little patio
- Mama Ji’s in the Castro is dim sum and delicious and you can sit outside
- El Metate has the best burrito in the mission, on 22/Bryant. Don’t come for me, bro, with any other place. They win on price, size, quality, and distribution of ingredients. Seriously, it’s not just a whole bite of beans and then a whole bite of vegetables. Oh, and get the vegetarian burrito – now with real vegetables!
- Tartine Bakery. For everything. An institution.
- Kahnfections. If you don’t want to wait in line at Tartine and still want some quality baked goods
- Stable Café on 17/Folsom. Cool little joint, amazingly beautiful outdoor space.
- Southern Pacific Brewing on 19/Treat. Lots of their beers, some other folks’ beers, pretty good grub. Recommend the garlic fries with any meal.
- Crafty Fox, 13/Mission, another nice brewpub with a wide variety of taps, and a truly truly excellent fried chicken sando. Less excellent if it’s busy, though.
- Tacolicious on 18/Valencia has pretty great cocktails and slightly pricey tacos, but the bottomless chips + salsa almost makes it worth it
- Mitchell’s for ice cream. Especially the pistachio. Some crazy-ass flavors.