San Francisco Hidden Gems

San Francisco is a city that I love to visit because it’s my mom’s hometown and every time I go there is something new to see or discover. San Francisco is a city that has so many different neighborhoods to wander, little corners with cute cafes & wine bars and places that have so much charm. I went for mother’s day weekend with my mom to explore the city and find hidden gems that I have never seen or visited before.

We wanted to stay somewhere that was centrally located which is Union Square. It’s a great place to stay because you can walk to so many great shops and restaurants. We stayed at The Inn at Union Square which is a really cute 30 guest room hotel. It has been newly remodeled and our room was really spacious with a living room and great bedroom. I love how personalized the service is at the Inn at Union Square. The front desk was so nice and everyone always greeted us by our name.

There is breakfast served every morning, coffee is always available on one of the floors and during happy hour there is wine and cheese served. One of the sweetest touches is in the evening when they have home made chocolate chip cookies for every floor. This charming little hotel is a hidden gem in the heart of the City. If you want room service it is from Morton’s Steakhouse which is located next door.

If you are going to visit one place in San Francisco you need to head over to the Ferry Building and try Hog Island Oyster Co. It’s such a fun place to eat oysters and have a glass of wine. I also recommend the clam chowder which they have won awards for and they sell 300-400 bowls daily. I also loved their seafood stew which I am going back for. If you want to be adventurous try their Sea Collins it’s a gin based drink with seaweed. I promise you it’s good.

Tartine Manufactory is one of my favorite places for lunch. They specialize in different tartines and their bread is amazing. I always end up taking a loaf home with me. Their menu changes often because they use seasonal ingredients. If you are going on a weekend get their early because there is always a line.

For dinner we headed to Bix which is located down a little alley. When you walk in, it’s a really beautiful speak easy. Some of our highlights were the caviar pillows, crab rolls, truffle deviled eggs and the lobster pasta. It’s a great atmosphere and they have live music.

After dinner we headed to Cold Drinks Bar which is located above China Live. When you walk in it has the feeling of a secret bar. It’s dark and very loungy. This hidden little gem has a really extenisve scotch driven drink list. I need to go back and try more.

For brunch my mom and I headed to St. Francis Fountain which is an old ice cream parlor that serves great brunch. They serve large portions diner style and have lots of selections. If you are a vegan I saw a lot of vegan options on the menu. I also loved that my mom use to go there as a kid and buy candy. I got the chef’s mess which is so big that I barely ate half of it, so sharing is a good idea!

In the afternoon we went to Fig & Thistle Market. It is a cute little wine bar that is located in the Castro District. It has a great selection of wines by the glass and you can buy a bottle if you want. There are tables inside to enjoy your wine or you can take a bottle to go. This would definitely be my neighborhood wine bar if I lived in San Francisco.

While we were in the city we didn’t just eat and drink. We also wanted to see some sights that we never had before. We visited Camera Obscura which looks like a giant camera. It is located behind the famous Cliff House. You can see the images of outside on the inside of this building. It’s very cool.

We also visited the Sutro Baths which use to be a large public salt water swimming pool. This is actually where my mom learned to swim. The building burned down in the late 60’s but the ruins are really cool to visit and the views are amazing.

Every time I go to San Francisco I find something new that I love. I will definitely be going back to the Inn at Union Square because I already miss the bed. My next trip to the bay area will have to be longer so I can discover more hidden gems.