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Ian & Ashley's Guide To San Francisco

Find The Best Parts Of San Francisco With Tips From Locals


Brunch

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Brenda's French Soul Food

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Their shrimp and grits is the stuff brunch dreams are made of, the choice of crawfish, Granny Smith or straight-up chocolate beignets can't be beat. Arrive hungry don't miss their signature hangtown fry with crispy oysters and bacon and scallion scramble. 

Locals Say: "Everything you need for a hangover-stopping weekend meal."

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Sophie's Crepes

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If you are in the mood for those really really thin pancakes, then Sophie's Crepes is the place for you to be. The options they give will have you spinning, but this is a place you do not want to miss out on.

Locals Say: "If you are new, I suggest #19. It is world changing if you've never had gelato deliciously embraced by a warm, fresh crepe."

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Presidio Social Club

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The perfect place for a bite after a long hike through the Presidio. What's really cool is that it is located in a military barracks built in 1903. There isn't a huge wait since the restaurant is pretty huge. The oven-baked eggs and Mission-style chilaquiles are the way to go.

Locals Say: "This place always feels like a genuine escape from the city, while still being in the city. They do a decent rendition of chilaquiles, a good burger, and you'll never go wrong with the meatloaf."


Hiking

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Lands End Trail

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The winding, but almost completely flat, coastal trail is well-maintained and easy enough that pretty much everyone can do it -- which means it can get pretty crowded on the weekend -- and provides views of the ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and China Beach. While you’re there, you can also explore the ruins of Sutro Baths.

Locals Say: "Beautiful park near the sea. You can walk through the conifers on the hill, or breathe the sea down below. I went here to watch the sunrise - one of the best sunrises in my life :)"

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Angel Island State Park

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With only a 15 minute ferry between you and the island, you have to take the opportunity to get here. You'll want to hit up "The Sunset Trail," a nearly 5-mile hike that takes you to the top of Mount Livermore, the highest point on the island. At 788ft, you’re going to get those amazing views you’re craving... as long as you think views of the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Golden Gate, and San Francisco skyline are amazing.

Locals Say: " Don't miss this island when you book your trip to Alcatraz. It is beautiful, rangers are so funny. It was a nice and friendly day!"

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Twin Peaks

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This is probably the best-known and most-loved view of the city for both tourists and locals. If you want to see a 360 degree view of San Francisco, summiting the Twin Peaks will be worth the battle to get to the top!

Locals Say: "One of those spots you see in the movies. Great romantic, panoramic views of SF when it's not foggy. Checkout the colorful houses on the windy Twin Peaks Boulevard. Parking sometimes an issue up-top."


Must See

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Alcatraz

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This notorious island, former home of the most villainous villains, is located in the San Francisco Bay. Today, you can tour the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast and the former prison on what is also known as "The Rock".

Locals Say: "Took the night tour, completely worth the price of $42.50. Eerie and sad, the feeling stays with you. The audio tour is great and the workshop classes offered by the guides are really interesting.

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Pier 39 Sea Lions

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These fellas are hiliarous. Aside from the loud barking, they are pretty adorable. And probably the laziest animals we've ever seen! What is really cool is that they they migrated to Pier 39 after the 1989 earthquake, forcing all of the residents at K-Dock to find somewhere else to park their boats.

Locals Say: "Great experience to see so many sea lions together ( as many as 1701 in 2009) come here very early in the morning not to be interrupted by tourists.

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Coit Tower

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After you’re done wandering around North Beach with the Beats, head up to Coit Tower, where you’ll find breathtaking 360-degree views of the city, plus the chance to check out the Diego Rivera-style murals painted in 1934 that wind their way up the interior staircase. You can check out some of these murals for free

Locals Say: "Do not drive to get there! Use your legs! Beautiful sightseeing all around the tower. You can start from the market and walk along the pier before heading to the tower"


Dinner Spots

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Pizzeria Delfina

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The Palo Alto iteration of the beloved San Francisco pizza darling is full of all your favorites, like the Proscuitto Pie and the 4 Formaggi.

Locals Say: "Come for pizza, stay for killer Italian cocktails & knock-out starters like Burrata, Chilled Tripe, & Meatballs. Don't miss the Napoletana or Carbonara Pizza"

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Liholiho Yacht Club

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A pop-up restaurant that found a permanent home in Nob Hill...and isn't a yacht club by any means. The kitchen serves a mash-up of Hawaiian, Californian, and Southeast Asian flavors, led by dishes like poppy seed steamed buns with beef tongue, tuna poke on a nori cracker, and twice-cooked pork belly.

Locals Say: "One of my favorite places to eat in the city. Highly recommend their beef tongue bao, squid and tripe salad, homemade spam, and short rib/bone marrow."

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The City Taqueria

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Home to arguably the best burrito in America. The Mission-style burrito has a healthy dose of meat, cheese, beans, homemade hot sauce, salsa, and no rice. 

Locals Say: "Biggest Burrito in the city! Order the jumbo burrito for a tasty challenge of will power."