"Stuck" in San Francisco?

Here are a few visitor suggestions from our 22-year old SFSU summer intern, Nathalie Donche:

1. Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden – Golden Gate Park is a marvel in its entirety, but there is one particular section of the park that I enjoy most. It consolidates flora and fauna from around the world into a small expanse of beauty. This garden is free for residents and around $7 for visitors. There are trails winding throughout the garden with an expanse large enough to get you lost for at least an hour or two. 

2. Embarcadero Farmers Market – The beautiful colors, the lively sounds and the wonderful smells. There is so much to love about this farmers market. Located at the San Francisco Ferry Building on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10am-2pm and Saturdays from 8am-2pm, this is definitely something worth checking out. Local farmers selling their produce, cheese artisans galore, amazing homemade bread, flowers of every color, local butchers selling copious different cuts of meat and fresh seafood for days. There are also local restaurants with food stands set up selling delectable meals for visitors on the go.

3. Baker Beach – With a view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one side, waves crashing against jagged cliffs on another and rolling green hills directly across the water, this is the perfect place to come to enjoy a peaceful day in the sun and wiggle your toes in the sand.

4. Dolores Park –  This park is a locals favorite. On a sunny day you will find the park packed with people of all ages enjoying themselves and having a joyous time. If you climb the hill to the top of the park you will have an absolutely magnificent view of the city and beyond. I recommend picking up a bottle of wine and putting together a small picnic to enjoy in the park. During the warmer seasons, it is a prime location for people watching, there are characters of all sorts gallivanting around.   

5. North Beach – The one thing I love most about San Francisco’s Little Italy is the numerous outdoor cafes and restaurants that line the street. Yes, this neighborhood may be one of the main tourist destinations in San Francisco, but as a local I still find it to have quite a bit of charm and appeal. Whether you’re relaxing in Washington Square Park with a book from City Light’s Bookstore or sipping a glass of wine at a table outdoors at one of the many Italian restaurants lining Columbus Avenue, you are most likely always enjoying yourself. 

And a few food and drink suggestions:

1. Suppenkuche (525 Laguna Street) – Humongous mugs of beer and hearty German meals, need I say more? 

2. Jones Bar (620 Jones) – Rooftop drinks and a lively atmosphere, just blocks away from Union Square.

3. Andalu (3198 16th Street) – Incredibly tasty tapas, great selection of drinks. I would recommend the Chef’s Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing.

4. The Owl Tree (601 Post Street) – Small and quaint, with comfy leather booths and a beautiful mahogany bar. This place is a nice stop for a few drinks and their happy hour is seven days a week!

5. Amber India (25 Yerba Buena Lane) – Probably the best Indian food I have tasted, accompanied by a wonderful ambiance, this place is without a doubt worth trying. 

6. Cafe de la Presse (352 Grant Avenue)

Last but not least, my favorite restaurant to eat at when my parents come to visit. It has a pleasant atmosphere with tall ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors, they also have a great selection of foreign magazines for purchase. I have ordered the same Charcuterie platter ever since we started eating here several years ago. A mix of saucisson and pate, accompanied by a few cornichons and slices of warm baguette, it is simple yet delicious. I love to pair this meal with a chalice of Chimay beer and finish it off with a dessert of vanilla ice cream profiteroles covered in warm chocolate sauce. Finally, if you are planning to explore the city once you’ve finished your meal, an espresso is a must. Otherwise, time for a nap!  – Nathalie