Worth getting out of bed for
Power shoppers will be in heaven in the surrounding Union Square area – best known for high-end department stores like the San Francisco institution Gump’s and Nordstom (with a not-to-be-missed shoe department).
The area is also plum for art lovers, too. You’re just a few blocks away from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (+1 415 978 2700) featuring diverse, contemporary visual and performance art. Near the landmark San Francisco City Hall, wander through the Asian Art Museum (+1 415 581 3500) considered the best and most innovative museum specialising in Asian art in the country. Of course, with vibrant graffiti and murals at every turn, you don’t actually have to step inside a museum to see wow-worthy works of art, instead, sign up with Precita Eyes Muralists for docent-led walking tours of murals in several neighbourhoods.
For local treats, make your way down Market Street to the Ferry Building Marketplace (+1 415 983 8030). Stock up on provisions – cured meats, locally made cheese, pastries – for a picnic or to take on the ferry to Sausalito, or indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the many acclaimed restaurants and cafés. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the city’s best farmers market takes over the plazas around the building.
Have appetite, will travel? Then track down Off the Grid’s roaming pack of gourmet food trucks that make their way around the city to various markets for lunch and dinner. Check the website for that day’s location and you'll soon be snacking on everything from Turkish meatballs to Asian-inspired tacos.
If you wandered down to the Ferry Building to poke around the markets, stop by Slanted Door (+1 415 861 8032) for a proper sit down lunch or dinner in the dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful bay views. James Beard nominated chef Charles Phan takes traditional Vietnamese dishes and gives them a modern twist using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients.
Head a mile down Geary towards the Fillmore District to State Bird Provisions (+1 415 795 1272), an unassuming storefront with a Michelin star to its name (wihich is a nod to California’s state bird, the quail). Offerings frequently change on the small plates menu, but might include these savoury bites: duck liver mousse, pork belly grape salad and namesake-inspired plates such as cast iron quail eggs with green olive salsa verde.