The 17 best attractions in San Francisco to put on your bucket list
San Francisco’s really just the tip of a peninsula, which means that its city confines are actually quite small and much of its acreage includes spectacular water views: the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Golden Gate and namesake bridge on the north, and the San Francisco Bay on the east. Seriously, this city is only seven miles wide and seven miles deep, so it’s easy to explore on foot — although you may need fuel to conquer its more than 50 hills – but it's jampacked with attractions. An international destination, San Francisco has Michelin-starred dining and hole-in-the-wall winners alike, as well as museums, surprising architecture, sports teams, and diverse neighborhoods. You might even feel an earthquake while you’re here; there are hundreds of small ones each year! Here’s our list of the best attractions in San Francisco to put on your bucket list – whether you're a tourist or a local. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in San Francisco
The best San Francisco hotels with hot tubs in the room
Ahh, San Fran. A city filled with spectacular sights, fantastic food and some seriously nice bridges. But if San Francisco is anything, it’s vast. Touring the sights will have you desperately in need of a bit of downtime. And what better way to wind down is there than sinking into a hot tub, clutching a glass of champagne? Exactly, there isn’t one. But don’t worry, you needn’t trawl through endless hotels, desperately hoping one will be offering up a tub - we’ve picked the very best ones for you. Read on for the ultimate selection of hotels with hot tubs in all of San Francisco. Recommended: The best things to do in San Francisco right now This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The best things to do in Yosemite
Yosemite is one of the most well-known national parks, and for good reason: it’s got extraordinary vistas, wildlife and history. And while the best things to do in Yosemite include breathtaking walks, enormous waterfalls, and stunning vistas – hiking isn’t the only thing to do there. Sure, the two most popular Yosemite activities are hiking and camping – either at busy campgrounds on the valley floor or in the backcountry reached by making a more solitary jaunt – but there's so much more to Yosemite. Looking for something to do besides hiking and camping? Yosemite really has it all, from active pursuits like horseback riding and skydiving to contemplative art-making, photography and yoga. You can drink fine wine and get a massage at a hotel, or rough it by filtering river water to drink in areas of the park where few people venture. You’ll be surrounded by bears, whether seen or unseen, and appreciate spectacular granite monoliths and giant sequoia in this park that sparked the nation’s discussion of preserving land for its natural beauty.
Treat yourself to a room in the best luxury hotels in San Francisco
Sure you could stay at the Hyatt or the Hilton, but some of the best hotels in San Fran are chic boutique spots in the middle of downtown or historic mansions overlooking the Bay. Whether you're visiting, hosting family or booking a staycation, you're guaranteed an experience you'll never forget at these luxury hotels. Book something on Market Street to be near the best attractions or atop Nob Hill to feel like an 18th-century railroad tycoon. Whether you're looking for 24/7 room services and luxury wine tastings or quirky food and killer locations, it's all here for you. Go on, dive in. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Francisco
The most romantic hotels in San Francisco to keep the spark alive
The views, the food, the Bay Lights, the rolling fog ... San Francisco goes toe to toe with the very best romantic cities in Europe. While many date nights in San Francisco can end after the classic combo of dinner and a movie, couples that want to kick the romance up a notch (or two), should extend the evening with a stay in one of these luxury hotels. Whether you're seeking a historic inn with bay views and hiking trails or a lush downtown hotel with butler service is more your speed, these top 10 romantic hotels will turn anyone’s one-night stay into a happily ever after.
The 9 best escape rooms in Sacramento
Escape rooms are popular across California, and Sacramento is no exception. You and a group of friends (or strangers) can enter one of the best escape rooms in Sacramento, where you’re trapped until you solve a series of puzzles and challenges. The clock is ticking and the stakes are high, though, so you’d better play smart. Whether you’re looking for something in downtown Sacramento to do on your next birthday party, or a novel date night idea in Old Sacramento, here are nine escape rooms in Sacramento that will thrill and delight … as long as you make it out alive, that is. When it's all over, celebrate your victorty at one of the best restaurants in Sacramento. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento
The best restaurants at San Francisco airport
Travel often means long lines, delayed flights and busy terminals, all of which can cause copious amounts of stress. And nothing makes copious amounts of stress even worse than being hangry. Make sure your belly is full and happy while dealing with all of the chaos. Skip the fast food, and instead stop at one of these SFO spots to grab a pre-flight meal (and a much-needed drink where available). RECOMMENDED: Traveling to and from San Francisco
The best hotel spas in San Francisco
There’s nothing quite like a relaxing spa day in a luxury hotel. Fluffy robes, a glass of champagne, a peaceful vibe and relaxing treatments are a lavish, but effective way to further your journey towards tranquility. Whether you’re visiting the Bay Area or just need a quick escape from the chaos of the city, these hotel spas in San Francisco will melt your stress away and leave you feeling relaxed and radiant.
The best chicken and waffles in San Francisco
Peanut butter and jelly, burgers and fries, wine and cheese—some things are just better together, and chicken and waffles are definitely two of 'em. It’s a tricky dish to master; more often than not, one part of the equation far outshines the other. And yet, once you’ve taken a bite of a well-executed chicken and waffle dish, you just get it. While it can be hard to find fantastic chicken and waffle iterations so far from the south, these nine San Francisco restaurants all serve up versions that are utterly crave-worthy.
Listings and reviews (21)
This luxurious lodge (a former military baracks) located right over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito offers sweeping views of the Bay Area and fancy amenities like cooking classes and guided bike tours. Guests have two loding options: Former military officers’ residences restored and equipped with modern appliances or contemporary suites with sweeping views of the Bay. Most rooms and suites have gas-burning fireplaces, and many are dog friendly as well. The Healing Arts Center & Spa offers a range of treatments and services from massage to meditation, as well as a heated outdoor meditation pool, gorgeous garden and a tea bar. For those looking for activities, there are guided walks and yoga classes every day, as well as cooking classes on the weekend. Meals can be taken in Murray Circle Restaurant, an elegant restaurant highlighting Northern California cuisine, or the more casual, but still swanky, Farley Bar where creative cocktails and small plates are served to guests relaxing in leather club chairs by cozy fireplaces. Downtown Sausalito is a picturesque, Mediterranean-style waterfront village offering world-class sushi and tons of sustainable seafood to be enjoyed as you sit on the dock of the bay (this is where Otis Redding penned his favorite song, after all). After dinner check out the city's colorful floating houseboat communities. Time Out tip: Sign up for the Chef’s Counter, an exclusive chef-driven dining experience where guests sip on wine and watch and learn
The St. Regis San Francisco
This luxury hotel, complete with butler service for each suite, is the perfect retreat for couples who don’t want to lift a finger during their stay. Book a suite to gain access to St. Regis Butler Service. He will unpack your belongings, press your garments, and even draw your shades and deliver your coffee in the morning. No request is too small. Every room and suite has luxurious linens and deep oversized soaking tubs. The 9,000 sq. ft. Remède Spa includes an indoor salt-water infinity pool, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and a range of treatments, including couples massages. The Palace is centrally located in SoMa, right off of Market Street (the city's main thoroughfare) and within walking distance of the world class San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, high-end shopping and people watching in Union Square and world-famous tech companies like Twitter, Spotify and Uber. Time Out tip: Make a reservation for the Art of Tea, afternoon tea service served from 2 to 4 p.m., and be sure to add on bubbles.
The Scarlet Huntington
It's the world class spa that keeps visitors and locals coming back to this Nob Hill spot. The colorful Moroccan-themed rooms and stunning views of Grace Cathedral don't hurt either. Like many of San Francisco’s finest hotels, the swanky Scarlet Huntington sits atop Nob Hill and boasts great views of the bay, the city and Grace Cathedral. It also has one of the best hotel spas in the city, the Nob Hill Spa, a three-level sanctuary with an indoor pool and whirlpool, skyline views, saunas, steam rooms, fireplace lounge, gym and delicious food and wine. The spacious rooms have a colorful Asian-Moroccan theme and sizeable bathrooms. Guests should be sure to visit The Big 4 Restaurant, named after the businessmen and philanthropists who built the Central Pacific Railway, where you can enjoy a classic cocktail made by veteran bartenders while listening to live piano music. Nob Hill has managed to keep its luxurious and majestic character centuries after the first California barons built their colossal mansions overlooking the bay. Cable cars continue to pack the streets while locals head to SF mainstays like Swan Oyster Depot for dinner and gorgeous Grace Cathedral for yoga on the labyrinth. Time Out tip: Street parking is not impossible to find and will save $59 a day.
The Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square
This residence-style hotel is located in Ghirardelli Square, home to the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, several wine tasting rooms, a beer garden, tasty restaurants and boutique shops. The hotel itself was constructed inside the former chocolate factory and consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with city or bay views, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, kitchens with Wolf appliances, rain showers, in-room washer and dryer and twice-daily housekeeping. There is also a chauffeured house car service, a daily wine and cheese reception and fire pits that overlook the bay. Time Out tip: Since the room is so pricey, save money on dinner by dining at McCormick and Kuleto’s in Ghiradelli Square. The views are amazing and a cheeseburger and fries are just $5.50 during happy hour.
InterContinental Hotel Mark Hopkins San Francisco
Pretend you're San Francisco royalty (or an old timey railroad tycoon) at this elegant and sophisticated hotel in one of the city's most historic neighborhoods with gorgeous views of the bay. This elegant Nob Hill hotel is a San Francisco classic thanks to its history (it was built on the site where railroad tycoon Mark Hopkins had his mansion) and charm. All of the elegant guestrooms face outwards, which means amazing views of the city, and in some cases, the Golden Gate Bridge. There are two dining options: The Nob Hill Club, an intimate restaurant serving farm-to-table California cuisine, and the famous Top of the Mark, known for its spectacular views of the city and the bay, signature martinis and Sunday champagne brunch. Nob Hill has managed to keep its luxurious and majestic character centuries after the first California barons built their colossal mansions overlooking the bay. Cable cars continue to pack the streets while locals head to SF mainstays like Swan Oyster Depot for dinner and gorgeous Grace Cathedral for yoga on the labyrinth. Time Out tip: Save money on cabs by using the complimentary weekday town car service.
For those who want to be in the thick of it, you can't do better than the Four Seasons, which offers endless amenities in a convenient location on the city's main thoroughfare, close to Union Square, SoMa and the Financial District. The amenities at the sophisticated Four Seasons include delicious California cuisine and handcrafted cocktails at MKT Restaurant and Bar, an outdoor terrace above Yerba Buena Gardens and access to Equinox Sports Club’s gym, swimming pool and spa. The large rooms (the smallest is 480 sq. ft.) don’t disappoint either; Guests will enjoy stunning views of the city thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, relaxing in the deep soaking tub in the marble bathroom and sleeping on down bedding that’s turned down each evening. Once a rather gritty neighborhood, tech money (Twitter, Spotify, Square, Dolby and Uber all call this 'hood home) is funding much-needed revitalization projects with new high-rise offices, luxury condos, high-end restaurants popping up along this stretch of Market Street. Time Out tip: The Den is a monthly cocktail series that pays homage to SF’s original speakeasies. Gain entrance by emailing email@example.com to get the password.
Omni San Francisco
Omni offers fine dining and award-winning service within walking distance from Union Square, a mecca of high-end shopping and art galleries. This 17-story hotel was built as a bank in 1926, and the impressive lobby boasts chandeliers, mahogany paneling and marble floors. All of the 362 spacious guest rooms are warm and inviting featuring high ceilings with crown moldings, mahogany and cherry wood furniture, a warm red and gold color palette and marble bathrooms. The hotel’s restaurant, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, feels more mid-west than San Francisco, but is a good choice for anyone looking for a hearty steak and decadent desserts. Kids will be especially thrilled to receive welcome gifts at check-in and milk and cookies on the first night. There’s also a complimentary walking tour every Saturday at 10am and the hotel is on a cable car line, which makes it very easy to cross that off the sightseeing list. Omni is located right in the middle of downtown San Francisco's Financial District, the city's business and banking hub since the 1849 Gold Rush. Its northern edge is overlooked by the iconic spike of William Pereira’s 1972 Transamerica Pyramid (600 Montgomery Street) and the Jackson Square Historical District, the last vestige of San Francisco’s notorious Barbary Coast, once a seething mass of low-life bars and brothels. Time Out tip: The Omni has a fitness center, but guests can also request a Get Fit Kit, that includes a five-pound kettlebell, mini contour weights, a foam
The Ritz-Carlton is as luxurious as it gets. The landmark hotel, housed in a mansion atop Nob Hill, treats guests with butler service, a wine tasting lounge and complimentary car service. The Ritz-Carlton is a 1909 landmark mansion on Nob Hill with a neoclassical façade and columns that are lit from below at night. When guests pull up, they’re greeted by a doorman in a top hat, which sets the stage for everything to come: an experience that will be wholly elegant, and just a tad bit stuffy. The blue and grey rooms all have Frette linens and marble baths. There is a fitness center and spa, and for those on the Club Level, complimentary food and beverages throughout the day. The hotel restaurant, Parallel 37, serves phenomenal globally-inspired California cuisine with an innovative bar program. The JCB Tasting Lounge is the perfect way to taste decadent, limited wines from the collection of legendary winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset with wine flights that range from $35 to $75. Nob Hill has managed to keep its luxurious and majestic character centuries after the first California barons built their colossal mansions overlooking the bay. Cable cars continue to pack the streets while locals head to SF mainstays like Swan Oyster Depot for dinner and gorgeous Grace Cathedral for yoga on the labyrinth. Time Out tip: A complimentary house car is available for trips within one mile of the hotel.
Taj Campton Place
The Michelin-starred restaurant is the biggest draw at this recently renovated luxury hotel in Union Square, just steps from some of the best shopping and eating in San Francisco. The hotel's two-Michelin-starred eatery is one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Chef Srihith’s California-Indian cuisine is inventive and absolutely delicious. The restaurant only offers a tasting menu, but that’s a good thing, as Chef takes diners on a culinary journey unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. There’s also a bar and bistro for those looking for something more casual. The rooms and suites were all recently renovated and from the eighth floor up, there are only three to four on each floor in order to provide privacy. The hotel is located in Union Square, a handsome plaza surrounded by upscale hotels and department stores; shoppers gather on its benches and lawns for retail respite. Just east of Union Square, Maiden Lane, once a notorious red-light district, is now a decoratively gated alleyway lined with designer boutiques. Time Out tip: The least expensive rooms at the hotel are very small. Those who can afford it should pay to upgrade.
Everything about this classy hotel screams San Francisco, from the Julia Morgan-designed building and gorgeous bay views to the state-of-the-art wellness spa and the iconic tiki bar in the basement. The historic hotel, which opened right after the 1906 earthquake, is perched atop Nob Hill (close to Union Square, the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf) and boasts an opulent lobby with towering columns (home to a two-story gingerbread house during the holidays), exceptional service and impressive views. Almost all of the 606 rooms and 52 suites (10 with balconies) offer panoramic views of downtown San Francsico as well as comfy beds fitted with Frette linens. For those looking to workout or unwind, the hotel has a state-of-the-art gym and wellness spa. The Fairmont also has three restaurants and lounges, and an afternoon tea special that is popular with locals and tourists alike. Nob Hill has managed to keep its luxurious and majestic character centuries after the first California barons built their colossal mansions overlooking the bay. Cable cars continue to pack the streets while locals head to SF mainstays like Swan Oyster Depot for dinner and gorgeous Grace Cathedral for yoga on the labyrinth. Time Out tip: Don’t miss dinner or drinks at the iconic Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, a tiki bar with a floating band in a lagoon, surprise thunderstorms and mai tais served in fake coconuts.
Sutter Station Tavern
If you work downtown and need a strong drink in a totally unpretentious setting, you can’t go wrong with Sutter Station. This old school watering hole even opens at 7am on the weekdays! It’s a true dive with tons of regulars, a couple of pool tables, affordable drinks and a crowd that will be friendly if you want, but also leave you alone if you’re not in the mood to mingle.
This kosher bakery on 6th and Minna has only been open since December, but is already proving to be a dream come true for anyone craving authentic Israeli baked goods. The menu offers a variety of sweet and savory options like burekas (handmade layered phyllo dough stuffed with fresh savory ingredients), wild smoked salmon platters and rogolach, as well as salads, hummus and tahini dips, pitas and bagels.
The Tacro has finally arrived at the Ferry Building!
San Francisco has a long-standing tradition of starting food trends, and this next concoction might have taco lovers lining up for hours (and not just on Tuesdays). Introducing Vive La Tarte’s new hybrid creation: the Tacro. The Tacro (a portmanteau of taco and croissant) is a croissant shell stuffed with savory fillings and folded like a taco. The creation, which launches January 19, comes in three varieties: chicken and avocado, slow-roasted pulled pork, and pineapple with barbecued jackfruit. The masterminds behind the dish, husband-and-wife team Arnaud Goethals and Julie Vandermeersch, started Vive La Tarte in 2011 as a pop-up bakery in the back of their bright orange Volkswagen van and quickly found a following, which allowed them to open a brick-and-mortar shop in SoMa in 2015. The new Ferry Building store is the bakery’s second location—and the only spot where you can get the Tacro. You can find Vive La Tarte just outside the Ferry Building’s northern entrance, in the former Dandelion Chocolate kiosk space—that’s right next to Fort Point Beer Company, for those who want to wash down their Tacro with a quality craft beer. “The great thing about the Ferry Building is that it’s 100 percent alive,” says Goethals. “You have people commuting there, people working around there, the farmers’ market and the different providers in the Ferry Building itself.” In addition to the Tacro, the bakery serves seasonal fruit-stuffed croissants, smashed-avocado toast, salad bowls and sand
A third holiday-themed bar popped up in SoMa over the weekend
Last winter San Francisco had exactly zero holiday pop-up bars, so we were as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when we learned that this year the city was getting not one, but two. First, there was Miracle, the Christmas-themed pop-up inside Pacific Cocktail Haven (P.C.H.) complete with wall-to-wall decorations and a very merry cocktail menu. Then, Deck the Halls popped up in North Beach with an over-the-top menu of holiday drinks and festive toy story/ penguin paradise décor. Well, apparently we’ve all been very good little boys and girls in 2017 because over the weekend a third holiday pop-up bar with all of the trimmings appeared at Oddjob in SoMa. “Santa’s Speakeasy” is an over-the-top winter wonderland complete with Christmas decorations, live entertainment and a different “mystery Santa” every night, effectively giving a whole new meaning to Secret Santa. Drag Santa put on a memorable performance last Friday, but no word yet on which Santa will appear next. The “Santa’s Dranks” cocktail menu features drinks like Odd Nog (rum + nog = fun), Choco-Fashioned (made with whiskey, chocolate bitters and love), and a Marina Girl’s Nightmare (vodka, ginger and peppermint), all of which probably pair perfectly with the free cotton candy for anyone who posts a photo of their Santa’s Speakeasy experience on Instagram. If you need some holiday spirits to get you in the holiday spirit, don’t delay. Santa’s Speakeasy is a very limited engagement with the final two dates this weeke
Tacros, a croissant-taco mashup, are coming to the Ferry Building!
If you love croissants and you love tacos (ummm, who doesn’t?) then you're going to be very excited about San Francisco bakery Vive La Tarte's new hybrid creation: the Tacro. The Tacro (a portmanteau for “taco” and “croissant,” which was probably obvious by now) is a croissant shell stuffed with savory fillings and folded like a taco. The savory creation will come in three varieties: chicken and avocado, slow-cooked pulled pork and barbecued jackfruit, so that vegetarians can get in on the tasty fun. Photograph: Michelle Min Vive La Tarte was started by husband-and-wife team Arnaud Goethals and Julie Vandermeersch in 2011 as a bakery pop-up in the back of their Volkswagen van, and quickly found a following, which allowed them to open a brick-and-mortar location in SoMa in 2015. The new Ferry Building shop will be the bakery’s second location and the menu will be a streamlined version of the baked goods offered at their flagship shop, including the very popular seasonal fruit-stuffed croissants, smashed avocado toast, salad bowls and sandwiches on house sourdough bread. There will also be espresso drinks by Sightglass Coffee, coconut cold brew coffee and turmeric lattes. You’ll find the new spot in the former Dandelion Chocolate space just outside of the northern entrance. It’s right next to Fort Point Brewery in case you want to double down on your happiness and wash your Tacro down with a quality craft beer. The gates to Tacro heaven open on Friday, January 19 and will
6 Thanksgiving workouts to earn that second slice of pie
Between the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving is definitely the most indulgent meal of the year. While most of us spend the day in sweats, on the couch, watching football, this year, consider breaking a sweat during an actual workout. The former is definitely easier, but the latter will make you feel a lot better, and means no guilt when you gobble up seconds and thirds. Whether you like to run, stretch, cycle or dance, here are six different ways to workout this Thanksgiving. Dress up like a turkey and run a 5K What better way to earn your turkey than by running a Turkey Trot? Unfortunately, registration for the San Francisco race in Golden Gate Park has closed, but if you want to wobble before you gobble, there is still space in the Marin Turkey Trot (1 mile, 5K, and 10K), the Petaluma Turkey Trot (4 mile or 10K), the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot (5K or 10K), the Piedmont Turkey Trot (5K), the San Leandro Turkey Trot (5K), and the Point Pinole Turkey Trot (5K, 10K, and a 100 yard race for little turkeys). Thanksgiving-themed costumes are encouraged at all races, but this is the Bay Area, so you knew that. Push through a 90-minute Turkey Burn If you’re going to double down on the pie, then you need to double down on your Soul Cycle with a 90-minute Turkey Burn workout where you’re guaranteed to break a serious sweat while taking time to reflect about everything you’re thankful for (including the fact that a s
Ease your holiday travels with these delicious bites at SFO
Holiday travel often means long lines, delayed flights and busy terminals, all of which can cause copious amounts of stress. And nothing makes copious amounts of stress even worse than being hangry. While there’s nothing you can do about the fact that a record 28.5 million Americans are expected to travel through U.S. airports over a 12-day period this Thanksgiving, there is something you can do about making sure your belly is full and happy while dealing with all of the chaos. Skip the fast food, and instead stop at one of these SFO spots to grab a pre-flight meal (and a much-needed drink where available). Napa Farms Market If you need to grab something to eat and a gift for your host, look no further than Napa Farms Market in Terminal 2 and International Terminal G where you can get farm-to-flight fare, as well as last-minute treats for friends and family that won’t seem last-minute at all. For meal time, the artisan marketplace offers seasonal food and beverages and plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Think rotisserie chicken or tri-tip from Tyler Florence (Terminal 2 only), as well as wood-fired pizza, fancy salads and sandwiches, local desserts and more. There’s also a huge selection of artisanal cheeses and meats from local purveyors, chocolates, wine, jams, olive oils, and even treats for Fido. All perfect to give (or keep for yourself). Cat Cora Airport food is definitely not like it used to be, as evidenced by the fact that you can grab a bite from world-renowne
7 great San Francisco bars for when you feel like drinking alone
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys being alone, then there’s a good chance that you also enjoy a solo adult beverage in a bar from time to time. Next time you seek a spot at the bar where you'll feel welcomed and won’t feel obliged to chat, try these seven SF watering holes for a little "me time." St. Regis Lobby Lounge Hotel bars are always a great option for drinking solo, especially if you're not super comfortable sitting unaccompanied with a cocktail. Thanks to business travelers, you won’t be alone in being alone. The St. Regis is particularly great because it offers excellent service, boozy drinks and (the key to successful alone drinking) several seating options. Grab a seat on one of the comfy couches or at a table and you’ll receive excellent service, but otherwise be left alone. Find a seat at the bar and there’s a good chance you’ll end up in a conversation with someone you’d otherwise never meet. The cocktails aren’t cheap (this is the St. Regis, after all), but the elegant setting and excellent people watching make up for the few extra dollars you’ll end up spending. Sutter Station Tavern If you work downtown and need a strong drink in a totally unpretentious setting, you can’t go wrong with Sutter Station. This old school watering hole even opens at 7am on the weekdays! It’s a true dive with tons of regulars, a couple of pool tables, affordable drinks and a crowd that will be friendly if you want, but also leave you alone if you’re not in the mood to mingl
You’ll be riding BART’s new neon railcars by Thanksgiving
The original BART cars may have seemed futuristic when they first began service over 40 years ago, but (as any commuter can tell you) they are rapidly nearing the end of their lives. Thankfully, BART's aging fleet is about about to be replaced with shiny new cars that will be quieter, cooler and more comfortable. The new cars were originally scheduled to start carrying passengers by the end of 2016, but testing and bug fixes caused a year-long delay. Luckily, the new cars finally passed safety tests over the weekend, and are on track (pun intended) to start transporting people by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, your chances of actually riding one of the new railcars this November are pretty slim; only 10 of the new “Fleet of the Future” cars will be rolled out at first, and BART’s plan is to run them as a single 10-car train during commuting hours and two five-car trains during off-peak hours. An additional 10 cars will be added by the end of the year and 16 new cars will be built and shipped every month after that, so that 70 new cars will be on the tracks by next summer. An additional 150 new cars will be put into the system each year, until the entire legacy fleet of 669 is completely replaced by the 775 new cars in 2022. It will definitely be worth the wait though. The new cars are even more environmentally friendly than the existing ones—which is pretty impressive considering the current ones are among the nation’s best in that area. They will also be quieter thanks to new
Where to eat and drink this week to support fire relief efforts
Dozens of wild fires have devastated communities in the North Bay, killing 40 people and leaving thousands of residents without a home. Many Bay Area bars and restaurants are scheduling fundraisers and donating proceeds of food and drink sales to help victims of the natural disaster. Here are a few places you can eat and drink this week to help out. Hotel Zeppelin When: Friday, Oct 20 6–9pm Rambler, the restaurant inside Hotel Zeppelin, is hosting a Fighting the Fires event in its colorful downstairs event space to help families who were displaced by the fire. There will be a silent auction and raffle, and a portion of the bar sales will be donated to fire victims. Salt & Straw When: Friday, Oct 20 11am–11pm Salt & Straw is opening a second SF shop in Hayes Valley this Friday, October 20 and 15% of the day’s profits from both locations (the other one is in Lower Pacific Heights) will go to fire relief efforts via the Redwood Credit Union and Farmer’s Guild. Gather When: Oct 18 and Oct 25 5–9pm Gather in Berkeley is suspending its Wine Wednesday discounts during October and instead is donating 50% of all wine sales (by the bottle and glass) to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, which is ensuring all donations go directly to aid fire victims and relief efforts. Agave Uptown When: Through Oct 22 Agave Uptown will donate 10% of all proceeds to support Northern California fire relief efforts. Finn Town When: The next four Wednesdays, Oct 18, 25 and Nov 1, 8 Finn Town's
You can now spend Halloween night in an Alcatraz jail cell
If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it’s like to spend the night in a haunted jail cell in an underground dungeon, you can finally make your dream (nightmare?) come to life this Halloween. For the first time ever, the San Francisco Dungeon is offering a one-night stay in its Ghosts of Alcatraz jail cell, where you can spend the night in the terrifying darkness of an authentically reproduced (and probably haunted) Alcatraz cell. The evening begins with VIP entry to the final San Francisco Dungeon show of the night, a funny (but also slightly scary) tour through 200 years of San Francisco history. Expect gripping stories about the violence and greed of the Gold Rush and the plague that hit Chinatown, all performed on stages with props and special effects. And because it’s Halloween, you’ll also be forced to test your luck as you confront superstitions like walking under ladders, looking into broken mirrors and other things you’ve spent your entire life trying to avoid. When that leg of the journey ends, an even more terrifying one will begin. You and three of your friends or family will be “locked” into a cell where you’ll sleep in twin-sized prison beds—just like Al Calpone and The Birdman. You’ll even be issued prison-themed pajamas (that you take home) to wear for the duration of your sentence. Luckily, the “guards” at the Dungeon are friendlier than most, so one will tuck you in with spooky bedtime stories and midnight snacks fit for an inmate. And though you can try t
The 7 restaurants you have to eat at to call yourself a San Franciscan
San Francisco is known for its outstanding and inventive food, and we’re lucky that there is no shortage of new and exciting eateries opening every month. Still, while dining at the hottest new spot is fun, it won’t get you the kind of local cred you’ll earn for dining at these seven San Francisco institutions. Dare we say, you shouldn’t consider yourself a local until you’ve crossed these off of your dining bucket list. And then put them right back on it again. Photograph: Courtesy Cliff House Cliff House Sea Cliff Cliff House was constructed in 1863 and has hosted President Ulysses S. Grant (who, while there, used a telephone for the very first time), Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain and William Taft. It's had an entire wing destroyed by a dynamite-loaded schooner that crashed into the rocks at Point Lobos, was burned to the ground on Christmas Day, went through several remodels, burned down again and was finally restored to its 1909 neoclassical style in the early aughts. A main draw is the view of Seal Rock and the Pacific, but the Bloody Mary is a classic for a reason. House of Prime Rib Nob Hill This Bay Area institution has been serving locals and tourists prime rib and martinis in a charmingly old-fashioned space since the 1940s, and shows no signs of slowing down. Prime rib is the only thing on the menu (okay, there’s also a fish of the day, but no one is going to the House of Prime Rib to eat fish), which means your only decision is which of the four cuts to get. All
Break your Yom Kippur fast at these tasty Jewish spots
Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, starts at sundown on Friday and lasts through sundown on Saturday, and since Jewish law prohibits any work to be done until Saturday evening, you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to break fast with a delicious meal. These five Bay Area delis and bakeries have you covered with catering menus that feature comforting dishes that are either easy to reheat or don’t need to be heated at all. Some will even deliver so you don’t have to schlep it all home. May you have an easy fast and g’mar chatimah tovah! Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen Wise Sons will cater and deliver all of your favorite Jewish comfort food, including braised brisket, matzo ball soup, noodle kugel, smoked fish platters, babka and more this weekend. Just fill out this form at least 48 hours before you want to pick your meal up or make it even easier on yourself and have it delivered. Want to eat out? You can enjoy the full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu all day at the 24th Street deli location. Wise Sons' challah is also available for $9 at all locations, including the new bagel shop in Larkspur. Photograph: Courtesy Frena Bakery Frena Bakery This kosher bakery on 6th and Minna has only been open since December, but is already proving to be a dream come true for anyone craving authentic Israeli baked goods. The catering menu offers a variety of sweet and savory options like burekas (handmade layered phyllo dough stuffed with fresh savory ingredients),