News / City Life

20 things you’ll miss when you leave San Francisco

Photograph: Flickr/Whitney Porter

Like they say, you don’t know what you had until it’s gone. Here are 20 things that will make you leave your heart in San Francisco.

1. SF country-style bread with a glorious flavor spike of sourdough. You know, like the wondrous loaves from Tartine Bakery and Josey Baker.

2. Neighborhood farmers’ markets… that run year-round.

3. Going to the beach or Dolores Park or picnicking in Golden Gate Park during a freaky heat wave in February.

4. SF’s specialty markets, like Bi-Rite Market and Rainbow Grocery. Each are one in a million.

5. Being in a city that has outlawed plastic bags. It’s pretty tragic to see how the rest of the US doesn’t give a shit. They’re too busy double-bagging your groceries in plastic.

6. Being charged 10 cents for a bag. Truly. It's changed the way people shop, and has made people carry and bring their own bags, or figure out a way to carry something home, like in their purse, backpack or good ol' hands. Go SF!

7. Composting. SF is leading the way with our citywide composting program. It’s gross how much more garbage you generate when you can’t compost.

8. All the fun and funky public art.

9. Taquerias. Duh.

10. An array of quality salsas, chips and tortillas at your local market—heck, even your corner store. This is not standard outside Cali, by the way. DO NOT take these things for granted.

11. Your neighborhood dispensary like, a block away. Your pot card. And the smell of weed everywhere (much, much better than cigarettes).

12. More than one kind of kale at the market. The rest of the nation seems to be okay with just curly kale, but they are missing out on lacinato something fierce.

13. The huge array of beautiful seasonal produce. Again, year-round.

14. The daily SF freak show.

15. Being in a such a bike-friendly city. And having friends who ride bikes too.

16. Seeing blinky and furry Burning Man bikes out in the mix.

17. Bohemian vibes.

18. The freshness of SF air.

19. The redwoods, and the smell of eucalyptus.

20. And you didn’t think I was going to forget Karl the Fog, did you?

What do you miss most when you're away from San Francisco? Let us know in the comments section below.


Recommended feature

The coolest San Francisco tours actually worth taking See the coolest San Francisco tours actually worth taking



Thor S

This is a pretty lame listicle -- really, different varieties of kale, the ubiquitous smell of pot, and doubling up on bicycles is the best SF has got? My list shares a couple, but is significantly different (and, I like to think, culturally richer): (1) the Castro Theater and its programming, (2) Moe's and the other used bookstores of Berkeley, (3) the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film archive (even though they're losing their stunning poured concrete building), (4) taquerias, (5) vintage streetcars from around the world (and now running all the way around the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf), (6) the temperate weather, even though it changes every few hours, (7) the sight, rumbles, and dings of the cable cars, (8) all the handsome gay men, (9) sourdough bread so crusty it'll cut your gums, served with cold sweet butter, (10) The Palace of Fine Arts and park, (11) views of the hills, Coit Tower, and the Golden Gate Bridge, (12) the Golden Gate Park and Japanese Tea Garden, (13) Amoeba Records, (14) the Out of the Closet thrift shops, (15) taquerias, (16) taquerias, and (17) taquerias.