Amid the depths of the Northeast winters we experience here in the Maine, I find myself longing to head cross-country to soak up the flavors and, most importantly, the sun. And what better place to fulfill my Vitamin D cravings than California?
When I think of California, San Francisco is the first city that comes to mind. It’s fun, it’s eclectic, and there are ups at every block (pun intended). Not to mention its food scene is bright and vibrant – everything I could ever want while stuck in hibernation here in Maine.
So I nestled into a blanket one day, miles from the life and cheer of San Francisco’s sunny streets, to put together a list of the city’s hottest spots, with the hopes of rejuvenating myself on this chilly Maine day. There’s nothing that gets me more excited for the warm months of Spring than writing a list of my fave spots in the West Coast city of San Fran.
1. For an authentic hipster coffee shop experience: The Mill
The Mill is a hybrid bakery and coffee shop. Be prepared for delicious pastries, smooth coffee, and funky and inventive pieces of toast. The room itself is an airy and open space with large tables and outdoor seating, and it’s perfect for people-watching along the Upper Haight while sipping smooth, strong coffee and munching on delicious toasts. Disclaimer: The Mill is so hipster that there isn’t even wifi (big deal).
2. For a relaxed (yet trendy) brunch: Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema is the perfect place to go when you want an oasis within a city, not to mention a great Instagram. You will walk through hallowed halls of an old movie theater and into the backyard of your dreams. You can’t go wrong with any dish here, and the one you can go the most right with is the Heavenly Scramble pictured above.
3. For when you really need something from your parents: Nopa
Nopa is arguably the best dining experience to be had in the entire city of San Fran, and it will for sure put your parents in a great mood. The waiters are beyond informed and helpful, the wine list puts all of us “Barefoot” drinkers in even deeper shame than we already are, and the food is flavorful and fresh.
Both during and after this meal, there is little to no chance that parents could possibly say no to that new puppy you’ve been hinting at.
#SpoonTip: Check out their menu and don’t skip the smoked trout toast pictured below.
4. For an Insta-worthy afternoon with the girls: Humphry Slocombe
Experiencing all of the fragrant smells of different vendors in the Ferry Building, walking and sitting along the boardwalk, or chatting and laughing with the squad are all things a girl wants and needs when creating the perfect Instagram and afternoon. Check out Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream for wild times and wild flavors such as Secret Breakfast or Jesus Juice.
5. For some post-shopping lunch: Jane on Fillmore
In the middle of a street that is on an approximate 90 degree angle slope, there is a little beacon of hope called Jane. Stop here to replenish those electrolytes and lighten the mood after an exhausting morning of walking up hills and trying on every style of leggings that Lululemon has to offer. Jane has hearty breakfast salads, stunning breakfast sandwiches, and incredible coffee.
6. For a group dinner with good vibes AND good food: Perbaco
Perbacco is the spot to go to when you really need to catch up with a big group of your best friends and also indulge in beautiful pastas and side dishes. Perbacco has great energy along with a great menu, and it is truly impossible to find an unappealing dish. However, if you don’t get the Brussels sprouts, you’ll be majorly missing out.
7. For when you want something funky and fresh: The Slanted Door
The Slanted Door is the place to go before you indulge in a delicious cone from Humphrey Slocombe. It has fresh and vibrant flavors that epitomize the energetic vibes of the city and Ferry Building itself. You can sit outside and have a great view of the water or sit inside and have a nice respite from the busy exterior.