Travel Guide // Cocktails & Bites in San Fran

Top two questions always on my mind before visiting a new place is where can I eat the best bite & where can I drink the best cocktail? ! I’m a big fan of gathering recommendations through word of mouth and I’m also a huge Yelp fan. I really believe in reading reviews and customer experiences. Here are a few restaurants and bars that really stood out for me on this trip!

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{ Mint Cotton Candy Dessert – picture taken at The Slanted Door }

Bites:

Nopa // This restaurant is first on my list because it is an absolute MUST. The atmosphere was really fun and very nouveax American. I loved my meal – a plate of housemade pappardelle infused in an incredible bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Appetizers consisted of fried broccoli and sardines – both really tasty. Plants and greenery surrounded the tables with geometric shaped lights hanging from above . It should definitely be on everyone’s top restaurant list. * Note: You must make a reservation a month in advance or you will not be seated.

 + Papito // I love Mexican food but I just can’t seem to find a great place in Manhattan which is a real bummer. But in SF, totally different story. I was walking around Hayes Valley and all I wanted were a couple of tacos and a giant margarita. It was my first day in the city so I had no idea where I was going. I quickly “yelped”  Mexican restaurants around the area and *bam* a huge list of four-star places appeared on my phone screen. Papito, an organic Mexican restaurant, had unreal pastor tacos ( pastor = marinated pork shoulder, roasted pineapple, onions, cilantro, salsa verde) and the guacamole was so yum. I was also very content with my Pomegranate Marg. I highly recommend trying this place for lunch!

The Slanted Door // This restaurant is located inside the ferry building and has an amazing view of the bay bridge all lit up at night. My experience here was honestly a bit iffy. The cuisine was modern Vietnamese and the restaurant layout was pretty with huge windows overlooking the bay and the bridge. For apps, my friends and I ordered the Crispy Imperial Rolls & Vegetarian Spring Rolls – all very good. For the main courses, we all shared the lamb rack, the short ribs, scallops and jasmine rice. The meal was definitely pricey and the service was below average, which was fairly disappointing. A few orders were missed and the waitress/hostesses were not very friendly. But something tells me to give  The Slanted Door another try, especially after trying their mint cotton candy dessert…

Super Duper Burger // I sadly did not make it to In-N-Out Burger because believe it or not there was only one in all of San Fran (near Fisherman’s Wharf). Luckily, as soon as I saw the bolded words Super, Duper and Burger I hopped & skipped right to the front. Super Duper Burger is an SF burger chain located all around the city. The burger was so.juicy.so.good. The brioche bun was intertwined with two patties and the perfect amount of cheese was oozing out on my plate. The fries were so crispy and also had the choice of ordering a basket of garlic fries. I am a huge burger/fries aficionado and was overall very impressed with this find.

2836825b6d75d1d4e89648adc1d99457{ cocktail image from Pinterest }

Bars & Cocktails: 

The Tipsy Pig // This place had such a cute & sweet atmosphere. A few friends and I stopped by right before dinner for a drink or two which was perfect. There is a lit up outdoor area with wooden benches where we all sat outside in the warm January Cali weather. Christmas lights wrapped around all of the trees and there was a very American rustic feel. I had two very different cocktails – Strawberry Fields which was a bit too sweet for me and the Mariposa Gimlet which ended up being jusstt right.

+ 15 Romolo // This bar was a real hidden gem that I would have never found if I wasn’t hanging out with friends whom have now become SF locals. It is a bigger sized bar located down an alley just a few flight of stone steps up. The atmosphere was very hip and very grey cave like. It reminded me of the hidden speak easies in Manhattan. The Pimms Cup is their famous cocktail on the menu and I definitely recommend it.

Vesuvio Café // This is a really classic bar and should be a definite must visit. The setting is really quirky and very cool with an eclectic set up. The walls are filled with poetry, pictures, actors, actresses, quotes and phrases. Red velvet textured curtains draped across the windows and it was once upon a time Jack Kerouac’s favorite bar. It felt like an old saloon from way back when, filled with a lot of charm and history. A historic bar everyone should try.

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