Capital’s Guide to San Francisco

With our Weekend Getaway Contest ending, we’d like to provide our readers and potential winner with a brief overview of one of the greatest cities on earth. The beauty and diversity of San Francisco can be attributed to each of its distinguished neighborhoods, so we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites to give you an idea of what you’re in for.

The Mission

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What it’s about:

San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood happens to be the most interesting and exciting. Considered to have some of the best weather in the city, the Mission is also home to rich hispanic history and culture.

Where To Go:

Start your day off with a cup of coffee from our personal favourite Four Barrel. With a beautiful, rustic interior and arguably the best cup of joe around, its a perfect way to start a morning in SF. It’s common knowledge that the Mission is home to the finest burritos in town and one of the best you’ll find is Taqueria Cancun. Burrito in hand, stroll over to the beloved Dolores Park on 19th Ave and enjoy the beautiful view of downtown.

The Sunset

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What it’s about:

The western end of Sunset District is bordered by the mile long sands of Ocean Beach. This dreamy neighborhood is often cloaked in the fog that has it’s own twitter handle and is a hot spot for surfers and artists alike.

Where To Go:

Start with brunch at Outerlands. It boasts an awesome seasonal menu based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. As there’s sometimes a wait for a table (rightfully so) be extra sure to check out Trouble Coffee. The story behind this tiny coffee shop and it’s amazing toast was featured on This American Life, along with the owner Giulietta Carrelli.

NoPa (North of the Panhandle) & Western Addition

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What it’s about:

NoPa and Western Addition play host to some of the oldest Victorian homes in the city. With cute cafes, hip shops and colorful architecture this neighborhood is also conveniently located near Golden Gate Park.

Where To Go:

Well of course you will want to head to Alamo Square and pay your respects to the famous “Painted Ladies” (Full House anyone?). After taking in the views Alamo Square has to offer, wander on over to the Bi-Rite Grocery for some seriously delicious ice cream.

Potrero Hill

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What it’s about:

Potrero Hill could be considered one of the bay area’s best kept secrets. Located on the eastern side of SF, it is a front runner for San Francisco sunniest neighborhood. With sweeping views of downtown and the bay, it’s beautiful location and a great place to escape the fast pace of downtown.

Where To Go:

Spend some of your afternoon strolling Vermont Street, between 20th and 22nd, who’s switchbacks are reminiscent of the super touristy Lombard Street without the crowds. If it’s time to wet your whistle, head over to highly esteemed Anchor Brewing. They originated the California Common styled beer. For dinner, Papito is a must for an amazing organic Mexican meal.

SoMa (South of Market)

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What it’s about:

The South of Market district (SoMa, in most people’s vernacular) is the center of tech in SF. Many of the biggest names online have offices here including Twitter, Pinterest, Square, Firefox and Google. It’s also home of the Giants ballpark and the Museum of Modern Art. SoMa integrates hip bars and swanky spots with Industrial, warehouse style buildings.

Where To Go:

Marlowe is one of our favorite restaurants in SoMa, with an award-winning menu and cozy ambience it’s definitely worth checking out (and you will if you win Capital’s San Francisco getaway!). After a fantastic meal, try something different and head over to 111 Minna. This art gallery moonlights as a dance club, with clientele from all walks of life ending up here and a steel and copper bar that is quite literally a work of art (created by sculptor Jud Bergeron). There is always something worth while happening here.

Union Square

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What it’s about:

This is where you come to shop-till-you-drop. This bustling area of downtown refers to a landmark urban park in the shopping and hotel district. Surrounded by a multitude of boutiques, theaters, art galleries, restaurants and café’s there is no shortage of things to do, see and buy!

Where To Go:

Alternative to functioning as a retail connoisseur’s haven, Union Square is a perfect setting for dinner and a show. Dine at the 1930’s styled John’s Grill, then choose from the myriad of theaters ranging from the world famous American Conservatory Theatre to more independent, experimental ones. There’s something here to suite everyone’s taste.