PRMS 2023 Guide to San Francisco
Whether you live around the Bay Area or are visiting the Golden Gate City for the first time, there is so much to love about San Francisco. In anticipation of our upcoming annual reception hosted in San Francisco this May, PRMS has compiled a guide to help you eat, drink, shop, and navigate your way around the city.
San Francisco is most certainly a culinary capital of the West Coast, and there is something for every food afficionado. Sample as much authentic dim sum as you can at City View Restaurant or Great Eastern Restaurant in Chinatown or HK Lounge Bistro in Union Square. Grab a dozen oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company and take a sourdough bread bowl chowder and a lobster or crab roll to-go at the Fisherman’s Wharf Chowder and Crab sidewalk stand along the water. Sears Fine Foods and The Grove are two top-notch spots for breakfast – take the Powell Street cable car to Sears for a stack of their world-famous Swedish pancakes or mosey over to The Grove for fresh-pressed OJ, PRMS’ Director of Marketing Danielle Bolger’s favorite for a dose of Vitamin C! Take advantage of one of San Francisco’s 154 Michelin-rated restaurants, including Del Popolo for pizza, Sons & Daughters for a Nordic-inspired tasting menu, Benu for contemporary Asian cuisine, or The Morris for top-notch cocktails and a wine list to rival the comfort food. There is no shortage of authentic cuisines, from Japanese to Mexican, here either. PRMS’ Julia Bajereanu, Senior Client & Partner Relations Manager, recommends Leleka for authentic Ukrainian dumplings – the beef pelmeni and potato vareniki are not to be missed!
From cocktails to coffee, San Francisco can quench any level of thirst morning, noon, or night. Blue Bottle Coffee and Philz Coffee, both San Fran-born brands, have multiple outposts throughout the city - don’t miss Blue Bottle’s Bella Donovan blend and the Philz Iced Mint Mojito, Philz-way. If coffee isn’t your thing, try a Chaggacino, an adaptogenic blend of chaga mushrooms, cacao, and cinnamon from Alfred inside the LINE SF Hotel. Looking for something a bit stronger? The Proper Hotel’s rooftop bar, Charmaine’s, Cityscape Lounge on the 46th floor of the Hilton SF Union Square, and Top of the Mark at The InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel all provide spectacular city views. For a dose of San Francisco history, visit the House of Shields, an old-school bar established in 1908 with a storied history as a Prohibition-era speakeasy – rumor has it there’s a secret tunnel connecting the bar to the Palace Hotel, where patrons could sneak over for a forbidden cocktail back in the day!
After you’ve filled up on all that San Fran has to offer, you’ll have to hit all the spots. Rent a bike through Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals to do just that – bike the Golden Gate Bridge – or just walk the path alongside the San Francisco Bay for a full panoramic view (so long as it’s not a foggy day!). You can even take a day trip to Sausalito across the bridge or sample some of the country’s best wines in Sonoma or Napa Valley just under an hour away from the city. Make your way to Fisherman’s Wharf’s various piers for fresh seafood rolls, seal sightings, and a view of Alcatraz Island, the infamous prison that held mobster Al Capone, or take a ferry over to visit the Alcatraz Museum’s latest exhibit on Mass Incarceration in the United States. If you’re just looking for a good view, get a taste of the sweet life by visiting the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience in historic Ghirardelli Square, where you can savor chocolate-forward sundaes, shakes, bars, hot cocoas, inside at the store’s Alcatraz Room and take in the scents of freshly made chocolate at the Chocolatier Station inside the store.
Walk through the Dragon Gate to get to Chinatown, one of the oldest and most notable in the country. PRMS’ Director of Marketing’s favorites here include a tea tasting with the owner of Vital Tea Leaf, “Uncle Gee,” (be sure to sample the caffeine-free Blue Tea – you'll want to take home a bag), followed by freshly-made warm egg custard tarts, buns, cakes, and more from one of Chinatown’s bakeries like Garden Bakery, Yummy Bakery and Café, Eastern Bakery, Good Mong Kok, and AA Bakery. Pop into the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory for an assortment of handmade fortune cookies in a variety of flavors like Green Tea and Strawberry and a tour of the factory to discover how the bakery whips up 10,000 cookies a day with a cast iron rotating griddle wheel.
It wouldn’t be a proper visit to San Francisco without a trolley ride. Jump in line at the Powell-Mason or Powell-Hyde Cable Car lines for a unique way to see the city – and scale some of those notoriously steep hills! And speaking of steep – a stop by Lombard Street showcases beautiful florals and views of the bridge and Coit Tower and sends drivers down eight sharp turns downhill. Architecture-lovers will want to stop by Alamo Square for a view of The Painted Ladies, a row of iconic Victorian-style houses painted pastel and featured in several television shows and films, from “Full House” to “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.” The best way to see a little bit of everything the city has to offer? Take a ride on one of San Francisco’s Hop On, Hop Off open-top bus tours like those offered by Big Bus Tours to see the city’s most famous landmarks from the comfort of a double decker bus.
Whatever your plans are for San Francisco, we hope to run into you and wish you the most enjoyable time in the Golden Gate City!
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Authored by PRMS.