GBA Lifestyle News
Travel Outside HK Section
By Charley Lanyon | October 2nd, 2015
  • City Break, Hidden Gems, Hipster Holiday
  • North America, San Francisco, USA

Only have 24 hours to spend in San Francisco? Local expert Charley Lanyon brings you a food-fueled itinerary that frequents all the best local haunts. Charley is an outgoing writer and global maverick with a thirst for alcohol and adventure, and a hunger for new experiences and sandwiches. He has lived in San Francisco on and off for a total of 21 years.

Get Acclimated: With its reputation as the laid-back capital of freakdom USA, San Francisco is embracing a new identity as a faux Mediterranean playground for the newly moneyed googlrati. Don’t worry, there’s still enough of the “real San Francisco” to experience, but get there before it is too late.

From the ultra-hip, historically Latino neighborhood of The Mission and the rough-but-worth it Tenderloin, to the missable but perfectly pleasant  preppy enclave, the Marina district, San Francisco has something for everyone as long as you’re willing to pay for it.

Don’t arrive without… a sweater. Seriously, don’t be a sucker. No matter when you’re visiting, bring layers, lots of layers.

9am: Find Some Soul Food

Have one of the best greasy spoon experiences left in America with a tuna melt at the very no frills Golden Coffee. A foodie willing to wait in line? Brenda’s French Soul Food it is.

This diner is pure gold. Photo: Albyantoniazzi/Flickr via Creative Commons
This diner is pure gold. Photo: Albyantoniazzi/Flickr via Creative Commons

10am-12pm: Take a Morning Wander

View spots are almost never worth it. The view from Twin Peaks in the morning light is.

Explore down by the piers around the Ferry Building; if you get there early enough you can watch the old Chinese men catching leopard sharks.

12-1pm: Time for a Coffee Break

San Francisco serves the best coffee in the world: Philz, Ritual Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle. The hottest coffee spot a la moment is Sightglass in the Mission.

Catch a glimpse of Sightglass Coffee. Photo: Bill Couch/Flickr via Creative Commons
Catch a glimpse of Sightglass Coffee. Photo: Bill Couch/Flickr via Creative Commons

1-3pm: Stop for a Joynt

The Original Tommy’s Joynt, one of the last true Hoff-Braus. Eat like they did in the gold rush: well, and amply, with a side of 50 beers.

3-6pm: See the Sights

Go to a baseball game. I don’t even like sports but a day spent at AT&T Park is one of the most pleasant days there is. You should also take the ferry to Tiburon and grab BBQ’d oysters and a cold beer at Sam’s Anchor Café — on the way, pass under the Golden Gate Bridge and see Alcatraz.

San Francisco
Hit the city streets

6-9pm: Book a Prime Dine

San Francisco famously has some of the best modern fine dining on earth, but skip it. House of Prime Rib is the place to be, ask anyone.

9pm… Have a Drink

The city is still the land of the dive bar and the Geary Club is the best: tiny, cheap, and just a little bit scary. Buy the bartender a scotch.

Where to Stay

If money is no object, the palatial Fairmont San Francisco is the way to go, worth the price for the tiki bar in the basement alone.

Get your tikki on at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel's the Tonga Room
Get your tiki on at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel’s the Tonga Room

Don’t leave without…. eating a burrito. If you don’t you might as well have visited Seattle. Burritos are the best thing about the bay area. Full. Stop.