Other NEIGHBORHOODS, San Francisco
I'm not exactly sure where Pacific Heights ends and Cow Hollow begins, but I think it's aound Marina St. Both are seperate neighborhoods with a definate different look and feel. Cow Hollow is much more relaxed, though just as expensive. The homes have a slightly funkier look, and the streets are filled with yoga studios and old book stores. Start out in Pacific Heights on Union and walk towards Filbert St. Active nightclub scene at night. Check out my general tip for a free walking tour of Cow Hollow.
Everyone knows about Chinatown, North Beach, Japantown, etc.. But San Francisco also has a small French Quarter. Located on Belden Ave and another small street nearby, the French Quarter is a collection of restaurants and bars representing mostly french but include other european countries. Plouf, Cafe Bastille, Cafe de la Presse, all places to check out a good meal.
In town on Bastille Day?? There is always a street festival with DJs all day, drink and food vending outside of the restaurants and lots of international characters packed into a couple of locations.
When looking at the entrance to Chinatown (the main gates), simply turn right on Bush and walk down the street a block. Belden Place is on your left. There is another smaller street off to the right anchored by Cafe Claude.
When we were walking in San Francisco we saw "Levi Plaza" on the map. We didn't know what it was, but went there anyway. We found out it was a small park on both sides of Battery Street. It's a beautiful little park.
When you are in Levi Plaza you won't notice that you are in a huge city. A great place to relax.
The Inner Sunset neighborhood, especially around the area of 9th and Judah, is a great area for food and charming stores such as independent booksellers, coffee, and clothing shops. There is also great food around this area - for example one of the best bakeries in San Francisco is located in this area - Arizmendi Bakery. One of my favorite creperies is The Crepevine on Judah and 8th. Furthermore, there are authentic, delicious Asian restaurants located nearby. Most tourists do not know about this neighborhood, as it is mostly residential, but the area around Judah and 9th is terrific for tourists to get to know the real, not touristy, San Francisco.
Judah and 9th is accessible if you take the N Judah line from Powell Station downtown and get off at Judah and 9th. The trip will take around 25 minutes or so.
The website below is a great resource for the area, with listings and descriptions of all the cafes, restaurants, and shopping.
Little Saigon is a tiny two-block by two-block neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco's often-rough Tenderloin district. Larkin Street between Eddy and O'Farrell streets was officially designated Little Saigon in 2004, and it is home to some 2,000 of the city's 13,000 Vietnamese people. 80 percent of the businesses in Little Saigon, including restaurants, tailors, barbers, laundries, markets, and more are owned by local Vietnamese people. The neighborhood is marked with yellow banners welcoming visitors to the community.
We spent just a few hours in Little Saigon, shopping at a few of the markets and having lunch at one of the restaurants, called the Turtle Tower Restaurant.
Nearby San Jose has a much larger Vietnamese population estimated at around 90,000 people, making it the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam, but San Jose does not have a designated Vietnamese neighborhood like Little Saigon.
Built in 1866 by a blacksmith with 11 kids, it remains a private residence till today. The blacksmith already made his fortune (during the Gold Rush era) when he built the house. And this white Italian style mansion looks awesome.
Pierce Street where it is located is very steep, but I sure did not regret about passing and looking at this gorgeous house. I wonder who owns it now..
After we finished at Coit Tower we decided to walk back to Town via Filbert Steps. What a lovely calm oasis this turned out to be. The Spring flowers were out and the colours and perfume were wonderful. The steps are steep and not for everybody. The houses and gardens were quaint - some ramshackle some wonderful residences. It seemed quite bohemian and a great place to live - in town but somehow select and quiet. We did not see the famous parrots but we will go again to meet them.
In the heart of Japantown is the KABUKI SPRINGS & SPA. Come here to soak in hot and cold baths, get steamed, scrub down in sea salts, & relax w/ cucumbers over your eyes. Get a massage, a facial treatment, or a seaweed wrap. Drink tea and know that while you are in a calm, relaxing environment the world is whirling around you outdoors.
You can opt to just soak in the baths or get a package deal with a combined treatment or massage.
Baths are communal (private available), and there are women-only days, men-only days, and coed days.
Prices are very reasonable (just to soak US$15-18, depending on when you go) so you won`t spend a fortune.
Address: 1750 Geary Blvd. (at Fillmore),
San Francisco, CA 94115
Yeah, so I'm a self-proclaimed San Franciscan and I'm somewhat of a snoot about it lol Tourists are usually congregated in the Downtown and Haight area and the various other tourist attractions as well, Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, but there are other parts of the city that a lot of tourists seem to miss either because of their rushed tour or just busy window shopping in downtown, why not go see Hippie Hill? and check out what the travelers, the hippies and local college students (myself included from time to time haha), sit at Dolores Park and people watch and go to the tippy top and get the entire view of the city, walk on Valencia and Mission, go get the famous birite ice cream and find the Brownie man! walk on Irving, walk on Clement around that 6th avenue area, check out Green Apple, get dimsum! and a huge hugeee burrito did I just give away all my favourite spots in the city? lol enjoy folks
If interested in architecture and off-the-beaten-path routs, take a tour of Eastern part of Pacific Heights neighborhood. You`ll see some old mansions, hear stories about SF people and past.
LOCATION: tour leaves from the Haas-Lilienthal House (at 2007 Franklin Street) every Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Reservations are not required.
PRICE: $8; Seniors & Children 12 & under: $5.
DURATION: about 2 hours.
NOTE: There is also a free tour of Pacific Heights offered by SF City Guides every Saturday and 3rd Tuesday of a month at 11am. It leaves from the Alta Plaza park.
Tourists don't usually see the charming and diverse neighborhoods of San Francisco. You'll rarely see a local hanging out at the wharf on a Saturday night! Instead of being shuffled around the tourist traps in Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf, head to the Mission or SOMA neighborhoods for some nightlife. Spend a Sunday afternoon cruising the shops in Noe Valley or on Chestnut Street. Or how about stopping by 9th and Irving for a coffee after a walk in Golden Gate park. Try 'Park Chow' or 'Avenue 9', both on 9th Avenue.
Japantown. On Geary street, west of the downtown area. A shopping district dedicated to all things Japanese and quite large too by SF standards. Nearby there are the famous Filmore and Boom Boom Boom concert clubs.
WEST PORTAL - This quiet neighborhood is located on the far side of the Twin Peaks hills. So far, it's been relatively untouched by the mass gentrification of a lot of the city. The retail strip is about four or five blocks long, with a few nice restaurants, coffee shops, and other assorted stores. The neighborhood was built in tandem with the streetcar tunnel through the hills, early in the century. Today, you can take a K, L or M METRO train from Market Street to the West Portal station.
the sunset district is not along the tourist beaten path simply because it is far from the famous areas but you will see the real san francisco life in these neighborhoods here. Local go here especially at the Stonestown Galleria to Shop and also to go to school since there are a number of schools located here like Parnassus campus and medical center of the University of California, San Francisco and the main campus of San Francisco State University and Lowell High School. The sunset district contains many large park and recreation areas like the San Francisco Zoo which is located in the southwestern corner of the neighborhood by Lake Merced, the largest lake within San Francisco (see my lake merced tips). Also within the Lake Merced area are two large golf courses, the private Olympic Club and San Francisco Golf Club, and the public TPC Harding Park. Across from Lake Merced is Fort Funston, an old coastal battery, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The Noe valley is not on the usual tourist place to see in San Francisco unless you want to feel the real life of a native. It is one of the working class neighborhoods in San Francisco and it underwent gentrification in the 1990's and at present, the area has the largest concentration of victorian houses in the whole of San Francisco (but it is eclipsed by the glamourous post card row of the nearby Alamo Sqaure in the hayes vallay in the Alamo District. There are quite a number of good restos and shops here at noe valley and at present, real estate prices here are among the highest in the whole of San Francisco. Among the restos and bars here are: Contigo, Fresca, Firefly, Le Zinc, Noeteca, Incanto, Ristorante Bacco, Savor, Fattoush, Chole’s Café, Amberjack, Pomelo, Hamano Sushi and Deep Sushi, and Eric’s and Alice’s Chinese, Café XO, Lovejoy’s Tea Room, Martha & Brothers Coffee Company, Tully’s and, of course, Starbucks. And there are even a few cool bars like Bliss, The Dubliner and Valley Tavern. Noe Valley is bordered by Grand View Avenue on the west, 21st Street on the north, Dolores Street on the east, and 30th Street on the south.