I have heard my parents talk about their love for San Fransisco all growing up. And then finally in high school my parents took my family to visit there to visit my grandparents who were living there. I remember loving the atmosphere of the city, the street performers, and the food. Then fast forward a couple of years a marriage and a few kids later, where I was with some girl friends wanting to go on a fun girls trip. The trip originally started as a plan to run the Ragnar race and timing just didn’t work out for everyone so we switched it to a girls trip with no running and a lot of eating. It was definitely a good trade off! So my 2 friends and I headed to San Fransisco for a long weekend trip. We went from Wednesday to Sunday and it was just the perfect amount of time to add in some fun activities and some fun eating places. We stayed at the Sir Fransis Drake Hotel. The rooms were spacious and the hotel was very nice. They had fun guys outside dressed up to greet you! We loved the location in Union Station because it was by shopping and a movie theatre.
I will start with the activities and finish off with the food! We decided to rent these yellow go carts in Union Station and explore the city! They have a tracker on the car so that a voice will tell you the history of the city as you drive! It was super cool to learn things about the city while cruising around in the go carts. Definitely a highlight of the trip!
We also rented a limo that night for 5 hours and the driver took us to the best spots to take pictures. Explain more about the city and where famous people lived. We imagined this night a little differently in our heads. We planned on going to restaurant to restaurant for appetizer, dinner, and desserts and just having fun. Instead the limo driver thought we had rented it to tour the city. It was still a very fun experience but next time I would tell the driver beforehand what our plans were.
We spent some time at the pier watching street performers, saw the sea lions, walking through shops, and they have a farmers market on Saturdays that is absolutely worth going to! I wish we would have had more time when we went.
Roasted half chicken from the farmers market
Whole roasted chicken
Another activity that we did was that we went to Chinatown and walked around. We were actually there for one of the Chinese holidays so the streets were very crowded and they had cool decorations and banners and a parade going on! We also went to a reflexology place that was great and got hour long treatments! We loved it and it was much needed after all the walking around that we did! We also went to the fortune cookie factory and watched them make fortune cookies and that was really cool.
We also went and saw a couple of chick clicks and went to a broadway show, Motown while we were there. It was a fun very entertaining show. And beware they make you hold hands with the person next to you while raising them together and singing songs. Made for a good laugh!
Now onto the good stuff….the food!
Mama’s on Washington Square– We woke up early to go to Mama’s and waited in line for two hours. We ordered a few more pastries but our favorite was the berry crumb one. Everything we had was good. The best was the famous monte cristo sandwich. This was a good breakfast place but we weren’t quite sure if it was worth waking up early for and standing in line for 2 hours when we only were visiting for a few days. We decided if the wait was about half the time we would go again or if we were there for more days. I think it is mostly the experience of going to the famous Mama’s on Washington Square!
Swedish Cinnamon French Toast with Seasonal Berries
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Omelet with Sourdough Toast and Potatoes
One night for dinner we went to Burma Superstar
– what an interesting dining experience!!! We ordered way too much food but it was cool to try all the random dishes. Note to self don’t order 6 dishes for 3 people. Everyone will look at you weird and wonder why in the world you thought it was ok to order that much food haha. We tried the coconut chicken noodle soup. It has a lot of curry in it and half the time you aren’t really sure what you are eating but it tasted good. My favorite was the walnut shrimp and coconut rice. Be ready for a culinary experience with this place!
Nan Pia Dok
Spicy and Crispy Chicken
Tacolicious for lunch! We enjoyed their variety of salsas and good chips. We tried their chile con queso and it wasn’t out favorite. Tasted a lot like straight velveeta. We tired their carnitas, short rib, pacific cod tacos. We all had our favorites. Mine was the short rib. They offer tacos individually and then you get a price break at 4 and 10 tacos. 4 tacos was too much for me so i recommend ordering together and getting a variety of tacos.
For Lunch we stopped by the Fisherman’s Grotto
and had soup and salad and appetizers. I think both of these soups were probably the best seafood based soups I have ever had. Literally could have bathed in the Lobster Bisque! I ordered the fried bay shrimp and it was nothing that I would have thought it would be when I ordered it. I was picturing more of a fried shrimp and chips type of thing. Instead in was shrimp with thinly spun breading on the outside. Almost like a Japanese type of fried shrimp. This is a classy place. Next time I would go for dinner and dress nice and make a nice night out of it. I would order the soup and then one of their freshly caught fish that they catch off the pier every morning.
Boston Clam Chowder
Fried Bay Shrimp
We headed to the famous Ghirardelli Square and enjoyed a hot fudge sundae, sea salt caramel hot fudge sundae, and then went to another small Ghirardelli shop and ordered the Banana and sea salt caramel quake shake. Everything I have tried here has been amazing but the quake shake has always been my favorite and every time I go to Disney’s California Adventures I stop by and get the same shake!
Sea Salt Caramel Hot Fudge Sundae
Banana and Sea Salt Caramel Quake Shake
Hot Fudge Sundae
– I think this was our favorite restaurant of the trip! My friend absolutely loved the the insalata tricolore salad that she even ordered another one after she finished it. The neapolitan meatball was yummy and big enough to split between the 3 of us. We ordered a side of roasted cauliflower and it was some of the best cauliflower I have ever had. We got the salsiccia pizza the crust was thick and good and the ingredients were good and fresh.
insalata tricolore salad
– After that we went to a fun new ice cream sandwich place where you pick out your choice of homemade cookies and pair it with homemade ice cream and then you can add toppings if you would like. The place was a very fun environment. They had fun music playing and the workers were very energetic. I had the snickerdoodle cookie with peaches and cream and caramel.
We ate breakfast at Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery
because it was close to our hotel. We found it on yelp and it ended up exceeding out expectations. There was a line when we walked in and it was pretty crowded so that was our first clue that it was going to be good! We got their pancakes, the SBK crepes and the croissant sandwich. I loved their potatoes! I feel like that is a deal breaker for me if a breakfast place doesn’t have good potatoes.
Another really fun place that we went to brunch on our way out of town was Hops & Hominy
. This swanky place was delicious. We had been recommended to go there by a few people and it was sooooo yummy! Unfortunately we weren’t able to order off their whole menu because we were there for brunch. But next time I go I will definitely be going there for dinner. They write their menu daily with whatever they order so the menu is always different so it is hard to say what to order but we got a breakfast burrito, biscuits and gravy (their biscuits are unreal!!!)
And another fun thing that we did was go to their food truck round up called Off the Grid
. There was a variety of yummy food trucks. Most of them had long lines and were packed. We tried a good variety of food. A creme brûlée cart, a BBQ truck, a doughnut truck, a cupcake truck, a cotton candy stand and an asian fusion truck. It was super fun. We didn’t love the BBQ truck or the cupcake truck. the Creme brûlée cart was super fun where you could pick you base flavor and then a topping and then another topping. We tried the Sugar and Spun cotton candy cart and got nutella cotton candy and another flavor that I can’t remember I think it was cookie butter It was super fun and I wish my kids were there to try it!
The Creme Brûlée Cart
What a fun and memorable girls trip! Hope this food, hotel, and travel information helps make your trip more fun, enjoyable, and definitely more tasty!