For a city like San Francisco that has constantly been evolving in the past decades, it’s reassuring to have neighborhoods like the Richmond and the Sunset, where restaurants and cafes have been around for generations. Located at the far end of the city at the edge of the Pacific, these foggy, residential areas hold some of San Francisco’s best sights and bites. Just remember to bring a jacket, since you never know when Karl the Fog (the city’s unofficial mascot) will make an appearance.
Here are some highlights:
Take In the View at Land’s End
Contrary to popular belief, the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge is not a close-up, but is better seen in its full glory from this national park that hugs the coastline. Begin your trek at the ruins of the Sutro Baths, which has the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop. Choose to hike as long as you want along the coast, with stunning views of the mouth of the Golden Gate to accompany you the entire way.
Eat Dim Sum on Clement Street
Some of the city’s best dim sum can be found on this bustling street in the Inner Richmond. Good Luck Dim Sum and Wing Lee Bakery both have loyal followers, but whichever you choose there will be no shortage of deliciousness in the form of pork buns, custard tarts and shrimp dumplings. There is limited seating in both, so opt for a picnic in the nearby Golden Gate Park. Speaking of…
Explore Golden Gate Park
This expanse of green dividing the Richmond and the Sunset has everything from the eco-friendly Academy of Science (be sure to check-out Nightlife on Thursdays for after-hour cocktails) to the SF Botanical Garden that is home to plants from around the world. For a scenic workout, rent a petal boat or rowboat on Stow Lake. For a free, panoramic view of the city on a clear day, head over to the Hamon Tower located in the De Young Museum. During the summer, be sure to experience one of the outdoor concerts, whether it’s the highly-anticipated Outside Lands or a more family-friendly one like Radio Alice’s Summerthing.
Hang Loose With The Surfers in Ocean Beach
Los Angeles might have all the famous surf spots, but despite its cool climate, San Francisco has a thriving surfing community in the Outer Sunset. Browse the gear at Mollusk Surf Shop or grab brunch at Outerlands. For the main event, head down to the beach to watch the surfers show off their tricks. Make sure to grab a warm beverage to go from Trouble Coffee Company to stay warm. After the sun sets, grab a seat at The Riptide, a local dive bar that has live music and game nights.
Seek Out the Best Boba
Bubble tea shops are everywhere in the Richmond and Sunset, making the choice of choosing one both exciting and daunting. For a SF institution, try Wonderful Dessert & Café – it has a wide selection of milk tea flavors and shakes, including the stinky durian. Sharetea in the Inner Richmond is a good choice, with unique add-ons such as creama or honey boba. If sweetness is your thing, go with Purple Kow, which specializes in giant portions and their signature pudding.
San Francisco is a city with endless options, whether you are looking for food, nightlife or sights to see. Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown are tourist destinations that are worth visiting, but to get a feel for the city beyond there touristy spots make sure to head out west and brave the fog for a different side of the city that is worth taking in.