Category archive - San Francisco

This Weekend: Oct 15 – Oct 16, 2016

This weekend has lots of great things to do: From the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Parade and Festival, to the Vintage Fashion Faire to Pizzafest (go ahead, pinch yourself) in Berkeley. Click below for help filling your calendar with fun!


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This Weekend: Oct 8 – Oct 9, 2016

This weekend has tons of diverse things to do both for free and on the cheap. From dog sled races in Vacaville, to Fleet Week in the bay to World Vegetable Festival. Check the events out below:


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San Francisco Festivals and Events in October

ArtSpan/SF Open Studios
Various locations, 415-861-9838
San Francisco’s most exciting artists open their doors to the public and reveal their latest projects, how they work and what’s for sale.

Castro Street Fair
Castro Street, 415-841-1824
Arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, dancing and music are all part of the fun at this gay-friendly street festival.

Union Street Wine Walk
Union Street from Gough to Steiner and Fillmore Street from Union to Lombard, 800-310-6563,
Restaurants and merchants along Union Street offer hors d’oeuvres and wine samples; attendees who wish to sample purchase tasting wristband prior to event and receive wine glass and map with all tasting locations

Mill Valley Film Festival
CineArts@Sequoia and 142 Throckmorton (Mill Valley), Century Cinema (Corte Madera) and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), 415-383-5256
Presented by the California Film Institute, the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent and world cinema; founded in 1978 it has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers.

Fleet Week San Francisco
Aquatic Park and Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, 650-599-5057
Fleet Week is the Bay Area’s opportunity to honor the nation’s men and women of the Navy and marine services. Navy ship tours and air show. Reserved seating and corporate packages available.

A San Francisco literary festival showcases hundreds of the Bay Area’s finest writers for a week of readings, discussions, films, cross-media happenings and more.

Sundance Stompede
Various locations, 415-820-1403
San Francisco’s annual Country Western weekend for the LGBT community and friends. Join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls as they dance their feet off with three days of workshops and three nights of open dancing.

OCTOBER 14-15, 21-22
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., 415-404-4111,
Bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle bronco riding, team and tie-down roping and bull riding are among the competitive events.

Potrero Hill Festival
Potrero Hill, 22nd Street between Missouri and Arkansas Streets
The Potrero Hill Festival returns with a full day of fun, food, music and community activities. There will be special activities for the kids, including a puppet show and a petting zoo.

Treasure Island Music Festival
Internationally renowned artists gather for a spectacular two-day, outdoor concert festival featuring electronic music and indie pop, local designers, artists, food and beverage. The two festival stages are erected on Treasure Island offering amazing views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline.

San Francisco Trolley Dances
Site-specific performances parallel major Muni routes; artists and ensembles are matched with specific sites to create 8- to 15-minute pieces in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.

San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Brava Theater Center
A four-day event featuring the best dance films from around the world — and San Francisco’s own backyard. From feature documentaries on choreographic luminaries to innovative experimental shorts, the festival offers something for dance aficionados and newcomers alike.

San Francisco Barbecue Festival
The Yard at Mission Rock
A celebration of the best Bay Area BBQ, this event includes local BBQ, a beer garden, music, games and the latest in BBQ tech all right in the backyard of AT&T Park.

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
Fort Mason Center, 415-989-9019
The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast. The show includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe selling a broad range of antique merchandise.

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Upcoming Events in San Francisco

Happening soon in San Francisco


Fall Guide to San Francisco Arts

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Sept. 30th – Oct. 15th

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6th Annual Yerba Buena night
Oct. 15th

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Upcoming Events in San Francisco

Happening soon in San Francisco

Fest 2016 – On the Green
Sept. 4
AT&T Park
Makers, Music & Mimosas 2016
Sept. 17
SOMArts Cultural Center
James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Tour
Nov. 4
The InterContinental
San Francisco

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10 Restaurants Serving Up Fresh Seafood in San Francisco

Seafood. The word is vague, yet a catchall for everything that comes from the sea/ocean. However, the word conjures up images of succulent steamed shrimp and crab; buttery, red lobster, or savory pearls of oysters. Anyone featuring any of these items on their menu could be considered a seafood restaurant. Theoretically, that includes 95%* of the restaurants in San Francisco.

The point of this article is to answer the question: Who has the best seafood in San Francisco? To get to the bottom of this, we had to put in some rules, rules that will make the picture much clearer. Here are the rules we abided by to make this list:

  • Seafood is technically any thing that is born in the sea/ocean.
  • A restaurant’s specials, dishes they are known for, must be seafood. Emphasis on the plural.
  • Seafood must be the star of the dish. This strikes out Chinese or Thai dishes that are noodle based. Sushi is a no-no, too.
  • Any dish that makes seafood interchangeable with another protein was not considered.

Without further delay, here’s our list of the best seafood in San Francisco:

Tadich Grill (240 California St.)
This list has to start at the beginning. That means 1849, the year San Francisco grew from a gold nugget and the year Tadich Grill came into being. Imitated by many, but none better than Tadich Grill, this restaurant has been serving varieties of seafood forever. This needs to be on your bucket list. What to eat: Seafood Cioppino. Website

Hog Island Oyster Company (1 Ferry Building)
The freshest oysters in the Bay Area are at Tomales Bay, where the Hog Island Oyster Farm is located. If you can’t make it all the way up there, Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building is a great second option. Along with freshly shucked oysters, you get a gorgeous view of the bay.  What to eat: Hog Island Sweetwater or Atlantic.

Scoma’s (Pier 47)
Once a little coffee shop on the pier in 1965, Scoma’s has become a force of buttery goodness today. There’s butter sauce and then there’s Scoma’s butter sauce. Nothing compares. What to eat: Shrimp and Scallop Alla Gannon. Website

Swan Oyster Depot (1517 Polk St.)
There are a few truths that ring free in San Francisco. A line out the door of Swan Oyster Depot is one of them. People have come from the farthest reaches of the country to suck down clams and oysters from this institution. Anthony Bourdain has been quoted, If god made anything better he kept it for himself.” What to eat: Combo Salad.

Bar Crudo (655 Divisadero St.)
Bar Crudo is the first local’s place on this list. Many people hope it stays that way because the wait for a table is already long enough. If you have time to come here more than once, you should definitely make your way through the entire menu. However, if you come only once, you should always order the chowder. It’s legendary. What to eat: Seafood Chowder.

Woodhouse Fish Co. (1914 Fillmore St.)
Woodhouse Fish Co. is a neighborhood spot serving up quality seafood in a New England style atmosphere (think red-checkered paper mats). The clam chowder and sourdough bread is a match made in heaven and the Crab Melt should be on your list for next time. What to eat: Lobster Roll.

Anchor & Hope (83 Minna St).
If you find yourself wondering the streets of the SOMA neighborhood, Anchor & Hope is a great place to stop for lunch and dinner.  Named to 7X7’s 2010 Big Eat list, Anchor & Hope hasn’t let the press get to its head. Come in for the $1 oysters and stay for much more. What to eat: Angels on Horseback. Website

The Codmother Fish & Chips (2824 Jones St.)
A place both locals and tourists can agree is delicious. This stationary food truck near Ghirardelli Square cooks up amazing fish and chips, shrimp and chips, and baja fish tacos. Since the inception of Yelp, Codmother has been named one of the best in the city. What to eat:Standard Fish and Chips

Pesce (2223 Market St.)
From the team behind Beretta, Starbelly and Lolinda, comes a filling take on seafood and pasta (but mostly seafood). Pesce doesn’t skimp on portions as evidence by their Dungeness Crab Tower and Lobster Spaghetti. You can count on leaving with a full stomach and a smile on your face. What to eat: Lobster Spaghetti.

Anchor Oyster Bar (579 Castro St.)
With great food, comes great competition. In light of Swan Oyster Depot’s long lines, many imitators have come onto the scene, but none of them have been held in the same regard, except Anchor Oyster Bar. Since 1977 they have been serving fresh sustainably caught fish, shellfish, crab and delicious, simply prepared, seafood dishes. What to eat: Clam Chowder.


This Weekend: Sep 3 – Sep 4, 2016

This weekend offers many enriching entertainment options that are both family and budget friendly. From the 46th Annual Millbrae Art/Wine Festival to the 64th annual Capitola Begonia Festival to the annual Aloha Poly Fest at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. The link below will help you fill your calendar with fun!


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Outdoor Dining And Fun At The Yard At Mission Rock

Located just south of AT&T Park alongside McCovey Cove, The Yard at Mission Rock gives visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience the Mission Rock neighborhood on a small scale. Nestled between the South Beach and the Mission Bay neighborhoods, the Mission Rock district is an exciting, new, common ground for San Franciscans. The Yard has proven a favorite for fun and inviting outdoor dining and community.

Conceived as a pop-up village constructed from repurposed shipping containers, The Yard features select local food and drink establishments that showcase emerging local culture, culinary trends, and new ways to come together through creating, eating, and learning. Guests can enjoy a variety of craft beer, organic burgers, or sweet and savory crepes while visiting.

Anchor Brewing
One of America’s oldest breweries, with roots that date back to the California Gold Rush, Anchor Steam® Beer is San Francisco’s original since 1896. An undisputed icon, Anchor is America’s first craft brewery where beers are handmade in a traditional copper brewhouse from an all-malt mash. Anchor practices the time-honored art of classical brewing, employing state-of-the-art methods with carefully applied modern techniques to ensure that every beer is always pure and fresh.

Chef Anya Fernald’s Belcampo has established a reputation of thoughtful, organic cooking that supports the sustainable slow food movement, and the outpost at The Yard offers diners a taste of the Belcampo locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Menus rotate daily, with a focus on signature burgers and hot dogs that complement the adjacent baseball park setting.

Creperie St. Germain
Crêperie Saint-Germain offers savory and sweet buckwheat crêpes stuffed with fresh, sustainable, organic ingredients and prepared according to the traditional, time-honored method used in kitchens across France. Along with the selection of crepes, many of which are gluten-free, St. Germain has an array of salads, sandwiches, panini and fresh juices available, offering a delicious, lighter street food alternative.

Also at The Yard is Street Soccer USA Park, the premier small-sided soccer facility in the city. A popular place for adult and youth leagues, camps, clinics, and specialized rentals throughout the year, it’s a perfect location to to try your hand  — and foot — at street soccer and grab some exercise.

The Yard operates year-round, seven days a week. Regular and special community events are held in the adjacent Lot A. For calendar updates and specific tenant hours, make sure to visit The Yard online. Note, hours may vary on Giants home game days.


The Newbie’s Guide To Eating And Drinking In North Beach

North Beach is one of San Francisco’s most treasured and certainly colorful neighborhoods. With plenty of cafés, bars, parks, and restaurants to capture your attention, you’ll want to walk and wander all over to soak in the Italian and Bohemian/ex-Beat atmosphere. Here are some of the can’t-miss restaurants to seek out in North Beach if it’s your first or next time in San Francisco, depending on what you’re looking for.

Best Sit-Down and Enjoy It Meals

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (1570 Stockton St.)
Tony Gemignani is a well-known name for his expertise with all kinds and styles of pizza, and has a variety of places any pizza lover will want to visit in North Beach. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is wildly popular (expect a wait for a table, but that’s when a visit to Tony Nik’s–no relation–for a cocktail comes in handy), and you can try his award-winning margherita pizza all the way to a Jersey-style pie. His neighboring Slice House serves one of the city’s best slices and lovers of Chicago deep dish will want to head to Capo’s.

Rose Pistola (532 Columbus Ave.)
This North Beach classic spot has found its way again with a new chef who is breathing some fresh air into this Ligurian-inspired restaurant. The menu features some excellent housemade pastas (get the fettucelle with the veal bolognese), top-notch meatballs, and a range of fish and meat dishes, with plenty of seasonal sides. The outdoor seats are coveted, but the live music (four nights a week) happens inside. Inventive cocktails and a quality wine list, coupled with the (almost) all-day hours and room reserved for walk-ins add to its popularity.

Da Flora (701 Columbus Ave)
For one of the cozier experiences in North Beach, and definitely one of the neighborhood’s richest dishes (sweet potato gnocchi in sherry cream with bacon), this atmospheric and romantic destination is a special place, whether you’re a couple or small group of friends. The focaccia is irresistible, which you’ll nibble on while looking over the Venetian-inspired menu (that will occasionally include a few Hungarian dishes). Reservations are recommended, and wine lovers will discover some great European selections.

Don Pisto’s (510 Union St.)
Most folks wouldn’t expect to find some of the city’s best Mexican food in North Beach, but that’s one of the neighborhood’s many surprises. Start with oysters or ceviche, and move to a few tacos (like the Baja fish taco). The tortilla soup and diabla prawns are tops, and the burger is truly one of the city’s very best, with the beef marinated in bacon and onions, served with guacamole on top. It can get rowdy here, fueled by their version of margaritas (which are made with wine–but they’re quite good, you’ll be surprised).

Sotto Mare (522 Green St.)
While it looks like it has been around forever, it hasn’t, but the classic dishes like the rather notable cioppino and linguine with clams sure have. The menu is all about seafood, with dishes spanning both coasts, like oysters, crab Louie, and chowder, too.

Il Casaro (348 Columbus Ave.)
You’ll find authentic and mighty delicious Neapolitan pizzas here that are baked in their wood-fired pizza oven, and since it’s run by some bona fide Southern Italians, you’ll hear some serious Italian accents, too (it’s a casual and fun place). Housemade and imported mozzarella round out the menu, plus other small plates.

Cafe Jacqueline (1454 Grant Ave.)
One of the city’s romantic gems (for many years), this restaurant is dedicated to making soufflés for two (both savory and sweet), all made by the master herself, Jacqueline Margulis. Just don’t be in a rush, these soufflés take time.

Park Tavern: (1652 Stockton St.)
If you’re seeking more of an American menu, you’ll find deviled eggs, a famed roast chicken, and steaks here, plus seasonal dishes, cocktails, brunch and a prime location right on Washington Square Park.

Best Cheap Eats

Molinari Delicatessen (373 Columbus Ave.)
This is one of the city’s most authentic Italian delis. People line up all day for their sandwiches, including the famous Renzo special (try it on focaccia). Grab your bread from the bin before you place your order and take your sandwich for a picnic in Washington Square Park.

Liguria Bakery (1700 Stockton St.)
Liguria has been making some of the city’s most beloved focaccia since 1911. You’ll definitely want to come by for a slab (the pizza focaccia with tomato is a favorite, ditto the raisin version). They’ll cut it up for you before they wrap it up, just be sure to ask when you order it. It’s brisk business here and they sell out early (sometimes as soon as 10 a.m. on the weekend), so don’t come after 11 a.m. expecting to find any.

Mama’s on Washington Square (1701 Stockton St.)
It’s a North Beach tradition to join one of the city’s longest lines at Mama’s for breakfast, which is all about their pancakes, Monte Cristo, and French toast, plus excellent housemade jam.

Italian Homemade Company (716 Columbus Ave.)
This very casual spot makes excellent housemade pasta, from tortellini in bolognese to lasagna. They are also one of the only places in San Francisco to serve piadine, a type of sandwich from Emilia-Romagna made with warm flatbread (try a classic version with stracchino cheese, prosciutto and arugula).

Golden Boy Pizza (542 Green St.)
This is the spot to hit after a long night of drinking in North Beach–their Sicilian-style pizza is the cure. Open late, and draws a tipsy but grateful crowd.

Best Bars to Knock One Back

Comstock Saloon (155 Columbus Ave.)
For an authentic San Francisco saloon experience (here since 1907), come by for a cocktail, but stay for the vittles, which include all kinds of fantastic bar snacks (the crispy chicken livers and Scotch eggs are great), plus larger dishes too (pot pie, a burger, roast chicken), served until midnight nightly (except Sunday, when the kitchen closes at 10 p.m.).

Tosca Cafe (242 Columbus Ave.)
This formerly sleepy bar was given a high-profile upgrade with some new New York–based owners and is now one of the hottest restaurants in the neighborhood. Reservations are tough, but if you manage to snag a table after some cocktails at the spacious bar (or wine off the engaging list), don’t miss chef April Bloomfield’s bucatini and roast chicken for two.

Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, tablehopper, about the SF dining and drinking scene, get all the latest news at Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more San Francisco finds.

San Francisco Travel Editor’s Picks

North Beach Restaurant (1512 Stockton St.)
Since 1970, North Beach Restaurant has been serving authentic Tuscan cuisine to families, romantics, tourists and many more, making everyone they serve a regular, Pair that with one of the top wine lists in America and you’ve got a match made in heavean.

Original Joe’s (601 Union St.)
Part of the fabric of San Francisco for more than 75 years, Original Joe’s is quintessential San Francisco and it wouldn’t be proper to leave them off of this list. The crowd is eclectic, the cocktails are traditional and the meatballs, eggplant parmesan and short rib gnocchi are must-haves on any occasion.

Trattoria Pinocchio (301 Columbus Ave.)
When you step into Trattoria Pinocchio, you are stepping into a portal that will take you into the heart of Venice. Savor some of the homemade pastas, pizza’s, filet mignon, veal, seafood and cioppino, specialty Italian desserts, superb wines, signature cocktails and coffees.  Enjoy dining in the chic Venetian interior while listening to the sounds of Italy.