East End Taste is pleased to debut their new column: My City. My City includes a feature Q&A with residents from notable cities and regions from across the world, highlighting the best places to stay, eat and what to do for visitors of all ages. Our first featured city is San Francisco with Jennifer Le of prestigequeen.com.
Where should one go first when visiting San Francisco for the first time?
If you’re visiting for the first time, I highly recommend you check out Union Square, Golden Gate Bridge, and Palace of Fine Arts. End your day at SFMoma, and check out the beautiful artwork as a treat!
In your opinion, what is the best time of year to visit?
San Francisco is unique in that our summers come later on in the year. Coming from Southern California, I’m used to summers running from June – August. During this time, there’s a lot of fog in the city, and it’s colder, so you have to wear layers. We have what’s called an “Indian Summer,” where summer runs from September – November. The weather during this time is incredible, so that would definitely the best time to visit.
Which district is the best area to stay in? Any hotels you recommend?
I love the Marina District because it’s by the ocean, surrounded by a ton of brunch places, flower and boutique shops. It’s also more quiet in this side of town compared to downtown SF. If you want something more modern, SoMa (South of Market) is great — that’s where a lot of tech/startup companies are based along with a ton of restaurants. If you want to be in the middle of it all, stay in Union Square! You’ll be walking distance to almost everything.
If you can get a room at Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square, it’s beautiful! At night, you can visit the Starlight Room for a drink, music, dancing, and views of the city.
Because hotels err on the more expensive side, I highly recommend looking into Airbnbs in the area to get a sense of what it’s like to live like a local. The Sunset, Lower Pac Heights, and the Mission are some of my favorite neighborhoods.
Where are your three favorite spots to dine?
Samovar Tea House in the Yerba Buena Gardens – My all-time favorite place in SF because brunch, tea, and city views! Anytime a friend is in town, I take them here, and they’re always impressed.
Limón Rotisserie – This restaurant in the Mission has INCREDIBLE Peruvian food. I love their arroz con mariscos dish.
The Slanted Door – Located in SF’s famous Ferry Building. Great Vietnamese food and dining on the water!
Describe your perfect day in San Francisco.
My perfect day in SF would consist of brunch with girlfriends at Samovar Tea Lounge, shopping at Crossroads (great store in Lower Pac Heights for scoring a deal on something designer), maybe just lounging out in the sun at Mission Dolores Park until the sun sets (great place for picnics!), and ending the day with at a groovy dim-lit bar downtown.
Which three hidden spots are a must do/see while visiting?
Local Edition – I love the ambiance here. Super romantic. It’s a bar downtown well-known for their cocktails. If you can, make a reservation for a table!
Pelican Inn – Geographically, this is located in the outskirts of SF, but it’s a cute hidden hotel/restaurant located on Mt. Tamalpais. People drive a few miles outside of the city to stay here, and get away from all the noise. You can order lunch, and sit outside on the grass for a cute picnic. Cell reception isn’t so good here, so people are present and in the moment. One of the reasons why I like it 🙂
Cielo Rooftop Bar – Again, this isn’t technically in SF, but the South Bay in San Jose. This rooftop bar at Hotel Valencia is too good to pass up! Beautiful location, views of the South Bay, and all-around good vibe.
San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general, caters to all tastes! It’s very easy to get around (with a good public transportation system), so you’ll never run out of things to do.
Jennifer is a publicist and lifestyle blogger, passionate about telling great stories and empowering women. As a pescatarian, she’s always on the search for the best seafood. When not pitching the next big story, she’s delighting in the latest Lemonade menu options, at a donut shop, or a Starbucks. You can find her blogging at PrestigeQueen.com.