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3 days in SF, what to do and where to eat?!

As a first-time visitor, what would you recommend to do and where to eat in San Francisco in 3 days?

Among the famous tourist attractions, which one would you recommend?  Which restaurants do you think I couldn't miss?


9 Answers

top answer by
Maria from Connecticut

We were just there last week and ate in the most wonderful restaurants. My favorites were Zuni Cafe and Rich Table. It is almost impossible to get antable at Rich Table as the reservations are made months before, but if you are not there yet, you should call and see if you get lucky. If you can't get a reservation, you can always sit at the bar. That is what we did and had a wonderful experience. Because we only had 3 days, we just stayed in the city. We shopped in Chestnut St, Hayes Valley, Lower Pacific Heights and walked around Haight-Ashbury ( my husband is a Greatfull Dead fan). We did not do it, but some people suggested riding a bike through the bridge and then taking the Ferry back . Another suggestion was Alcatraz, but the tours were sold out so if interested, reserved in advance. I hear it is a great tour.

have fun !!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Zuni Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Rich Table (restaurant)
  3. Chestnut St (attraction)
  4. Hayes Valley (neighborhood)
  5. Lower Pacific Heights (metro area)
  6. Haight-Ashbury (neighborhood)
  7. Alcatraz (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Jeremy from San Francisco

Nomadic Matt forgot to mention to walk (or ride a bike) up to the Marin Headlands once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge for the best view of the city.  You can then walk (or ride) down to Sausalito to grab lunch or ice cream and take the regular ferry back to Fisherman's Wharf.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  2. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  3. Sausalito (city)
  4. Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Claudia from Austria

I had a nice lunch at Slanted Door, in the Ferry Building. The building is a must-do anyway!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Slanted Door (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Debbie from San Francisco

This one kills two birds with one stone: definitely check out the Ferry Building, takes care of a tourist attraction that is worth visiting, as well as full of food!  If you're there on a Thursday or Saturday afternoon, hit up their farmers market.Any day that it's nice, you should visit Dolores Park.  Stop off at the Bi-Rite Market to grab some picnic goods, Bi-Rite Creamery to get some ice cream (prepare for a long line), Ike's Place to get a sandwich (prepare for a long line or order online ahead of time), or El Farolito for a quesadilla suiza (or taco or burrito, but the suiza is my favorite) and sit and relax and picnic!  To really get a taste for local flavor, you should come here on a weekend afternoon.

While near the park, you should also explore the Mission District neighborhood.  Tons of restaurants and shops.  Walk on Mission, and Valencia between 16th and 24th St to see the most stores.  Also walk on 16th and 24th St themselves.  Tons of cool street art and good food.

These spots are loved by locals and travelers alike and are worth while spots to explore.  Have fun! :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ferry Building (attraction)
  2. Dolores Park (attraction)
  3. Bi-Rite Market (attraction)
  4. Bi-Rite Creamery (restaurant)
  5. Ike's Place (restaurant)
  6. El Farolito (restaurant)
  7. Mission District (neighborhood)
3 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

Restaurants: Seven Hills IMHO Best Casual Italian food in a city full of great Italian Restaurants- Dinner only; Tin Vietnamese Cuisine excellent, authentic Vietnamese food and cheap- lunch or dinner; Foreign Cinema Great SF vibe and an eclectic menu of well-prepared dishes- Dinner nightly and a very good Sat. and Sunday brunch; Boulevard an upscale Classic.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seven Hills (restaurant)
  2. Tin Vietnamese Cuisine (restaurant)
  3. Foreign Cinema (restaurant)
  4. Boulevard (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Andrea from Truckee, California

You must go to the Tadich Grill for authentic San Franciscan experience. The Top of the Mark is a great place to get a drink and see views of the city. But for a really wild and fun experience make a reservation for Forbes Island (415) 951-4900. Go to Pier 39 and wait for the Forbes Island shuttlecraft at Gate 4.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tadich Grill (restaurant)
  2. Top of the Mark (hotel)
  3. Forbes Island (restaurant)
  4. Pier 39 (attraction)
  5. Sea Lion Colony (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

I just saw that Chef Alex Alioto left Seven Hills and has opened a new restaurant called Plin, so I'm not sure Seven Hills is the same. The menu at Plin has some of his signature dishes.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seven Hills (restaurant)
  2. Plin (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
lola from Atlanta

You have to do Alcatraz , that was the highlight of our trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alcatraz (attraction)
1 thanks

answered first by
Carolina from Veracruz

I have read a wonderful article from Nomadic Matt with exactly the answer to your question :


Enjoy! :)

1 thanks

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