The Weekend Getaway: San Francisco

You were over the week by the time hump day hit. The good news is you’re skipping town for the weekend and ready to drink, eat, and live it up for the next 72 Hours. It’s time to get out of dodge.

Whether you and your boys have trouble in mind or you’re looking for a getaway with someone special, San Francisco is one of our favorite cities for a weekend out of town. Bring a sturdy liver and an empty stomach because it’s time to rumble.

Travel Options: Fly into SFO or Oakland (great for Southwest flights), take the BART downtown and skip sleeping on your friend’s couch for an Airbnb. The comforts and low costs are making hotels obsolete, especially in a big city like San Francisco. Pick a neighborhood and a budget and your home away from home awaits. Neighborhoods to consider include The Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, SOMA, and The Mission.

Here’s our go-to itinerary for a weekend in San Francisco that will not disappoint...

Friday
Let the games begin. You drop off your things, freshen up, take a deep breath... it’s dinner time. The Mission is known for its Mexican food and hipsters, but since it is still early and since you’re not 10 drinks deep, you want something like West of Pecos on Valencia and 16th. Specialty tequila cocktails, a great vibe, and queso.. bowls and bowls of beautiful queso. Post dinner, head down Valencia to the Abbot’s Cellar for one of the most expertly curated craft beer lists in the city (or any city, really). A well-made Old Fashioned more your speed? No sweat. Jump in an Uber and head to Comstock Saloon in North Beach or Bourbon and Branch just north of Market St and prepare for all of your cocktail hopes and dreams to come true. Of course, no respectable chap would miss out on a late night trip to the legendary Li Po Cocktail Lounge in Chinatown for the brain-meltingly awesome mai tais. Plus, your late night Chinese food fix at Yuet Lee is just a short stumble away. Don’t worry, they’re open until 3. Pass the noodles.

Something more significant other friendly? We hear you. If you’re in town and looking to get lucky, we’d recommend a glass of bubbly at the appropriately named Bubble Lounge in North Beach, followed by a relaxed yet romantic Italian dinner at a16 or SPQR. The outstanding rustic Italian eats at either restaurant are some of the best in the city.

Saturday
Night one is in the books. After you’ve made the walk of shame back to your hotel and eased your pain with some coffee it’s time to shower up and light the fuse again. Luckily for you (but not your liver, sorry), San Francisco happens to be one of the best day drinking cities in the US. One cannot deny the magnificence of a warm embrace from an outstanding local watering hole. There are many, many options in a city like San Francisco but we recommend adjourning to The Bus Stop, The Marina Lounge, or Harrys on Fillmore for a great start to your afternoon. If sunshine is more your thing, hit the Tipsy Pig for an epic outdoor patio or head to Pier 23 for their waterfront deck with an amazing view of the harbor. Cap off the afternoon like a gentleman and make your way to Tornado for yet another exceptional list of craft beers. If it’s available, the Pliny The Elder IPA from Russian River Brewing Company will change your f-ing life.

After a nap and a shower, it’s time for dinner and a bar crawl through the Marina/Cow Hollow neighborhoods. Missing out on the delicious Asian food options in a city like San Francisco would be a crime, so belly up at Chotto for delicious Japanese Izakaya-style eats or Betelnut for a kick-ass Asian mash-up.  Scorpion bowls anyone?

Post dinner, “The Bermuda Triangle” (aka Union, Fillmore, and Lombard Streets in the Pacific Heights and Marina neighborhoods) is your destination The crowd is ready to mingle and the scenery doesn’t disappoint. Spots like Eastside West, The Brixton, Bar None and Circa are just what you’re looking for. Alternatively, Matrix and Tonic Lounge also offer local flavor and an array of beats and booze if you’re ready to attempt to drop it like it’s hot. Good luck out there gents, try not to fall in love.

For a day and night that’s sure to impress your date, start by grabbing coffee and pastries from one of SF’s innumerable and awesome options. Our favorites include Tartine, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Dynamo Donuts (bacon apple donuts FTW). Once fortified, head over to the San Francisco Ferry Building and cruise the Farmer’s Market and food stalls like a local. A walk along the Embarcadero wouldn’t hurt either; so enjoy the views, the world is your oyster. And speaking of oysters, a late afternoon seafood lunch at the San Fran institution that is Swan Oyster Depot will not disappoint. Once you’re ready for an evening that will blow your foodie mind, the high-end, genius-level cuisine at spots like Delfina, Coi, or Atelier Crenn will take you to culinary armageddon. A final, final cocktail at the uber-classy Redwood Room (in the Clift Hotel) is the perfect nightcap.

Sunday
Yup, you’re dehydrated and it feels like a pissed off honey badger has taken up residence in your skull. The good news? There’s literally nothing a boozy brunch can’t cure. Wind down an epic weekend and take solace in a few of our favorite options: If it’s football season head to The Brick Yard, The Boardroom, or The Republic to catch a game and undo some of last night’s damage. Alternatively, you can while away hours until your flight in the Mission District where attractive hipsters await. Outdoor drinking destinations like Biergarten and Zeitgeist will help you forget all about the previous evening’s questionable decisions and before you know it, you’ll be in a cab on the way to the airport. As you can see, it is easy to leave your heart in a city as fun and eclectic as San Francisco.