In the Inner Sunset’s bustling heart, the worker-owned Arizmendi is a champion of carbs. From gluten-free scones to rustic sourdough loaves, they’re San Francisco’s dough masters. If you roll out of bed too late for a pecan roll, the pizza oven cranks up at 11am. You have only one pizza choice however, with a new vegetarian option rising every single day. From a meat-eaters perspective, it's still delicious.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
In bloom nearly 11 months out of the year, the Botanical Garden is a magnificent collection of California natives and exotics that flourish in the Bay’s gentle climate. Easy to navigate but fun to get lost in, the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest and the Ancient Plant Garden are particular standouts.
The apex of sustainability, this massive, hands-on science museum in Golden Gate Park has a “living roof,” a planetarium, and even an albino alligator. The requisite dinosaurs are here too, but you won’t find any dusty dioramas and the dual-level aquarium might be the most mesmerizing on Earth.
Twinned with the Legion of Honor (which holds a European collection), the 120-year-old de Young Museum specializes in American art. By nabbing extraordinary contemporary exhibits that travel to only a few select cities, the de Young keeps San Francisco’s art scene on the map.
Along with Glen Park, West Portal is one of San Francisco’s two urban villages centered around a transit station. And, as it’s in the shadow of Mt. Davidson, the more idyllic of the two. Fans of lamb biryani know Clay Oven Indian Restaurant to be one of the premier Indian restaurants in the entire Sunset, not to mention having a killer lunch buffet.
At 600 feet, it’s a steep, steep climb, but Golden Gate Heights — which is separate from Golden Gate Park — is worth it. The unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Marin County are positively stunning, there’s a tennis court and room to picnic.
A pride of lions, a band of tigers and an ostentation of peacocks, the San Francisco Zoo has it all. Equally devoted to conservation and exhibits, it’s a great place to visit in all four seasons. And if all you really care about are the adorable things, the San Francisco Zoo has river otters, koalas, lemurs and even meerkats.
Not just a beach but a national park, Ocean Beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a three-and-a-half mile expanse running from the zoo to the cliffs at Land’s End. A great place to walk your dog, have a bonfire or take a jog, this is a beach only the brave dare to swim as the water is frigid and the currents dangerous. Tip, there’s no better place to catch a rare sunset.
As San Francisco dining trends ever more casual, upscale French bistros can seem a bit staid. Not so at Chouchou, Forest Hill’s effortlessly elegant home of moules et frites. Because when was the last time you treated yourself to a Crepe Suzette Flambee au Grand Marnier?