San Francisco Travel Guide
Locals do their shopping here, in a welter of groceries; follow your nose among the exotic fruit, dried mushrooms, mysterious spices, and buckets of shellfish. The Chinese Six Companies building (843 Stockton St.), once a politicians’ hub, is a vivid example of the neighborhood’s architecture.
This standout modern design showroom stocks gold-painted piggy banks, angular Bensen furniture, and lighting options that include a paper chandelier by Moooi.
Want salon-grade hair without the cut? The Dry Bar specializes in blowouts only, and caters to locals and visitors alike. Its menu includes weekend-ready styles like the Mai Tai (loose curls billed as “messy, beachy hair”) and the Straight Up (sleek with a touch of body).
Bankers, first dates, and everyone in between find their way to the softly lit spot in this Beaux Arts hotel. The namesake Maxfield Parrish mural glows over the bar.
This collection celebrates the cultures and histories of people of African descent scattered around the world, from the Caribbean to South America. It’s heavy on multimedia exhibits, such as videos, music, and audio narratives.
Climb up to the fourth floor to the country’s oldest Chinese temple, a shrine to Tien Hau, the Goddess of Heaven and the Sea. Fringed red lanterns throng the ceiling, and Taoists send up puffs of incense with their prayers.
An espresso pioneer, Trieste has been roasting beans and caffeinating the city since 1956. On Saturday afternoons, the owners and other local musicians belt out everything from opera to Patsy Cline.
This wonderful collection of Japanese photo booths captures customers diving out of a washing machine, covered in confetti, or popping out of a bouquet of flowers. Before the machine spits out sticker page of the shenanigans, make sure to add after-effects like props and writing.
Karaoke is more kicking with an enthusiastic audience, and the Mint certainly has one. The bonus: Lots of fans. The drawback: It often takes a long wait and a big tip to gain stage time.
There may be a bit of stair climbing involved, but the views from the hilltop park are some of the best in the city. To the South: a bowl of neighborhoods leads up to Sutro Tower on the horizon. To the North: a view of the Marina opens up to the Bay beyond.
The biggest and oldest (opened in 1978) of three linked Haight Street vintage shops, Held Over carries garments, hats, and shoes from the 40’s through the 90’s.
Climb aboard the historic ships docked at the Hyde Street Pier, such as the three-masted Balclutha (1886) and the schooner Alma (1891). Keep walking west and the crowds fall away as you reach the Art Deco Bathhouse Building, with its collection of ship models.
A whiff of vanilla leads you to this cramped shotgun space. Workers deftly pull warm, golden discs off the spinning machines, then flip and fold them into fortune cookies.