Whenever I head out of town, I turn to my small but trusty band of Twitter followers for recommendations in my destination, but I really discovered the power of social media during my visit to San Francisco last month. As has become the norm for me now before any of my trips, in the days leading up to my departure I hashtagged away to glory and beseeched strangers and friends alike for tips.
Soon an itinerary was taking shape (many thanks, @PaperDaydream, @JasleenK, @streetno8, @BeautyNDFeast, @LettuceVeg, and @chiratsu!), incorporating classic landmarks like Lombard Street with restaurants and neighborhoods I never would have found in my guidebook. One place that kept making its way onto my Twitter timeline was a sandwich shop called Ike’s Place (3489 16th St.) on the fringes of the colorful, mural-bedecked Mission District. It generated so much buzz in response to my queries that the first thing I did was plug the address into my GPS to make it my starting point.
With sandwiches like the Backstabber (chicken, artichoke hearts, provolone) and Fat Bastard (ham, bacon, American), it’s both easy to see why the tiny shop is always packed and hard to decide on just one. Lucky for me, my Tweeps came to my rescue again: everyone had been raving about a sandwich that wasn’t even on the menu, so I put my faith in them and ordered the MILF done “dirty”—a spicy chicken sandwich stuffed with jalapeno poppers.
If it weren’t for Twitter I would have never even known the sandwich existed—and my tastebuds would have been deprived of mouthfuls of sheer deliciousness. Yum! Next up for me? #Chicago in July. If you’ve got a must-see restaurant, shop, neighborhood, or activity for me in the Windy City, tweet me your tips at @BySarahKhan!
Sarah Khan is a copy editor at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @BySarahKhan.