Although I lived in Los Angeles for several years, I have never really explored San Francisco. When I was invited for a wedding in city I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check out San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. We stayed at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. This centrally located hotel gave us the opportunity to discover the city easily. About our stay and where we ate & drank!
Where to Stay
Hilton San Francisco Union Square: The location of this hotel cannot be beat. You are right in the center of the city in the Theater District, within walking distance to Union Square which is full of shops and restaurants, close to City Hall, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the cable cars. Take a stroll down Market Street, peruse the stores in Union Square, and check out some of the bars and cafes. The hotel itself is great, with large spacious rooms and balconies that offer you memorable views of the city. Staff is helpful, and you will have access to endless amenities, including a gym, room service, and a lobby bar. See below for details on the different dining options at the hotel!
Where to Eat and Drink
- Saap Ver: I love Asian food and San Francisco is known for its Asian fare. This gem did not disappoint. Indulge in crispy fried spring rolls, stir-fried glass noodles tossed with fresh veggies, luscious yellow curry dotted with carrots and potatoes, and green beans cooked in a chili paste with fresh Thai basil. Saap Ver translates to damn good, which is no exaggeration! The venue itself is casual but trendy and fun.
- Chili Padi Malaysian Cuisine: It’s not right in the city, but it’s a short BART (San Francisco’s subway system) ride away. The food is worth the trip; you will love the roti canai with its curry dipping sauce, crispy fried noodles, sizzling black pepper tofu, and crispy pumpkin.
- My China: It might be located in a mall, but don’t knock it until you try it. This dim sum spot has all of treats including green onion pancakes, tempeh bao buns, mushrooms soaked in a spicy sesame sauce, pumpkin dumplings, and hand-pulled noodles. You can watch the Chefs pulling them by hand in the open kitchen!
- Urban Tavern: If you are staying at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, you don’t have to go far for a great dinner meal. The hotel restaurant features a menu full of delicious fare that includes a burrata salad, gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes, and cookies and milk for dessert.
- Millennium: Also in Oakland, this restaurant is one of the best I have ever eaten at. The food is modern, wildly creative vegetarian fare that even your most hardcore carnivores will love it. From Jamaican yellow curry with corn dumplings to red lentil fritters to swiss chard tamales there is nothing on this menu that is not delicious.
- Poached: If you need some sustenance in the morning, the breakfast buffet at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square has something for everyone. Enjoy smoothies, fresh fruit, pancakes, pastries, and even an Asian station with stir fry and Chinese donuts!
Where to Drink
- Cityscape: The Hilton San Francisco Union Square has a fantastic rooftop bar where you can have an Old Fashioned, a glass of wine, or a cold beer with bowl of edamame hummus and pita. Best of all is the incomparable views of the city!
- Benjamin Cooper: This small, unassuming bar in downtown San Francisco has an easy vibe and well-made cocktails. Order off the menu or let the bartenders know what you like and they will make something for you.
- Temescal Brewing: If you want to enjoy the gorgeous California weather grab a pint and relax at this neighborhood beer garden. If you get hungry, a food truck will be on hand to provide some grub.
- Tonga Room: The Tonga Room at the iconic Fairmont San Francisco Hotel is a San Francisco staple. Stop by to enjoy the tropical décor, indoor tropical rain storms, and Caribbean inspired cocktails like rum punch.
What to Do
- Visit Alcatraz: A trip to San Francisco is incomplete without a visit to this historical site. Use Alcatraz Cruises for a comfortable, relaxing ride to the island where you can go on a historical tour to learn about when the prison on the Island was built, who its most famous residents were, and what the island is used for now. Alcatraz Cruises is reasonably priced and has indoor and outdoor seating for optimal comfort. A bonus: They serve snacks and beer on the boat!
- Redwood Regional Park: For great hiking, head to Oakland for the day. Here, you can soak up the stunning California landscape and see the beautiful redwoods that it is so famous for.
- Take a ride on a Cable Car: There’s no better way to see the city, and you will feel like a real local. Jump on a cable car just to take a ride, or en route to shops or dinner.
Exploring San Francisco: The Verdict
Great food, beer gardens, rooftop bars, hiking, boating, history and shopping. Clearly, San Francisco has it all!
Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA , Website