San Francisco is, hands down, one of my favorite cities ever. Although it’s not the cleanest and it doesn’t boast the greatest weather, there is a vibe throughout the city that cannot be replicated. The diverse population, the various districts and their cultures, and the fact that you have no reason to ever be bored with the innumerable things to do, definitely make it one of the world’s greatest cities. Although I had planned on spending this weekend in SF to take a jaunt down to Golden Gate Park, the Outside Lands festival that took over the mega-green pushed that idea to the wayside. Instead, my cousin, B., and I stayed in a little B&B in the Marina and spent our evening in the super-fun North Beach area. For anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of experiencing North Beach, it’s a must! It is by far one of my favorite areas of the city with its Italiano vibe and amazing patrons. B. and I cabbed it the entire weekend so we wouldn’t have to worry about driving, parking or having a few drinks. Our first stop last night was Calzone’s on Columbus Street. B. had been raving about their amazing drinks the entire day, so we had to stop there to test out their fare. After a crostini appetizer & a Moscow Mojito (think normal mojito with limon vodka vs. rum — delish), we agreed that it was a great joint. Additionally, we met the cutest family from England (Newcastle, to be specific) and ended up chatting them up for a bit. They definitely solidified my excitement for the big move!
After a bite at Calzone’s, we moved next door to Figaro’s where we met our super-server/bartender Joel & his version of the Moscow Mojito. Though they didn’t have one on the menu, B. requested that he make something similar. After some bruschetta & another drink, we were happy with our experience. A plus for anyone that’s visiting: they (allegedly) have some amazing gnocchi. Although we didn’t stay for dinner, their food looked superb!
For our last stop of the night, we hit up a tried and true favorite, The Stinking Rose. Chris & I had dinner at The Rose about a year ago & it definitely made me fall in love with North Beach. You can smell the garlic from outside & the food is super delish! B. and I split the gnochetti entree for dinner & left there knowing that we were keeping vampires (and boys) away for life. Word of advice: bring a pack of gum/Costco-sized Listerine. If you’re a huge garlic fan, they even have a plain roasted garlic bulb on the menu! Mmmm?
After a decent-night’s sleep, we hit up a mass Sunday morning at St. Peter and Paul’s Church (also in North Beach) and B. and I were asked to take the eucharist & wine up to the priest — definitely the most involved I have ever been in a mass in my many years of existence. Although I do not consider myself the most religious of persons, the church was spectacular; more European than American in its design. Side note: This was clearly Joe DiMaggio’s favorite place — he was married & had his funeral at this church. Worth checking out!
After mass, B. and I explored a bit of North Beach before our fun-filled weekend was at an end. We popped into a little bakery called La Boulange on Columbus for a bit of coffee and were pretty surprised to learn that they serve coffee in bowls! We got ours to-go in standard paper cups but some of the in-house coffee drinkers were equally surprised to be sipping lattes out of bowls. Pretty cool, though!
Lastly, B. grabbed some goodies for the fam (cannolis & sweets) so she could go back bearing gifts. We had an amazing weekend from start to finish. Although our B&B, Edward II, was not the most spectacular of residences, for the affordable price & the location, it was worth the investment. Plus, we got to enjoy some breakfast before heading out in the AM!
A little weird to think that the next time I’ll be in SF will be when I’m saying goodbye to the US & hello to the UK!
Anyone have any amazing must-sees in San Francisco? Was anyone in SF for the Outside Lands festival?
To see photos of the many adventures of Shannon & B. from this weekend, check here!