san francisco bound!

October 22, 2012

san franciscoWe’re thinking of heading to the beautiful city of San Francisco for my birthday. It’s been two years since we have been and it was just a quick stop on our Pacific Northwest road trip. This time Ben and I are eager to explore a little bit more. I will be pricelining a place to stay and yelping places to eat, but if you have any recommendations of some good eateries (or shopping!), please do share!

I can’t wait to get on the road again. I love sitting in the car for long drives! Actually, I like driving a lot too. The driver gets control of the music, so I am all about driving! *wink*

37 comments on “san francisco bound!”

  • jozen says:

    i heart san fran! too funny, husband and i are planning a trip there for a anniversary next year! just waiting to hear back if he has the time off or not…. fingers crossed!

  • jenny says:

    ooh, you’ll be in my neck of the woods! there’s a lot of great eateries in the mission district (can get a bit pricy though). you’ll have to stop by alameda (where i live!) for a sushi place that makes a variety of fancy rolls and, of course, antiques galore. ๐Ÿ™‚ you can shoot me an email if you have any questions!

  • Ana says:

    I’d give you suggestions, but I don’t go out to the city a lot, even though we are only 40 min away. But anyway, SF is so much fun! It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the whole world!

  • Kai Chan says:

    I love San Francisco!! My favorite city, ever! My boyfriend and I went there last year summer and it was a blast!
    I must say, do go to California Academy of Science! It’s a must and huge! Your kids will love it! We went there just last minute thing and it does need more than just few hours to explore this place! They even do offer kids sleepover! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I posted 4 days (I believe) posts on our trip so do take a look! ๐Ÿ™‚ (you’ll have to scroll down to Day 4 post and go backward, hahaha. Oh and just for fun, a fancy place called Mozzeria is owned by a deaf couple. there will be some deaf people coming by and you might get to see some sign languages. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s close to Castro area, hahaha. There’s Penny Arcade with all old school games and moveable objects. And then finally Boudin bread cafe. for some goodies AND their awesome spoons :). Those are some of the thigns I can think of that’s not Golden Gate Bridge.

    Maybe play “Save Me, San Francisco” by Train on the way, ha! If you’re driving, do stop by SLO for this amazing BBQ place. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I’ve said enough, ha!

  • Noe says:

    A trip to San Fransisco sounds like fun! Happy early birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lam Le says:

    you have to eat at the golden gate Bakery for the EGG CUSTARD!!!! i dont like egg custard evver…even for dim sum..but that place has made me a fan!

  • helen says:

    oh ruby, for you, go to: scrap (repurposing warehouse full of old and crafty things…i had a ball there!), alameda flea, haight ashbury for vintage shops, ppq (crab & garlic noodles ’cause you love seafood), and rick & ann’s for brunch. have so much fun; so glad you are getting away for your birthday! lettuce know if you need babysitters ๐Ÿ˜‰ love you!

  • Hanna J says:

    Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building on Tues or Sat Mornings. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and places to eat and Blue Bottle Coffee. Philz Coffee (brewed by the cup). Little Star Pizza (deep dish with a cornmeal crust). Little Luccas Sandwich (This is south of the city but so only and HUGE sandwiches). Ike’s Sandwich in the city. On Pier 39 I prefer Chowders over Boudins (for clam chowder bowls) unless you go to the huge main restaurant off the pier across from The Rainforest Cafe which offers tours of the factory. San Ting for Chinese. Dotties for breakfast, but wait can be up to an hour and a half….gotta get there EARLY……but it is SO GOOD. Brenda’s Soul Food….also can be a wait. Stacks in Burlingame (south of the city) or San Francisco….awesome breakfast and near my old high school :D. Bi-Rite Creamery (Mission district) for ice cream. Honey lavender and mint chip are my favorite.

    AT&T Park (beautiful ballpark) offers an awesome tour, but don’t know if your girls would like it. I am a HUGE Giants fan so I love it. Alamo Square…Full House! Golden Gate Bridge (biking from near Fisherman’s Wharf to across to Sausalito and taking the ferry back is fun…if you do it with your gals…props!). Twin Peaks if it is a clear day or night… see the ENTIRE city. Ghirardelli Square….hot fudge sundae! And you can see how the chocolate is made.

    Hotels…I would stay in a hotel away from the city if you’re bringing your own car…around the San Francisco Airport in Burlingame. (My pastor and family stayed at a hotel near there and loved it.) They are clean, not too far from the city, and usually offers free parking.

    If you have questions or need some more suggestions…do not hesitate!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • j lee says:

    come on over to our side of “town”! i’ve lived in the south bay all my life and only now as an adult do i realize what a gem sf is. here are some places to hit:

    to eat: the big eat list pretty much covers it (http://www.7× the only things i would add are Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous ice cream (particularly the candied violet flavor), ferry building blue bottle coffee, and anything at TARTINE (lemon meringue cake)!

    to do: if you want to get out of the bustling city atmosphere, crissy field and the marin headlands are great. the mt tamalpias area also has great little kids museums and such, but their walking trails are quite lovely. personally, i would skip the academy of science. i prefer the monterey bay aquarium which you can hit on your way up to the north bay.

  • Melanie says:

    Take the girls to Ghirardelli Square to get some awesome ice cream sundaes!! Also, the California Academy of the Sciences and the Exploratorium are super fun for kids. I have fond memories of going there during elementary school field trips ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christine says:

    Eat at Burma Superstar! Amazing food! You won’t be disappointed ๐Ÿ™‚ But make sure you make a reservation ahead time or it could possibly be a two hour wait ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Meg says:

    Desserts at Tartine! and sandwiches at Ike’s! And sushi-burrittos at sushiritto. Burgers at super duper are amazing! Go to Uniqlo for shopping.

    p.s. I’m a photographer. Want to take family pictures??? ๐Ÿ™‚ (I took Ica’s engagement pictures!)

  • Vanessa says:

    I would definitely go check out Tartine in San Francisco! And if you head over to the Easy Bay [which I also recommend!] Ici ice cream in Berkeley is good as well as Homeroom in Oakland. Homeroom is a mac n cheese restaurant, they have about 15 variations of mac n cheese and they’re all delicious! I hope you have fun if you do decide to visit the bay!!

  • Malissa says:

    Make sure to go over the bridge and eat lunch at Bakesale Betty on the Oakland side of Telegraph Ave. Then head to the Berkeley side of Telegraph (many blocks of shopping till you hit University). Then go up University Ave till you hit 4th Street and they have Anthropologie and other stores there. Have a snack or dinner at Tacubaya. Also there is tons of shopping in Berkeley on College near Ashby. College has the best ice cream place called ICI. There is also the best Italian food ever at Trattoria Siciliana on College. Get the prosciutto and asparagus appetizer!

    For San Francisco, for sure hit the Ferry Building for the Farmers’s Market on Saturday. At the indoor part, try chiliquilas and guacamole and chips from Mijita. Also, make sure to shop in the Haight/Ashbury area. North Beach area is always fun on Friday or Saturday nights. Don’t forget to read I heard Sacramento St. is good for shopping too.

    Sorry, typing from an iPad! Good Luck!

  • lina says:

    oh fun! ike’s place is a must for sandwiches! & musee mecanique is tons of fun : ) (

  • Jenny says:

    I love the bay area!!! Gracias Madre in the mission is an amazing vegan Mexican resturant and casual for the kiddos.
    Gravel and Gold is such a cute little shop that has awesome finds.
    Go to miette for macaroons and blue bottle for coffee in the ferry building.
    Take the kids to little farm in Berkeley. They have steam trains and a carousel on the weekends and the Lawrence Hall of science is near there and so fun for kids.
    Also in Golden gate park the California academy of sciences, the park with concrete slides and did you know there are bison in golden gate. Yes!
    Have a blast for me!

  • jodi says:

    How fun!! I don’t have many recommendations because we’re on the East Bay and the kids and I don’t get over into the city that much, but I’ve heard really good things about the Thirsty Bear (organic brewery and spanish cuisine) and Tartine and we LOVE Burma Superstar and spending time at Crissy Field. Hope your trip is amazing!

  • Zachary’s pizza in Oakland! Revival in Berkeley! Off the Grid in SF!

  • Katharine says:

    How fun that you will be in the city! I live here and and if you need any advice please let me know!
    favorite places:
    The marina district: The plant (kid friendly, organic, try the garden burger( to die for) and their kid menu is so good!)
    The mission: Tartine for the best pastries, play in Dolores Park (they just redid their playground!), A MUST: Bi-Rite Ice Cream (their salted carmel is the best), Delfina (the pizzeria side!)
    Hayes Valley: Chantal Guillon Macarons for the cutest french Macarons, Straw for yummy brunch or dinner and it’s carnival theme! You can walk a few blocks and then the Painted Ladies are nearby (the Full House houses!!)
    Japantown (go to Pika Pika! and take one of those fun pictures with your family with a Japanese photo booth!, and an icecream cone with cute animal faces, and then go shopping at Daiso where everything is pretty much a dollar!)
    Inner Richmond (Burma Superstar! So good, very crowded but you can call in and get your name on a list and they will call you and let you know when your table is ready-(get the rainbow salad) a block away or so is Green Apple Bookstore (I like to peruse their use and new books while we wait for dinner)
    If you go to Golden Gate Park (take the kids to the academy of sciences! so fun!) I like to go to the cafe in the back of the De Young and get a coffee (you can just walk straight back there and no fee and they have a huge grassy area to play in)
    The inner sunset is nearby and Park Chow is very kid friendly (if the upstairs is open, eat up there! there are fireplaces and kind of feels like you are at camp! usually they only open on the weekends for brunch!)
    Let me know if you need more details or more suggestions!

    • Katharine says:

      Oh! and yes go to the Ferry Building. It’s so fun! And when you walk in look for the homemade donuts! They are across from the mushroom stand. So yummy:)

  • Tina says:

    Awesome Birthday trip!
    A MUST is the ferry building farmers market on Saturday morning. While you are there, get yourself a cup of blue bottle coffee. I know someone mentioned Rick and Ann’s which is in Berkeley but so worth the extra miles. Cornmeal pancakes and community tables. Fun! Get there early (like 8am) so you don’t have to wait (and shop in the cutest kids boutique next door). : )
    Alameda Flea Market is always the first Sunday of the month. Also, I HAVE to mention the Children’s Discovery Mueseum in Sausalito. Aimed for kids 6 and younger. I take my 4 there any chance I get. Super simple, clean, so so inspiring and nature themed. It’s just the quick drive over the golden gate bridge and has the most breathtaking view of the bridge and city.
    AND right next to it is a super cool resort/hotel called Cavallo Point. The place is old Army bunks. Funky Cool!
    I think we have the same birthday! Hope yours is a good one. Have fun!

  • Monica N says:

    Yay for a visit up north! Now till December is a great time weather wise for us San Franciscans. There is so much to do, read through the other comments and they are all fantastic places to check out. I would recommend stopping by Tantrum for adorable vintage children’s items- its near the Haight and Asbury neighborhood. And if you stop by Golden Gate park, which I would highly recommend, stop by Holy Gelato on the way in {on 9th Avenue 2 blocks from the park} for some tasty sweets. There is a large children’s play area {the Koret children’s quarter playground} with big slides and a permanent merry go round and the botanical garden and Japanese tea garden is also in the same area as the Academy of Science and De Young Museum. Another fun area for the kids would probably be the Penny arcade in the Fisherman’s wharf area. It can be very crowded and a bit “touristy” but it is within walking distance to Pier 39 and Ghirardelli square if you wanted to check those out.

    If you do make it to the park I might just see you guys! My daily walks with the dog are right through all the fun spots and the dog park is very near the kids playground. Have fun!! And as always, if you manage to plan it for the first weekend in a month you might want to check if the Alameda antique market is going on- I think they take a break during the winter months though.

  • I looooove San Fran!! Thankfully for us we live in NorCal so it’s not far from us. Not sure if you all like seafood, but if you do you HAVE to go to Anchor Oyster Bar. It’s a little whole in the wall restaurant and it is extremely good. THE BEST garlic crab I’ve ever had! The garlic bread is awesome, too. Locals and non locals alike swear by this place. Get there early bc lines form quickly and people will wait for long periods of time to get in if that’s any indication of how good it is. Have fun in the beautiful City By The Bay.

  • steph says:

    plus… when you’re driving with kids and you’re the driver, you also don’t get a sore back and neck from turning around the entire time to tend to the children!
    i definitely don’t mind being the driver!
    it’s a break!
    ha ha ha!
    have a great time!!!
    i LOVE san fran!!!
    keep away from the touristy stuff… that’s all i recommend!
    discover chinatown and feel like you’re actually in asia b/c no one speaks a word of english around you!

  • steph says:

    ok… do you think i used enough exclamation points?!
    sheesh… sorry!
    (there i go again)

  • Christie says:

    Don’t have much more to add, but as a lot of people s)id, the Farmer’s Market on saturday is amazing! And a great view of the bay from the Ferry Building. And a shout out to my neighborhood, the mission! be sure to come visit Tartine, grab some ice cream at Bi-Rite and head over to Dolores park (across the street). And if you are a coffee fan, Philz is amazing! If you are interested in attending church on sunday, shoot me an email.

    • mycakies says:

      I’m so excited! And I think I will definitely hit up those places since they are mentioned repeatedly. Should we rent bikes? Would that be fun? We are going sans kids, so we are up for anything! Oh and though I am intrigued by that coffee place everyone is mentioning, Ben and I aren’t coffee drinkers at all!

      • Christie says:

        oh, sans kids will be fun (though with kids is pretty fun also)
        You can rent bikes at fisherman’s wharf and bike over the golden gate bridge (never done it, but heard it’s fun, depends on the weather). Or just bike around crissy field and see beautiful views of the bridge. Palace of Fine Arts is in that area also, and beautiful!
        The mission has great second hand stores if you feel like doing some shopping. Also, Alamo square is where the painted ladies are and a very cute neighborhood.
        nice photos and place I want to go:

  • anna says:

    Coffee: Sightglass (7th street) and Bluebottle (Ferry Building)

    Date Night: Chouchou (little known and a trek to get to but you will not be disappointed if you like French Food in an unpretentious setting), Starbelly, Frances (haven’t been but hear it’s legendary), Slanted Door, Little Skillet (yummy lunch place in the Southpark area of town which is a little magical).

    Tartine is an absolute must. A revered SF bakery, it’s worth the 20-30 min wait in line just to buy a heavenly morning bun or gougere. You will never be the same.

    Cute bars (read: nice setting/ambience, no crazy 22 year olds) with AMAZING cocktails: Local Edition, Rickhouse, Beretta, 15 Romolo

    Enjoy our foggy, windy city and bring a jacket! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elle says:

    It’s touristy but really fun to take the Blue and Gold ferry’s bay cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s awesome to see it from below! Nearby on Pier 45 you can also go to the Musee Mechanique, which is full of vintage arcade games. I think you and your girls would really like it!

    For another great view go to the Sutro Baths (near the Cliff House). You can explore the ruins and then walk up the path (to the right of the parking lot) and see a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate.

    Definitely walk through the mission, get ice cream at Bi-Rite, and take the kids right around the corner to play at the new playground at Dolores Park.

    And make sure to check out Liz Stanley’s Sites and Bites on Say Yes to Hoboken. She’s got tons of great recommendations for places to eat and sites not to miss in the city.

  • Elle says:

    Ooh, just read you’re gong without the kids! Then I’d second Baretta, Dosa for Indian food, Tartine, the Ferry Building, and walking or biking across the bridge. If you’re going to be here the first Sunday of the month make sure to go to the Alameda Antique Fair (it’s huge!).

    Also, I’d highly recommend taking a free walking tour from SF City Guides. They have tours every day of the week, all over the city. They’re great if you’re interested in learning the history behind the sites!

  • Christine says:

    Steve and I were just there last month for a mini-trip! We seem to end up in the Bay Area every year or 2, so this time around, we just ate. We tried Tadich Grill, which had delicious cioppino. Tartine & Bi-Rite (same block), like everyone else mentioned.. ๐Ÿ™‚ There were also great sandwiches at Rhea’s Deli & Market 2 blocks over. There’s also Crepevine & Ici in Berkeley/Oakland. The best egg-custard-tarts are at Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown, and we always like to hit up the stationery stores in Japantown. Hope you guys have a great time!

  • Jess says:

    my SIL lives in SF and I just took a trip there for my “pre-wedding weekend” we stopped over the Ferry Building and had lunch at the Cowgirl creamery! best open faced grilled cheese EVER! we also did some shopping at gigi+rose over at Ghirardelli Square. if you have never been, this shop is a must! you and your girls will be in heaven! have fun! xoxo-Jess

  • Kalani says:

    Hi Ruby!
    I saw that you’re thinking of coming to SF for your birthday. I follow your blog and you’re such an inspiration to me. I enjoy reading about how creativity, Jesus, and your love for your family all mesh into your life! It’s so cool to see how you can be fashionable, God centered, family oriented, home school your children, be ridiculously in love with your husband, be an awesome cook, and use your creativity to fit all the pockets of life. You’re such a great example of a full, enjoyable life! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am from the Bay Area and am the lead stylist for the Teen Vogue fashion show in SF on Nov 3. Come by if you would like! its at 6pm. It would be so awesome to meet you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just to bless you on your birthday, I’d love to primp you for your birthday (hair & makeup). I’ll be making my way up to the city in the AM. If you’re interested, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here are some of my food recommendations. Well, half are treats, but just as important! haha

    The best French macaroons as well as the most awesome grilled cheese I’ve had was at the Ferry Building! I love Bangkok Thai food off Powell, right in Union Square. It’s yummy, serves good portions, and is pretty reasonably priced. Lastly, Powell’s ice cream in the Mission District is awesome! They have flavors like ube, halo halo, and macapuno!


  • Amanda says:

    amazing family picture with an amazing back drop.

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