A quick guide to where to stay, play, and eat in San Francisco

San Francisco! What a city. Small enough that it’s walkable (if you don’t mind the hills), yet big enough to have very distinct neighborhoods with some of the best cuisine in the world. I’ve been lucky to spend quite a bit of time here, but we were far overdue for a visit. Last weekend, The Mister had a conference, so after one night in Ojai, we popped up for a quick two nights. Here is a little update on what I’m loving right now.

San Francisco-26

San Francisco-25

STAY (Nob Hill): Nob Hill is one of my favorite areas of San Francisco because it’s full of glitz, glamour, spectacular homes and hotels all at the very top of the city!

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins – This hotel is a classic, perched right at the very top of the hill. They even have a revolving piano bar at the very top named (wait for it) Top of the Mark. It’s been around for ages, so there’s nothing trendy about it. And that’s a good thing. Order a martini.

San Francisco-28

The Mark


All aboard! We’re heading back down the hill to the financial district for one ultra cool new hotel.

Battery San Francisco-2

STAY (Financial District): The Financial District is not necessarily the neighborhood to be if you want to be in the middle of walkable shops and attractions, but it’s less than a mile from Nob Hill or Union Square, so not too out of the way and worth it for this hotel discovery.

The Battery – I walked into this luxury, boutique hotel like I owned the place, not realizing it’s actually a private club first, hotel second. They have an impressive restaurant, gym, and beautifully designed bar on the first floor, but it’s not open to the public. The hotel occupies the 4th floor with 14 gorgeous suites, so guests of the hotel are allowed to use the club facilities. San Francisco was in need of a new, luxury boutique hotel, and had we not be in town for my husband’s work conference, we would have stayed here.

Battery San Francisco-6

The hotel manager was kind enough to overlook my barging in uninvited and gave me a private tour.

San Francisco-5

Check out that tub!

San Francisco-14

San Francisco-15

molly san fran


The Perennial – We only had one night for dinner in the city, and I think I chose wisely. The concept here is a restaurant/bar that champions progressive farming. They have partnered with local farmers that have practices beyond organic and have used sustainable design, along with a living pantry of growing vegetables to create an environment that makes you think.

Farm Table – What’s in a name? Everything, in fact. They have one farm table in the middle of this tiny little coffee/breakfast cafe. While I wouldn’t recommend dining in on a cold day, we cozied in with our lattes long enough to inhale their insanely good egg sandwich and then took a little stroll around the neighborhood, coffees in hand.

Ferry Building Marketplace – This is one of my favorite places. A chef’s paradise, it’s chock full of artisanal everything from mushrooms to dried beans to Blue Bottle coffee.


San Francisco-7

San Francisco-10


Nest – Located in the very fab Pacific Heights neighborhood, Nest is a design lover’s paradise, with darling books and Parisian themed decor, but what really caught my eye were the Moroccan tile floor mats that look like cement tile, but are actually made of vinyl! GENIUS. Similar here >

Fay Park – I stumbled upon this secret garden while wandering around one afternoon. They have two gazebos, and it just felt like the perfect spot to plop down with a good book on a warm spring day.

San Francisco-12

San Francisco-11

San Francisco-6

PS. Check out my Travel Notes: Seattle!



  1. Love it. Really liked the city the one time I was there. Big city stuff with a small city feel. Those restaurants are a step up from the Hard Rock that we wanted to eat in back in the day. lol

  2. Sandra Zaninovich

    The first time I ever went to SF in my life (I was about 12 or 13), we stayed at the Mark Hopkins, and I never forgot it. Truly a memorable place! And the Ferry Building is one of my favorite places, including that amazing Vietnamese Slanted Door restaurant with such breathtaking Bay views. As a hippie at heart, I’m partial to the Haight Ashbury part of SF, and Golden Gate Park, and most of all, of course as you know well, SF’s sister across the Bay, Berkeley! So next time, Moleficent, venture to the East Bay. You won’t be disappointed, and I’ll relish your impressions of the place where I actually left my heart. I’d love to read your thoughts about the gorgeous SF surroundings like Sausalito, Tiburon, Mill Valley, and that whole breathtaking part of our wonderful Golden State. I know I’m getting all ambitious now, but I get all fired up when the Bay Area comes up, since I did spend 4 of the best years of my life there, with annual visits after that. So it’s much embedded in my heart. Thank you for this! You have an uncanny knack of bringing your readers (including me) to the places you visit, as if we were your companions every bit as much as your handsome hubby.

  3. Aw that means a ton coming from you! I had only two nights this past time, but managed to find a few amazing places. Wish I had had longer! I need to visit all those places you mentioned for sure. I think you and I ate at the Slated Door once or did I dream that? I know I have eaten there YEARS ago and I thought it was with you when we happened to be there at the same time! :)))x

  4. Sandra Zaninovich

    Ahhh I only WISH I’d been able to see you in the Bay Area, I never have, sadly, so yes, you must have dreamed that…..or I’m getting senile, which is probably a better likelihood!!! That would be a bucket list situation for sure! And YES, you def need a LOT more time up north. All those places are absolutely beyond gorgeous and amazing, and then when you get a lot further north, Mendocino is my favorite place in all of CA. There is just no place more stunning and romantic. An absolute must. You won’t believe your eyes/ears/nose! They filmed “Murder She Wrote” up there because it so resembles Cape Cod (supposedly, I’ve never been to Cape Cod so I’ll have to take their word for it!).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.