If you are new to VMWorld or San Francisco, then you are probably not aware of all the delicious goodness that exists in San Francisco in general. However, a lot of places require driving (don’t – parking stinks and is $$$) or taking public transit (BART, Uber, taxi, etc), unless you like walking miles up some pretty serious hills.
For the record, I do. I’m a bit of an urban hiker.
I’ve been to SF numerous times and love it there. I also love coffee and eating. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of the places I like to go when I’m out there and tried to keep it inside of a 30 minute walk (as per Google Maps). If you’d rather hunt down your own places, Yelp is pretty reliable. It’s headquartered in SF.
This is by no means comprehensive, and since I don’t live in the Bay Area, I likely don’t know all the places to go. But I do have some reliable stand-bys. For you native Bay Area folks, I will sound a bit like a lousy tourist. And I’m ok with that.
If you are staying in the Marquis, it’s here:
Google Map Location for Marriott Marquis, San Francisco
VMWorld is here:
Moscone Center, San Francisco
The walk between them is approximately 5 minutes.
Two places that are top notch, can’t miss stops for coffee are Philz Coffee and Blue Bottle. Yes, there are likely plenty of others I am missing, but those are the two I like. Whenever I go to the Bay Area, I make daily stops at Philz. I own one of their mugs (which gets you discounted coffee). I buy beans every time I am out there.
Blue Bottle is also very good. They both utilize intricate methods for brewing coffee and do it by the cup, on order. Which means a) lines get long and b) you have to wait a bit. Plan timing accordingly.
They both serve food/baked goods. So save room.
But try at least one of the two if you love coffee.
Yelp agrees with me for the most part.
If you can, find a way to get to the Ferry Building Marketplace Farmer’s Market. Sooooo much good food (and souvenir shopping). The catch? Only going on 3 days a week.
Thursday: 10 am – 2pm
However, it’s only a 19 minute walk from the Marquis! You can bet I’ll be hitting that up. Plus, if you want a nice 360 degree view of the city, Coit Tower is a 22 minute walk from the Ferry Building and you can walk down Embarcadero to get there.
Here are some photos I’ve taken around that area if you are into photography and want to get some good shots.
From Coit Tower:
Oh… this post is about food. And this is the breakfast section. Right.
Anyway, in the Bay Area, there is a chain of French bakeries that are pretty good called La Boulanger. And there happens to be one 5 minutes away from the Marquis.
Yelp lists Red Door Cafe as one of the better brunch places and is just around a 30 minute walk from the Marquis. I never went there for brunch, but I did go for dinner there once and it was fantastic. Their profile pic on Yelp is a little NSFW, btw.
The last time I was in SF, I went to Plow, which was delicious. But it’s a longer 45 minute walk.
This year, I might try farm:table. That’s a pretty close 18 min walk.
Click here for more of what Yelp has rated highest for Breakfast/Brunch.
You’ll likely be eating at VMWorld. Or making the pilgrimage to In N Out. But if you do venture out, it looks like there is a decent sounding burger place nearby called Super Duper Burgers. However, the Flying Falafel is intriguing… (as you can see, I haven’t done a ton of lunch in the area around the Marquis). If you’ve never had Ethiopian, it might be worth trying at Tadu. I like Ethiopian and if you like spicy foods, you can find some. Garaje also looks like it’s worth trying. That’s going to likely be what I’ll try. Or maybe Hogwash. Oh my….
Dinners are more along the lines of things you’d likely want to do out with people and probably would travel further for. As for dinner recommendations, I’d say explore. And if you like sushi, don’t leave SF without getting some. Last time I was there, I went to a place near Ocean Beach (which is a really nice place to spend time) called Yu Zen. It was delicious and reasonably priced. It’s also all the way across the city… 2 hour walk. Even I’m not *that* insane.
But it was good and in a good location. I may try to go there again or try a new sushi place. Or maybe find a good ramen bar.
If you can get to a San Francisco Giants game, do yourself a favor and get some garlic fries.
Also, check out the recommendation of Tacqueira La Cumbre from Nick Howell (aka @DataCenterDude).
For dessert, there’s a ton of fantastic baked goods in SF. There’s also Ghirardelli Square, with ginormous sundaes, but a bit of a walk from the Marquis.
There’s also this rice pudding bar that’s pretty good called the Loving Cup. Closest one is about a 28 minute walk from the Marquis.
If you want some authentic Italian gelato, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
San Francisco is a fantastic place to find great foods you love and discover new foods you have not tried. I’ve never been steered wrong by exploring and using Yelp to navigate. I suggest you do the same during VMWorld 2015! (or any time you are in SF)
A while back I created a collaborative “Cool Bay Area Stuff” Google map. Feel free to check it out and contribute!
Also, check out the VMWorld gathering schedule.