A Weekend in San Francisco: Where to Eat, Read, and Stay.

Okay, I'm always saying this, but every time I visit San Francisco I find something new to love! From gritty corners of color to fusion restaurants that pack a flavorful punch, San Francisco consistently tops my list for fun weekend getaways. This time I went for the Museum of Ice Cream (full blog post coming soon!) and since the tickets I snagged were on the 31st, I was able to enjoy new years in the city...a.k.a every corner was still full of leftover Christmas magic and it was wonderful.  

Each time I spend a weekend in San Francisco, I try to make some new stops I haven’t been to before, so I'm sharing a few new stops I made on this trip that I really loved. And in case you missed it, here’s A Quick Weekend in San Francisco and A Day Trip to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.

Stay: Hotel Buchanan

Having visited Japan Town only once before, I was excited to get to stay at a hotel in the area since I knew it was a different slice of SF than I normally visit. And Hotel Buchanan was pretty much everything I love in a hotel - urban, clean and gorgeous. Staying in a hotel always feels like such a treat when the space is so modern! Plus, after having stayed in more than my fair share of hotels located in Union Square, it was lovely to be in a more secluded and quiet spot in the city.

My favorite part though? All of the thoughtful details - from a chic robe, a patio with a view of the city, to the consistently warm welcome from the staff, the experience was memorable enough to want to come for every weekend trip I make to SF. Plus, I’m so excited to have a new go-to hotel that’s outside of the typical union square neighborhood! Highly reccommend. 

 Cutest robe!

Cutest robe!

 Chic bedside. 

Chic bedside. 

 Lobby details. 

Lobby details. 

 Views from the patio. 

Views from the patio. 

 Beside details. 

Beside details. 

Disclosure: I kindly received a media discount stay from Kimpton, but as always, all opinions are my own. I only review places and products I truly love and would recommend. 

Fun stops:

City Lights Bookstore

As a bibliophile, I can’t believe I had never visited City Lights Bookstore before! I was so happy to finally visit the store on this trip. It’s a landmark general bookstore that’s been a part of the city since 1953 and prides itself on an expert selection of books. I particularly loved walking around and seeing the staff recommendations for each genre and I scooped up a gorgeous hardcover of a Jane Austen novel. It was hard to not scoop up multiple books, but I can’t wait to stop back by!

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to check out their website for events as well

city lights bookstore

Neighborhood hangs: Hayes Valley

I hadn’t spent much time in Hayes Valley and ended up there as a happy accident. I love the feel of the streets - they’re definitely a bit upscale but it’s easy to see a great sense of community. First stop: La Boulangerie de Hayes, a spin-off of San Francisco’s La Boulangerie, it offers a lovely French cafe ambience with a delicious selection of freshly baked bread. I tried the Black Sesame danish and it was incredible - the perfect mix of sweet and savory to pair with a cup of coffee. Just across the street is a dog park and another corner of coffee, juice and ice cream stops if you didn’t quite get your fill at the bakery. Keep walking past the park and you’ll find several rows of excellent shopping like Outdoor Voices, Marine Layer, Yoga Tree and lots of little shops with handmade goods and plants. The area feels laid back and easy to find whatever you’re in the mood for.

blacksesame.jpg
lindsay ashcraft
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sf murals

Good Eats: Dumpling Time & Curry Up Now

Dumpling Time has been getting a lot of attention lately and after dining there, I can definitely see why. The customer service is beyond excellent and the ambience was really modern and fun - they even had a large screen of K Pop music videos in the background which is my jam. The food was pretty good, too. My only complaint was the lack of vegetarian options, but I knew this going in. It was fun to try once, but I’m not sure I’d go back - simply based on taste preference. I LOVE Asian food of all kinds, but I'm not obsessed with dumplings. If you're a big fan of dumplings though, you should definitely make this a stop on your next trip!

dumpling time review
dumpling time sf review

I would, however, happily revisit Curry Up Now on Valencia St. again and again for their delicious twists on Indian street food. From Tikka Masala burritos to deconstructed samosas, I fell in love at the first flavorful bite. Indian food meets burrito? Yes, yes, please. I enjoyed the “Hella Vegan” bowl with handmade samosas and chutneys and drank it down with a house-made chai. If you like Indian food, you’ll probably adore this restaurant’s fresh take. I know I did. :) 

curry up now

Do you have any fun stops and stays you’d recommend in San Francisco?