A Day in SF – French Food and the Botanical Garden

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As I’ve mentioned countless times in the past, visiting San Francisco for the weekend is one of my favorite things to do, especially since I live so close!  I will be posting updates with all of my best SF recommendations as I continue to visit.  Stay tuned for my favorite restaurants, bars, activities, and places to go!

The last time I was in The City, I dropped by Haight-Ashbury to hit some of my favorite spots.  Haight-Ashbury has an incredibly unique art culture and history, so I always try to stop by if I have the chance.  In addition to going to some of my favorite stores, I have been learning more about the neighborhood restaurants, coffee places, and other local spots.  As soon as the Uber dropped us off, I grabbed a capp at Stanza Coffee Bar and went to this really cool art store called Mendel’s to pick up some fabric.  I always try to stop by Mendel’s when I’m in the city, because they have a huge variety of art supplies you can’t find in run-of-the-mill places.  Afterwards, I went to one of the most unique thrift/vintage shops, Decades of Fashion, just to check out what they had in stock – if you love vintage clothing or unique costumes, definitely stop by!  I also made sure to hit one of my favorite record stores, Rasputin Music, which has a large variety of CDs, records, and DVDs, both old and new, classic and recent.  After a couple hours of shopping, we were pretty hungry and looking for restaurants close by.  I had never eaten at a restaurant in Haight-Ashbury before this trip, so I was excited to see what the neighborhood had to offer.  Trusting solely on Yelp reviews, we decided on what turned out to be an amazing French restaurant called Zazie, just a few blocks up on Cole St.

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Zazie is located on a quiet street in a narrow space, that I believe is an old apartment building.  The ambience is classic French bistro, with yellow walls and pretty wooden tables.  They have many of the French favorites, breakfast, lunch, and specials including the pancakes I got!  I had poppy pancakes with lemon curd and strawberries, and they came with a side of potatoes.  I also got their house tea, which was amazing!  Other orders were the Croque Madame and the French toast, which were both delicious (based on the few bites I had!).

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After brunch at Zazie, we drove over to Golden Gate Park to enjoy the beautiful NoCal weather.  Golden Gate Park is one of my favorite places in San Francisco, so I definitely wanted to take a long walk, especially after a few stressful weeks at home.  Previous to this trip, I had walked past the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park multiple times, but I had never actually gone in.  This time, I thought it would be fun to walk around since the tickets are fairly inexpensive, especially if you have a student ID!  The Botanical Gardens were beautiful, with all kinds of unique plants and greenery.  It was a very peaceful way to spend an afternoon, especially in the busyness of the city.

Later that night, we walked around near the beach and enjoyed a quiet dinner (can’t remember the name of the restaurant – if I see it next time I’m in SF, I’ll update).

If you need any more recommendations, feel free to reach out!  San Fran is one of my favorite places to go, so I have lots of things to share!

For a list of my favorite coffee places in SF, click here.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Horchata by Vampire Weekend

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SF Coffee Recommendations

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As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, San Francisco is one of my favorite places to visit.  The foggy weather, public art, trendy restaurants, and bearded men get me every time.  Plus the coffee.  Because, as you also know if you’ve been following me for a while, I LOVE COFFEE.  Like, a lot.  So naturally, I have to write a post about my favorite coffee places.

Before I begin, let me first give you some of my qualifications.  1. It usually has to be specialty coffee.  I say “usually”, because of the “never say never” rule, and I can’t promise that I’ll never write about a non-specialty coffee shop.  For more info about specialty coffee, see here. 2. I have to be impressed by not only their coffee, but also by their employees and atmosphere.  That may not be fair, since really it’s all about the coffee, but there’s something to be said about the other aspects, too.  If I’m visiting a coffee shop on vacation, I probably want to hang out for a little while, and the atmosphere and employees should be pleasant.  3. I have to want to visit again.  I’ve been to specialty coffee shops that I’ve thought were okay, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again.  To make the list, it has to be a place I want to spend a lot of time at.

And there you go!  The list will be pretty short, because not all the places I visited were list-worthy, and I also didn’t get to make it to all of the shops I planned on visiting.  However, I’ll update this list as I continue to visit SF 🙂

P.S. These are in no particular order.

1. Beacon Coffee & Pastry

If you’re staying near Fisherman’s Wharf, Beacon is a short walk away from most of the hotels and shops.  It was about an eight minute walk from our hotel, so not the closest, but definitely close enough for this coffee snob.  Their beans are roasted by Sightglass (see below), and they have great espresso drinks and a few snacks.  If you’re looking for a close, relaxing place to spend your morning before a day of shopping or tourist-ing, this is a great choice.  (Oops!  I forgot to snap a pic).

Beacon Website: http://www.beacon-sf.com/

2. Stanza Coffee Bar

Stanza is a cute, minimalist coffee shop in the middle of The Haight.  I love Haight Ashbury area, because they have really good food, some great thrift shops, and a killer record store that always has amazing finds.  I had never seen a specialty coffee shop there until this trip (I’m not sure how long Stanza has been there), so I was thrilled to see one! My recommendation would be a cappuccino.  Served the only specialty way, with silky foam.

Tip: They have another location in The Mission as well.

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Me and my cute mom enjoy capps at Stanza.  The only picture I got!

Stanza’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stanzasf/info/?entry_point=page_nav_about_item&tab=page_info

3. Sightglass Coffee

This was my second trip to Sightglass, and I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first.  I have only been to their 7th Street location, but I imagine their other locations are just as beautiful.  The cool part about their 7th Street location is that it is where they roast their coffee, and there are 2 stories, so you can watch the action happening below.  They had Ethiopian coffee, which has been difficult to come by this summer in Reno, so I was beyond stoked.  They also have really great espresso drinks.  Plus, they have cool swag for sale – it’s where I got my amazing Chemex pin pictured above!

Tip: They have locations in The Mission, The SF Farmer’s Market, SFMOMA, and soon on Divisadero!

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The roaster roasting.
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The baristas baristaing. (Creeper Confession: The guy in the blue shirt is so nice!!)
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The coffee situation upstairs.
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Wait, do they rent offices across from the upstairs bar area?  How do I get one?!
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The star of the show.

Sightglass website: https://sightglasscoffee.com/.

4. Four Barrel Coffee

Four Barrel is probably my favorite SF coffee to date.  Their Valencia shop has a lot of energy, local art, cool staff, and (of course) amazing coffee.  Honestly, it’s a good thing I don’t live anywhere near this neighborhood, because I would spend all of my tip money (unless they want to hire me?  Yes?  YES?!).  Anyways, aside from their fantastic marketing, mugs, and (duh) coffee, they have adorable coffee roasters.  I watched them dance when they weren’t looking (Creeper Confession #2).  However, I don’t think they would mind my watching.

Side note true story: They had this mug in their shop for the longest time that I loved, because it really embraced my personality.  Right when I decided to buy it, they went out of stock.  SO MANY TEARS.  See mug here.

Tip: They have locations at The Mill and in Portola!

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Dancing roasters in the way back.
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My coffee + my elbow

Four Barrel website: http://fourbarrelcoffee.com/.

My next stops include Blue Bottle and Ritual (which I’ve actually been to before, but I don’t really remember…)!  Any good SF coffee recommendations?

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Out of Tune by Real Estate *
…because I got to watch Real Estate perform this live while on holiday!

The One Where Sara Spent Her Spring Break Watching Too Much ‘Friends’ and Strolling Around SF

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Hallo friends!  Happy Easter!

My spring break was last week two weeks ago, but I’m just now getting to posting about it because I’m busy and in college because I spent my weekend getting tattooed, working, and volunteering at the art museum.

(So I’m not a total shit.)

But anyways…the title pretty much explains it all.  My spring break included watching a whole season of Friends and hanging out with some aunts and cousins in Napa and San Francisco.

A whole bunch of candid photos of myself and some random pics of San Fran is pretty much what you can expect of this post.  Someday I’ll get back to blogging like a real blogger (probably when my geography test this week is over and I don’t have to stress about that).

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My aunt and I drove from her house in Napa Valley (where I spent the first few days of my spring break) to San Francisco. We ended up at Flax, which is the coolest art store I’ve ever been to.  If you’re ever in San Fran and really like art stuff, you need to go to Flax.  You have to!

Their stamp selection alone is worth a visit.

(Yes I just got really excited about stamps.)

(Yes, I’m still single.)

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Then we went to a few little shops around the block…..

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And then we ended up at Sight Glass.

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Which was my haven.  (I could almost hear “Smelly Cat” walking through the door…)

Seriously though, just leave me here with a few pairs of oxfords and some of my favorite CDs and I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.

(Sight Glass.  Thank you for your amazing coffee and amazing boys.  Also, thanks to the super nice employee who geeked out about coffee with me, gave me coffee bags, and kept his judgments to himself.  You’re a swell guy).

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Next was lunch at The Rotunda in Neiman Marcus.

I literally ate a cheese plate for lunch.

(Now accepting applications for boys who enjoy stamps, coffee, Friends and cheese.  And girls who wear overalls…)

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Chinatown was the next stop.  I heart Chinatown.

A lot.

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Nothing makes me happier than doing touristy stuff in San Francisco.  Even if I move here someday, I will probably spend my weekends in Chinatown.

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And at Mocca.  A must stop lunch place if you’re ever in town.

Get the turkey sandwich with brie and cranberries.  Get iiiiiiit.

Remember the episode of Friends where Monica gives Ross her last leftover Thanksgiving sandwich?  The one with the “moist maker” in between?  The turkey sandwich at Mocca is a fancy version of that sandwich.

Also there’s no “moist maker”.

Which is fine with me.

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Random hallway in Chinatown.

Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban

For my trip, I decided to wear my new (old) thrifted plum-colored velvet dress.  It’s a new fave, and it looked great with my grey sweater.  (SF is chilly!)

Thanks for reading my weird post about San Francisco, my clothes, and way too many Friends references.

What’s your favorite place?

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: I Left my Heart in San Francisco–Tony Bennett

(I really did.)