Kick off your day with a classic American diner breakfast. A solid central choice is the booth-lined, 24-hour Pinecrest Diner on Geary Street; a 1969-founded stalwart dishing up overflowing platefuls of French toast, pancakes, waffles, country fried steak, and eggs any which way you like ‘em. Or join the early-forming line outside Brenda’s French Soul Food in the Tenderloin, for delicious crawfish beignets or the house special shrimp and grits.
Fill your face at breakfast, and you may not need any lunch. However, if light bites and a considered brew are in order you won’t go wrong at one of the city’s cutting-edge coffee shops. Head to Blue Bottle Coffee at Mint Plaza – home to an impressive $20,000 five-light siphon bar coffee machine – for a simple sandwich and a handcrafted cup; to freelancers’ favourite Coffee Bar in the Mission District for healthy salads and ample workspace, or to wildly popular Sightglass Coffee in SoMa. This open plan, industrial-chic roastery, coffee bar, retail store, training centre and community meeting space is as San Francisco as it gets.
San Francisco’s dining and drinking scene is so extraordinarily good it can often feel overwhelming. For renowned creativity try the impossibly cool small plates venue State Bird Provisions in the Fillmore District; the Mission’s Lazy Bear – with its ticketed-seating tasting menu and communal tables, or the Presidio Heights’ Spruce – known for an award-winning wine list and California-inspired cuisine. The city is also revered for its Tiki and speakeasy-style cocktail bars, with the unmarked Bourbon & Branch; London-centric gin palace Whitechapel, and tiny, rum-soaked Hayes Valley hangout Smuggler’s Cove topping the list.