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San Francisco Profiles – San Francisco’s Nob Hill with Eugene

San Francisco may only be seven miles by seven miles but there is a lot of ground to cover. Every neighborhood has something unique to offer and it is a shame that more of the city is not explored. That's why I am doing this series. And who better to get that lowdown from than a local? I've asked friends who live in these areas to share their favorite haunts, the good stuff.

San Francisco's Nob Hill (or Snob Hill as some call it) is “rich” in history. It sits on top of one of San Francisco's famous hills and was coined Nob because the big four railroad barons (Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, C.P. Huntington, and Mark Hopkins) who were called the Nobs built their mansions on top of this hill, probably because it has a pretty damn good view! The neighborhood is one of the main intersections for the cable car so there are lots of people coming and going.

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Those who live here are a rather dapper set and there are beautiful parks, buildings and restaurants, and spots that feel frozen in time. I was excited when one of my colleagues at work mention he lived here because other than visiting some of the hotels here I am not familiar with the area, so it was great to hear from a local. Eugene is a pretty snappy dresser so it was hard to imagine him not giving me, and now you, a virtual tour.

Meet Eugene.

[1] Favorite thing about San Francisco.
Nob Hill dog park. If you love dogs, this place is for you.

Dogs in San Francisco
Photo credit: ToastyKen

[2] Least favorite thing about San Francisco.
Parking!!! Especially in Nob Hill.

[3] What differentiates your neighborhood, Nob Hill from all the other parts of the city?
Proximity to high-profile areas (Union Square, FiDi, Chinatown, North Beach).

View of the city from Nob Hill
View of the city from Nob Hill, photo credit: Joe Parks

[4] Favorite coffee spot in Nob Hill.
Chameleon Cafe (1299 Pacific Ave). Their almond joy is amazing.

[5] Favorite spot for drinks.
Sip (787 Broadway St). The bartenders make great Old Fashions.

[6] Favorite local hangout.
Tonga Room (inside the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St). Drinks, dancing, and a fake rainstorm.

Tonga Room
Tonga Room, photo credit: neekoh.fi

[7] Favorite breakfast spot.
Isabella's on Taylor (1414 Taylor St). Best breakfast burritos.

[8] Favorite lunch spot.
Nob Hill Cafe (1152 Taylor St)  or Nob Hill Bar & Grille (969 Hyde St).

[9] Favorite dinner spot.
Navin Thai (1059 Powell St). Not a fancy place but they're one of the few places with Tom Yum Noodle Soup.

Navin Thai's Tom Yum Noodle Soup, photo credit: Seamless

[10] One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
Top of the Mark (inside the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, 999 California St). Great view of SF skyline.

Thanks Eugene!

Here are other great spots in San Francisco's Nob Hill:


EAT – Breakfast/Brunch:

> Dunya (1609 Polk St) Great Mediterranean wine bar, but really awesome weekend brunch too.
> Nook (1500 Hyde St) Charming neighborhood spot.
> Flour & Co. Bakery (1030 Hyde St) Run, don't walk, to eat here. Some of the best-baked goods in the city.
> Olea (1494 California St) “eggs baked in a cazuela with tomato sauce, steamed farro spezzato, diced Niman Ranch applewood smoked ham and basil-almond pesto” – enough said!

EAT – Lunch:

> Estela's (891 Bush St) Fantastic menu with unexpected sandwiches.
> Rogue Nightclub (1500 Broadway St) Yes a night club, but check out Nick's Crispy Tacos inside!
> Nob Hill Grille (969 Hyde St) choice burgers and truffle fries.
> New Village Cafe (1426 Polk St) Family-owned spot serving up corned beef hash, clam chowder, and biscuits and gravy among other diner treats.

EAT – Dinner:

> Keiko (1250 Jones St) Michelin-star French food.
> Bouche Bistro & Wine Bar (603 Bush St) California-French fusion with a damn good corn dog!
> 1760 (1760 Polk St) Lobster ceviche and fried duck sandwich, enough said.
> Ryoko’s sushi (619 Taylor St) very late-night sushi bar with a live DJ.
> Osso Steakhouse (1177 California @ Jones) Better drinks than steaks, but a decent classic.
> Sons & Daughters (708 Bush St) Seasonal foods with great wine pairings.
> Cocotte (1521 Hyde St) Superior coq au vin.
> > Le Colonial (20 Cosmo Pl) Upmarket Vietnamese food.
> U-Lee (1468 Hyde St) Late night Chinese takeout that will not disappoint
> Parallel 37 (inside the Ritz Carlton, 600 Stockton St) local and seasonal dishes and sustainable wines.

DRINK – Coffee Shops:

> Contraband Coffeebar (1415 Larkin St) Strong coffee in a hipster environment.

DRINK – Bars:

> Aurea Lounge (905 California St inside the Stanford Court San Francisco Hotel) craft brews, regional wines, and Hangar 1 Vodka and St. George Spirits on tap.
> Aces (998 Sutter St) friendly neighborhood dive bar.
> Hopwater Distribution (850 Bush St) stellar Northern California beer and artisan pub menu
> Soda Popinski's (1548 California St., Nob Hill.) featuring Fernet, Bulleit bourbon, and Fireball cinnamon liqueur on tap.


> Cable Car Museum (1201 Mason St) get the download on all the cable car history.
> Nob Hill Masonic Center (1111 California St) always an event going on here.
> Nob Hill Spa (inside the Huntington Hotel 1075 California St) one of the top spas in the city, indulge!
> Audium (1616 Bush St.) theatre of sound sculptured space, its a trip.
> Antique Vibrator Museum (1620 Polk St) yep, there is a museum for everything!


> Christopher Collins boutique (1112 Sutter St.) Project Runway star shows mid-western American heritage mixed with New York-chic attitude.
> Marine Layer (1932 Polk St) sustainably crafted clothing made in the city.
> Jerusalem Market (1100 Sutter St) specialty shop with amazing rose water, cheeses and syrups.


> Fairmont (950 Mason St) stunning views of the city all the way to Alcatraz, Tonga Room, lots of history!
> Huntington Hotel (1075 California St) former mansion, gorgeous style (closed at the moment)
> Ritz Carlton (600 Stockton St) luxury hotel, wonderful restaurant, unique city tours.
> Intercontinental Mark Hopkins (999 California St) another luxury hotel, a former mansion, Top of the Mark has excellent sunrise/sunset views.
> The hotels are pretty expensive in this area, but that also means there are some pretty gorgeous places to rent out via Airbnb.


Here are other posts and guides from a few other local sources.
> Thrillist SF: Nob Hill Resource Guide
> Airbnb Nob Hill Guide

How about you? Do you have any Nob Hill additions? Have you been to this area of San Francisco? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?

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  1. what amazing pics! the first one reminds me of full house, lol.

  2. What a great idea! I’m saving this post for the next time I get to that area.

  3. San Francisco is my favourite city and I can’t wait for the opportunity to take my boyfriend there when we next get to the USA. I am loving this series Andi. Nob Hill is somewhere I haven’t really explored before so I have flagged this article for our travel planning next year 🙂

  4. veena vinyas says:

    must say.. photography is amazing..

  5. fantastic post … beautiful photos of a gorgeous city … I just got back from San Francisco yesterday and am already missing it

  6. I went to San Francisco before but i didnt get to the Nob House. I wish i can go see someday!

  7. I love these posts. How fun and what lovely places to visit.

  8. Oooh, I can’t wait to see you profile the Mission, my stomping grounds for the last year or so. I’m constantly finding new places to eat, shop, and take my little dachshund pup. 🙂 If I can help put anything together for it, let me know!

  9. veena vinyas says:

    wow awesome snaps.. n view..

  10. WOW I wish to live in San Francisco a clean city, this is awesome blog as well as the places,

  11. Nice photos. I would love to visit San Francisco its a gorgeous and interesting city.

  12. Visiting SF from Orlando for the first time the 4th of July. So much to do and see. Already thinking of extending my trip a couple of days since there is a jazz festival that weekend. Counting down the days!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Curtis, I hope you have a great time – trip extension means you already realize there are of tons of things to see, do and eat!