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San Francisco Profiles – San Francisco’s Potrero Hill with Kelly

I love Potrero Hill. For five years I worked at Dolby Laboratories located in this area. Currently, Dolby is moving to the mid-Market area of town, but for many, many years (and when I worked there) the offices were located in Potrero Hill. When I first started working there I thought one of the drawbacks at the time was that there weren't enough restaurants in the area, but after taking the time to explore I realized I was totally wrong!


They say that San Francisco is a city of villages and for me, Potrero Hill epitomizes this statement. Amongst the beautiful homes with beautiful views are tons of local shops, cafes, etc and I am so pleased to introduce you to a local blogger who lives in the area and is sharing her favorite spots.

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Kelly blogs at A Side of Sweet. When she is not taking beautiful food photos, sharing her stories and getting up at 4:45 for daily runs (now that I get up at 5 for my 5:30 a.m. bootcamp I totally know what that feels like) she is out exploring San Francisco with her hubby Pat and puppy Maddie.

Meet Kelly.


[1] Favorite thing about Potrero Hill

It has the best of all worlds. It's quiet and neighborhood-y, has great views, great restaurants, and some of the best weather in the city! It's also walking distance to the Mission if you need a bit more excitement.

[2] Least favorite thing about Potrero Hill

Walking over the hill to get to brunch at Plow? Seriously, life is hard.


[3] What differentiates your neighborhood, Potrero Hill, from all the other parts of the city?

I think it's a little lusher than the rest of the city, with the exception of Golden Gate Park. Everyone has a great backyard and there are lemon trees everywhere!

[4] Favorite coffee spots in Potrero Hill

Front Cafe is an absolutely beautiful space and hosts a monthly Taste Workshop which brings together local designers and chefs for collaborations!

Photo credit: Christopher Michel

Farley's is not the best coffee you will find in the city, but everyone here is really friendly and they have outdoor seating so you can enjoy our amazing Potrero Hill weather! They also have great paninis, soups, and salads. They also have a great selection of unique magazines.

[5] Favorite spot for drinks

Bloom's saloon is a great dive bar with great vibes and some of the cheapest beer in town! The patio has amazing views of the city. Most of the time though, we head to Lower Mission, which is walking distance from Potrero Hill!

[6] Favorite local hangout

The San Francisco Public Library (20th Street) has an amazing (free!) view of the SF skyline with a back wall of windows.

[7] Favorite breakfast spots

Plow (1299 18th St, b/t Mississippi St & Texas St) is basically a San Francisco legend. I take everyone who visits here and it is absolutely worth the 45 minutes to an hour wait on weekends. On weekdays you can sometimes walk right in for a table. Things you have to try – the lemon ricotta pancakes (I shared the recipe on my blog recently), the plow (which is a sampler of everything), and the soft scrambled eggs. Why am I not there right now!?

Photo credit: Kelly, A Side of Sweet

Hazel's Kitchen is quality, reasonably priced and so good! They have a Gratitude Tree where you can write a note about what you are thankful for and tie it to the tree. I love reading other people's notes. It's takeout only but they have a little parklet you can sit in. We're all about outdoor eating in Potrero Hill!

[8] Favorite lunch spots

Papito (317 Connecticut St, b/t 18th St & 19th St) is fabulous Mexican. It's owned by the same people who own Chez Maman and has gems like duck confit tacos and shrimp ceviche.

Papito Duck Confit Tacos
Papito Duck Confit Tacos, photo credit: Brenda of Bites and Bourbon

Sunflower is for home-cooked and super flavorful Vietnamese. The garlic noodles are my fave.

[9] Favorite dinner spots
Goat Hill Pizza has the best pizza in the city. Monday is “neighborhood night” which means all you can eat pizza for $13. They are famous for their sourdough crust.


A photo posted by Kevin ? (@kyoza) on

Chez Maman is a cute little French restaurant that is a Potrero gem. Amazing creme brulee, great mussels and frites, and my favorite, baked Camembert. I want to swim in it.

[10] One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see

I love browsing at Big Daddy's for design inspiration. It is a huge warehouse filled from top to bottom with flea market finds and antique treasures.

Photo credit: Big Daddy's, AFAR

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


EAT – Breakfast/Brunch:

> Hard Knox (2526 3rd St b/t 22nd St & 23rd St) bottomless mimosas for $15.
> Serpentine (2495 3rd St, b/t 22nd St & 20th St) a super creative menu including a red flannel hash (roasted beets, beef brisket, arugula, poached eggs, and horseradish crème fraîche) that is not to be missed.
> Thinkers Café (1631 20th St, b/t Connecticut St & Arkansas St) a neighborhood favorite with free Wi-Fi. Also check out their spicy breakfast burrito with bacon.


> Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd, b/t Mariposa St & Illinois St) great seafood menu with oysters, clam chowder, ahi and fish tacos.
> Gilberth's Rotisserie & Grill (2427 3rd St, b/t 22nd St & 20th St) whatever the daily roasts, get it!
> Piccino (1001 Minnesota St, at 22nd St) don't miss the mushroom pizza.
> The New Spot (632 20th St, b/t 3rd St & Illinois St) don't fill up on the homemade tortilla chips and fire-roasted salsa and miss the carnitas burrito!
> The Ramp (855 Terry Francois St, b/t Mariposa St & Illinois St) cold beer and New England clam chowder.
> Magnolia Brewing Company (665 22nd St, b/t 3rd St & Illinois St) chopped pork and Wagyu brisket and a beer, what more do you need?


> Aperto (1434 18th St, b/t Connecticut St & Missouri St) fantastic housemade pastas and focaccia.
> Marcella's Lasagneria (1099 Tennessee St, b/t 22nd St & 20th St) all lasagna, all the time.

DRINK – Bars:

> Third Rail (628 20th St, b/t 3rd St & Illinois St) bonus: jerky!


> Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous (699 22nd St, b/t Illinois St & 3rd St) unique ice cream shop with flavors like Rosemary Pistachio and Orange Blossom.
> Nosh This (2325 3rd St, b/t 22nd St & 20th St) two words: bacon crack.
> Poco Dolce (2419 3rd St, b/t 20th St & 22nd St) check out the Burnt Caramel Tiles.


> Anchor Brewing Company (1705 Mariposa St, b/t De Haro St & Carolina St) beer tours!


> Collage Gallery (1345 18th St) small shop with jewelry made by local artisans, refurbished camera and clocks along with upcycled items for the home.


> While Potrero Hill has a great balance of residential and commercial spaces, lodging is a bit tough to find. Your best bet for living like a local here is renting a private home or apartment via services like Airbnb. They have a great guide for Potrero Hill that includes some of their locations to rent.

How about you? Do you have any Potrero 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. This sounds like such a fun neighborhood and I love poking around San Francisco. Guides like this are perfect, especially for people like me who like to follow our stomachs when exploring!

  2. Awesome article! Reading through this makes me want to revisit so many of these great places! So happy to have this as a reference when people come into town.

  3. Oh how awesome! I’ve never been to San Francisco.. So I’ve never heard of Potter Hill but would love to visit!

  4. Oh my gosh all that food looks amazing!!! I love to try new food places when we travel these look amazing!

  5. What a great city. I’d love to visit. The view and the food look amazing!

  6. What a fun post. Can you imagine living somewhere where everyone has a lemon tree? I bet that smells amazing.

  7. I like the look of Portero hills. It’s not as congested as other city spots.

  8. NYC SingleMom says:

    been to the city sveral times but never explored Portero Hills. I am going to have to check it out next time I out there.

  9. San Fran is one of my favorite cities. I am definitely going to look into these restaurants for new ideas when I return!

  10. I’m going to have to add this to my list of places to visit! Thanks for all of the information!

  11. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I have never been to San Francisco before but hope to visit there sooner than later. This is all awesome information indeed to know about San Francisco for sure. The pizza looks so good and when I go visit there I will be going here for pizza. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a fun little view of a neighborhood! I almost felt like I was right there. I had to laugh, though – the picture row houses made me think Uncle Jesse from Full House should be standing out front!

  13. It looks like a beautiful city! I love all of her food photos! I really want to be a great food photographer!

  14. San Fransisco looks like so much fun! I would love live there. Great post!

  15. Brought back memories from years back when we used to be regulars at these places are students! Thanks for sharing the awesome bits and pieces about the city!

  16. michele d says:

    Awesome pictures. I think that San Fran is a place that I wanna put on my bucket list. Just to see it once would be fantastic.

  17. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy says:

    Excellent review. I always love visiting San Fran. That pizza looked delicious!

  18. Great photos. When I was younger, I’d dream of moving to a neighborhood like that after seeing it on Mrs Doubtfire. The hill, and close multiple story homes are just beautiful!

  19. This looks like an amazing place to go visit. These are some gorgeous photos. Walking up and down hills that steep are not any fun.

  20. I went to SF for the first time about a year and a half ago. I didn’t make it to Potrero Hill but it sounds wonderful!

  21. CourtneyLynne says:

    omg San Franciscos Potrero hill sounds like a pretty fabulous neighborhood! The food in this neighborhood looks pretty tasty as well 🙂

  22. What a beauty! When in San Francisco, should remember to visit Potrero Hill. I enjoyed your post very much, and the photos are very amazing!

  23. Terri Ramsey Beavers says:

    What a wonderful place to stay, I love all of your pictures I felt jealous lol san francisco is one of the beautiful place that I wanted to visit one day.

  24. Fi Ní Neachtáin says:

    San Francisco always has that cool and chilled vibe, I love it! I am loving the look of those waffles and blueberries, so delicious!

  25. That sounds like a fun trip! I love the hat you’re wearing and the coffee with the design in the froth sounds and looks amazing! The foods look and sound great too!

  26. Mmmmm Pizza with sourdough crust sounds absolutely amazing! And all you can eat for $13? I will definitely be visiting when I make it out there!

  27. Great article. I didn’t do to much gastronomical research before I visit, but this looks like a really nice place to check out on my next visit.