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

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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.

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.


Here are other posts and guides from a few other local sources.
> Why I love living in Potrero Hill from The Bold Italic

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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