San Francisco Profiles – San Francisco’s SoMA with Christine
Just because I left San Francisco to go on a sabbatical, doesn't mean I don't have this contagious city on my mind. After ten months on the road, the closest thing to quenching my overwhelming desire for the culinary delights of the city by the Bay is Portland. San Francisco just has so much to offer!
One of my favorite neighborhoods by far is SoMa. I worked in the area for five years so I got to explore quite a bit of it. Food alone, you don't have to leave this part of the city to get anything else, it's all there!
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I was thrilled when I found out that Instagram buddy Christine of Tour de Lust lived in SoMa. I immediately asked if she would participate in my San Francisco Profiles series and she gladly accepted.
Let's meet Christine.
 Favorite thing about the SoMa.
The Ferry Building! I love walking around this area, finding new things to eat from all the vendors and every Saturday there's a farmer's market.
 Least favorite thing about the SoMa.
Everything closes early or does not open on weekends.
 What differentiates your neighborhood, the SoMa from all the other parts of the city?
SoMa has an up and coming vibe with a lot of new high rise buildings. A lot of young business professionals live in this area.
 Favorite coffee spot in the SoMa.
Elite Audio Coffee. Only on weekdays, an artist draws the most creative latte art!
 Favorite spot for drinks in the SoMa.
I really like going to Novela. It's one of the most popular or trendiest places to get good drinks or meet up with friends for a casual night out.
 Favorite local hangout in the SoMa.
Palomino is always a go-to place, especially during Happy Hour. The food is great, consistent and decently priced. Palomino also has a great outdoor patio area for hanging out too.
 Favorite breakfast spot in the SoMa.
Dottie's True Blue Cafe has awesome blueberry cornmeal pancakes! SoMa does not have many great breakfast options but this diner is one of the go-to spots.
 Favorite lunch spot in the SoMa.
Samovar Tea Lounge is one of my favorites for lunch. It has great healthy sandwiches and amazing tea! It's located on the second floor at the Metreon which provides a great view.
Hog Island Oyster Bar is also another favorite of mine for lunch. It does get crowded but I always end up finding a seat at the bar. They have the best oysters!
 Favorite dinner spot in the SoMa.
Bellota is one of the newer restaurants in SoMa and is a big winner! The Spanish inspired restaurant will feel like you're in Barcelona. The restaurant has an open kitchen and provides a fun environment with amazing tapas and paella.
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
I always make sure to take visitors to the Ferry Building. It's a good place to walk along the water, view the Bay Bridge and inside the Ferry Building has many local restaurants and food vendors.
Check out Christine's blog Tour de Lust and keep up with her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!
Here are other great spots in San Francisco's SoMa:
EAT – Breakfast/Brunch:
> 25lusk (25 Lusk St at Townsend St) great brunch plus homemade cinnamon doughnuts and French press coffee.
> Azucar (299 9th St b/t Folsom St & Clementina St.) all-you-can-drink sangria for $15 Sundays ONLY.
> B Restaurant & Bar (720 Howard St b/t 4th St & 3rd St) great views of Yerba Buena Gardens.
> Bluestem Brasserie (One Yerba Buena Ln) brunch burger, enough said.
> Fearless Coffee (303 2nd St b/t Folsom St & Dow Pl) Il Cane Rosso’s broken farro porridge and great coffee.
> Machine Coffee & Deli (1024 Market St b/t Golden Gate Ave & Taylor S) Four Barrel coffees with breakfast fare and pastries.
> Prospect (300 Spear St b/t Folsom St & Harrison St) monkey bread and French toast fingers.
> Red's Java House (Pier 30) Old school San Francisco breakfast spot.
EAT – Lunch:
> Big Chef Tom's Belly Burgers (1550 Howard St b/t 12th St & Lafayette St) burgers made entirely out of pork belly.
> Citizen's Band (1198 Folsom St b/t Rodgers St & 8th St) amazing fried chicken sandwich.
> Darwin Cafe (212 Ritch St b/t Brannan St & Bryant St) phenomenal hot pastrami sandwich.
> Deli Board (1058 Folsom St b/t Russ St & Sherman St) gourmet, eat-them-slow sandwiches.
> Fearless Coffee (303 2nd St b/t Folsom St & Dow Pl) deviled egg sandwich or the hot bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwich.
> Garaje (475 3rd St b/t James Lick Fwy & Stillman St) double cheeseburger with two 1/3lb Angus patties, griddled onions, double American cheese, pickles, and hickory bacon.
> HRD Coffee Shop (521A 3rd St b/t Taber Aly & Park Ave) Korean fusion burritos and Po' Boys.
> Ironside West Coast BBQ (680 2nd St b/t Brannan St & Townsend St) ribs and an amazing Cubano sandwich.
> Lark Creek Steak (845 Market St., Ste 402) mushroom Steakburger.
> Little Skillet (360 Ritch St at Brannan St) fried chicken and waffles in an alley walk-up window.
> Marlowe's (500 Brannan St b/t 5th St & 4th St) famous burger with caramelized onions, cheddar, and bacon.
> Miss SaiGon (100 6th St b/t Minna St & Mission St) filet mignon pho.
> Polo Grounds (747 3rd St b/t King St & Townsend St) “Freak Dog” with jalapeno mac and cheese.
> Primo Patio Cafe (214 Townsend St at Colin P Kelly Jr St) Caribbean food with a great patio.
> Prospect (300 Spear St b/t Folsom St & Harrison St) order the “Secret Burger” (sit at the bar) a different one every week.
> Red Dog Restaurant & Bar (303 2nd St b/t Folsom St & Dow Pl) fried-pigs-feet burger with pickled red cabbage and mustard aioli.
> Skool (1725 Alameda St at Rhode Island St) Fusion Japanese and a great burger. Unique drinks as well.
> SOMA StrEat Food Park (428 11th St b/t United States Highway 101 & Harrison St) a dozen or more food trucks changing twice daily.
> The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (1 S Park St, Apt 103A at 2nd St) nine varieties of delicious grilled cheese goodness.
> The Butler & The Chef (155A S Park St at 3rd St) best Croque monsieur in town.
> Uno Dos Tacos (595 Market St b/t Sutter St & 2nd St) fantastic tacos.
> Zero Zero (826 Folsom St b/t 5th St & 4th St) thin-crusted pizzas and rum-spiked root beer floats.
EAT – Dinner:
> 54 Mint (16 Mint Plaza) Italian trattoria focused on Roman dishes.
> Anchor & Hope (83 Minna St b/t Shaw Aly & 2nd St) fantastic seafood, great oyster deals.
> Bar Agricole (355 11th St b/t Folsom St & Harrison St) unique cocktails, farm to table dishes.
> Benu (22 Hawthorne St) 3 Michelin-starred American food and so much more!
> Bluestem Brasserie (One Yerba Buena Ln) francophile dream, a brasserie with a cheese sommelier.
> Chaya Brasserie (132 The Embarcadero b/t Sacramento St & Clay St) Asian-fusion great outdoor patio.
> Epic Roast House (369 The Embarcadero) a steak with panoramic views of the Bay Bridge.
> Marlowe's (500 Brannan St b/t 5th St & 4th St) great burger, don't miss the fried Brussel sprouts!
> Oola Restaurant & Bar (860 Folsom St b/t 5th St & 4th St) Oyster happy hour.
> RN74 (301 Mission St b/t Fremont St & Beale St) luxe Cal-French cuisine with a fantastic wine cellar.
> Trou Normand (140 New Montgomery b/t Natoma St & Minna St) charcuterie and attitude.
> Woodbury (685 3rd St b/t Brannan St & Townsend St) don't miss the Frito pie!
EAT – Dessert:
> Merigan Sub Shop (636 Second St b/t Brannan St and King St) cookies with Guittard 72 percent dark chocolate, and Maldon sea salt.
> TwoFish Bakery (240 Ritch St b/t Brannan St & Bryant St) sticky buns.
DRINK – Bars:
> Dirty Habit (Palomar Hotel, 12 4th St) year-round rooftop courtyard that's heated.
> House of Shields (39 New Montgomery St b/t Stevenson St & Jessie St) 1908 bar with stunning decor is stunning decor.
> Ironside West Coast BBQ (680 2nd St b/t Brannan St & Townsend St) DIY Bloody Mary bar.
> Mars Bar & Restaurant (798 Brannan St b/t 7th St & Gilbert St) classic neighborhood bar.
> St. Regis Hotel Lobby Bar (125 3rd St b/t Minna St & Mission St) the Bloody Mary is the official cocktail of the St. Regis.
> Zeke's Diamond Bar (600 3rd St b/t Brannan St & Townsend St) dive bar near the ballpark.
DRINK – Coffee:
> Bravado (170 King St) Italian coffee in a lounge environment.
> Epicenter Cafe (764 Harrison St) Barefoot Roasters coffee with great Yerba Buena views.
> Patisserie Philippe (655 Townsend St/8th) good coffee, excellent pastries.
> Sextant Coffee Roasters (1415 Folsom St) roast their own beans in a beautiful shop.
> Sightglass (270 7th St) one of the San Francisco leaders.
> The Creamery (685 4th St) great latte, cute location.
> Gama-Go Store (335 8th St) unique home accessories and apparel.
> Hello!Lucky (977 Howard St) beautiful paper products and custom invitations.
> Isda & Co (29 South Park) minimalist clothing for men and women.
> All the big players have hotels in the SoMa area, it's the place to be!
> Besides all the great commercial hotels, there are plenty of private homes or apartments available via services like Airbnb. They have a great guide for SoMa that includes some of their locations to rent.
THINGS TO DO:
> AT&T Park (24 Willie Mays Plaza) awesome stadium home of the Giants!
> California Historical Society (678 Mission St): museum galleries showcasing history through photographs, manuscripts, posters, and artwork.
> Cartoon Art Museum (655 Mission St.,) Charles Schulz supplied the funds to create this museum.
> Contemporary Jewish Museum (736 Mission St.) Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas.
> San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (151 3rd St.) modern art collection that boasts excellent exhibits, films, and photography.
> The Ferry Building (One Ferry Building on the Embarcadero) food, shop and bars along with a farmer's market.
> Yerba Buena Gardens (Third, Fourth, Mission and Folsom Sts) two blocks of museums, gardens, shops, and restaurants.
How about you? Do you have any SoMa additions? Have you been to this area of San Francisco? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?
If you live in San Francisco and would like to share your favorite spots in your neighborhood, reach out to me, I'd love to have you!
All photos except for the pancakes provided by Christine.
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Beautiful photos! The food all looks delicious and San Francisco looks so pretty! I’ve never been there but it’s definitely really high up on my list!
I want to go restaurant hopping based on all your suggestions. I’m totally drooling over the pancakes, for instance.
I went to san fran a year ago for the first time. I would love to go again!
I’ve been to San Francisco for the weekend but didn’t have enough time to see all the sights. Next time I go, I plan on seeing a lot more.
@TouchCookieMommy, always more to see! Need many, many trips!
Sam Francisco is such a magical place. I love it every time I visit. Would love to have a Hello Kitty coffee soon as I will be visiting that area soon =)
@Adriana, San Francisco IS magical! Tell me how the coffee is if you get one!
Everything looks so wonderful and I really love how you post about the different sites, I do hope to visit one day.
I have not been to San Francisco in many years but we are headed up there this fall. What a great list. My husband and I will make sure we take advantage of some of your suggestions. I do love that city.
@Pam, I hope you do, but it is so easy to have a good time in the city, you can’t go wrong!
What a lovely roundup of things to do in the area! I’d love to go back someday and visit.
San Francisco has been my dream vacation for years, would love to read the trolley cars, cross the Golden State Bridge, eat at the different restaurants, eat fresh seafood and so many other things. Great post!!!
@Geri, you will love it! San Francisco is such a great city to visit!
I love to visit California!! This looks like the perfect place to see and explore.
Great photos! The San Francisco area is on our list of places to see someday.
Love it there
Would love to go to San Francisco and see the sights, but my husband has heart trouble and can’t travel.
@Gloria, well I am glad I can bring you San Francisco virtually.
I never visited San Francisco but thus gives me ideas of what I will do next year for summer. Thanks for posting about your travels! It is so cool!
Such a great guide and I definitely want that kitty coffee! Can’t wait to try some of these ideas on my next trip to SF!