If you’re visiting San Francisco and are looking for a charming neighborhood to stay in that’s full of great restaurants, coffee shops and more, Pacific Heights is it. This part of San Francisco feels like a fun youthful neighborhood that I’d love to live in. But, you know, expensive rent. So that won’t happen.
On one of my previous visits to the bay area, I stayed at The Laurel Inn. Perfectly situated on the cusp of Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights, this hotel allowed me to enjoy a neighborhood that felt like home. The location was great since I had scheduled several meetings, lunches and even a workout, all within walking distance of my hotel. Although, fun fact, I never made it to my workout…. There’s a SoulCycle in Pacific Heights if you do want to get a good sweat in when you’re visiting.
Pacific Heights also borders Presidio Heights where my hotel was. Both are very posh neighborhoods with higher-end dining and shopping, but also your usual laid back California essentials too. Everything’s super walkable and I did venture a bit to Cow Hollow where a few recommended spots are. It’s all pretty close to one another and I really did walk most of the time. And I wore these sandals that actually survived 5 miles of walking on my first day. If you’re heading to San Francisco I definitely recommend staying within this area for all the great restaurants, posh stores, and great views.
One of my most favorite things about San Francisco is all the succulents. They’re literally EVERYWHERE and gigantic. The amount of flowers in bloom while I was there was pretty incredible as well. There was bougainvillea which as you may remember, is my absolute favorite after discovering it in Greece.
Oh, just a charming front door and garage door on my walk home. The city was full of gorgeous blooms, I kept stopping to photograph everything.
Best Restaurants In Pacific Heights
Healthy salads, sandwiches and great coffee. Guilty, I went here twice.
One of the best Mexican meals & margaritas I’ve ever had.
Never had a chance to make it in here as they were closed for a private event, but the menu looked great and came highly recommended by a friend. We did peek in at what everyone was eating and it looked so good.
Great for a little happy hour. Sit on the sidewalk and take in the people watching.
Best Coffee Shops & Sweets In Pacific Heights
Blue Bottle Coffee
Always a must-visit in San Francisco, there’s a Pacific Heights location on Filmore. Be sure to grab a bag of beans to bring home too.
The best ice cream period. They make it right in front of you with nitrogen. So fun!
Not as good as Smitten, but still delicious. I had to give it a try as it literally opened the day I was there.
A very white and brass coffee shop (all heart eyes). Food and coffee were great.
Popular for their pineapple wallpaper, this spot had delicious iced coffee. Super minimal menu.
Where To Stay In Pacific Heights
I worked with The Laurel Inn on this visit to stay at their hotel. It was an adorable boutique hotel with huge rooms. I mean, massive. Considering San Francisco real estate is so expensive, I was shocked when I walked into my room to see a small kitchenette, large room and great view. It’s all very Johnathan Adler (even had his beauty products!) and I was obsessed with the bathroom.
In the lobby every morning they offer pastries and coffee. And throughout the day they’re always serving freshly baked cookies from a local bakery. It smelled heavenly when you would walk in from the cold.
If cookies aren’t your thing (then we can’t be friends) but you’d rather a cocktail, they have a fun bar called Swank that’s just as stylish as the rooms.
Other Things To Do In San Francisco Outside Of Pacific Heights
There are a few touristy things to do in Pacific Heights like visit Alta Plaza Park for incredible views, shop at Browser Books, or visit Clay Theatre. But San Francisco has so much to offer that you just have to add to your list. I highly recommend a few other musts in SF that will get you outside of Pacific Heights and exploring new neighborhoods. These may require you to grab a Lyft (because you’d be a fool to use Uber in SF) but are 100% worth it.
We ate at Z & Y, which is apparently the Obama’s favorite spot.
Visit The Ferry Building
You may remember from this post how much I loved this place. Go for the farmers market and definitely eat at Hog Island. Just down the street is also Coqueta, a great tapas restaurant with incredible cocktails.
The Painted Ladies
Not far from Pac Heights, a must see if you’re in the area.
The famous winding road, the houses are adorable here.
Grab a sandwich from Cafe Dolores and have a picnic while watching the locals play with their dogs. Or bring a frisbee, but I prefer to watch dogs though.
Day Trip To Napa Or Sonoma
Wine country is just under an hour away from San Francisco. If you have the time, head out to some of the best wineries in the country in Napa or Sonoma.
Another destination right outside SF is Sausalito. I’ve personally never been. But it’s been on my to-visit list every single time I’m been in SF. It’s supposed to be incredible and super charming. It’s just across the Golden Gate bridge and makes for a great half-day trip! And yes, you do have to play the Full House theme song when you gross over the iconic Golden Gate; it’s a must!