Herculean portions of food await your every move in this place. They've got a corned beef sandwich on a French roll that 'll probably take you more than your lunch hour to finish. And as if that weren't enough, they back that up with a giant plate of spaghetti with meat sauce for a side-dish. The service here as well is completely friendly and the seating is excellent; always a table to be had. Located on Taraval Street, close by a street-car stop.
Yeah, it's a frequent and repetitious site at malls across America, but Godiva Chocolatier is still some fine candy. Their chocolate and caramel truffles have no competiton from anyone, including Ghiradelli, in my opinion. Coming to a mall near you.
Located on Columbus Avenue and Jack Kerouac Alley, considered hallowed ground by Beatniks across the globe, City Lights Bookstore has no need of riding upon historical reputation when it comes to the business of bookselling. Their selection remains to be beaten in San Francisco in terms of unused books. There's something here for everyone, including an entire upstairs devoted entirely to poetry. Literary readings here are also frequent, so be sure to pick up a brochure informing you who'll be reading next.
La Cumbre has weathered the years on Valencia Street, witnessing whole neighborhoods appear and disappear around it, all that time serving a fine burrito. The atmosphere inside is quiet, with plenty of seating for groups or just by yourself. As far as the food, burritos are the trusty warhorses round here. Check out the hot sauce they serve also.
I know a million guide-books to San Francisco have said it already in every language known to man, but House of Nanking is one of the best places to eat in San Francisco for many good reasons, most namely that the food is excellent and the portions are ample. Get their fried potstickers in peanut sauce for an appetizer, then for a main course get their Nanking Sesame Chicken. It doesn't get much better than this, I'm telling you. The wait-staff is also laughably rude, which can be off-putting initially, but after a while only lends to the charm of the place (so long as they bring your food on time, which indeed they do).
With plenty of locations around town, Buffalo Exchange is one of the easiest places to go buy and sell used/vintage clothing. The price for such clothes is usually quite expensive for the fact that they're used, but the quality is always good. The clerks are always helpful and friendly.
Wow. A McDonald's. In Milpitas. If I were to tell you about the white Siberian tiger made out of chocolate with the still-beating transplant heart of an iguana that was serving as a cashier here, a) I'd be lying, and b) it still wouldn't make up for the fact that this is the "restaurant" where you go when you're driving up I-5 to Oregon to go to your grandparents' funeral. But they do have a carboard cut-out of Grimace (perhaps the most unlikely folk-hero in American history) here, for your viewing pleasure.
This is, without hyperbole, just about the best food I've had at a restaurant in five years. Patrons of this Vietnamese restaurant on the waterline can enjoy a beautiful view of San Francisco Bay, along with generous portions of, again, some of the best cuisine to hit the slopes in this city's culinary history. The "Shaking Beef" might not live up to its name, in that it does not shake, but it's about as good a dish as you're going to get in your lifetime. The "Chicken Claypot," again, is great. The spring rolls and imperial rolls are excellent appetizers as well.
They call this place a biker bar. Probably because at any given moment there are a bunch of bikers sitting by the bar drinking (sometimes) directly out of pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon, or shooting pool. But that's about one tenth of the crowd here. The majority of its patrons seem to be comprised of bohemians from around the Mission and SOMA, "art-types" who by and large manage to carry themselves unpretentiously. What's even better is that there's a giant outdoor picnic table area that gets crowded in the afternoons. A great place to meet strangers.
For now, this bar is at the delicate peak of the popularity curve, catering to the black-wearing, black-haired-with-highlights people of this world. If you're cool and you want it to be known, come here and come late. On weekends, they've got DJs who know how to navigate between the eclectic musical tastes of most scenesters and the need to play the hits in order to get the kids dancin'. Admittedly, the dance-floor is way too small, but for the moment, it's crammed with the beautiful people enough that it probably doesn't matter that much. I think once the hype dies down a little at this spot, it'll get a lot more enjoyable.