clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Travelin' with the Cougs: San Francisco, California

Yes, yes, we know Leland Stanford University is not, in fact, in the city of San Francisco. But it's a hell of a lot more fun than the northern end of the Silicon Valley.


I prefaced it above but I'll do it again: I'm very, very aware that Stanford is not in San Francisco. I'm even more aware that Stanford University is in fact in it's own city of Stanford but for all intents and purposes is in Palo Alto. Here's the thing though: Palo Alto, to my mind, stinks. It's home to a lot of folks with way too much money to spend and techie types practically begging on street corners to get venture capital funds for their new app which will total revolutionize the way we live and work, man.

I don't think it's quite our scene.

Granted, San Francisco isn't immune to this as many of the techie types choose to live in the city. But the city itself is still one of my favorites with plenty of delicious places to eat, grab a drink and with a host of fascinating places to go, it really should be your home base for your excursion to watch David Shaw set offensive play calling back 15 years.

Here's what will make your life easier and save you from having to rent a car: CalTrain. You get on steps from AT&T Park and it drops you off less than a mile from the stadium. Each direction will cost you around $5 and you save the hassle of having to deal with a cab on what can be an awful trip on the 101 to Palo Alto. I've even provided a handy-dandy weekend schedule (alright, they made it but you don't have to go lookin' for it). Oh by the way, most trains have wi-fi and, as far as I know, you are allowed to bring your adult beverage on-board.

Places To Eat:

Ike's Place (3489 16th Street, San Francisco, CA):

These sandwiches....BY GAWD, these sandwiches. They've opened a bunch of satellite stores in the Bay Area and a couple in the Southland and Phoenix area but the original is in the heart of the Mission District. The line will usually stretch around the block and with good reason. The sandwiches are a little pricier than usual but they're worth every penny with ingredients usually stacked as high as the limits of known physics will allow. The Hot Momma Huda with buffalo wing sauce and halal chicken is my personal favorite by the Paul Reubens and Say Hey are fantastic ways to go as well.

Gigi's Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood (552 Green Street, San Francisco, CA):

Right in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco's Little Italy, lies a place with the most delicious Italian preparations of seafood in the city. The menu isn't huge, but they do each and every thing on it extraordinarily well. If you're a sucker for oysters, clam chowder and seafood pasta as I am, you'll need to wear sweatpants to allow for optimal stomach expansion.

Good Mong Kok Bakery (1039 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA):

Whenever I visited San Francisco, this place was a must-stop. Good Mong Kok is usually packed to the gills and most of the tables are occupied by boxes of ingredients they don't have to refrigerate. But you've never had dim sum or stemmed pork buns like the ones this place puts out. The best part: instead of paying a ridiculous sum of cash that you'd pay at a trendy dim sum place, the buns go for about 50 cents a piece and the dim sum can be had for a similar price. You can spend $3 on lunch and be completely satisfied for hours.

Things To Do:

U.S.S. Pampanito Tour:

You'll have to go into the heart of the tourist area near Fisherman's Wharf but if you're interested in World War II-era history, this is worth the trip. The Pampanito served in the Pacific theatre during the war and has been preserved for tours. Even in its current, well-maintained state, you'll get an appreciation for what sailors went through just to live in the incredibly cramped quarters and

Alamo Square Park:

For children of the early 90's, this is a trip straight down memory lane. Besides the sparkling view back onto downtown San Francisco, Alamo Square Park is next door to the Painted Ladies which you know better as the establishing shot for the sitcom Full House. Although the likelihood of Jesse Katsopolis being there is low (dang it), you'll still enjoy seeing the beautiful homes and the incredible views.