Not only is San Francisco one of my favourite cities in the world, it's also one of the world's most popular places for tourists to visit. It's a cultural extravaganza of attractions - eateries, art, music and diverse neighbourhoods - which is why I love it so much! I spent much time here last year filming Cooking Channel's Easy Chinese so I'm going to give you my first-hand recommendations for what to see and where to go, although if you do take my advice on board and visit some of these places don't wear heels - there are far too many hills! - enjoy! x
Painted Ladies - These restored Victorian mansions on Steiner Street in Alamo Square are set against a backdrop of the San Francisco skyline - and they may look a little familiar as they've appeared in many movies which have been filmed in the city - this is a truly great photo opp of the city.
Nob Hill - this is one of San Francisco's signature neighbourhoods, renowned not only for its landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park, but also for perhaps the best view of San Francisco Bay, especially from a California Street cable car.
Cable cars - First available to the public in 1873, San Francisco's cable cars are a part of the city's make up, first established to overcome the steep hills which wheeled vehicles experienced difficulties with, now they offer a fun way to get around and a leisurely way to soak up the sights.
The Fillmore Jazz Festival - if you time it right, one of the key events to experience is this annual music and culture festival which sees over 100,000 people flock to experience the best talent the Bay has to offer, from up and coming jazz fusion and latin-flavored acts to seasoned crooners belting out jazz standards. This year the festival is will be help July 6th and 7th.
La Taqueria is well documented as the best Taqueria in the Mission district. When I dropped in taco king, Miguel Jara and I cooked up Crispy Fragrant Duck and Asian Pear Salsa Tacos - you will not be disappointed, well worth a visit!
Two other must-do eateries are Mission Pie for its unfussy and seasonally changing pie-centric menu and if you're a fan of fusion food, San Francisco will be your haven and I'm a particular fan of Danny Bowien's Mission Chinese.
The gourmet food truck movement in San Francisco is buzzing! Most trucks focus on a particular cuisine - indian, japanese continue reading...
For a relaxed daytrip take the ferry to Sausalito, a quaint little village with wonderful open-air cafes, shops and galleries - there's also a wonderful farmers market where you can stock up on fresh produce, bread and freshly cut flowers, 10am - 2pm on Sundays all year round. There are some absolutely charming walks along the waterfront with boats sailing by and the picturesque rows of houses so close to the water's edge they appear to be floating!
I can't help but recommend Tane Chan's famous Wok Shop - Tane really is Mistress of the Wok! We filmed here for Easy Chinese.
A more famous shopping destination would undoubtedly be the hustle and bustle of the nine-storey San Francisco Shopping Center, located only three blocks away from Union Square. With its Japanese-designed spiral escalators and Italian marble, green granite and glass design, the 100 shops in here would tire out even the most hardened shopper!