What I wish I’d known before going to San Francisco

Have the San Francisco tips I wish I’d followed this trip, because this trip in particular reminded me how much more fun the city is with a little research.

You see, my last few visits to SF I’ve mainly squished in a moment here or a pastry there in between what free time I had during the Winter Fancy Food Show. Which was next to nothing, but also left me free time during not busy hours.

This last trip I was there on a weekend and a minor holiday, and it might as well have been my first time in terms of how differently things went. So, with that, here are some things I wish I’d known before visiting San Francisco:

How bad the lines really are.

Look, Boba Guys can easily have a line a block long. And on a Saturday, that’s normal. Waiting fifteen minutes for a cake and then waiting ten minutes more for a seat to open? Also normal.

In contrast, if you go midweek and not at lunch or commuter hours you will glide through places like Tartine and Craftsman and Wolves. I always found plenty of seating and tons of cake. I tried going into Dandelion on a Sunday and managed to squish in and squish right back out.

That a lot of cafes and bakeries don’t open with a full menu

My consolation bubble tea with aloe at Boba Guys.

I visited two bubble tea shops, including the (in)famous Boba Guys, at opening only to find out I’d need to come back in an hour if I wanted boba in my bubble tea. And then Mr. Holmes Bakehouse had cruffins at 10 am, but had opened hours before.

I’m guessing this is super normal for San Francisco, but what got me was there weren’t really signs or announcements or anything. And I’m someone who does research for fun and hadn’t caught this info. It really felt like you had to be in the know or have visited before. Or scoured Yelp a ton in advance.

I’m so fine with this, it’s their business model and now I can pass the knowledge on to you. I just wanted signs, information, anything to tell me what to do so I could not be a bother to so many super busy staff members.

Need even more San Francisco tips? I made a video for you!

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