Springtime Dining and Outings in San Francisco
Today on The Daily Meal
Spring in San Francisco is one of the best times to visit the city. Warming temperatures and a variety of activities make this season one of the more desirable times to take a trip to this world-class city. Seasonal fruits, flowers, and stunning views make for beautiful walks, and baseball games and festivals also return and invite locals and tourists to start spending more time outdoors.
Between the gardens, games, outdoor brunches, hikes, and festivals, there’s no reason why anyone visiting this area should stay indoors. We have compiled some of the more popular things to do in the city during this season, so (starting with the food) spring forth and enjoy!
Zazie, located in Cole Valley, is famous for its brunch. Their garden patio is perfect for a springtime feast, where you can indulge in their spring menu items such as lapin à la moutarde (rabbit in mustard sauce), seasonal asparagus, fresh duck eggs, and a lemon ricotta pancake with raspberries. As confirmed by owner Jennifer Piallat, the menu changes seasonally, so make sure you’re there in time to savor these treats!
Magic Flute Garden Ristorante
Located in Presidio Heights, the Magic Flue Garden Ristorante has large picture windows that stream sunlight onto your table. You can also choose to sit on their flower-filled patio on a gorgeous spring day. Order the Presidio Scramble (with Brie cheese, mushrooms, and bacon) for a hearty dish or the cinnamon sugar beignets for something sweet.\
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market
The Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market is booming during springtime. It’s an exciting time in the market and new items such as asparagus make a comeback, as well as morel mushrooms and apricots. Additionally, "local fish such as sardines, sand dabs, halibut, calamari, and black cod begin to become available," explains Liz Hunt, director of marketing and public relations for the Farmers Market.
Conservatory of Flowers
Established in 1879 in Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory of Flowers "is an elegant piece of San Francisco’s Victorian past, including a living museum of rare and beautiful tropical plants," according to public relations specialist, Nina Sazevich. The conservatory offers more than 1,700 different plant species from more than 50 countries and displays five galleries: lowland tropics, highland tropics, aquatic plants, potted plants, and special exhibits. Be sure to check out the Japanese Tea Garden in the park, which will resume its Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations this spring.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
"The San Francisco Botanical Garden has a dazzling bloom of California natives every spring," says Sazevich. "It’s one of the highlights of their garden collection and is a real showstopper." The Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse gardens in the world; it’s a living museum within Golden Gate Park that offers 55 acres of gardens and showcases more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.
Credit: Laura Zolnoski
Spring marks the start of baseball season for our nation, which also means the beginning of indulging in baseball food. AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, 2012 World Series champions, is one of the top-rated ball parks in the nation for food and views. Enjoy the park's world famous Gilroy Garlic Fries, served to you with ingredients straight from Gilroy, the self-proclaimed "Garlic Capital of America." If you’re feeling like a big spender, Crazy Crab’s signature crab sandwich is piled high with hot crab and garlic butter on grilled sourdough bread. Also famous at AT&T Park is the California wine cart that includes 35 varieties of local wines.
Lands End Trail
This trail sits on the rocky northwestern corner of the city and has stunning views at every turn. During your breathtaking hike, you’ll come across hillsides covered with cypresses and wildflowers, as well as views of old shipwrecks. When your tummy starts rumbling, hike down to China Beach where you can BBQ with friends or opt for a romantic picnic with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
This cure for the common tour allows you to take a GPS-guided talking tour car for you and one other person. You’ll be guided to all the interesting landmarks, and it's a perfect way to see the city as the weather warms up and the flowers and plants come back to life. The best part of this tour, which is also taken by locals, is that it allows you to go at your own pace. Most of the tours start by Fisherman’s Warf, so stop into Boudin Bakery for some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl or an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café before or after your journey.
Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival
This Northern California tradition is said to be the second largest cherry blossom festival outside of Washington, D.C. and celebrates the blooming of the beautiful flowers. During the two weekends, April 13-14 and April 20-21 (there's still time to catch the second weekend's festivities!), the streets of Japantown become a live stage where you will have the opportunity to see Japanese dancing, singing, martial arts demonstrations, and much more. The community also sponsors a food bazaar with traditional Japanese fare and cooking demonstrations.
Bay to Breakers
You know it must be spring in San Francisco when Bay to Breakers has its annual footrace. This annual footrace will take place May 19 and will start at the northeast end of downtown, run west through the city, and finish at the Great Highway at the Pacific Ocean. Many people who choose not to run can watch at local restaurants and bars along the route. This event is well known for people wearing intricate and creative costumes, as well as many participants not wearing clothing at all!
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