First of all, when you visit the City of a Thousand Views for the first time, I feel sad. I hope you don't just come back for a stopover; Of course I have a somewhat biased opinion about the city I live in.

SFO, which is often the destination for many international flights or may be in the "red-eye" phase, is a popular airport for passengers. Many people stay in the city for a few hours, getting caught in the tourist traps of the Wharf and Union Square and missing out on some interesting neighborhoods.

So how do you make a stop in San Francisco like Un Ort?

Some information about arriving and departing from SFO (the best options):

  • Uber or Lift for around US$35-50 (more efficient during off-peak hours)
  • Take BART for under $10 one way

Depending on your interests, you can organize your scale in different ways. Personally I would start by explaining where you can get to SFO fastest. Mission District, Hayes Valley and Embarcadero are the closest neighborhoods with a variety of restaurants and shops. With an 8 hour layover, you could easily spend 4 hours in the city and feel like you've seen the city.

I will analyze these three quarters and what I would see and do in person.

La Misión: the destination for lovers of craftsmanship and gastronomy.

Food: Lots of food options, as it's a mecca for artisanal cuisine and well-made cafes. Coffee lovers should try Four Barrel, Ritual Coffee or Sightglass 20th Street. For lunch, try Tacolicious, Pizzeria Delfina or Papalote. For a light snack: Tartine Boulangerie, Artisans & Loups or the delicious ice cream at Bi-Rite. Dinner must be booked in advance; If you can get a table, Central Kitchen has a great menu, as does Range or Delfina.

Shop: Visit the strange but surprising Paxton Gate Shop, shop for trendy clothes at The Voyager, and browse a selection of products at Little Paper Planes.

See: Play mini golf at Urban Putt, hang out with the locals at Dolores Park, or listen to music at Public Works.

Hayes Valley: the destination for those who love refined experiences.

Food: obviously there is no shortage here too. For coffee, stop by Rituals Warehouse, the Blue Bottle pop-up stand, or the recently opened Artis. When it comes to places for lunch, Souvla Greek tops the list, with Chez Maman and the quirky Straw not far behind. Foodies can easily find drinks at Miette or delicious Eastern European-inspired snacks at 20th Century Café. Dinner, of course, is another prep situation; I would pick Zuni at the top of the list, Monsieur Benjamin or Absinthe.

Store: Rand + Statler has all your designer clothes in one place to fall in love with, you can't miss the Aether Stacked Shipping Container Store. Be sure to stroll through the many Hayes shops between Laguna and Octavia.

See: You can walk to the beautiful Civic Center, relax in Hayes Valley Central Park, or take a short drive to Grace. Cathedral on Nob Hill.

Embarcadero: the destination for incredible views, famous landmarks and more.

Food: Look no further than the Ferry Building. For coffee, the blue bottle is the place to be. Be careful though, the queues can be a bit long. Lunch can be enjoyed with classics like Hog Island Oysters, Gott's Roadside or a local Plant favorite. Snacks, you will have many options, just take a look at the building. Dinner is an either/or situation, my first choice would be Slanted Door, followed by Coqueta and Boulevard.

Shopping: The Ferry Building is once again your point of contact. However, if you want to shop, a short subway ride to Union Square will put you in the center of it all. Shopping in San Francisco.

See: The best thing about the Embarcadero is that you are close to some of the most popular attractions. Giants Stadium is a short walk away, the canal itself is gorgeous, and the famous and visited Coit Tower is just ahead (a taxi is your best bet). There's plenty to do on the water and it's a great starting point for other places you may want to visit.

Make sure you plan ahead before you get started. Go ahead, make reservations at the restaurants you're interested in and take into account peak times if you're short on time.