food & drink · arts & culture · music & nightlife · attractions & tours · outdoor activities ·
Published January 9, 2024
How to Spend a Perfect Day in San Francisco's Richmond District
Explore everything the Richmond has to offer—from upscale dining spots to the rugged cliffs of the Presido and everything in between. Driven by Waymo.
by San Francisco Bucket List
San Francisco is renowned for its diverse neighborhoods and rich cultural tapestry, and the Richmond District is no exception. Developed during the late 19th century, this area of San Francisco has been shaped and influenced primarily by Chinese, Korean, and Russian cultures—it's home to "New Chinatown" and Little Russia. You'll find a variety of restaurants and bakeries with authentic fare, and shops and grocery stores offering one-of-a-kind finds.
Nestled in the northwest corner of the city, the Richmond is also defined in part by its proximity to parks. Bordered by Golden Gate Park on the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Presidio to the north, there are lots of green spaces to explore and views to take in.
While parts of the Richmond are walkable, it's helpful to use a ride service like Waymo when you have a full itinerary—both to cut down on travel time and to give yourself a break between activities. Whether you're a local looking for a day of exploration or a visitor eager to discover the hidden gems of San Francisco, the Richmond District has something for everyone. Here's an ideal itinerary for a perfect day in the Richmond District.
This city guide is driven by Waymo. Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company with a mission to get people and things where they need to go safely and reliably. With Waymo One, their fully autonomous ride-hailing service operating 24/7, riders can hail a ride with up to three guests to the majority of the city (including the Richmond)! Find out how you can ride with Waymo One here.
Morning: Breakfast & The Presidio
Breakfast & Coffee
Kickstart your day with a satisfying breakfast and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The Richmond District boasts an array of charming cafes and bakeries that have something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a grab-and-go pastry on the way to explore the Presidio, or want a leisurely, sit-down breakfast, we have you covered.
- Arsicault Bakery: Stop in for flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pastries plus a small assortment of scones, small bites, and coffee.
- Breadbelly: Indulge in Asian-inspired pastries and brunch items like Kaya Toast—milk bread with coconut-pandan jam—or a savory breakfast sandwich.
- The Richfield: This cozy spot offers delectable breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and a variet of coffee options in a warm atmosphere.
- Cinderella Bakery: Grab authentic Russian baked goods like Honey Cake, Piroshki, and Cream Horns, or fuel up with a full sit-down breakfast.
- Bazaar Cafe: Dubbed "The Richmond's best kep secret," this spot offers specialty lattes (think" honey lavender and caramel rose) along with small breakfast bites. Enjoy it all in a cute garden patio setting!
- Princess Bakery: For a quick grab and go option, check out this incospicuous bakery serving up small sandwiches, pillowy buns, coffee, and milk tea. Pro-tip: Treat yourself to one of their famous pineapple buns—you won't regret it.
With your stomach satisfied, it's time to hail a Waymo and venture into the nearby Presidio, a historic military post turned national park. There's a lot to see and do within this natural oasis, whether you want to spend time outside or are interested in exploring a new museum.
- Walt Disney Family Museum: Perfect for families, Disney enthusiasts, or anyone looking to learn a thing or two about the iconic movies and brand we grew up with. Discover the creative legacy of Walt Disney and make sure to check out the new catch the traveling Disney Cats & Dogs exhibit.
- Tunnel Tops Park: The newest park in SF offers panoramic views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, and is fully equipped with a playground, curiosity lab, trails, and public lawns. It's a great spot for exploring or simply lounging and enjoying the outdoors.
- Arion Press: Print is not dead! And if you think otherwise, let Arion Press prove you wrong. This hidden gem is one of the last remaining printers of museum-quality, handmade books. Stop in for a tour of the galleries and museum
- Southern Wilds: This area of the Presidio is the largest and wildest, and it also happens to be closest to the Richmond. Explore miles of trails and overlooks featuring native plants, wildlife, and serene spots like Mountain Lake and El Polin Spring.
Afternoon: Lunch, Shopping & Hiking
After a morning of exploring and sightseeing, you'll be ready for an afternoon pick-me-up. Indulge in a hearty lunch at some of the district's favorite eateries—the hardest part will be choosing just one spot to grab a bite.
- Hummus Bodega: For a refreshing yet hearty lunch, stop into Hummus Bodega, where you can grab the signature Falafel Salad along with pita sandwiches, kebabs and other Mediterranean favroites.
- Mandalay: For a flavorful sit-down spot, hit Mandalay, SF's first Burmese restaurant. Try the Green Papaya Salad, or dig into a bowl of noodles.
- Palmetto Superfoods: For health-conscious foodies, this spot offers nourishing bowls and smoothies. We recommed the Bay Blend Bowl with Açaí, Pitaya, Coconut Beach, Blue Chia Pudding bases.
- Lokma: This brunch and lunch spot specializes in authentic Turkish fare. Choose from a variety of burgers and sandwiches, or go all out with the Traditional Turkish Breakfast (served until 2:30pm).
After a satisfying lunch, it's time to explore the district's vibrant shopping scene. We rounded up a few must-visit stops in the area.
- Clement Street: If you're visiting on a Sunday, start at the year-round Clement Street Farmers Market and shop seasonal produce, baked goods, fresh flowers, and hot food from 9am to 2pm. Then spend some times exploring the nearby shops. Unofficially known as San Francisco’s second Chinatown, Clement Street is a hub of diverse shops and restaurants. Stroll through to find unique items, souvenirs, and gifts.
- New May Wah Supermarket: Discover unique Asian treats and ingredients from fish balls to tramarind pods in this bustling supermarket.
- Fleetwood SF: If you're interested in local art and clothing, this store offers a curated selection of cute homegoods, clothing, and accesories.
- Green Apple Books: Wander through dozens of shelves of books at this independent bookstore and find something new to read, whether it's the newest paperback thriller or an old classic.
- Park Life: Find a collection of design-y apparel, home goods, books, art, accessories and more at Park Life. From quirky candles to large scale wall art, there's something for everyone.
Hiking & Nature Walks
Take advantage of the picturesque landscapes and artistic treasures that the Richmond District has to offer. If your feet need a break after all that shopping, let a Waymo car drive you to the trailhead and recharge for a few minutes before getting out and exploring some of the Bay Area's best trails.
- Land’s End Trail to Land’s End Lookout: This spot has it all; a scenic hike along the rugged coastline leading you to stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
- Bay Area Ridge Trail: Explore the Presidio's Bay Area Ridge Trail and check out Andy Goldsworthy's Spire—a breathtaking art installation soaring 100 feet into the sky that represents the forest's rebirth.
- Hidden Garden Steps: Make sure to find this hidden gem, a mosaic staircase adorned with colorful tiles and intricate designs that showcases the community's creativity.
- Sutro Park: Located at the westernmost part of Lands' End, Sutro Park is home to the the historic Sutro Baths (definitely worth a visit), plus serene surroundings and sweeping ocean views.
- Sutro Heights Loop Trail: This trail is situated above Ocean Beach and takes you through Sutro Heights Park. A quick and easy loop perfect for a pre-dinner walk.
Evening: Dinner & Drinks
Dinner & Drinks
As the sun begins to set, it's time to enjoy a relaxing evening. Enjoy some pre-dinner drinks at Neck of the Woods, where you can immerse yourself in the local music scene while sipping on cocktails. If you're in the mood for craft cocktails and a cozy atmosphere, Lost Marbles is the place to be. High Treason is also a great spot for drinks, offering a unique blend of coffee shop vibes and wine bar elegance, perfect for unwinding.
When you're ready for dinner, there are no shortage of options in the Richmond. Find some of our favorite dinner spots below:
- Moku Yakitori-Ya: This cozy izakaya spot serves up Japanese pub fare like skewers of perfectly grilled wagyu koji steak and grilled whole squid.
- Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant: Tommy's is a friendly, laidback Mexican restaurant where you'll find large servings, and authentic fare. Make sure to try Tommy's famous margarita!
- Kitchen Istanbul: Embark on a culinary journey through Turkish flavors, with dishes that showcase the richness of the region, and grab a bottle of wine to bring home.
- Violet’s: You'll find a menu full of upscale comfort food at Violet's—like the Buffalo Blue Steak & Potatoes or the Grilled Corn on Toast—plus seasonal specials and a great cocktail menu.
- Burma Superstar: There's something for everyone at Burma Superstar. From fresh seafood dishes to beef and lamb curry to veggie and tofu dishes, this spot is a crowd-pleaser. If you're a tea-drinker make sure to check out their tea offerings!
- Dragon Beaux: For a unique spin on dim sum and an exquisitie hot pot dinner, stop into Dragon Beaux. The elegant ambiance and top-notch service are an added bonus.
Dessert & Nighttime Activities
Complete your perfect day with a touch of sweetness and entertainment. Satisfy your sweet tooth with delectable desserts from Schubert's, a San Francisco institution. For matcha enthusiasts, Kiss of Matcha offers a variety of matcha-infused treats that are both delicious and Instagram-worthy. And if you're in the mood for ice cream, Toy Boat by Jane is a must.
If you didn't make it out to Sutro Heights earlier, venture out for some of the best sunset views in the city before heading to a late night movie at Balboa Theater.
LIKE WHAT YOU'VE READ?
Never miss out on a new experience!
Create a Bucket Listers account to access exclusive offers and the latest news in your city