I took Gus and Anna on a 3 1/2 hour custom private tour of San Francisco. They’re from Brazil (my first Brazilian guests). Anna, by her own admission, loves posting on Facebook, and got out many times to take photos.
Gus, while a native Brazilian, is of Japanese descent. His grandparents wanted to immigrate to the US, but couldn’t afford it. Businesses in Brazil offered to pay travel expenses for Japanese people who wanted to work, so they went to South America instead. Fun fact: Brazil has the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan.
Being able to provide private tours, customized to what guests want and spend time with interesting and fun people like Gus and Anna continue to remind me why I started this business, and how enjoyable it is.
Tommy’s Mexican out at 24th/Geary is one of those off the beaten path places that you’ll love, and be able to boast about visiting when you get back home.
While the restaurant is good, the real draw is the small bar serving up 100’s of tequilas. Personally, I like the house margaritas, which are made with quality tequila and fresh limes–no premixed stuff.
The place is small, so get there’s early if you want to be sure you get a seat. But even if you don’t, the atmosphere is so friendly that you won’t mind standing.
Julio, (pictured) is the owners’ son, and the mastermind behind creating “The Greatest Tequila Bar on Earth.” He has been featured in numerous magazines and television show. If Julio is there when you are, he will treat you like a friend and long time regular.
It’s out in the little-visted Richmond district (out in the Avenues, as we say), but easy access from down town on the 38 Geary bus. And you’ll want to take public transportation, because you should never drive in San Francisco anyway, but especially after enjoying the best margaritas you’ll ever have. Of course I can drop you off there after your private tour, but I won’t be drinking, at least until I get the MINI back safely in the garage.
Fisherman’s Wharf, like any other tourist destination in the world, has overpriced food, and even more overpriced water. A bottle of water will set you back a $1 if you’re lucky, but more likely $2 or more. And the restaurants are, for the most part, over priced and mediocre quality.
Fortunately, if you walk 2 blocks off the wharf, you can save money, and eat better.
At the corner of 401 Bay St. at Mason, there is a Trader Joe’s. For 19 cents you can get a bottle that would cost $2.50 on the wharf. And the bigger bottles are an even better deal. You can also buy sandwiches, salads and snacks.
If you want to sit down to eat, there is the Cafe Francisco (2161 Powell at Francisco). No only is the food good and reasonably priced, it is a local’s hang out.
Down the block at 2257 Mason at Francisco is the Cilantro Taqueria , which serves up great burritos, tacos, and other Mexican food.
This is a rule everywhere in the world—2 blocks off the main tourist street, you find local treasures.