Limon Rotisserie - This is a fav of mine, and I keep coming back when I come to visit. They have amazing rotisserie chicken and the BEST ceviche -- super limey, hence the name Limon.
Bi-Rite Creamery - Another necessary visit each time I come. Hand made ice cream made in a small batches with unique flavors! They've got traditional flavors and some more interesting flavor combinations like honey lavender! My two favorite flavors are the Coffee Toffee and the Ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodle cookies crushed up) What I love is that they bake/make a lot of the ingredients for their ice creams like the cookies and toffee, and the rest they support local businesses and farmers around them to provide the quality ingredients that go into the ice creams. Read more of their story here.
Boccalone - My boyfriend and I are huge fans of Chef Chris Cossetino and everything that he does so we had to check out this salumeria. What's better than meat in a cone? This meat melts in your mouth and gives just the right amount of flavor. http://www.boccalone.com/
Philz Coffee - famous for their "one cup at a time" theory. My go to drink here is the Mint Mojito Iced Coffee. So refreshing!
Fisherman's Wharf - A visit to the bay is not complete without stopping for some seafood -- although the Fisherman's Wharf is a very touristy thing to do, we went for my parents. And I can never say no to seafood. We has some crab and clams all in garlic and buttery and all that goodness.
Yank Sing - Dim sum in the financial district? This place may not seem like the best place for good dim sum because it's so clean (even my mom said it's lacking the sticky floors we're used to), but this place really took us by surprise. The xiao long bao (pork soup dumplings) were perfectly juicy and delicious. Another great highlight was the steamed pork buns. You can really tell all of the dim sum was very fresh and the texture of the dumpling wrappers and buns were on point! Fancy Dim Sum for sure, but worth it.
Also, I went to check out the Exploratorium at Pier 15 -- this was a really cool hands on science/art museum. We decided to go on a Saturday so it was very crowded, and I wish I had more time to really check out everything -- there's just so much on display. Definitely a cool place to take kids