So you’ve arrived in San Francisco for a quick business trip, conference, or meeting and you have a little bit of extra time to explore the city. After sitting in a meeting space all day, getting out into the city is a great way to unwind. Ditch those drab San Francisco venues and check out what’s unique about the Foggy City. We’ve removed all the famous tourist attractions (like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz), so you get an exclusive Birdnest list of unique things to do in SF.


Bars

Trick Dog Bar

Many bars in the Bay Area are converted warehouses, but that’s not what draws a crowd to The Trick Dog Bar. Their cocktail menus change every six months and the themes range from children’s books to dog calendars, to their latest; airline safety brochure. You may think that’s a hard thing to pull off, but this bar does it and does it well. If you want an odd yet fun experience, definitely go here. While you’re at it, look for the tiny gnome house!

Urban Putt

Walking into this place makes you feel like a kid again except you’re allowed to drink alcohol– which is what we all want, right? Somehow, Urban Putt does a spectacular job at transforming a tiny space into a 14-hole mini-golf course while you sip on a delicious cocktail. If mini-golf isn’t your thing, you can always relax at the bar, watch people try (and fail) the Pink Putter Challenge, and eat their bomb chicken and waffle skewers. Win-win.

Anchor Steam

Anchor Steam Brewery is the most touristy thing on our list but, if you’re a beer aficionado, you can’t leave San Francisco without visiting it. For $25 or $40 you can get a tour— and tons of beer to try— while learning about the fascinating and emotionally-filled history of Anchor Steam. You’d be surprised to hear how the founders managed to ensure that every single drop is manufactured in San Francisco. Take the tour to find out!

Food

Off The Grid

Stop arguing about what you want to eat and go to a place that sells EVERYTHING. Off The Grid is a gathering of taco trucks in different parts of the city that sell everything but tacos. Actually, there’s probably a taco truck right next to The Waffle Roost which is right next to Sip and Slurp which is right next to Rye on the Road which is right next to … you get the point. They have multiple locations depending on the day so make sure you check their calendar to see gatherings near you!

Barcha

Share food together with this tapas/Mediterranean fusion restaurant, Barcha. Although it’s on the pricier side, their entrees and appetizers get rave reviews on Yelp. Their lamb meatballs and hummus with Turkish flatbread seems to be the most popular decision, but that doesn’t mean the other dishes aren’t tasty. It’s so hard to choose! That’s the great thing about tapas– you can eat it all!

Brenda’s

Breakfast is a lot of people’s favorite meal of the day. Even McDonald’s caved and started serving breakfast all day not too long ago. If you’re one of those people who love breakfast, you can’t miss Brenda’s. Brenda is a real person who grew up in Louisiana, so you know she knows good food. You just can’t go wrong with a southern/breakfast mix. Warning: If you don’t like waiting in long but quick lines, get here early because it can get CROWDED.

Activities

Drunk Theater

What’s better than funny people? Funny people who are drunk, apparently. Drunk Theater is an established improv group but recently decided to spice things up a bit. Before the play begins, they spin a wheel with little faces of each actor plastered onto it. The unfortunate (fortunate for us) actor that was chosen has to drink five shots of whiskey in a row and then they begin the show. Make sure you get tickets in advance as they can, and usually do, sell out!

Exploratorium: After Dark

Ever wondered how real the five-second rule is or why you see yourself in reverse while looking in a mirror? Learn about biology, physics, psychology and more through fun activities while they serve you beer and wine. At the Exploratorium, in the huge Pier 15 warehouse, you don’t have to be a kid to be tricked into playing games for educational purposes.

Hippie Hill

After a long day of conferences, leave the event space and book it to Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park for a genuine local experience. People watching will keep you occupied and we do not doubt that you will find something interesting. You can plunk down anywhere on the grass with a full bag of snacks and watch the world go by. You can see Sutro Tower in the backdrop and a guy smoking a ridiculously giant bong in the foreground. Ahhh, San Francisco. Never change.