Or, what is currently occupied Ohlone land. We wish to acknowledge those who came before us on land that has been colonized. From grand, sweeping views to neighborhood color and character, from glimpses of history to world-class dining and shopping – the San Francisco Bay Area is home to a little bit of everything. Here is some information to help in the trip planning.

Ippudo

While San Francisco has many choices, I recommend restaurants that should not be missed! First, Eko Kitchen in SoMa is San Francisco’s first Nigerian owned restaurant and catering company in San Francisco. The owner of Eko Kitchen, Simileoluwa Adebajo, decided to quit her nine to five job to pursue her dreams of owning a restaurant through which she could create and serve traditional Nigerian classics such as plantains, Jollof Rice and Roasted Tilapia. She regularly alters the menu, on my last visit, I enjoyed Afro-Latin cuisine! My second recommendation is Souley Vegan, in Jack London Square, Oakland, is a vegan Louisiana-style soul food restaurant that also serves cocktails and desserts. Souley Vegan is another beautiful, Black-owned restaurant. Souley Vegan has live music every Thursday night. My third ‘don’t miss’ recommendation is Ippudo in Berkeley. Ippudo is a Japanese ramen house that has delicious appetizers and upmarket sake dispatched in a simple, yet stylish outpost. I grew up with a Japanese parent, and I rate Ippudo on a higher scale in regards to taste. There are so many ramen restaurants now-a-days, this one stands out.

de Young's Museum

If the arts and museums are of interest, I have two recommendations. First, check out the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) where the above, below, and beyond of the entire world is brought to life. CAS is one of the largest, innovative, and most eco-friendly natural history museums in the world and is located in the Golden Gate Park. The CAS is a jewel that glistens with the promise of prehistoric sensations, astronomical exploits, dazzling gems and minerals, and living examples of extraordinary plants and animals And nearly every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Academy opens its doors to the 21+ crowd to provide themed get-togethers, such as SF Beer Week NightLife, Tropical NightLife, and Sharktober Night Life. The evening is filled with live music, DJ tunes, critters, cocktails and all sorts of science excitement. Second, the de Young’s Museum houses a collection exceeds 27,000 works and is renowned for its American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, modern and contemporary art, photography, international textiles and costumes, and art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Be sure to visit the ninth-floor Observation Level of the de Young’s Hamon Tower and enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

More of a nightlife seeker? Many of the Bay’s favorite divey queer inclusive bars like The Mix, The Stud, and The Edge have pool tables, back patios, and atmospheres more conducive to conversation than a club. It takes a bit of guts, but there are plenty of opportunities to hop in on a game with a new friend who needs a partner, or buy a drink for that person that just caught your eye. Try Brewcade or another arcade bar! You can still get your drink on without full-on clubbing or bar-hopping thanks to the plethora of craft breweries in the Bay; Temescal Brewing in Oakland has become a favorite among Bay Areians for their sunny outdoor patio and frequent events. Special event or not, it’s easy to find good beers at one of the many breweries scattered around, from Fieldwork in Berkeley all the way down to Alpha Acid in Belmont. Can’t forget about the infamous monthly Queer Passionfruit Dance Parties at Social Starline located in Oakland! 

Perhaps the goal is to simmer down after a long, productive day, here are some great spots for you to enjoy! Dolores Park between 18th + 20th Street(s) of San Francisco is a beautiful blend of people, dogs, and strangers cracking open coconuts to fill with rum! Very Bay Area. Plop down on a blanket at Baker Beach, Ocean Beach, Lands End and get into a good book while catching the ocean breeze, and probably seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and Sunset, too. Sit and soak up some sun at Lake Merritt in Oakland- go on a kayak ride, or explore vast grasslands at the Marina in Berkeley! There are so many areas of the Bay Area to explore- the possibilities are practically endless.

Finally, transportation is a very important asset to your stay here. There are public transportations of Muni and the BART! Muni is free, and BART is 50% for San Francisco State students riding to Daly City! Make a friend and cross a bridge! Again, San Francisco Bay Area welcomes you with open arms! Take advantage of the BART and Muni, to travel to all parts of the Bay Area, whether that’s Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, or other places that exist here. Again, San Francisco welcomes you, and keep in mind we are on the land of the Indigenous Ohlone Tribe, tread carefully and with awareness.

Aika Eden
M.A. Candidate, San Francisco State University