Take a tour of San Francisco, California, in about 2,000 calories and 10,000 steps and discover the Bay City's neighborhoods chock-full of eclectic dining and scenic views.
March 10, 2014
1 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
A Unique Guide to San Francisco
We toured San Francisco to find the best, most nutritious restaurants the city has to offer. Here's a unique guide to good eating and great exercise for hungry travelers.
How we did the math:
This series is meant as a fun guide to experiencing a city through the Cooking Light lens. All calculations are rough estimates and should be seen as a starting point for your own adventure.
Calorie burns were estimated using this calculator. The approximations are based on how vigorous the activity level is for a 150-pound woman—for example, a stroll around a farmers’ market was calculated at a lower burn than when we tell you to pick up the pace.
We estimated steps at an average of 2,000 steps per mile walked.
All calorie calculations for the meal selections we recommend were rough estimates based on inputting similar dishes and ingredients into this calculator.
2 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
Morning: The Mission
Start your tour with a brisk 4-mile walk, beginning in the colorful Mission District. A scrambled egg bialy at Wise Sons Delicatessen (pictured) packs in protein for the day ahead, and a scrambled veggie hash adds flavor. Grab it to go, and head to Mission Dolores Park with its stunning view before traipsing across Market Street to Alamo Square, where sits the famous row of Painted Lady Victorians. Make your way to the panhandle of Golden Gate Park to San Francisco Bike Rentals, where you can grab gear for the next leg of your self-powered tour.
Burn: 290 calories Eat: 866 calories
3 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
Bike to Lunch: Sausalito
Breathe in the bracing scent of eucalyptus trees as you bike through the Presidio, a verdant former army post. Stop at Fort Point for pictures before pedaling over the Golden Gate Bridge, past its views of the Pacific Ocean and Alcatraz. Your 9-mile journey will take you about an hour of moderately paced cycling, but your reward is as delicious as the scenery: local oysters on the half-shell and a Point Reyes blue cheese--sprinkled salad at Fish (pictured), where you can enjoy sustainably sourced seafood right on the water. Toast with a cold pint of Scrimshaw Pilsner from just up the coast in Fort Bragg. Properly revived, cycle back through Sausalito, and relax on the ferry ride before dropping your bike off near the terminal.
Burn: 360 calories Eat: 540 calories
4 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
Take a Hike: North Beach
Head for a 2-mile taste of San Francisco's famously quad-challenging hills. Begin at Hyde Street for a hike up Russian Hill before winding down Lombard Street to Columbus. Refuel in North Beach with a cannolo and espresso at Stella Pastry & Cafe, where they've been turning out reasonably portioned treats for more than 70 years. Then hoof it straight up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower (pictured) for the panoramic vista. This mix of up- and downhill paths is a natural interval workout.
Burn: 175 calories Eat: 150 calories
5 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
Evening: The Embarcadero
Bay views and good food rule the roost in this growing neighborhood. Explore its pedestrian stairs—one of many sets that dot San Francisco's hills. They'll take you past charming gardens. Stop in at TCHO to enjoy truly local chocolate creations like a Mokaccino bar, made with Blue Bottle Coffee.
A Manhattan or mint julep at Hard Water (pictured) makes splendid use of their wall of premium and hard-to-find whiskeys. Serious fans can opt for a whiskey flight (½-ounce pours of five whiskeys).
6 of 6Photo: Erin Kunkel
Evening: The Embarcadero (continued)
A few doors over is Coqueta (pictured), which offers a fresh California take on Spanish bar food. Padrón peppers, a tapas tradition, offer mild heat and grassy flavor. Calamari à la plancha gets a West Coast spin with a dollop of luscious onion jam. The kale salad is sweetened with roasted squash, adorned with pumpkin seeds, and topped with crispy kale leaves. Don't miss the house-cured anchovies: They're served over a salad and nestled in a pull-top can, a play on canned anchovies.
After dinner, partake of a visual dessert by strolling just a few blocks to Rincon Park. It affords an excellent view of The Bay Lights, a massive light sculpture by artist Leo Villareal. The work, installed to commemorate the bridge's 75th anniversary, features 25,000 LED lights creating ever-changing patterns over almost 2 miles of the bridge.
Burn: 140 calories Eat: 1,280 calories
TOTAL BURNED: 965 TOTAL EATEN: 2,836 TOTAL STEPS: 16,200 [NET CALORIES: 1,871]