1. Asian food
Whether it is Burmese food at a small family-owned restaurant in the Inner Richmond or a new boba place that opened up in the Outer Sunset, San Franciscans are obsessed with this rather broad type of cuisine. We know that the real deal is found in the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, and not in the touristy Chinatown restaurants. We are spoiled with many different options, from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese and Indian, and are eternally grateful for it.
2. Talking about microclimates
San Francisco may only be 49 square miles, but it packs a lot of different weather patterns into its city limits. There is a well-known rule of thumb for locals that Divisadero Street is the dividing line that separates the much warmer eastern portion of the city with the cooler western part. The closer you get to the Pacific, the more likely it will be that you’ll have to put on a parka. Comparing weather with friends on the opposite side of town is a favorite pastime of San Franciscans.
3. Waiting in line for good food
San Franciscans flock to places with long lines, since it is believed that the longer the line the better the food. Even on chilly days, San Franciscans will not budge. Whether it is for the morning bun at Tartine Bakery, Brunch at Plow or dinner at Burma Superstar, lines are just part of the whole dining experience. On the flipside, if we do not see any line or anyone in a restaurant we are a bit skeptical.
4. Trying to prove San Francisco is better than Los Angeles
Whether it’s about putting down the Dodgers or the mind-numbing traffic, San Franciscans will defend their beloved city against any comparisons to the City of Angeles. Maybe we are also a bit bitter about the endless sunshine and numerous beaches, but we would never say it out loud.
As a city that has more dogs than children, it is no surprise that San Franciscans are obsessed with their furry friends. Whether it is discussing what the best doggy daycare is to finding a reliable pup groomer, man’s best friend is elevated to a whole new level in the City by the Bay.
San Franciscans love their bicycles with a deep and unbridled passion. Despite being a city known for its steep hills, it is estimated that this is one of our favorite modes of transportation. Bikers are an especially passionate group that stands up for their rights through organizations like the San Francisco Bike Coalition.
7. Artisanal ice cream
Do not get in between a San Franciscan and their small-batch organic ice cream. Bri-Rite Creamery, Humphry Slocombe, and Three Twins Ice Cream are some of the popular places that locals flock to for their dose of frozen treats. Forget the typical chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors-San Franciscans love unique (and slightly odd) combinations like bourbon and cornflakes, and salted caramel.
8. Burning Man
At the end of summer, there is a mass exodus for San Franciscans to the dusty desert plains of Nevada, to partake in one of the country’s biggest art-based festivals. San Franciscans who go to Burning Man are often regulars and have no trouble finding other like-minded locals who feel the same way.
9. Dressing up
Give a San Franciscan an opportunity to dress up, and they will never pass it up. Halloween in the Castro is the best time to show off costume creativity, where thousands turn this neighborhood into one giant block party. Halloween is not the only time to don a costume, though, since events like Bay to Breakers in May allow you to bring out your inner snow queen or superhero (whether you actually participate in the race or are just there for the festivities).
10. Public transportation
MUNI may be a headache when you are trying to get home on the 1 during rush hour in the rain, but we have a deep love for those orange and white buses. The massive bus system throughout the city means that we will never have to step inside a car again (unless it is 2 a.m. and we need to call an Uber because the night buses are nowhere in sight).
11. Dim Sum
Whether it is in a crowded banquet hall with metal carts bringing their mouth-watering goods to your table or getting a pink box of dumplings to go, San Franciscans love their dim sum in all forms. We know where to go when our parents come to visit (Hong Kong Lounge), and where to go for a quick snack before heading to Golden Gate Park (Wing Lee Bakery).
Best Travel Credit Cards
Top offers from our partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 bonus points
The Platinum Card®
75,000 bonus points
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 bonus points