San Francisco Blackbook

A friend recently asked if I was super excited to get out of San Francisco….to be DONE.  Actually, I must separate the two.  I’m ready to be DONE with treatment; however, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with San Francisco (a BIG Silver Lining)!

Between treatments and naps, I have eaten and walked my way through this town.  I thought that I would take this opportunity to share my favorite spots with you (note that most revolve around eating!).



Favorite Restaurants:


Murray Circle

Murray Circle at Cavallo Point

601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker
Sausalito, CA 94965

This is a great spot right for brunch. The HOTY, Finally Five and I went there after a morning at the Children’s Discovery Museum right across the street. It’s a hop, skip and a jump across the Golden Gate Bridge.


Flour + Water

2401 Harrison Street




3560 18th Street


They are known for their award winning pesto (recipe is on their website).



Jane on Fillmore


2123 Fillmore Street


One of my favorite places for breakfast or lunch.  They have the yummiest drinks and snacks.  I love reading and writing here.



Citizen Cake..also on Fillmore

Citizen Cake

2125 Fillmore Street


Right next door to Jane is Citizen Cake.  A fabulous place for lunch and goodies.  It is a restaurant with a long history, but new to the Fillmore neighborhood.


Bar Tartine

561 Valencia Street


Eating the bread here is a heavenly experience!


Delfina or Delfina Pizzeria

3611 18th Street



Zuni Cafe

Zuni Cafe

1658 Market Street


They are known for their baked chicken and bread salad.  Yes, you read that correctly:  bread salad!


The Slanted Door

1 Ferry Building


Vietnamese/Asian fusion right on the water, in the Embarcadero

They have a strawberry and bread pudding dessert that I dream about.  …and I’m not usually a bread pudding kind of gal.


Out the Door (Sister Restaurant of The Slanted Door)

2232 Bust Street



Boulettes Larder

Boulettes Larder

At the Ferry Building.

One of my all-time faves.  It felt like the staff there became my personal cheerleading team. Plus the food is divine.

Boulette, by the way, is the chef/owner’s dog!




1911 Fillmore Street


Yummy Italian!


A16 Pizza


2355 Chestnut Street


Sister restaurant of SPQR. Divine Pizza!


Rose's Cafe

Rose’s Cafe

2298 Union Street


Charming for breakfast and lunch.


Swan Oyster Depot

Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk Street


Fabulous for lunch.  Plan on waiting…in a line that goes down the block! Totally worth it.  I had the most FUN experience there talking with one of the brother-owners.


Irish Coffee at Buena Vista

Buena Vista

2765 Hyde Street (@ Beach)


Don’t ask what’s in the Irish Coffee.  Just drink it and enjoy the special treat!


Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission Street
(415) 648-7600

Great vibe AND a film outdoors with dinner!



1999 Hyde Street

The BEST ice cream!


Book Passage

51 Tamal Vista Boulevard

Corte Madera, CA 94925-1145


Love. Love. Love. Love.  I even joined their “1st Edition Signed Book of the Month Club”.  See what I mean about the love?

You can’t believe the authors they bring for literary luncheons.  And the conferences are amazing as well.


Books, Inc.

There are several, but I frequented the ones on Chestnut Street and in Laurel Village

The are the “West’s Oldest Independent Bookstore”.  I love their website as well.


City Lights

261 Columbus Avenue

Classic.  I’ve blogged about it here before and still love it!


There are actually more wonderful spots that I could probably come up with. Being in San Francisco for my radiation treatment has been the biggest Silver Lining experience for me. Thanks to the incredible food and extraordinary people, I feel as though I have begun a nurturing healing process, for which I am incredibly grateful!


The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.

~Nikolai Lenin










Leave a comment


  1. says

    Glad you are posting. You are good. Again could not have said it better. You sound like another Oprah & I mean that in a good sense for she has grace and this world needs all the grace it can get. Hope you are feeling great & your angels are taking good care. Silver Linings is apt name. We didn't ask for it but we deal with it & cope. It's 3 yrs. for me-"Celebrate Good Times Come on…"as the song goes & for us it's always "good times" right? Life's too short to waste time worrying/complaining/whinning/crying. Play the hand you've been dealt & let others play theirs.

  2. says

    I'm happy to hear you found some of the great spots in SF. I live in the East Bay and know many of the spots mentioned. My secret that I will share with everyone and who take great care with their guests, is Manka's in Inverness…Marin County. I know it's not in The City but as someone who also is going through chemo and everything else that goes with breast cancer, Manka's is my escape. It is really a wonderful place to forget about everything and just relax…it's a wonderful place even if you don't have breast cancer.

  3. Nan and Hilary Jacob says

    Great list, thanks! We've lived here (SF) for 14 years and there are even a few places we haven't been. A16…cool vibe. Slanted door…divine (great cocktails too), and Swan, Buena Vista, City Lights…San Francisco institutions right up there with the cable cars!

  4. Lori Frisbie says

    WOW! It is so great that you have listed ALL of my favorite spots in SF and the area!! I had brunch with my children at Jane's on Sunday – have you seen the clothing store, ruti, around the corner on Fillmore? The owner has a diverse collection and great taste. and Ahh The Book Passage – we stopped by there on Saturday – I have been a signed book club member for years – Mary Benham and Elaine Petrocelli have the formula for a successful independent book store – I have always admired their selections! I'm super happy that you are at the final stage of this SF excursion and will be back in SB to enjoy the sunshine – yup you read it correctly – we have had sun in June :))

  5. adrienne says

    Looove Swan's . So happy that you are exploring that Fab city – just don't fall too in love , Santa Barbara already misses that smiling face ! Happy Everything , Adrienne

  6. Robyn says

    Your list is unbelievable!!! I can't wait to get to SF and try out all these wonderful Hollye favorites!!!!
    Welcome back to the hood Hollye!!!!!

  7. becks says

    Love this list! Foreign Cinema is wonderful…one of our faves. I'll be referring to this list for our next trip. Your ability to turn a frown upside down is inspiring.

    xoxo becks:)

  8. Kim says

    Thank you for the info! My brother lives in Berkeley and my daughter and I will be heading there in July. We haven't been to some of these places and will put them on our list! Yup, SL to have your treatments in such a beautiful and vibrant city!!! Well, and the fact that you got out there and drank it in!!! Happy and safe travels home!

  9. Stina says

    I love your list… Very glad you love this city…I do too. I am up fairly often, especially with two adult kids in the city.. Elizabeth in is Russian Hill on Greenwich and Brian is in Pac Heights.

    I know many of the places you've mentioned. A couple you didn't: Did you try Quince with the HOTY? That's worth a celebratory visit. Or Boulevard, for the same reason.

    I have shared your blog with a number of people, one of whom is my son Brian's girlfriend (in grad school getting a Master's in Social work, but who is living with Brian in SF this summer). She aspires to work in oncology; maybe with adults, maybe with kids. She has expressed much admiration and appreciation for your approach.. your writing etc.

    And I am so glad for you that you are almost DONE!and can check that off.

  10. says

    Thank you for sharing your blackbook of SF. I always love reading your blog but since I will be in SF on Wednesday and staying for a couple of weeks, this particular post is so helpful. Thanks again and I am overjoyed that your treatments are nearing completion.