San Francisco's neighborhoods are among the most charming in the world. Each neighborhood within the seven square-mile city is so unique in not only architecture and style, but also character. Wedged between no-less wonderful neighborhoods (Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, and the Marina), Cow Hollow is a central, lively, and gorgeous neighborhood and is one of the most sought after areas for the city’s professionals and you’ll find that the neighborhood is home to a wide range of San Franciscans.

Cow Hollow’s upscale Edwardian apartment buildings intertwined with single-family mansions painted in various shades of pastels and bright colors make it my favorite neighborhood to get lost in. Cow Hollow is filled with plenty of trendy restaurants, bars, cafes and more. Here are my go-to spots:

photo by Megan Peters

Grab Coffee at Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters

My favorite place to snag a coffee in the morning is Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. It’s a little joint, so I’d recommend grabbing coffee to-go and walking east down Union Street to people watch and window shop. Wrecking Ball is a hidden gem in the neighborhood, as it can almost go unnoticed from the outside. But don’t let that fool you -- it has the cutest interior design. You may have seen the millions of photos on Instagram of the vibrant pineapple wallpaper. The wallpaper, along with the sleek white countertops and minimalist décor, make it visually stunning.

photo by Megan Peters

Admire the Views From the Lyon Street Steps

The Lyon Street Steps consist of 332 stairs and essentially looks like what I’d picture an actual stairway to heaven to resemble. From the top, you’ll find the most breathtaking views of the city and the entire Bay. It’s also unique in that the homes that line the stairs are known as “Billionaire’s Row” - gorgeous mansions that are equally as breathtaking as the views. This is a popular place for working out and you’ll always find a handful of people running up the stairs to get their sweat on.

photo by Megan Peters

Take a Yoga Class at The Pad Studios

The Pad is a heated yoga and Pilates studio that offers a variety of classes throughout the day. The yoga studio is set around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll flow to contemporary music, making it one of my favorite studios in the city and the perfect workout to sweat everything out. You feel absolutely great afterwards and ready to take on the day, so I definitely recommend a class if you’re in town!

photo by Megan Peters

Grab a Drink at Marengo on Union

Marengo on Union is an awesome spot to grab drinks both during the day and at night. It’s known for the amazing sliders and whiskey drinks. With its sun roof, you can soak in the sun and enjoy the outdoors without the iconic San Francisco chill.

photo by Megan Peters

Go Shopping at Ambiance

If you’re looking to go shopping, you have to swing by Ambiance. It’s a women’s boutique with really cute clothes, jewelry, accessories, shoes, and more. It’s the perfect place to snag a gift for your friends or find an outfit for the evening. With their low prices and unique finds, Ambiance is definitely one of my favorite stores to shop at in the city!

photo by Megan Peters

Create a Bouquet of Flowers at The Bud Stop

The Bud Stop is my favorite floral shop in the city. Its brightly colored flowers and friendly staff make it a staple of Cow Hollow. They have a variety of beautiful flowers and assist you in selecting florals to create your own unique arrangement. It’s the perfect spot to swing by for a dinner party centerpiece, to bring as a hostess gift, or to surprise your friend for their birthday.

photo by Megan Peters

Grab Dinner at the Brixton

The Brixton is an American restaurant that’s known for it’s modern twists on gastropub classic dishes. They have wonderful salads, burgers, pork dishes, and cocktails. It’s always packed with sports fans on game days because of all the TVs. And, with it’s trendy ambiance, It’s also a great place for post-work drinks - the bar becomes pretty crowded around 9 or 10 pm. Swing by next time you’re in town!

There are so many more shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars to check out in Cow Hollow, so this list barely scratches the surface. Next time you visit San Francisco, take a break from your itinerary to live like a local in Cow Hollow with the recommendations above. I think you’ll be able to see why Cow Hollow, and San Francisco as a whole, stole my heart and will likely steal yours!


Megan Peters is a San Francisco-based food + travel blogger. She’s the face and voice behind Her travel guides are featured on various travel sites and apps. Make sure to check her out on Instagram for more restaurant recommendations and travel tips from around the world.