San Francisco has far more to offer than just the admittedly breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Tehran born and San Francisco based DJ and producer Ardalan takes us with this Electronic Music Travel Guide on a tour through his local favorite spots. From the best hike trails with a view, over the best six restaurants and coffee spots, to the best bars and clubs in San Francisco. This San Francisco Guide is underlined with private photos of Ardalan, a Dirtybird Records crew member.
Dirtybird Records mainstay Ardalan marked the release of his debut album, Mr. Good, out on Claude VonStroke’s fabled last year. Now we see the album remix package, with no fewer than 18 unique remixes including Justin Jay, Soul Clap, DJ Deeon, Delano Smith, and Archie Hamilton. The spots listed in this San Francisco Electronic Music Travel Guide by Ardalan surely had been an inspirational source for the album.
Here are Ardalan’s very personal San Francisco recommendations.
I moved to San Francisco nine years ago and the city’s beauty, hidden-gem neighborhoods, awesome views, and nightlife (that I miss) are just some of its many highlights. The more I traveled and toured over the last few years, I found myself missing the city while exploring the rest of the world and country. The silver lining in the stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19 has reminded me how much I love being here. Most who haven’t lived here are shocked to learn that the city is actually small for “city standards”. Infamous for its seven by seven square foot mile block, the city is one you can explore, walk or bike across in just a day’s adventure. The city is truly a city for bikers and food lovers. Ahead, I curated a list of my favorite bike trails, scenic spots, and indulgent coffee shops and restaurants that are must-visits.
Bike Spots and Rides in San Francisco
is a unique gem of a park. 1,500 acres and full of history and scenic trails. It’s a lovely place to bike ride and also to hike around. You can either hike/bike north to the Golden Gate Bridge or go downhill towards Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s one of my favorite rides. There are so many amazing viewpoints. This place is my oasis.
Golden Gate Park
Home to the early Dirtybird park parties is truly a special park. Especially if you want to avoid steep hills when riding a bike. There are almost countless amazing spots to check out. From the monolith itself; The De Young Museum all the way through a smooth downhill ride to the Dutch Windmill and Ocean beach. Some days you could even hear some live improv jazz under the stairs near the Skystar Farris wheels and hot dog stand. You can also roller disco skate if you’re feeling groovy!
The most scenery Spots in San Francisco
Ina Coolbrith Park
If you want a super close up view of the city from a hill. This place is the spot. The park is also next to the famous “green house” from the Netflix series “The OA”.
Batteries to Bluffs Trail
This is a super nice pedestrian trail that’s close to the Presidio and includes gorgeous views of the coastline and The Golden Gate Bridge. And while you are at it.
Another amazing spot for gorgeous views.
Grandview is absolutely stunning. It is just south of Golden Gate Park and the view is spectacular. Especially on a clear day, you can see the bridge.
San Francisco’s best Food Spots
One of my favorite Pizza spots in The Richmond district of San Francisco.
Tacos El Patron
If you google where to get the best Mexican food in SF. They will probably say El Ferrito in the mission. While that place is super dank, Tacos El Patron is truly underrated. From there amazing Michelada’s to mouth-watering birria tacos. This place takes the cake for me and now I’m hungry talking about it.
This is my go-to spot for Persian food, my favorite food cuisine. They also are in the heart of the north beach. Which is an amazing neighborhood for food and scenic views of the city.
My favorite burger place. This amazing gem in the mission makes the best smash burgers ever!
This is honestly my go-to place when I am craving a fish taco or burrito. They have a selection of so many different fishes and they are some of the freshest. They also have this spicy and citrusy carrot sauce that’s absolutely out of this world
Pho Huynh Hiep 2 – Kevin & Chris’s Noodle House
has some of the best Pho noodle soup ever. If you are a PHOnatic like me. I definitely suggest going here.
San Francisco’s top Coffee Spots
I love Coffee. This coffee shop in the Richmond district is my favorite. Not only do they roast their own coffee in San Francisco, but their drinks are a work of art (for real). I go here almost every day.
on Divisadero St. has amazing coffee and it’s a really awesome bakery. It’s also close to Alamo Square Park where you can see the famous painted ladies.
if you want donuts, then Bob’s got you covered. These donuts are incredibly delicious.
Bars and Electronic Music Clubs in San Francisco
(for post-Covid visits)
in terms of music, The Midway is one of the only places in San Francisco that’s doing socially safe parties and I recently just played there for a rain dance event and it was such an amazing experience. Not only is it outdoors, but they have an amazing selection of food. You have to reserve your own table and honestly, it’s an amazing experience to have your own table with food, drinks, and a loud af sound system.
This is one of my favorite Tiki bars in San Francisco. Great vibes and drinks.
The Great Northern (Temporarily Closed)
This place is one of my favorite clubs in San Francisco. Amazing void speakers and a really cool room. I hope it’s open when you visit someday.
I truly love this place. From the awesome staff to their really awesome programming. Lots of great shows here when it’s open.
Great spot on market street near the Castro District with some of my favorite cocktails on the planet.
This place is what San Francisco is all about. Great vibes all around and a really amazing selection of drinks. They also have an outdoor seating area in a lovely scenic part of the city.
The best Record Shops in San Francisco
An amazing record store with very fantastic selections.
Also a lovely record store in the Lower Height district.
Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco is really fun to bike or even walk/hike in it. While it feels relatively big and dense. It’s quite small and great fun to bike ride from one end to the other.
We hope you enjoyed the San Francisco Travel Guide by Ardalan. More USA electronic music scene tips can be found in our New York City Travel Guide.