Lunch at Urban Picnic
For our last full day in San Francisco, we finally visited a restaurant that we had attempted to try on our first day in SF but were unable to because they were closed. Luckily, when we went back on a weekday, Friday, for an early lunch, they were open. Urban Picnic is the name of the place. I was intrigued by the owner’s ties to U-Mich, the menu, and the information from their website:
Urban Picnic is a gourmet eatery that serves healthy global inspired food, using premium quality ingredients; we adopt traditional global flavors and give them an urban twist to create a modern healthy gourmet experience.
We make every effort to use organic, sustainable, and all natural items when possible to provide you with the freshest and tastiest menu available.
Urban Picnic was pretty cute inside – I liked it. For my lunch, I ordered (descriptions from menu):
- KOREAN BBQ BEEF SHORT RIB URBAN BANH MI – soy sesame seasoned Meyer Ranch beef short ribs | signature housemade Sriracha aioli | pickled veggies | cilantro | jalapenos & crispy shallots
- TART FROZEN YOGURT (non-fat)
- MOROCCAN MINT ICED TEA
The huz ordered a banh mi as well, similar to my beef one, except his was pork.
- GRILLED BBQ PORK URBAN BANH MI
all natural grilled bbq pork | signature housemade Sriracha aioli | pickled veggies | cilantro | jalapenos & crispy shallots
- HICKORY BBQ CHIPS
- HIBISCUS ICED TEA
We actually each had one half of each sandwich and both agreed that the beef version was the better of the two banh mis. These were very delicious, but I think I liked the San Street version that I enjoyed at Zingerman’s a couple months ago better (with the exception of the bread – Urban Picnic’s bread was easier to eat!).
This place was totally my scene though, and I feel like if it were in Ann Arbor it would be my go-to lunch spot!
After lunch, we headed to Golden Gate Park, which was quite the journey, by foot, subway-turned-into-streetcar, and more walking, until we ended up at the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens were very nice, primarily organized by different regions of the world (such as Chilean or Southeast Asian), or by plant type (such as succulants or the ‘garden of fragrance’). I was surprised by how much there was to offer, and we spent a good deal of time exploring the entire park.
California Academy of Sciences
After the Botanical Gardens, we continued our way across Golden Gate Park until we reached the California Academy of Sciences. Admission was pretty steep (around $30 per person), but if you have a student ID and receipt from public transportation, you can save a few bucks.
The museum also had a lot to offer, including:
- Reptiles & Snakes Exhibit. Fun fact: I love iguanas!! This guy is adorbs. I feel like if I ever got a pet I would want it to be an iguana.
- Large aquarium with over 100 tanks.
- Four-story rainforest contained in a large glass globe, into which natural light shines. A winding staircase leads visitors to the hot and humid canopy of the rainforest, where many butterflies, macaws, and other birds fly freely.
- Natural history exhibits. Loved the Meatless Monday shout-out!
- Planetarium: World’s largest all-digital planetarium. This was my favorite part of the museum. We enjoyed a 35 minute presentation called “Life: A Cosmic Story,” which discussed potential origins of life on earth and in the universe. Loved it!!! Right up my alley. When I was younger, I wanted to grow up, work for NASA, and research this very topic.
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Our last dinner in San Francisco was anti-climactic, but a much-needed low-key evening before our flight the next morning! We spent all day on our feet, and after a busy week in SF, all I wanted was to collapse on a bed, stuff my face with pizza, polish off our wine, and watch the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge from my hotel room on the 40th floor. Sounds good, right??
I wish I could say this pizza was awesome, but it was merely “just okay.” However, it was delivered directly to my room, so I couldn’t complain!
Garlic cheese bread and a side of chicken for the man.
However, after a glass of wine, the pizza was tasting great and I relished my last evening in SF.
Hope you enjoyed my trip recaps! In case you missed any days, here are links:
- San Fran – Day 1: Part I (Flight + Thai lunch)
- San Fran – Day 1: Part II (Mexican dinner + ballet)
- San Fran – Day 2 (Alcatraz + incredible vegetarian dinner) <- best meal of trip
- San Fran – Day 3 (Napa and Sonoma Valley Wineries)
- San Fran – Day 4 (Zoo + Chinatown + Irish pub)
- San Fran – Day 5 (Muir Woods + Brazilian Steakhouse)
- San Fran – Day 6 (Fisherman’s Wharf + Thai dinner)
Currently listening to: Above and Below – The Bravery.