SF is home to several major business sectors including tech, financial and medical. Research and development of pharmaceutical products, medical electronics and genetic engineering too. Silicon Valley is the home of the ICT sector for thousands of startups. Network like crazy! SF has the highest density of tech, VC and executives and they are all hanging out together. You never know who you might meet by being open and friendly at every opportunity. Embrace Serendipity! Oh, and if you want to blend in with the locals don’t call it ‘San Fran’. To those in the know it’s either ‘SF’ or ‘San Francisco’!

WHERE TO STAY

  • ORCHARD GARDEN HOTEL – close to Union Square and the Financial District. This eco-friendly hotel is a nice clean 3* option with great rates.
  • HOTEL G – great go-to hotel often frequented by NZTE’s team, very close to Union Square.
  • PARK 55 – Contemporary and cosmopolitan, right by Union Square, the Financial District, SOMA, shopping, dining, entertainment and the cable cars.
  • THE CLIFT HOTEL – an inspired fusion of old-world hotel glamor with distinctly modern energy and design. Clift is the ultimate boutique hotel in San Francisco, a short walk to Union Square and the Financial District, and within close proximity to Moscone Convention Center, Nob Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, Telegraph Hill and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • HOTEL DRISCO – a uniquely charming 1903 Edwardian hotel located in San Francisco’s iconic Pacific Heights neighborhood.
  • THE PALACE HOTEL – a newly renovated San Francisco icon. This surprisingly affordable, luxurious hotel is located only five minutes from WeWork Transbay.
  • RITZ CARLTON SAN FRANCISCO – located close to the Financial District and SOMA, the Ritz Carlton is for those who don’t mind splurging on their accommodation. For extra added value their private Club Level rooms include access to the club bar with ‘all-you-can-drink’ spirits and champagne, plus complimentary pre-dinner snacks and breakfast.

CO-WORKING

  • KIWI LANDING PAD – est. 2011, ‘KLP’ was created to help kiwi tech companies gain a foothold to grow in the US. KLP offers selected companies residence in their office located in the heart of the startup scene in SoMa (South of Market). Resident companies access a well of experience, collaborate with like-minded companies and tap into a broad network in the local tech and investment community.
  • WEWORK – six locations in SF. NZTE’s SF team are actually based out of the WeWork Transbay office so let us know if you’re coming through!
  • GALVANIZE – in SoMa Galvanize has five floors of co-working goodness plus a rooftop with expansive views of downtown.
  • ROCKETSPACE – fabulous environment fostering networking, community and innovation for tech startups.

COFFEE & KAI

FOR COFFEE

  • RED DOOR COFFEE – two locations we recommend for coffee meetings. Both are just a few blocks apart in SoMa. Order a ‘Gibraltar’ which is pretty much the same as a Flat White.
  • EQUATOR COFFEE – Award winning specialty coffees … (and teas). Two city locations: Downtown and SoMa  
  • SPECIAL XTRA – a small alleyway hole in the wall that knows how to serve up a flat white!
  • PHILZ COFFEE – an SF institution famous for creating ‘personalized’ cups of coffee.

FOR LUNCH AND DINNER

  • PER DIEM – a unique combination of French and Californian food. The Michelin Guide recently chose Per Diem as part of an elite group of Bay Area restaurants.
  • BARBACCO  – a casual, comfortable place with an emphasis on simple, delicious Italian food, drawing inspiration from all the regions of Italy.
  • THE SLANTED DOOR – modern Vietnamese cuisine. For every item on their menu, Executive Chef, Charles Phan goes to the original source region. He studies the traditional ingredients, flavors and techniques, then retreats to his Mission district test kitchen, where he and his team recreate the original using contemporary methods and the finest and freshest local ingredients.

NIGHT SPOTS

  • SALT HOUSE – bustling & trendy brick-lined restaurant offering casual American fare & creative cocktails. Located right next door to WeWork Transbay.
  • BOURBON & BRANCH – a glimpse back to the 1920’s and the era of Prohibition.  Experience the ambiance of that time in an actual speakeasy that operated illegally at this location from 1921 to 1933. Make sure you google the secret password for access into the bar’s hidden location – “the library”.
  • RICKHOUSE –  offers artisanal cocktails, fine spirits, local beers and boutique Californian wines. The objective at Rickhouse is to provide guest, with a superior, award winning beverage experience.
  • SMUGGLER’S COVE – widely regarded and awarded as one of the best concept cocktail bars in the world specializing in rum and exotic cocktails.

COOL HUNTING

  • RENT A BIKE for the best way to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Rent from Pier 41 (Fisherman’s Wharf) and take the ferry to Sausalito and ride back over the Golden Gate Bridge. Hint – the best photos of the city are taken on the Sausalito side up in the Marin headlands, FYI pronounced “Muh-rin”!
  • MUIR WOODS has the world’s tallest trees. You’ll need a car to reach them unless you felt energetic enough for the one-hour bike ride from Sausalito.
  • CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCESDEYOUNG or SF MOMA in Golden Gate Park are all awesome. For good views of the city, the observation tower in the De Young museum is free. Other park activities include the Japanese Tea Garden, a public nine-hole golf course, archery, and buffalo viewing. Walk over to the restaurants at the intersection of 9th and Irving in the Inner Sunset neighborhood for dinner. Ebisu, Park Chow and Nopalito are all local favorites.
  • Union Square is the popular downtown shopping district. Catch the cable car over the hill to North Beach for classic views of the city.
  • Columbus Street / North Beach is San Francisco’s historic Italian neighborhood. There are lots of authentic Italian restaurants, delis, coffee and gelato shops. Check out historic Washington Square Park and Coit Tower – including the steps down the east side from the tower where wild parrots often hang out. Mama’s and Liguria Bakery are popular local eats. City Lights Bookstore, the beat poet’s famous headquarters, is also along Columbus.
  • FISHERMAN’S WHARF / EMBARCADERO are iconic but ultra-touristy. Picture Santa Monica Pier on steroids but with lots of clam chowder. Whilst there are some cool experiences (e.g. the USS Pampanito Tour if you’re into military history) prepare for an onslaught of the general public. ALCATRAZ however (accessible via tour companies running from Fisherman’s Wharf) is an iconic must-do. The view from Alcatraz out to the city is amazing. Buy the headphones and do the narrated tour. It sounds geeky but it’s awesome!
  • For more information on local events, activities and experiences check out SAN FRANCISCO TOURISM and TIMEOUT.

GETTING AROUND

  • If you’re heading out to the Valley you’ll probably stay in the city and commute. The Valley itself is a collection of towns/cities stretching an hour in light traffic (depending on where you’re going) South of SF roughly between Palo Alto and San Jose. Picture a sea of business parks and manufactured strip malls and you’re on the right track.
  • For city stays our hotel tips are mainly South of Market (SoMa) and close to the financial district. Stick to these neighborhoods (avoid the Tenderloin district) and you’ll be close enough to everything.
  • Finding a great hotel in the location you want without paying hundreds (often USD400+) is a challenge. Airport hotels may save you money (and also be closer to the Valley) but options for going out at night will be limited.
  • The city itself is very walkable (if not for some hills) but for dashing across the city between meetings Uber is the way to go. SFO is around 45 minutes to the city on public transport and 30 minutes by Uber but can take much longer during peak times.

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