We all have our "go-to" favorites: the San Francisco blogs that we bounce back to every day. Here are 10 that cover the spectrum from Muni transit hassles to restaurant reviews, to photographic essays highlighting San Francisco and the Bay Area.
There's no bias in the order—they're all good at what they do and keen on what they cover. If you're a newcomer, these sites and blogs are good places to get some local bearings as you explore the nuances of San Francisco and its environs. They're also just plain fun to read.
Once part of the larger Gothamist network, SFist covered everything from news on neighborhoods like North Beach and Hayes Valley, entertainment, and sports to more esoteric local topics: things like photos of the day, Muni meltdowns, and "Day Around the Bay" roundups. Although abruptly shuttered along with its brethren (including "-ist" sites in LA and Chicago) in 2017, SFist recently found a new home with local owners. While there's no definite relaunch date, we're hoping for the same ol' sardonic POV that the news-aggregation site perfected in its heyday.
Part of the Curbed network, Eater SF keeps its eye on the pulse of notable openings and closings in the restaurant realm, not to mention the in-progress details of eateries like Marlowe and The Shota as they're brought to fruition. It's also ahead of the curve on local food news and dining trends. The site is devoted exclusively to the topic of San Francisco Bay Area eats, and they accept tips and gossip from local residents who have more accessible on-the-ground access.
See Curbed SF, on the same network, for fun and entertaining neighborhood and real estate discussions.
Laughing Squid is a definite favorite, partly due to its eclectic mix of tech, art, and news—the bulk of which is good for a few laughs. Another thing that makes it amazing: Scott Beale, who sits at Laughing Squid's helm and posts entertaining photo spreads of the various events he shoots. While Laughing Squid isn't 100 perfect SF and Bay Area in terms of its coverage, it's close.
Beyond Chron is an "alternative voice for the city," covering politics and issues that are often overlooked or ignored by the city's primary newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle. Launched in 2004, the news site is published by the SF-based Tenderloin Housing Clinic and provides daily, progressive coverage of stories covering everything from the Mid-Market District to California's state-wide rent control, as well as a counter-perspective to the city's mainstream reporting.
For news about San Francisco's Mission neighborhood—from the tastiest burritos to the latest in tech—you can’t beat Mission Local, the go-to source for all things “Mission” since 2008. The site originally began as a project of UC Berkeley Journal School, though went rogue in 2014 and since 2018 has been a sponsored site of the non-profit San Francisco Public Press—a primary source for “independent, local news.” Whether it's reviews of restaurant new and old, such as perennial local favorite, Foreign Cinema, or stories of neighborhood history, such as what the Mission was like in the ‘80s, you’ll find it here—in a well-written, easy-to-follow format.
Hoodline is a hyper-local news-service for neighborhoods throughout SF, and the place you turn when you want to find out the latest plans for Haight Street's former McDonald's site, or why Nopalito temporarily shuttered its doors. The site uses a machine-learning platform to "tag and conceptual content," and also does the heavy-lifting in analyzing everything from neighborhood crime rates to growing cuisine trends. Hoodline grew out of several other hyper-local sites including Haighteration, which first launched in 2010.