I have lived in the neighborhood for many, many years. This place was originally called the "El Drisco" but the name changed when they refurbished it a few years ago. This is a hidden, unknown jewel of a place that we neighbors always tried to keep under wraps. For many people in the neighborhood, it's the "guest house" where you put friends who you don't have room for.
While The Drisco is not centrally located, there are still some interesting, off-the-beaten-path sights in the neighborhood. If you walk north one block on Broderick Street you will come to Broadway Street. This is "outer" Broadway and the three block stretch between Divisadero on the the east and Lyon on the west is locally known as the "Gold Coast". These are the most exclusive and expensive homes in The City. There is a prohibition on tour buses in the neighborhood so you can't get here unless you know where it is. All of the houses along here, on both sides of the street, have the most magnificent "bridge to bridge" views. And while the houses on the north side of the street may seem "small", they're not. They're built on a very steep hill and most of them go down four or five stories that you can't see.
If you're feeling energetic and up for a walk, turn left on Broadway and walk down three block to the end of the street where it meets Lyon Street. You'll be at the top of the Lyon Street Steps, one of San Francisco's "step streets". It's only two blocks to the bottom so go ahead and give it a try. At the first intersection beyond Broadway you'll come to a little public garden area at Vallejo Street. The Italianate house on the right is the home of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum.
One more flight down and you'll come to a small park at Green Street. You can now elect to turn around and climb back up or continue down Lyon Street four blocks to the Lombard Street Gate of the Presidio of San Francisco. Depending on what time you get here, Liverpool Lil's is a charming place to have a drink and some food. Or turn left on Lombard into the Presidio and you'll see the Presidio Social Club on the left. Also a great spot for wining and dining.
Back at the hotel, if you turn right onto Pacific Avenue you can get a feeling for the neighborhood. This is "outer Pacific Heights". At the southeast corner of Pacific and Divisadero you'll see a lovely old mansion. This place was once completely subdivided into small apartments. The current owner restored the building to its real glory a few years ago. Now cross Divisadero and walk about half way down the block until you see a very small street that goes off to the left. This is Normandie Terrace, one of the "hidden streets" of San Francisco. Less than a block long, Normandie Terrace dead ends at a high cliff that overlooks Broadway Street below. You may see some security vehicles along here due to the fact that Representative Nancy Peolsi's house is on the street.
To the south from the hotel, down Baker Street, you'll find California Street. Turn left and head toward Divisadero. This whole area is far from the tourist track. The stretch of Divisadero from California Street south to Geary Boulevard has a few bars and restaurants. Much of the business here comes from the hoardes of medical and support professionals who work at the hospitals in the area.
On California near Divisadero you'll find Tataki (the best sushi and sashimi in town), Food, Inc. (good honest food at decent prices), Cumaica Coffee (a local place with decent java) and the Wild Hare (the local gin joint).
Farther afield; a half mile walk further east on California will bring you to Fillmore Street where you'll find a wealth of dining and drinking establishments and a very lively atmosphere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Drisco, constructed in 1903, blends traditional elegance with the convenience, comfort, and amenities of a world-class modern hotel. The warm hospitality, inviting atmosphere, and impeccable service are designed to please business and leisure travelers alike. Complimentary services include a gourmet continental breakfast, evening wine reception, chauffeured sedan service to several popular San Francisco locations and complimentary high-speed Internet access. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Drisco Hotel San Francisco
- Drisco San Francisco