Not So Secret San Francisco

| February 17, 2010 | 3 Comments
  • 3 Comments

Secret San Francisco
Sshhh…don’t tell!

When I started procrastinating about an hour ago, Facebook group Secret San Francisco was at 42,654 members. Now, it’s at 43,736 members. A mere 10 days ago, it was just a glint in Jamie Quint’s eye.

The 24-year-old entrepreneur started this group based on the model of Secret London, which went from zero to 180,000 members in under 20 days. The group is an open forum for people to spill San Francisco’s best kept secrets, from restaurants and bars, to events, shows, and random cool things to do.

Discussion boards contain threads on topics like Best Sandwich, Best Brunch (for foodies not alchies), and Best Outdoor Workout…to burn off all those carbs and eggs benedicts. There is even a brief diatribe that ensues when an out-of-towner catastrophically requests some good tips on where to go when she visits “Frisco” this summer. Eeek. Poor thing won’t be uttering that jaunty little nickname for a long time.

There is a lot of noise on the Wall, but search and you are bound to happen upon a hidden gem or two, and get inspired to plan an excursion the next time you have a free weekend.

Now, I know we all love the Internet and everything, but still…it is remarkable how popular this group has become in such a short time. Is it because we all love a juicy secret? Is it because we’re bored? Or because Yelp reviews are too hiply cryptic to understand sometimes?

In a time and place where Twitter-roving street food carts are the new speakeasies, slinging Kung Fu Tacos and Sexy Soup to the masses willing to seek them out, “underground” is the new black, and “secret” is the new twenty.

SF Underground Farmers Market, 01.28.10
SF Underground Farmers Market, 01.28.10

Just ask any one of the hundreds of kombucha-thirsty flavor-ravers who turned out for the Underground Farmers Market last month.

Mission Street Food, 01.28.10
Mission Street Food, 01.28.10

Or walk by Lung Shan on a Thursday or Saturday night, when an unassuming Chinese restaurant turns into the packed, twinkle-lit, pop-up restaurant, Mission Street Food.

Perhaps we gravitate to these projects because they exude a sense of authenticity, of being “in the know”, and part of something special and communal. Or, it could simply be…some things are just too good to keep to ourselves.

Flavor-ravers, SF Underground Farmers Market
Flavor-ravers, SF Underground Farmers Market

Secret San Francisco Facebook Group
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Category: bay area, Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, farmers markets, food bloggers and social media, local food businesses, street food and fast food

About the Author ()

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well. Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine. Stephanie's writing and photography have been featured in Fodor's Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.
  • Haggie

    The real name of it should be “Bridge & Tunnel San Francisco” since anyone that lives in SF knows about the secret spots, events, & activities. These type of lists eventually destroy or dumb-down all the best events in SF. I’m not willing to spoon-feed a lazy suburb dweller my favorite food or entertainment spots…

  • SC

    Wow, nice way to completely be selfish. You don’t own the city HAGGIE, and thankfully, you seem to be the ONLY majority who feels this way.

  • ENEN

    The real name of it should be “Bridge & Tunnel San Francisco” since anyone that lives in SF knows about the secret spots, events, & activities. These type of lists eventually destroy or dumb-down all the best events in SF. I’m not willing to spoon-feed a lazy suburb dweller my favorite food or entertainment spots…