100+ Best San Francisco Quotes: Exclusive Selection

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. Profoundly inspirational San Francisco quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

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Famous San Francisco Quotes

San Francisco businesses face many challenges, including high rents, regulatory burdens, and the rising cost of workers compensation insurance and employee health plans — Gavin Newsom

I’m a huge fan of the Bay Area so I always love coming to San Francisco. — Ezra Koenig

There may not be a Heaven, but there is a San Francisco. — Ashleigh Brilliant

As a young surgeon in training at the University of California San Francisco General Hospital in the early ’80s, my colleagues and I were inundated with an epidemic of young men with fevers, rashes, swollen lymph nodes and eventually death. — Richard Carmona

I grew up in Marin County north of San Francisco, and in the 1950s and ’60s it was a natural paradise. — Huey Lewis

In 1967, the students at San Francisco State invited the poet Amiri Baraka to the campus for a semester. He attracted other influential black writers such as Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Eldridge Cleaver. What emerged was something we called the community communications program. That’s how I got involved; I got involved in a little play — Danny Glover

I am a big ‘Ellen’ fan. I have been one for quite a long time now. I used to do the local news talk shows with her in San Francisco, when we were both still kids. — Margaret Cho

San Francisco would be a good location for a murder mystery. — Alfred Hitchcock

I don’t think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn’t love the place, Americans or others. — Doris Lessing

The best tattooists are in San Francisco, and they’re kind of like my family now. I’m always excited to come back to San Francisco. — Margaret Cho

San Francisco can no longer afford to be a city divided between downtown and neighborhoods, with a downtown that becomes a ghost town when workers go home for the evening — Gavin Newsom

Old San Francisco – the one so many nostalgics yearn for – had buildings that related well to each other. — Herb Caen

I don’t worry about anything in the Internet age. I have been online since I was aware of it: 1985 in San Francisco. It has changed everything in my life. I would not want to even be alive in an era that did not have it because it is essential to our evolution as a species. — Augusten Burroughs

I did this movie with Spike Lee called ‘Sucker Free City,’ and that would have to be my favorite role by far. It was just so much fun to work with Spike and shoot in San Francisco. — Anthony Mackie

It’s a chicken-and-egg thing. You could send cards to everyone in San Francisco, but if the merchants don’t have the terminals, what’s the point? What you need is a cooperative effort with merchants in a metropolitan area to create a tipping point where you can justify advertising and merchants are willing to attempt this new payment system. — David Robertson

As Mayor, I will use my experience to make San Francisco a place where small businesses can thrive — Gavin Newsom

San Francisco is a mad city – inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of a remarkable beauty. — Rudyard Kipling

San Francisco is one of the great cultural plateaus of the world – one of the really urbane communities in the United States – one of the truly cosmopolitan places and for many, many years, it always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world — Duke Ellington

San Francisco has always been my favorite booing city. I don’t mean the people boo louder or longer, but there is a very special intimacy. When they boo you, you know they mean you. Music, that’s what it is to me. One time in Kezar Stadium they gave me a standing boo. — George Halas

It wasn’t until I went to college and met different people from different areas of life – and then went to San Francisco and met people who really knew who the hell they were – that I kind of caught up in a hurry. — Patton Oswalt

Nothing important has ever come out of San Francisco, Rice-a-Roni aside. — Michael O’Donoghue

I was doing experimental theater and experimental film in San Francisco, and I moved to Los Angeles, and what I got frustrated with was, it seemed like everyone was waiting for something to happen. Obviously, films take a lot of planning, and I wanted something more immediate, and comedy started to become that. — Amy Seimetz

When the Chinese first came to San Francisco, they were actually welcomed by the mayor and they had special ceremonies for them-again this is when their colony was very small, only a few Chinese. — Iris Chang

But oh, San Francisco! It is and has everything – you wouldn’t think that such a place as San Francisco could exist. — Dylan Thomas

We closed the restaurant in New Orleans and brought the entire staff to San Francisco. But we had to go home. — Paul Prudhomme

I grew up near the sea in British Columbia and San Francisco, and lived in Malibu and Fiji for years. I get uncomfortable being too far inland. — Raymond Burr

I was sitting on a plane that is traveling towards Seattle. And the guy next to me turns and says to me Hey, you going to Seattle?. Nope, San Francisco… I’ll be parachuting off in about an hour. Here’s your sign! — Bill Engvall

Thank you … San Francisco. All right, you’re ruining the show. Thank you … for clapping for what my parents are ashamed of. — Daniel Tosh

I hope I go to Heaven, and when I do, I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does when he gets there. He looks around and says, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’ — Herb Caen

Our album ‘Show No Mercy’ came out in late ’83, and we did three or four shows in San Francisco after the release. That was our first experience with stage-divers, crowd-surfing, people walking on people across an entire crowd. — Tom Araya

I used to be a street singer in San Francisco. — Gedde Watanabe

To my great surprise, Twitter is not housed in a silver pod that orbits Earth at supersonic speeds, vacuuming up and then dispersing digital bits of worldwide chitchat; it’s in a big, bland office building in downtown San Francisco, near a bowling alley and an Old Navy. — Susan Orlean

San Francisco is perhaps the most European of all American cities — Cecil Beaton

I think San Francisco is the best place in the whole world for an easy life. — Imogen Cunningham

I grew up in San Francisco in the 1970s. We were part of a church that belonged to the California Jesus movement. — Sara Zarr

I woke up full of hate and fear the day before the most recent peace march in San Francisco. This was disappointing: I’d hoped to wake up feeling somewhere between Virginia Woolf and Wavy Gravy. — Anne Lamott

If you’re brave enough to try, you might be able to catch a train from UnLondon to Parisn’t, or No York, or Helsunki, or Lost Angeles, or Sans Francisco, or Hong Gone, or Romeless. — China Mieville

You can go one block to the next in San Francisco and get a completely different opinion of what the issue is. — Don Johnson

Back in the 60s, San Francisco artists lived in communes. — Gedde Watanabe

I have no desire to go back to San Francisco. — Sara Zarr

But of course there’s no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. It’s the work of fairies, elves, happy children with new crayons — Dave Eggers

We tend to prefer candidates that don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. — Sarah Palin

So, we just kind of created our own thing and that’s part of the beauty of Athens: is that it’s so off the map and there’s no way you could ever be the East Village or an L.A. scene or a San Francisco scene, that it just became its own thing. — Michael Stipe

It was my friend Frank, a writer in San Francisco, who finally set me straight. When asked about my new look he put down his fork and stared at me for a few moments. A bow tie announces to the world you can no longer get an erection. — David Sedaris

Most things in San Francisco can be bought or taken. — Dashiell Hammett

It’s funny, but when there are dominant teams, there are a number of people who rail about the fact that they’re always seeing the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers or the Green Bay either in the playoffs or in the Super Bowl. — Al Michaels

I began my show business career playing violin in San Francisco at the corner of Market and Taylor. I understand that there is a theater there now. — Jack Benny

San Francisco lags behind other communities in providing a vital, vibrant and ecologically sustainable urban canopy, as well as open space in the city. — Gavin Newsom

A madhouse of frenzied moneymaking and frenzied pleasure-seeking, with none of the corners chipped off. It is beautifully situatedand the air reminds one curiously of Edinburgh. — Aleister Crowley

I love San Francisco and Brighton has something of San Francisco about it. It’s by the sea, there’s a big gay community, a feeling of people being there because they enjoy their life there. — Brian Eno

San Francisco is really fun and liberal, and it’s my kind of politics. It’s like being Jewish in front of Jewish people. — Elayne Boosler

I got out of college and I went to get my master’s in creative writing at San Francisco State. I was working as an actor at the Actor’s Workshop, being abused as a intern. — Peter Coyote

These people, as far as I can see, do not congregate in the notorious centers of the movement, like the North Beach in San Francisco or Greenwich Village, or Venice, California. — Alan Watts

I used to travel in tennis shoes; I am just not allowed to anymore. I’m an old hippie from San Francisco. — Amy Irving

Most inspiration still comes from bicycling around San Francisco. This city never fails to inspire me. It is one of the most vibrant cities – especially visually – with a constant influx of young energy arriving daily. I love it. — Barry McGee

My sister and I were born in San Francisco. When our parents died, we came down here to live with relatives. — Freddy Fender

It is hardly fair to blame America for the state of San Francisco, for its population is cosmopolitan and its seaport attracts the floating vice of the Pacific; but be the cause what it may, there is much room for spiritual betterment. — Arthur Conan Doyle

There’s no style, nobody dresses up-you can’t be chic [in San Francisco] — Danielle Steel

As Mayor, I will lead city government, businesses, and community groups to support innovative projects that will make San Francisco streets and public places vibrant and healthy — Gavin Newsom

People come from internally, from other places in the United States, but also displaced people from other parts of the world. They come here. If you walk in the streets of San Francisco, you hear all the languages. You smell all the foods. You listen to the music from everywhere. There’s great diversity. — Isabel Allende

San Francisco is a city with the assets of a metropolis without the disadvantages of size and industry. — Jack Kenny

San Francisco leads the world in the category of Most People On The Sidewalk Holding Conversations With Purely Imaginary Companions. — Dave Barry

My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes. She sees those who have died and now dwell in the world of Yin, ghosts who leave the mists just to visit her kitchen on Balboa Street in San Francisco. — Amy Tan

San Francisco is the only city in America where marijuana is legal but plastic bags are not. — Conan O’Brien

East is East, and West is San Francisco, according to Californians. Californians are a race of people; they are not merely inhabitants of a State. — O. Henry

Cultural tourism surveys consistently rate San Francisco’s art industry as a core reason for visiting — Gavin Newsom

In all my travels I have never seen the hospitality of San Francisco equalled anywhere in the world. — Conrad Hilton

I messed around in high school, but I pretty much put it away until I did a television show in San Francisco. — Gary Cole

This morning, due to a massive storm, at least 150,000 people in San Francisco were left without power. Of course, people in San Francisco without power are usually called Republicans. — Conan O’Brien

What I learned with tech companies is I gotta give people room to experiment, and also to make what might later on be a mistake. This is the attitude I want to build within San Francisco – give some time to the tech community. — Ed Lee

if there is one place in the United States where private styles make up for public images, it is San Francisco, where all lapsed lovers of America, even loyalists like me experiencing spasms of disillusionment, should be taken for refresher courses. The tides of all-American conformity beat vainly against the San Franciscan rock. — Jan Morris

Already renewable energy advocates are noting that the 42 miles of above-ground right-of-way between Yosemite and the city could be fitted with enough solar panels to generate at least 40 megawatts per year – a proposal the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has never seriously considered because they currently aren’t required to do so. — Matt Gonzalez

There are plans for a new high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It will make the trip time 30 minutes. People in L.A. are like, Yes! And people in San Francisco are like, Yeah, sure, great. We look forward to seeing you. — Craig Ferguson

I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic didn’t mushroom and envelope the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive. — Grace Slick

I didn’t really start writing music or lyrics or turning them into songs until I went to San Francisco. — Jello Biafra

it still astounds me, after forty years, that there is no good bread between Chicago and San Francisco. — Jane Smiley

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. Cesar Chavez Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984 — Cesar Chavez

Left the ranch in 1883, went to California, going through the States and territories, reached Ogden the latter part of 1883, and San Francisco in 1884. — Calamity Jane

I grew up in San Francisco. And so I’m informed in a certain kind of way about, you know, believing in democracy and believing in America. And I’m a very ardent patriot. — George Lucas

San Francisco has long been a leader in the arts, nurturing generations of painters, sculptors, poets, novelists, playwrights, film-makers, and performing artists and innovators of every kind. — Gavin Newsom

When I was younger I did things with a camera I would not do by myself. I went down to the docks in San Francisco and asked a fisherman if he would take me out on his boat. I would never do that without a camera. — Annie Leibovitz

Google has already tested robot cars in San Francisco. If they can navigate San Francisco, they can probably manage just about anywhere. — Norman Foster

San Francisco has just blown us all away. I also understand Angels in America didn’t do well there. — Chita Rivera

San Francisco is one of my favourite cities in the world…I would probably rank it at the top or near the top. It’s small but photogenic and has layers…You never have problems finding great angles that people have never done. — Ang Lee

The first year I started in San Francisco, there was an American work on every program and there’s been a lot of music by living composers and gradually that was part of the process of getting the audience really to trust me. — Michael Tilson Thomas

In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on. I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco. — Brian Chesky

From the time I moved to San Francisco in 1967 to play with the Steve Miller Band, there was a lot of support in the music community for one cause or another, but this one was special because it was put on by people who understood where musicians hearts are. — Boz Scaggs

Many people in San Francisco know me, and they know my persistence. — Cindy Sheehan

We recognize that the arts are an essential part of San Francisco’s cultural vitality. — Gavin Newsom

During the 1990s, San Francisco lived through one of the most intense economic booms of its history — Gavin Newsom

I worked at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, lived there for three years, and lived in Baltimore for 12 years. — Wendell Pierce

San Francisco has a flowers-in-your-hair kind of vibe, while Chicago’s got this very funny, big-city/small-town coolness to it. — Dave Matthews

San Francisco is gone. Nothing remains of it but memories. — Jack London

I grew up in northern California in a town called Fairfield, which is kind of exactly between San Francisco and Sacramento, a small suburb. And I’m the youngest of five children. — Tracy K. Smith

Well, I started conducting kind of by accident. I wanted to give myself a special birthday present for my fortieth birthday, and I was living in San Francisco at the time and I started attending some of the concerts and then simply dropping hints. — Bobby McFerrin

I got lucky. I won the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition in 1977 while I was still at San Francisco State. — Dana Carvey

The cool parts – the parts that have won Dubai its reputation as ‘the Vegas of the Middle East’ or ‘the Venice of the Middle East’ or ‘the Disney World of the Middle East, if Disney World were the size of San Francisco and out in a desert’ – have been built in the last ten years. — George Saunders

I’m working class, my family was working class, and we have struggled the same way our neighbors here in San Francisco have struggled. — Cindy Sheehan

I was at a benefit for some imprisoned students in the ’60s at San Francisco State, and there were lots of poets reading for the benefit: one was Elizabeth Bishop. — Thom Gunn

Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me. — Anthony Bourdain

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