15 San Francisco Tourist Traps And Scams (And How To Avoid Them)

List Rules
San Francisco locals: vote up the worst traps and scams tourists should avoid.

San Francisco is a great place to visit, but if you're not careful, you could be overwhelmed by San Francisco tourist traps. These San Francisco scams are all over the place if you know where to look, and thankfully, the locals are giving directions. Hopefully with their guidance, you'll learn how to avoid tourist traps in San Francisco.


  • 1
    7 VOTES

    China Town

    From Redditor u/Clancita4:

    Tourists tend to flock to Chinatown and fisherman’s wharf. Avoid! The Sunset and Richmond are only a few miles away and very family-friendly. It’s a shame we don’t have better public transportation so this gets overlooked a lot by people new to town. Ocean Beach and all of Golden Gate Park are so underrated!

  • 2
    7 VOTES

    The Cheap Food Trap

    From Redditor u/omgar:

    "House Made Rice Pudding" from Loving Cup is literally just Kozy Shack Rice Pudding. I watched an employee pull out a bulk Kozy Shack container and pour it out onto one of their own trays. Please, save yourself some money and go to your nearest grocery store. You can even buy some Oreo's and crumble them up yourself.

  • 3
    5 VOTES

    Asking For Gas Money

    From Redditor u/Ashebolt:

    When someone approaches you with the "I need money for ... " [grift], just a quick "sorry bro" usually gets them to leave you alone. I find that if they don't think they can get money from you, they leave pretty quickly.

    Or offer to pay for his gas with your CC and see the disappointment on his face.

  • 4
    5 VOTES

    Rental Cars Without State Plates

    From Redditor u/celestial_flame:

    DO NOT get a rental car without state plates. this will make it obvious that you’re a tourist/from out of town and will make you a target for a car break-in.

  • 5
    5 VOTES

    Tenderloin And SOMA

    From Redditor u/lilstar88:

    Avoid the Tenderloin and parts of SOMA as they are tourist traps. Never ever ever leave anything in your car.

  • 6
    5 VOTES

    Italian Restaurants In SF

    From Redditor u/cheweychewchew:

    Many Italian restaurants claim to make their own sauces and pasta. Some are legit, but usually, they are all pre-made from SYSCO and other food distros.