These 5 Things Scream “I’m From San Francisco.” How Many Do You Do?

San Francisco, with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, historical cable cars, and vibrant culture, is a city many hold dear.

But while many have come to call it home, there are tell-tale signs that distinguish a true local from a transplant. Based on insights from a native posted on a popular forum, here’s how you can spot someone who truly hails from the heart of “The City.”

It’s Always “The City”

Locals never call it “Frisco” Credit: Bay Area Telegraph

Never San Francisco, never SF, and certainly not Frisco. Locals have a deep-seated tradition of referring to their beloved hometown simply as “The City.”

It’s a mark of pride, a nod to the uniqueness of the place they come from. If you hear someone use this term casually in conversation, chances are, they have San Francisco roots.

The High School Test

This one’s a quirky identifier, but it’s surprisingly accurate. When San Franciscans ask, “Where did you go to school?”, they’re almost always referring to high school, not college.

Mention your alma mater, and you might get a nod of approval. But cite your college, and you’ve just outed yourself as a non-local. This tradition, however, is fading, as native San Franciscans become rarer.

Fog is Just Fog

Embrace the fog! Credit: Bay Area Telegraph

To many outsiders, San Francisco’s fog has taken on a persona of its own, affectionately named “Karl the Fog.” While it’s a playful way for some to personify the city’s frequent misty companion, to locals, the fog is just a natural phenomenon. No names, no mascots, just the refreshing, cooling blanket that rolls in.

The Ever-Present Fleece

Even on sunny days, expect a fleece. Credit: Bay Area Telegraph

San Francisco’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. A sunny morning can quickly turn into a chilly afternoon. Hence, the locals have learned to always be prepared. Spot someone carrying or wearing a fleece on a seemingly warm day? They’re probably from San Francisco.

The Evolution of “The Typical San Franciscan”

The city has seen waves of people come and go, each bringing their own flavor and adding to the city’s rich tapestry. It’s ironic, then, that the concept of a ‘typical San Franciscan’ is in flux. Historically, being from “The City” was a unique badge of honor, a claim that one hailed from somewhere truly magical.

Today, with the influx of new residents moving to San Francisco, the definition of a typical San Franciscan is ever-evolving, but the pride remains.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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