Tripper of the Week: Jonathan Oei, Bay Area Foodie

Jonathan Oei is a San-Francisco based Tripper who loves discovering the best local foods, music and social media. He is our Tripper of the Week...

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi my name is Jonathan. I graduated last year from the University of California, Riverside and currently am residing in the beautiful city of San Francisco. I love social media, bay area sports, music/songwriting, and discovering where the best food is at!

My personal belief is that since our world is so vast and people groups so diverse, there is tremendous value and fulfillment in curious exploration. Creating meaningful cross-cultural bonds will change the landscape of racism and indifference and highlight similarities we have as a human race.

On your travels around North America and Asia what have been some of your favorite places to visit?

Hong Kong was really awesome because of the vibrant and busy nightlife, amazing street food, and streetwear/fashion scene. The MTR subway system is very fast and efficient and using the octopus card to get around is a must!

You are passionate about the awesomeness of San Francisco. What are some of the places you love to take first-time visitors?

I have taken many friends on an unofficial tour of San Francisco and the two must-see places are Baker Beach and Twin Peaks. Baker Beach is arguably the cleanest beach in SF with a direct view of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a sunny day in San Francisco, its a cool place to hang out and relax with good friends. Twin Peaks (although touristy) provides amazing sights of the entire city skyline and is great for panoramic photos. San Francisco is a dream come true for foodies and for those with a sweet tooth, we have some of the best ice cream parlors around. Ride the cable car as well, it's as iconic a thing as you can do in San Francisco.

Food Recommendations: El Casillito, San Tung, Shanghai Dumpling House, Sam Wo, Burma SuperStar, the House, Art's Cafe, Katan-Ya, Tommaso, Turtle Tower

Dessert Recommendations: Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous, Smitten, Bi-Rite, Humphrey Slocombe, Marco Polo, Polly Ann, Mitchell's, Swensen's.

Enjoying the local cuisine is one of your favorite aspects of travel. Pick any of your favorite foodie destinations and give us the scoop on the best food you discovered there.

New York was my favorite place to visit in the States not only because of the breathtaking sights but because it is a 'food mecca.' Some of the most delicious, unique, and diverse restaurants are in New York and to say the least, my stomach was WELL fed during my stay there. A four day trip was not enough to see and experience everything and in terms of the food scene, I BARELY scratched the tip of the iceberg.

Food recommendations: Bleeker Street Pizza, Penelope, Katz's Deli, Ippudo, Curry-Ya, Vanessa's Dumpling House.

I shall return, New York. I shall return.

What has been the most memorable experience you've had in connecting with local people during your travels?

A majority of my family is back in Indonesia and once in a while I get the opportunity to go back and visit. In Indonesia, it's normal for families there to have a chauffeur to drive for them; and during my stay in 2005, I was able to get to know a driver whom I called "Pa Yanto." At that time, I was a teenager still figuring out future college plans and I was fortunate enough to be given a dose of perspective by Pa Yanto. He shared with me how tough it was living there with various problems and especially tough having to support a family but most importantly, he emphasized how great of an opportunity it is to be living in America and to never take that for granted. It's conversations like these that stick with you. I try my best to live by those words in gratefulness. Sadly I do not have a picture with Pa Yanto, but this is a picture of a traditional motor car to get around Jakarta.

What makes you most excited to be a Tripper?

There is a ton of potential with a community such as Tripping. I love how it acts as a bridge or liaison between diverse, sometimes polarized, cultures. The opportunity to get a local's point of view is what excites me and I absolutely plan to connect using Tripping during my future travels.

Where are you most looking forward to travel next?

I have never visited Europe so backpacking across the main European cities is something I have been dreaming of and would like to check off of my bucket list. From looking at pictures, cities such as London, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Florence, and Milan look breathtaking. Being a musician myself, I would like to create a music blog of my travels and outdoor performances in the presence of these wonderful locations.

Attending outdoor performances in amazing locations all over Europe sounds amazing.

Safe travels Jonathan and we hope you can connect with some cool Trippers along the way!

Visiting San Francisco? Connect with Jonathan via his Tripping profile.