The title of this book baffles me. Is there some Governing Board of Guides to Cities which can issue the "official" label? Is this guide unauthorized by the city of San Francisco for revealing super-secret insider information and tips?
Sadly, no. This is a pretty basic, no-frills guide to the city. The worst part about it is that it uses thick paper, a large font, and rambling paragraphs to present information. It comes in twice as thick as other guidebooks, and offers no extra information for that extra bulk. However, there is some good information in here, including some background and travel tips I didn't find in other guides.
As a general rule, I don't believe that there is one-size-fits all guidebook, and when I travel, I get an arsenal of books and select the top three to use on the road. This guide should be a part of your pre-trip planning, but it is not a good choice for the one book you tuck in your purse or backpack for a week in the city. The book follows a pretty standard format, opening with history, times of year to visit, accommodation selection, and then tips on getting around. Bonus sections not found in other guidebooks include details for business travelers, the most detail on public transportation that I have found in any book, and an extensive section on excursions to locales in the surrounding area outside the city proper.
The book is heavy on restaurant profiles and reviews, almost at the expense of details on attractions and entertainment. Most guidebooks have the opposite split--heavy on attractions, light on the restaurants--so this actually makes a good companion to a book such as the Lonely Planet guide to San Francisco.