The Weekly Getaway: San Francisco "Summer of Love"
Trying to escape New York’s heat, I took a flight to San Francisco wishing I could find some fresh air, sea views and good food. And indeed I found what I was looking for! The San Francisco weather is ideal at this time of the year, not too cold, not too warm, the perfect balance to climb 80-degree steep hills all day long!
Known as “the City by the Bay”, San Francisco is arguably the most cosmopolitan and bohemian city in America. It is also one of the most beautiful, with its pretty houses and hilly streets providing beautiful views of the bay.
In the ’60s, San Francisco was known for its hippie counterculture; in the ’90s, it was the dot-com boom; more recently, it was the ripening of the Bay Area food movement (for our greatest happiness).
- Hayes Valley - trendy fashion boutiques, SoHo-style funky art galleries, high-end interior-decorating shops, top-notch restaurants and hip nightspots.
- Mission District - the center of Latin culture in San Francisco. Valencia Street, two blocks west, has become the domain of nouveau riche techies. There you will find many galleries, murals, indie bookstores and local-designer shops.
- Mid-Market - the seven-block stretch of Market Street, between Van Ness and 5th Street, is relishing renewed vitality, with the openings of killer markets, restaurants and bars.
- Dogpatch - three years ago, the Museum of Craft and Design moved to this area and since then it has become a hub for creative industries. You have to visit The Minnesota Street Project, a three-building complex between 23rd and 24th Streets that includes 35,000 square feet of gallery space and 22,000 square feet of subsidized studio space, opened in spring as a refuge for artists who have been priced out of gentrifying neighborhoods.
- Russian Hill - astonishingly beautiful city and bay views from many angles, hidden staircases, and cozy restaurants. Walk by Lombard Street, the crookedest and most famous street in San Francisco.
- SFMoMa - amazing collection of modern and contemporary art. On view through October 9, 2017: “Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed”.
- De Young - a modern art museum located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
- Golden Gate Park - world famous park, visit the traditional Japanese tea garden and the botanical garden.
- Lombard Street - “the crookedest street in the World”!
- Stroll around Pacific Heights and Broadway Street to discover the most expensive neighborhood in United States. This area is filled with gorgeous Victorian homes and views toward the Bay.
- Green Apple Books - famous bookstore.
- Swan Oyster Depot - classic seafood spot run by the same family for over a century.
- Le Cavalier - an all-day London-inspired brasserie adjacent to the Zetta Hotel. Amazing brunch (especially the pancakes).
- Leo’s Oysters Bar - located in the Financial District this seafood restaurant is known for its good cocktails and its midcentury retro glamour decoration. The designers have described the place as “1950s Beverly Hills meets Manhattan club.” Leo’s menu is based on seafood, I would recommend taking some oysters, followed by some Caviar, crème fraîche and Truffled beet Pancake, a Japanese Hamachi, and a Warm Buttered Lobster Roll.
- Dragon Beaux restaurant - Chinese gem located in Richmond. The restaurant offers hot pot with top quality meats, seafood and veggies. The better quality meal is the dim sum!
- Cockscomb - this two-floor restaurant in SoMa by chef Chris Cosentino of Top Chef Masters. Expect cornish game hen, bacon chop with charred peaches, and dandelion greens and beef heart tartare.
- A Mano - an Italian restaurant in Hayes Valley with an emphasis on handmade pasta.
- Alta Ca - industrial feel, Michelin two star chef.
- Lazy Bear - the menu is always changing, but expect dishes to be along the lines of rabbit with stinging nettles.
- Liholiho Yacht Club - a Hawaiian restaurant with Japanese, Indian, and Korean influences. Think festive, shareable dishes.
- 20th Century Café - elegant vintage-style café and bakery in Hayes Valley.
- Le Marais Bakery - might be San Francisco’s best French patisserie. The shop is cute with stylish design details.
- Plow - a neighborhood restaurant with good food and elegant decor. The best way to sample Plow’s menu is by ordering its namesake dish. The Plow ($14.50) comes with two eggs, your choice of meat, two small lemon ricotta pancakes and Plow’s signature potatoes. Plow is popular and doesn't accept reservations. So at peak times, prepare to wait. And wait.
- Top of the Mark - breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge from the penthouse lounge.
- Novela Bar - a literary themed cocktail bar in Downtown San Francisco. Seasonal ingredients and literary heroes inspire the cocktail menu.
- Redwood Room - located on the ground floor of the Clift Hotel this Art Deco bar was remodeled by Philippe Starck.
- Twenty Five Lusk - in the center of SoMa’s dynamic startuo scene, this formerbrick and timber warehouse draws an high-powered crowd.
- El Techo - one of the most popular bars in San Francisco. El Techo is located at the top of restaurant Lolinda. Amazing city views, delicious cocktails and Latin American street food.
- Marianne's - intimate speakeasy and private bar set behind The Cavalier.