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cityguide

A publicAtion of

2015

San FranciSco
Marin
EaSt Bay
napa/SonoMa
MontErEy/carMEl
Santa cruz

©PHIL COBLENTZ/SFCVB

Destinations

16
162

San Francisco Neighborhoods

Each is like its own mini village within the
city. Introduction by Gary Kamiya

Beyond the Bridges

Day trip? Marin County, the East Bay
and Silicon Valley buzz with nature,
good eats, and top attractions.

188

Getaways

World-class wine, the rugged coast,
and good old-fashioned family fun—
it’s all a short drive from San Francisco.

©STEVE SIRI

2 | Cityguide 2015

JOURNEY THROUGH A

RAINFOREST
OUTER SPACE AND THE DEEP SEA
all in one day

Tropical Adventures:
Happening Daily
Explore Borneo, Madagascar,
Costa Rica and the Amazon
Step inside a 4-story rainforest dome at the only
aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum.
Get tickets at calacademy.org

Listings

50

CULTURE

The wealth of offerings will suit every taste,
from curious kids (visit the new, world-class
Exploratorium), to fine art enthusiasts, gallery hounds, or those who want a taste of
Broadway.

64

ENTERTAINMENT

Laugh, watch, dance, listen: Fun comes
in many forms at San Francisco’s comedy
clubs, cinemas, live music venues, and
dance clubs.

70

FOOD

San Francisco has more restaurants per
resident than any other city in the country.
You’ll find something delicious here, we
guarantee.

110

110

MAGNOLIA BREWERY

DRINKS

Boozy brunch, craft beer, artisanal cocktails,
and, of course, wine—we have it pretty
good in the Bay Area when it comes to
adult sipping.

118

SHOPPING

Looking for something? It’s here, whether
from a department store, specialty boutique, or locally made by a pioneering
San Francisco business.

144

ADVENTURE

RESOURCES
12 Concierge Confidential: Hotel
know-it-alls share their top secrets
46 San Francisco city map
206 Bay Area regional map
207 Advertiser index
208 Getting Around

188

TRAVEL NORTH TO NAPA

4 | Cityguide 2015

©ERIC WOLFINGER; ©TARA LUZ STEVENS; ©COURTESY NAPA VALLEY CVB

Take to the air in a helicopter, cruise or
kayak on the bay, ride a bike, or explore
on foot with a guided tour. There are sites
worth seeing in every corner of the city.

37

THE EMBARCADERO

OYSTER PERPETUAL E XPLORER

rolex

oyster perpetual and explorer are trademarks.

puBliSher’S
noteS

Welcome to San FranciSco
You’re in for the time of your life. But I’ll warn you: There’s no way to leave this amazing city feeling like you’ve done all there is to do, seen all the sights, or tasted all of the
fresh local flavors in a single trip—or even in multiple visits. Frankly, it’s impossible to
do even if you live here: I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge multiple times per day and
every time I’m still amazed by it’s beauty and iconic presence. So how do you make the
most of your stay in the city by the bay? Best to get advice from those who know it
best—the locals. We asked hotel know-it-alls for their best tips (Concierge Confidential,
page 12), and throughout this guide, the editors of San Francisco magazine share their
favorite spots in the Editor’s Picks sections. Enjoy your trip, and come back soon. —Paul
Paul Reulbach, Publisher, San Francisco magazine

Keeping the
Bay lightS lit
In 2013, 25,000 white LED lights were
installed on the Bay Bridge for artist Leo
Villareal’s pulsating light sculpture, The
Bay Lights. The lights are scheduled to
dim in March of 2015, but there’s been
a local movement to bring them back in
early 2016 (in time to celebrate Levi’s
Stadium’s hosting of Super Bowl 50)
and make them a permanent fixture. So
if you do miss the spectacle this visit,
rest assured the lights will shine again.

Want the

ViSitor’S tip: the DiFFerence
BetWeen our Vintage carS
A handful of other cities around the world use vintage cars in their public transit
systems, but only San Francisco uses two types: streetcars and cable cars. No, they’re
not the same. Streetcars, like this F-Line 1948 car (pictured at bottom), are powered via
overhead electrical wires. Cable cars, like the No. 52 California Street (pictured at top),
have a mechanical grip that latches onto one of four underground cables. The cables
are powered by a central powerhouse at Washigton and Mason Streets (location of the
Cable Car Museum), and course beneath the streets at a steady 9.5 miles per hour.
6 | Cityguide 2015

lateSt?
FinD local neWS anD
reStaurant reVieWS From
San FranciSco magazine,
anD Sign up For our e-neWSletterS at SanFranmag.com.
FolloW uS on tWitter
@SanFranmag

cityguide
EDITOR
DEsIgn DIRECTOR
assIsTanT EDITOR anD wRITER
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COnTRIBUTIng wRITERs

COnTRIBUTIng PHOTOgRaPHERs

Loren Mooney
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Gary Kamiya, Scott Lucas, Lauren
Murrow, Jenna Scatena, Josh Sens,
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OnlInE
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All rights to the contents of this publication are owned in full by Modern
Luxury Media. San Francisco magazine’s Cityguide may not be reproduced
in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Views
expressed herein are those of the authors and advertisers and do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of the ownership or the management of the
publication. Contents © 2015. All rights reserved.
On THE COvER

The F Market street Pacific Electric historic streetcar. Read more about
San Francisco’s classic streetcars and cable cars (and the difference
between them) on page 6. PhotograPh by steve siri

JACK LONDON SQUARE

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A FERRY
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RIGHT BY THE
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WWW.ROSENBLUMCELLARS.COM

Modern Luxury
regionaL SaLeS officeS
Aspen
P.o. Box 4577
aspen, co 81611
970-300-3071
contact: alan Klein
AtlAntA
3280 Peachtree rd. ne,
Ste. 2300
atlanta, ga 30305
404-443-0004
contact: d’anne Heckert

publisher
AssociAte publisher
cityguide Account mAnAger
senior Account speciAlist
Account executives

chicAgo
200 W. Hubbard St.
chicago, iL 60654
312-274-2500
contact: John carroll
dAllAs
3090 olive St.,
West Victory Plaza, Ste. 430
dallas, Tx 75219
214-647-5671
contact: Blake Stephenson

Wine director
mArketing director
mArketing & events mAnAger
mArketing coordinAtor
office mAnAger
mArketing intern

Paul J. Reulbach
Lynette Elliott
Jennifer Bronson
Cyndi Connors
Michelle Balance, Michael
Earls, Kasper Koczab, Iain
Maissen, Adam Shandobil,
Ashley Stuparich
Ian White
Katie Prevost
Riley Manlapaz
Whitney Blackwell
Sosha Young
Dina Khoury

hAWAii
1001 Bishop St., Ste. 900
Honolulu, Hi 96813
808-924-6622
contact: Meredith Low
houston
4203 yoakum Blvd., Ste. 300
Houston, Tx 77006
713-622-1116
contact: Peter c. remington
los Angeles
10250 constellation Blvd.,
Ste. 2710
Los angeles, ca 90067
424-253-3200
contact: chris gialanella
miAmi
3930 ne 2nd ave., Ste. 201
Miami, fL 33137
305-341-2799
contact: diana riser
neW york
7 W. 51st St., 8th fl.
new york, ny 10019
212-582-4440
contact: andrea greeven douzet
orAnge county
3200 Bristol St., Ste. 150
costa Mesa, ca 92626
714-557-2700
contact: chris gialanella
sAn diego
875 Prospect St., Ste. 300
La Jolla, ca 92037
858-366-9721
contact: Jessica cline
scottsdAle
6991 e. camleback rd., Ste. c-310
Scottsdale, aZ 85251
408-522-2200
contact: Michael Hiatt
WAshington, d.c.
4400 Jenifer St. nW
Washington, d.c. 20015
202-408-5665
contact: Peter abrahams

chAirmAn
chief executive officer
vp editoriAl
executive vp & co-coo
executive vp & co-coo
chief finAnciAl officer
generAl counsel
svp & group publisher
publisher, nAtionAl sAles
AssociAte publisher, nAtionAl mArketing
vp mAnufActuring
distribution AdministrAtor

Lew Dickey
Michael Dickey
Beth Weitzman
John Dickey
Jon Pinch
JP Hannan
Richard Denning
Marcy Bloom
Michael Wolfe
Tracy Monahan
Sean Bertram
Amanda Higgins

director of production
& creAtive services
production mAnAger
AssociAte production mAnAger
Art director
senior designer
Advertising & mArketing designers

mArketing coordinAtors
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Account coordinAtors

speciAl sections coordinAtor
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Web developer
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senior digitAl imAging speciAlist
digitAl imAging mAnAgers
vp & corporAte controller
Accounting mAnAger
business mAnAgers

Erin Quinn
Tim Maxwell
Kari Compean
Madeleine Hannes
Caroline T. Kjos
Magen Farrar-Onak,
Genevieve Horton, Lauren
Ortigoza, Skyler Still
Amanda Failla,
Andrea Watts
Rachel Weil
Lisa Brahm, Alexandra Knerly,
Megan Laudenslager,
Katie Vaughn
Lia Crawford
Chris Beck
James Alsup
Mike Poisel
Doug Ringwald
Joseph Lekas
Doug Kisela, Sarah Vaun
James Rouse
J. Lynne Wilson Jenkins
William Poythress,
Carla Reddick

San Francisco’s Premier
Gallery of Fine Art

Andy Warhol
Superman

Marc Chagall
Roses and Mimosa

Anne Faith Nicholls
Surrender Your Th oughts

Pablo Picasso
Portrait of Jacqueline, b.1065

Sam Francis
Untitled, sfp94109

Erté
Deco

Liudmila Kondakova
City of Dreams

Keith Haring
Radiant Baby

Philippe Bertho
Odile Lemoy

Frederick Hart
Th e Kiss

Douglas Hofmann
Bird of Paradise

Robert Deyber
Bad Hare Day

Roy Lichtenstein
Crying Girl

Kerry Hallam
San Francisco

Mr. Brainwash
Einstein

Takashi Murakami
And then, And then…

MartinsLawrence Galleries
366 Geary Street, San Francisco (in Union Square) 415.956.0345
www.martinlawrence.com h geary@martinlawrence.com

CONCIERGE CONFIDENTIAL

IT’S REALLY NO WONDER
WHY PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR
HEARTS HERE


CONCIERGE

CONFIDENTIAL
TOM WOLFE

S

an Francisco is known as a place of invention, from blue jeans to
Twitter, but it also stakes claim to a lesser-known innovation: the
hotel concierge. When Tom Wolfe, trained in Europe as a concierge, landed a job in 1973 at the Fairmont San Francisco, there was no
such thing as a concierge in this country. Wolfe is credited with bringing
the tradition of individualized guest service to the city, where it eventually expanded nationwide.

Today you can see your hotel concierge for advice on restaurants, tours,
shopping spots, and sites to see. To give you a head start, we asked
more than 100 Bay Area concierges to give us the unvarnished truth in an
anonymous survey. What’s overrated? What lives up to the hype? What
are your secret favorite places? Here’s a sampling of what they told us.

©COURTESY SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION

HERE IN THE
BIRTHPLACE OF
THE CONCIERGE
AS WE KNOW IT,
WE ASKED LOCAL
HOTEL KNOW-ITALLS FOR THEIR
BEST SECRETS
AND FAVORITE
UNDER-THERADAR PLACES.
ENJOY.

MAJOR ATTRACTION THAT TRULY

LIVES UP TO THE HYPE
A STROLL OVER THE
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
FOR AN UNPARALLELED
VIEW OF THE MOST
GORGEOUS SKYLINE
IN THE COUNTRY AS
THE FOG ROLLS IN.

A RIDE ON THE POWELL/HYDE
CABLE CAR UP AND OVER RUSSIAN
AND NOB HILLS AND THROUGH
THE NEIGHBORHOODS.

12 | Cityguide 2015

THE CABLE CAR MUSEUM IS AMAZING

HAYES VALLEY “One-of-a-kind shopping,
intriguing farm-to-fire-to-feast local cuisine
and great people watching, all in a quirky,
artsy neighborhood.”
INNER RICHMOND “Clement Street has
so much to offer, like beloved Green Apple
Books, Chapeau! bistro, B Star bar, Café
Bunn Mi, and Good Luck Dim Sum.”

FAVORITE

MOST OUTLANDISH

QUESTION YOU’VE EVER BEEN ASKED

SAN FRANCISCO
NEIGHBORHOOD

MOST OVERRATED

PLACE EVERYONE WANTS TO GO
• LOMBARD STREET

• GARY DANKO RESTAURANT
• GOLDEN GATE FORTUNE COOKIE
FACTORY (“A TAD OVERRATED”)

“Where’s the Chili’s (or Outback Steakhouse, or P.F. Changs)? Thank goodness we
do not have many chain restaurants here in
San Francisco!”

“Can you get me a reservation at the French
Laundry in Napa—for today?”
“I often get asked if I can arrange over night
stay at Alcatraz. Why anyone would want to
spend the night in an abandoned prison still
puzzles me.”

THE FILBERT STEPS
TO COIT TOWER.
“HARD, BUT
WORTH IT.”
THE 16TH AVENUE TILED
STEPS in the Inner Sunset
(tiledsteps.org). “The most
beautiful steps in the city.”
THE BATTERIES TO BLUFFS
TRAIL in the Presidio. “Some
of the most breathtaking
views of the city and the
Golden Gate Bridge.”
SUTRO HEIGHTS PARK IN
THE OUTER RICHMOND. “It’s
just across the street from the
popular Lands End Trail, but is
much less crowded.”

WHERE DO YOU SEND
VISITORS WHEN THEY

DON’T WANT TO RUN
INTO TOURISTS?
ctguide.com | 13

CONCIERGE CONFIDENTIAL

“MY GO-TO SPOT IS THE HAYES GREEN—
THE LOCAL PARK IN THE HEART OF HAYES
VALLEY, FOR RELAXING ON A BENCH
WATCHING THE LOCALS PLAY WITH
THEIR DOGS WHILE I SIP A CUP OF BLUE
BOTTLE COFFEE (THE BEST IN SF).”

The Largest Collecton of Fine

Antique & Estate Jewelry Anywhere!

since 1969

Come Visit Our New Store
309 Sutter Street • San Francisco • Tel: 415-982-2213 • www.LangAntiques.com

16 | Cityguide 2015

SAN FRANCISCO

NEIGHBORHOODS

By Gary Kamiya

NEIGHBORHOODS

©JULIE MICHELLE

The main reason is the terrain. San Francisco’s famously
convoluted landscape defines its neighborhoods, giving
each one a specific terroir. If the steep southern face of
Nob Hill did not exist, forming a topographical Berlin Wall
between the rough depths and the refined heights, the
Tenderloin and Nob Hill would not be so jarringly different. The spectacular promontories that give one of the
city’s most exclusive neighbor“IN JUST A FEW hoods its name—Seacliff—also
BLOCKS, YOU CAN set it apart from the rest of the
WANDER THROUGH Richmond district. Even subtle
THREE OR FOUR changes, like the dip between
URBAN LANDSCAPES Nob Hill and Russian Hill, create
SO SHARPLY natural boundaries and accenDELINEATED THEY
tuate the differences between
FEEL LIKE SEPARATE
adjoining areas.
VILLAGES.”
For much of the city’s history,
many of its neighborhoods were ethnic enclaves. North
Beach was Italian, South of Market was largely Irish, parts
of the Fillmore were heavily Jewish, and so on. With the
exception of the Chinese in Chinatown, those concentrated populations have dwindled. But if most San Francisco
neighborhoods can no longer be distinguished by ethnicity,
they still exude individuality.

The sheer variety is staggering. There’s the city’s most
famous neighborhood, North Beach, that happy Umbrian
valley forever running away to sea—or at least to the little
patch of beach at the bottom of Columbus Avenue. There’s
the Haight, filled with cheerfully inscrutable Victorian houses that look out over the toy-like Panhandle. There’s grand
Pacific Heights, the city’s patrician balcony above the bay,
and the evocative Marina, whose diagonal streets create an
atmosphere as uncanny as a painting by de Chirico. There’s
the wonderfully schizoid Mission, and joyous Russian Hill,
and the deceptive Richmond, whose suburban vibe is gloriously elevated by unexpected views of the massive red cliffs
across the Golden Gate. Some of the most evocative nooks
have no name, like the no-man’s-land between Chinatown
and Nob Hill, a jaw-dropping descent down Washington
Street that gives you the feeling of sinking through exposed
strata in an archaeological dig—all from the deck of a Hyde
Street cable car.
In San Francisco, the ground beneath your feet trumps
everything else. This city is literally riddled with nature.
Unconquered parts of the earth rise up around every
corner—which means that every walk takes you not just
to a different neighborhood, but to a different window on
the world. The discoveries are as infinite as the shifts in the
terrain.

LYON STREET STEPS

______________________________________________________
Gary Kamiya is the executive editor of San Francisco magazine
and the author of the recently published bestselling book Cool
Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco, each chapter of
which chronicles a different place in the city.
ctguide.com | 17

NEIGHBORHOODS

From Paris’s Marais to New York’s Brooklyn Heights, from
London’s Camden Town to Rome’s Trastevere, all great
cities have memorable neighborhoods. But those of San
Francisco may be the most distinctive and varied of all. The
city by the bay boasts more than 50 discrete neighborhoods, each with its own unique aura. In just a few blocks,
you can wander through three or four urban landscapes so
sharply delineated that they feel like separate villages.

SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO:
CITY OF NEIGHBORHOODS

SOMA

NEIGHBORHOODS

2015

EDITOR’S

PICKS

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

EXECUTIVE EDITOR
GARY KAMIYA PICKS THE  BEST
VIEWS IN SAN FRANCISCO
From the walkway around Coit Tower. A stunning,
tree-filtered panorama of the city. The vista of Nob Hill is
particularly beautiful, and the lawn to the south offers the
city’s most exquisite look at the Bay Bridge.

From Alice Marble Park on Russian Hill towards the
Golden Gate Bridge. A glorious, Hokusai-print-like perspective of the bridge.
An unnamed rise on the Land’s End trail—walk about five
minutes west of the Eagle Lookout for a jaw-dropping look
at the Marin Headlands and the Pacific.

Atop Twin Peaks, looking straight down Market Street. The
most panoramic vista of all.
From Tank Hill, off 17th Street near Clarendon. Stop on
your way to Twin Peaks for a little known and sublime view
of the Golden Gate.
From the pullout above Kirby Cove on Conzelman Road
in the Marin Headlands toward San Francisco. The most
spectacular view of any city in the world.

From Baker Beach toward the Golden Gate Bridge. An
iconic vision of one of the world’s most beautiful structures.
From the Embarcadero near Mission and Market of the
Bay Bridge. Get a 1930s longshoreman’s perspective of the
great grey bridge’s magnificent suspension span.

SOUTH OF
MARKET (SOMA)
Where hip meets high culture, South of
Market is also home to tech companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Zynga, and
uncountable startups.
HISTORY: Now replete with upscale
lofts and towering high-rises, SoMa
was known for much of the 20th century as a center of maritime trade characterized by dilapidated tenements
and parking lots. But ever since the
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(SFMOMA) set up a beachhead of class
on Third Street in 1995, the neighborhood has been going gangbusters.
DON’T MISS: While SoMa’s crown
jewel, SFMOMA, is closed for renovation until 2016, a dedicated culture
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR MEMORIAL
vulture has plenty to choose from
AT YERBA BUENA GARDENS
in the neighborhood’s many other
museums: the Museum of the African
Diaspora, the Cartoon Art Museum,
the Contemporary Jewish Art Museum, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
all within two blocks. For those who take their culture in edible form, turn up Yerba Buena
Lane for charming shops and cool hangouts like Schoggi Chocolates and Press Club, an
urban wine tasting lounge. For a proper sit-down meal, both Saison and Benu are among
the city’s most revered restaurants. Or, weather permitting, bring a picnic and plunk down
in front of the waterfall at Yerba Buena Gardens—you won’t be the only one.

18 | Cityguide 2015

The city’s most
hopping nightlife resides
in the backstreets of SoMa,
at restaurants like Twenty
Five Lusk or the
art show–party at
111 Minna Gallery.

LOCALS KNOW

YERBA BUENA ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS

Atop Strawberry Hill, the island-hill in the middle of Stow
Lake, Golden Gate Park. Magnificent vistas in all directions,
and a delightfully gentle stroll down.

From Treasure Island toward San Francisco. The breathtaking San Francisco equivalent of the view of Manhattan
from Brooklyn Heights.

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

NEIGHBORHOODS

UNION SQUARE

UNION
SQUARE

MAIDEN LANE

HISTORY: A public park as old as the city itself
(originally used for sandlot baseball games), Union
The beautiful,
Square was later named for the pro-Northern
brick-faced Xanadu
rallies that assembled here throughout the Civil
Gallery on Maiden Lane
War, sparked by the Unitarian minister whose
church faced the square. The centerpiece
is the only building in
pillar, 79 feet tall and topped with a statue
San Francisco designed
of the goddess of victory (supposedly modby Frank Lloyd Wright.
eled on local heiress and philanthropist Alma
de Bretteville Spreckles) was added in 1903 to
commemorate American naval victories in the
Spanish-American War. The neighborhood’s cenLOCALS KNOW
tral location made it a natural hub of commerce.
In 2002, the square was redesigned to be more
open, the result of a five-year design competition
that attracted entries from around the world.
DON’T MISS: There is no more iconic symbol of San Francisco
than the cable car. From the cable car terminus at Market and
Powell Streets, the mobile museums clang their way up Powell.
Hop off at Geary Street, where to the west you’ll find the rest of
UNION
SQUARE
San Francisco’s downtown theater district,
including
the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco’s largest and most
GRANT

ET
MAIDEN

UNION SQUARE & MONUMENT

CITY OF PARIS BUILDING

STREET

TON
STOCK

GEARY

LANE

E
AVENU

TRE
POST S

LL
POWE

MAIDEN LANE ©DANIELLE SHEPHERD; UNION SQUARE ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS

Welcome to the busy, bustling
heart of San Francisco, with highend hotels, swanky art galleries,
and big banner theater productions.
But don’t let that distract you from
the main attraction: tons and tons
of shopping.

ET

L

EL
O’FARR

UNION SQUARE

T

EE

R
ST

RK

A

M

POWELL-MARKET CABLE CAR TURNTABLE

ctguide.com | 19

Visit us at our showroom in Union Square!
291 Geary St, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94102

CUYANA .COM

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Premium women’s essentials.

NEIGHBORHOODS

UNION SQUARE/FINANCIAL DISTRICT

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

UNION SQUARE AND THE
WESTIN ST. FRANCIS

ambitious company (this season: Tom Stoppard in January and
Stephen Sondheim in June), and San Francisco Playhouse,
specializing in homegrown big-banner productions. On the other
side of the square, the narrow, semi-hidden stretch of Maiden Lane
is a veritable window-shopper’s paradise, intentionally modeled
after New York’s SoHo by the ambitious jeweler who named it.
Here you’ll find the big names: Prada, Hermès, Gump’s, and Marc
Jacobs, plus local indies within spitting distance of each other.
Around Union Square, the best eating happens in the same places
as the best shopping. The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus offers a
stained-glass dome with your afternoon tea, while the flagship
Macy’s building serves incredible views and burgers at the sixth
floor Burger Bar and amazing pastries on the third floor at Tout
Sweet Pâtisserie. If you’d rather eat on the go, there’s a hot dog
stand on every corner—even Union Square doesn’t have to be
haute all the time. Finally, don’t forget to take a ride in the historic
Westin St. Francis glass elevators for a 32-story gander at the
city. And grab a coffee at Emporio Rulli on the way out.

HAIR SALON
COWBOYSANDANGELSSF.COM
207 POWELL ST
SUITE 400
415-362-8516

THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT
AND JACKSON SQUARE
Clustered on either side of the landmark Transamerica Pyramid, these districts are all business on
the outside. But among the skyscrapers and historic warehouses, plenty of gems are waiting to be
found.
HISTORY: Some of the brick buildings of Jackson Square date back to the gold rush. Today, they
house antique stores and art galleries, but in the late 19th century, this was the heart of the Barbary
Coast—a district known for its brothels, gambling houses, and opium dens. Much of the neighborhood was created by filling in the bay, and the sunken remains of dozens of gold rush–era tall ships
(abandoned by crews eager to get to the gold fields) are still buried down there somewhere.

The pointy
Transamerica
Pyramid was designed to
allow light to reach
the streets below. Still,
bring a jacket—the
afternoon wind picks up.
TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID

22 | Cityguide 2015

BELDEN PLACE

LOCALS KNOW

© JAN GRAHAM (TRANSAMERICA BLDG); BELDEN PLACE
© COURTESY SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS

DON’T MISS: Among its upper-crust antique showrooms, Jackson Square features modernist
furniture emporiums, like Hedge Gallery, offering mid-century decorative arts. For a taste of history,
the financial district has Belden Place, the center of the French Quarter, as well as Tadich Grill,
the city’s oldest continuously operated restaurant—you can’t do better than a bowl of steaming
cioppino with a side of
sourdough and a glass of
chardonnay. For a modern—and extravagant—culinary experience, head to
Quince.

CAFE TRIESTE © TARA LUZ STEVENS; CITY LIGHTS © SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/
SCOTT CHERMIS; GRACE CATHEDRAL © SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/CAN BALCIOGLU

HISTORY: A neighborhood that wears its history on its sleeve,
North Beach is the old stomping ground of Joe DiMaggio, the
birthplace of the Beat movement, and the home of the world’s
first strip joint, the Condor Club.
DON’T MISS: City Lights Bookstore is best known for publishing Allan Ginsberg’s Howl, but it’s still unquestionably one of the
best bookstores in town. Across from Washington Square Park,
Liguria Bakery has been making focaccia (and only focaccia)
for over a century, while nearby Caffe Trieste is a
caffeine-dispensing institution. Grab
a cup—it might give you just the kick
you need to trek up Telegraph Hill to
Take the stairs
Coit Tower, where the view outside is
down the backside
as amazing as the recently restored
WPA murals inside.
of Telegraph Hill and

you might glimpse the
rare wild parrots, bright
green fowl that inspired a
book and a film.

LOCALS KNOW
CAFE TRIESTE

Hitchcock
buffs should pay a
visit to the Brocklebank
Apartments at 1000
Mason Street, the residence
of Madeleine Elster
in Vertigo.

CITY LIGHTS BOOKSTORE

NOB HILL
The historic nesting ground of San Francisco’s
rich and famous, this neighborhood—dotted with luxury hotels and upscale apartment
buildings—still looks the part.

LOCALS KNOW

HISTORY: In the late 19th century, this is
where San Francisco’s nouveau gentry built
their mansions, high above the downtown riffraff. After the quake and fire of 1906, only the
palatial home of mining tycoon James Flood
and the Fairmont Hotel were left standing—
and they stand here still.

GRACE
CATHEDRAL

DON’T MISS: Step into Huntington Park
and sunbathe by the famed Fountain of the
Turtles. The Gothic Grace Cathedral—decked
with murals and tile work that make it a
veritable art museum in its own right—is just
across the street. From there you can catch a
lift to the admission-free Cable Car Museum
and watch the system’s subterranean gears
crank away. Those same gears will haul you
straight to the crown of the neighborhood,
the Fairmont San Francisco, with its 1940sthrowback tiki bar, the Tonga Room. Or reach
higher yet and cross the street to the Mark
Hopkins Hotel’s Top of the Mark, featuring
great cocktails and even better views.
ctguide.com | 23

NEIGHBORHOODS

San Francisco’s Little Italy, North Beach is so much more than
that—it’s a cultural pastiche of Old Italia, Barbary Coast bawdiness,
and beatnik cool. And all that ruckus is just a short (albeit very
steep) hike from the quiet outlook of Telegraph Hill.

NORTH BEACH /NOB HILL

NORTH BEACH AND
TELEGRAPH HILL

NEIGHBORHOODS

CHINATOWN/RUSSIAN HILL & POLK GULCH

CHINATOWN
The most densely packed neighborhood in
San Francisco is every bit as lively, flavorful,
and action-packed as you’ve heard.
HISTORY: When Chinatown burned to the
ground after the 1906 earthquake, bigoted
city officials tried to relocate the entire
Chinese-American neighborhood to the outskirts of the city. Resisting the ouster, the community
rebuilt the neighborhood much as you see it today, with its many pagodas and colorful canopies.
DON’T MISS: The Dragon Gate on Grant Street offers an obvious starting place for exploration.
Stop by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which has been cranking out prophetic treats
in Ross Alley since 1962, to watch the action and taste fresh samples. Three blocks away,
Portsmouth Square is not only the heart of Chinatown, but also the original location of Yerba Buena,
the mid-19th-century colonial settlement that eventually became San Francisco. Of course, no visit
to Chinatown is complete without a stroll through Waverly Place, the temple-lined “street of painted
balconies.”

If you haven’t
already stuffed
yourself with fortune
cookies, stop by Eastern
Bakery, founded in 1924,
for its legendary
moon cakes.

LOCALS KNOW

RUSSIAN HILL AND
POLK GULCH
HISTORY: Russian Hill earned its name from a cluster of Cyrillicscrawled gravestones found there in the 1850s, while Polk Gulch
first emerged as a burgeoning gay neighborhood in the ’70s and
today is booming with new nightlife spots.

the city’s second-oldest
gay bar, which prides itself
on not changing a bit with
the times.
POWELL/MARKET STREET CABLE CAR

24 | Cityguide 2015

LOCALS KNOW

CHINATOWN ©JUSTIN KERN; CABLE CAR ©TARA LUZ STEVENS

DON’T MISS: Polk Gulch is a great destination if you’re up late
and in the mood to party. The Hi-Lo Club and Playland Bar offer
cocktails and dancing only a block apart, while the Grubstake diner
slings burgers until 4 a.m. to satisfy your late-night munchies. For
a taste of how the neighborhood is changing, stop by the Lush
Lounge: With its sophisticated up-lighting, exposed brick, and a bar
made from 150-year-old reclaimed farm wood, the room is a far cry
from its days as the Polk Gulch Saloon, when it was a prominent
hangout for drag queens and transsexuals. On a quiet afternoon,
make your way to nearby Russian Hill and Lombard Street—it
may not actually be the world’s crookedest street, as many would
have you believe, but it is still one of the prettiest. For an even
better view, head to the top of Russian Hill to see
the beaux arts balustrade at Vallejo
and Jones Streets. Fans of Armistead
Maupin’s Tales of the City should seek
Polk Gulch’s
out tiny Macondray Lane, a cobblestone
queer bohemian days
walkway that served as his inspiration
live on at Cinch Saloon,
for Barbary Lane.

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

Historically a working-class Latino
neighborhood, the Mission is now
unambiguously the hippest slice of
San Francisco, thanks to bustling
Valencia Street’s throng of tattooed
trendsetters, foodies, techies, and
artists of every ilk.
HISTORY: The Mission is named for Mission Dolores (formally
known as Misión San Francisco de Asís), founded by Spanish priests
in 1776—making it the oldest building in San Francisco and the
oldest mission chapel still standing in California. Valencia Street,
named for the Spanish explorer and soldier who first trekked into
the region, is one of San Francisco’s most venerable streets. For
most of its 167 years it sat in obscurity, the quiet little sister to loud,
raw-boned Mission Street. But that all changed in the late 20th
century, when its cheap rents began drawing young urbanites who
established it as a hangout for artists, would-be bohemians, and, notably, so many young women that it was briefly dubbed the Women’s
district. (It’s all described in local writer Michelle Tea’s book Valencia,
which cemented the neighborhood’s image as a destination for
young radicals.)
DON’T MISS: Block by block, Valencia Street is the Mission’s go-to
for boutique stores selling irresistible things that you didn’t even
know were things. Looking for pirate flags and rum? That would be
the Pirate Store (San Francisco’s only pirate supply store—we think)
at 826 Valencia. Fresh teas and medicinal herbs? Scarlet Sage
Herb Co. is the place. Prehistoric fossils, taxidermy mice, and great
organic fertilizer? That’ll be Paxton Gate, whose sister store a block
down specializes in children’s toys from the predigital age. Dijital Fix
VALENCIA ST/THE MISSION

14TH ST

SAN FRANCISCO ARMORY

ET
MISSION STRE

ET
VALENCIA STRE

REET
GUERRERO ST

MISSION
DOLORES
PARK
ET
DOLORES STRE

FOLSOM

MISIÓN SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS

ENUE
S VAN NESS AV

16TH ST

ROXIE THEATER

SHOTWELL

15TH ST

CHURCH

DANCERS ©JW PHOTOGRAPHY; ©COURTESY FOUR BARREL COFFEE

NEIGHBORHOODS

VALENCIA STREET/THE MISSION

VALENCIA STREET

17TH ST

18TH ST

20TH ST

21ST ST

22ND ST

ctguide.com | 25

NEIGHBORHOODS

TARTINE

stocks designer home tech, while vintage clothes live again at
Afterlife Boutique. Lost Weekend video, the Mission dweller’s
fave for cult-film video rentals, also offers classic film screenings
and, surprisingly, stand-up comedy.
When lunch hour arrives, it may be hard to resist Little Star,
whose deep-dish pizzas are so thick that they take 25 minutes
to bake (totally worth it). Find fried Pacific cod tacos at Tacolicious, or burritos at La Taqueria around the corner on Mission
(crowned America’s best burrito by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver).
The Abbot’s Cellar offers a craft beer to go with anything—over
100 varieties altogether. (If you ever wondered which beer
goes with fresh squid and braised tomatoes, now
you’ll know.) On an overcast day, warm up with
a coffee among the laptop-toting set at
FourBarrel Coffee. If it’s sunny, grab a
salted-caramel ice cream a few blocks
Precita Eyes
over at Bi-Rite Creamery and join the
Mural Arts and
crowds sunbathing in Dolores Park,
Visitors Center offers
which couples the Mission’s best
walking tours of the
views of the San Francisco skyline
Mission’s murals, taking
with the most eclectic cross-section
of its population.
you down alleys and around

painted corners that you’d
otherwise never find.

LOCALS KNOW

280 VALENCIA STREET | 415.644.8425 | WWW. PLINSF .COM

Plin is a neighborhood restaurant specializing in
modern Italian cuisine, seafood and handmade
pasta dishes. After being named “the best Italian
restaurant” by Zagat at his last venue, Chef
Alexander Alioto continues to stretch his culinary
imagination at his new restaurant. The Raviolo Al’
Uovo has been named one of the best 100 pasta
dishes in America.
26 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY TARTINE

VALENCIA STREET/THE MISSION

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

san francisco's largest
vintage & modern collective
over 60 dealers

everything vintage.
all in stock.
ever changing.

17,000 sq ft showroom
2 full floors

vintage-modern-retro
plus some antiques
mid-century, furniture, art, lighting,
clothing, vinyl,
deco, jewelry, collectibles,
home décor & accessories
—parking too!

THE SCARLET SAGE HERB CO.
1193 VALENCIA ST. (NR. 23RD 34 s3!.&2!.#)3#/ #!   
s7773#!2,%43!'%(%2"#/M

ORGANICHERBSANDEXTRACTSsNATURALBODYCAREAND
AROMATHERAPYsLOCALLYMADEPRODUCTSshand crafted gifts
OPEN EVERY DAY 11AM-6:30PM

150 valencia street
one block off market street

open daily 10-9
415.864.2988 StuffSF.com

NOE
VALLEY

Protected by the cloud buffer that is
Twin Peaks, Noe Valley has some of
the best weather in town, making it
ideal for shopping and strolling.
HISTORY: Noe (pronounced No-Ee) Valley, named after original
landowner José de Jesús Noé, was first developed in the early
1850s by John Meirs Horner, a Mormon farmer who gave many
of the neighborhood streets their names (Elizabeth Street was
named for his wife, and Jersey Street for his home state of New
Jersey). In the 1870s, Irish immigrants flocked to the then out-ofthe-way area—so many that by 1880, San Francisco was onequarter Irish. In the 1970s, the neighborhood became a haven for
middle-class families attracted to the sun.
DON’T MISS: Noe Valley is ideal for sunny-day shop-ping,
so join the dog walkers and baby-stroller pushers as you
make your way along 24th Street. A local col-umnist once
joked that the best use of a baby stroller is to part Noe
shopping crowds—if that’s true, then you might want to
chart a course to Small Frys, which has a variety of
California brands, the most sought after baby carriers,
green toys and a diverse selection of organic baby clothing.
Ambiance has been voted the best local boutique by the
San Francisco staff nine times, while nearby Isso San
Francisco offers womenswear “made, found, or designed
in the Bay Area”—singular goods that you can’t get
anywhere else. Stop at Cliché’ Noe Gifts + Home, a
shopping experience that is unique and memorable.
Prosecco served all day Sunday and local Poco Dolce
chocolate tasting everyday.

Want a postbrunch calorie burn?
Head to Church and 22nd
Streets to tackle one of the
city’s steepest blocks—you’ll
find that they built the
steps into the sidewalk for
a reason.

LOCALS KNOW

NOE STR

ET
NOE STREEET

ND ST

22ND ST

DAVID LEWIS HOUSE

23RD ST

DIAMOND

24TH STREET

NOE VALLEY LIBRARY

WILLIAM AXFORD HOUSE
TH ST

24TH STREET

NOE VALLEY LIBRARY

JERSEY ST

CHURCH

SEAN BULLEN STREET ART

CHURCH

RD ST

DAVID LEWIS HOUSE

SANCHEZ

CASTRO STREET

NOE VALLEY LANDMARKS

SANCHEZ

DOUGLASS

DIAMOND

ET
CASTRO STRE

NOE VALLEY LANDMARKS

DOUGLASS

NOE VALLEY

NEIGHBORHOODS

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

TH ST

JERSEY ST

ST
CESAR CHAVEZ

WILLIAM AXFORD HOUSE
TH ST

25TH ST

TH ST

26TH ST
TH ST

ST
CESAR CHAVEZ

27TH ST

CLICHÉ NOE GIFTS + HOME

28 | Cityguide 2015

Noe Valley Merchants & Professionals Association
1330 Castro Street San Francisco, CA 94114 | 415.641.8687

3885 cesar chavez street
(in s.f.'s noe valley)
phone: 415.282.4712
omnivorebooks.com

NOE VALLEY

©COURTESY AMBIANCE; ©SUSAN FLEMING

NEIGHBORHOODS

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT
Neighborhood dining options run the gamut from candlelit Italian at Lupa to happy-hour fun at Peruvian Fresca and Catalan
tapas and outstanding churros at Contigo. While the debate to
name San Francisco’s top sushi is rivaled only by the great burrito
controversy, Hamano Sushi’s hand rolls, which are named for local
neighborhoods (choose from the Noe, the Castro, and the Mission), are formidable contenders. Once the clock hits happy hour
and you’re in the mood for a no-nonsense drink, forget about the
trendy cocktail clubs in other neighborhoods in favor of this once
working-class Irish neighborhood’s best enduring working-class
Irish pub, the Dubliner, where the drinks are solid, the atmosphere
is cozy and welcoming, and they let you bring in takeout food from
neighborhood eateries.

AMBIANCE

OMNIVORE BOOKS

Destination Noe Valley!

For A Unique
Baby Shower
Gift or for
Something
Special for
Your Own Child
Noe Valley’s
Favorite
Children’s Store
Outfitting
Noe Valley
Kids for
Three Decades!

4175 24th Street between Castro and Diamond 

           
VISIT NOE VALLEY, THE HEART OF SAN FRANCISCO
From the Embarcadero/ Downtown/ Market Street
Take the “J” train to 24th St. or hop on the historic “F” train to
the Castro then transfer to the Muni #35 or the #24.
We are just over the hill!

We Wrap & We Ship!
30 | Cityguide 2015

SMALL FRYS
4066 24th Street
in the Heart of the Noe Valley
Open Every Day
415.648.3954 • www.smallfrys.com

NEIGHBORHOOD SHOTS ©NICOLE CASSANI; ©COURTESY NSCDA-CA

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

NEIGHBORHOODS

UNION STREET/COW HOLLOW

UNION
STREET

The beating heart of the Cow Hollow
neighborhood is irresistible Union Street,
perfect for strolling high-end shops,
gourmet bakeries, and stylish but
easygoing restaurants.
HISTORY: Cow Hollow was once a pastoral landscape of vegetable
gardens and cattle-grazing land that produced food for the city. The cows
themselves were banished from the district in 1891 to address public
health concerns, but the name stuck. As settlers began flocking to San
Francisco, this stretch of neighborhood between the budding downtown
and the Presidio became a verdant home for the wealthy, who built grand
and colorful Victorians on the steep hillsides. Because the area was largely
spared in the 1906 earthquake, it makes for a fantastic afternoon of wandering for architecture buffs (don’t miss the Octagon House on Gough
Street, built in 1861—yes, it has eight sides).

PERRY’S

The neighborhood is all about preserving a slice of the past and favoring small, locally owned and operated businesses. Even as the shopping
district along Union Street has grown to include some premium national
brand names, several historic buildings have been preserved and restored.
Every year, the shops join together for a June street festival offering food
stalls, crafts, and live music, as well as a super sidewalk sale in July with
specials and bargains.
DON’T MISS: This neighborhood is known as much for its young and
well-groomed residents as for its pristine appearance. To discover
for yourself where they outfit themselves, stroll along Union
Street and scope out the cool salons, jewelry and apparel
If you see an
shops, galleries, and home decor stores. If you’re the type
who likes to sweat, gear up at the new Nike Women’s
army of costumed
store on Union Street and check out the full-body
skaters rolling down
indoor cycling classes at nearby SoulCycle. Or head
Union Street on a Friday night,
to the western edge of the neighborhood, adjacent to
it’s the Midnight Rollers, who
the Presidio, and take the cardiac challenge that is the
have been at it since
Lyon Street steps—the view from the top of the Marin
the early ’90s.
Headlands is worth the effort, though you’ll no doubt
share the flights with other exercisers and even a few
bootcamp classes.

LOCALS KNOW

FILLMORE

STEINER

PIERCE

BROADWAY
SCOTT

DIVISADERO

BAKER

LYON

LYON STREET STEPS

BRODERICK

VALLEJO

VAN NESS

CASEBOLT HOUSE

FRANKLIN

GREEN

GOUGH

UNION STREET

OCTAVIA

FILBERT

LAGUNA

THE PRESIDIO

GREENWICH

BUCHANAN

LOMBARD STREET

Once you’ve summited the stairs, regain those burned calories by taking advantage of one
of the neighborhood’s seemUNION STREET/COW HOLLOW
ingly endless refueling options.
Among the best choices are
Betelnut (a Southeast Asian fusion food and beer hall), Gamine
(a French neighborhood bistro
VENDANTA OLD TEMPLE
serving classics such as escargot
and steamed mussels), and
Pacific Catch (a seafood place).
OCTAGON HOUSE
Come nightfall, the streets are
LEANDER SHERMAN HOUSE
hopping with nightlife. The
so-called Bermuda Triangle
ALLYNE PARK
BURR MANSION
marks the center of the scene at
Greenwich and Fillmore Streets,
though more leisurely pubs
and bars along Union Street,
like Perry’s and the Bus Stop
Saloon, have their charms.
WEBSTER

THE OCTAGON HOUSE

ctguide.com | 31

tea kettles
candle
holders
wallets

wall clocks

sunglasses
backgammon
sets
alarm clocks

STREET

UNI N
in the heart of historic COW HOLLOW

between Van Ness & Steiner

razor handles

cuckoo
missoni
throws
missoni
poufs

watches
bluetooth
speakers
olive oil
tasting sets
unonstreetsf.com

ice buckets

CONTEMPORARY LIVING ACCESSORIES

Over 200 Special Shops, Spas & Restaurants

SHOP | DINE | REFRESH

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

NEIGHBORHOODS

DOGPATCH

DOGPATCH

Tucked into the often overlooked southeast side of the city, this
neighborhood doesn’t attract flocks of tourists—all the better for
visitors willing to step off the beaten path.
DOGPATCH

HISTORY: Real estate speculation in San Francisco is as old as the city itself.
With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, John Townsend, a former
mayor of San Francisco, hoped to lure prospectors to his tracts of land on
Potrero Hill and in Dogpatch (then Potrero Nuevo) by choosing street names
that promoted the fortuitous future of California: Streets running north-south
are named for American states, while those running east-west are named
for California counties. The area now called Dogpatch, once the heart of
San Francisco’s industrial waterfront, is dotted with the remains of factories,
warehouses, and workers’ cottages (some of the oldest intact structures in
the city) that adventurous San Franciscans are busily converting to new uses.

ESPRIT
PARK

19TH ST

22ND ST

YELLOW BUILDING

ILLINOIS

3RD STREET

TENNESSEE

MINNESOTA

INDIANA

20TH ST

280

©COURTESY MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN; ©COURTESY ANCHOR BREWING COMPANY

18TH ST

DON’T MISS: What’s old is new on San Francisco’s east side.
The circa-1941 Noonan Building, home to maritime field offices in World
War II, is now crammed with the studios of artists who routinely open their
workspaces to public tours—giving you a chance to see where and how they
create handmade jewelry, photographs, letterpress prints, and more. The
American Industrial Center on Third Street, once a can factory, now hosts a
variety of unique businesses, from the Dogpatch Boulders rock-climbing gym
to the ultra-modern Museum of Craft and Design. A onetime horse stable
is now the Yellow Building, a massive co-op that offers fresh Italian food
at Piccino Café and must-have men’s and womenswear at Modern Appeal
Clothing. Serpentine café was once a boiler room, but now
offers mouthwatering seafood.

Over on Third Street, you can get in on the
neighborhood’s artisanal spirit and make your
own wine at Dogpatch WineWorks, while on
MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN
22nd Street, you can sample local Recchiuti
Confections at Little Nib, or keep heading
east to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, where a
husband-and-wife duo concoct their housemade ice cream with a range of unusual
ingredients, from ghost peppers to Anchor
ST
23RD
Steam beer. Speaking of which, just a few blocks over in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, you can tour the
Anchor Brewing Company, then climb up to McKinley Square Park and watch the afternoon fog roll in
over the rest of the city.
MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN

Take a look over
the backside of
McKinley Square Park:
Turn for turn, this little
stretch of Vermont Street
is the crookedest street in
San Francisco.

LOCALS KNOW

ANCHOR BREWING COMPANY

ctguide.com | 33

2347 3rd Street
in the heart of Dogpatch!

MUNI Line T exit at 3rd St. & 20th St.

Mon-Fri 11a-3p & 5p-9p
Sat 12p-10p
Sun Closed
415-829-8999
LongBridgePizza.com

Our Little, Lovable Retail Shop

Our Flagship Retail Store

807 Twenty-second Street, Dogpatch
(between Tennessee and Minnesota)

One Ferry Building, Shop #30
Ferry Building Marketplace, SF

Experimental Dinners by Michael
Recchiuti Featuring Local Artisans
801 Twenty-second Street, Dogpatch

Handcrafting artisan chocolate & confections in San Francisco since 1997 | www.recchiuti.com | www.thelabcafesf.com

NEIGHBORHOODS

GHIRARDELLI SQUARE/FISHERMAN’S WHARF

GHIRARDELLI SQUARE

GHIRARDELLI SQUARE
A mecca for sweet-toothed history buffs, this brick-bound landmark on the water is also sure to
please those who claim to be interested only in the urban scenery. But who are they kidding? Nobody
leaves without a hot fudge sundae.
HISTORY: Before Ghirardelli Chocolate bought the entire block in 1893 and turned it into a sweets
factory, this was the site of the Pioneer Woolen Mills Company. The mill still stands today as San
Francisco’s oldest factory.
DON’T MISS: It goes without saying: Dessert is the main attraction here. Both the Ghirardelli Soda
Fountain and Chocolate Shop and Kara’s Cupcakes are more than qualified to address your sugar
needs. Once that’s been taken care of, check out elizabethW, which offers hand-blended fragrances,
lotions, and bath salts. To find a souvenir for your four-legged BFF, visit Yap for its signature Yap
Wrap fashion harness (little dogs love them). Then warm it up a notch by heading east to Hyde
Street, where Buena Vista Cafe claims to have introduced Irish coffee to America.

Walk off your
chocolate buzz with
a stroll down the hill to
the Aquatic Park pier,
which affords the best
view of the hardy
swimmers in the bay.

LOCALS KNOW

FISHERMANS WHARF © TARA LUZ STEVENS; ©COURTESY GHIRARDELLI SQUARE

FISHERMAN’S WHARF
AND PIER 39
Your gateway to the bay, this is the best place to hop
on a ferry or a sightseeing tour—or to enjoy everything the bay has to offer from the comfort of a shop
or chowder house.
HISTORY: Perhaps more than any other neighborhood, Fisherman’s Wharf owes its existence to the
vision of one person: Henry Meiggs, a real estate
speculator who arrived in San Francisco in 1849 and
singlehandedly sold the city on the notion of building
a north-shore harbor.
DON’T MISS: Seafood is as ubiquitous here as
it is fresh, though you can’t go wrong with either
Codmother Fish and Chips or the more upscale
Scoma’s. Opportunities for kid-friendly fun abound:
the new Madame Tussauds, the San Francisco
Dungeon with its haunted house–style San Francisco
history lessons, the Venetian-style Carousel,
Aquarium of the Bay, ferry
rides around Alcatraz, and
San Francisco Whale Tours.
Alcatraz is worth a
The area is also popular with
visit, but a lesser-known
more than just humans: Walk
to the edge of the pier and
gem is Angel Island State
behold San Francisco’s
Park (reached via the Pier
biggest sea lion haunt.
41 ferry), with fascinating

immigration history and great
Golden Gate views.

LOCALS KNOW
ctguide.com | 35

NEIGHBORHOODS

THE MARINA/THE PRESIDIO & CRISSY FIELD

THE MARINA
Upscale and fun-loving, the Marina is shorthand among
locals for of-the-moment boutiques and bars. But it’s also
bursting with cultural landmarks and occupies one of the
city’s most picturesque stretches of waterfront.
HISTORY: Following the earthquake and fire that
devastated San Francisco in 1906, the Marina (then
called Harbor View) was where the city showed off its
big revival with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International
Exposition. Much of the neighborhood is built on landfill
that contains the remains of downtown buildings
destroyed in the quake.
DON’T MISS: Chestnut Street, the Marina’s main commercial strip, is an obvious starting point for shoppers
and noshers alike. To catch the salty bay breeze,
take a stroll to the Marina Green (watch out for
Lucca
joggers and cyclists). From there, it’s an easy walk
Delicatessen on
to Fort Mason, where you can scope out the
Civil War batteries on the bluffs or grab a bite at
Chestnut Street is a
Greens Restaurant, a high-cuisine classic for
throwback in the trendy
vegetarians. On the far side of the neighborMarina, but with a line out the
hood, the grand, Grecian-style Palace of Fine
door for its Italian sandwiches,
Arts is the only edifice remaining from the
the joint is clearly doing
1915 Exposition.
PALACE OF FINE ARTS

something right.

LOCALS KNOW

THE PRESIDIO AND CRISSY FIELD
Wandering through the old barracks of the Presidio or among the dunes of Crissy Field, it’s easy
to forget that you’re in one of America’s most densely packed cities.
HISTORY: Watching over the mouth of San Francisco Bay, the Presidio was recognized early on
as strategically important: In 1776, the Mexico-born explorer Juan Bautista de Anza constructed a
Spanish fort there, the second building in what would become San Francisco.

THE WARMING HUT

36 | Cityguide 2015

LOCALS KNOW

YODA AT LETTERMAN DIGITAL ARTS CENTER

PALACE OF FINE ARTS ©BILL WEESNER; WARMING HUT ©SF TRAVEL
ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS; YODA ©TRICIA SEIBOLD

DON’T MISS: Shuttered as a military base in 1994, the Presidio is now a well-preserved national
park. Military history buffs will enjoy a walk down to see the 50-ton artillery
gun mounted at Battery Chamberlain over Baker Beach, while nature lovers should seek out one of the many trails and promenades throughout the
park: Strolling along Crissy Field will eventually take you beneath the bridge
itself. For a taste of civilization, grab a sit-down meal at the Presidio Social
Club and then hit the Walt Disney Family Museum or the lobby of the
Letterman Digital Arts Center, which houses George Lucas’s production
and effects studios and is open to the public.

Follow the San
Francisco Bay Trail
northwest across Crissy
Field—the Warming Hut,
out at the blustery end of the
trail, has the hot coffee and
cocoa you’ll appreciate for
your return trip.

AT&T PARK & HOG ISLAND OUSTERS ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS; FERRY BUILDING © STIAN RASSMUSSEN

NEIGHBORHOODS

THE EMBARCADERO & SOUTH BEACH

THE EMBARCADERO
AND SOUTH BEACH
Stretching along the water and offering unobstructed
views of the bay, this area is one of the best in the city for
a walk, jog, or bike ride. Of course, food, drink, and entertainment take top billing here, too.
HISTORY: Now one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city, the Embarcadero was darkened for 30
years by a freeway that walled off San Francisco from its
own gorgeous bay—an error that was finally corrected in
1991 in the wake of the Loma Prieta earthquake.
DON’T MISS: The walkway along the back side of AT&T
Park, home of the world champion San Francisco Giants,
offers views that even a Dodgers fan could appreciate.
Keep walking along the Embarcadero and pay homage
to Cupid’s Span, one of the city’s most memorable
public art fixtures, before reaching the Ferry Building
Marketplace—a spacious, sunlit treasure trove of
artisanal eats. Then head toward Pier 15, where the recently relocated Exploratorium offers hours of
hands-on wonder for kids and adults alike.
OYSTERS AT THE
FERRY BUILDING
MARKETPLACE

AT&T PARK

It’s rumored
that the women who
created the giant baseball
glove that sits above
AT&T Park’s left field
sewed their underwear
inside.

LOCALS KNOW

THE FERRY BUILDING AND THE EMBARCADERO

ctguide.com | 37

NEIGHBORHOODS

JAPANTOWN/THE CIVIC CENTER

PEACE PAGODA & WAR MEMORIAL ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS; CITY HALL ©GIL RIEGO JR

THE PEACE PAGODA

JAPANTOWN
Clustered around the iconic five-tiered Peace Pagoda,
these six square blocks offer as authentic a taste of
Japan as you’ll find on this side of the Pacific.
HISTORY: The country’s largest and oldest Japanese
urban enclave (Nihonmachi), Japantown dates back to
the earthquake of 1906, when Japanese immigrants
took refuge in the Western Addition after the downtown area was destroyed by fire.
DON’T MISS: A trip to Kabuki Springs & Spa will
give you the full onsen experience. For a different way
to unwind, grab a movie and a cocktail at Sundance
Kabuki Cinemas. To find authentic soba or udon for
under $10, locals make their way to Mifune, while
nearby Kiss Seafood is the place for sushi.
Either way, don’t forget to drop by
Benkyodo for a mochi dessert.

For a truly
modern slice of
Japanese culture, head
to New People mall, where
you can gawk at the trendy
teenagers and catch an anime
film at Viz Cinema.

LOCALS KNOW

CITY HALL

THE WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE
AND DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

THE CIVIC CENTER

Trek up Larkin
Street to Little
Saigon (marked by twin
Vietnamese dragon pillars)
to find some of the best
Vietnamese and Thai food
in the city.

LOCALS KNOW

The imposing Civic Center is both the seat of city government and a hub of San Francisco culture.
HISTORY: In the early 20th century, San Francisco civic leaders found their city just plain ugly (hotelier
Alan Pollock bluntly described its built landscape as “hideous in design and flimsy in finish, shames of lumber
and paint”). To transform it into something more appropriate—a glistening, beaux arts–style White City, as one architect put it,
“like Paris with hills”—they engaged the services of famed architect Daniel Burnham. Although most of Burnham’s grand designs
never broke ground, we do have him to thank for the gorgeous Civic Center, including gold-domed City Hall, the courthouses,
the opera house, and the building that now hosts the Asian Art Museum.
DON’T MISS: We dare you to find a more stunning City Hall anywhere in the country. Be sure to go inside and marvel at its
famous marble rotunda—you just might catch a wedding ceremony in progress. Around back, you’ll see the equally grand
War Memorial Opera House, the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, and the Herbst Theatre standing shoulder to shoulder.
Across Civic Center Plaza, the Asian Art Museum houses gorgeous relics well worth an hour (or three) of your time.

38 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY BIERGARTEN

Hayes Valley is one of San Francisco’s great success stories.
Little visited and barely noticed just a few years ago, today it is
home to some of the city’s most in-demand shops and eateries.
HISTORY: Before Europeans settled in Hayes Valley, the
Ohlone tribe came to the area to forage for seasonal foods in
and around Hayes Creek, which flowed only in winter. Hayes
Creek is underground now, one of San Francisco’s many mysterious hidden waterways. The neighborhood’s moniker comes
from Thomas Hayes, a local landowner whose brother pulled
city hall strings to get Thomas’s name on the most prominent
street.

Patricia’s Green,
a favorite local park,
is named for resident
Patricia Walkup, who fought
for three separate ballot
initiatives to dismantle the
Central Freeway.

LOCALS KNOW

Not long ago, Hayes Valley languished beneath the towering
Central Freeway, which quite literally cast a shadow over the
neighborhood. When 1989’s Loma Prieta earthquake damaged
the freeway beyond repair, neighbors rallied to have the entire
structure torn down for good.
DON’T MISS: One of the city’s culinary crown jewels, Hayes
Valley boasts the always in-demand Zuni Cafe, the Cajun-meets-California flavor of the Boxing
Room, and the subtle class of Absinthe Brasserie. While every neighborhood has its share of
Italian, Mexican, and Japanese cuisine, Hayes Valley’s secret weapons are Teutonic: one of the city’s
best German restaurants, Suppenküche, and the beloved Biergarten. A German-style outdoor bar
plopped on city property formerly occupied by the Central Freeway, the Biergarten is surrounded
by a veritable artisanal carnival: coffee stands, bike tours, art shows in abandoned shipping containers, and Smitten Ice Cream, made before your eyes using liquid nitrogen. On the nonculinary side of
things, Hayes Valley’s San Francisco Jazz Center has been grooving along for two years now, offering
new concerts every week.

Skip the City.
Mix & mingle at The Peninsula’s newest hot spot,
W XYZ bar inside the Aloft San Francisco Airport.
Live DJs, specialty cocktails and small bites.
Every Friday night, 7 PM till Midnight. No cover,
tons of fun. 2 hours of complimentary parking
with a purchase at the bar.

401 East Millbrae Ave
Millbrae, CA 94030
650-443-5500
www.aloftsfoairport.com
ctguide.com | 39

NEIGHBORHOODS

HAYES VALLEY

HAYES VALLEY

BIERGARTEN

NEIGHBORHOODS

THE CASTRO

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

THE CASTRO

As the epicenter of the LGBT movement on the West Coast, the Castro is a
historical and political landmark of unrivaled significance in San Francisco. It
also happens to be a terrific place to hang out.

ST
AT
ES
ST

ET
ST
RE

15TH ST

A
RK
ET

AY
W

M

S
O
RO

T
EL
EV

ET
CASTRO STRE

THE
CASTRO
14TH ST

16TH STREET

PINK TRIANGLE PARK & MEMORIAL

17TH STREET

CASTRO THEATRE

HISTORY: The stretch of Market Street running through
Eureka Valley was too steep for horses, keeping this neighborhood remote until the 1880s, when a wave of settlers chugged
in on steam-powered streetcars and created a melting-pot
neighborhood of immigrant families sometimes dubbed Little
Scandinavia. Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church opened
in 1901 and became the heart of the neighborhood, complete
with a convent whose nuns taught at the grammar school.
In the late ’60s, San Francisco’s gay population, encouraged by
the burgeoning gay rights movement to live openly and create
a community, began settling in the Castro’s fading (and relatively cheap at the time) Queen Anne Victorians. By the ’70s,
the neighborhood was America’s most prominent gay village.
Most Holy Redeemer is still here, dubbing itself San Francisco’s
inclusive Catholic parish.

DON’T MISS: The centerpiece of the Castro is the lavish art
deco Castro Theatre, whose unmissable red neon sign helped
MOST HOLY REDEEMER CATHOLIC CHURCH
give the neighborhood its name. Check the schedule for film
festival showings, double features, and boisterous sing-along
19TH ST
nights. At the intersection of Market and Castro Streets, across
the street from one of the world’s largest rainbow flags, is Twin
Peaks Tavern, the city’s oldest gay bar and the first to have
windows that allowed a view of its interior from the street
20TH ST
(old-school gay bars blacked out their windows to protect the anonymity of their clients). If you’re seeking a high-energy gay bar scene,
try dancing at the Badlands or stopping in to see the local characters at 440 Castro. For an even deeper dive into neighborhood history,
visit the GLBT History Museum or head up 18th Street to Magnet, a one-stop health clinic for gay men combined with a culture center
that features local artwork and hosts seminars on local history.
GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM

18TH ST

HEZ

DOUGLASS

HRC CENTER

FRANCES

CASTRO THEATRE/CASTRO STREET

The Human
Rights Campaign
center at 575 Castro Street
is the former location of gay
rights activist Harvey Milk’s
Castro camera store (and
community rally center).

LOCALS KNOW
40 | Cityguide 2015

CASTRO ST © GIL RIEGO JR; FRANCES © NICK VASILOPOULOS

If you’re looking for sustenance to get you up Sanchez Street to the top
of Dolores Heights or over to dog-friendly Duboce Park, indulge in coffee
flights paired with excellent baked goods at the new Hearth Coffee Roasters.
Both Frances and Starbelly restaurants offer the best in California-inspired
cuisine, while the ultra-casual sandwich shop Ike’s Place always has a line.
Woodhouse Fish Company offers dollar oysters on Tuesdays, but do those
top the ones at nearby Anchor Oyster Bar? You’ll have to be the judge. Orphan Andy’s burgers and fries are conveniently on offer 24 hours a day for
those in need of a bite after partying the night away. Once you’re sated, find
a souvenir of this distinctly San Francisco neighborhood among the rare
and hard-to-find jewelry, collectibles, and antiques at Brand X Antiques.
Tim Flint, its owner for 25 years, can answer any questions you have on the
neighborhood’s history and fill you in on the local gossip.

photo: Brian Kitts

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT
The Human Rights Campaign store located in the historic home
of Harvey Milk’s Castro Camera. 100% of your purchase goes to
support HRC’s fight for LGBT equality.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN SAN FRANCISCO

ACTION CENTER AND STORE
575 CASTRO STREET | 415-431-2200
AMERICA’S LARGEST CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION WORKING TO ACHIEVE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER EQUALITY

NEIGHBORHOODS

HAIGHT-ASHBURY/THE FILLMORE

HAIGHT © DAVID YU; JAZZ CENTER ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS

HAIGHT-ASHBURY

PIEDMONT BOUTIQUE

The official birthplace of the hippie, Haight-Ashbury
still has a strong whiff of the countercultural, but even
clean-cut folks will find much to love in the ample eating and shopping opportunities.
HISTORY: Before 1967’s Summer of Love solidified
the neighborhood’s reputation, state planners had
intended to cleave the northern edge of the neighborhood with a freeway. The plan, though ultimately
dropped, caused a plunge in property values that
made the area an ideal place for flower-wearing youth
to settle.
DON’T MISS: A walk along Haight Street from Buena
Vista Park to Golden Gate Park is its own immersive
cultural experience. As you pass the head
shops and tattoo parlors, pay special attention to local mainstays like the Red Victorian,
Hippie buffs take
Amoeba Music, and Piedmont Boutique,
note: Janis Joplin lived
with its famous stockinged legs. At Loved
at 122 Lyon Street for
to Death antiques, you can buy an intact
a
time,
and the Grateful Dead
human skeleton for what we assume must
were once arrested at
be a pretty good price. For newer and more
710 Ashbury Street.
appetizing offerings, check out the Alembic
or Maven for dining and, in the Lower
Haight, Toronado for its illustrious beer
selection.

LOCALS KNOW

THE FILLMORE
Still showing its cultural roots as a historic jazz distric—but now with a growing sense of upscale chic—the Fillmore remains
San Francisco’s thumping musical heart.
HISTORY: Once known as the Harlem of the West and the center of the Summer of Love’s Fillmore sound, this neighborhood has
hosted American music legends as distinguished and diverse as Billie Holliday, Sammy Davis Jr., Otis Redding, and Janis Joplin.
DON’T MISS: With clubs like The Addition, the Boom Boom Room (formerly the historic Jack’s Tavern), and the Sheba Piano Lounge,
all within walking distance, it’s no wonder that this neighborhood hosts the
free summer Fillmore Jazz Festival,
THE FILLMORE JAZZ HERITAGE CENTER
the largest celebration of its kind on
the West Coast. The famous Fillmore
Auditorium on Geary mixes some psychedelic rock into the neighborhood’s
musical DNA, while farther up Fillmore
Street, the neighborhood takes on
a decidedly swankier tone with cozy
boutiques like Nest. Trendy State Bird
Provisions is nearly impossible to get
into, so why not take comfort in wild
boar sliders at Fat Angel or the crispy
pot pie at the Grove Fillmore.

Soul’s served
every Sunday when
1300 on Fillmore hosts its
weekly gospel brunch, complete with Southern-inspired
cooking and live music.

LOCALS KNOW
42 | Cityguide 2015

©CHRISTINE KRIEG

Don’t let NoPa’s functional name (short for north of the
Panhandle) and unassuming Victorian character deceive
you: Teeming with trendy restaurants and late-night
clubs, it’s becoming known as the new Mission.
HISTORY: NoPa used to be subsumed within the
larger Western Addition, the city’s historic middle-class
African-American neighborhood. But with the recent
influx of young professionals, its trendy new moniker
has taken hold.
DON’T MISS: You’re in San Francisco, so you might as
well make the trip to Alamo Square park to see the
Painted Ladies. (If you haven’t seen these colorful
Victorians on 10,000 postcards, maybe you’ll remember
them from the television show Full House.) Down in
NoPa proper, the attractions are less aesthetic
and more epicurean. Try the neighborhood’s eponymous eatery, Nopa, or
its nearby diminutive Mexican kitchen,
Every May,
Nopalita, and then head for the
costumed joggers
pelagic happy hour at Bar Crudo.
swamp this neighborhood
Once the sun goes down, catch a
in the annual Bay to Breakers
show at the funky Independent
footrace—a cross between
music venue or, if you have the
a city marathon and
energy, line up outside Madrone Art
Bar, where the featured exhibition
Mardi Gras.
is usually obscured by the crowded
dance floor.

LOCALS KNOW

415.648.4420 | TheGreenCross.org | 4218 Mission Street, San Francisco

ctguide.com | 43

NEIGHBORHOODS

NOPA AND
ALAMO SQUARE

NOPA & ALAMO SQUARE

THE PAINTED LADIES AT ALAMO SQUARE

GOLDEN GATE PARK

NEIGHBORHOODS

GOLDEN GATE PARK
With museums and other attractions sprinkled among the park’s
wooded network of trails, gardens, and lakes, you just might get
lost in its verdant expanse—as you should.
HISTORY: To reclaim San Francisco’s “outside lands” from the
sand dunes and create a park, city officials planted more than
150,000 trees on some 1,000 acres throughout the 1870s. At the
project’s outset, locals were skeptical that the sandy soil on the
city’s west end could grow anything. Initial attempts were foiled
when the seeds and sprouts blew away in coastal winds, but a
breakthrough came when barley from an engineer’s horse’s nosebag spilled and, amazingly, sprouted. City officials quickly sowed
the parkland with wild barley, which protected the more fragile
plants as they took root, and the park was born. Today, Golden
Gate Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States,
stretching more than three miles from the Panhandle to the sea.
DON’T MISS: The Music Concourse, the cultural center of the
park, is bordered by the copper-colored de Young Museum, the
kid-favorite California Academy of Sciences,
and the serene Japanese Tea Garden. From
there, it’s only a short walk south to the always
lovely San Francisco Botanical Garden, with
more than 7,000 species of plants, or northeast
Friday Nights at the
to the Conservatory of Flowers. If you get
de Young and Thursday’s
lost, just head to Stow Lake and climb to the
NightLife at the California
top of Strawberry Hill, from which you can
Academy of Sciences pair
orient yourself with views of downtown.

culture with cocktails
and live music.

SAN FRANCISCO BOTANICAL GARDEN

44 | Cityguide 2015

THE DE YOUNG MUSEUM

BOTANICAL GARDENS © KATHRYN RUMMEL

LOCALS KNOW

THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

NEIGHBORHOODS

THE RICHMOND/THE SUNSET

LEGION OF HONOR

THE RICHMOND
Known as a largely residential neighborhood, the
Richmond district is also one of the city’s most diverse,
with excellent eating options and some of the best
urban hiking in the city.
HISTORY: German mining magnate (and mayor)
Adolph Sutro bought these sand dunes in the late 19th
century and built Sutro Baths, then the world’s largest
indoor swimming pool complex. When the Southern
Pacific Rail company decided to gouge customers for
the long trip out to the beachside attraction, Sutro
secured his status as a populist hero by building his
own line and charging a nickel a ticket.
DON’T MISS: Take a culinary tour of East Asia along
Clement Street, where you’ll find some of the city’s
best dim sum, noodle, and soup shops. On Clement,
just up from Sixth Avenue, sprawling, labyrinthine
used bookstore Green Apple Books has been a
neighborhood institution since 1967. If you make
your way all the way down to the water, head to
Sutro Heights Park and the historic Cliff House
restaurant for stunning views of the water and
the Sutro Bath ruins. Trek farther still, down the
Lands End Trail that wraps around the Legion
of Honor fine art museum, to see the city’s best
views of the Golden Gate.

Amid the
authentic Chinese,
Thai, and Korean fare
here, you’ll find Trad’r Sam,
a straight-from-the-’50s tiki
bar with a notoriously potent
Scorpion bowl.

LOCALS KNOW

LEGION OF HONOR ©CVB/JERRY LEE HAYES; STEPS ©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION/SCOTT CHERNIS

THE TILED STEPS PROJECT

THE SUNSET
Despite its sun-referencing name, this district is
known for evening fog that lends an air of romance to
its cozy cafés, bookstores, bars, and restaurants.
HISTORY: Now a series of lively residential neighborhoods, the Sunset started as a windswept sand pile
populated only by dairy farms and the occasional
chicken ranch. When the city switched from horsedrawn public transport to electric cable cars, enterprising San Franciscans bought the old lorries, hauled
them out to the edge of the secluded and sandy
Sunset. The resulting community of bohemians living
in horse cars on stilts was dubbed Carville.
DON’T MISS: Ocean Beach’s world-renowned waves
lure wetsuit-clad surfers who are often seen walking
the streets with surfboard in tow. But the beach is just
as good for walkers, who can stop by the waterfront
Beach Chalet or the hip but convivial Outerlands.
Nearby, The San Francisco Zoo, which started with
a single grizzly bear named Monarch, today displays
hundreds of species, including a newly arrived rare
red panda. Closer to civilization, the
corner of Seventh Avenue and Irving
Street is the hub of the Inner Sunset.
The 16th Avenue
From there, grab sushi at KOO or find
Tiled Steps Project on
a cozy respite from the foggy chill at
Moraga Street is worth
Fireside Bar.

seeing for its colorful
mosaics, but don’t forget to
look up once you reach the
top, or you’ll miss the ocean
views.

LOCALS KNOW
ctguide.com | 45

SAN FRANCISCO

NEIGHBORHOODS

PACIFIC
OCEAN

SAN FRANCISCO
BAY

NEIGHBORHOODS

SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO

S M U I N B A L L E T’S 21S T S E A S O N

UNLACED
DAN C E S E R I E S

“Petal seems instead to be
a barely contained riot
of wildflowers.”
– SF Chronicle

“Petal riveted the attention
from the opening moment.”

Watch for

– Allan Ulrich, SF Chronicle

SMUIN BALLET’S
2015-16 SEASON
featuring CYRANO
by Michael Smuin

P E TA L

BY

HELEN PICKETT

ROMEO AND JULIET
HEARTS SUITE
WORLD PREMIERE

BY
BY

BY

MICHAEL SMUIN

MICHAEL SMUIN
ADAM HOUGL AND

SAN FRANCISCO | YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS | MAY 8 - 17 | 415.912.1899

smuinballet.org

A TICKET FOR
EVERY TASTE
WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING
FOR A TASTE OF BROADWAY
OR WORLD-CLASS CLASSICAL
MUSIC, KID-FRIENDLY SCIENCE
CENTERS, GARDENS, AND ART
MUSEUMS—YOU’VE COME TO
THE RIGHT PLACE. THE CITY BY
THE BAY HOSTS A WEALTH OF
CULTURAL OFFERINGS.

CULTURE

THE CIVIC CENTER

200 LARKIN ST.

The Asian Art Museum houses
one of the most comprehensive
collections of Asian art and culture
in the world. Housed in a beaux
arts-style library building in the
city’s cultural epicenter, it displays
18,000 treasures from Asia’s rich
past and dynamic present. Recent
exhibits have included the history
of yoga and a display of the ancient
Terracotta Warriors from the era of
China’s first emperor. 415-581-3500,
asianart.org

California Academy
of Sciences
GOLDEN GATE PARK

55 MUSIC CONCOURSE DR.

Located in the heart of Golden
Gate Park, the California Academy
of Sciences is home to an aquarium,
a natural history museum, and a
planetarium—all under a living roof.
Exhibits include a four-story living
rain forest, live coral reefs, and
thousands of live animals. If you’re
over 21, stop by on a Thursday evening for the after-hours NightLife to
enjoy live music, exclusive exhibits,
and thematic cocktails. 415-3798000, calacademy.org

California Historical
Society
SOMA

678 MISSION ST.

Once a hardware store, then
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s
first campaign headquarters, today
the building painted International
Orange (color of the Golden Gate
Bridge) houses the California Historical Society and it’s fascinating
exhibits. Set for 2015: a centennial
look back at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, a world’s
fair hosted by rebuilt San Francisco
just nine years after the devastating
1906 earthquake. 415-357-1948,
californiahistoricalsociety.org

Chinese Historical Society
of America Museum
CHINATOWN

©SAN FRANCISCO BALLET/ERIC TOMASSON

965 CLAY ST.

Situated in Chinatown, the largest
Chinese community outside of Asia,
this is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to
documenting the Chinese-American immigrant experience. Artifacts
in the historic Julia Morgan–designed Chinese YWCA building
include historic photos, films of
Chinatown throughout the years,
and a range of artworks. 415-3911188, chsa.org

Conservatory of Flowers
GOLDEN GATE PARK

100 JOHN F. KENNEDY DR.

THE SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

The restored Victorian greenhouse
showcases nearly 2,000 rare and
endangered plant species, including
an incredible orchid collection,

carnivorous plants, giant Amazonian
water lilies, and special exhibits.
415-831-2090,
conservatoryofflowers.org

Contemporary Jewish
Museum
SOMA

736 MISSION ST.

The ever-changing Contemporary
Jewish Museum houses Jewish art,
music, film, and literature in a Daniel
Libeskind–designed building. Past
exhibits have included the art of
Where the Wild Things Are author
Maurice Sendak and a look at the
mah-jongg craze among 20th-century Jewish women. 415-655-7800,
thecjm.org

de Young Museum
GOLDEN GATE PARK

50 HAGIWARA TEA GARDEN DR.

Its tower rising above the trees
in Golden Gate Park, the museum houses an outdoor sculpture
garden, a diverse collection of
American art, ancient works from
around the globe, and an innovative
rotation of art and ancient artifacts
ranging from treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb to the protest art of
Keith Haring. Drop by on a Friday
evening to enjoy a drink in the café
and the weekly after-hours event
that variously features artist demonstrations, live performances, and
drop-in workshops. 415-750-3600,
deyoung.famsf.org

Exploratorium
THE EMBARCADERO

PIER 15

Interactive exhibits at the worldclass Exploratorium—housed in its
new $220 million facility—encourage visitors to touch and tinker, an
explore-for-yourself attitude that
appeals to adults as well as children.
Don’t miss Visualizing the Bay, an interactive map that illustrates many
facets of the area, including fog
changes, a history of earthquakes,
and (using Twitter data) the places
where Bay Area tourists versus
locals tend to congregate. 415-5284444, exploratorium.edu

Legion of Honor
SEA CLIFF

100 34TH AVE.

Tucked away in the elevated Sea
Cliff neighborhood, the Legion of
Honor is home to famed pieces of
art like a bronze cast of Rodin’s The
Thinker and paintings by Monet and
Degas. Its galleries highlight more
than 4,000 years of photography, sculpture, and painting, and
its peaceful café offers stunning
views of the Pacific Ocean and the
Golden Gate Bridge. 415-750-3600,
legionofhonor.famsf.org

Museum of Craft
and Design
DOGPATCH

2569 3RD ST.

The recently relocated Museum
of Craft and Design now makes its
ctguide.com | 51

MUSEUMS & GARDENS

Asian Art Museum

CULTURE

MUSEUMS & GARDENS

MUSEUMS & GARDENS

CULTURE

2015

EDITOR’S

PICKS

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

CULTURE EDITOR, ANNIE
TITTIGER, ON WHERE TO
SEE EVERYTHING FROM
BIG SHOWS TO UNDERTHE-RADAR GEMS

If it’s a Broadway musical you’re looking for, SHN’s
Orpheum and Curran Theatres are the official
homes to Broadway in San Francisco, with shows
like Newsies and The Phantom of the Opera gracing
their stages this year. But they aren’t the only theaters
here that can satisfy your Broadway itch. San Francisco
Playhouse provides a more intimate venue for
alternative Chekhov adaptations like Stupid F**king
Bird, original plays from budding playwrights, and
theater classics like Stephen Sondheim’s Company.
For art nuts, the city is jam-packed with fantastic
museums, but if you take the gallery route, you’ll want
to hit up Pier 24 Photography. On exhibit through
May is Secondhand, featuring Erik Kessels’ 24 Hrs in
Photos, a collection of every picture uploaded to Flickr
in a 24-hour period: The millions of photos are
mounded on the gallery floor, perfect for rummaging.
For Banksy lovers, there’s the Ian Ross Gallery in the
Mission, which focuses on street artists like San
Francisco’s own Zio Ziegler and L.A. transplant Allison
Torneros. Ross was Facebook’s resident artist before
opening his galley, and he’s created the perfect
marriage of tech and culture.

home in the up-and-coming design
district of Dogpatch. Through April
of this year, check out Chris Eckhert’s industrial sculptures; starting
in September, see works from 20
of the Netherlands’ top designers.
415-773-0303, sfmcd.org

Museum of the African
Diaspora
SOMA

685 MISSION ST.

The MoAD is one of the only museums in the world that focuses exclusively on the contemporary art and
rich cultural history that developed
following the dispersal of Africans
throughout the world. Look
through thousands of photos and
listen to slave narratives recounting
the African Diaspora. 415-358-7200,
moadsf.org

San Francisco
Botanical Garden
GOLDEN GATE PARK

1199 9TH AVE.

This 55-acre sanctuary in the
middle of Golden Gate Park houses
more than 8,000 plant varieties
from around the world. The garden,
which is divided by geographic
region, offers herbaceous beauty no
matter what time of year you visit.
415-661-1316, sfbg.org

San Francisco
Cable Car Museum
NOB HILL

1201 MASON ST.

Located in a historic cable car barn
and powerhouse, this museum is
home to cable car memorabilia as
well as three antique cable cars
from the 1870s. An internal viewing
area reveals the engines and wheels
that run the cable system operation.
415-474-1887, cablecarmuseum.org

San Francisco Maritime
National Historical Park
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

499 JEFFERSON ST.

WARHOL BY CRYPTIC, IAN ROSS GALLERY

52 | Cityguide 2015

The park is home to one of the largest collections of restored historic
ships in the United States. Admission is free to the museum building,
and $5 nets a seven-day ticket to
explore the ships. The interesting
memorabilia include handwritten
letters, educational videos, historic
maps, photographs, and artwork
from throughout maritime history.
415-447-5000, nps.gov/safr

©COURTESY DEYOUNG MUSEUM; ©COURTESY IAN ROSS GALLERY

And no matter what your age, you should check out
the new Exploratorium on the waterfront. Be sure to
explore the tactile dome, a novel sensory experience
in which you crawl around in pitch-black darkness,
encountering unseen objects and textures while
navigating your way back out. With countless
experiments and gadgets to offer, the museum
has helped build this city’s reputation as the most
innovative in the world.

THE DEYOUNG MUSEUM

CULTURE

PERFORMING ARTS

BEACH BLANKET BABYLON

San Francisco Museum of
Modern Art (SFMOMA)
SOMA

151 3RD ST. (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

The Mario Botta–designed
museum, the first museum on
the West Coast to focus solely on
20th-century art, is on hiatus during
construction of its 225,000-squarefoot, $610 million expansion. Until
the new digs open in 2016, find
SFMOMA exhibits in the area by
consulting the sidebar on page 58.
415-357-4000, sfmoma.org

THE PRESIDIO

104 MONTGOMERY ST.

Rare sketches, storyboards, and
home movies explore the life and
achievements of Walt Disney at
this museum in the Presidio. Daily
screenings (except Tuesdays) of
Disney films can keep kids occupied, and monthly after-hours
parties with live entertainment and
thematic cocktails attract adults.
415-345-6800, waltdisney.org

PERFORMING ARTS

American Conservatory
Theater (A.C.T.)
UNION SQUARE

405 GEARY ST.

The Tony award–winning American
Conservatory Theater is the largest
theater company in the Bay Area.
Check out its InterACT calendar
for special benefits that come with
your ticket, like Q&A sessions,
wine-tasting parties, and rousing
preshow discussions. The season

ending in 2015 includes Stephen
Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and
a new play about people discussing
The Simpsons after the world has
ended. 415-749-2228, act-sf.org

Beach Blanket Babylon
NORTH BEACH

678 GREEN ST. (BEACH BLANKET
BABYLON BLVD.)

Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon is the world’s longest-running
musical revue, now in its 41st year. It
follows Snow White as she searches for her Prince Charming and
runs into an ever-changing lineup
of current celebrities like Lady
Gaga, Barack and Michelle Obama,
Justin Bieber, and Oprah Winfrey.
No matter the night, expect a show
jam-packed with hilarious pop
culture spoofs, energetic renditions
of popular songs, and an excess of
gigantic hats. 415-421-4222, beach
blanketbabylon.com

Magic Theatre
FORT MASON

D3 FORT MASON CENTER

This audience-minded hothouse for
intrepid theater has hosted a slew
of award-winning world premieres.
Sit in on a post-production Q&A
with the cast members during
a Thursday or Friday evening
TalkBack session (or on Sunday for
shows in preview). 415-441-8822,
magictheatre.org

54 | Cityguide 2015

©BEACH BLANKET BABYLON/RICK MARKOVICH; ©WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM

THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM

The Walt Disney
Family Museum

Keith Haring
The Political Line 
 6! 

Botticelli to Braque
Masterpieces from the
National Galleries of Scotland 
6!

J. M. W. Turner
Painting Set Free 
6

Jewel City  
   

International Exposition  
6!

de Young 

.+$%-"1%"/*4$%3.2-',20%2,./'

PHOTO: HENRIK KAM, © FAMSF

PHOTO: HENRIK KAM, © FAMSF

High Style
The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection 
6! 

A Princely Pursuit
The Malcolm D. Gutter Collection of
Early Meissen Porcelain 
6

Breguet
Art & Innovation in Watchmaking  
6!

Ancient Luxury and the Roman
Silver Treasure from Berthouville  
6!

Legion of Honor 
)-#.+-"/*4+%').-.&(.-././'

ART & ANTIQUES

CULTURE

vaudeville acts, silent films, and
stars such as Katherine Hepburn,
Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland.
Today, they’re fitting hosts of contemporary hit musicals: The 2015
season includes Newsies, Matilda,
and The Phantom of the Opera.
888-746-1799, shnsf.com

Yerba Buena Center
for the Arts
SOMA

701 MISSION ST.

This adventurous cultural center
is a hub for edgy exhibitions that
encourage visitors to question the
status quo, ranging from performances combining hip-hop and
classical music to eclectic art from
emerging Bay Area artists. Check
its calendar for a selection of films,
performance art, and distinctive
interactive projects. 415-978-2787,
ybca.org

ART AND ANTIQUES

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
DOHEE LEE’S MAGO

Caldwell Snyder Gallery
UNION SQUARE

San Francisco Ballet
THE CIVIC CENTER

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE
301 VAN NESS AVE.

The San Francisco Ballet, America’s
first professional ballet company,
was also the first United States
company to produce the complete
version of The Nutcracker, back in
1944. The company boasts a long
legacy of talented dancers and
choreographers, including Sarah
Van Patten, John Cranko, and
Mark Morris. And the 2015 season
features new productions of Don
Quixote and Romeo and Juliet. 415865-2000, sfballet.org

San Francisco
Conservatory of Music
THE CIVIC CENTER

50 OAK ST.

This internationally recognized
music school hosts more than 450

concerts and recitals a year. The
Conservatory’s students, graduates, and faculty members perform
concerts of string, piano, and
woodwind chamber music, as well
as opera workshops and holiday
recitals. 415-864-7326, sfcm.edu

San Francisco Opera
THE CIVIC CENTER

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE
301 VAN NESS AVE.

The San Francisco Opera is the
largest West Coast performing
arts organization (and the second
largest opera in North America),
legendary for innovative productions like A Streetcar Named Desire,
Madame Butterfly, and the West
Coast premiere of I Am Harvey Milk.
Its 75 annual shows starring international opera celebrities attract
500,000 patrons. 415-864-3330,
sfopera.com

San Francisco
Performances
THE CIVIC CENTER

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

San Francisco Playhouse
UNION SQUARE

450 POST ST., 2ND FL.

HAMMERHEAD CHAIR BY MICHAEL
BOYD, HEDGE GALLERY

56 | Cityguide 2015

This intimate alternative theater
in Union Square stages an eclectic
lineup of musicals, Broadway hits,
and world premieres that share
the common thread of celebrating
the human spirit. Its second stage,
dubbed the Sandbox, serves as a

SFJazz Center
HAYES VALLEY

201 FRANKLIN ST.

Despite its 35,000 square feet,
this spectacular new structure by
award-winning local architect Mark
Cavagnero feels almost intimate,
like a typical jazz joint. Steeply
raked seating means that no audience member is farther than 45
feet from the performers. Inside
the center’s glass walls, you’ll find a
restaurant and bar flowing with rum
and tequila, completing the nightclub feel. 866-920-5299, sfjazz.org

San Francisco Symphony
THE CIVIC CENTER

DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL
201 VAN NESS AVE.

Born in the wake of the 1906
quake, the San Francisco Symphony
is widely considered among the
country’s most adventurous arts
institutions, producing more than
200 concerts a year in addition to
a number of free and community
performances. It has won eight
Grammy Awards under the guidance of celebrity music director
Michael Tilson Thomas and has
showcased the work of iconic
classical composers like George
Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.
415-864-6000, sfsymphony.org

SHN Curran, Golden Gate,
and Orpheum Theatres
UNION SQUARE/MID-MARKET

Catch some of the biggest Broadway shows at the ’20s-era performance palaces now coordinated
by SHN. The landmark stages have
outstanding acoustics and elaborate
designs. In bygone eras, they hosted

With hardwood floors and daring
contemporary Latin-American and
European art, Caldwell Snyder focuses on impressing the seasoned
collector. If you’re headed to wine
country, check out the gallery’s second space in the Star Building in St.
Helena. 415-392-2299, caldwell
snyder.com

Catharine Clark Gallery
POTRERO HILL

248 UTAH ST.

Perhaps the most New York-ish
of local galleries, Catharine Clark
aims to challenge and shock
visitors through alternative artistic
representations. It was the city’s
first gallery to create an exclusive
multimedia room showcasing
experimental video and other forms
of the avant-garde. Arrive with an
open mind. 415-399-1439,
cclarkgallery.com

Christopher-Clark
Fine Art
UNION SQUARE

377 GEARY ST.

Picasso, Rembrandt, Miró, oh my!
With an impressive set of traditional
and modern masters, ChristopherClark makes an impact through
names alone. It’s mostly for the
Union Square crowd craving a bit of
recognizable, easily digestible art.
415-397-7781, clarkfineart.com

Creativity Explored
THE MISSION

3245 16TH ST.

Perhaps the most inspiring gallery
in the area, Creativity Explored
gives artists with developmental
disabilities the means to create and
sell art, proving that great art is not
only universal, but also comes from
the most unexpected places. Anticipate a mind-blowing encounter.
415-863-2108, creativityexplored.org

©DOHEE LEE/PAK HAN; ©COURTESY HEDGE GALLERY

The city’s leading presenter of live
music for more than 30 years, San
Francisco Performances offers a
season of more than 200 live concerts by contemporary icons
in chamber music, vocal and instrumental recital, and contemporary
dance—all on top of its work with
SFJazz. 415-392-2545,
sfperformances.org

lab where local and professional
writers develop bare bones, lowcost productions. 415-677-9596,
sfplayhouse.org

341 SUTTER ST.

201 FRANKLIN STREET 866.920.5299
DISCOVER WHO'S PLAYING TONIGHT SFJAZZ.org

ART & ANTIQUES

CULTURE

2015

DON’T

MISS

MODERN ART,
FREE TO ROAM
While SFMOMA renovates, its
collections venture far and wide.

Rather than mothballing all its greatest masterworks
while its new addition is under construction, SFMOMA
is sending them out to guest-star at other Bay Area arts
institutions. “One of our founder’s tenets was interinstitutional sharing, so this is part of our history,” says
Jill Sterrett, the museum’s head of collections. Here’s a
starter guide to tracking down MOMA moments in 2015.
OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA
Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California
(through April 12): SFMOMA and the OMC put their
heads and collections together to showcase four
special moments in California history that produced great works of 20th-century art: Diego Rivera and Frida
Kahlo in Depression-era San Francisco, the School of Fine Arts in the wake of World War II, the ’70s-era studio
art department at UC Davis, and San Francisco’s Mission district during the ’90s.
MARK ROTHKO, NO. 14

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE
Doug Hall: The Terrible Uncertainty of the Things Described (March 24 through June 6): San Francisco
media artist Doug Hall’s oddball blend of documentary video and sculpture chronicles the rise of human industry
in the face of chaos in the natural world, displayed via three channels of video on six screens. This will be the first
time that the Hall piece has been out of storage in 25 years.
HIGGINS MUSEUM, STOCKTON
Photography in Mexico (through June 14): Head 80 miles east of San Francisco to see 100 photographs by artists
like Lola Alvarez Bravo and Edward Weston, chronicling 100 years (give or take) of Mexican history through scenes
ranging from everyday life to urban sprawl to the country’s natural beauty.
MUSEUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
Portraits and Other Likenesses (May 8 through September 27): Thirty works of painting, sculpture, photography,
and video from artists past and present explore the evolution of how artists capture the human face and spirit.

Fraenkel Gallery
UNION SQUARE

49 GEARY ST., 4TH FL.

Gallery 16
SOMA

501 3RD ST.

A fantastic exploration of the fun
side of the art world for over 20
years, Gallery 16 represents artists
working in a wide range of media.
It doesn’t hurt that the space is
beautiful too. 415-626-7495,
gallery16.com

XANADU GALLERY

58 | Cityguide 2015

NORTH BEACH

501 PACIFIC AVE.

One of the city’s leading furniture galleries, Hedge’s stylish
2,500-square-foot space consists
of one room for exhibitions by the
likes of Ritsue Mishima and another
room for furniture. The owners
have established a reputation for
impeccable yet pioneering taste.
415-433-2233, hedgegallery.com

Hespe Gallery
UNION SQUARE

251 POST ST., STE. 420

A visual treat, this corner gallery is
small but powerful. Look for large
canvases and provocative images
from contemporary and emerging
artists. 415-776-5918, hespe.com

©SF MOMA/WINNI WINTERMEYER; ©XANADU GALLERY/DADEROT

A standout among the many galleries at 49 Geary Street, Fraenkel
always impresses with its collection
of photography, an underappreciated medium in the San Francisco
art scene. 415-981-2661, fraenkel
gallery.com

Hedge Gallery

TRAVEL THE WORLD

Provocative.
Intentional.
Vibrant.

in 55 acres

STROLL THE GARDEN—THIS YEAR,
CELEBRATING ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY—
AND ENCOUNTER A TRULY GLOBAL
PLANT COLLECTION, ALL RIGHT IN THE
HEART OF THE CITY.

Located at
Ground Floor of
the St. Regis Hotel
685 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA
moadsf.org

Wed. thru Sat.
11am–6pm

For info, including what’s in bloom,
Visit SFBotanicalGarden.org
Image: Magnolia campbelli, Tom Karlo

K

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Open Daily in Golden Gate Park

K

75th Media Sponsors:

Sun. 12–5pm

ART & ANTIQUES

CULTURE

2015

DON’T

MISS
@LARGE:
AI WEIWEI
ON ALCATRAZ
(THROUGH APRIL )

Catch the monumental exhibition of site-specific art
by the famed Chinese dissident while you can. Prepare
yourself for a colorful, sensory-rich spectacle that
manages to elevate its surroundings—which is saying something, given that the seven installations are
housed in creepy, crumbling Alcatraz, already one of
the greatest spectacles and visitor experiences in San
Francisco.
Using the island prison as inspiration and metaphorical
canvas, Ai Weiwei explores themes of human rights
and freedom of expression on a massive scale through
the 2-million-piece Lego sculpture Trace, the chanting
sound installation Illumination, and the giant Chinese
dragon with Twitter birds for eyes. The show is unapologetically political, technically impressive, and just
plain beautiful, thanks in no small part to its surroundings. Book your visit with Alcatraz Cruises at Pier 33.
415-981-7625, alcatrazcruises.com

Ian Ross Gallery
SOMA

466 BRANNAN ST.

Kathleen Taylor: the Lotus
Collection

The technology sector and the arts
scene sometimes bump heads in
San Francisco, but Ian Ross has brokered a truce with his huge, graffitistyle murals on the buildings of tech
giants. The gallery bearing his name
gives a home to other wayward,
sprawl-style urban artists like Zio
Ziegler and Rachelle Reichert. 415533-5758, ianrossgallery.com

One of the country’s leading sources of antique textiles, the Lotus
Collection has a selection of highquality European, Asian, and African
textiles, including tapestries and
other wall hangings, pillows, and
table covers. The gallery has been
featured in Architectural Digest.
415-398-8115, ktaylor-lotus.com

Jessica Silverman Gallery

Meyerovich Gallery

488 ELLIS ST.

Bursting onto the San Francisco art
scene in 2008, Jessica Silverman is
as innovative as she is smart. Make
sure to stop by this gem of a gallery
for a jolt of youth and energy. 415255-9508, silverman-gallery.com

John Berggruen Gallery
UNION SQUARE

228 GRANT AVE.

A San Francisco staple, for better or
worse, Berggruen is the end-all of
the gallery scene. Take some time
to check out this landmark, if only
to see the Diebenkorns. 415-7814629, berggruen.com

60 | Cityguide 2015

445 JACKSON ST.

UNION SQUARE

251 POST ST., 4TH FL.

Just off Union Square, this beautiful
gallery curated by a passionate and
knowledgeable owner is a treat.
Make sure to ask to see the art in
the back—Picassos and Rauschenbergs galore! Contemporary works
have included drawings by Stanley
Boxer, Guy Dill, and Matt Phillips.
415-421-7171, meyerovich.com

Pier 24
THE EMBARCADERO

PIER 24

The gigantic renovated warehouse is a rambling wonderland of
photography: 28,000 square feet
housing a collection of mostly 20thand 21st-century photography, as
well as special exhibits. The space
is minimalist, with no information

©AI WEIWEI/ALCATRAZ; ©CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM/BRUCE DAMONTE

LOWER NOB HILL

CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM

JACKSON SQUARE

104 Montgomery Street
In the Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129
waltdisney.org
®
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY © DISNEY | THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC. | © 2013 THE WALT DISNEY
FAMILY MUSEUM, LLC | THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.

ART & ANTIQUES

CULTURE

cards on the walls, though there
are exhibition guides. Be sure to
sign up online ahead of time for
a free two-hour self-guided tour.
Through August, Pier 24 showcases the work of photo archivist
Erik Kessels, including his 24 Hrs in
Photos: prints of every single photo
uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour
period, piled to the roof. 415-5127424, pier24.org

San Francisco Art
Exchange
UNION SQUARE

458 GEARY ST.

The gallery holds thousands of
original photographs and examples
of the most important imagery of
rock and roll, Hollywood, and politics, including works by some of the
most prominent photographers and
artists of those genres. Find images
of the Beatles, the Stones, Marilyn
Monroe, and Martin Luther King Jr.,
plus album art and more. 415-4418840, sfae.com

Sarah Stocking
NORTH BEACH

368 JACKSON ST.

This gallery near the iconic Transamerica Pyramid carries hundreds
of vintage international posters

from the 19th century to the 1930s,
but focuses on belle epoque and
art nouveau styles. 415-984-0700,
sarahstocking.com

V Vorres Gallery
PRESIDIO HEIGHTS

3681 SACRAMENTO ST.

An outstanding neighborhood gallery, Vorres features contemporary
abstract and impressionist drawings, paintings, photographs, and
works on paper by strong emerging
and established artists. 415-4234345, vorresgallery.com

Xanadu Gallery
UNION SQUARE

140 MAIDEN LN.

Xanadu Gallery, housed in a Frank
Lloyd Wright–designed building,
specializes in fine Asian antiques
and ethnographic works of art from
Asia, Latin America, and Oceania.
The exceptional collection of
distinctive jewelry includes Roman
and pre-Roman amulets, medieval
bronzes and sacred images from
the Himalayas, and Indian gold and
diamonds. You’ll find treasures
ranging from a 12th-century Buddha to a 20th-century Papua New
Guinea war shield. 415-392-9999,
folkartintl.com

FOR CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IN MARIN, THE EAST BAY, AND
SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO, SEE PAGE 162.

THE EXPLORITORIUM

Engaging exhibitions and public
programs change the way we see our
modern lives. Experience the best of

2569 Third Street, San Francisco, CA
415.773.0303 | sfmcd.org

62 | Cityguide 2015

©EXPLORITORIUM/GAYLE LAIRD

craft and design right in your backyard.

CANTINA

ENTERTAINMENT

RUSSIAN HILL

915 COLUMBUS AVE.

The go-to for local comedy, Cobb’s
has hosted Dave Chappelle,
Louis CK, Robin Williams, and Bill
Burr—and there’s more to come:
Roseanne Barr and Demetri Martin
are both confirmed for 2015.
415-928-4320, cobbscomedy.com

Comet Club
THE MARINA/COW HOLLOW

3111 FILLMORE ST.

Those in the mood for a cheap
laugh will find that the Comet Club’s
free Sufficient Comedy Thursday
night shows are no joke. And if
you miss the half-dozen or so local
comics working on their stuff, the
rest of the time the bar and small
dance floor ably hold down the fort.
415-567-5589

The Dark Room
THE MISSION

2263 MISSION ST.

A hotbed of homegrown humor,
the Dark Room hosts “the Mission’s newest comedy show for a
measly five bucks”—known as the
Tabernacle—every Wednesday. But
Bad Movie Night on Sundays is the
real treat: At long last, you can yell
at the screen as much as you want.
415-874-5607, darkroomsf.com

Marrakech Magic Theater
THE TENDERLOIN

419 O’FARRELL ST.

San Francisco magician and club
owner Peter Morrison is the main
attraction here. After 17 years and
3,000 performances around the
world, he decided to settle down
and dazzle local audiences with
close-up magic. 925-984-6504,
sanfranciscomagictheater.com

Punch Line
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

444 BATTERY ST.

Ever since San Francisco’s oldest
operating comedy club opened over
35 years ago, there have been two
kinds of big-name comedians: those
who have appeared at the Punch
Line, and those who have never
been to San Francisco. 415-3977573, punchlinecomedyclub.com

Secret Improv Society
UNION SQUARE

©COURTESY CANTINA

SHELTON THEATER, 533 SUTTER ST.

Every Friday and Saturday, select
spectators (that is, people with
tickets) are privy to the secrets of
the Secret Improv Society, revealed
via comedy sketches and songs
drummed up on the spot. You can
join in the show if you want, or just
sit on the sidelines and try to stump
the players with skit suggestions.
Another secret: Sometimes there
are free Oreos—but don’t tell
anyone. 415-882-9100,
improvsociety.com

FILM

Castro Theatre
THE CASTRO

429 CASTRO ST.

Designed with Spanish, Asian, and
Italian architectural inspirations,
the 1,407-seat Castro Theatre is
one of the few remaining movie
palaces from the 1920s that’s still
in operation—one recent high point
was the premiere of the awardwinning documentary The Case
Against 8. In addition to hosting
the International Film Festival, the
Noir City Film Festival, and the San
Francisco Independent Film Festival, the theater screens films both
old and new and puts on frequent
campy sing-a-longs. 415-621-6120,
castrotheatre.com

Embarcadero Center
Cinema
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

1 EMBARCADERO CENTER

Skip the popcorn at the concession
stand and opt instead for imported
chocolates and steak-and-cilantro
empanadas at this popular financial
district cinema showing high-profile
independent films and foreign
language flicks. A 2013 renovation
added a lounge and a full-service
beer and wine bar. 415-352-0835,
landmarktheatres.com

Roxie Theater
THE MISSION

3117 16TH ST.

San Francisco’s oldest continually
operating theater has been screening independent, foreign, and documentary films for more than 100
years. Check the listings to catch
one of its frequent film festivals.
415-863-1087, roxie.com

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
JAPANTOWN

1881 POST ST.

The Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, San
Francisco’s original multiplex, screen
a mix of independent and mainstream films. Sip a cocktail at one
of the two bars before the show, or
(if you’re attending a 21-and-over
screening) take a bottle of wine
back to your seat. 415-346-3243,
sundancecinemas.com

DANCE CLUBS AND
LIVE MUSIC
The Addition
THE FILLMORE

1330 FILLMORE ST.

This club, housed in the building formerly occupied by Yoshi’s,
recently reopened with a new name
and a new owner. Featuring classic
and indie rock, R&B, hip-hop, jazz,
and world music, it’s primed to become one of the city’s most eclectic
music venues. The kitchen offers
warm Napa Valley olives and prawn
dogs (corn muffins with a prawn
baked inside, also called a shrimp
puppy). 415-655-5600,
theaddition.com
ctguide.com | 65

COMEDY, FILM, DANCE CLUBS & LIVE MUSIC

LAUGH, WATCH, SHAKE YOUR
BOOTY, OR LISTEN: FUN COMES
IN ANY FORM YOU LIKE AT SAN
FRANCISCO’S MANY CLASSIC
AND UP-AND-COMING COMEDY
CLUBS, CINEMAS, LIVE MUSIC
VENUES, AND DANCE CLUBS.

Cobb’s Comedy Club

ENTERTAINMENT

PICK YOUR
PLEASURE

COMEDY CLUBS

DANCE CLUBS & LIVE MUSIC

ENTERTAINMENT

2015

EDITOR’S

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

PICKS
ENTERTAINMENT
EDITOR ANNIE
TITTIGER ON THE BEST
LIVE MUSIC AND A CIVILIZED
MOVIE EXPERIENCE
If you’re after live music, this town has tons of options. The Fillmore is our classic
venue, standing tall since 1912. Peruse the photos and posters on the wall for acts in
days gone by, and go now to see artists from Jack Johnson to Talib Kweli.
For jazz producer Chet Faker or up-and-coming bands like indie pop STFKR, check
out the Independent on Divisadero Street. And it’s Bimbo’s 360 Club that plays
host to the best cover bands of the 70s and 80s. If you just want to shake your stuff,
try the Make-Out Room in the Mission District for great late night dancing to soul
hits. Or for a mellow evening, head to Sundance Kabuki theater in Japantown for a
grownup movie experience. It shows both independent releases as well as big
blockbuster movies, plus you can enjoy a glass of wine while you watch.

Biscuit and Blues
UNION SQUARE

401 MASON ST.

San Francisco’s newish old blues
club hosts regional and national
acts and is one of the best places to
see live music in the city. 415-2922583, biscuitsandblues.com

Boom Boom Room
THE FILLMORE

1601 FILLMORE ST.

Funk, blues, boogie, soul, rock—no
matter how you choose to define
this classic club’s music, it will make
you want to shake your stuff. For
those more inclined to just tap
their toes, the bar and high-backed
leather booths are cozy places to
take in the scene. Live acts perform
at least six nights per week. 415673-8040, boomboomblues.com

Bottom of the Hill
POTRERO HILL

1233 17TH ST.

CASTRO THEATRE

Badlands
THE CASTRO

4121 18TH ST.

Badlands bills itself as the Castro’s
most popular gay video dance
club. Open from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m.,
sitting right in the heart of the
Castro, and featuring top 40 hits
every night, it is in many ways the
quintessential gay bar. What more
could you ask for? 415-626-9320,
sfbadlands.com

BeatBox
SOMA

314 11TH ST.

Take one renovated warehouse,
complete with a 25-foot-high ceiling and a private mezzanine, add a
wooden dance floor and oversize
bar, and finish with the West Coast’s
only Danley Sound Labs audio
system. Is BeatBox SoMa’s greatest club? Dance until closing and
decide for yourself. 415-500-2675,
beatboxsf.com

Bill Graham Civic
Auditorium
THE CIVIC CENTER

99 GROVE ST.

Standing along Civic Center Plaza,
just east of City Hall, it’s easy to
mistake this 1915 stately auditorium
as a government building. But on
evenings when the marquee lists
a top act, 7,000 fans fill the place
to capacity for general admission
shows. 415-624-8900,
apeconcerts.com

NORTH BEACH

1025 COLUMBUS AVE.

This elegant club, which harks back
to jazz’s swanky heyday, books top
jazz and rock performers. In its early
years, the club hosted Rita Hayworth; these days, the likes of Adele
and Alicia Keys grace the stage. 415474-0365, bimbos365club.com
66 | Cityguide 2015

Brick and Mortar
THE MISSION

1710 MISSION ST.

You could debate whether this
music venue is “intimate” or “small,”
but there’s no question it jumps and
grooves to the music of top bluegrass and hip hop acts, who feel like
they’re playing literally right before
your eyes. 415-371-1631,
brickandmortarmusic.com

Cafe Du Nord
DUBOCE TRIANGLE

2170 MARKET ST.

This subterranean nightclub in the
historic Swedish American Hall has
been freshly renovated in art deco
style and now offers a new menu,
craft cocktails, beer, and wine. The
live indie music, however, remains
the same. 415-861-5016,
cafedunord.com

Cantina
UNION SQUARE

580 SUTTER ST.

Just above Union Square, this Latin
lounge mixes unique cocktails that
will leave you debating which to try
next—a blackberry and cabernet
caipirinha or a five-spice margarita.
Weekend DJs and a friendly crowd
add to the fun-loving atmosphere.
415-398-0195, cantinasf.com

The Chapel
THE MISSION

777 VALENCIA ST.

One of the newest additions to the
perennially hip Mission district’s
live music scene, the Chapel is a
100-year-old former mortuary (with
a 40-foot-high ceiling) that’s been

©SF TRAVEL ASSOCIATION

Bimbo’s 365 Club

One of the city’s best venues for intimate yet rocking shows, this is the
place to see both local bands and
big names at low ticket prices. The
full bar serves up cheap drinks that
get the job done. 415-626-4455,
bottomofthehill.com

©COURTESY RICKSHAW STOP/CJ LUCERO

ENTERTAINMENT

DANCE CLUBS & LIVE MUSIC

RICKSHAW STOP

converted into a restaurant, bar, and
music venue. Elvis Costello, Robert
Earl Keen, and the Reverend Horton
Heat have dropped in, and the
Chapel has hosted Preservation Hall
West, the West Coast outpost of
the New Orleans–based Preservation Hall Jazz Foundation. 415-5515157, thechapelsf.com

The Fillmore
THE FILLMORE

1805 GEARY BLVD.

Once voted best music venue by
San Francisco readers, this historic
site has been drawing big-name
musicians since the mid-’60s.
Make good use of your time during

so-so opening acts by lingering in
the chandelier-hung hallways to
peruse gig posters and photographs
of music legends who’ve played
here—from the Grateful Dead and
Jimi Hendrix to the Cure and Sonic
Youth. 415-346-6000,
thefillmore.com

Great American Music Hall
THE TENDERLOIN

859 O’FARRELL ST.

The oldest music hall in the city
(established in 1907), the Great
American sports romantic marble
columns paired with ornate wooden
balconies and ceiling frescoes.

ctguide.com | 67

DANCE CLUBS & LIVE MUSIC

ENTERTAINMENT

Stepping inside feels like passing
through a time portal. Acts playing
here usually appeal to a more mature palate (past performers include
Van Morrison and Arcade Fire), but
you can catch a great bluegrass jam
session almost any night of the week.
415-885-0750, slimspresents.com

The Independent
ALAMO SQUARE

628 DIVISADERO ST.

milk bar

1840 haight street | san francisco
415.387.6455
www.milksf.com
monday–thursday | 4pm-2am
friday–sunday | 1pm-2am

Since its inception in 2004, the
venue has hosted over 2,000
musical acts, including Fleet Foxes,
M.I.A., local guitar hero Ty Segall,
MGMT, and Dave Chappelle. It holds
only 500 people, so the shows are
very intimate—which is a good
thing. Every act that you see on this
stage will probably be playing much
bigger venues within the year. 415771-1421, theindependentsf.com

Make-Out Room
THE MISSION

3225 22ND ST.

live music 6 nights a week
comedy happy hours:
mon, tues, thurs and sunday

the only live music venue in the
world-famous haight-ashbury district

The unusual lineup of music (everything from Latin to alternative)
changes nightly, but dancing in this
prom-themed dive bar is guaranteed. Local bands and DJs from a
variety of genres keep the hipster
crowd on their feet and shaking.
415-647-2888, makeoutroom.com

The Masonic
NOB HILL

1111 CALIFORNIA ST.

Comet Club
3111 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 567-5589

Free Comed
y with Bay
Area top co
medians ever
y
Thursday nigh
t star ting at
8PM (get ther
e early for go
od
seating) until
10PM, followe
d
by San Franci
sco’s top DJs

The midcentury modern California
Masonic Memorial Temple today
hosts an eclectic range of performers, from top comedians like Lewis
Black to musicians and bands from
Cat Stevens to Sleater-Kinney. It’s
a grand setting made all the better
by recent renovations including
general admission space and a new
stage and sound system. 415-7767457, sfmasonic.com

The Milk Bar
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

1840 HAIGHT ST.

Depending on the night, you might
catch a free comedy show, a live

reggae, bluegrass, rock and roll,
or emo band—or, on Thursdays, a
special night when comics perform
simultaneously with a local jam
band. All of this is to say, there’s
never a dull moment at The Milk
Bar. 415-387-6455, milksf.com

Neck of the Woods
INNER RICHMOND

406 CLEMENT ST.

Formerly the Rock-It Room, Neck
of the Woods is one of San Francisco’s oldest and most esteemed
live music venues, having hosted
thousands of acts over the years,
from John Lee Hooker to the
Mother Hips. Of course, it loves
local bands too. 415-387-6343,
neckofthewoodssf.com

Pier 23 Café
THE EMBARCADERO

PIER 23

Hiding behind this casual waterfront
bar is a huge back patio that juts
out over the bay, offering beautiful
happy hour views. Stick around for
dinner from the seafood-focused
menu and cap off the evening with
the nightly live music. 415-362-5125,
pier23cafe.com

Regency Ballroom
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

1300 VAN NESS AVE.

The Regency Ballroom hosts a
variety of artists, from rising rappers like Kendrick Lamar to techno
master Ghostland Observatory and
indie act Tune-Yards. With ample
space for dancing and a balcony
level that overlooks the action, you
can enjoy the band even if you prefer sitting to shimmying. 415-6735716, theregencyballroom.com

Rickshaw Stop
THE CIVIC CENTER

155 FELL ST.

Ensconced in a former TV
studio, the Rickshaw is a smallish 4,000-square-foot venue
where indie acts on the brink of a
breakthrough (like Grimes, Neon
Indian, and Silversun Pickups) reign

THE INDEPENDENT

Also featurin
g
San Francisc
o’s top DJs ev
er y
Fri & Sat nigh
t from 9PM-2
AM

Sun - Wednesday 7 PM till 2 am
Thursday - Saturday-5 :30 till 2 am
closed Mondays

68 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY THE INDEPENDENT

Happy hour
till 9PM ever
y
day with grea
t drink specia
ls
and beer sp
ecials nightly
.

SOMA

651 HOWARD ST.

This multilevel nightclub and lounge
hosts more than its share of private
parties, but when the space is open
to the public, happy hour lasts until
8 p.m., offering ballpark-style food
served alongside high-class drinks.
Where else can you enjoy tater tots
with white wine sangria? 415-2270288, roe-sf.com

Ruby Skye
UNION SQUARE

420 MASON ST.

This popular and rowdy nightclub
was converted from one of the
many beautiful old theaters in the
entertainment district. A dance
floor occupies the main level, while
a smaller bar caters to the party
crowd on the upstairs balcony.
415-693-0777, rubyskye.com

Slim’s
SOMA

333 11TH ST.

Opened in 1988 by Boz Scaggs,
Slim’s is the granddaddy of SoMa’s
live music nightclubs. Today it
remains dedicated to the finest
American roots music, serving up
loud jams nightly from top and
up-and-coming acts. 415-255-0333,
slims-sf.com

Starlight Room
UNION SQUARE

DON’T

The one thing that San Franciscans love even
more than their Giants and their burritos?
Music festivals. If you’re in town, don’t dare
miss these.—Adam Brinklow
Popfest (May): Every Memorial Day weekend, three
beloved music halls (the
Hemlock Tavern, Cafe Du
Nord, and the Knockout)
start the summer right with
a lineup of indie bands like
Rocketship and the Softies.
popfestsf.com
Stern Grove Festival
(June through August):
The shady, serene eucalyptus grove in the Sunset
neighborhood hosts the
city’s most popular and
acclaimed outdoor concert series every summer
Sunday—and it’s completely
free. Past years’ lineups
have included Smokey Robinson, the San Francisco
Symphony, the Zombies,
the Kronos Quartet, and

the San Francisco Opera.
sterngrove.org
Fillmore Jazz Festival
(July 4-5): The Fillmore
district grooves one joyful
weekend a year to the
largest free jazz festival
on the West Coast. Three
stages crowded with wild
contemporary jazz artists
(some even spill out onto
the streets) offer set after
set—eight hours a day,
rain or shine. fillmorejazz
festival.com
Midsummer Mozart (July):
After 40 years, this is still
the only music festival
in the country dedicated
entirely to the music of
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Some of the best orchestras and soloists worldwide

MISS

come to San Francisco to
work under the baton of
Maestro George Cleve, who
founded the festival in 1974
and has been its conductor
ever since. midsummer
mozart.org
Outside Lands (August):
Tens of thousands of music
lovers descend on Golden
Gate Park for three days of
the biggest names in popular music, from Radiohead
and the Black Keys in 2008
to Kanye West and Tom
Petty in 2014. Check the
lineup in April to see who’s
headlining in 2015.
sfoutsidelands.com

BLEACHERS AT OUTSIDE LANDS

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE HOTEL,
450 POWELL ST.

High atop the Sir Francis Drake, this
classic lounge on the 21st floor is all
old-school glitz, with velvet curtains
and booths, sweeping downtown
views, classic cocktails, and (this
being San Francisco) Sunday drag
shows. Call ahead for reservations.
415-395-8595, starlightroomsf.com

Vessel
UNION SQUARE

85 CAMPTON PL.

This Union Square subterranean
nightclub features an impressive rotation of internationally recognized
DJs. Plan ahead and reserve a table
in the VIP area, perfect for dancing
the night away. 415-433-8585,
vesselsf.com

The Warfield
THE TENDERLOIN

©JOSH WITHERS

982 MARKET ST.

Originally built as a vaudeville
palace, this 2,350-seat music venue
hosts an eclectic mix of artists, from
Bob Dylan and Prince to Adele and
the Killers. 415-345-0900,
thewarfieldtheatre.com

Indian summer bonus: Miss out on the summer music season? Don’t worry—you have
one heck of a consolation prize in store. Come October, you can set a course for the
beloved Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, then hop over to the island in the bay for the
two-day Treasure Island Music Festival (day one, hip-hop and electronica; day two, rock
and indie rock). hardlystrictlybluegrass.com; treasureislandfestival.com
ctguide.com | 69

ENTERTAINMENT

Roe

SUMMER TUNES

2015

DANCE CLUBS & LIVE MUSIC

supreme. Popular shows sell out
quickly, but you can come by almost
any night of the week to catch a
great up-and-coming act. 415-8612011, rickshawstop.com

VERBENA

FOOD

1320 CASTRO ST.

Tapas is often Spanish for “greasy
small plates you paid too much for.”
But Brett Emerson offers a fresh
translation of mostly Catalonianinspired cuisine. What stands out
most is the West Coast sensibility the chef brings to his food. A
triumphant king salmon fillet, baked
in a fig leaf and caressed with cava
butter, absorbs the sweetness of
its wrapper. For dessert, coffee flan
tastes at once exotic and familiar.
That’s what you want in a neighborhood restaurant: a place that takes
you somewhere distant even as it
makes you feel at home. contigosf.
com, 415-285-0250 $$$ R D W
HOT

Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar

3282 MISSION ST.

With a separate izakaya bar hidden
somewhat awkwardly by a room
divider, the space is a bit perplexing.
But the sushi is impeccable. Dainty
and bracingly fresh, each piece of
fish offers a master’s thesis on the
paradoxical relationship between
restrained portions and explosive
flavor. ichisushi.com, 415-525-4750
$$$ D R W

La Ciccia
291 30TH ST.

©COURTESY VERBENA

WHERE TO
EAT NOW

SAN FRANCISCO HAS THE
LARGEST NUMBER OF
RESTAURANTS TO RESIDENTS
IN THE COUNTRY. HERE’S AS
CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO A
DEFINITIVE GUIDE OF THE BEST
DINING TODAY. FROM NEW
LOCAL SECRETS TO OLD
FAVORITES, EDGY TO
TRADITIONAL, CHEAP EATS TO
FINE DINING—IT’S ALL HERE.

Chef Massimiliano Conti, a native
of Sardinia, Italy, seeks to create
flavors that are exactly what you’d
find in a Sardinian restaurant, not
California-ized approximations
thereof. The result is arguably
the best Italian restaurant in San
Francisco. Order the tender baby
octopus stew in spicy tomato sauce
and the fresh-made fregola, heady
with sea urchin and cured tuna
heart, and ask your waiter to pair
it all with something unusual from
the all-Italian wine list. laciccia.com,
415-550-8114 $$$ D R W

La Nebbia
1781 CHURCH ST.

For authentic Italian, there is no
place more beloved than La Ciccia,
owned by Sardinian chef Massimiliano Conti and his wife and host,
Lorella Degan. Which is why their
second, more casual spot, located a
kitty corner away, has been packed
since day one. La Nebbia is all about
pizzas (a popular one is topped
with squid ink, pine nuts, raisins,

Piccino
1001 MINNESOTA ST.

As Dogpatch has developed, so has
its demand for Cal-Med cooking,
which helps explain Piccino’s move
to a larger space. Its rustic bones
are spit-shined, its main room
filled with a kick-back casualness.
Cipollini soup, with fried capers
and green-onion purée, is a bright
ballad of the season. From the
beef-and-pork polpette in crushed
tomatoes to the pan-seared halibut
with spring onions, there are few
surprises. A strawberry-rhubarb
crostata is, like the restaurant, good
enough to draw you back if you live
nearby. piccinocafe.com, 415-8244224 $$$ R W

THE CASTRO
Chilango

235 CHURCH ST.

This Mexican joint focuses on
antojitos, casually presented small
plates pulled off with a feel-good
California touch. You’ll recognize almost everything, from a straightforward mash of guacamole to a fiery
posole studded with free-range
chicken. But you’ll taste a difference
in the pedigree of the products and
the sharpness of such dishes as
ceviche, which pairs lime-and-saltsplashed mahimahi with punchy
purple onions and sweet oranges.
Most everything, from fork-tender
carnitas to nutty tongue tacos, has
a lively character. chilangorestau
rantsf.com, 415-552-5700 $$ R W
HOT

Frances

3870 17TH ST.

Landing a table here requires the
kind of months-out planning more
common for the French Laundry,
though you can sometimes line up
at opening and snag a seat at the
bar. The payoff is California comfort
cooking: local, seasonal, satisfying,
safe. Chef Melissa Perello works
adroitly, nesting duck confit in
sweet lentil ragout, with a back bite
from escarole and Rome Beauty apples. Kale, which cameos in ricotta
gnocchi, moves on to star in its own
salad, with dates, crispy shallots,
and fennel agrodolce. Is Frances

WHAT OUR SYMBOLS MEAN
Average cost of an entrée
$ $10 or less
$$ $11–17
$$$ $18–24
$$$$ $25 or more

Abbreviations
D Dinner only
R Reservations taken
C Cash only
V Valet parking
W Wheelchair accessible

ctguide.com | 71

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

Contigo

anchovies, and fresh mozzarella),
lasagnetta, and different levels of
prosciutto. The Italian wine list is
expectedly excellent. For dessert,
the fresh ricottina with honey is
essential. lanebbia.com, 415-8749924 $$ D

FOOD

DOGPATCH, BERNAL
HEIGHTS, AND NOE
VALLEY

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

FOOD

2015

EDITOR’S

EDITOR-AT-LARGE PICKS
SARA DESERAN HAS
A KEY STRATEGY TO
HELP YOU EAT YOUR WAY
THROUGH THE CITY:
DOUBLE UP
SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

After 15 years as a food editor in San Francisco, people always ask me, “Where
should I eat?” It’s an impossible question. There are just too many good choices. So
here’s my best advice: To get the most out of this food-crazy city, double up. These
near-proximity pairings will take you to restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops—
high and low, classic and newfangled. Try one, or, what the heck, try them all.
A drink at Tosca and dinner at Cotogna. Tosca (242 Columbus Ave.; 415-9869651), the city’s historic and beloved Italian bar, has been remade into a trendy
restaurant with the help of New York chef April Bloomfield. Get a taste of the new
scene by squeezing up to the bar for one of the outstanding cocktails, but then
flee the crowd for Cotogna (490 Pacific Ave.; 415-775-8508), the equally excellent
Italian restaurant up the street that blessedly takes reservations.
Weekend brunch at Nopa and coffee at Four Barrel. Lovers of Nopa (560 Divisadero St.; 415-864-8643) know that to have the pleasure of its excellent brunch
(and particularly delicious french toast), one must do their time—which means
waiting. To keep your energy up and your eyes on the prize, grab a cup of strong
coffee from The Mill, a joint venture of Four Barrel and baker Josie Baker (736
Divisadero St.; 415-345-1953).
Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co. then lunch at the Ferry Plaza Farmers market.
Take in some Tomales Bay oysters (and the waterfront view) as an appetizer at
Hog Island (1 Ferry Building Marketplace; 415-391-7117) then get the rest of your
fill at the farmers market’s tempting food stands, including the Korean Namu Gaji,
Hapa Ramen, and the deservedly popular Roli Roti (Farmers Market held Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays).
Delfina Pizzeria and dessert at Tartine Bakery. Delfina Pizzeria has expanded
to multiple locations, but the mothership is in the Mission (3611 18th St.; 415-4376800). It also happens to be next to one of the city’s best bakeries, Tartine Bakery
(600 Guerrero St.; 415-487-2600). Have a margherita and a tuna conserva salad,
then line up for Tartine’s epic coconut cream tart.
A torta at La Torta Gorda then ice cream at Humphry Slocombe. The Mission
District has no end to great taquerias (like La Taqueria) but tortas are the unsung
heroes. La Torta Gorda (2833 24th St.; 415-642-9600) does them the best, and a
bonus? The cultish ice cream shop Humphry Slocombe is just a hop and skip away
(2790 Harrison St.; 415-550-6971).
Drinks at Tony Nik’s bar (since 1933) and dinner at Original Joe’s (since 1937).
Seep up some seriously legit San Francisco history at these two classic North
Beach spots. After a martini at Tony Nik’s (1534 Stockton St.; 415-693-0990) and
veal picatta at Original Joe’s (601 Union St.; 415-775-4877), you’ll be talking
badahbing in no time.
Lunch at Xi’an Dumpling and a pick-me-up at Reveille Coffee Co. Straddling the
Chinatown and Financial District neighborhoods, Xi’an Dumpling (925 Kearny St.;
415-398-1626) lets you go carb crazy with great housemade dumplings and even
greater noodles—try the spicy beef soup alfloat with tender brisket and bok choy.
Then beat the crash with a strong coffee at Reveille, across the street (200 Columbus Ave.; 415-766-4289).

72 | Cityguide 2015

worth the wait? The answer is yes;
there’s just no guarantee that you’ll
get in. frances-sf.com, 415-621-3870
$$$ D R W

Mama Ji’s
4416 18TH ST.

In a hood not known for great Asian
restaurants, this little Chinese dim
sum spot is more audacious than
the most flamboyant drag queen.
Feisty Mama Ji runs out good,
handmade dumplings to the small
dining room, including, yes, soup
dumplings and an excellent shrimp
and chive. Szechuan specialties give
you a reason to return for dinner.
mamajissf.com, 415-626-4416 $$ W

Pesce
2223 MARKET ST.

Russian Hill’s 11-year-old seafood
staple has migrated upstream to
the Castro, more than doubling in
size along the way. The menu still
lists the squid ink risotto and tower
of crab that everyone has loved
for years on Polk Street. But now
there are Venice-style cicchetti,
new pizzettas, and subtly Italian
cocktails, making the case that this
Pesce is even better than the last.
pescebarsf.com, 415-928-8025
$$$ D R W

Super Duper Burgers
2304 MARKET ST.

At this cheerful local burger chain
(look for other locations in SoMa
and the Financial District), the meat
is ground daily and respectfully
prepared, charred on the outside
and pinkish in the middle. The most
basic presentation is brushed with
“super sauce,” a kind of tangy mayo,
and offers the option to bulk it up
with bacon, cheese, or a second
patty—the last an act of excess if
you also opt for an organic vanilla
milkshake, thick enough to eat
with a spoon. But the best thing on
sliced bread here is the chili-marinated chicken breast on ciabatta.
superdupersf.com, 415-558-8123 $ W

CHINATOWN,
EMBARCADERO,
AND NORTH BEACH
Bouli Bar

FERRY BUILDING MARKETPLACE

The women of Boulettes Larder
have brought their restrained,
pitch-perfect style and devotion to
rarefied ingredients to Bouli, where
the menu has a strong Mediterranean bent: a salad of purslane,
barberries, bulgur, and pomegranate; blistered pizza with spicy lamb,
feta, and mint; a meze selection;
and more. bouletteslarder.com,
415-399-1155 $$$ R W

Capo’s
641 VALLEJO ST.

Tony Gemignani, of Tony’s Pizza
Napoletana fame, tackles a different
beast here: a thick-crust Chicagostyle pie in a space with a 1920s,
almost Disney-esque gangster vibe

W A T E R B A R S F. C O M | 4 1 5 . 2 8 4 . 9 9 2 2 | 3 9 9 T H E E M B A R C A D E R O | S A N F R A N C I S C O , C A 9 4 1 0 5

S

T

E

A

K

E P I C R OA S T H O U S E . C O M | 4 1 5 . 3 6 9 . 9 9 5 5 | 3 6 9 T H E E M B A R CA D E R O | S A N F R A N C I S C O, CA 9 4 1 0 5

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

COQUETA

fortified by tufted cherry-red
booths. The ballyhooed quattro
forni isn’t the be-all and end-all
of Pizza Land, but the deep-dish
crusts are excellent, as is the
cocktail program focused on brown
spirits that were popular during
Prohibition. Pasta e fagioli soup is
served gratis with every meal.
sfcapos.com, 415-986-8998
$$$$ C V W

Coi
373 BROADWAY

Of a beautiful coin of beef, caked
lightly in lichen, a server says, “It
has ancient flavors common to our
distant ancestors.” Our Paleolithic
forebears feasted well, it seems,
but not as well as diners do today
at Coi, where Daniel Patterson’s
strict focus on his 11-course prix
fixe menu provides a night of fresh
discoveries. Sautéed abalone on a
COQUETA

bank of farro and wheat berries is
lapped by currents of squid ink. A
tomato mousse tart with a pesto
base and an olive tuile top stars as a
classic trio. coirestaurant.com, 415393-9000 $$$$ D R V W

Coqueta
PIER 5, THE EMBARCADERO

From the tapas to the communal
tables, there’s plenty to share at this
cozy but stylish Spanish restaurant
from celeb chef Michael Chiarello.
Say yes to pintxos—delightful onebite skewers that feature chorizo
and roasted artichokes—and a glass
of sherry. Move on to creamy-crisp
chicken croquetas, wood-grilled octopus, and paella. Though Coqueta
is on the waterfront, the best place
for a view is the justifiably crowded
bar, located in the glassed-in annex.
coquetasf.com, 415-704-8866
$$$$ R W
NEW

Ferry Plaza Seafood

653 UNION ST.

74 | Cityguide 2015

1300 BATTERY ST.

Built into the bones of the old Fog
City Diner that sold overpriced
cioppino for years, this new version
removed the dividing wall, allowing
the glowing bar to fill the center of
the room. For dinner, graze through
paprika-sauced trumpet mushrooms, sake butter–braised clams,
and a whole chicken roasted to
crispy, juicy perfection. For dessert,
French crullers and Straus frozen
custard are worth the splurge.
fogcitysf.com, 415-982-2000
$$$ R W

Golden Flower
667 JACKSON ST.

On a bustling Chinatown block
stands Golden Flower, one of the
few Vietnamese restaurants in this
heavily Cantonese district. First
up on the 142-item menu are 15
versions of pho, the classic beef
soup with rich, almost sweet broth.
Bun thit nuong, a generous portion
of chilled rice noodles topped with
strips of charred pork, is ready to be
doused in a sweet fish-sauce dressing, while clay pot catfish arrives as
a thick steak simmered in traditional
caramel sauce shot through with
black pepper. goldenflower
restaurant.com, 415-433-6469 $ D

©2013PHILIPHARVEY.COM

The menu skillfully mingles old-timers
like crab Louie and clam chowder
with more modern conceits. Chubby
tubes of grilled Monterey Bay squid
are dressed scantily (and effectively)
in green olive tapenade and a bit of
lemon, while local king salmon,
perched serenely on a raft of grilled
tomato and kale, is a silky dream.
ferryplazaseafood.com, 415-2742561 $$$ R W

Fog City

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

Hard Water

RICH TABLE

PIER 3, THE EMBARCADERO

The clock strikes five, and suits
begin to swarm this pretty space
where the marble horseshoe bar
is overhung by a large half dome–
shaped light fixture. On the terrific
cocktail menu, a mint julep crowned
with a snow cone of crushed ice
is one of several hits. Though
happy hour is a high time, much
of the menu—think feisty chaurice
sausage and wild gulf flounder—
can hold up through the evening.
hardwaterbar.com, 415-392-3021
$$$ R W
NEW

Il Casaro

348 COLUMBUS AVE.

This Neapolitan pizzeria is outfitted
with a bright red oven that spits out
wood-fired pies boasting pliant, blistered crusts. A tuna–and–red onion
variety shines, while the marinara
deftly balances its salty, pungent
cargo of olives, anchovies, and
garlic with a sweet, bright tomato
sauce. Eat them next to one of the
restaurant’s expansive windows,
where you can watch all of North
Beach hurrying by. ilcasarosf.com,
415-677-9455 $$ W

Lai Hong Lounge
1416 POWELL ST.

©COURTESY RICH TABLE

Good dim sum has been hard to
find in Chinatown, which is why
Lai Hong Lounge is packed with a
mostly Chinese clientele getting drunk on tea and dumplings.
Beyond the 20 steamer baskets
full of the usual suspects, sticky
rice with bits of sausage and bacon
is a must, as are the little pucks of
savory salt-and-pepper pi-pa tofu.
Connoisseurs of chicken feet will be
happy with their order. Much scarier
is a dish of coffee pork ribs served
with what could very well be Cool
Whip. lhklounge.com, 415-397-2290
$$ R W

La Mar
PIER 1.5, THE EMBARCADERO

Located directly on the water, this
slick, upscale Peruvian restaurant
serves up locally caught seafood,
house-made empanadas, and a
great view. Snag a seat outside on
the 3,000 feet of open patio (actually a floating deck). 415-397-8880;
lamarsf.com $$ R W

Original Joe’s
601 UNION ST.

This isn’t the original Original Joe’s,
but it’s a loving reproduction. And
that’s fine, because you don’t eat
at Joe’s to taste the latest fashions.
You go to feel like a part of the
city as it once was, when waiters
wore tuxedos and the sole piccata
came with a side of pasta. Joe’s
Special, a hash of ground beef,
eggs, spinach, and onions, has been
widely imitated but rarely equaled.
originaljoessf.com, 415-775-4877
$$$ R V W

76 | Cityguide 2015

Parallel 37

Park Tavern

600 STOCKTON ST.

1652 STOCKTON ST.

At this modernized restaurant in
the Ritz-Carlton hotel, Chef Michael
Rotondo puts out a menu that
clings gently to the dining room’s
white-table-clothed past. Herb
tendrils and studied spatterings of
sauce demonstrate a fine-dining
artfulness. But a zeal for Asian
flavors comes through in crab piled
over Thai basil linguine and in a
fried and deboned chicken foot,
which arrives like an ossified exotic
flower within fluffy steamed bao.
The sommeliers may try out beer
pairings with mixed effect, but the
cocktails are a solid bet. parallel37.
com, 415-773-6168 $$$ R V W

In the space that once housed
Moose’s, a power brokers’ redoubt,
chef Jennifer Puccio offers a contemporary menu in a context that
pays homage to the past. Cocktailfriendly starters, including tart little
fried green tomatoes and deviled
eggs that are like savory bonbons,
represent the kitchen’s greatest
strength. And the poulet rouge—a
game hen with a chili marinade—
won’t disappoint. parktavernsf.com,
415-989-7300 $$$$ R V W

Piperade
1015 BATTERY ST.

At this Basque favorite, start with
the simple butter lettuce salad,

topped with freshly chopped herbs.
Other perennial favorites are the
garlic soup and the steamed fish
over spinach topped with a bracing
fried-garlic vinaigrette. The chef
started his career in France as a
pastry chef, so don’t skip dessert.
piperade.com, 415-391-2555
$$$$ R W

Rose Pistola
532 COLUMBUS AVE.

Fifteen years ago, Reed Hearon
shook up the town by bringing a
fresh sensibility to North Beach’s
spaghetti-and-meatballs scene.
Rose Pistola serves dishes such
as grilled asparagus with a yolky
poached farm egg that’s near
perfection. The pepperoni pizza is,

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

too, but this town is filthy rich with
solid thin-crust pies. And though
the grilled whole branzino with a
fennel-currant relish is delicious,
you may have to ask the waiter to
debone it. Still, on a Saturday night
the place is packed and a live jazz
trio rocks. rosepistolasf.com, 415399-0499 $$$ R V W
NEW

The Square

1707 POWELL ST.

The Square serves food in the
modernized American classics vein:
Housemade Parker House rolls are
dusted with dried fennel seeds,
while plump squab is partnered
with huckleberries and spring onions. The fried corona beans, spiked
with piment d’espelette and lime,
truly make the case for updated
tavern fare and could foment a barsnack revolution. thesquaresf.com,
415-525-3579 $$$$ R W
HOT

Tosca

242 COLUMBUS AVE.

CIVIC CENTER AND
HAYES VALLEY
Absinthe

398 HAYES ST.

Chef Adam Keough hews to a modern brasserie aesthetic that draws
on local bounty. Crisp-skinned loup
de mer basks in aromatic nut-brown
caper butter. Pork rib eye, served
with roasted-pork jus, jalapeñocheddar grits, and braised red
cabbage, has heft enough for two
diners to go whole hog. Seasonal
accents abound, but Keough also
gives strong voice to year-round
standards, like the brawny burger.
absinthe.com, 415-551-1590
$$$$ R W

Alta CA
1420 MARKET ST.

Daniel Patterson’s excellent,
energetic fifth restaurant sits at the
heart of the mid-Market tech corridor and styles itself as an American
brasserie, which, like “disruptive
technology,” means anything you
want it to these days. What it
involves here is well-considered,

78 | Cityguide 2015

Bar Jules
609 HAYES ST.

At this endearing restaurant, Jessica Boncutter deals in a strippeddown style of California cuisine.
Wood-grilled asparagus stars
without makeup, stretched out
over morels; lingcod lays naked and
confident with English peas and
baby carrots in a shallow bath of
chive-butter sauce. Desserts, such
as chocolate pot-de-crème and
cardamom cake with strawberries,
are fitting emblems of a restaurant
where the only complications are
landing a table and finding a parking
spot. barjules.com, 415-621-5482
$$$ R W

Boxing Room
399 GROVE ST.

With no murals of the bayou, Mardi
Gras beads, or attempts to pose as
a boozy haunt on Bourbon Street,

RICH TABLE

this dining room doesn’t deal in the
Disney version of Dixie. The task of
re-creating a night out in N’awlins
falls squarely on Justin Simoneaux,
whose menu is a portal to the soulful South. He transports entrées
from the Cajun and Creole canon,
including a thick and complex gumbo built on smoky tasso ham, and a
tangy étouffée teeming with sweet,
plump crawfish. For dessert, get
the crumbly indulgence of pralines
and cream. Even if you’ve suffered
through a mournful workday, you’ll
leave this place with a jazzy spring
in your step. boxingroom.com, 415430-6590 $$$ R W

Lers Ros Thai
307 HAYES ST.

The snob’s common complaint
about Thai food in the city—that it’s
overly sweetened to appease the
Western palate—runs up against
reality at Lers Ros. Here, Tom
Narupon Silargorn sticks to his fiery
brand of cooking, using sugar as
an extra, not a star: It’s the cool foil
in the hot sauce on his barbecue
chicken; it’s the yin to his duck larb’s
lime-and-chili-powder yang. His
encyclopedic menu includes exotic
entries; stir-fried garlic frog tastes
like very tender chicken. But even
standard items such as tom kha

kai soup come across as different:
They’re more balanced than most
versions you’ve tried before.
lersros.com, 415-874-9661 $$ R W

Monsieur Benjamin
451 GOUGH ST.

The most buzzed-about bistro of
the year comes from Corey Lee,
the man behind the two-Michelinstarred Benu. One glance at the
menu, and you’ll see it’s inspired by
the canon of casual French cooking, its greatest-hits riffs ranging
from steak frites to sweet breads
grenobloise. Camembert beignets
are tart squares dusted with porcini
mushroom powder, while the duck
confit comes served with dense
duck sausages and turnip purée, its
moist meat capped in crispy skin.
monsieurbenjamin.com, 415-4032233 $$$$ D R W

Nojo
231 FRANKLIN ST.

Greg Dunmore cooked at Terra
and Ame and then trekked across
Japan before returning to open
a restaurant of his own. And in
his trips between cultures, he has
arrived at some nicely assimilated
dishes. Chawanmushi, a savory
custard comes with green garlic,
fava beans, and Dungeness crab

©MICHAEL O’NEAL

Following a renovation by restaurateur Ken Friedman and chef
April Bloomfield, North Beach’s
century-old den of iniquity looks
pretty much the same. The torn
red vinyl booths have been redone
in red leather, but the jukebox is
still there, and the chandeliers still
cast a perfectly moody glow. The
biggest change is that Tosca serves
not just booze but food: from an
open kitchen, Bloomfield turns out
sharp, straightforward Cal-Italian
dishes like breadcrumb-and-redvinegar-topped treviso, the bitter
leaves roasted to just-so sweetness,
and a roast chicken for two that
comes garlicky, moist, and arranged
rustically with arugula and ricottasmeared toasts. toscacafesf.com,
415-986-9651 $$$$ W

eclectic cuisine with broad dramatic
range. Duck confit rests on a nest
of bulgar, splashed with smoky jus
and lacquered with an apricot glaze,
while seared Monterey squid tangles with mustard greens, almonds,
and avocado. It’s enough to inspire
poetry—or at least some dramatic
tweets. altaaltaca.co, 415-590-2585
$$$ R W

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FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

in its silken folds. Pork gyoza in a
shiitake-seasoned broth has bright
spring peas bobbing all around. A
Nojo sundae of black-sesame ice
cream with candied kumquats and
Thunder Crackers is a dessert much
like Nojo itself: It holds your interest
and makes a sweet addition to the
neighborhood. nojosf.com, 415-8964587 $$ W
HOT

Rich Table

199 GOUGH ST.

Every self-respecting new San Francisco restaurant aspires to bring the
farm to its reclaimed wood tables,
but Rich Table avoids artisanal
sameness by finding fresh roles for
their ingredients. There’s a bar to
supply you with inventive cocktails,
among the best of which is the Big
Night, made with mezcal, ginger,
and nasturtium. Cut through the
dense layers of the lasagna—delicate sheets of pasta layered snugly
over braised duck-wing meat—and
you come to a foundation of tart
Santa Rosa plums, the perfect foil
to all that richness. Desserts include
a caramelized olive oil cake with
roasted strawberries (when in season) and cream cheese ice cream,
a sparkling example of farm-fresh
cooking—which, you realize after
some reflection, might not be so
tiresome after all. richtablesf.com,
415-355-9085 $$$ D

BOXING ROOM

80 | Cityguide 2015

COLE VALLEY AND
HAIGHT ASHBURY
Maven

598 HAIGHT ST.

The line between bar and restaurant has grown increasingly blurry,
as with this hybrid. The menu focuses on food-and-booze pairings:
It suggests, for instance, that you
couple Thai chili–splashed calamari
with a New Orleans lager. The
cuisine jumps from Chinatown duck
sliders, with shiitake mushrooms,
bitter greens, and bacon, to seared,
perfectly cooked Arctic char. But it’s
more complex than most cocktailhour cooking. Maven’s greatest
strength is the refreshing change it
offers in a neighborhood abundant
with divey hangouts. maven-sf.com,
415-829-7982 $$$ W

Ragazza
311 DIVISADERO ST.

The sleek wood decor here (mixed
with old-time black-and-white family photos) is hipster-chic, as is the
menu, featuring just-like-in-Italy antipasti and a salumi plate assembled
with local all-stars like Fra’ Mani salume gentile. Things only get better
with the addictive contorni (like the
braised greens with bacon and goat
cheese) and the brief list of pastas
and roasts (try strozzapreti tossed
with meaty short-rib ragù). But—
seriously—save room for those
ethereally thin pies: the Margherita;
the Calabrian chili–spiked Moto; and
the Potato, topped with bacon and
gooey gorgonzola. ragazzasf.com,
415-255-1133 $$$ D W

Wing Wings
422 HAIGHT ST.

Behold the poultry shrine—a tiny
storefront lined with stools, tins of
Old Bay Seasoning, and a couple of
boom boxes. It keeps things simple,
with nine flavors of fried wings, sold
in buckets—small ($6), large ($10),
or jumbo ($23, mix and match). This
works out to about a buck a wing,
which is on the pricier side. But the
chicken is all natural and free range.
And everything that goes with it is
made from scratch, including the
biscuits and fiery coleslaw. The
wings are sticky and meaty: the
chili–, sesame seed–, and scallion–
flecked Angry Korean; the signature
Wing Wing, with a ginger-soy sauce;
and, of course, the hot-as-hell
buffalo. wingwingssf.com, 415-8345001 $ W

unusual experience, one that’s at
once perplexing and impressive.
ateliercrenn.com, 415-440-0460
$$$$ D R V W

Bistro Aix
3340 STEINER ST.

COW HOLLOW AND
THE MARINA

Chef Jonathan Beard makes his
mark with composed interpretations of Provençal-inspired dishes,
such as saffron-scented bouillabaisse—its broth an aromatic
setting for clams, calamari, and
halibut—and a New York steak
partnered with a béarnaise sauce
that would make Escoffier proud.
Beard’s fare has a California accent,
as in egg tagliatelle with spicy lamb
meatballs, enlivened with mint salsa
verde. His cozy, warm wood dining
room gives way to a skylighted
atrium centered by an olive tree:
Both provide a backdrop for a quiet
performance you’re happy to see
time and again. bistroaix.com, 415202-0100 $$$ D R W

3127 FILLMORE ST.

Café Claude

Atelier Crenn

French-born chef Dominique Crenn
has made a restaurant devoted to
her personal expression, where her
combination of craft and invention results in stunning dishes like
seared Arctic char and asparagus
dusted with fennel “snow,” flagged
with a fennel crisp and dotted with
dollops of vanilla pudding. Service
here is sharp and unstuffy, and
Crenn’s work is ably backed by
pastry chef Juan Contreras. Atelier
Crenn is sincere and inspired, but
you pay top dollar for a highly

2120 GREENWICH ST.

Franck LeClerc’s empire expands
to the Marina with his second
Café Claude, a gussied-up version
of the original French bistro on
Claude Lane, this one clad in rich
red-and-cream damask wallpaper,
vintage gold-framed mirrors, and
antique French chandeliers. The
Claude bistro staples—steak tartare,
French onion soup—survived the
trip across town, but the chef has a
few new tricks up his jacket sleeve,
like a smoked trout salad with pink

Causwells

Industrial meets art deco at this
coolly designed little spot serving
classic American food with just the
right smidge of chefly affectation.
The excellent burger comes draped
with a big fat square of American
cheese, while an heirloom tomato
salad enjoys a creative update courtesy of fried okra, Jimmy Nardello
peppers, and melon vinaigrette. The
service is as sweet and welcoming
as the doughnut bread pudding,
which should come with a Lipitor
chaser. causwells.com, 415-447-6081
$$ R W

Chotto

©AUBRIE PICK

3317 STEINER ST.

The Marina has caught on to
the izakaya craze, and here the
small-plates menu ambles from
the fanciful to the familiar. Plump
pork gyoza are like tourists in the
tropics—crisp on the outside, meaty
in the middle—and agedashi tofu
is a simple stunner. The deep-fried
curds, splashed with soy-mirin
sauce, are as soft and white as a
geisha’s powdered cheeks. Grilled
beef tongue takes a heated licking
from shichimi chili. Don’t overlook
the miso ramen, a textbook version.
chottosf.com, 415-441-2223
$$$ D R W

The Commissary

Chef Traci Des Jardins is at it again,
this time feeding the inhabitants of
the bucolic land known as the Presidio. The delectable food is California first, but you’ll taste a little
Spanish flair in the creamy-crispy
sweet pea and ham croquettes,
and in a New York steak served
with a potato gratin aromatic with
idiazabal cheese. The best seat in
the house is at the kitchen counter
in the open dining room.
thecommissarysf.com,
415-561-3600 $$$$ R W

Le Marais Bistro
and Bakery
2066 CHESTNUT ST.

This new California-style bistro (an
expansion of the popular neighborhood bakery) gives a decidedly
homespun, French bent to localingredient seasonal dishes including
Dungeness Crab, kale, and the
simple but hearty Royale Classique
burger with smoked bacon. Just
as worthy of a stop is the drop-in
bakery for daily breads (levain, rye),
bouchons (carrot crème, orange
chocolate), viennoiserie (croissants,
sweet chausson), salads (heirloom
bean, market greens), and sandwiches (ham and gruyère, market
vegetables). The pastry cases sit
in a space attractively framed by
redwood planks, with light fixtures
hooded by Bundt pans. lemarais
bakery.com, 415-359-9801 $$$ R W

Ristobar
2300 CHESTNUT ST.

The rococo-style frescoes on the
ceiling transport you somewhere
exotic, like, say, Caesars Palace. But
in its brighter moments, the menu
takes you close to Italy. Italy-born
Chef Michele Belotti creates many
of the menu’s pastas by hand,
including agnolotti di Lidia, bite-size
veal- and pork-stuffed dumpoings
that deliver on their unpretentious
promise. ristobarsf.com, 415-9236464 $$ R W

Roam Artisan Burgers
1785 UNION ST.

This burger joint takes a Garanimals
approach to its ground meat, letting
patrons mix and match their choice
of patty (beef, bison, turkey, veggie)
with out-of-the-ordinary toppings. A
burger done Sunny Side gets buried
under a fried egg, cheddar, caramelized onions, greens, tomatoes, and
sweet chili sauce, while a French
and Fries carries the weighty cargo
of avocado, gruyère, and truffled
parmesan potatoes. The turkey is
lean, the beef grass-fed, and the
bison tinged with the gaminess of
the range. But don’t overdo it, the
flavors can often get lost beneath an
avalanche of stuff. roamburgers.com,
415-440-7626 $ W

Stock in Trade
2036 LOMBARD ST.

Stock in Trade fits well into the
Marina nightlife scene, with an
ample drink menu and classy tavern
setting. But it adds the element of

upscale food to your Marina night,
with such dishes as the pork chop
covered in bacon, apple, and bourbon cream sauce, or seared cod
with a seaweed soba noodle salad.
stockintradesf.com, 415-829-3000
$$$ R W

Umami Burger
2184 UNION ST.

To the obscure lingo in your culinary
lexicon, you should now add umami,
the Japanese term for “the fifth
taste.” As gimmicks go, it’s darn
good. Against a blond-wood backdrop where fine draft beers flow
freely, the burgers at this LA-based
chain are ground hourly and arrive
as juicy as celebrity gossip. Their
wardrobes are elaborate, as with
the truffle burger, dressed in truffle
cheese and a truffle glaze. Umami
Burger now has twenty outposts
in California, 1 in Las Vegas and 2
in Manhattan. What’s Japanese for
IPO? umamiburger.com, 415-4408626 $

Viva Goa
2420 LOMBARD ST.

Don’t let the sparse interior scare
you. The guys behind Viva Goa
care less about decor than they do
about bringing authentic regional
Goan cuisine to San Francisco.
Standouts include the spicy-sweet
seafood masala, spiked with ginger
and coriander; and the lamb and
the chicken xacuti, a traditional
curry of dried chilies, fresh coconut,
and white poppy seeds. The pork
vindaloo is tangy, and the baingan
bhartha beats any other eggplant
dish around. vivagoaindiancuisine.
com, 415-440-2600 $$ R

FINANCIAL DISTRICT,
JACKSON SQUARE,
AND UNION SQUARE
NEW

Bartlett Hall

242 O’FARRELL ST.

The dark leather-and-wood decor,
littered with a motley collection of
antiques, says gastropub. The wall
of flat-screen TVs says sports bar.
The menu says seasonal Californian.
But if Bartlett Hall’s identity is a
bit blurry, its food is surprisingly
focused. Fried green tomatoes,
improbably light and dressed with
a squiggle of pickled ramp ranch
dressing, make the case for the
Southern staple’s continued dissemination, while a silky brick of
wild king salmon plays nicely with a
hit of Thai curry. Skip the pleasant
but forgettable desserts and opt for
a barrel-aged cocktail and a bowl
of fiendishly addictive Angosturaspiced mixed nuts. bartletthallsf.
com, 415-433-4332 $$$ R W

Bix
56 GOLD ST.

In a city keen on culinary fashions,
Bix remains a refreshingly steadfast,
snazzy supper club after 26 years

ctguide.com | 81

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

NEW

2346 CHESTNUT ST.

NEW

101 MONTGOMERY ST.

FOOD

apple, black radish, dill, and lime.
cafeclaude.com, 415-292-3599
$$$ D R W

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

in business. Live jazz flows, and
bartenders rattle cocktail shakers
like maracas creating a mood of
retro romance. Against this charming backdrop, executive chef Bruce
Hill’s brawny cooking is transportive.
Smoked-trout salad shines in a
Dijon mustard dressing. A thunderous New York steak for two strikes
you as the only way a pair of diners
should eat. Bix is a reminder of the
pleasures of a restaurant whose
strength is constancy, not change.
bixrestaurant.com, 415-433-6300
$$$$ R V W

Burritt Tavern
417 STOCKTON ST.

Like the Burritt Room, the noirinspired bar that you pass through,
celeb chef Charlie Palmer’s retrochic Burritt Tavern in the Mystic
Hotel is a dapper throwback, lined
with curtained wood booths and
black-and-white photos of old San
Francisco. The menu reflects an updated chophouse. Think cornmealcrusted oysters, napped in romesco
sauce; Bibb lettuce salad, spiked
with bitter greens; and high-minded
steaks like the must-order panseared teres major, a hard-to-find
shoulder cut that makes a tender
sirloin seem as tough as Sam
Spade. burritttavern.com,
415-400-0561 $$$$ R

Cotogna
490 PACIFIC AVE.

This offshoot of Quince is casual
and homespun but well bred. From
pizza and pappardelle to salads and
roasts, the food is a match for its
surroundings, and at its best makes
you wonder why you ever eat any
other way. A savory custard of
English peas is a sweet expression
of the peas’ garden-y essence, and
the pastas, such as pappardelle
with braised rabbit ragù, span the

TARTINE BAKERY

earthy and the artful. Lamb chops
with black olives leave you gnawing
at the bones like a wolf. Count
on attentive service and a superb
wine list: All bottles are $50 and all
glasses are $12. cotognasf.com, 415775-8508 $$$ R V W
NEW

Dirty Habit

12 4TH ST.

The crowd clustered around the
bar skews after-work tech, and the
food, from David Bazirgan, skews
delectable. Tender grilled octopus
tentacles consort with sweet-tart
cherries, pine nuts, and velvety eggplant, while smoked egg and chorizo lend sultry heft to a cluster of

BAR TARTINE

verdant asparagus. Like everything
else on the menu, the ginger churros with miso caramel sauce are
shareable, but you’ll want to keep
them all to yourself. dirtyhabitsf.
com, 415-348-1555 $$ R W

Gaspar Brasserie
185 SUTTER ST.

Atmosphere-wise, Franck LeClerc’s
handsome watering hole feels
like a ménage à trois between a
gentleman’s club, a French prop
studio, and a stack of money. But
the fare demonstrates a refreshing lack of pretension: It’s simple
food done very well. Raw oysters
come fantastically cold, plump, and
creamy; a chickpea panisse cake
boasts a crunchy crust and creamy
innards; and grilled entrecôte steak
hews deliciously to tradition. It’s
all unabashedly old-school—and
deeply satisfying. gasparbrasserie.
com, 415-576-8800 $$$ R W

Gitane
6 CLAUDE LN.

82 | Cityguide 2015

1 KEARNY ST.

Chef Ho Chee Boon earned a Michelin star at Hakkasan in New York,
an accolade that makes sense when
you taste his dim sum. At $26 for
eight pieces, the assorted platter is
still worth the price. The pipa duck
comes in very modest rations, and
whether it warrants $36 depends
on how you feel about the spectacle and its oomp-oomp sound
track. Hakkasan is a restaurant that
celebrates conspicuous consumption: gastronomy done Gangnam
style. hakkasan.com, 415-829-8148
$$$$ R V W

Kin Khao
55 CYRIL MAGNIN ST.

An inconspicuous corner of the
Parc 55 Hotel houses this Thai food
labor of love from food writer Pim
Techamuanvivit and chef Michael
Gaines. Balanced cocktails, plus
curries and noodles, boast top-shelf
ingredients (and prices). The spicy,
sticky chicken wings induce wolflike
behavior, while a dish of chicken-fat
rice served with poached chicken
and a killer chili sauce is a delight. In
a flash, crab sen chan, a pad Thai–
esque dish, is gone. kinkhao.com,
415-362-7456 $$$ D R V W

Michael Mina
252 CALIFORNIA ST.

Michael Mina knows its audience,
and it caters to it very well. The
dining room remains comfortable and faintly corporate, with
mellow acoustics. Following a
recent overhaul by the restaurant’s
namesake and executive chef Ron
Siegel, the menu is more subtle and
appealing. The six-course tasting
menu—which, at $130, is not quite

©COURTESY TARTINE

With its reptilian wallpaper, romantic chandeliers, and painterly
tapestries, this Claude Lane fixture
is as enchanting as its name implies.
Gitane means gypsy, after all, and
true to its name it sojourns through
North Africa, the Mediterranean,
and Spain. The crispy pig confit,
light chicken-y sweetbreads, and
“Arroz Vegetariano,” a planchaseared rice raft bursting with
paprika, sofrito, and colorful
vegetables, are all standouts; their
refined but bold flavors ensure that
Gitane won’t be wandering off any
time soon—however un-gypsylike
that may be. gitanerestaurant.com,
415-788-6686 $$$$ D R W

Hakkasan

©COURTESY ABSINTHE

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

FOOD

the budget-buster
you might imagABSINTHE
ine—is the best way to experience
the restaurant, showcasing Siegel’s
nimble work with seafood. Although
the place as a whole isn’t the
best reflection of current culinary
leanings, who needs fashion when
you’ve got drawing power over
time? 415-397-9222 $$$$ R W

ABSINTHE

M.Y. China
845 MARKET ST., WESTFIELD
CENTRE

Without walls, the front of Martin
Yan’s latest restaurant spills out
under the dome of the mall almost
like sidewalk seating. The menu
leans toward the traditional from
regions all over China, including
classics such as soup (or, as the
restaurant calls them, “juicy”)
dumplings and salt-and-pepper
crab. Yes, it’s touristy, but it also
makes a great stop before a movie.
The theater is just an escalator ride
away. tastemychina.com, 415-5803001 $$$$ R W

New Delhi Restaurant
160 ELLIS ST.

The recipe at New Delhi is straightforward: Take a nice selection of
tandoori and curry dishes, add in a
convivial bar with $5 house wines
and a lengthy list of unique—but
not overpriced—house drinks,
and you’ve got a spicy, worthwhile
escape from the Union Square
shopping scene. newdelhirestaurant.
com, 415-397-8470 $$ R W

Ozumo
161 STEUART ST.

Ozumo specializes in the robatastyle grilling method: skewered
meat, slow-roasted over hot coals.
Or, try the raw side of life at the
30-person sushi and sashimi bar.
The interior is all straight lines,
earth tones, and hard contrasts in
lighting, but softened by the views
of the bay right outside. If you need
a place to unwind after dinner or
even before it then head to the

sake lounge, where a 29-page
sake and spirits menu offers
something for every temperament.
ozumosanfrancisco.com,
415-882-1333 $$$$ R V W

Quince
470 PACIFIC AVE.

Reopened in September after a
two-month renovation, Michael
Tusk’s fine-dining shrine breathes
refinement, but also a hospitality
that’s as unforced as it is flawless.

The same could be said of the food.
Swarthy porcini mushrooms are
partnered with chicory, chestnuts,
and tart huckleberries, while a
coil of tajarin comes dressed to
kill in butter, parmigiano reggiano,
and white truffle shavings. It’s so
pleasurable that the restaurant may
want to serve cigarettes to accompany the afterglow.
quincerestaurant.com, 415-7758500 $$$$ D R V W

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FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

2015

DON’T

THE MEXICAN FEAST

MISS

San Francisco does way more than just burritos.
Here are just a few top places to taste the bounty
from south of the border.
La Urbana

Nopalito

661 DIVISADERO ST.

306 BRODERICK ST.
AND 1224 9TH AVE.

NOPA

La Urbana proves that the
urbane cuisine of Mexico City
has a place here in the home of
the big burrito. The best dishes
at La Urbana have three, four,
and five layers: an aguachile of
white fish, tomatillo, and a dose
of cold mesquite smoke, or
seared halibut with corn-citrus
froth, crumbled cauliflower
florets, and an inky smear of
huitlacoche purée. If reading
these descriptions exhausts you,
eat elsewhere. 415-440-4500,
laurbanasf.com

Los Yaquis
THE MISSION

324 S. VAN NESS AVE.

Bordered with vats of carrots,
cactus, and pickled pigskin, the
counter at this family-owned
Jaliscan restaurant looks like a
mad scientist’s apothecary. Be
warned: The aguachile—shrimp,
avocados, and cucumbers
bathed in green salsa—is as
spicy as a slap on the arm. Pick
your torta fillings—the waiter
suggests pork loin and queso
blanco, plus pickles from the
array of jars—and the kitchen
will saturate the bread in a
fiery tomato sauce. Get out the
knife and fork. 415-252-8204,
losyaquissanfran.com

LA URBANA

NOPA AND THE SUNSET

Nopalito floats seasonal specials
such as butternut squash taquitos
and salads of beets, oranges, and
pomegranates over its classics:
totopos doused with salsa de árbol
and crumbled cotija cheese; a
quesadilla roja, a tortilla of mulato
chili-dyed masa filled with pork belly
meat; and the restaurant’s relentlessly appealing carnitas braised
with orange juice, beer, and bay
leaves. 415-535-3969 and 415-2339966, nopalitosf.com

Padrecito
COLE VALLEY

901 COLE ST.

Opened in 2013, Padrecito has
found its strength in hearty California twists on Mexican flavors: lamb
meatballs braised in a guajillo chili
mole, or sloppy, smoky chilaquiles
with duck and chipotle mole (arguably the best dish in the house).
The crowd skews local, which in this
neighborhood means babysitterliberated parents cutting loose with
mezcal-spiked margaritas. 415-7425505, padrecitosf.com

Pisto’s

NORTH BEACH

1310 GRANT ST.

Here waves of baseball-capped
drinkers and bleached blonds regularly crash against the bar, tacos and

bottles of Modelo in hand. Best to
grab a table and go for the composed dishes: Mexican sashimi of
salmon shocked with lime juice and
a slice of serrano chili; ridiculously
tender grilled chicken thighs, their
achiote rub taking in the smoke;
and sweet corn smothered in
mayonnaise and parmesan. 415-3174696, pistostacos.com

Playa Azul
THE MISSION

3318 MISSION ST.

Playa Azul is the rare Mission
restaurant where you can still find
Mexican families congregating after
Sunday mass. Go for the ceviche tostadas, or the cold seafood cócteles
served in giant sundae glasses—the
vuelve la vida (return to life) has
Gulf oysters, creamy octopus, tiny
bay scallops, prawns, and whitefish
chunks, all perfectly cooked. 415282-4554, playaazulsf.com

Poc-Chuc
THE MISSION

2886 16TH ST.

Yucatecan restaurants come and go
here, but Poc-Chuc endures. Order
tacos of achiote-braised chicken
pibil and pickled onions, and pocchuc—thin slabs of marinated pork
grilled until the edges blacken and
finished with a squirt of lime. Or
try the chimole, turkey brasied in
earthy black mole, which couldn’t
be more true to Mayan cooking.
415-558-1583, pocchuc.com

Roka Akor
801 MONTGOMERY ST.

A Japanese restaurant that hinges
more on its open kitchen’s robata
grill than on the raw fish in its sushi
larder, the newest San Francisco
branch of Scottsdale-based Roka
Akor sports an open blond wood–
wrapped decor, all sorts of addictive
charcoal-fired red meat, and a
dessert platter befitting the highest
of Vegas high rollers, piled with ice,
willowy melon spears, and a twolayer semifreddo snowball rolled in
coconut “snow.” All told, it’s fresh
bait for FiDi expense accounts, girls’
night out, or those craving a liquid
escape at the excellent subterranean bar. rokaakor.com, 415-3628887 $$$$ R V W

INNER AND OUTER
RICHMOND
Aziza

5800 GEARY BLVD.

As written on the menu—lamb
shank, saffron, couscous—Mourad Lahlou’s dishes bear some
hallmarks of his homeland, yet his
compositions owe more to modern
global currents than they do to
Marrakech. A cucumber-beet pairing reads traditionally enough, but
Lahlou turns the beets into towers
rising from a purple pool of beet
reduction and compresses the cucumbers into dense batons. A pouf
of flaky phyllo, filled with duck confit, is his take on a classic beesteya.
The restaurant’s arched doorways
hint at Morocco, but everything
else about it, from the avant-garde
cocktails to Melissa Chou’s inventive
desserts, feels happily situated in
the here and now. aziza-sf.com,
415-752-2222 $$$$ D R W
NEW

Marla Bakery

3619 BALBOA ST.

“Sweet” is the word to describe
everything here, from the amazing
pastries and bread to the lovely
scene in the evening. The menu
is simple but refined: soup with a
little chili oil and crawfish, braised
pork belly with buckwheat polenta.
There’s a back patio to boot. In a
neighborhood starved for a little
style, it’s a gem. marlabakery.com,
415-742-4379 $$$ R W

Shanghai House
3641 BALBOA ST.

84 | Cityguide 2015

©EVA KOLENKO

Shanghai House looks like just
another nondescript Richmond
district Chinese restaurant from
the outside, but it is one of the
few where you can get authentic
noodles hand-cut to order. There
are two menus, one with more expected Chinese-American offerings,
the other with Shanghai specialties.

INNER AND OUTER
SUNSET
Izakaya Sozai

©MAREN CARUSO

1500 IRVING ST.

Although Izakaya Sozai predates
the izakaya genre’s newfound
trendiness, this clean and minimal,
often jam-packed little joint still has
a wait for a table on weeknights after 7 p.m. Many ramen devotees say
that its tonkotsu ramen is the best
in San Francisco, but the rest of the
menu is worth dabbling in as well.
Izakaya novices can make a meal of
braised pork belly, fish carpaccios,
bacon-wrapped mochi, and tsukune
skewers. For the initiated, there are
takoyaki, skewered chicken hearts,
and—when it’s in season in the winter —a lovely tempura treatment
of a Japanese delicacy, shirako.
izakayasozai.com, 415-742-5122
$$ D R W

Nabe
1325 9TH AVE.

With its wall of glass and its tables
with built-in convection burners,
this modern little Japanese nabemono—or hot pot—place steams up
in no time. Choose from five menu
items, including traditional sukiyaki with warishita broth and thinly
sliced Berkshire pork belly with a
kimchee miso broth. After all the
dipping of veggies and thinly sliced
meat, the broth is full of flavor. At
the end of dinner, the server will ask
if you want to mix the broth with
rice, beaten egg, green onions, and
nori. Say yes. It’s delicious. nabesf.
com, 415-731-2658 $$$ D R W
NEW

Outerlands

4001 JUDAH ST.

Outerlands’ newly expanded digs
come with a new chef, Greg KuziaCarmel, and a new menu. The food
generally maintains its celebrated
rustic-refined balance, as with the
caveman-portioned lamb chop with
smoked yogurt and pickled eggplant. And the wood-lined dining
room is a knockout, and the storied
toast remains as transporting as
ever, particularly when accompanied by a wee pot of saffron-garlic
custard. outerlandssf.com, 415-6616140 $$$$ D R W

ctguide.com | 85

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

But the best item is off-menu: a
honking pork knuckle, caramelized
in Chinese spices and then deepfried. You can stuff yourself with
the kitchen’s solid rendition of xiao
long bao, a bocce-ball-size lion’s
head meatball, Shanghai chow fun,
and the like for under $20.
415-831-9288 $ C W

FOOD

COI

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

ALTA CA

JAPANTOWN,
THE FILLMORE, AND
PACIFIC HEIGHTS
Bun Mee

2015 FILLMORE ST.

Upper Fillmore isn’t exactly a hub
of diversity. The restaurants on this
chichi strip are usually of the Frenchy, fratty, or frozen-yogurt sort.
With its sleek wood-and-steel look,
Bun Mee is a refreshing addition to
the street’s quickie pre-movie and
lunch options. Super-fresh salad
rolls are filled with sliced pork,
pineapple, and pickled shallots. And
the bulky buns are stuffed with
everything from fatty roast pork to
five-spice chicken to fishy sardines.
bunmee.co, 415-800-7696 $$$ W

Dosa
1700 FILLMORE ST.

86 | Cityguide 2015

Roostertail

1560 FILLMORE ST.

1963 SUTTER ST.

This Korean-inflected izakaya stakes
its claim in a part of town that’s long
been stagnant on the culinary front.
To find the gems, venture away
from the expected sashimi and
yakitori. Instead, order soft, slippery
tofu topped with tiny dollops of uni,
oshinko, and mentaiko. A slab of
eggplant slathered in sweet miso
and grilled tastes as rich as roasted
meat. The large wood-lined space
offers a few tatami rooms where
customers can get comfortable
with the restaurant’s rather extensive sake selection. izakayakou.com,
415-441-9294 $$$ D R W

Palmer’s Tavern
2298 FILLMORE ST.

The Leopold’s crew has made over
the former Long Bar with a ’40s-era
kick. Dark wood, plush crimson
booths, and taxidermied beasts set
the tone for hearty dishes like a
Flintstonian lamb shank or quail a
la plancha. A whole trout wrapped
in ribbons of pancetta and crispy
squash blossoms offers a more
modern approach. The best way
to soak up the retro atmosphere?
Order a Pimm’s cup and let it
transport you to a time when farmto-table wasn’t a San Francisco
catchphrase. palmerssf.com, 415732-7777 $$$ D W

Birds turn on a spit and red meat
braises in the oven at this first-rate
rotisserie. Postrio veterans Gerard
Darian and Tracy Green produce
beautiful roast chickens, so moist
and brightly seasoned that you set
aside your fork and tear at them
with your hands. The pulled pork
sandwich is every bit the chicken’s
equal, as is the brisket, which comes
as a main and also as a sublime
sandwich with onion marmalade,
arugula, and Dijon mustard. Buttery
smashed potatoes and sautéed
chard ably play the role of sides.
roostertailsf.com, 415-776-6783
$W
HOT

State Bird Provisions

1529 FILLMORE ST.

Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole
Krasinski offer an experience that’s
so refreshing, you wonder why
no one has tried it before. Most
menu items are portioned onto
small plates, then wheeled past you
on carts, dim sum style. Oysters
come with still-warm potato chips,
steelhead roe, and crème fraîche.
Tuck into this until your attention
is diverted by crab suspended in a
satsume gelée, or a stunning stew
of pork, shellfish, and kimchee. As
if nation-wide accolades weren’t
enough, the restaurant recently
increased its bragging rights with
expanded seating, family-style

dining, and a sidewalk-adjacent raw
bar. statebirdsf.com, 415-795-1272
$$ D R W

Waraku
1638 POST ST.

When chef-owner Eiichi Mochizuki
of Shabuway took over the former
Bushi-Tei space, he inherited its
wood beams imported from a 19thcentury home in Japan. Though the
space is still exceptional, the menu
is now more casual: The ramen,
with shoyu broth or tonkotsu broth,
is above average. The pan-fried
gyoza arrive conjoined by a crepethin layer of crisp dough. And the
deal gets sweeter: Most starters,
like sashimi and kalbi, are under $10,
and Sapporo is on tap. warakuus.
com, 415-292-3388 $$ W

THE MISSION

The Abbot’s Cellar
742 VALENCIA ST.

This beer-centric restaurant on one
of the hottest blocks of Valencia
Street comes from the owners of
the Monk’s Kettle. Nat Cutler and
Christian Albertson have teamed
up with chef Adam Dulye to build
a cathedral to the suds with a massive two-story beer cellar as the
altar. Under a barnlike ceiling, diners
choose from a menu of dishes such
as goat ragù over gnocchi, calamari
tossed with a spicy romesco, and
steak with shiso peppers. On tap
are often hard-to-find selections,
including Yeti Imperial Stout, which

©ALANNA HALE

Following the Slanted Door–ification of Indian food, Dosa fills your
belly with curry and chutneys and,
yes, dosas, but also makes your visit
into a real night out. You’ll know
right away it’s a party from the waiters weighed down with cocktails
like the Peony, frothy with coconut
milk and ably balancing gin, hibiscus,
lime, and chili. It goes down easily
with the chennai chicken, boneless
fried hunks spiced with coriander
and cumin, sprinkled with lemon,
and dunked in yogurt. The huge
menu delivers plenty of old friends
(biryani, anyone?) but offers its
share of twists, too. dosasf.com,
415-441-3672 $$$ R W

Izakaya Kou

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

FOOD

FOREIGN CINEMA

is served—like the finest cognac—in
a snifter. abbotscellar.com, 415-6268700 $$$$ D

Central Kitchen
3000 20TH ST.

Broadening his business—and his
ambitions—Flour + Water chef
Thomas McNaughton’s second
restaurant takes him to more experimental ground. Here his rustic
repertoire of pasta and pizza gives
way to modern musings, such as
charred avocado with sea beans,
pickled celery and pine nut purée,
and crunchy rye crumble, topped
tableside with a cooling broth of
beets and goat-milk whey. Meanwhile, simplicity reigns at Salumeria,
his aptly named gourmet retail and
sandwich shop that stands in front.
centralkitchensf.com, 415-826-7004
$$$$ D R W
NEW

Chino

©COURTESY FOREIGN CINEMA

3198 16TH ST.

Team Tacolicious has ventured
beyond tuna tostadas to take on
Chinese food, and the result is a
fun, poppy restaurant (co-owned by
San Francisco editor-at-large Sara
Deseran). While the menu offers
tradition in the form of Shanghai
soup dumplings, it abounds with
cross-cultural mashups like the
yuba salad, its cool, slippery ribbons
of tofu skin bathed in cilantroginger salsa verde. Authentic? No.
Delicious? Oh, yes. chinosf.com,
415-552-5771 $$ W

Commonwealth
2224 MISSION ST.

The atmosphere here is debonair,
with a youthful Kodachrome crowd
mingling against an elegant blackand-white backdrop while a disco
ball spins. Vadouvan lends an Indian
lilt to chilled summer squash soup;
a streak of umeboshi (Japanese
pickled plum) underpins a creamy
coin of cognac-cured foie gras. This
is cosmopolitan cooking, food so
confident it doesn’t need to brag
about where it’s been. The service
is low-key but capable of culinary
geek-speak, and the kitchen never
tries to jam haute touches down
your throat. It all adds up to a restaurant that feels both worldly and
distinctly local. commonwealthsf.
com, 415-355-1500 $$ D R W

Craftsman and Wolves
746 VALENCIA ST.

There’s not a trace of Mission
funk in evidence at this sleek, very
uptown pastry shop, opened by
renowned pastry chef William
Werner smack in the middle of the
Valencia Street corridor. The fancy
croissants made of passion fruit
and sesame, as well as the muffins
made of cocoa and carrot, stand at
attention, waiting to be plucked up
and enjoyed at the communal table
with a cup of Sightglass espresso.
Though there are only a few
sandwiches on offer, make sure to
take one for lunch, because they’re
good. And the cube cakes—fanci-

ful layered creations of four-star
quality—are perfect for special
occasions (or just because you’re
you). craftsman-wolves.com, 415913-7713 $$ W
HOT

Delfina

3621 18TH ST.

In the many years since Delfina
opened, Italian food in San Francisco has moved from Americanized
red-sauce outposts to someplace
closer to Italy. In this context, many
dishes at Craig and Anne Stoll’s
beloved Mission district restaurant
still sparkle, such as escarole salad
sweetened with roasted grapes,
spiced with gorgonzola, and scattered with almonds; and grilled
calamari, emerging from a shallow
sea of savory white beans. Service
remains astute, professional, and
playful. Although others have met
the restaurant on the path that it
helped to blaze, Delfina is still a very
good Italian restaurant. delfinasf.
com, 415-552-4055 $$$ D R W
HOT

Flour + Water

2401 HARRISON ST.

On any given evening, lines spill
around the corner like so much
tagliatelle. Thomas McNaughton’s
tour de force offers a seven-course
tasting menu, evidence that pasta
takes as many shapes as temptation
itself. Witness maltagliati, roughcut forms that the chef enriches
with celery root and braised pine
mushrooms. Or cappellacci dei

briganti, little hats of pasta dressed
with rabbit sausage and cauliflower,
then spiked with chili pepper. McNaughton keeps a sure hand on his
rustic-chic aesthetic; the only major
disappointment is failing to save
room for the blood orange–topped
polenta cake. By then, though,
you’re as stuffed as the agnolotti dal
plin. flourandwater.com, 415-8267000 $$$ D R W

Foreign Cinema
2534 MISSION ST.

The restaurant that redefined dinner and a movie puts on one of the
best brunches in the city, where you
can begin with a frothy gin fizz or a
spicy Sunday Bloody Caesar paired
with oysters or a half Dungeness
crab. Follow that with appetizers
like salt cod brandade with green
chilies, or slices of sourdough slathered with chicken liver pâté, and
you’re just getting started. Organic
eggs come next: sunny-side up on
polenta scattered with chanterelles,
nettles, and sweet onions; poached
in slow-cooked Berkshire pork, with
avocado and warm tortilla chips; or
fried, served over garlicky potato
hash and roasted greens. After a
few strips of brown sugar bacon,
you might consider skipping dessert. foreigncinema.com, 415-6487600 $$$ R V

Izakaya Yuzuki
598 GUERRERO ST.

You can down your share of chicken
skewers and sake here, but this
ctguide.com | 87

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

sweetness with intense heat. The
fiery, fatty food both singes your
taste buds and warms your cockles,
as a portion of the entrée price
goes to the San Francisco Food
Bank. missionchinesefood.com,
415-863-2800 $$ W

Lolinda

2282 MISSION ST.

2518 MISSION ST.

Step into this homage to an
Argentinean steakhouse, and in the
movie-theater dark space, the details come into focus: tufted leather
booths, wagon-wheel light fixtures,
a brick-backed bar. Since its inception, Lolinda has become a smartly
rendered package, including halibut
ceviche, fresh and acid-dashed, a
smoky-sweet charred artichoke,
and the evening’s finest cut of
meat—a grilled New York steak
served with chimichurri. lolindasf.
com, 415-550-6970 $$ D R
HOT

Loló

974 VALENCIA ST.

ALTA CA

lovely, low-key restaurant provides
much more than a platform for getting stuffed and soused. Japanese
tradition is preserved in housemade
tofu, an igloo-shaped serving of silken curds that you sprinkle with sea
salt, bonito flakes, and soy sauce.
The intimacy of the cooking comes
through in everything from misobraised beef tendon to chicken
meatballs, skewered and seasoned
with a housemade mold called koji,
which brings a dash of sweetness
to the savory flavors. yuzukisf.com,
415-556-9898 $$ D R W

La Torta Gorda
2833 24TH ST.

Vintage Coca-Cola lights and a delistyle bar lend a lot of character to
this family-run 24th Street Mexican
restaurant. The menu hinges on
an exhaustive array of tortas: soft
rolls bracketing colorful layers
of fresh avocado, queso fresco,
refried beans, jalapeños, chipotle,
and your choice of meat. There are
also heavenly huaraches, layered
up on bean-filled slabs of masa,
and other daily specialties from the
Puebla region of Mexico. La Torta
Gorda makes up for its lack of beer
and wine with a range of espresso
drinks, fresh squeezed juices, and
some of the best made-to-order
horchata in the city. latortagorda.

88 | Cityguide 2015

net, 415-642-9600 $ W

Local’s Corner
2500 BRYANT ST.

Pressed-tin ceilings, marble
tabletops, and big windows make
this seafood-centric spot a sweet
neighborhood find. Here, you can
hear your dinner conversation and
eat well—and healthily, too. Oysters
on the half shell are served with a
pop of freshly grated horseradish,
cooked baby carrots are countered
with tangy yogurt, and the salmon is
tinged yellow with vadouvan spices.
Everything is sourced as sustainably as possible, and to keep things
even more upstanding, there’s no
dessert. The cheese plate will have
to do. A prix fixe brunch is served
on weekends. localscornersf.com,
415-800-7945 $$$ R W

Locanda
557 VALENCIA ST.

Given the reputation Craig and Annie Stoll built at Delfina, they could
have opened an Olive Garden and
diners would have followed them
in droves. Instead they opted for
this lovely ode to the Eternal City.
Their chef does many things as
the Romans do, slow cooking tripe
in tomatoes and stirring up oxtail
that’s a peasant dish of exquisite
depth. It’s often hard to tell where

The neighborhood’s long-standing
Loló has moved to shiny, happy,
new digs in the thick of Valencia
Street. Against a riotous backdrop
of color and whimsy (dog statues,
anyone?), diners dig in to Mexicanish fare, including everything from
carnitas to lamb sliders on a brioche
bun with porcini mushroom sauce.
If you’re a mezcal junkie, sit at the
bar. lolosf.com, 415-643-5656
$$ R W

Mission Cheese
736 VALENCIA ST.

Mission Cheese has a feel that’s
half farmhouse, half urban sleek.
The tiny self-service café offers $12
flights of cheeses from across the
States arranged by region; a killer
adult-friendly mac and cheese; and
four oozy hot-pressed sandwiches
like the Allota Burrata, Belfiore
cream-filled mozzarella with cherry
tomatoes and basil on a toasted
Della Fattoria baguette. There are a
dozen or so wines by the glass and
a handful of beers on tap, but it’s
the cheese that’s the draw. Dvorak
has managed to fill a hole this
town didn’t even realize was there.
missioncheese.net, 415-553-8667
$$ W

Mission Chinese Food
2234 MISSION ST.

Jesse Koide, the successor to
original chef Danny Bowien, deals in
kinda-sorta Chinese cooking here,
drawing on a hodgepodge of traditions while mixing heaping handfuls
of Szechuan peppers with offbeat
cuts of meat. Ma po tofu, a flotilla
of soft curds in a chili-reddened
sea, harbors ground Kurobuta pork
shoulder beneath its molten surface. Thrice-cooked bacon is served
with fermented black beans, chilies,
and bitter melon—a symphony of
Asian flavors that blends a smoky

Mission Street
Oyster Bar
This solo project from former
Anchor Oyster Bar chef Fredy
Gamez is a San Francisco rarity: a
throwback restaurant without a
trace of irony. Its laminated menu is
also retro in substance, celebrating
such coastal classics as scampi, and
daily seafood specials are served
with a veggie medley on the side.
In a fittingly unfashionable setting, complete with marlin trophy
mounted on a blue-green wall, Gamez offers earnest, skillful versions
of your grandparents’ cooking (the
cioppino, in particular, is a hit). You
wonder, though, how it will fly with
a generation that likes its nostalgia
with a nod and a wink.
missionstreetoysterbarsf.com,
415-621-6987 $$$ R W
HOT

Namu Gaji

499 DOLORES ST.

A frequently superb Korean-inspired restaurant, Namu Gaji strikes
an East-meets-West balance: the
simplicity of Zen, the informality of
now. Cross-cultural currents course
through the dishes, too, which leap
from traditionals such as bibim kook
soo—refreshing soba noodle salad
in kimchee vinaigrette—to brave
new worlders such as a burger on
sourdough with pickled-daikon
slivers. House-cut french fries are
buried in an avalanche of short ribs,
Korean chili paste, kimchee relish,
teriyaki sauce, and Japanese mayonnaise. Unrepentantly decadent, it
could pass as Korean poutine. The
small wine list, focused on local,
organic producers, is augmented by
soju cocktails, sake, and beer. na
musf.com, 415-431-6268 $$ R W
NEW

Plin

A fourth-generation chef whose
family runs a landmark Fisherman’s
Wharf restaurant, Alexander Alioto
might have coasted on his name
and stuck with safe red-sauce
cooking. Instead, he’s taking risks
with his own Mission spot, where he
stages modern riffs on Italian cuisine. Fans of Seven Hills, his Nob Hill
alma mater, will recognize Alioto’s
egg-and-ricotta raviolo. But dishes
like cold spaghetti with raw halibut
and braised pork cheeks with
jalapeños in a huckleberry glaze are
more reflective of the chef’s ambitions. plinsf.com, 415-644-8425
$$$ R W
NEW

Urchin Bistrot

584 VALENCIA ST.

The French bistro new wave has
washed ashore on Valencia Street,

©ALANNA HALE

Locanda’s Italian borders end and
the West Coast begins, but the
ancestry of a dish hardly matters as
long as it tastes good. The grilled
leg of guinea hen stuffed with lardo,
garlic, and rosemary and wrapped
in pancetta and caul fat would have
wowed a Roman prince. locandasf.
com, 415-863-6800 $$$ D R W

educational coq au vin that makes
you think, “Ah, so this is how it’s
supposed to taste.” The bombshell
acoustics can be a bummer, but
with a rotisserie flickering in the
kitchen and streetcars rumbling by
outside, the place abounds with
old-world charm. cocottesf.com,
415-292-4415 $$$ R W

20 Spot

NOB HILL, RUSSIAN
HILL, AND THE
TENDERLOIN

754 POST ST.

3565 20TH ST.

Brenda’s French
Soul Food

Wise Sons

You’ll see them, these hungry,
patient people, craving a crawfish
beignet at this unpretentious
French-Creole favorite. They line
up to sit beneath the slowly circling
fans and happily stuff their faces
with fried-catfish po’ boys and
flights of broiled oysters. You line
up, too, praying that the chicken–
and–andouille jambalaya is listed
on the specials board. You swoon
over the smell of the “BFC,” indeed
arguably the best fried chicken in
the city. And you wait on the gritty
sidewalk, wishing a brass band
would march on by. frenchsoulfood.
com, 415-345-8100 $$ W

A respite from the increasingly
raucous Mission, this sweet sliver
of a small plate–serving wine bar
is decorated with midcentury furniture collected by the affable proprietor, Bodhi Freedom, who also
owns Bacchus in Russian Hill. The
best spot is at the bar, a gorgeous
piece of hand-shaped wood where
you can sample different wines and
dig into comfy but sophisticated
fare, including deviled duck eggs,
potted rabbit, steak tartare, and
chilled seafood salad with English
peas. 20spot.com, 415-624-3140
$$ D W

3150 24TH ST.

Historically, this city hasn’t been
known for its deli fare. But that
changed with the opening of Wise
Sons. Almost everything is made
from scratch; it shows in the crusty
edges of the dense bialy, layered
with cream cheese and housesmoked salmon or steelhead.
There’s a West Coast bent here:
Witness a “Reuben” that swaps out

652 POLK ST.

Cocotte
1521 HYDE ST.

After shuttering Hyde Street Bistro
for a revamp, Sancerre native Mikael
Audry has reopened his restaurant
as Cocotte, forgoing haute French
touches in favor of more rustic fare.
The new focus brings sharp takes
on steak frites, beef Wellington,
and other classics, among them an

Farm: Table
This microcafé is as long on charm
as it is short on space. Working
with only a hot plate and a countertop oven, husband-and-wife team
Shannon and Kate Amitin turn out
a three-item breakfast and lunch
menu and a handful of pastries. The
creamy cauliflower-cumin soup, like
most everything served here, could
benefit from sharper seasoning, but
what the kitchen lacks in finesse,
it makes up for in goodwill. Baby
greens with tomatoes, cucumber,
corn, and basil tasted as if the
ingredients had been plucked
straight from a CSA box, and a
warm sandwich of apples, cheese,
and arugula showed an artful sense
of pairing. farmtablesf.com, 415292-7089 $

Jasper’s Corner Tap
& Kitchen
401 TAYLOR ST.

Is this place a pub or a sports bar?
The menu suggests that it’s a bit of
both. You can get a big Wagyu beef
burger, garnished with blue cheese
and bacon-onion marmalade, or
something British, like bangers
and mash with spicy housemade
sausages, mellowed by spoonings
of sweet onion sauce. With this
beer-friendly food, there’s also

plenty of beer: stouts, lagers, ales,
IPAs. Sip one as you nibble on an
anchovy-salted deviled egg, and
you’ll feel better fed than you often
do when there’s a ballgame blaring.
jasperscornertap.com, 415-7757979 $$ R W

Leopold’s
2400 POLK ST.

The first thing you’ll notice when
you walk into Leopold’s is the welcome from a sweet lumberjack of
a man: co-owner Klaus Rainer. Next
you’ll notice the noise: the clanking
of steins; the laughter of diners
loving the transportive power of
this restaurant where the walls
are dotted with taxidermy and the
servers are clad in cleavage-busting
bodices. The chicken soup is a thing
of steamy beauty, swimming with
chives and semolina dumplings.
The pancetta-wrapped trout is a
must-order, and you also shouldn’t
miss the flaky apfelstrudel with
warm vanilla sauce. leopoldssf.com,
415-474-2000 $$ W
HOT

Mason Pacific

1358 MASON ST.

Chef Sean McTiernan (formerly of
Delfina) ushers in this corner bistro
with plush booths in an elegantcasual setting on the Powell-Mason
cable car line. The French-driven
wine list complements a seasonal
menu: fried hunks of feta in a pool
of English pea and fava bean purée,
and homemade wild mushroom and
truffle beurre fondue tagliatelle,
coiled like a nest for the runny
golden egg mi-cuit on top. The
mammoth pretzel-bun burger with
smoked tomato keeps the menu
grounded. masonpacific.com, 415374-7185 $$$ D R W

©ERIC WOLFINGER

OUTERLANDS

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RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

meat for trumpet mushrooms. Happily, those influences also shape the
service, which is California-sunny. If
that strikes a deli absolutist as inauthentic, well, so be it. When it really
matters, tradition is honored by a
kitchen that makes great corned
beef hash but doesn’t make a hash
of anything else. wisesonsdeli.com,
415-787-3354 $$ W

FOOD

where Lissa Doumani and Hiro
Sone (Ame) are serving casual
but refined spins on old-school
Gallic staples. Their cassoulet is a
satisfying orgy of meat and Rancho
Gordo beans, while ocean trout
fumé has the sheen of silk stockings
and a texture to match. The chefs
aren’t taking too many chances
here, but as their darkly decadent
chocolate Bête Noire demonstrates,
they know how to hit their marks.
urchinbistrot.com, 415-861-1844
$$$ R D W

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

1760
1760 POLK ST.

Fine dining old-timer Acquerello has
spun off a relatively casual kid sister
just blocks away on Polk Street. Its
sleek, slightly deco scenery backs
artful small plates engineered for
sharing. Bites may include beef tartare with Southeast Asian accents
(chilies, nut purée) or a fried duck
sandwich with all the trappings of
In-N-Out. Wash everything down
with market-driven cocktails created by an ex-Aziza barman.
1760sf.com, 415-359-1212 $$ D R W

Sons & Daughters
708 BUSH ST.

A voluptuous beet soup has the
ample character you’d expect to
find at a farm-to-table bistro. But
the palate teaser served before it,
spheres of honey with nasturtium
gel delivered on a spoon bent Uri
Geller–style, is the sort of item that
emerges from a kitchen–cum–science lab. Out comes seared foie
gras with grape granité and yogurt,
then a delicate herb salad with
curds and quinoa. You fear the
menu may be too dainty—until
the lamb loin with uni butter and
parsnip purée arrives, and then you
want to lick your plate. sonsanddaughterssf.com, 415-391-8311
$$$$ D R W

Stones Throw
1896 HYDE ST.

Hyde Street has long been known
for quaint haunts catering to local
types, but now Michael Mina alums
have created a joint worth traveling
for. Housed in the old Luella digs,

TARTINE BAKERY

this sleek spot serves up killer
snacks, like a game-changing duck
pâté with French’s mustard gelée
and housemade pretzel puffs, and
an extensive list of rare beers.
stonesthrow.com, 415-796-2901
$$ R W

Sweet Woodruff
798 SUTTER ST.

At this Sons & Daughters spin-off,
owners Teague Moriarty and Matt
McNamara turn their well-trained
hands to counter service fare. At
lunch, the menu is a mix of soup,
salads, and high-bred sandwiches
such as roasted suckling pig
smacked with salsa verde, pickles,
and ghost pepper aioli. As the
day wears on, the kitchen adds an
entrée. Gnocchi with housemade
sausage, peas, and parmesan could
hold its own in a formal dining
room. Sweets include a Rice Krispies treat served in a satisfying, if
cinder-block-size, slab. sweetwood
ruffsf.com, 415-292-9090 $ W

Verbena
2323 POLK ST.

The second restaurant from the
owners of Gather in Berkeley, this
handsome, modern space with
a dramatically lit brick bar has a
menu that leans toward hippie chic.
Chef Sean Baker treats vegetables
like royalty, displaying them artfully and adding quirky touches like
pumpkin-seed milk. But a bowl of
beef rib, braised in a broth spiked
with garum, mint, and a bit of bok
choy, could warm the heart of any
carnivore. verbenarestaurant.com,
415-441-2323 $$$ R W

NOPA AND THE
PANHANDLE
Bar Crudo

655 DIVISADERO ST.

Picture a bite-size hunk of jeweltoned Arctic char slathered with
horseradish, a mound of crunchy
tobiko, and sprigs of fresh dill. This
style of nuanced raw fish creation
fills out the menu’s crudo section,
which should not be missed. There’s
also a taste bud–grabbing seafood
chowder, its rosy cream filled with
ample amounts of shellfish and
potato and an infusion of bacon.
Come between 5 and 6:30 p.m.
nightly to nab the hearty soup for
the happy-hour price of $6. But at
any time of day, the menu is well
paired with its mural-filled decor
and one of the most interesting
and lengthy beer lists in the city.
barcrudo.com, 415-409-0679 $$ W
HOT

Corner Store

5 MASONIC AVE.

Nourishing a part of the city that
was starved for a stylish place serving cocktails and a good Cal-Americana menu, this restaurant has been
packed since day one. Diners enjoy
everything from farm-fresh salads
to a great burger topped with
bacon jam. Even vegetarians get
the delicious option of a rustic multigrain sort of risotto, cooked in a
savory parmesan-mushroom broth
and topped with greens. For outdoor types, there’s a smartly heated
covered patio—key for an often
fog-swept corner. thecornerstore-sf.
com, 415-359-1800 $$ R W

Green Chile Kitchen
1801 MCALLISTER ST.

Hidden on a NoPa corner, this
neighborhoody spot focuses on
New Mexican–style, green-andred-chili-spiked fare. On weekend
mornings it welcomes the hungover
brunch crowd, and late afternoons
see the après-preschool set, with
parents putting back $2 Pacificos
and kids digging into fresh guac
and quesadillas. As night falls, folks
line up for homemade blue corn
tortillas; hearty stew made with
Niman Ranch pork; and enchiladas
stuffed with steak and smothered in
chili sauce. Stick around for dessert:
There’s a gooey-warm brownie ice
cream sundae drizzled with spicysweet raspberry-chili sauce and
homemade pie. greenchilekitchen.
com, 415-440-9411 $$ W

Nopa
560 DIVISADERO ST.

For the many walk-ins, hovering
for a spot at Nopa’s long bar or
communal table may not be quite
as aggro an experience as it used
to be, and the food is better than
ever. The mix includes changing
seasonal dishes and a number of
cult favorites, such as the brown
sugar–brined pork chop with brussels sprouts. Given that Nopa also
has one of the best cocktail menus
and one of the most affordable,
interesting wine lists in town—plus
bartenders who cater to your every
wish—you might actually want to
spend time waiting for a table. no
pasf.com, 415-864-8643 $$$ R W

Wine Kitchen
507 DIVISADERO ST.

With the simple equation of
polished bar food and lots of wine,
chef-owners Greg Faucette and
Jason Limburg—veterans between
them of Commonwealth, Contigo,
Bar Tartine, and Per Se—have
already developed a loyal following.
Get the fried gnocchi, with chewysoft potato nuggets tossed in short
rib jus and shaved horseradish, or
the McNugget-like sweetbreads in
a glistening varnish of Buffalo Bob’s
hot sauce. winekitchensf.com, 415525-3485 $$ D W

SOMA
Ame

689 MISSION ST.

90 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY TARTINE

A meal here is as smooth as a ride
in a Lexus set on cruise control. For
every adventurous bite of uni on
bruschetta, there are options like
tempura poke, as sure to please
conservative tastes as easy-listening
hits on the radio. The CaliforniaAsian menu from Lissa Doumani
and Hiro Sone coasts on the
momentum of dishes such as grilled
whole lobster in yuzu brown butter
and sake-marinated cod in sweet
shiso broth, with shrimp dumplings
bobbing all around. amerestaurant.
com, 415-284-4040 $$$$ R W v

303 2ND ST.

With her first full-fledged restaurant,
il Cane Rosso’s Lauren Kiino has
room to stretch, both literally and
menu-wise. The airy, industrial space
makes an appropriately expansive
backdrop for Kiino’s generous,
full-bodied cooking, which at dinner includes a silky fillet of petrale
sole and a bowl of brown rice and
vegetables invigorated b
y a Meyer lemon–brown butter
vinaigrette and an expertly fried egg.
For dessert, a butterscotch
pot de crème inspires both
euphoria and hoarding impulses.
reddogrestaurant.com,
415-692-0211 $$$ R W

Rosa Mexicano
30 MISSION ST.

NAMU GAJI

AQ Restaurant & Bar
1085 MISSION ST.

Marc Liberman puts on a flashy
show in his open kitchen at this
lofty, seasonally driven spot, using
torches and other tools that signal
his fondness for high-concept
cuisine. Nothing on his menu is as
simple as it sounds. The “almonds”
in the pear salad arrive as quivering
disks of almond-milk panna cotta;
the “walnuts” in his agnolotti of
wild greens turn up as a dusty cube
of walnut powder that liquefies on
contact with your tongue. If you
enjoy asking questions (“Waiter,
what’s that squid ink doing in my
hangar steak?” “Why, it’s darkening
the oxtail and licorice-root reduction.”), this is your kind of place. aqsf.com, 415-341-9000 $$$ R W

Bar Agricole

©ERIC WOLFINGER

355 11TH ST.

A restaurant this beautiful could
almost get by on looks alone. A
Zen-like courtyard leads into a space
of shapely wood banquettes and
skylights framed by glass tubes that
call to mind curtains shifting in the
wind. Bar master Thad Vogler works
cocktail magic with sours, collinses,
and other classics made with local
spirits and artisanal syrups. Melissa
Reitz’s menu is vibrant, unfussy, and
wildly creative. High notes include
rabbit leg paired with green lentils,

roasted figs, and red wine butter and
a crispy chickpea farinata freighted
with vegetables that change with the
seasons. baragricole.com, 415-3559400 $$$ R W

Benu
22 HAWTHORNE ST.

Princely pedigrees inspire high
expectations, but no one has to tell
that to Corey Lee. After nine years
under Thomas Keller’s tutelage, Lee
took the helm of his first solo project. Happily, the restaurant, Benu,
lives up to its billing. The food is
flawless, with Asian accents inflecting a French vernacular. Sea urchin
sits on a soft shell of almond tofu,
while the stellar “shark’s fin” soup
is ornamented with crab meat, cabbage, and faux shark’s fin. If Benu
has a fault, it lies in the restaurant’s
weightiness of purpose: The mood
is as carefree as Scott Wiener’s at
a nudist colony. All the fun is in the
food. benusf.com, 415-685-4860
$$$$ D R V

Citizen’s Band
1198 FOLSOM ST.

This thoughtful modern diner has
no Formica counters and no waitresses named Flo. In a kitsch-free
setting, Boulevard veteran Chris
Beerman breaks out heartland
dishes of high breeding. His beauty
of a burger features Amer-ican

Kobe beef on a challah bun with
roasted-garlic mayo; the franks
in his franks ’n’ beans are grilled
artisanal sausages, bedded on a
platter of heirloom butter beans.
Call it haute Americana. Happy days,
indeed. citizensbandsf.com, 415556-4901 $$$ R W

One Market
1 MARKET ST.

This cheerful downtown redoubt
has long enjoyed a lock on postwork San Franciscans and business
travelers who don’t want to eat at
just another steakhouse while dining on the strength of an expense
account. The menu balances conservative conventioneer favorites
with Cal-Med flashes that aren’t
so fanciful that the boys back at
the office would call them fey. For
every dish outside the mainstream,
like grilled mahimahi with delicata
squash and an acid spike of lime oil,
at least two others hew to convention. onemarket.com, 415-777-5577
$$$ R V W

Prospect
300 SPEAR ST.

Billed as the hipper, younger spinoff of San Francisco’s landmark
Boulevard, Prospect’s slightly
corporate, museumlike dining room
feels like it could be in any major
city. But the menu from chef Pam

The FiDi happy-hour crowd has
descended upon the latest outpost
of this high-end restaurant group.
But get past the smothering bar
crowd, and the scene mellows into
expense-account dinners that start
with fundido with chorizo and end
with churros. A good entrée choice
is the crispy pork shank—a tasty
hunk of meat served with chipotlecreamed spinach. rosamexicano.
com, 415-874-4300 $$ R W

1601 Bar & Kitchen
1601 HOWARD ST.

All the trappings of San Francisco’s
most de rigueur restaurants—muted
earth tones, reclaimed wood—converge at a decidedly unfashionable
SoMa intersection, where chefowner Brian Fernando’s Sri Lankan
heritage gives the menu heart.
Order the silky mulligatawny, the
egg-crowned hopper, or the halibut
crudo gently dabbled in coconut
milk. Everyone can appreciate the
prices, which average about $11 per
plate, and the banana fritters—just
crispy and gooey enough to warrant
some buzz. 1601sf.com, 415-5521601 $$

DRW Spice Kit
405 HOWARD ST.

Fine dining and fast food collide
at this takeout spot run by Wilfred
Pacio and Fred Tang, veterans of
the French Laundry and the RitzCarlton, respectively, who bring
their refined talents to Vietnamese
banh mi sandwiches and Korean bo

ctguide.com | 91

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

NEW Red Dog Restaurant
and Bar

FOOD

Mazzola gives it a firm sense of
San Francisco. Kobe beef tartare
is accompanied by puffed beef
tendons and crispy bone marrow,
while duck is served in an inspired
trinity of breast, liver, and confit
leg. For oenophiles, wine director
Josh Thomas can do no wrong, but
Prospect’s hearty food and thoughtful happy hour menus mean it’s good
for much more than a multicourse
tasting experience. prospectsf.com,
415-247-7770
$$$$ R V W

FOOD

RESTAURANTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

ssäm wraps. The fillings—five-spice
chicken, beef short ribs, pork, and
tofu—are organic or naturally raised,
and the housemade pork pâté is
well worth the 75-cent surcharge.
But best of all are the steamed pork
buns: fluffy half moons filled with
richly flavored belly meat, offset
with vinegary slices of cucumber
and a sweet smear of hoisin sauce.
spicekit.com, 415-882-4581 $ W

HARD WATER

TBD
1077 MISSION ST.

With its open live-fire kitchen and
eclectic decor, this AQ spin-off has
turned a slice of mid-Market into an
upscale ski lodge. Patrons dig into
burly meat dishes under a clusteredlantern chandelier and antlers
mounted on the walls. But for every
heavy dish (smoked pork andouille,
hunter’s stew with rabbit oloroso),
there’s a lighter item (heirloom
carrots with lentils and sesame) to
counterbalance it. tbdrestaurant.
com, 415-431-1826 $$$ D R W

Town Hall
342 HOWARD ST.

Among the daytime highlights at this
reliable restaurant are a Calabrese
po’ boy, offset with grainy mustard
and slow-cooked onions, and
crisp-skinned St. Louis pork ribs, as
smoky as a Mississippi bluesman’s
croon. At night, the menu sticks to
a blueprint of cultivated Americana. Think rib eye flanked with
melted brie and confit potatoes, and
blackened salmon with kicked-up
maque choux. Town Hall knows—
and hits—its market, which is clad
largely in business suits and oxfords.
Their satisfaction with food that’s
smart but not too stuffy echoes in the
restaurant’s cheerful din. townhallsf.
com, 415-908-3900 $$$$ R W

Trou Normand
140 NEW MONTGOMERY ST.

The Bar Agricole team have set
up shop on the ground floor of
the magnificent Pacific Telephone
building, where they’ve fashioned an
airy, elegant dining room complete
with a mural of a naked lady above
the bar. As at the restaurant’s older
sibling, the cocktails are the stars of
the show. On the menu, a charcuterie board comes heaped with white
ribbons of lardo, pistachio-studded
mortadella, and anise-scented coppa.
Chase it with one of the restaurant’s
namesake palate cleansers and surrender to the lush life. trounormandsf.
com, 415-975-0876 $$$ R W

Turtle Tower
501 6TH ST.

At this corner nook on Sixth Street,
pho adopts its Hanoi guise, a style
that calls for flat, wide noodles, clear,
beefy broth, and just two garnishes
(lime and chilies). The boldly flavored
result satisfies in the simple ways it
should. But the menu features more
compelling players, including bun
thang (a shrimp paste–enhanced
92 | Cityguide 2015

soup with chicken, egg, ground
pork, and vermicelli), assorted
rice plates in the key of meat,
and a fried chicken leg, bare
and bronzed, with a side of salty
lemon sauce that’s a perfect
foil for the crisp skin. And the
banh mi sandwich with an egg
amounts to the best $4.75 meal
in town. turtletowersf.com, 415904-9888 $ W

Twenty Five Lusk
25 LUSK ST.

To linger in the downstairs lounge
of this very sexy restaurant is to
feel like an extra in a stylish vodka
ad. But the air-brushed vibe is
alive all day. At brunch, the SoMa
set plows through upscaled comfort food, like a lobster Benedict
and a well-executed, cucumbersalt-rimmed michelada. At dinner,
you’ll actually see men in ties and
women in heels digging into seasonal takes on a burrata salad or
fried quail and waffles. It all feels
appropriate amid Cass Calder
Smith’s decor, where Jetsonesque stainless steel fire orbs
are just the punctuation marks.
25lusk.com, 415-495-5875
$$$$ R V W

Una Pizza Napoletana
210 11TH ST.

Four nights a week at 5 p.m., the
metal door to a SoMa warehouse
rolls open like a curtain rising on an
off-Broadway show. Inside stands
Anthony Mangieri, who closed his
worshipped East Village pizzeria
and crossed the country, cult following intact. Here, he’s the star
of a one-man show that features
pizza-making as performance art.
Pies are all you get: a tangy marinara; a sauceless bianca; a filetti with
garlic and cherry tomatoes; a dulcet
margherita; and the Ilaria, topped
with smoked mozzarella. You can’t
deny that this is killer pizza, its crust
gently blistered by an almond-wood
fire. There’s also no ignoring the
whiff of self-importance surrounding the proceedings. unapizza.com,
415-861-3444 $$$ D W

Zaré at Fly Trap
606 FOLSOM ST.

A crimson awning marks the spot
of this toasty Persian-Californian
restaurant where owner Hoss Zaré
makes every guest feel like family.
The stately, yet cozy, dining room

is defined by botanical prints lining
the walls and a mirrored bar back
painted the color of the Golden
Gate Bridge. Hearty pistachio meatballs and braised lamb shank with
Persian pickles are menu fixtures,
but Zaré also pours a lot of soul into
vegetarian options, like the velvety
spreadable eggplant with sun-dried
yogurt. Resistance is futile: The dish
is so addictive that you’ll want to order it on every return visit. flytrapsf.
com, 415-243-0580 $$$$ D R W

Zero Zero
826 FOLSOM ST.

Given the large volume of pizza
produced here, the wood-fired pies
are impressive, as good as some
found in more intimate settings.
Crudo and cured meats appear on
the menu, as do acid-spiked salads
and cheeky bruschetta: Picture the
lean-and-fatty interplay of lardo,
avocado, and pickled onions. The
restaurant’s festive air is filled with
the sounds of post-work escapism. But someone’s always making
dough. zerozerosf.com, 415-3488800 $$ R V W

FOR RESTAURANTS IN MARIN, THE EAST BAY, AND SOUTH OF
SAN FRANCISCO, SEE P. 162.

Brunch | Happy Hour | Dinner | Private Dining
WWW .STOCKI NTRADESF. COM

Visit the Historic Cliff House

Famous for fine food, stunning views, and historic ambiance!
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415-386-3330

www.CliffHouse.com

MENUS

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

BEACH STREET GRILL
ORGANIC RESTAURANT
UNION SQUARE

DAILY GRILL
THE CIVIC CENTER

ESPETUS CHURRASCARIA
NOB HILL

HARRIS’ RESTAURANT
THE CASTRO

HARVEY’S
UNION SQUARE

HISTORIC JOHN’S GRILL
THE EMBARCADERO

LA MAR
CEBICHERIA PERUANA
UNION SQUARE

NEW DELHI RESTAURANT
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

NICK’S LIGHTHOUSE
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

OZUMO SAN FRANCISCO
SAUSALITO

THE SPINNAKER
NORTH BEACH

EVA KOLENKO

TRATTORIA PINOCCHIO

COQUETA

ctguide.com | 95

FOOD

ALIOTO’S RESTAURANT

MENU PAGES

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

FOOD

MENU PAGES

Alioto’s Restaurant

Menu Highlights
APPETIZERS
ALIOTO’S FRIED CALAMARI: Served for More Than 85 Years

$11.75
ALIOTO’S ORIGINAL SEAFOOD SAUSAGE: Filled with Prawns,

Shrimp and Scallops, served with a Tomato, Basil, Lemon
and Butter-Caper Sauce $13.25
ALIOTO’S FAMOUS DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE: Mildly Seasoned
and Spiced, served with Mix Greens, Lemon-Butter Sauce,
Chives and Fresh Tomatoes $15.50

SOUPS AND SALADS
NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER: Housemade, Cup for $6.75,

Bowl for $8.95
LOCAL DUNGENESS CRAB BISQUE: Housemade, served with

Puff Pastry $9.95
BABY ARUGULA WITH ARTICHOKES: Truffle Oil, Olive
Tapenade and Shaved Parmesan Cheese with Vinaigrette
$12.75
LOCAL BAY SHRIMP LOUIE: Half Order for $10.50,

Full Order $18
LOCAL DUNGENESS CRAB LOUIE: Half Order for $21.45,

Full Order $38.50
PASTAS AND RICE
SHELLFISH RAVIOLI: Lobster, Shrimp and Mushroom-Filled
Pasta Pillows served with Cream Sauce and a hint of
Tomato $22.75
SERVING THE FRESHEST SEAFOOD, FAMILY ITALIAN RECIPES AND THE FINEST VIEWS SINCE 1925

Alioto’s Restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf is a classic seafood restaurant now run
by the fourth generation of the Alioto family.
Alioto’s began as a fresh fish stall on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf in 1925,
making it one of San Francisco’s oldest restaurants. Since then, little has changed.
Fish is still bought fresh daily including sea bass, sand dabs, sole, swordfish, tuna,
scallops, salmon and Dungeness crab, all locally caught, when possible. Alioto’s
never skimps on the fish they purchase.
Seafood is the hallmark of Alioto’s menu, and is left to shine. Find classic, simple
preparations of fresh fish, charcoal grilled or griddle-fried with a side of seasonal
vegetables and pasta or rice.
Feeling adventurous? Try one of Alioto’s Sicilian specialties that have been
passed down the family for generations. A favorite is Cioppino, a spicy tomato
shellfish stew created by the restaurant’s founder, Rose Alioto. Or try Sicilian
specialties such as the mixed grill, seafood cannelloni, shellfish risotto or artichoke
and arugula salad. A favorite at every table is Alioto’s calamari, served breaded
and lightly pan-fried, or Sicilian style, accented with tomatoes. Meat lovers and
vegetarians also have plenty of options.

BAKED DUNGENESS CRAB CANNELLONI: Tomato Sauce and

Melted Cheese $25.25
RISOTTO ALIOTO: Italian Creamy Rice prepared with
Shrimp, Scallops, Tomatoes and Mushrooms $24.75

MEAT AND FOWL
CHICKEN ALIOTO: Organic Chicken Breast Cooked Under a
Brick, Italian Style with Bell Peppers and Potatoes $19.75
BREADED VEAL CUTLET: Prepared Sicilian Style in Muddica
Breading, served with Fresh Vegetables $28.95
12 OZ. GRILLED NEW YORK STEAK: Served with French Fries

and Creamed Spinach with Bacon $39.25
FRESH FISH AND SHELLFISH
SWORDFISH STEAK: Served with Vegetables $32.50

Fresh crab is always on the menu—choose it cracked with a side of butter, or
Italian-style with a touch of garlic and olive oil. Or enjoy it in Alioto’s crab cakes or
tossed into a Crab Louie salad. Another Alioto classic—our creamy clam chowder,
which is homemade daily. Alioto’s restaurant is a culinary landmark that is still
owned and operated by the descendants of Rose Alioto, who show the care and
commitment of running a restaurant bearing their name.

PETRALE SOLE DORE: Dipped in Egg Batter, grilled and
served with Lemon-Butter Sauce $23.75

OH, AND OUR VIEW IS ALSO FAMOUS.

COMBINATIONS

8 FISHERMAN’S WHARF (AT THE FOOT OF TAYLOR STREET), 415.673.0183, ALIOTOS.COM
HOURS: Open 11AM until 11PM daily, seven days a week
CREDIT CARDS: AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, JCB, VISA. Personal checks are not accepted.
NOTES: 2-hour validated parking up until 6PM; 3-hour validated parking from 6PM until midnight

96 | Cityguide 2015

ROASTED DAY BOAT SCALLOPS: Baked in Sicilian Breading
with Fresh Tomatoes and Garlic-Infused Olive Oil $26.75

SICILIAN-STYLE BOUILLABAISSE: Combination of Calamari,
Fish and Shellfish in a Tomato-Saffron Fish Broth $22.75
SICILIAN MIXED GRILL: Stuffed Calamari, Marinated
Skewered Shrimp and Involtini of Swordfish served with
Rice $23.50

FOOD

WE FEATURE MARY’S ORGANIC CHICKEN, NIMAN
RANCH MEATS AND CAGE-FREE EGGS

Beach Street Grill
Organic Restaurant

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights
BEACH STREET SWEETS
Add Organic Fresh Blueberries, Strawberries or
Blackberries
PANCAKE STACK: (4) $8.95
SHORT STACK: (3) $7.95

EGGS BENEDICT SPECIALTIES
Served with two Poached Eggs on an English Muffin with
Homemade Hollandaise and Hashbrown Potatoes
FRESH CRAB BENEDICT: $15.95
WILD SALMON BENEDICT: $14.95
TRADITIONAL BENEDICT WITH HAM: $11.95

HOUSE SPECIALTY OMELETTES OR SCRAMBLES
Made with three Eggs and served with Beach Street
Hashbrown Potatoes and Toast
CHICKEN HABANERO SAUSAGE: Tomato, Mushrooms, Green

Onion and Jack Cheese
BAY SHRIMP OR CRAB OMELETTE: Tomato, Gruyere Cheese

and Dill
BEACH STREET GRILL: Chicken Habanero Sausage,
Mushrooms, Tomato, Green Onion, Swiss Cheese with
Spanish Sauce

SANDWICHES
Sandwiches made with choice of Whole Grain, Sourdough,
Rye or White Bread, or Gluten-free ($2.50 extra) and
choice of Organic Salad Greens with House Dressing or
French Fries
GRILLED TUNA: Homemade Mayonnaise, Celery, Dill and

Lemon (add Cheese $2) $10.95
BACON, LETTUCE, AND TOMATO: Homemade Mayonnaise

served on Toasted Bread (add Avocado $2.00) $9.95
CLUB HOUSE SANDWICH: Roasted Chicken, Bacon, Lettuce,

Tomato, Homemade Mayo on Sourdough Toast $14.95
CHARBROILED ITEMS
ORGANIC BEEF
NIMAN RANCH SIRLOIN BURGER: Ground Sirloin on a
Steamed Bun with Homemade Mayonnaise, Lettuce,
Onion, Tomato and Pickles $10.95

Experience San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf dining at Beach Street Grill
Organic Restaurant. Beach Street Grill Organic Restaurant is a very vibrant, small
restaurant serving organic food with gluten-free options available. We are proud
of our all-natural, fresh ingredients. Our menu features Mary’s Organic Chicken,
cage-free eggs, Niman Ranch meats, organic fruits and vegetables from the
local farmers’ markets and vendors in the bay area and Peet’s coffee. We are
always trying to find healthier ways to serve our food and make sure we keep our
customers and friends healthy.
Dine on our beautiful outdoor patio while enjoying organic comfort food
(with gluten-free options), fresh-squeezed OJ and mimosas and even homemade
organic dog biscuits for Fido. Favorite menu items include crab benedict,
fresh organic strawberry and blackberry pancakes made from scratch and wild
seafood dishes. We are one of the best Fisherman’s Wharf dining experiences
you will ever have.
Among our list of amenities, we can accommodate 80-100 people for any kind of
event that you are interested in having. We make all our own desserts and are sure
to make any special occasion spectacular.
380 BEACH ST., FISHERMAN’S WHARF, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133, 415.867.1711,
SFBEACHSTREETGRILL.COM
HOURS: Summer Hours (Jun-Sept) Open Mon–Fri, 7AM–3PM, Sat–Sun, 7AM–4PM;
Winter Hours (Oct–May) Open Mon–Fri, 7AM–1:30PM, Sat–Sun 7AM–2PM

NIMAN RANCH FILET MIGNON STEAK SANDWICH: Served open

face on Sourdough 6 oz. $18.95 or 12 oz. $21.95
NIMAN RANCH RIB EYE STEAK SANDWICH: Grilled to your

liking 6 oz. $16.95, 12 oz. $21.95
WILD SEA BASS FILET: Served with Steak Cut French Fries

and Vegetables $17.95
WILD SALMON FILET: Served with Steak Cut French Fries

and Vegetables $16.95
WILD ICELAND COD FISH SANDWICH: On a Steamed Bun with

Salad $16.95

ctguide.com | 97

FOOD

MENU PAGES

Daily Grill

Menu Highlights
STARTERS
KALE CAESAR SALAD: $10.05
THE WEDGE SALAD: $10.85
SPINACH-ARTICHOKE DIP: $13.35
THE CUTTING BOARD: Chef Selection of Cured Meats and
Artisan Cheeses $12.50
CRISPY NAKED WINGS: $9.80
AHI TUNA SASHIMI: $16.45

ENTREES
CHARBROILED SKIRT STEAK: Marinated in Citrus and Soy,
served with Loaded Mac & Cheese $29.85
NEW YORK STRIP STEAK: With Spinach Mashed Potatoes

$34.55
NEW YORK PEPPER STEAK: With Cracked Pepper, Bacon and

Onions $32.25
BLACKENED RIB EYE STEAK: $38.95
BRAISED SHORT RIB: With Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

$25.95
BLACKBERRY PORK CHOP: With Washington State

Blackberry Sauce $26.65

Conveniently located one block from Union Square near the Westin St. Francis,
Daily Grill is a moderately priced steakhouse that features classic American dishes
made from scratch. The extensive menu features timeless favorites and unique
preparations to suit all tastes while providing unrivaled hospitality and stellar
service. In a comfortable, yet upscale environment, Daily Grill serves breakfast,
lunch and dinner. The bar is a favorite stop for Happy Hour seven days a week,
from 3PM–6PM, where craft beer and hand-crafted cocktails are paired with
eclectic appetizers. Modeled after the great San Francisco grills of the ‘30s and
‘40s, it is an ideal spot to dine or drink while shopping, enjoying a night out or for a
great meal before a show.

TUSCAN BRICK CHICKEN: $22.15
CHICKEN POT PIE: $19.55
JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKES: $29.75
MISO GLAZED SALMON: $26.75

DESSERTS (ALL $7)
CINNAMON APPLE WALNUT CRISP
CARROT CAKE BREAD PUDDING

347 GEARY ST. (BETWEEN POWELL AND MASON STREETS), 415.616.5000, DAILYGRILL.COM
HOURS: Breakfast: 7AM–10AM; Lunch: 11:30AM–3:30PM; Dinner: Sun–Thurs 4:30PM–10PM,
Fri–Sat 4:30PM–11PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DIS, MC, VISA
NOTES: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year, full bar, reservations recommended, private dining
room for up to 14, nearby garage (Downtown Center Garage), happy hour daily 3PM-6PM excluding
holidays.

98 | Cityguide 2015

FUDGE BROWNIE SUNDAE
KEY LIME PIE

PRIX FIXE
Full Salad Bar
MEAT SELECTIONS
PICANHA: Sirloin Steak
ALCATRA: Top Sirloin
FRALDINHA: Flap Steak
COSTELA: Beef Ribs
LOMBO DE PORCO: Pork Tenderloin
LINGUIÇA: Homemade Pork Sausage
CARNERIO: Lamb Chops
ABACAXI GRELHADO: Grilled Pineapple
GARLIC SIRLOIN
COXA DE FRANGO: Chicken Legs
PORK LOIN WITH PARMESAN CHEESE
FILET MIGNON
PEITO DE FRANGO COM BACON: Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Breast
CORAÇÃO DE FRANGO: Chicken Hearts

DESSERTS
PUDIM: Milk and Egg Custard with Caramel Sauce
MOUSSE DE MARACUJÁ: Passion Fruit Mousse
PETIT GÂTEAU: Belgian Chocolate Cake with Warm

Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
CRÈME DE PAPAYA: Lush Papaya Cream with Cassis Liqueur

and Cassis Sorbet
PASTEL TRES LECHES: Moist Sponge Cake

THE ART OF THE FEAST COMES TO THE BAY AREA.

Ten years ago, a Brazilian husband and wife team, Paulo and Maris Klein, saw a
perfect niche in the food- and fun-loving city of San Francisco, and introduced
the area’s only authentic Churrascaria. Blending the traditional gaucho favorites
with a host of seasonal specialties, delivered with exceptional service, Paulo and
Maris have captured the essence of what the Brazilian Art of the Feast is all about.
Gaucho chefs slowly grill choice cuts of skewered meat over an open flame. A
parade of meats is brought to the tableside by the chef, evoking the fireside meals
on the open plains. The feast continues until each guest is fully content.
BRAZILIAN STYLE—A TASTING MENU OF 14 MEAT COURSES.

Today, in San Francisco and San Mateo, Espetus Brazilian Steakhouse has brought
the Art of the Brazilian Feast to a new level with 14 signature cuts of beef, pork
and chicken carefully roasted to perfection. Every delicious meal includes an
extensive variety of fresh seasonal salads and hot side dishes that reflect the
bounty of Northern California. For the authentic taste of Brazilian Churrasco, join
us at Espetus Brazilian Steakhouse!
SAN FRANCISCO: 1686 MARKET ST. @ GOUGH, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102, 415.552.8792,
ESPETUS.COM
HOURS: Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30AM–2:30PM, Sat–Sun 12PM–3PM; Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5PM–10PM,
Fri–Sat 5PM–11PM, Sun 3PM–9PM
SAN MATEO: 710 SOUTH B STREET, SAN MATEO, CA 94401, 650.342.8700; ESPETUS.COM
HOURS: Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30AM–2PM, Sat–Sun 12PM–3PM; Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5PM–10PM,
Fri–Sat 5PM–11PM, Sun 3PM–9PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DC, MC, VISA
NOTES: Full bar, reservations recommended, wheelchair access available.

ctguide.com | 99

FOOD

Espetus Churrascaria

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights

FOOD

MENU PAGES

Harris’ Restaurant

Menu Highlights
BEGINNINGS
HARRIS’ FAMOUS MARTINI: Shaken and served on the stem

$12
“THE WHISPER DRY” MARTINI: Hangar One Vodka or
Junipero Gin with Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth served on
the stem with an Orange Twist $14
EAGLE RARE MANHATTAN: A smooth, single barrel bourbon
whiskey created by Eagle Rare Distillery, aged 10 years and
exclusively crafted for Harris’ Restaurant. Served on the
stem with Vya Sweet Vermouth and a dash of Peychaud’s
bitters $14
FRESH OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL: With Three Sauces $18
SMOKED SALMON: Served with Dill Cream Cheese and

Toast Points $17
GULF PRAWN COCKTAIL: $18
STEAMED CLAMS MARINIÈRE: $16
CRAB CAKES: With Beurre Blanc $15
HARRIS’ STEAK TARTARE: $20
VEAL SWEETBREADS: Sautéed with a Shiitake-Sherry

Cream Sauce $16
DEEP FRIED ONION RINGS OR MUSHROOMS: $9

SOUPS AND SALADS
TRADITIONAL ONION SOUP: $9
SOUP OF THE DAY: $9
HARRIS’ CAESAR SALAD: $11
ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD: With chef’s choice of dressing $9

The steakhouse experience, for the discriminating diner, consists of an elegant
and simple menu, high-quality food, a comfortable atmosphere and professional
service. Harris’ steakhouse consistently exceeds expectations. Proudly situated on
the historic corner of Van Ness and Pacific avenues since 1984, Harris’ features
expansive leather booths, high ceilings, romantic lighting and live in-house jazz,
which combined create a backdrop for extravagance. The menu represents
old-fashioned steak-house dining, with executive chef Michael Buhagiar adding
a California sensibility to classic dishes. Appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, crab
cakes and oysters are followed by a classic Caesar or a baby spinach salad with
applewood smoked bacon and soy vinaigrette. Check out the dry-aging box, near
the hostess stand, featuring cuts of Midwestern Angus beef. The result of the
dry-aging process (corn-fed beef aging for 21 days in a humidity-free atmosphere
at 33 degrees) creates delicious beef for an unforgettable dining experience. The
Kobe ribeye, cut from select Japanese cattle and reared for optimal marbling,
has a rich and delicate texture—widely considered the best cut by steak lovers. A
deep, red cabernet butter melts on its seared surface, showing the chef’s subtle
flair for the unexpected. Other cuts, such as the petite filet mignon, porterhouse
and New York strip are mesquite grilled, adding a dimension of robust char to the
full-flavored cuts. Harris’ strays beyond beef to offer entrées that would delight
the most discerning palate: Loch Duart Scottish salmon, American lamb chops and
live Maine lobster satisfy a range of tastes. For dessert, the classic chocolate cake,
crème brûlée, peanut butter pie or any of the housemade ice creams and sorbets
add a sweet ending to a wonderful dining experience.

BABY SPINACH SALAD: With Applewood Smoked Bacon,
Pine Nuts, Mushrooms, Soy Vinaigrette $12
MIXED FIELD GREENS: With Balsamic Vinaigrette $9 add

Crumbled Roquefort for $3
AWARD WINNING AGED BEEF
Entrées include Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables and a choice
of Baked Potato or the evening’s Potato
FILET MIGNON: 12oz. $52
PETITE FILET MIGNON: 8oz. $46
THE PORTERHOUSE STEAK; 24oz. $58
THE HARRIS STEAK: 16oz. A Thick Bone-in New York $52
THE 49ER CUT: 16oz. A Generous Cut of Boneless New York

$56
PETITE FILET MIGNON: 8oz. with Steamed Whole Maine

Lobster 2½ lb. A.Q.
PETITE BONELESS NEW YORK: 12oz. $47
BONE-IN RIBEYE STEAK: 20oz. $53
“KOBE STYLE”: Australian Wagyu Ribeye 16oz. $85

2100 VAN NESS AVE. (AT PACIFIC AVENUE), 415.673.1888, HARRISRESTAURANT.COM
HOURS: Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5:30PM–9:30PM, Fri 5:30PM–10PM, Sat 5PM–10PM, Sun 5PM–9:30PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DC, JCB, MC, VISA
NOTES: Reservations recommended, full bar, wheelchair access, banquet facilities, valet parking, live
jazz nightly

“KOBE STYLE”: American Wagyu New York 13oz. $85
AUTHENTIC JAPANESE WAGYU RIBEYE: 13oz. $195
ROAST PRIME RIB OF BEEF: Cut thick or if you prefer, cut
English style (thinly sliced), served with Creamed Spinach
and a choice of Baked Potato or the evening’s Potato.
Regular Cut 14oz. $46, The Executive Cut on the Bone
22oz. $52

THE CLASSICS
STEAK DIANE: A Paillard of Filet Mignon Grilled and Finished
with a Demi Glace of Cognac and Shallots $46
PEPPER STEAK: A boneless New York Patted with Cracked
Black Pepper, Grilled and Served with Brandy, Cream and
Peppercorn Sauce $48
AMERICAN LAMB CHOPS: Three Colorado Chops Cut from
the Rack, Grilled over Mesquite $49

100 | Cityguide 2015

PAN ROASTED BREAST OF CHICKEN: With a Sherry Glaze $32

FOOD

Harvey’s

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights
BLOODY MARYS
Seven Bloody Marys to chose from, including the Bloody
Mary Lou Retton, made with our house-infused vodka.
(Winner of the people’s choice award for best Bloody
Mary in SF)
BRUNCH ’TIL 3PM EVERY DAY
BREAKFAST NACHO SKILLET: Home Fries topped with

Cheddar and Jack Cheese, Chopped Bacon and Ham,
capped off with two Eggs over easy, Green Onions and a
side of Salsa in a hot skillet $11.95
HEART ATTACK BENEDICT: English Muffins and a 1/2 lb.
Angus Burger under Poached Eggs, with French Fries and
a hefty helping of Hollandaise on the side $12.95
HUNGRY MAN COMBO: Three Eggs, four sticks of Fried
French Toast, and your choice of two of the following;
Ham, Bacon or Chicken-Apple Sausage $12.95

SALADS
BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD: Freshly chopped Romaine tossed

in Blue Cheese Dressing with Red Onions, Peppers, Chips
and Tomatoes. Topped with Crispy Chicken tossed in our
Spicy Harvey’s Sauce $11.95
CHICKEN TOSTADA SALAD: A bed of Lettuce tossed in an

Avocado-Ranch Dressing inside a Crispy Tomato-Chile
Tortilla Bowl and smothered with Black Beans, Jack
Cheese, Jalapeños, Sour Cream, Salsa and Diced Chicken
$11.95
APPETIZERS
HARVEY’S STICKS: Mac n’ Cheese, battered and fried, and

topped with Chipotle Aioli $7.95
TURKEY SLIDERS: (choose 1 style) $10.95

Bangkok-Curry Aioli and Fresh Veggies
NYC-Cheddar, Grilled Onions and ‘Shrooms
SF-Jack, Pesto Aioli and Roasted Peppers
GREAT BIG BURGERS
RITA MORENO BURGER: Topped with Jalapeños, Pepper

Jack Cheese, Cilantro and Guacamole $12.50
SYLVESTER BURGER: Topped with Cheddar Cheese, Bacon

and BBQ Sauce $12.50
DINNER - AFTER 5PM DAILY
FLAT IRON ANGUS STEAK: 8 oz. Flat Iron, Sautéed

Vegetables and Mashed Potato with a Jumbo Onion Ring
$16.95

San Francisco’s Castro district is known worldwide as a hub of GLBT culture. Last
year, the city invested several million dollars into a streetscape project to make the
neighborhood easier to navigate for visitors desiring to see attractions such as the
rainbow crosswalks, GLBT History Museum, Harvey Milk’s camera shop and the
historic Castro Theatre.
No visit to the Castro is complete without a visit to Harvey’s. Situated at the
corner of Castro and 18th Streets, the large windows allow for some of the most
interesting people-watching in San Francisco. You’re sure to see a few things
that you probably wouldn’t see back home. Whether you sit at the bar or get a
table, you’ll be transported back in time to the Castro of the 1970s by the historic
pictures on the walls.
Since 1996, Harvey’s has been the place for visitors from all over the world to
rub elbows with neighborhood residents while enjoying classic American fare,
inventive brunch dishes and satisfying appetizers from their extensive menu.
There are also several vegetarian and vegan offerings, so there is something for
everyone. Be sure to catch their weekday happy hour which features any of their
10 draft beers for $3.

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN: Two large Chicken Breasts
battered to order and deep fried, with Cole Slaw, Mashed
Potato and Country Gravy $13.95

500 CASTRO ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94114, 415.431.4278, HARVEYSSF.COM
HOURS: Mon–Fri 11AM–11PM; Weekend 9AM–2AM
CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED: AE, MC, VISA
NOTES: Ten beers on tap; Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3PM–7PM: all draft beers $3; Serving only wines from
Northern California and fun specialty cocktails; Standup comedy night Tuesdays @ 9PM; Trivia night
Wednesdays @ 8PM

ctguide.com | 101

FOOD

MENU PAGES

Historic John’s Grill

Menu Highlights
SOUP & SALAD
NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
JACK LALANNE’S SALAD: Seasonal Greens, Crab, Shrimp,
Avocado, Mushrooms and Tomato tossed in our famous
Creamy Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette Dressing

ENTRÉES
OYSTERS WELLINGTON: Creamed Spinach and Smoked
Bacon baked in Puff Pastry on a bed of Sherry Cream
CHEF’S SPECIAL RED SNAPPER: Topped with Shrimp,
Dungeness Crab, Mushrooms and Lemon Cream
FISHERMAN’S PASTA: Linguine, Salmon, Crab, Snapper,
Mushrooms and Shrimp surrounded by Mussels and Clams
in Basil Cream
SEAFOOD CIOPPINO A LA MARINARA: Stew of Jumbo Pacific
Prawns, Filet of Sole, Scallops, Mussels, Bay Shrimp and
Clams in a Marinara Broth with Toasted Garlic Sourdough
SAM SPADE’S LAMB CHOPS: Served with a Baked Potato and

Sliced Tomatoes
JOHN’S FEATURED STEAKS
FILET MIGNON
JOHN’S STEAK: (Bone-in New York)
T-BONE STEAK

This historic restaurant is one of the city’s oldest and most famous establishments.
It is a favorite with local and national celebrities, who enjoy great steaks, fresh
seafood, salads and pasta with excellent service. The celebrity list includes: Hillary
Rodham-Clinton, Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas, Bill Gates, Johnny Depp, Francis
Ford Coppola, Renée Zellweger and more. John’s Grill was a setting in author
Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. The restaurant’s interior is a masterpiece
of original period furnishings, remaining a tribute to old San Francisco, as well as
providing a virtual museum of authentic memorabilia. The dark oak paneled walls
are covered with photos of well-known patrons and San Francisco of the past.
John’s Grill was chosen as one of the 10 best by Esquire and featured in Gourmet.
John’s Grill is within walking distance from all downtown theaters, major hotels,
Union Square, Cable Cars and Moscone Convention Center. So come in and relax
to the nightly jazz after a stroll around town. Dress is casual. John’s Grill has a full
bar and is open daily. For spur of the moment occasions, private banquet rooms
are available.
63 ELLIS ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102, 415.986.0069, JOHNSGRILL.COM
HOURS: Mon–Sat 11AM–10PM, Sun 12PM–10PM
CREDIT CARDS: Accepts all major credit cards
NOTES: Cancellation policy: A party of eight or more must be confirmed with a valid credit
card. Private dining inquiry: please contact john@johnsgrill.com

102 | Cityguide 2015

PORTERHOUSE STEAK
SURF AND TURF: New York Steak and three Fried Jumbo

Prawns

Ginger, Daikon and Pickled Carrots, Habanero, Wonton
Strips and Cilantro in a Sweet and Sour Sesame Oil Leche
de Tigre

FOOD

CEBICHES
CEBICHE CHIFA: Catch of the Day with Peanuts, Scallions,

La Mar Cebicheria
Peruana

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights

CEBICHE CLÁSICO: Catch of the Day in a Classic Leche de
Tigre with Red Onion, Habanero, Celery, Choclo, Cancha
and Camote
CEBICHE JALAPEÑO: Scallops, Octopus, Calamari and Catch

of the Day in a Mild Jalapeño Leche de Tigre with Cilantro
and Olive Oil, garnished with Camote and Cancha
CAUSAS
CAUSA VEGETARIANA: Yellow Potato Causa topped with

Seasonal Vegetable Salad, with Aji Amarillo Huancaina
Sauce
CAUSA LIMEÑA: Dungeness Crab on top of a Yellow Potato

Causa, with Avocado Purée, Quail Egg, Cherry Tomatoes
and Ají Amarillo Huancaína Sauce
EMPANADAS Y PIQUEOS
EMPANADA DE AJI DE GALLINA: Classic Peruvian Chicken

Stew in an Aji Amarillo Sauce, served with Huancaina
Sauce
JALEA: Crispy Calamari, Shrimp, Mussels, Yucca and
Seasonal Fish, with Salsa Chalaca, Cancha, Choclo, Cherry
Tomato, Plantains and Housemade Rocoto Tartar Sauce

ENSALADAS
PASSION SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP: Seared Scallops and

Shrimp on top of a Red Quinoa, Beet Salad and Cucumber,
with a Passion Fruit Leche de Tigre, garnished with
Quinoa Crocante and Micro Cilantro
ANTICUCHOS
CORAZÓN: Grilled Beef Heart with Fried Potatoes, Peruvian

Corn and a Spicy Panchita and Rocoto Sauce
PULPO: Grilled Octopus Skewers with Anticuchera Sauce,
Herbed Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Choclo, Peruvian Botija
Olive Aioli, finished with Chalaca Chimichurri

PLATOS DE FONDO
LOMO SALTADO: Traditional Peruvian Style Stir Fry Beef

Tenderloin; sautéed with Onions, Tomatoes, Cilantro, Soy
Sauce, Garlic with Fried Potatoes and Rice
PESCADO CHORRILLANO: Pan-fried Catch of the Day on top

of Aji Amarillo Mashed Yucca, finished with Chorrillana
Sauce
QUINOA CHAUFA: Wok-fried Quinoa with Bell Peppers,
Scallions, Mushrooms, Eggs, Soy Sauce, Bean Sprouts,
Sesame Oil and Fried Egg Noodles, served with Encurtido
Salsa and Nikei Aioli with Seafood

A vision in blue located on the Embarcadero’s Pier 1 ½, the azure-lit La Mar
Cebicheria Peruana “celebrates life, the sea and Peruvian culture through
their seafood cuisine.” With a sophisticated interior aglow in deep blues and
shimmering in aquatic nuances, La Mar offers a majestic dining experience that
feels both on and of the sea. Begin your experience like a true Peruvian, with
one of several signature pisco cocktails during daily happy hour. The pisco sour,
a refreshing mix of pisco, lime juice, egg whites and bitters, pairs wonderfully
with several piqueos, Peruvian small plates, also served during happy hour. The
cebichin mixto, a lively combination of calamari, La Mar’s daily catch and habanero
pepper in leche de tigre, is one of many seafood crowd pleasers. Take a seat in
the spacious dining room or on La Mar’s heated outdoor deck and enjoy lunch
or dinner with an on-the-docks waterfront view. The endless variety of colorful
cebiches and causas, miniature whipped potato towers adorned in a variety of
seafood and vegetarian options, offer an ingenious spin on classical Peruvian
dishes. When it comes to the main course, the arroz la mar’s ocean fresh prawns,
clams, mussels, calamari and white fish over a plump bed of arborio rice makes for
the perfect shared entrée. Sweet seekers beware, La Mar’s dessert menu presents
a list perhaps the most fulfilling of all with an array of original, masterfully crafted
creations, each with a suggested after-dinner drink pairing. For a truly decadent
ending, order the choco-maracuya, layers of raspberry compote, almond praline,
passion fruit and chocolate mousse dusted in 24k gold powder.
PIER 1.5 EMBARCADERO, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111, 415.397.8880, LAMARSF.COM
HOURS: (Daily) Lunch: 11:30PM-2:30PM; Happy Hour: 3PM-6PM; Dinner: 5:30PM-9:30PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DIS, JCB, MC, VISA
NOTES: Reservations are recommended

DESSERT
CHOCO-MARACUYA: Passion Fruit Mousse layered with

Raspberry Compote, Chocolate Mousse and Almond
Praline, sauced with Raspberry Coulis
COCKTAILS
CHOLITO: Pisco Mosto Verde, Crème de Cassis, Jalapeño

Pepper, Ginger Beer, Lime
PISCO PUNCH: Barsol Quebranta, Cachaca, Housemade

Pineapple Syrup, Lemon, Nutmeg
CHICHA SOUR: Pisco Porton, Chicha Morada, Drambuie

15-yr, Orange Passion Reduction, Lemon, Egg White,
Angostura Bitters
ctguide.com | 103

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MENU PAGES

New Delhi Restaurant

Menu Highlights
APPETIZERS
SAMOSA (2 PIECES): Deep-Fried Pastry Cone filled with
Spiced Potatoes and Peas $5.95
ONION BHAJI: Mouth-watering Onion Fritters $4.95
PAKORAS: Mix Vegetable Fritters $4.95

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
KOFTA SHAH JAHANI: A delicious preparation of Stuffed
Meatball cooked in Kashmiri Herbs and Spices. A favorite
of Shah Jahan, builder of Taj Mahal $17.95
MURG AKBARI: An exotic preparation of Chicken with Dried
Fruits simmered with a blend of Medium Spices. A favorite
of Emperor Akbar $17.95

ENTREES
CHICKEN MASALA: Chicken Pieces cooked in Medium Spices

$14.95
CHICKEN KORMA: Succulent Pieces of Chicken cooked in
Coconut Milk and very Mildly Spiced $14.95
CHICKEN MADRAS: A Spicy Chicken Curry cooked with
Coconut Milk $14.95
TANDOORI CHICKEN: Chicken marinated and cooked in a

tandoor $14.95
CHICKEN TIKKA: Pieces of Chicken delicately spiced and
cooked in a tandoor $15.95

Take a spicy culinary adventure and explore “Curries, Chutneys & Cocktails”
created by chef/owner Ranjan Dey, star of the PBS documentary series My India.
New Delhi Restaurant is consistently voted the best Indian restaurant in the Bay
Area over the last 25 years. Decorated like a Maharaja’s private banquet room, this
regal restaurant serves North Indian cuisine with recipes culled from royal Indian
menus dating back 400 years. Only the freshest local ingredients are used.
New Delhi Restaurant is located within walking distance of local downtown hotels.
During our 25 years at this location, we have been visited by President Bill Clinton,
President Obama’s family, Chef Martin Yan, the late Julia Child, Anthony Hopkins,
Deepak Chopra, Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and countless others. So come
discover us. You never know what adventures you could run into.
160 ELLIS ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102, 415.397.8470, NEWDELHIRESTAURANT.COM
HOURS: Lunch: 11:30AM–2PM (closed Sunday); Dinner: 5:30PM–10PM (seven days a week);
Bar: 5:30PM–2AM

FISH MASALA: Pieces of Halibut cooked in Medium Spices

$16.95
FISH GOA CURRY: Halibut cooked in Coconut Milk $16.95
FISH TIKKA: Pieces of Halibut roasted in a tandoor $16.95
PRAWN MASALA: Pieces of Prawn cooked in Medium Spices

$18.95
TANDOORI PRAWN: Char-grilled Bay Prawn $18.95
ROGAN JOSH: Lamb Curry cooked in North Indian Spices

$14.95
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA: Delicious BBQ Chicken Breasts in
Tomato Cream Sauce $18.95
SEEKH KABAB: Lightly Spiced Lamb Rolls prepared over
charcoal fire $16.95
TANDOORI MIX GRILL: Combination of Tandoori Chicken,
Fish Tikka, Seekh Keebab and Tandoori Prawn $19.95

VEGETARIAN SIDE DISHES
SPICED VEGETABLES: Combination of Cauliflower, Bean,
Carrot and Potatoes $9.95
PALAK KOFTA KASHMIRI: A House Specialty Stuffed Spinach
prepared in Kashmiri Style $10.95
KALI DAL NEW DELHI: Spiced Black Lentils slow cooked

$7.95
MATTAR PANEER: Homemade Cream Cheese and Green
Peas cooked in Delicate Spices $9.95
MALAI KOFTA: Croquettes of Homemade Soft Cheese
cooked in Mild Spices $9.95

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FOOD

Nick’s Lighthouse

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights
Prices subject to change
APPETIZERS

DEEP FRIED CALAMARI: $11.75
SOURDOUGH GARLIC BREAD: $3.75
DUNGENESS CRAB COCKTAIL: $13.95
TIGER PRAWNS COCKTAIL: $13.50
BLUE POINT OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL: Half Dozen

$13.75, Full Dozen $24
BLUE POINT OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER: $13.25
DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE: $8.95

SOUPS

BOSTON CLAM CHOWDER WITH CRACKERS: Cup $6.25, Bowl

$7.25, Bread Bowl $8.25
LOBSTER BISQUE WITH CRACKERS: Cup $6.25, Bowl $7.25,

Bread Bowl $8.25
SALADS

CAESAR SALAD: House Specialty $9.25, with Bay Shrimp

$12.95, with Dungeness Crab $14.95
DUNGENESS CRAB LOUIE: $24.50
COLD HALF-FLORIDA LOBSTER AND BAY SHRIMP: $26

PASTA

LINGUINE PORTOFINO: Spinach Linguine, Manila Clams,

Mussels, Tiger Prawns and Tomato $19.75
FETTUCCINE DE ZAFFERANO: Saffron Fettuccini with Sea
Scallops, Tiger Prawns, Green Onions and Fresh Tomatoes
in a White Wine and Garlic Sauce $21.50
FETTUCCINE WITH TIGER PRAWNS: Garlic Butter Sauce or

Wine Cream Sauce and Fresh Tomatoes $19.95
CANNELLONI FILLED WITH DUNGENESS CRAB AND BAY
SHRIMP: Cream Sauce with Cheese $16.50

FRESH FISH

SAUTÉED FILLET OF SOLE: White Wine, Garlic, Capers and

Lemon Sauce $18.95
BROILED ALASKA HALIBUT: $26
BROILED MAHI MAHI: $20.95

SHELLFISH

GAMBERI SALTATI: Sautéed Tiger Prawns, Lemon, Butter,

Wine, Garlic and Cilantro Sauce $23.95
STEAMED MANILA CLAMS OR MEDITERRANEAN MUSSELS
BORDELAISE: $21
SAUTÉED MEDITERRANEAN MUSSELS: $21

Fresh seafood and old-time San Francisco charm have made Nick’s a Fisherman’s
Wharf destination since 1934. Grab a seat at one of the relaxed booths adorned
with nautical antiques and historical paintings and gaze out the window at the
boats in the Wharf’s lagoon, and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been coming
here for years, as many locals have. The sociable, experienced and extremely
loyal waitstaff may pepper the meal with historical anecdotes and an insider’s
perspective on the city. Though the ambience, location and service embody San
Francisco charm, it’s the superior food that drives Nick’s success. The tanks of live
lobsters at the door assure guests that the seafood is the freshest available. Clam
chowder and lobster bisque are hot commodities in Fisherman’s Wharf, and Nick’s
has nailed the perfect consistency and blend of fresh seasonings and herbs for
both, earning it a word-of-mouth reputation. Share one of each served piping hot
with crusty fresh-baked local sourdough too good to pass up. Then fork through
a light Caesar salad before diving into the entrées. Don’t miss the boiled-to-order
crab plucked from Nick’s notorious crab pot that never stops boiling. With such
sweet natural flavors, these fresh-cracked beauties need little adornment beyond
a squeeze of lemon or a light dip in cocktail sauce. Healthy-sized portions lead
many to skip dessert. Nick’s Lighthouse features a full bar that boasts liquor, beer
and wine from all over the world. The wine list centers on Italy and Napa Valley, as
most coastally grown wines are natural complements to fare from the sea.
2815 TAYLOR ST. (AT JEFFERSON STREET), #5 FISHERMAN’S WHARF, 415.929.1300,
NICKSLIGHTHOUSE.COM
HOURS: 10:30AM–11PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DIS, JCB, MC, VISA
NOTES: Full bar, full menu, and virtual view online, general inquiries email nickslh@pacbell.net

LOBSTER THERMIDOR: Australian Lobster in White Wine

Cream Sauce, with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese,
Baked in its Own Shell $38.50
WHOLE OR HALF CRACKED DUNGENESS CRAB: Market Value

COMBINATIONS

CIOPPINO: (Shell In) Dungeness Crab, Tiger Prawns, Manila

Clams, Calamari, Mediterranean Mussels, Sea Scallops,
Fresh Fish, Tomato Sauce and White Wine $30.50
NEW YORK CUT STEAK AND LOBSTER: 9 oz. Australian

Lobster Tail and 8 oz. New York Steak $48.50
SAUTÉ SHELLFISH PLATTER: Dungeness Crab Legs, Tiger

Prawns, Sea Scallops, Calamari and Fresh Fish $30.50

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MENU PAGES

Ozumo San Francisco

Menu Highlights
OZUMO FAVORITES
HANABI: Hamachi, Avocado, Warm Ginger-Jalapeño Ponzu
YAMABUKI: Fresh Uni and Shimeji Mushroom Genmai Eight-

grain Risotto
DOHYO: Spicy Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Cucumber,

Edamame, Tobiko, Ponzu, Wasabi Oil
FUTAGO: Washu Beef Tataki, Garlic Spinach, Japanese
Eggplant, Miso-Sesame Sauce
YAKI TAKO: Grilled Spanish Octopus, Charred Radicchio,
Organic Lollipop Kale, Shungiku Pesto, Green Beans,
Endive
MAITAKE TEMPURA: Organic Maitake Mushroom, Meyer
Lemon, Dashi Custard
IKA YAKI: Spear Squid, Heirloom Tomato, Mixed Petite
Asian Greens, Warm Wafu Dressing

MAKIMONO/ROLLS
OZUMO: Grilled Unagi and Cucumber Roll topped with
Snow Crab, Tuna, Avocado and Spicy Sauce
SHACHO: Maine Lobster, Mango, Jalapeño and Cilantro
wrapped in Tuna with Spicy Sesame Aioli
SEKIWAKE: Spicy Tuna Roll with Tobiko, Tempura Flakes,

Salmon and Hamachi with Peanut Sauce

Located on Steuart Street among several of San Francisco’s finest Financial
District restaurants, Ozumo elevates Japanese cuisine with unmatched hospitality,
best-in-class ingredients and an imaginative approach to traditional dishes.
Fancy a flight of high-end sake? A swanky, front-of-restaurant bar and lounge
offers an exceptional cast of wine and spirits, craft beer and over 100 premium
sakes, making up one of the most exclusive lists in California. Indecisive? Fear
not. Ozumo’s “Sake Mama” is on-call to help you choose just the right sake.
“IRASHAIMASE!” (Japanese for “welcome”) is the Ozumo greeting for diners
taking a seat at the sushi bar or slow dining in the chic main dining room, which
has spectacular views of the sparkling Bay Bridge lights. Prepared with versatility
in mind, all menu items are ideal for individuals or for sharing, making Ozumo a
perfect spot for a professional meeting as well as for an intimate dinner for two.
Take the beautifully patterned, layered Hanabi, a dish of fresh hamachi, avocado
and warm ginger-jalapeño ponzo, a refreshing shared starter or light lunch for
one. For the more decadent eater, the savory Gyu Kakuni, Ozumo’s grilled prime
filet mignon with bacon-wrapped asparagus, is a dinner must-try, and just another
example of the energetic flavor combinations and upmarket atmosphere you’ll find
at Ozumo.
161 STEUART ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105, 415.882.1333, OZUMOSANFRANCISCO.COM
HOURS: Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30AM–2PM; Dinner Sun–Thurs 5:30PM–10:30PM, Fri–Sat 5:30PM–11PM;
Sake Lounge: Mon–Fri 11:30AM–12AM, Sat–Sun 5:30PM–12AM;
Happy Hour: Mon–Fri 4PM–6PM

106 | Cityguide 2015

YUYAKE: Mango, Cucumber, Crab Legs, Spicy Salmon,

Pickled Daikon, Yuzu Wasabi Aioli
BUCHO: Tempura Shrimp Roll topped with Crabmeat,
Avocado, Tobiko and Yuzu Aioli
SPIDER: Tempura Soft Shell Crab, Tobiko, Kaiware and

Cucumber
KITAKAZE: Salmon, Crab Salad, Asparagus, Cucumber,
Kaiware, Avocado, Yuzu Aioli
HAMACHI MAKI: Hamachi, Avocado, Cucumber, Tempura
Flakes, Jalapeño, Roasted Garlic Miso Sauce
AKI MAKI: Sweet Potato Tempura, Yamagobo, Kaiware,
Cucumber, Asian Mustard, Soy Paper

FOOD

The Spinnaker

MENU PAGES

Menu Highlights
COLD APPETIZERS
OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL: Fresh Local with Mignonette

and Cocktail Sauces
LOCAL MARIN COUNTY ARTISAN CHEESE PLATE: Bleu,
Camembert, Triple Cream Brie and Breakfast Cheeses
served with Carr’s Crackers, Granny Smith and Golden
Delicious Apple Slices, Fresh Berries and Pecan Praline

SOUPS & HOT APPETIZERS
CRAB POTSTICKERS: With Ginger and Cilantro Thai Sauce
LA BRUSCHETTA: Hot Focaccia Bread with Garlic, Olive Oil,

Fresh Tomato, Pesto and Parmesan Cheese
CRAB CAKES: Dungeness and Snow Crab
SEARED SEA SCALLOPS AND MUSSELS: With Roma
Tomatoes, Chives, Fried Leeks, Beurre Blanc and a touch
of Oyster Sauce

SALADS
BUTTER LETTUCE: Tossed with Apples, Sun Dried

Cranberries, Crumbled Local Point Reyes Blue Cheese,
Walnuts and Maple Vinaigrette
CEASAR SALAD: The Spinnaker’s special version of this
delightful salad. Prepared at your table for a minimum of
two persons.
GRILLED SALMON ON SPRING GREENS: With Maple
Vinaigrette, Walnuts, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese and
Roma Tomato
SEAFOOD SALAD: Prawns, Shrimp and Bay Scallops

PASTA
PENNE WITH GRILLED CHICKEN: Garlic, Olive Oil, Sun Dried

Cranberries and Basil
SPANISH SEAFOOD FIDEUA: Prawns, Swordfish, Scallops,
Clams and Mussels tossed with Whole Wheat Pasta, Fresh
Tomatoes, Fennel, Garlic and Chilis, oven-roasted Catalan
Style
PENNE RUSTICA: Sauté Scallops, Swordfish, Prawns,
Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms, Onion, Oregano and Wine

FISH AND SHELLFISH
PETRALE FILET: Coated with Crushed Croutons and

Macadamia Nuts
SEARED HALIBUT FILET: With Fresh Spinach and Basil

Mousse, served with Potato Cakes
SEARED SWORDFISH FILET: With Havarti Dill, Prosciutto,
Lemon Caper, Buerre Blanc, served with Potato Cakes

The Spinnaker is located just ten minutes from San Francisco, in the heart
of downtown Sausalito atop the Sausalito Waterfront. The restaurant enjoys
surrounding views with floor-to-ceiling glass windows showcasing San Francisco,
Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Belvedere and the Marin Headlands. The menu
features an American-style cuisine with fresh seafood, chicken, meat and pasta
dishes. Some of our local favorites include: petrale with macadamia nut crust,
salmon sauté puttanesca, sea bass sauté with white truffle oil, penne rustica, filet
mignon with cabernet bordelaise and piquant chicken with champagne, lemon
and capers. For those with a sweet tooth we have great housemade desserts,
which include a tri color chocolate mousse tort, berry trifle, rustic apple tort or
Chocolate Cream Puffs with Bavarian Custard. We offer an extensive wine list and
cocktail menu, which complements our varied food offerings. Some of our popular
wines include Sonoma Cutrer and Frank Family Chardonnay, Oyster Bay Sauvignon
Blanc, Le Poussin Languedoc Rose, Farm Collective Cabernet Sauvignon, Simi
Pinot Noir, Shafer Merlot or Pahlmeyer Proprietary Blend. The Spinnaker is a
perfect setting for a business lunch or romantic dinner, anniversary, birthday party
or quick getaway from San Francisco.
100 SPINNAKER DRIVE, SAUSALITO, CA 94965, 415.332.1500, THESPINNAKER.COM
HOURS: 11AM–11PM seven days a week
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DC, DIS, MC, VISA
NOTES: Reservations Recommended, not required. Valet Parking on site—Tip Optional—no set
charge. Private banquet room can accommodate parties of 30-165 people for a seated meal and up to
180–200 for cocktail and hors d’oeuvre parties. Wheelchair accessible

SALMON FILET: Seared on a bed of Baby Spinach, braised
with 18-year-old Balsamic Vinegar and seasoned Walnut
Oil
LOBSTER AUSTRALIAN: Grilled Lobster Tail, 10 oz.

MEATS
NEW YORK STEAK, GRILLED: 14 oz. With a Cabernet

Bordelaise and Sautéed Mushrooms
FILET MIGNON: 8 oz. With Cabernet Bordelaise

CHICKEN
PIQUANT CHICKEN BREASTS SAUTÉ: With Champagne,

Lemon and Capers

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MENU PAGES

Traoria Pinocchio

Menu Highlights
APPETIZERS
CALAMARI FRITTI: Light Deep-Fried Calamari with Spicy

Marinara Sauce
PORTOBELLO MARINATO: Sautéed Portobello Mushrooms
with Balsamic Reduction, au Jus Reduction and Truffle Oil
Served with Arugula
PIATTA D FORMAGGIO: Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola,

Walnuts and Pear
SOUPS AND SALADS
MINESTRONE: Traditional Vegetable Soup
INSALATA CESARE: Crisp Romaine, Shaved Parmigiano,
Garlic Croutons and Housemade Caesar Dressing
INSALATA CAPRESE: Fior di Latte Mozzarella, Tomatoes,
Fresh Basil Leaves and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
WARM SEAFOOD SALAD: Garlic-Sautéed Scallops, Calamari
and Prawns on Spring Greens with Tomatoes and Lemon
Vinaigrette

PASTAS
CAPELLINI AL POMODORO: Angel Hair Pasta, Fresh Tomato,
Garlic, and Fresh Basil in a Touch of Marinara

Voted 1 of North Beach’s TOP For Pasta – SF Chronicle
Chef Giovanni & family welcomes you

GNOCCHI ENZO: House-made Gnocchi in a Gorgonzola

Cream Sauce
FRESH FETTUCINE: Chef’s House-made Fettucine and Fresh

Pesto

Trattoria Pinocchio situated across from St. Francis of Assisi Church on the corner
of Columbus and Vallejo streets, brings you the ultimate taste of Italy. Pinocchio
received the Q award from the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West, which
means the restaurant maintains Italian quality standards and was voted one of
North Beach’s Top Pasta Restaurants by the San Francisco Chronicle. Walk into
this authentic Italian restaurant and you’ll be transported to Italia. Chef Giovanni
and his wife Maria happily greet you at the door; Giovanni may even sing along
with the Italian music playing. Patrons dine inside looking out at the North Beach
hustle and bustle, on the heated sidewalk or at the beautiful marble bar while
enjoying cocktails or sports. Start your meal with a glass of cabernet, a caprese
salad of mozzarella de buffalo with Giovanni’s personalized pesto on top or
carpaccio with arugula and a grilled steak. Giovanni is a native Sicilian and has
worked in the fishing industry for 25 years—and in restaurants for most of his
life—so you can expect delicious seafare. Ravioli d’aragosta, ravioli stuffed with
lobster and crab and his marinated Sicilian garlic lemon crab are always crowd
favorites, as is the capesante al prosciutto, and the day boat scallops wrapped in
succulent prosciutto. There’s more on the menu than just regional classics. Take
the delicious fettucine al pesto Giovanni (both the pesto and pasta are made fresh
daily in house). Don’t forget our housemade tiramisu or cannoli to make the meal
complete. No need to rush—just relax and enjoy this little slice of heaven in
San Francisco’s Little Italy.
401 COLUMBUS AVE. (TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR), 415.392.1472, TRATTORIAPINOCCHIO.COM
HOURS: Sun–Thurs 11:30 AM–10:30PM, Fri–Sat 11:30AM–11PM
CREDIT CARDS: AE, DIS, MC, VISA
NOTES: Full bar, lunch and brunch daily, housemade ravioli, gnocchi, fettucine & lasagna

LASAGNA: Housemade Vegetarian or Veal and Beef

Lasagna
RAVIOLI D’ARAGOSTA: House-made Lobster-Crab Ravioli in a
Pink Cream Champagne Sauce

PIZZA
MARGHARITA NAPOLETANO: Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and

Tomatoes
QUATTRO STAGIONE: Prosciutto, Salami, Mushrooms and

Artichokes
ENTRÉES
FILLET OF SOLE: White Wine, Lemon Butter
VEAL SALTIMBOCCA: Topped with Prosciutto, Mozzarella
and Fresh Sage Leaves in a Demi-Glace Reduction
FILETTO AL PEPE VERDE: Filet Mignon in a Creamy Green

Peppercorn Brandy Demi-Glace Reduction
GRILLED RACK OF LAMB: Port Reduction, Sautéed Spinach,

Garlic Potatoes
DESSERTS
TIRAMISU: Ladyfingers Soaked in Espresso with Layers of
Amaretto Zabaglione Cream and Dusted with Semisweet
Chocolate
CANNOLI: Creamy Ricotta in a Crispy Marsala Shell
POACHED PEAR AL CIOCCOLATO: Poached in Vino Rosso
and Spices and Covered in Warmed Fine Dark Semisweet
Chocolate

108 | Cityguide 2015

DRINKS

THE MISSION

742 VALENCIA ST.

See the sidebar on page 116. 415626-8700, abbotscellar.com

Absinthe
HAYES VALLEY

398 HAYES ST.

Opened in 1998 as an early outpost
in rising Hayes Valley, these days
the brasserie-bar is renowned for
its seasonal local cuisine. But don’t
forget the cocktails—yes, many
of which feature that Green Fairy
spirit—and the handsome bar. They
are a pitch-perfect duo to experience before or after a night at the
opera or other cultural outing. 415551-1590, absinthe.com

ABV
THE MISSION

3174 16TH ST.

SIPPING
STARS

FROM DIVE BARS TO
NEIGHBORHOOD JOINTS TO
SKY-HIGH LUXURY LOUNGES,
THESE ESTABLISHMENTS
OFFER A TASTE OF THE CITY
SCENE—AS WELL AS LOCAL
WINES, CRAFT BEERS, AND
CREATIVE COCKTAILS.

The 20-cocktail menu is organized
by spirit—whiskey, agave, rum/
brandy, and gin/vodka, as well as
mocktails—with beer and wine on
tap to round out the menu. While
the drinks are complex and inventive (for example the Whiskey in
Church of smoky Scotch, Oloroso
sherry, maple, and smoked pear
bitters) they aren’t spectacularly expensive. 415-400-4748, abvsf.com

The Alembic
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

1725 HAIGHT ST.

This is the kind of new-wave cocktail place that uses obsessive care
to casually deliver the perfect drink,
whether a classic whiskey sour or a
unique concoction with flavors that
you never imagined together—like
the Nine Volt, with gin, Szechuan
pepper, grape juice, and green tea.
415-666-0822, alembicbar.com

Alta CA
THE CIVIC CENTER

2299 MISSION ST.

In the newly trendy mid-Market
neighborhood, this hip, high-ceiling
restaurant and bar is the kind of
place people flock for obsessivelymade, inventive cocktails, like the
Curious George with whiskey, dill,
lemon, and smoked egg white.
Don’t bother asking for a mixed
drink with “Coke”—the bar makes
its own house cola. 415-590-2585,
altaca.co

Americano
Restaurant & Bar
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

©ERIC WOLFINGER

HOTEL VITALE, 8 MISSION ST.

SMOKESTACK AT MAGNOLIA BREWERY

Unlike many hotel bars, Americano
caters to locals as well as travelers.
A thick crowd from the surrounding financial district gathers in this
striking bar, cocktail lounge, and
happening outdoor patio for afterhours drinks. The Italian-inspired
menu includes fresh options for all
three meals. 415-278-3700, americanorestaurant.com

The Armory Club
THE MISSION

1799 MISSION ST.

Patrons are lured to this upscale
joint in part by cocktails like Gently
Bound (gin, champagne, bitters, and
Crème Yvette), made with smallbatch spirits—but also by the fact
that the man behind the operation
is Peter Acworth of neighboring
Kink.com. Flat-screens flashing images of erotica are mounted on the
damask-covered walls, and comfortable leather chairs are available
for lounging while scoping the room
for BDSM porn stars. 415-431-5300,
armoryclub.com

Aventine
NORTH BEACH

582 WASHINGTON ST.

With exposed brick walls (including one that’s 150 years old) and
masculine decor, this bi-level bar,
restaurant, and social club harkens
back to the seafaring days of the
Barbary Coast. It fills up at happy
hour and assigns members their
own private liquor locker. 415-9811500, aventinesf.com

Bar Agricole
SOMA

355 11TH ST.

The fenced-in patio and upstairs
and downstairs dining rooms of this
eco-chic restaurant are perfect hiding places from SoMa’s hustle and
bustle. The farm-forward cocktails
and matching menu offer a true
taste of the Bay Area. 415-3559400, baragricole.com

Barrique
NORTH BEACH

461 PACIFIC AVE.

Conveniently situated across
the street from the hot tables at
restaurants Quince and Cotogna,
Barrique is the perfect place to
enjoy your wait with a glass of wine
straight from the cask. Skipping the
bottle, its proprietors believe, helps
drinkers focus on what’s in the glass
rather than what’s on the label, and
it keeps prices low. 415-421-9200,
barriquesf.com

Beauty Bar
THE MISSION

2299 MISSION ST.

Styled after a ’50s-era hair salon,
this Mission district party bar offers
dancing and martinis to a crowd
of hipsters. A manicurist is on duty
Fridays and Saturdays for those in
need of a fresh coat of polish. 415285-0323, thebeautybar.com

Beretta
THE MISSION

1199 VALENCIA ST.

Call an hour ahead to reserve
a table and skip the wait at this
über-popular Mission district spot.
It’s been packed since it opened in
2008—tempting late-night crowds
with delicious thin-crust pizza and
scrumptious cocktails. 415-6951199, berettasf.com
ctguide.com | 111

BARS

The Abbot’s Cellar

DRINKS

BARS

BARS

DRINKS

2015

EDITOR’S

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

PICKS

FOOD AND DRINK
EDITOR REBECCA
FLINT MARX DISHES ON
HER FAVORITE COCKTAILS—
BOTH NEW WAVE AND
OLD SCHOOL—AS WELL AS
THE HOTTEST BEER AND
BARBECUE JOINT IN TOWN
Over the past few years San Francisco has turned into a cocktail fanatic’s utopia, with
an increasing number of establishments offering expertly mixed drinks comprised of
impeccably made ingredients. My new-wave favorites include ABV in the Mission, a
narrow, smartly-designed place where the Moscow Mule has been transformed into the
Mumbai Mule with the help of saffron vodka; mid-Market’s Alta CA, where the whiskeybased Curious George is made with smoked egg whites; and the European, a plush
Union Square bar I love in part for sprightly aperitifs like the Aperol Kick.

Beer drinkers would do well to head out the cavernous new Smokestack at Magnolia
Brewery in Dogpatch, where the company’s renowned ales are served alongside equally
alluring barbecue. In the Mission, the Monk’s Kettle boast’s a fantastic selection of craft
beers and a cozy, tavern-like atmosphere.
San Francisco is, of course, also home to a bevy of iconic drinks whose appeal hasn’t
dimmed with age. Tosca’s signature “house cappuccino” (made without actual coffee),
the Buena Vista Café’s Irish Coffee, and the legendary Mai Tai at the Fairmont Hotel’s
Tonga Room should be on any roving cocktail enthusiast’s must-try list; the Tonga
Room’s fabulous tiki décor is worth a visit, even if you’re not drinking. For a new classic in
an unlikely location, head to Fort Mason to check out The Interval, where the floor-toceiling bookshelves make an appropriately literary accompaniment to historic cocktails
like the Decanted Mother-in-Law, a 150-year-old recipe involving bourbon, curacao, and
bitters. It’s a drink that’s as old-school as they come, served in a space that reflects why
now is the ideal time to be drinking in San Francisco.
MAGNOLIA BREWERY

Biergarten
HAYES VALLEY

424 OCTAVIA ST.

See the sidebar on page 116. 415252-9289, biergartensf.com

Bourbon & Branch
THE TENDERLOIN

501 JONES ST.

Voted best cocktail haunt by the
readers of San Francisco, this ’20sstyle speakeasy plays the part, from
the period decor down to the sorare-they’re-almost-illicit bourbons
and scotches. True to form, the
bar requires a password. (See the
website for details about making a
reservation to secure a booth.) 415346-1735, bourbonandbranch.com

The Buena Vista Café
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

2765 HYDE ST.

Burritt Room + Tavern
UNION SQUARE

417 STOCKTON ST.

Lined with curtained wooden
112 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY MONK’S KETTLE

Legend has it that this 1916 bar,
located at the Fisherman’s Wharf
terminus of the Powell-Hyde cable
car line, was the first to bring Irish
coffee to America, in 1952 when
the bar owner and an Irish traveler
spent a drunken evening recreating
a drink served at Shannon airport.
Today it remains the bar’s signature
drink, for good reason. 415-4745044, thebuenavista.com

BARS

DRINKS

COMSTOCK SALOON

booths and black-and-white photos
of old San Francisco, the Burritt
Tavern is a perfect spot to enjoy an
apple cider–brined pork tenderloin.
Then step over to the film noir–
inspired Burritt Room for handcrafted, classic drinks like the Rhuby
Red—bourbon, strawberry cordial,
lemon, and rhubarb Peychaud foam.
415-400-0561, charliepalmer.com/
burritt-room-and-tavern

routinely refer tourists here when
they come up against California
smoking laws, making it one of the
best spots unknown to locals. 415398-0850, cigarbarandgrill.com

Chambers Eat + Drink

Comstock Saloon

THE TENDERLOIN

©COURTESY COMSTOCK SALOON; ©ERIC WOLFINGER

PHOENIX HOTEL, 601 EDDY ST.

You might not expect to find such
swankiness in the middle of the
Tenderloin, but Chambers, a lounge
in the Phoenix Hotel, is a serious
hot spot. Its old-school, Hollywood
feel (poolside drinks and a softly
lit lounge) and the Phoenix’s rockstar guest list make it the perfect
people-watching bar. It’s fun to
mingle a bit, too. 415-829-2316,
chamberssf.com

Cigar Bar & Grill
JACKSON SQUARE

850 MONTGOMERY ST.

The bar has live music Wednesday
through Saturday, but come the
weekend, the adjacent courtyard
hosts a wild European-style street
carnival. A few casually dressed
Americans mix with the deckedout intercontinental revelers who
gather to dance, drink, smoke, and
listen to Latin jazz. Hotel concierges

City Beer Store
SOMA

1168 FOLSOM ST.

See the sidebar on page 116. 415503-1033, citybeerstore.com

NORTH BEACH

155 COLUMBUS AVE.

A tavern site since 1907, Comstock
Saloon has an air of Boardwalk
Empire cool and mixes top-notch
classic cocktails. For a taste of the
neighborhood’s rowdy Barbary
Coast era, order a pisco punch, a
San Francisco original said to have
been favored by Rudyard Kipling
and Mark Twain. 415-617-0071,
comstocksaloon.com

Dirty Habit
UNION SQUARE

12 4TH ST.

Tucked into the Hotel Palomar,
Dirty Habit expertly mixes classic
cocktails as well as its own creative
libations such as the Purple Drank,
with cognac, Okinawa yam, and
marigolds. And for whiskey fans,
exploring the wide array of rare
whiskey offerings may just take
you all night. 415-348-1555,
dirtyhabitsf.com

MAGNOLIA BREWERY

ctguide.com | 113

BARS

DRINKS

Dogpatch WineWorks
Tasting Room
DOGPATCH

2455 3RD ST.

The Dogpatch WineWorks tasting room is the retail front of the
cavernous, custom-crush winery.
Expect towering ceilings, huge
windows, comfy couches and barstools, and a soundtrack of modern
indie-pop. The crowd is usually a
laid-back bunch of wine geeks and
winemakers. Call ahead to sign up
for a blending session ($75 for a
minimum of six people). 415-5254440, dpwineworks.com

El Rio
THE MISSION

3158 MISSION ST.

spot to watch a game—it even
opens early during football season.
415-921-1000, harrysbarsf.com

Harvey’s
THE CASTRO

500 CASTRO ST.

A fixture of Castro brunch-life
and nightlife since its days as the
Elephant Walk in the ’70s, the
reopened spot was named for slain
supervisor and gay activist Harvey
Milk. Harvey’s has a solid brunch and
appetizers to pair perfectly with its
creative cocktails, including entire
menus of Bloody Marys and martinis.
415-431-4278, harveyssf.com

Hi Lo Club
POLK GULCH

Once you squeeze past the narrow,
hallway-like entrance, this gayfriendly Mission district bar opens
up to a pool table, a shuffleboard
court, a lively outdoor patio, and an
expansive second room. DJs, weekend barbecue, and live music keep
the spot packed with a sociable
crowd. 415-282-3325, elriosf.com

1423 POLK ST.

The European

Hotel Biron

UNION SQUARE

490 GEARY ST.

Fat Angel Food & Libation
THE WESTERN ADDITION

1740 O’FARRELL ST.

Fat Angel groupies come for the
beverage program ruled by an
eclectic and amazing beer list, but
the new menu is surprisingly good
and really rounds out the picture.
Make a meal of the outstanding
snacks and appetizers, like the riff
on a classic duck pâté—it’s topped
with French’s mustard gelée and
served with freshly baked pretzel
buns. 415-525-3013, fatangelsf.com

HAYES VALLEY

45 ROSE ST.

It’s not actually a hotel—it’s a wine
bar worth a stay of a few hours for
its cozy, art gallery atmosphere and
excellent extensive wine list. 415703-0403, hotelbiron.com

The Interval
THE MARINA

2 MARINA BLVD., BLG. A

In historic Fort Mason Center, this
bar, part of the non-profit Long
Now Foundation, is a gorgeous art

Golden Gate Tap Room
UNION SQUARE

525 SUTTER ST., 2ND FL.

The Tap Room accurately bills itself
as a “modern playground.” A collection of more than 100 beers, as well
as a smart selection of California
wines and snacks, make an afternoon or evening there every pub
lover’s idea of time well spent. Add
20 flat-screen TVs showing sports
and classic parlor pastimes such as
shuffleboard, foosball, ski ball, and
pool, and the game is on. 415-6779999, ggtaproom.com

Harry’s Bar
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2020 FILLMORE ST.

Serving brunch on the weekends
and booze every night, this fun restaurant and bar caters to mingling
twentysomethings. It’s also a great
114 | Cityguide 2015

THE ALEMBIC

Living Room Bar & Trace
Restaurant
SOMA

W HOTEL, 181 3RD ST.

Set in the stylish W Hotel, this
recently remodeled, multilevel
hotel bar mixes creative California
cocktails. Recharge after a night of
drinking with the weekend Remix
brunch: a housemade Bloody Mary
and a glass of hydrating coconut
water. 415-817-7836,
wsanfrancisco.com

Local Edition
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

691 MARKET ST.

The early 20th-century theme
is laid on thick at this basement
speakeasy decked out with battered
typewriters and wallpapered with
the front pages of old newspapers. A well-balanced cocktail list
features variations on classics: An
eponymous number is a riff on an
old-fashioned, the Fidel and Che
is mojito-like, and the nonvegan
Bloody Mary gets an umami boost
from pho broth. 415-795-1375,
localeditionsf.com

Madrone Art Bar
THE WESTERN ADDITION

500 DIVISADERO ST.

This indie art lounge is the best
antidote to the workweek blues,
thanks to themed dance parties
almost every night, rotating exhibitions of local artists, and an array
of cocktails. 415-241-0202,
madroneartbar.com

Magnolia Gastropub
& Brewery
HAIGHT-ASHBURY AND DOGPATCH

1398 HAIGHT ST. AND 665 22ND ST.

How do you know which renowned,
rare, or housemade beers are on
tap in Magnolia’s constantly rotating
selection? Download the pub’s app.
Yes, it’s a bar with an app. If it’s on
the list, order the New Speedway
Bitter beer, a malty, slightly spicy,
award-winning house brew. 415864-7468, magnoliapub.com

Martuni’s
MID-MARKET

4 VALENCIA ST.

This dimly lit bar concocts gigantic
martinis in interesting flavors, like
the Mango Melon martini infused
with mango nectar. After a few
drinks, belt out a tune during openmic night or sit back and relax to
the sounds of the resident piano
man (and feel free to request a
song from his hefty songbook). 415241-0205, martunis.ypguides.net

Maven
LOWER HAIGHT

598 HAIGHT ST.

The menu of this hybrid bar and
restaurant focuses on food-andbooze pairings that are more complex than standard bar fare: Couple
items like Thai chili–splashed
calamari with a San Francisco lager,
or rosemary olive oil–seasoned albacore crudo with an elixir of aged
gin, sake, and absinthe sorbet. The
muenster-topped burger is still the
best item on the list, but Maven’s
greatest strength is the refreshing
change it offers in a neighborhood
replete with divey hangouts. 415829-7982, maven-sf.com

©COURTESY THE ALEMBIC

Settle in to a plush stuffed leather
chair for an expertly made cocktail
of any type: classic, seasonal, or
from the Euro-tinged house menu,
featuring mix-ins like Campari,
prosecco, and port. 415-345-2305,
theeuropeansf.com

The best thing about a dive bar?
The lack of pretension. The worst
thing about a lack of pretension?
Lousy drinks. This bar offers the
best of all worlds: good drinks—
fresh local beers and well-made
classic cocktails—without the
hipsterisms. hilosf.com

gallery and library, community gathering space to discuss big ideas, and
excellent place to have a cocktail.
theinterval.org

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PAGE 102

BARS

DRINKS

The Monk’s Kettle

UNION SQUARE

THE MISSION

34 MASON ST.

3141 16TH ST.

See the sidebar on page 116. 415984-0279, mikkellerbar.com

111 Minna Gallery
SOMA

111 MINNA ST.

New exhibitions of works by local
and international artists are hung
every eight weeks in this industrial
warehouse space. Hip patrons survey the art while sipping cocktails
in San Francisco’s original gallery
nightclub. 415-974-1719,
111minnagallery.com

The Mint Karaoke Lounge
LOWER HAIGHT

1942 MARKET ST.

A serious community of karaoke
singers flock to this lesbian-friendly
bar every night of the week to
flaunt their pipes on stage. For firsttimers, liquid courage comes in the
form of a lengthy beer list and a full
bar. 415-626-4726, themint.net

THE FIVE BEST PLACES
TO DRINK BEER NOW

This upscale gastropub was an
instant hit when it opened in 2007.
Even in this suds-saturated era, the
Kettle still has the beer selection
to end all beer selections. Its good
beer is served with the good food it
deserves, like soft pretzels crafted
into bites for dipping into cheese
fondue. 415-865-9523, monkskettle.
com

Nihon Whiskey Lounge
SOMA

1779 FOLSOM ST.

This Tokyo-style bar’s selection
of single malts, the largest on
the West Coast, will impress any
whiskey drinker’s palate. Order the
Yamazaki, a 25-year-old, characterrich single malt, along with some
of the bar’s traditional izakaya (the
Japanese version of tapas). 415552-4400, dajanigroup.net/
nihon-whiskey-lounge

2015

DON’T

MISS

Long considered wine’s little brother, beer is growing so popular
that, in certain circles, it has begun to overshadow its bigger sibling
as the Bay Area’s beverage of choice.
The Abbot’s Cellar
THE MISSION

This restaurant opened in 2012
with the bold goal of melding fine
food with even finer beer. It’s hard
to decide which is the greater
showstopper: the diverse tap
selection, running from the
classic (Coronado’s Mermaid’s
Red) to the cutting edge (Firestone’s Pivo pilsner), or the bar
area’s exquisite backlit gallery of
beer glasses. 742 Valencia St.
Drink this: Yeti Imperial Stout
from Denver’s Great Divide.

Biergarten
HAYES VALLEY

The only thing better than drinking
good beer is drinking good beer
from a giant liter mug outside on a
sunny day. All this and more has
been possible since the people
behind Suppenküche, the beloved
Hayes Valley German restaurant,
opened their outdoor shrine to
German bier in 2011. It’s open
Wednesday through Sunday, but

116 | Cityguide 2015

closed for rain. 424 Octavia St.
Drink this: Hofbräu Helles, a
classic biergarten draft.

City Beer Store
SOMA

Besides offering more than 600
brews for sale, San Francisco’s
reigning retail beer temple has a
tasting room that gives it a second
distinction: It’s the city’s best spot
for beer-geek talk while downing a
few pints. 1168 Folsom St. Drink
this: The Wanderer from Orange
County’s Bruery, a sour red made
exclusively for the store’s
five-year anniversary.

Mikkeller Bar SF
THE TENDERLOIN

Revered “gypsy” brewer Mikkel
Bork Bjergsø has settled down with
Chuck Stilphen (Oakland’s the
Trappist) at this taproom popular
with the techie set. Exposed-brick
walls enclose 40 temperaturecontrolled taps filled with house
beers and Mikkeller classics. For

lambic lovers, a sour-beer bottle
room awaits belowground. 34
Mason St. Drink this: Beer
Geek Breakfast by Mikkeller,
a pioneering and particularly
aromatic coffee-infused stout
that helped introduce the world
to coffee beer.

St. Vincent
THE MISSION

Owner David Lynch might be one of
the country’s premier wine guys,
MIKKELLER

but he was smart enough to endow
his gastropub of a restaurant with a
great beer selection and entrust it
to certified cicerone Sayre
Piotrkowski, formerly of the Monk’s
Kettle. The sourcing here is brewery
direct. 1270 Valencia St. Drink this:
1903, a lager in the pre–Prohibition style from Craftsman, L.A.’s
cultish microbrewery.

©COURTESY ABSINTHE

Mikkeller Bar SF

ABSINTHE

20 YERBA BUENA LN.

This lounge-style tasting room is
popular with tech workers, who vie
for seats on the cushy sofas. The
club offers a variety of California
wines with a few international
labels and holds a visiting Vintner’s
Series highlighting local wineries on
the last Thursday of every month.
On Friday and Saturday nights, a DJ
adds to the party mood. 415-7445000, pressclubsf.com

Redwood Room
UNION SQUARE

CLIFT HOTEL, 495 GEARY ST.

An opportunity to visit the stunning lounge tucked at the back of
the Clift Hotel lobby shouldn’t be
skipped. Expect classic cocktails
and a chic, business-minded crowd.
415-929-2372, clifthotel.com

Reed & Greenough
©COURTESY ABBOTS CELLAR

THE MARINA

3251 SCOTT ST.

The minimal dress code (no
baseball caps, flip-flops, or T-shirts)
keeps the party animals away at
this neighborhood bar that’s serious
about well-crafted cocktails and
also offers a good selection of beer
and wines in an upscale but mellow
atmosphere. 415-913-7021,
reedandgreenough.com

ABBOT’S CELLAR

Rickhouse
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

246 KEARNY ST.

If the cool and bustling after-work
crowd of twenty- and thirtysomethings doesn’t get you mingling,
then the fine artisanal cocktails
and live music on Saturdays should
break the ice. This happening
financial district bar has a slick yet
fun atmosphere and practices firstrate mixology: Order the La Bonne
Vie, with Plymouth gin, fresh
lemon and grapefruit juices, fresh
basil, and bitters. 415-398-2827,
rickhousesf.com

15 Romolo
NORTH BEACH

15 ROMOLO PL.

The welcoming environment at this
hip, tucked-away North Beach bar
will draw you in, and the inventive
libations and upscale pub food will
make you stay. Order the Pimm’s
cup—a refreshing gin cocktail
concocted with homemade ginger
syrup, cucumber, and just the right
amount of mint. 415-398-1359,
15romolo.com

Rye
THE TENDERLOIN

688 GEARY ST.

This classy yet unpretentious
lounge boasts a vintage pool
table, an outdoor smoking patio,

and a specialty cocktail menu. The
trained mixologists at the lofty
industrial bar create custom drinks
on demand, but we recommend
the standard—and delicious—basil
gimlet. 415-474-4448, ryesf.com

Smuggler’s Cove
HAYES VALLEY

650 GOUGH ST.

Often voted one of the best bars
in San Francisco by fun-loving tiki
enthusiasts, this pirate-themed tiki
bar serves up exotic tropical cocktails and more than 400 rare rums.
If you’re feeling bold, try the Puka
punch, made of four different rums,
four different juices, and spices. 415869-1900, smugglerscovesf.com

St. Vincent
THE MISSION

1270 VALENCIA ST.

See the sidebar on page 116. 415285-1200, stvincentsf.com

Tommy’s Mexican
Restaurant
OUTER RICHMOND

5929 GEARY BLVD.

The extended name of this establishment—“& World’s Best Tequila
Bar”—refers to its selection of literally hundreds of agave nectars
available for sipping or mixing. 415387-4747, tommysmexican.com

Tonga Room &
Hurricane Bar

BARS

SOMA

DRINKS

Press Club

NOB HILL

FAIRMONT HOTEL, 950 MASON ST.

Though updated with eco-bamboo
tabletops and contemporary takes
on Pacific Rim cuisine (pork belly
sliders), this place has been a tiki
bar nestled within the grande dame
Fairmont Hotel since 1945. 415-7725278, tongaroom.com

Top of the Mark
NOB HILL

INTERCONTINENTAL MARK HOPKINS
HOTEL, 1 NOB HILL CIRCLE

Fancy a drink at an elegant sky
lounge? Grab a spot by the window
and enjoy panoramic views of the
city and one of 100 different martinis. 415-392-3434, topofthe
mark.com

Toronado
LOWER HAIGHT

547 HAIGHT ST.

A typical night at this no-nonsense
pub draws crowds of beer snobs
looking to down one from the hefty
selection of microbrews. Grab a
seat at the bar to enjoy a California
craft beer or a hard-to-find import.
415-863-2276, toronado.com

Tradition
THE TENDERLOIN

441 JONES ST.

It was drinks all around when the
successful Bourbon & Branch guys
opened this second bar in the Tenderloin. Enjoy one of nine private
booths, called snugs, each with a
traditional bar theme, from tiki to
dive. Reservations are required for
the booths, but not for the bar. 415474-2284, tradbar.com

21st Amendment Brewery
SOMA

563 2ND ST.

On your way to cheer on the
beloved Giants, make a pit stop at
this San Francisco original—named
after the amendment that repealed
Prohibition—for a taste of local
beer culture. Just two blocks from
the ballpark, it attracts flocks of
fans who gear up for game day
with burgers and award-winning,
handcrafted house brews from
10 rotating taps. 415-369-0900,
21stamendment.com

Zeitgeist
THE MISSION

199 VALENCIA ST.

This hipster favorite has a large
outdoor patio (packed on warm
nights), more than 60 beers on
tap, and a jukebox playing rock and
metal music. The full kitchen serves
up burgers, kielbasa, and bratwurst.
415-255-7505, zeitgeistsf.com
FOR BARS IN MARIN, THE
EAST BAY, AND SOUTH OF
SAN FRANCISCO,
SEE P. 162.

ctguide.com | 117

SHOPPING

FROM DEPARTMENT STORES
TO SPECIALTY BOUTIQUES, THE
OPPORTUNITIES TO FIND YOUR
HEART’S DESIRES ARE NEARLY
LIMITLESS IN SAN FRANCISCO.
WHATEVER YOU’RE LOOKING
FOR, YOU CAN BE SURE YOU’LL
FIND IT HERE.

Barneys New York
UNION SQUARE

77 O’FARRELL ST.

The many floors of this high-end
department store are stocked with
luxury cosmetics, clothing, and
shoes for men and women.
415-268-3500, barneys.com

Embarcadero Center
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BATTERY ST. TO DRUMM ST., BETWEEN CLAY AND SACRAMENTO STS.

The towers of Embarcadero Center
(spanning four blocks) are home to
more than 100 restaurants and
shops, including a host of
tough-to-find brand-name stores
such as Allen Edmonds and
L’Occitane. embarcaderocenter.com

Ferry Building
Marketplace
THE EMBARCADERO

1 FERRY BUILDING

Gather fixings for the best picnic
you’ve ever had from this collection
of local, sustainable vendors, or dine
on the waterfront. Visit on Tuesday,
Thursday, or Saturday morning
during the farmers’ market for a
showcase of Northern California’s
agricultural bounty. ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

Ghirardelli Square
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

900 NORTH POINT ST.

Of course, this destination is
famous for its chocolate, and you
should definitely plan a stop at the
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and
Chocolate Shop. But don’t miss the
restaurants, wine bars, specialty
boutiques, and sweeping views of
the Golden Gate Bridge.
ghirardellisq.com

Macy’s
UNION SQUARE

170 O’FARRELL ST.

The San Francisco flagship of this
familiar name occupies nearly an
entire block facing Union Square, as
well as another building across the
street. The gorgeous Tout Sweet
Patisserie on the third floor (from
the winner of Top Chef: Just
Desserts, Yigit Pura) makes a divine
pit stop. 415-397-3333, macys.com

Neiman Marcus
UNION SQUARE

150 STOCKTON ST.

©ADAM RAYMAKER

Enter through the lovely glassencased atrium and get lost in the
packed racks of luxury apparel and
accessories. 415-362-3900, neimanmarcus.com

Saks Fifth Avenue
UNION SQUARE

384 POST ST.

ALITE DESIGNS

With minimalist displays featuring
top designers and a spiraling floor
plan that encourages visitors to

take it all in, Saks feels like part
luxury department store and part
modern art museum. 415-9864300, saksfifthavenue.com

Westfield San Francisco
Centre
UNION SQUARE

845 MARKET ST.

Multiple food courts, an exquisite
dome, and six stories of shopping
make Westfield the kind of place
where you could easily spend your
whole day. If you need to get off
your feet after your shopping spree,
rest at Burke Williams Day Spa or
Century Theatres. westfield.com/
sanfrancisco

LUXURY BOUTIQUES
Alain Mikli
UNION SQUARE

73 GEARY ST.

Already a treasured eyewear
designer among the European
avant-garde, Alain Mikli entered
American culture through the
widely recognizable glasses of Elton
John and Kanye West. This location
supplies classic Mikli frames and
lenses—think fun, luxe, and
standout—as well as Mikli’s most
recent collaborations with other
designers. 415-989-0373, mikli.com

Alexander McQueen
UNION SQUARE

58 GEARY ST.

McQueen jackets, dresses, shoes,
and knitwear grace the racks of
virtually every high-end boutique in
Union Square, so it was only a
matter of time before the mother
ship sent out a flagship San
Francisco store all its own. Preening
in a prime Union Square locale,
Alexander McQueen San Francisco
offers buyers the red carpet
treatment—literally, it’s a red carpet,
wall to wall. 415-956-2721,
alexandermcqueen.com

Bottega Veneta
UNION SQUARE

124 GEARY ST.

Retaining a minimalist, elegant
aesthetic, this new location
downtown boasts twice the space
of the previous San Francisco store.
Bottega Veneta’s delicate
craftsmanship makes it a truly
venerable luxury label—don’t miss
its splurge-worthy handbags and
plethora of leather goods.
415-981-1700, bottegaveneta.com

CH Carolina Herrera
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

45 GRANT AVE.

You don’t normally go to the
financial district for high fashion,
but if you can tear your eyes away
from the tops of those skyscrapers,
you’ll notice Venezuela-born
designer Carolina Herrera’s local
outpost at street level. Herrera has
been dressing the jet set since the
’60s and been a member of the
Best Dressed Hall of Fame (which is
ctguide.com | 119

SHOPPING CENTERS & DEPARTMENT STORES

SHOPPING CENTERS
AND DEPARTMENT
STORES

SHOPPING

STYLE FILE

SHOPPING

LUXURY BOUTIQUES

2015

EDITOR’S

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

STYLE AND DESIGN EDITOR,
LAUREN MURROW, SHARES HER
FINDS FOR EVERY FASHION.
With its dense strip of indie boutiques and cafes,
Valencia Street is an excellent spot for shopping and
brunching. Check out the oddball mix of macabre
gifts and succulents at Paxton Gate, then shop clever, kid-friendly accessories at the Pirate Store next
door. For locally made souvenirs, Little Paper Planes
has jewelry, accessories, and original art. Down the
street, Aldea Home is a housewares haven for the
Pinterest set. Pop into the photo booth at Dijital Fix,
then test out the store’s range of headphones and
portable speakers.

LITTLE PAPER PLANES

PICKS

If you’re feeling splurgy, head to Hayes Street. Dish,
Steven Alan, Rand + Statler, and Acrimony carry
high-end womenswear from San Francisco, New
York, and Los Angeles designers. Gimme Shoes
is rife with outfit-making footwear, Warby Parker
supplies affordable eyewear in every style and shade,
and Reliquary offers a jewel box of vintage and new
baubles. Men can scope out the preppy duds at Gant
and Steven Alan or the unfussy, outdoorsy garb at
Triple Aught Design. Stop by True Sake to browse
hundreds of rare imported bottles.
Maiden Lane, a cobblestoned alley off Union Square,
is a mecca for leather, cashmere, and silk. If you’re
looking for concentrated luxury, this is your spot:
You’ll find designer labels like Hermès, Marc
Jacobs, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin,
Alexander McQueen, and more. (Price-conscious
shoppers should veer over to Powell Street for
fast fashion brands like H&M and Uniqlo.)

apparently a thing) since the ’80s.
She was the designer of choice for
Jackie Onassis then and for
Michelle Obama now—who can
argue with that pedigree?
415-986-3000, carolinaherrera.com

shoes. In fact, that same shade of
red pops up a lot in this eccentric
Maiden Lane boutique: You’ll find it
in bags, wallets, nail polish, and even
the carpets. 415-658-9079, us.
christianlouboutin.com

Chanel

Dior Homme

UNION SQUARE

156 GEARY ST.

Nestled among other exclusive
boutiques on Maiden Lane, this
location (redesigned in 2009 by
leather-clad genius Peter Marino)
attracts many visitors. Find a grand
assortment of belts, shoes,
handbags, cosmetics, fine jewelry,
skincare, and fragrances from this
visionary French brand.
415-981-1550, chanel.com

Christian Louboutin
UNION SQUARE

29 MAIDEN LN.

There’s no mistaking the trademark
red soles on Christian Louboutin
120 | Cityguide 2015

UNION SQUARE

pieces in some high-end department stores, but this dedicated
boutique is the first West Coast
outpost for the brand. 415-9862250, ghurka.com

Giorgio Armani
UNION SQUARE

278 POST ST.

This beautiful, ready-to-wear
gentlemen’s couturier offers the
gold standard in customer service.
Spanning two stories in the heart of
Union Square, here you’ll find shoes,
men’s accessories like bags and
belts, and excellent modern
minimalist suits. 415-391-1363,
dior.com

Find luxury men’s and women’s
clothes, shoes, and accessories
from the beloved Italian fashion
brand in this San Francisco location.
Offering the highest level of luxury
customer service—hand-served
cocktails included—this store is a
destination for both male and
female style connoisseurs.
415-434-2500, giorgioarmani.com

Ghurka

Goyard

216 STOCKTON ST.

UNION SQUARE

245 POST ST.

You can find these Nepalese-military-inspired handmade leather
bags, gadget cases, and travel

UNION SQUARE

345 POWELL ST.

San Francisco is home to the only
freestanding Goyard store in the
western hemisphere. Designed to

last, the suitcases, tote bags, trunks,
and purses are crafted in timeless
styles from durable canvas and
leather. 415-398-1110, goyard.com

Gucci
UNION SQUARE

240 STOCKTON ST.

Known for its glamorous signature
clothing, shoes, watches, and
handbags, as well as home items,
this premium downtown boutique
upholds the Italian label’s illustrious
reputation. 415-392-2808, gucci.com

Hermès
UNION SQUARE

125 GRANT AVE.

With timeless, captivating pieces
like the Birkin Bag and all kinds of
accessories, leather goods, and
fragrances, the Hermès boutique
epitomizes sensible chic for the
woman (or man) with expensive yet
distinguished taste. 415-391-7200,
hermes.com

©COURTESY LITTLE PAPER PLANES

Head north to Fillmore Street for a mix of fashion,
beauty, and home decor. Check out Jonathan Adler
and Zinc Details for standout accent furniture and
admire the worldly assortment of gifts and accessories at Nest. Local designer Erica Tanov curates
an excellent selection of jewelry and clothes, but
don’t miss her home collection. Recent arrivals Rag
& Bone, the Kooples, and Rebecca Minkoff—which
join labels Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alice + Olivia, Alexis
Bittar, and Sandro—have made this strip a fashion
destination. When you’re ready for a break, drop your
bags and grab a coffee down the street at Jane Cafe.

DISCOVER A HIDDEN GEM
IN SoMa’s DESIGN DISTRICT

SHOP WHOLESALE AT OVER 100 SHOWROOMS
FINE JEWELRY | WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT
BANDS | FASHION JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES
CUSTOM DESIGN & MANUFACTURING | REPAIR

888 BRANNAN STREET SAN FRANCISCO | SFGCJM.COM | 415.436.6060

SHOPPING

LUXURY BOUTIQUES

Max Mara

HERMÉS

UNION SQUARE

175 POST ST.

Geared toward a mature female
audience, this San Francisco
boutique offers subtle yet sensual
pieces in timeless styles, from
exceptional knits to evening gowns,
all with the impeccable craftsmanship for which the Italian label has
come to be known. 415-981-0900,
maxmara.com

Michael Kors
UNION SQUARE

WESTFIELD CENTRE, 845 MARKET ST.

The San Francisco Michael Kors
store specializes in American
sportswear for women, from casual
clothes to glamorous outfits—the
jewelry line attracts an especially
wide audience. 415-227-0800,
michaelkors.com

Mulberry
UNION SQUARE

166 GRANT AVE.

The new Mulberry boutique
downtown is emerging as one of
the most popular and reputable
luxury shops in the city—and the
go-to for every gotta-have-it
handbag. Hailing from Somerset,
England, the label also offers
clothing and other accessories at a
high price point. 415-399-9105,
mulberry.com

Paul Smith
UNION SQUARE

50 GEARY ST.

At Paul Smith, the clothing is chic
yet simple. Complement your
demure ensemble with one of the
many sparkling statement pieces.
415-352-3520, paulsmith.co.uk

Prada
UNION SQUARE

201 POST ST.

Herve Leger
UNION SQUARE

331 POWELL ST.

Find signature chic bandage
dresses, bodycon formal wear, and
interesting baubles from this
distinguished French fashion house
that has garnered a loyal fan base
with its reliable trademark
garments. 415-284-9168,
herveleger.com

UNION SQUARE

166 GEARY ST.

Celebrated for Cinderella-like shoes
in gorgeous and coveted designs
that are favored by celebrities like
Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift,
this luxury shoe boutique brings
122 | Cityguide 2015

John Varvatos
UNION SQUARE

152 GEARY ST.

Rock-star style meets urban chic at
this metropolitan men’s boutique.
Think lots of leather and zipper
accents on well-crafted, sturdy
pieces. The store is located on
quaint Maiden Lane among other
high-end boutiques. 415-986-0138,
johnvarvatos.com

Louis Vuitton
UNION SQUARE

233 GEARY ST.

This spacious downtown boutique
grabs attention with front window

installations that look more like art
than fashion displays. The service is
excellent, and you’ll find a variety of
luxurious, classic goods designed by
Marc Jacobs for both men and
women. 415-391-6200,
louisvuitton.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2142 FILLMORE ST.

The less pricey offshoot of big
brother Marc Jacobs, this store
offers quirky, playful designs for
Marc Jacobs’s younger fan base.
The Fillmore Street location stands
among other beautifully maintained
clothing boutiques and employs a
hip, knowledgeable staff. 415-4479322, marcjacobs.com

Rag & Bone
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2060 FILLMORE ST.

Just because you prefer womenswear more casual and comfortable
than the froufrou stuff in other Pac
Heights stores doesn’t mean that
you have to skip the block entirely.
After a long wait, Rag & Bone has
finally come to the city, along with
its boyfriend jeans, hunter boots,
and long-sleeve tees, the first locale
in Northern California.
415-416-3978, rag-bone.com

©COURTESY HERMÉS

Jimmy Choo

high quality to high heels.
415-391-3300, jimmychoo.com

A block from Union Square, this
slick boutique occupies approximately 6,000 square feet and
features separate shopping areas
organized by gender—colorful
arrangements and seating
upholstered in velvet for women,
palisander wood furniture and
surrounding steel elements for
men. 415-848-1900, prada.com

A natural beauty never goes out of style.
FINE FURNITURE FROM SALVAGED TREES

SAN FRANCISCO
434 POST STREET
415.397.9663

URBANHARDWOODS.COM

SHOPPING

LUXURY BOUTIQUES/APPAREL BOUTIQUES

LOUIS VUITTON

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2124 FILLMORE ST.

The first San Francisco outpost of
this New York women’s apparel
brand is, naturally, “tech forward”
with touch-screen mirrors and a
dressing room that lets you order
up different merchandise, virtually
browse the racks, and even request
a beverage. On top of that, the
stylish clothing is pretty cool, too.
rebeccaminkoff.com

St. John Boutique
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

767 MARKET ST.

Here you’ll find renowned luxury
knits in couture, evening, and sport
collections. The fashionable clothes,
primarily suits and dresses, are
coveted worldwide for their
impeccable structure and timeless
reputation. 415-856-0420, sjk.com

Saint Laurent
UNION SQUARE

108 GEARY ST.

The label’s first stateside men’s-only
store, Saint Laurent offers high-end
rock ’n’ roll garb for the fashionforward guy: skinny, tattered jeans,
leather jackets, shadow-plaid
button-downs, and knee-grazing
scarves. 415-765-0975, yls.com

Salvatore Ferragamo
UNION SQUARE

236 POST ST.

The Italian label relocated its San
Francisco boutique, selling
well-crafted fashions, shoes and

124 | Cityguide 2015

leather accessories, to Post Street
in January 2014. The new space
occupies the fourth side of a square
block that also contains Burberry,
Graff, and the Saks men’s store,
making this area an epicenter of
high fashion. 415-391-6565,
ferragamo.com

Theory
UNION SQUARE

120 MAIDEN LN.

Find contemporary fashions for
men and women, including
outerwear, skirts, pants, boyfriend
blazers, and jumpsuits, at this
bi-level boutique. It’s staffed by
knowledgeable employees who
emphasize a garment’s best fit,
especially for slimmer men.
415-399-1099, theory.com

Thomas Pink
UNION SQUARE

255 POST ST.

Expect well-tailored business attire
for professional men and women in
a rainbow of colors and a wide
range of styles at this reputable and
impeccably organized downtown
boutique. 415-421-2022,
thomaspink.com

Tory Burch
UNION SQUARE

50 MAIDEN LN.

With an attainable price point, this
San Francisco location offers all of
Burch’s signature items (including
those famous ballet flats). The
colorfully sumptuous interior
provides an upbeat shopping

experience. 415-398-1525,
toryburch.com

Valentino
UNION SQUARE

105 GRANT AVE.

Valentino’s newest boutique is the
first in the country to sell the label’s
full men’s collection. Spiral past
three floors of embellished floral
gowns, studded heels, and laser-cut
dresses, and you’ll find the entire
top floor filled with men’s garb,
from leather-banded coats to
colorful man-clutches. 415-7729835, valentino.com

Wilkes Bashford
UNION SQUARE

375 SUTTER ST.

Wilkes Bashford is a fascinating
destination for any high-fashion
aficionado. Opened in 1966 by the
eponymous local fashion guru
known for his impeccable taste,
today the shop exhibits a curated
collection of top designers and is a
favorite hangout of former mayor
Willie Brown. 415-986-4380,
wilkesbashford.com

APPAREL BOUTIQUES
Acrimony
HAYES VALLEY

333 HAYES ST.

A Hayes Valley favorite that’s
reminiscent of the New York–based
boutique Opening Ceremony, this
shop features cutting-edge clothing
designs. 415-861-1025,
shopacrimony.com

Alfio Boutique
THE CASTRO

526 CASTRO ST.

The owner of this boutique flies to
Milan and Rome himself to discover
up-and-coming designers to feature
(and stays far away from those
whose names you already know).
You have to climb the stairs to the
second floor, but that only adds to
the allure of the men’s and women’s
fashions and accessories inside.
415-241-9200, alfioboutique.com

Alla Prima Fine Lingerie
HAYES VALLEY + THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

539 HAYES ST. AND 1420 GRANT AVE.

This fine lingerie shop offers a
selection of Andres Sarda, Eres, La
Perla, and Prima Donna in its two
city locations, both staffed by
all-knowing wonder women who
provide attentive service.
415-864-8180, 415-397-4077,
allaprimalingerie.com

Allen Edmonds
UNION SQUARE

310 SUTTER ST.

At this downtown shoe store for
men, timeless designs are the
standard. Expect a keen, fashionable staff offering quality customer
service as well as reasonable prices.
415-391-4545, allenedmonds.com

Ambiance
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

1458 HAIGHT ST.

Stuffed to the brim with a wide
selection of trendy clothing and
accessories, this is a favorite store

©COURTESY LOUIS VUITTON

Rebecca Minkoff

APPAREL BOUTIQUES

SHOPPING

Azalea
HAYES VALLEY

411 HAYES ST.

Offering up-to-the-moment
fashions for trendy men and
women, this store has lower prices
than its sister shop next door, Rand
+ Statler. Recently renovated,
Azalea remains one of the most
beloved boutiques in Hayes Valley’s
sea of stores. 415-861-9888,
azaleasf.com

Bastille
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

66 KEARNY ST.

A style hub for hard-to-find import
labels like Acne and A.P.C., as well
as American designs by 10 Crosby
Derek Lam and Band of Outsiders,
this shop in a minimalist setting
attracts a wide range of shoppers.
415-951-0210, ilovebastille.com

BCBG MaxAzria
UNION SQUARE

331 POWELL ST.

Come here for special-occasion
evening gowns and bold daytime
pieces, as well as bright accessories
like handbags, clutches, and shoes.
The store’s winter-white decor sets
off the bevy of colored garments
for which the label has come to be
known. 415-362-7360, bcbg.com
among local shoppers searching for
party dresses at discounted prices.
Designers include Tulle, Diane von
Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore, and
AG Jeans. 415-552-5095,
ambiancesf.com

Anne Fontaine
UNION SQUARE

118 GRANT AVE.

This French import has more than
100 variations of the classic white
shirt from designer Anne Fontaine,
arranged in a sleek, modern upscale
boutique popular with European
visitors and locals alike. 415-6770911, annefontaine.com

The Archive
UNION SQUARE

317 SUTTER ST.

Designer clothing and accessories
for the fashion-forward man—
straight from the runways of Paris
and Milan—are for sale at this
style-conscious, modern store
decked with pale hardwood floors
for a sublimely clean effect.
415-391-5550, archivesf.com

Aricie Lingerie
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

50 POST ST.

This lingerie boutique at the
Crocker Galleria features an
unusually extensive collection of
lingerie from European designers,
with labels such as Aubade,
Chantelle, and Lise Charmel.
415-989-0261, ariciesf.com

BellJar
THE MISSION

3187 16TH ST.

This thoughtfully curated store in
the heart of the Mission features a
Victorian-inspired design. Here,
flea-market finds and pieces by
local designers mingle, and you’ll
find an eclectic offering of clothing,
bath soaps, jewelry, and glassware.
415-626-1749, belljarsf.com

Ben Sherman
UNION SQUARE

75 STOCKTON ST.

Offering menswear including
accessories, this store attracts both
young and mature customers with
classic taste. 415-593-0671,
bensherman.com

The Blues Jean Bar
COW HOLLOW

1827 UNION ST.

Known as San Francisco’s watering
hole of denim, this neighborhood
shop is laid out with 10 different
brands of jeans and gorgeous wood
paneling, complete with decorative
Jack Daniel’s bottles and a large
wooden bar. The denim specialists
match customers with the jeans
that best suit their needs.
415-346-4280, thebluesjeanbar.
com

Body
THE CASTRO

450 CASTRO ST.

Some might accuse Castro
residents of being preoccupied with
the body. So much the better, then,

ctguide.com | 125

SHOPPING

APPAREL BOUTIQUES

NO. 3 JEWELRY

Cable Car Clothiers
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

110 SUTTER ST., STE. 108

Since 1939, Cable Car Clothiers has
offered the best in British
menswear, featuring Southwick’s
vested suits and a world-class
selection of hats and caps. The
shop also recently opened an
in-store barbershop specializing in
period-correct men’s cuts from the
1890s to the 1950s. 415-397-4740,
cablecarclothiers.com

Cielo
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2225 FILLMORE ST.

Blu’s sister store carries high-end
women’s fashions—Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, and
other rare designers. The space is
large and modern, befitting its
location in chic Pacific Heights.
415-776-0641

Citizen
THE CASTRO

489 CASTRO ST.

Citizen, which bills itself as the
Castro’s European-inspired
menswear store, even prints the
prices listed on its Facebook page in
pounds rather than dollars. Scotch
& Soda and Ben Sherman are worth
stopping in for on their own, but be

126 | Cityguide 2015

sure to ask after the Jack Spade
bags. 415-575-3560, citizensf.com

Cole Haan
UNION SQUARE

324 STOCKTON ST.

Timeless Cole Haan combines
comfort and style with namesake
shoes for both men and women.
415-391-1760, colehaan.com

Cop.Copine
UNION SQUARE

343 POWELL ST.

Based out of Paris, this international
label offers smart, on-trend
wardrobe pieces for women. The
fashionable San Francisco boutique
is one of only two in the country.
415-989-9035, cop-copine.com

Curve
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2360 FILLMORE ST.

Curve takes the cult-label cachet of
the designer floor at Barneys—Alexander McQueen, Theyskens’ Theory,
Burberry Prorsum—and distills it all
into a manageable, well-edited
boutique. The sweet spot here is
the tasteful mix of high and low,
from T by Alexander Wang tees to
laser-cut Antonio Berardi gowns
and Alexander McQueen heels. The
store’s vetted stylists will pull them
all together for events ranging from
beach getaways to black-tie galas.
415-885-4200, shopcurve.com

Cuyana
UNION SQUARE

291 GEARY ST., STE 201

Cuyana means “to love” in the
native Andean language Quechua,

and the store operates on the
philosophy of offering fewer, better
things—so what you buy here will
become a go-to favorite. The
apparel and accessories have a
modern aesthetic and timeless
style, and are made with high-quality materials to last a lifetime.
415-445-3001, cuyana.com

Dainese D-Store
SOMA

131 SOUTH VAN NESS AVE.

The Italian manufacturer’s San Francisco showroom is a must-visit for
motorcycle, ski, snowboard, and
bicycle enthusiasts. The
5,000-square-foot retail store
houses the largest selection of
Dainese and AGV on the continent,
offering complete head-to-toe
protection. 415-626-5478,
dainese.com

Diesel
THE CASTRO AND THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

400 CASTRO ST. AND
800 MARKET ST.

Find fashions from the popular
jeans brand with a cult following,
located both downtown and in the
heart of San Francisco’s vibrant gay
district, the Castro. 415-621-5557,
415-398-4055, diesel.com

Dish
HAYES VALLEY

541 HAYES ST.

In a sparse white space could easily
be mistaken for a gallery at first
glance, Dish appeals to the adult
shopper who favors a safe and
simple yet stylish look. This Hayes
Valley location always brims with
customers and sits in a prime

location for a day of wandering
from store to store. 415-252-5997,
dishboutique.com

Elizabeth Charles
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2056 FILLMORE ST.

Shop handpicked Australian and
New Zealand fashions in a fashion
emporium spanning 1,000 square
feet. Elizabeth Charles’s namesake
store has garnered a celebrity
following in recent years, with the
likes of Charlize Theron and
Michelle Pfeiffer pledging their
devotion. 415-440-2100,
elizabeth-charles.com

Emporio Armani
UNION SQUARE

1 GRANT AVE.

Peruse timeless fashions for stylish
men and women in a Union Square
space that includes a café and a
chic, modern interior. 415-6779400, armani.com

Footprint
THE MISSION

696 VALENCIA ST.

Established by adjacent barber and
shaving supply shop Fellow Barber,
this new boutique has cool guy
essentials such as hats, slippers,
bikes, bags, and surf board wax. Its
classic appeal draws a hip audience
to its heart-of-the-Mission location.
415-621-9000, fellowbarber.com

Freda Salvador
COW HOLLOW

1782 UNION ST.

A father, son, and a pair of brothers
hand craft shoes in a tiny workshop

©COURTESY NO. 3

that they have this local, gay-owned
boutique from which to buy
something kitschy and noticeable.
Among the many Castro and San
Francisco T-shirts, you’ll find unique
offerings like tees emblazoned with
“San Francisco” in Sanskrit.
415-572-3562, bodysf.com

SAN FRANCISCO CENTRE

WHERE
STAR
TECHIES
SHOP.
VIP SAVINGS: Save thousands
with exclusive offers from select
retailers and restaurants.
Pick up your VIP Passport at Guest Services today.

OVER

WESTFIELD SAN FRANCISCO CENTRE
865 MARKET STREET / 5TH & MARKET ACROSS FROM
THE POWELL STREET CABLE CAR TURN AROUND

200 STORES AND EATERIES

WESTFIELD.COM

SHOPPING

APPAREL BOUTIQUES

CURVE

that something is housemade, they
really mean it: The G&G line of
womenswear and housewares really
was designed, by hand, right on the
floor of the shop. Walk in and you
might spy them in the midst of
making something new. 415-5520112, gravelandgold.com

Gant Rugger

HeidiSays Shoe Salon

HAYES VALLEY

552 HAYES ST.

This is the label that introduced
America to the button-down shirt.
The San Francisco store has planted
its flag in the emerging Hayes Valley
menswear frontier, offering a
handsome selection of truly
American sportswear. 415-4371949, us.gant.com

Gimme Shoes
HAYES VALLEY AND PACIFIC HEIGHTS

381 HAYES ST., 416 HAYES ST., AND
2358 FILLMORE ST.

Gimme Shoes sells seasonal shoe
and handbag styles at three San
Francisco locations. The collection
of Italian-made and designer brands
also features sunglasses, watches
from London, belts, bags, and
jewelry by local artisans. 415-8008992, 415-864-0691, 415-441-3040,
gimmeshoes.com

Goodbyes
PRESIDIO HEIGHTS

3464 SACRAMENTO ST.

This Presidio Heights consignment
shop carries designer clothing,
shoes, and accessories in two
adjacent locations—one for men
and one for women. The constantly
updated inventory includes pieces
by Dior, Gucci, and Prada at
reasonable prices. 415-346-6388,
goodbyessf.com

Gravel & Gold
THE MISSION

3266 21ST ST.

When the Gravel & Gold folks say
128 | Cityguide 2015

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2105 FILLMORE ST.

Selling top shoes from designers
like Giuseppe Zanotti, Missoni, and
See by Chloe, this boutique has
become a high-end shoe epicenter
in the city. Also find accessories like
jewelry and handbags. 415-4096850, heidisays.com

Kate Spade
UNION SQUARE

WESTFIELD CENTRE, 845 MARKET ST.

Renowned for eye-catching prints
and stylish clothing, Kate Spade
specializes in playful womenswear,
sensible handbags, and bold jewelry.
415-222-9638, katespade.com

“French fashion, British tailoring,
and American punk-rock soul,” says
one local devotee. thekooples.com

La Boutique
JACKSON SQUARE

414 JACKSON ST., STE. 101

This destination for statement
clothing and accessories from
hard-to-find European labels covers
two floors for a warehouse
atmosphere suited to its location on
historic Jackson Street. 415-6939950, laboutique-galerie.com

Levi’s Store
UNION SQUARE

815 MARKET ST.

See the sidebar on page 134.
415-501-0100, levi.com

Loft 1513
NOE VALLEY

3927 24TH ST.

Drop in to this neighborhood
boutique for carefully selected
fashions by local designers (so local
that the designers often attend the
regular in-store fashion shows and
on any given day may be hanging
out in the shop). If you’re looking
for one-of-a-kind indie clothing,
look no further. 415-550-1513,
loft1513.com

Loro Piana
UNION SQUARE

212 STOCKTON ST.

©COURTESY CURVE; ©COURTESY LUNA BOUTIQUE

in picturesque Elda, Spain, to be
delivered to your feet in San
Francisco. It sounds like a fairytale,
but the owners here insist that
that’s how they do business. Are the
loafers and boots as magical as the
story? Try some on and see.
415-654-5128, fredasalvador.com

This Italian boutique specializes in
luxurious cashmere knits, but also
offers specialty items such as
backgammon cases and printed
cashmere accessories. 415-5933303, loropiana.com

Johnson Leathers
NOB HILL

1833 POLK ST.

Johnson has been designing,
manufacturing, and selling leather
goods since 1979 and is a favorite
source of jackets and bags among
motorcycle aficionados and law
enforcement personnel. 415-7757393, johnsonleather.com

The Kooples
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2241 FILLMORE ST.

The name is a play on the word
“couples,” an allusion to the target
audience of this French label run by
a trio of brothers: clothes for
women and the men in their lives.
Kooples’ très sophistiqué wares hit
London in a big way, and now
they’ve come to our shores with

LUNA BOUTIQUE

DRINKS | DINING | DESTINATION

...MOUTHWATERING AWAITS

www.embarcaderocenter.com
San Francisco, CA 94111

SHOPPING

APPAREL BOUTIQUES

Luna Boutique
PRESIDIO HEIGHTS

3490 SACRAMENTO ST.

Handpicked with San Francisco’s
style and climate in mind, Luna
Boutique’s selection includes
sweaters and scarves year-round, as
well as cocktail and work attire
created by niche designers.
415-359-0198, lunaboutiquesf.com

Margaret O’Leary
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2400 FILLMORE ST.

This local designer creates cozy,
casual knitwear inspired by the
laid-back lifestyle of the West
Coast. Browse her racks for a chic
souvenir of the city. 415-771-9982,
margaretoleary.com

Marine Layer Workshop
NOB HILL

1572 CALIFORNIA ST.

Marlowe
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

231 GRANT AVE.

The West Coast flagship of this
Italian company spotlights knitwear,
suits, shirts, and leather of the
highest caliber. 415-986-2845,
marlowe.com

Mill Mercantile
NOE VALLEY

3751 24TH ST.

This light-flooded boutique
reinterprets menswear for the
modern woman, presenting girly
twists on Oxford shirts, denim, and
CAVALIER

Mio
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2035 FILLMORE ST.

This fearless boutique toes the line
between fashion and art, carrying
an edgy mix of lesser known
American designers and international names. The trend-defying
pieces share an architectural
sensibility, perfect for the shopper
who values clean lines and textile
innovations. 415-931-5620, miosf.com

Mira Mira
THE MISSION

3292 22ND ST.

The racks at tiny Mira Mira are filled
with the sort of embellished tights
and high-waisted jeans worn by
every Valencia Street girl on a
bicycle. But the shop has pushed
itself to the forefront of the Mission
style scene by stocking lace
minidresses, chiffon blouses, and
pieces from quirky indie labels not
easily found in the city, such as the
Parisian brand Gat Rimon, the
British label To Be Adored, and
L.A.’s Laugh Cry Repeat. 415-6486513, miramirasf.com

Modern Appealing
Clothing (MAC)
HAYES VALLEY AND DOGPATCH

387 GROVE ST. AND
1003 MINNESOTA ST.

Specializing in an eclectic mix of
designer clothing for both men and
women, MAC puts a personal twist
on luxury shopping. Come for the
Comme des Garçons, stay for the
cutting-edge designs by local
designers. 415-863-3011, modernappealingclothing.com

STEVEN ALAN

Nina McLemore
UNION SQUARE

233 GRANT AVE.

McLemore’s suiting, casual dresses,
and evening wear, emphasizing
elegant, understated style, are
designed with the working woman
in mind. Expect impeccable
tailoring, colorful, luxurious, and
travel-friendly fabrics from Europe,
and silks from Asia. 415-263-1331,
ninamclemore.com

Onassis
UNION SQUARE

845 MARKET ST., STE. 249

With a classic preppy appeal,
Onassis hits all the classic notes for
menswear in an experiential space.
The rich ambience befits the store’s
stark, minimal designs. 415-2818888, onassisclothing.com

Paolo
HAYES VALLEY

524 HAYES ST.

Designed here in San Francisco but
crafted in Italy, these leather shoes
are perfect staple pieces for men’s
and women’s wardrobes.
415-552-4580, paoloshoes.com

Rand + Statler
HAYES VALLEY

425 HAYES ST.

Don’t miss the tempting shoe wall
at this boutique, which offers a
healthy dose of upscale staple
pieces for men’s and women’s
wardrobes, featuring the likes of T
by Alexander Wang and Acne.
415-634-0881, randandstatler.com

Revolver
LOWER HAIGHT

136 FILLMORE ST.

This gallery and boutique aims to
complement art with fashion. The
combination is a favorite among
locals—Revolver has become a
130 | Cityguide 2015

coveted space that offers designers
like Comune, 213 Industry, and
Apolis Global, resulting in the dark,
rich, sensible aesthetic that’s
common to Fillmore Street
boutiques. 415-795-1748,
revolveronline.com

Saint Laurent
UNION SQUARE

108 GEARY ST.

Recently reopened as a newly
minted men’s store, Saint Laurent is
true Parisian style in an attainable
price range. With jackets, shirts,
boots, belts, and even sunglasses,
there’s no need to even leave the
store to complete your ideal outfit.
415-765-0975, ysl.com

Sandro
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2033 FILLMORE ST.

Another of the recent bloom in
French-born Pac Heights shops, this
one comes from husband-and-wife
design team Evelyn and Ilan
Chetrite, whose collaborations in
their signature “feminine bohemian
chic” style have attracted a cult
following across more than 200
stores worldwide. 415-292-4841,
us.sandro-paris.com

San Franpsycho
NOPA

505 DIVISADERO ST.

This surfing shop turned silkscreening collective provides a
shopping experience as comfortable as the clothes it creates. Bright
letters and patterns deck classic
T-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts, hats,
and bags for both men and women,
all designed in-house with an
understated emphasis on the
meeting of beach and urban
culture. 415-829-7874,
sanfranpsycho.com

©COURTESY STEVEN ALAN; © COURTESY CAVALIER

Operating out of a onetime movie
theater, MLW is not only a retail
store, but also a studio and
workshop. What you buy (this
locale specializes in “soft stuff,”
from coats to tees) may have been
made just a few feet away.
415-926-5474, marinelayer.com

brogues against a chic, minimalist
backdrop of gray and white
shelving. 415-401-8920,
millmercantile.com

WWW.SUCHADATHAIMASSAGE.COM
714 VALENCIA ST.

Self Edge is two floors busting with
denim—and high-end, premium
denim at that. The hard-to-find
Japanese labels mimic workwear,
but with a western influence. Tiled
floors and vintage furnishings
(including a racy motorcycle sitting
in the front window) give the store
a funky spin. 415-558-0658,
selfedge.com

Shoe Biz
THE MISSION

877 VALENCIA ST.

This store offers a funky mix of
shoes for both men and women,
ranging from spiked Jeffery
Campbell pumps to cute canvas
sneakers. Don’t miss the sale
section. 415-550-8655,
shoebizsf.com

Steven Alan
THE FILLMORE AND HAYES VALLEY

1919 FILLMORE ST. AND 445 HAYES ST.

Cool-kid designer and retailer
Steven Alan has been snapping up
storefronts in New York and Los
Angeles for years. But lately, he’s
doubled down on San Francisco,
opening two of his eponymous
unisex stores—a mile apart—within
the span of six months. The original
showcases local brands like Micaela
Greg knitwear (known for irresistibly
soft leggings) and Melissa Joy
Manning jewelry, alongside
well-made, unfussy pieces from
labels like Garnish and Engineered
Garments. 415-351-1499,
415-558-8944, stevenalan.com

Sui Generis
THE CASTRO

2231 MARKET ST.

This locally owned designer
consignment shop has two locales,

one for menswear and one for
womenswear (2147 Union Street).
In addition to the tongue-twisting
Latin name, Sui Generis boasts 100
designers on its shelves, and the
shop itself has an impressive color
palate. Miguel and Gabriel curate
the inventory personally. 415-4372231, suigenerisconsignment.com

Sunhee Moon
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

1833 FILLMORE ST.

Local designer Sunhee Moon
designs and manufactures her line
of simple, classic womenswear in
the Bay Area. In-house stylists help
customers assemble their ideal
outfit. 415-928-1800, sunheemoon.
com

Taylor Stitch
THE MISSION

383 VALENCIA ST.

See the sidebar on page 134.
415-621-2231, taylorstitch.com

Toujours Lingerie
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2484 SACRAMENTO ST.

This boutique offers a beautiful
array of everything from basic bras
to ultra-sexy bustiers and luxe
European sleepwear in a wide
range of sizes. 415-346-3988,
toujourslingerie.com

Unionmade
THE CASTRO

493 SANCHEZ ST.

This upscale men’s boutique offers
classic, high-quality clothing items
from brands like Alden, Levi’s
Vintage Clothing, Pendleton,
Wolverine, and more. In addition to
apparel, Unionmade sells timeless
accessories like journals, blankets,
and natural cleaning supplies and
soaps. 415-861-3373,
unionmadegoods.com

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Aroma Massage,  
!   

Thai Therapeutic Massage, Swedish Massage,   

      

ctguide.com | 131

APPAREL BOUTIQUES

THE MISSION

SHOPPING

Self Edge

SHOPPING

ATHLETIC & OUTDOOR APPAREL

FREDA SALVADOR

THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

75 GEARY ST.

Specializing in canvas swim trunks
for men and boys, French fashion
label Vilebrequin is known for
bright, whimsical designs in a
variety of colors. The trunks, which
come in seven flattering fits, are
fast drying and come with a
water-resistant wallet. 415-2742502, vilebrequin.com

Vince
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

36 GEARY ST.

Relaxed but put together describes
the Vince aesthetic. Before this San
Francisco store opened, the
coveted label (which has exploded
in recent years thanks to celebrity
cult followers) was found only at
department stores like Neiman
Marcus and Saks. Now, shop all of
the favorite cotton blouses, stretch
leggings, and unfussy blazers in a
neutral downtown interior with
quality customer service.
415-951-0771, vince.com

Wasteland
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

1660 HAIGHT ST.

Wasteland is the go-to destination
to score lightly worn designer
clothes at a fraction of the original
price. The store also stocks a trendy

132 | Cityguide 2015

array of thrift clothing for men and
women, as well as a selection of
jewelry by local designers.
415-863-3150, shopwasteland.com

Welcome Stranger
HAYES VALLEY

460 GOUGH ST.

Welcome Stranger specializes
exclusively in menswear for the
discerning hipster. Expect quality
flannel button-downs, quilted
jackets, and vintage snapbacks.
415-864-2079, welcomestranger.com

Zara
UNION SQUARE

250 POST ST.

Recently declared the largest
fashion retailer in the world, this
Spanish company stocks its multilevel shop with trendy, European
styles for women, men, and
children. 415-399-6930, zara.com

ATHLETIC AND
OUTDOOR APPAREL
Athleta

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2226 FILLMORE ST.

Athleta, the Gap’s line of women’s
sportswear, has a flagship in San
Francisco’s tony Pacific Heights
neighborhood. Stop by for yoga
gear and stick around for one of the
in-store classes. 415-345-8501,
athleta.com

Eddie Bauer
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

128 POST ST.

The classic brand from Seattle
(since 1920) may be recognized
internationally for its premium
designs for the active outdoor
lifestyle, but it fits right in on this
outdoor-lover’s stretch of Post
Street. Take your pick from
outerwear, apparel, footwear, gear,
and accessories. 415-398-2879,
eddiebauer.com

Lululemon Athletica
COW HOLLOW

1981 UNION ST.

Lululemon presents women’s yoga
and workout clothes in a boutique
setting, mixing comfort with cute
colors and designs. The store also
offers a weekly schedule of yoga
classes and group runs. 415-7765858, lululemon.com

Marmot
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

165 POST ST.

As the largest retail store in the
Marmot chain, the San Francisco
outpost features the widest range
of the brand’s high-tech outdoor
clothing and camping equipment.
415-391-7015, marmot.com

The North Face
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

180 POST ST.

The Bay Area–based brand’s
gigantic, three-story store provides
an ample selection of innovative
apparel and gear for outdoor
enthusiasts and their families.
415-433-3223, thenorthface.com

Patagonia
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

770 NORTH POINT ST.

After a stop at Patagonia, you’ll be
prepared to take on the wind and
fog of the nearby Golden Gate
Bridge or any other outdoor
adventure in the Bay Area and
beyond. 415-771-2050, patagonia.com

PrAna
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

1928 FILLMORE ST.

For green-minded clothing
designed for yoga, climbing,
running, and just kicking around,
visit PrAna. The brand strives for
sustainability by using organic
cotton and employing fair trade
initiatives. 415-590-3940, prana.com

See Jane Run
NOE VALLEY

3910 24TH ST.

This woman-owned-and-operated
company supplies female athletes
of all shapes and sizes with shoes

©COURTESY FREDA SALVADOR

Vilebrequin

JEWELRY

1869 UNION ST.

SHOPPING

ments with classic settings and styles.
415-926-7000, graffdiamonds.com

JEWELRY

and other running paraphernalia.
The store is known for its gait
analysis and weekly fun runs.
415-401-8338, seejanerun.com

Jest Jewels
COW HOLLOW

Alexis Bittar
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

1942 FILLMORE ST.

Hailing from New York, Bittar
started his career as a jewelry
designer two decades ago. Since
then he has emerged as one of the
most revered young jewelry artisans
of the 21st century, collaborating
with Jeremy Scott, Burberry, and
Jason Wu. A wide selection of his
designs is displayed in a luxurious,
well-lit setting. 415-567-5113,
alexisbittar.com

Cartier
UNION SQUARE

250 POST ST.

These French gems, timepieces,
and gifts are imbued with
sophistication and glamour. Once
the favored jeweler of European
royalty, Cartier is now a modern
favorite. 415-397-3180, cartier.us

Gallery of Jewels
PACIFIC HEIGHTS AND UNION SQUARE

2115 FILLMORE ST. AND 427 POST ST.

Founded in 1990 to showcase
jewelry by a few of the owners’
designer friends, today Gallery of
Jewels represents more than 140
independent designers in multiple,
distinct galleries. Rings, necklaces,
earrings, bracelets, charms,
cufflinks—it’s all here in a variety of
classic and contemporary styles.
415-771-5099 and 415-617-0007,
gallery-of-jewels.com

GiftCenter & JewelryMart
SOMA

888 BRANNAN ST.

Representing more than 270 product
categories, from fashion jewelry to
engagement rings, scarves, sunglasses, and handbags, this craft
jewelry and accessory wholesale
emporium showcases a diverse
collection, including imported
products from more than 25
countries. 415-436-6060, sfgcjm.com

Goldberry

This is designer jewelry as it should
be: hip, fun, and flashy, “for the girl
in all of us.” Pieces from Virgins
Saints & Angels, Betsey Johnson,
and Chan Luu are all in stock, made
with everything from crystals to
diamonds and bronze to gold.
415-563-8839, jestjewels.com

Lang Antique
& Estate Jewelry
UNION SQUARE

309 SUTTER ST.

You could spend a few hours
admiring the dazzling period jewels
at this glittering Victorian jewel box,
which has stood just off Union
Square since 1969. If the romantic
cityscape so moves you, the jeweler
offers a staggering collection of oneof-a-kind vintage engagement rings.
415-982-2213, langantiques.com

Love & Luxe
THE MISSION

1169 VALENCIA ST.

This jewelry atelier and gallery has
an excuisite collection of hand
crafted work by both local and
international artists. Artist-in-residence Betsy Barron curates the
collection showing more than 40
small studio jewelers and metalsmiths. And just in case you’re in the
market, know that this is a Bay Area
go-to for custom wedding and commitment jewelry. 415-648-7781,
loveandluxesf.com

Always 10,000 pieces to choose from!
Men's and women's designer clothing.

No. 3 Jewelry
NOB HILL

1987 HYDE ST.

It may call itself No. 3, but it’s not
even second (much less third) to
anyone. Acrimony owner Jenny
Chung offers possibly the strangest,
but still elegantly charming, jewelry
designs on the West Coast, from a
truly delicate Vale seed pearl bracelet
to a downright intimidating Joomi
Lim Gold Spike choker. No. 3 also
stocks men’s pieces, mostly made
of leather with eye-catching metal
accents. 415-525-4683, shopno3.com        


Presidio Heights.

PRESIDIO HEIGHTS

©COURTESY LANG ANTIQUE & ESTATE JEWELRY

3516 SACRAMENTO ST.

Designed by San Francisco local
Margie Rogerson and made in
America, these earrings, rings,
bracelets, and pendants are set with
diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and
emeralds. Shopping at Goldberry is
by appointment only, so be sure to
call ahead. 415-921-4389,
goldberry.com

Graff
UNION SQUARE

3464 SACRAMENTO STREET (415) 346-6388
3483 SACRAMENTO STREET (415) 674-0151

237 POST ST.

Graff has established itself as a
collector and purveyor of rare and
unique diamonds, which it comple-

LANG ANTIQUE &
ESTATE JEWELRY

goodbyessf.com
ctguide.com | 133

HOME & GIFTS

SHOPPING

2015

THE LOCAVORE’S SHOPPING GUIDE

DON’T

MISS

Many things have started in San Francisco—
the free love movement, Irish coffee, the Internet
economy—and sometimes you really want a little piece
of made-in-the-city coolness to take home with you.
From the lasting icons to the quirky startups, here are the
choicest places for homegrown shopping. —Scott Lucas
Alite Designs
POTRERO HILL AND THE MISSION

2505 MARIPOSA ST. AND
3376 18TH ST.

San Franciscans love the great
outdoors, and the sleek and
streamlined gear from Alite Designs
is cool and functional. Check out
the Big Oak pack, the In-Law
Outlaw tent, the Opinel camp knife,
and the S.H. sleeping bag (which
can be zipped together to
accommodate two). Don’t miss: the
Stanley Classic flask. Ask nicely, and
they’ll even clue you in on a few
campfire cocktail recipes.
415-626-1526, alitedesigns.com

Betabrand
THE MISSION

780 VALENCIA ST.

This online apparel retailer
embraces the wisdom of crowds: Its
clothes are designed with input
from its fans and released in limited
quantities in rapid cycles, so there’s
always something from the bleeding
edge of cool. We love the bike-towork skirt and the navy DARPA
hoodie—but we’ll have new
obsessions next week. Don’t miss:
the silver reversible disco hoodie and
disco pants. Just trust us on this
one. 800-694-9491, betabrand.com

Dandelion Chocolate
THE MISSION

826 VALENCIA ST.

You’ve heard of farm-to-table
cooking, but how about bean to
bar? Chocolate makers Todd
Masonis and Cameron Ring pride
themselves on sourcing cocoa
beans directly from the growers.
Their single-origin bars contain only
two ingredients—cocoa and
sugar—and rely on pre-industrial,

handcrafted means of production.
Don’t miss: bars made with beans
from Mantuano, Venezuela, that have
been roasted, like coffee, at high
temperature for a short time. 415349-0942, dandelionchocolate.com

Goorin Bros. Hats
NORTH BEACH

1612 STOCKTON ST.

Heisenberg wears a Goorin. If you’re
a fan of Breaking Bad, that should
be enough to lure you into the
showroom (the store even renamed
the character’s hat style the
Heisenberg). If not, the plethora of
fedoras, Gatsby caps, and knits
should do the trick. Don’t miss: the
Berkeley, a wool cadet that warms
your noggin at the factory or the
protest march. 415-402-0454,
goorin.com

Heath Ceramics
THE MISSION

2900 18TH ST.

The Bay Area’s premier ceramics
manufacturer leans heavily on clean,
modern designs. Perhaps best
known for its dinnerware, Heath
also offers pottery, jewelry, and
linens. The Mission retail and tile
factory location is its newest venue,
but it’s worth a trip to the factory in
Sausalito for both the tour and the
overstock sales. Don’t miss: the
Chez Panisse line, designed in
collaboration with Alice Waters and
Christina Kim for the Berkeley
temple of food. 415-361-5552,
heathceramics.com

Levi’s
UNION SQUARE

815 MARKET ST.

The original San Francisco
product—Levi’s jeans—is still one of

the best. Founded by Levi Strauss
and Jacob Davis to cater to gold
miners, the denim manufacturer
remains based in San Francisco. Its
new flagship store, which opened in
2013, is one of only two in the
world to offer Lot Number 1 jeans,
which are custom-made for each
customer. Don’t miss: the in-house
tailor shop that does custom
alterations. 415-501-0100, levis.com

Taylor Stitch
THE MISSION

383 VALENCIA ST.

Since 2008, Taylor Stitch has
catered to the discerning,
fashionable guy, crafting classic and
custom shirts right here in San
Francisco using painstakingly
gathered materials and fancy
techniques (oh, the single-needle
French seam!). The brand has
recently expanded into suits and
shirts for women as well. Don’t
miss: anything custom, naturally.
415-621-2231, taylorstitch.com

Timbuk2
HAYES VALLEY

506 HAYES ST.

Though originally designed for
bicycle messengers, the rugged
bags sold here are now de rigueur
for anyone carrying a laptop to a
coffee shop—that is to say,
everyone from CEOs to starving
artists. But don’t worry that you
won’t stand out from the crowd:
The store lets you customize your
bag of choice, which is then made
less than two miles away and is
available the same week. Don’t
miss: eco-friendly touches like bag
recycling, which earns you a 20
percent discount. 415-252-9860,
timbuk2.com

Reliquary
HAYES VALLEY

544 HAYES ST.

With an exemplary blend of old and
new pieces, Reliquary defines itself
as a store with a taste all its own. In
the middle of Hayes Valley, where
designer names are found in most
boutiques, Reliquary offers unique
rarities with a bohemian, cultured
aesthetic, including clothing, home
decor, and gorgeous, worldly jewelry.
415-431-4000, reliquarysf.com

Shreve & Co.
UNION SQUARE

200 POST ST.

As the oldest retail store in San
Francisco, Shreve & Co. holds
authority over all things silver and
diamond. Schedule an appointment
to peruse the selection of new and
vintage rings, pendants, and timepieces. 415-421-2600, shreve.com

Tiffany & Co.
UNION SQUARE

350 POST ST.

The robin’s-egg-blue box wrapped
in silky white ribbon has captivated
the imaginations and hearts of
women from Holly Golightly to
Anne Hathaway. Browse the wide
selection at the multilevel Union
Square store. 415-781-7000, tiffany.
com

Tourbillon
UNION SQUARE

231 POST ST.

Joining locations from Amsterdam
to Moscow, Tourbillon’s newest
downtown San Francisco boutique
is home to a large selection of
luxury timepieces from brands like
Swatch, Omega, and Jaquet Droz.
415-362-1525, tourbillon.com

Union Street Goldsmith
COW HOLLOW

1909 UNION ST.

Casual designs with an emphasis
on color are in abundance at this
jeweler. Tucked comfortably into
the row of Union Street shops, it is
perfectly located for browsing.
415-776-8048,
unionstreetgoldsmith.com

HOME AND GIFTS
A&G Merch
THE CASTRO

2279 MARKET ST.

134 | Cityguide 2015

©MOLLY DECOURDREAUX

DANDELION CHOCOLATE

This contemporary, slightly rustic
home furnishings store unites
eccentricity and much hyped
midcentury-modern designs.
Shoppers find a treasure trove of
smaller objects as well as utilitarian
furniture. 415-503-1173,
aandgmerch.com

©COURTESY OMNIVORE BOOKS/S. FLEMING

HOME & GIFTS

SHOPPING

Aesop
PACIFIC HEIGHTS AND THE MARINA

2450 FILLMORE ST. AND
2146 CHESTNUT ST.

Cleansing, conditioning, hydrating,
toning—whatever pampering you
need to take care of while you’re in
the city, you can stock up for it at
Australia-based Aesop, which
specializes in hair care, skin care,
and general you-care. 415-775-1837,
415-931-3622, aesop.com

Aesthetic Union
THE MISSION

555 ALABAMA ST.

This old-fashioned print shop
specializes in the lost art of the
letterpress. Speaking of art,
limited-edition prints (and by
limited, we mean only 25 of each
in the entire world) showing off
the eponymous aesthetic and
designed by local notables are yours
for the bargain price of $25. Browse
while you pick up your custommade, one-of-a-kind business
cards—because, let’s face it, digital
printing is passé these days.
theaestheticunion.com

Aldea Home
THE MISSION

890 VALENCIA ST.

This 7,000-square-foot store gives
San Francisco apartment dwellers
what they naturally crave: streamlined furniture that still has character,
like cushy, brightly patterned
storage ottomans and beds
outfitted with reclaimed-wood
drawers. You don’t have to be
loaded to fulfill your decorative
vision here: Any piece can be

upholstered in a range of Lazar
fabrics, from affordable, kid-friendly,
poly-cotton blends to high-grade
wool. 415-865-9807, aldeahome.com

Aldea Niños
THE MISSION

1017 VALENCIA ST.

With a focus on unique, responsibly
produced items that are child- and
baby-friendly, this shop’s curated
collection brings the best of
modern organic design to the ones
who deserve it most—at a price
point that parents will appreciate.
415-874-9520, aldeababy.com

Apple Store
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

1 STOCKTON ST.

Just scoot around the new subway
construction to find this buzzing
two-story Apple emporium still
open for business. Visit the website
to reserve a seat at the in-store
workshops teaching the finer points
of the iPhone, iPad, iPhoto, and
iCloud. Apple is building an even
bigger new store just up the block
at Stockton and Post, so say
goodbye to the original San
Francisco store while you can.
415-392-0202, apple.com

Atys Contemporary
Living Accessories
COW HOLLOW

2149B UNION ST.

Hidden in the back of a historic
courtyard off Union Street, Atys
showcases innovative objects,
stylish home accessories, and gifts,
from miniature weather stations
and Missoni throws to wine
ctguide.com | 135

HOME & GIFTS

SHOPPING

decanters and a Swiss Railway
watch collection designed by
Mondaine of Switzerland.
415-441-9220, atysdesign.com

Blu Dot
THE MISSION

560 VALENCIA ST.

Blu Dot’s slogan contends, “Good
design is good.” Who could argue
with that? The Mission locale offers
sleek furniture design with clean,
simple lines, mixed in with “small
goods and found objects” that
warm up the atmosphere a bit.
415-255-2345, bludot.com

Britex Fabrics
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

146 GEARY ST.

New York can keep Mood—San
Francisco has Britex. This landmark
fabric store offers an unrivaled
assortment of textiles, stacked from
floor to ceiling on each of its four
levels. The array of wools, laces,
silks, linens, cottons, knits, trims,
ribbons, buttons, and notions will
keep any seamstress occupied for
hours. 415-392-2910, britexfabrics.com

Cavalier

more than just nuts and bolts.
Located in the heart of the
animated Castro district, it also
carries craft supplies, designer
coffee presses, false eyelashes, and
feather boas. 415-431-5365,
cliffsvariety.com

make you feel like a kid again, and a
perfectly nerdy atmosphere created
by guys who stock turntables next
to iPad accessories. 415-666-2256,
dijitalfix.com

Design Within Reach

171 MAIDEN LN.

POTRERO HILL

200 KANSAS ST.

In 1999, DWR founder Rob Forbes
set out to furnish his new apartment—
only to find that the London designers
he once took for granted were as
scarce as hen’s teeth. Because that
simply wouldn’t do, he created
DWR to put the world’s best home
furnishings “within reach” of anyone,
not just the few luxury consumers
with wealth and connections.
415-837-3940, dwr.com

Dijital Fix
THE MISSION

820 VALENCIA ST.

Some things are better left in the
hands of the truly geeky. If you’re
bored by searching through big box
stores for home electronics, Dijital
Fix offers headphones of all shapes
and sizes, toys and gadgets that

Diptyque
UNION SQUARE

The Parisian perfumery’s San
Francisco outpost offers a variety of
scents for men, women, and the
home. Each candle, perfume bottle,
and roller-ball tube is marked with
the signature oval logo. 415-4020600, diptyqueparis.com

Discount Camera
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

33 KEARNY ST.

Serving San Francisco since the
days of the Polaroid 800, Discount
Camera has kept up with the times
with a selection of name-brand
digital cameras for both professionals and amateurs. If you prefer to do
things the old-fashioned way, the
staffers here still know a thing or
two about your film models.
415-392-1100, discountcamera.com

Eden & Eden
JACKSON SQUARE

560 JACKSON ST.

This cozy clothing, accessories, and
home boutique in Jackson Square
stocks an agreeably quirky selection
of hard-to-find British treasures, as
well as goods by buzzy designers
and pristine vintage items.
415-983-0490, edenandeden.com

The Future Perfect
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

3085 SACRAMENTO ST.

Scrap-wood beds made from
recovered Netherlands wood,
canary-yellow Tardi sofas (so
named because the design took so
long to complete), and an all-in-one
media center that unfolds like a
Rubik’s Cube? The only thing that
Manhattan-based Future Perfect’s
home furnishings have in common
is not knowing the meaning of the
word “boring.” 415-932-6508,
thefutureperfect.com

Green Apple Books
THE RICHMOND

506 CLEMENT ST.

One of San Francisco’s most
beloved independently owned

THE TENDERLOIN

1035 POST ST.

City Lights Bookstore
NORTH BEACH

261 COLUMBUS AVE.

Once a beatnik hangout, this
legendary independent bookstore
founded by poet Lawrence
Ferlinghetti has three floors for
bibliophiles to browse. The shop
also hosts regular author readings
and publishes books by local writers.
415-362-8193, citylights.com

Cliché Noe Gifts + Home
NOE VALLEY

4175 24TH ST.

On a warm day the open door of
cozy Chilché beckons you to peruse
its wide variety of local brands,
decadent Poco Dolce Chocolates,
Elizabeth W. bath and beauty
products, Pandora jewelry, cards,
toys, and more. Plus they will
giftwrap and ship. 415-282-5416,
clichenoe.comf

Cliff’s Variety
THE CASTRO

479 CASTRO ST.

While Cliff’s Variety is technically a
hardware store, it stocks so much
136 | Cityguide 2015

CURIOSITY SHOPPE

©COURTESY CURIOSITY SHOPPE

This pricey, sumptuously styled
furnishings store combines the
brawn of interior design star Jay
Jeffers and the brain of his husband,
retail guru Michael Purdy. It’s the
exclusive source for Jeffers’s debut
collection of California-made
furniture and lighting, artfully
displayed among Merida rugs,
Catherine Wagner photography,
Alex & Lee jewelry, and affordable
finds from the couple’s travels, like
Bellocq tea. 415-440-7300,
cavaliergoods.com

HOME & GIFTS

SHOPPING

Merch
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

629 HAIGHT ST.

This cute Haight Street boutique
carries adorably twee clothing for
women and kids (plus a few men’s
shirts), with plenty of sweet home
decor and jewelry thrown in for
good measure. Think of it as the
indie version of Anthropologie.
415-503-1522, shop-merch.com

Muji
SOMA

540 9TH ST.

NOE VALLEY PET COMPANY

bookstores, Green Apple is stocked
with affordable new and used titles.
Tucked away in the foggy Richmond
district, it’s a cozy spot to while
away an afternoon. 415-387-2272,
greenapplebooks.com

Heath Ceramics
THE MISSION

2900 18TH ST.

See the sidebar on page 134.
415-361-5552, heathceramics.com

HRC Action Center & Store
THE CASTRO

575 CASTRO ST.

Occupying the storefront that used
to house gay-rights activist Harvey
Milk’s Castro Camera store, HRC is
now part workspace for the Trevor
Project’s crisis and suicide
prevention call center and part
store for HRC apparel and gifts
bearing the organization’s signature
equals sign logo, plus items
featuring words and images of
Harvey Milk. 415-431-2200, shop.
hrc.org/san-francisco-hrc-store

Jonathan Adler
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2133 FILLMORE ST.

First specializing in ceramics—Jonathan Adler is a potter by training—
the Adler stores have expanded into
home decor of all shapes and sizes,
including classy and striking
furniture, lighting, rugs, throws and,
on occasion, wonderfully odd
modern art. They still stock the
pottery too, in case you’re
wondering. 415-563-9500,
jonathanadler.com

Just for Fun
NOE VALLEY

3982 24TH ST.

Let the wide array of art supplies,
journals, and stationery in this
138 | Cityguide 2015

neighborhood gift store inspire you
to let your creative juices run wild.
Or, just opt for the Legos, board
games, and gag gifts to let your
inner child shine. Either way, as the
name suggests, you’ll find this place
amusing. 415-285-4068, justforfun.
invitations.com

Kids Only
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

1608 HAIGHT ST.

The name is a dead giveaway: Kids
Only is a haven for little ones.
Imbued with the hippie personality
of Haight Street, the shop features
tie-dyed children’s clothing, funky
toys, and cheerful accessories.
415-552-5445, facebook.com/
KidsOnlySF

Koza Gifts
COW HOLLOW

2133 UNION ST.

Istanbul native Abdullah Kasimoglu
recently relocated his 10-year-old
business (formerly Istanbul’s
Collection) from Palo Alto to a
cozy storefront on Union Street.
Stepping inside is like entering a
Turkish bazaar stocked with
imported fair-trade, artisan-made
jewelry, ceramics, and Persian rugs.
415-412-2134, facebook.com/
kozagifts

Le Labo
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2238 FILLMORE ST.

The fifth American branch of the
perfumery–cum–industrial lab from
French perfumers Fabrice Penot
and Edouard Roschi is laden with
one-of-a-kind elixirs, soy candles,
and detergents. The lab contains
the onsite blending station where
the fragrances (all vegan and
unisex) are created. 415-931-3212,
lelabofragrances.com

Little Paper Planes
THE MISSION

855 VALENCIA ST.

Founded by art students as a venue
for their own work, Little Paper
Planes has grown over the last 11
years into a sort of flea market for
modern art, be it the kind you hang,
wear, read, or just scratch your head
over. It has a Mission-style, indie
thrift shop vibe that appeals to the
truly casual art lover. 415-643-4616,
littlepaperplanes.com

Longchamp
UNION SQUARE

114 GRANT AVE.

This French company offers its
iconic purses, luggage, and other
leather goods just one block from
Union Square. 415-362-7971,
longchamp.com

Maker & Moss
HAYES VALLEY

364 HAYES ST.

Matt Bale, a native San Franciscan
and interior design junkie, brings a
natural touch to home decor.
Featuring goods ranging from
handcrafted, reclaimed-wood mirror
frames to Roost Terra stools made
from cross-sections of an acacia
tree, Maker & Moss furnishings are
rustic, tasteful, and wonderfully
weird. Bale is so fond of wood that
he even offers painted wooden
maps with gorgeous detail work.
415-928-1287, makerandmoss.com

March
LAUREL HEIGHTS

3075 SACRAMENTO ST.

This Laurel Heights antique store
focuses on kitchen gear that’s
timeless, not trendy: dishes from
Nicola Fasano and Brickett Davda,
gleaming cast-iron cookware, and
hand-forged steel knives. The spot

The new Japanese-centered
store emphasizes simplicity and
functionality in its stylish home
goods, kitchenware, accessories,
and modern beauty brands from
Japan. The SoMa space is nearly
8,000 square feet—check out the
sleek, iconic furniture that’s sure to
make an Ikea lover’s heart melt.
415-694-5981, muji.us

Noe Valley Pet Company
NOE VALLEY

1451 CHURCH ST.

Noe Valley Pet Company is a true
neighborhood shop. It stocks
high-quality food, treats, beds, and
toys for cats and dogs, but it’s also a
great resource for getting a pet
sitter recommendation or setting
up a puppy playdate. 415-282-7385,
noevalleypet.com

The Nwblk
THE MISSION

1999 BRYANT ST.

Merging gallery space and store in a
warehouse on the outskirts of the
Mission, this is a furniture store
as well as a curated collection of
custom objects created by a roster
of collaborative makers. 415-6212344, thenwblk.com

Omnivore Books on Food
THE MISSION

3885A CESAR CHAVEZ ST.

In this quaint bookstore, cookbooks
share the shelves with food
memoirs, vintage copies of the New
Joy of Cooking, and first editions of
Escoffier. Check the website for a
packed schedule of readings and
book signings from high profile
chef-authors. 415-282-4712,
omnivorebooks.com

Park Life
THE RICHMOND

220 CLEMENT ST.

Not to be outdone by the
ever-expansive Mission district,
budding Inner Richmond has a slew
of new stores that are just as
colorful and fresh to hipster fans.
Park Life is one of the best
examples: Offering crafty gifts and
refreshing artwork—and perhaps
one of the best curated magazine

©COURTESY NOEVALLEY PET COMPANY

recently launched “slow food”
cooking classes around the store’s
retro-chic Aga stove. 415-931-7433,
marchsf.com

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

3067 SACRAMENTO ST.

Sue Fisher King curates a selection
of cute home furnishings in a cozy,
country style. Her boutique offers
colorful, rustic finds for bed, bath,
kitchen, and more. 415-922-7276,
suefisherking.com

3 Fish Studios
©COURTESY NORTH FACE

THE SUNSET

4541 IRVING ST.

luxury European linen stores.
415-392-2813, scheuerlinens.com

Serving as both the functioning
work studio and the print shop of
husband-and-wife artist duo Annie
Galvin and Eric Rewitzer, 3 Fish
Studios (named for the Galvin
family coat of arms) displays their
collaborative posters and paintings
that distill the city’s colorful spirit.
While it’s open most days, it’s best
to make an appointment.
415-242-3474, 3fishstudios.com

Serena & Lily

Timbuk2

THE NORTH FACE

racks at any boutique—it captures
the funky, easygoing vibe of San
Francisco. 415-386-7275,
parklifestore.com

Paxton Gate
THE MISSION

824 VALENCIA ST.

Perhaps more a museum of sorts
than a store, Paxton Gate is unlike
any other shopping experience.
Filled with small commodities like
fossilized animals and plants, live
hard-to-find plant species, antique
stones and jewelry, aromatherapy,
and more, this is an easy place to
spend hours. It’s also a great place
to bring kids—a sister shop aimed
at youngsters stands a few blocks
down. 415-824-1872, paxtongate.
com/paxton

The Perish Trust
ALAMO SQUARE

728 DIVISADERO ST.

Perish Trust bills itself as a
“modern-day general store” and
was founded by two photo artists,
so you know that you’re in for a
singular experience before you even
walk in the door. It’s a one-stop
shop for everything you need and
everything you didn’t know you
need, from clothes and kitchenware
to antique juggling pins and Tarot
cards. theperishtrust.com

Propeller
HAYES VALLEY

555 HAYES ST.

Propeller is the one-stop shop for
sleek, modern home decor from
emerging independent North
American designers. Find
everything from the bed frame to
the throw pillows here. 415-7017767, propellermodern.com

Rare Device
NOPA

600 DIVISADERO ST.

Offering products by independent,
local designers, this whimsical store
encourages design that’s accessible
to all. With a selection from unique
home goods to handcrafted jewelry
and zines, Rare Device has garnered
a cult-like following since its
inception and still offers a
comfortable, welcoming environment that befits the neighborhood
vibe of its NoPa location.
415-863-3969, raredevice.net

Recchiuti Confections
THE EMBARCADERO AND DOGPATCH

FERRY BUILDING MARKETPLACE AND
807 22ND ST.

Local chocolatier Michael Recchiuti
will change your life with his fleur
de sel caramels, and burnt caramel
truffles, and powerful single origin
chocolate truffles. And you get the
idea. Stop by the Ferry Building
store, or the outpost store, Little
Nib, in Dogpatch. recchiuti.com

Rickshaw Bagworks
DOGPATCH

904 22ND ST.

A relative newcomer to the San
Francisco messenger bag scene,
Rickshaw painstakingly designs the
kinds of bags, backpacks and totes
destined to become your go-to
favorite, many made from scratch
right in San Francisco. 415-9048368, rickshawbags.com

Samuel Scheuer
UNION SQUARE

340 SUTTER ST.

Customize luxurious bed, bath, and
table linens from around the world
with embroidery and monogramming at Samuel Scheuer, one of the
country’s last independently owned

PRESIDIO HEIGHTS

3457 SACRAMENTO ST.

Anyone can enjoy Serena & Lily
bedding and furnishings, but it helps
if you’re in the demographic that
the store had in mind when it
opened its doors: homes that have,
or are soon to have, babies. There’s
plenty for grown-ups here too, all in
the same comforting, quietly
tasteful style, but the parental vibe
is never far away. 415-580-7078,
serenaandlily.com

The Scarlet Sage Herb Co.
THE MISSION

1173 VALENCIA ST.

Let the enticing herbal scent draw
you into this apothecary, holistic
medicine supply, and gift shop
where you’ll find everything from
locally-made, natural body care to
inspiring books and tarot. The
Scarlet Sage offers a warm,
welcoming environment in which to
explore natural healing for body and
soul. 415-821-0997, scarletsage
herb.com

Small Frys
NOE VALLEY

4066 24TH ST.

Pick up a San Francisco onesie or
other pint-sized gear from
California designers. Or let your
little ones pick out their own gifts
from the super-cute stuffed animals
and toy selection. They also carry a
wide array of organic products.
415-648-3952, smallfrys.com

Stuff
THE MISSION

150 VALENCIA ST.

Browse 17,000 square feet over

HAYES VALLEY

506 HAYES ST.

See the sidebar on page 134.
415-252-9860, timbuk2.com

Town Cutler
NOB HILL

1005 BUSH ST.

Serious chefs unite at Town Cutler,
the premium spot for cooking tools
from brands like Kikuichi, Wusthof,
F. Dick, and Kanematsu. If those
names don’t mean anything to you,
no worries: The owner, Galen, has
created an atmosphere that’s
low-key and unfussy. There’s also a
special collection of vintage knives
and kitchen accessories available
for perusal upon request. In short,
it’s a foodie paradise. 415-359-1519,
towncutler.com

The Voyager Shop
THE MISSION

365 VALENCIA ST.

This worldly store showcases
imports like Indonesia’s Sifr shoes,
Amsterdam’s Denham jeans, and
France’s Hixsept menswear. Former
Wasteland buyer Jonathan Hoyt
scouts vintage clothing for the
racks, Adam Lam builds store
furniture, and Julie Lemke designs
her jewelry label, Auger + Ore.
415-795-1748, thevoyagershop.com

Zgo
THE CASTRO

600 CASTRO ST.

Don’t sprain your mouth trying to
pronounce it: It stands for Zen
Garden Oasis. Even if you think you
don’t care for scented candles and
fragrance diffusers, stick your head
in the door and take a whiff—you’ll
ctguide.com | 141

HOME & GIFTS

Sue Fisher King

SHOPPING

two floors of seemingly endless
furniture (antiques, Danish modern,
midcentury, and more), collectibles,
vintage dresses and vinyl records.
No matter who you’re shopping
fore, you’ll find something fabulous
here. 415-710-4288, stuffsf.com

SHOPPING

SPAS & BODY CARE

be relaxed in seconds. Zgo stocks
more than 30 designer candle
brands alone: Who knew there
were so many? 415-692-6511,
zgostore.com

Zinc Details
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

meditation and group holistic
discussion, for a total mind-body
experience. 415-552-7200,
earthbody.net

International Orange
PACIFIC HEIGHTS

2044 FILLMORE ST.

Fun and quirky meets sensible and
chic at this cool location that’s
become a local favorite and go-to
for gifts. With incredible sales and
brands like Marimekko, Alessi, and
Blu Dot, the store has created a
whole new aesthetic. 415-776-2100,
zincdetails.com

This wildly popular and successful
spa’s menu includes facials,
massage, yoga, acupuncture, and
natural skincare products, all with a
focus on holistic wellness. The
4,000-square-foot space includes a
relaxation lounge and a private deck
and bamboo garden. 415-563-5000,
internationalorange.com

Zonal Home Interiors

Kabuki Springs & Spa

1905 FILLMORE ST.

HAYES VALLEY

568 HAYES ST.

Fair prices meet high-quality home
decor in a furnishings store that
offers a nice mix of old and new
pieces. Decorated with an antique
look (including truly primitive
built-by-hand farm furniture), Zonal
offers distinctive items for the
customer with discerning taste.
415-255-9307, zonalhome.com

JAPANTOWN

1750 GEARY BLVD.

Communal baths and acupuncture
complement Kabuki’s menu of
traditional spa treatments, provided
in their beautiful dark-wood and
stone space. 415-922-6000,
kabukisprings.com

Lux SF
HAYES VALLEY

490 HAYES ST.

SPAS & BODY CARE
HUNTERS POINT

748 INNES AVE.

Its location right on the water in
Hunters Point is only the first
unlikely but wonderful thing about
this international spa. It’s open until
midnight six nights a week, and
houses a rooftop lounge and bar/
café. A $37 pass gives you access to
the saunas, the steam room, and
the cold plunge, plus a spine-tingling Turkish hammam soap scrub.
For another $30, you can get
thrashed with eucalyptus leaves in a
classic Russian platza treatment.
Trust us: It feels good. 415-2069000, banyasf.com

Bliss San Francisco
at the W Hotel
SOMA

181 3RD ST.

This service-oriented spa offers a
full menu of rejuvenating beauty
treatments, including facials,
manicures, and waxes. Technicians
are generous with treatment tips and
send you home with great products.
415-817-4100, blissworld.com

Burke Williams
UNION SQUARE

WESTFIELD CENTRE, 845 MARKET ST.

This gorgeous facility, conveniently
located in the Westfield shopping
center, offers massage, skincare,
and chiropractic services. 415694-7984, burkewilliamsspa.com

Earthbody Spa
HAYES VALLEY

534 LAGUNA ST.

This Zen-like spa offers relaxation
with a spiritual side. Sunday
morning Sangha provides guided
142 | Cityguide 2015

Nob Hill Spa
NOB HILL

1075 CALIFORNIA ST.

Remède at St. Regis
SOMA

125 3RD ST.

Indulge in the most extravagant spa
experience at Remède, where
treatments are accompanied by
chilled champagne and truffles and
facials are customized to suit your
personal needs. Finish your visit
with a dip in the indoor infinity pool
to enjoy the view of the city below.
415-284-4060, remede.com

SenSpa
THE PRESIDIO

1161 GORGAS AVE.

It seems out of the way amid the
warehouse-like buildings in the
Presidio, but there’s plenty of
parking, and you already feel like
you’ve left the hubbub behind when
you walk inside. SenSpa
has a long menu of massages and
treatments, as well as seasoned,
knowledgeable staff members.
415-441-1777, senspa.com

The Spa at the Mandarin
Oriental
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

222 SANSOME ST.

Appealing to urbanites and artsy
types with a penchant for the Far
East, this spa is decorated with an
eclectic mix of Asian antiques and
art. Book the Mandarin Oriental
Signature spa therapy, which
incorporates custom essential oils
and traditional Chinese medicine to
create a massage that will leave
your body and spirit in perfect
harmony. 415-276-9888,
mandarinoriental.com/
san-francisco

Sugar Society
RUSSIAN HILL

1538 PACIFIC AVE.

The Sugar Society hair removal
and tanning prides itself on its
practitioners (“women who really
know what they’re doing”) and
using local and organic products for
its variety of sugaring, waxing, and
spray tanning services. 415-4085900, sugarsocietysf.com

Zeel Page
CITYWIDE

Zeel massage-on-demand service
lets you request a vetted, licensed
and certified massage therapist
who comes to your location at your
convenience. You can even book
same day appointments online or
through the Apple or Android app.
zeel.com

FOR SHOPPING IN MARIN, THE EAST BAY, AND SOUTH OF SAN
FRANCISCO, SEE PAGE 162.

Rated as one of the top 30 hotel

ARCHIMEDES BANYA

©COURTESY ARCHIMEDES BANYA

Archimedes Banya

Natural nail treatments come
in women’s, guy’s, kiddie’s and
“two-gethers” pairs at this fun
neighborhood nail salon. For
the skin, choose from exfoliation,
deep hydration, and anti-aging
treatments to pamper the hands,
arms, legs, and feet. 415-255-4589,
luxsf.net

spas in the United States by Condé
Nast Traveler, this gorgeous spa and
gym overlooks San Francisco’s
glittering skyline. Book a treatment
and lounge the day away with
rotations in the Zen relaxation
room, pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and
steam rooms. 415-474-5400,
nobhillspa.com

EXPLORE &
EXPERIENCE

WHETHER SEEN FROM THE AIR,
VIEWED WHILE ON THE WATER,
OR EXPLORED ON FOOT—WITH
A KNOWING GUIDE OR ON YOUR
OWN—SAN FRANCISCO AND
THE BAY AREA OFFER NEW
VISTAS AT EVERY TURN.

ADVENTURE

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 39

Arguably the best way to see San
Francisco is from the bay itself.
Adventure Cat offers the same
breathtaking views enjoyed by all
manner of sailing enthusiasts,
including 2013’s America’s Cup
champions. Try the Sail and Jail
tour, a self-guided exploration of
the Alcatraz cell block, followed by
a 90-minute catamaran ride
(escape?) back across the bay.
415-777-1630, adventurecat.com

Alcatraz Cruises
THE EMBARCADERO

PIER 33, ALCATRAZ LANDING

Alcatraz Cruises, the authorized
concessionaire of the National Park
Service, transports passengers to
and from the infamous island prison
while providing a gripping,
award-winning narrative. The
daytime tours emphasize historical
insight, while the nighttime cruises
start with a breathtaking sunset
view of the city and culminate in a
spooky cell house experience.
Through April 26, the island hosts a
breathtaking exhibition from
internationally famous radical artist
Ai Weiwei. 415-981-7625,
alcatrazcruises.com

Bass-Tub Sportfishing
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

BERTH 4 (AT JEFFERSON AND
JONES STS.)

Captains Tubby and Moose know
where the fish are biting in the bay,
whether striped bass, salmon,
halibut, or “reds, blues, lings, and
things.” They can help you handle
licensing, gear rental, and almost
any special charters or requests.
Just show up ready to catch the big
one. 415-456-9055, basstub.net

Big Bus Tours
CITYWIDE

The best all-in-one tour for
determined visitors who don’t want
to miss a single sight, this hop-on/
hop-off, open-top bus hits
everything from the bridges and the
waterfront to Chinatown and the
Haight. If you like the look of a
neighborhood, hop off anytime and
get to know it better. Be sure to
wave at the giant red double-decker
buses when you see them roll by
during the rest of your stay.
855-854-8687, bigbustours.com/
sanfrancisco

Blue & Gold Fleet
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

©CITY KAYAK

PIER 39

CITY KAYAK

The Bay Area’s largest operator of
cruises, ferries, and motorcoach
tours, Blue & Gold will get you to
Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island,
Vallejo, Alameda, and Oakland. The
scenic bay cruise is a visitor favorite.
415-705-8200, blueandgoldfleet.
com

CityPASS
CITYWIDE

This handy ticket booklet grants
holders unlimited cable car rides for
a week (normally six bucks a pop)
plus admission to some of the best
attractions in the Bay Area,
including Aquarium of the Bay, the
California Academy of Sciences,
and the de Young. 888-330-5008,
citypass.com/san-francisco

Classic Cable Car Charters
NORTH BEACH/TELEGRAPH HILL

190 NAPOLEON ST.

Got a big party or event? You can
rent a private cable car vehicle to
get your group there with a touch
of San Francisco style. While Classic
Cable Car Charters is popular for
destination weddings and other
group events, the company also
hosts special seasonal rides like
Holiday Nights and Sights.
415-922-2425, classiccablecar.com

Electric Tour Company
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

757 BEACH ST.

Electric Tour Company shows you
just about every facet of the city on
a Segway—even taking you down
super-steep, crooked Lombard
Street (that’s the advanced tour).
Other destinations include
Chinatown at night, Golden Gate
Park, the waterfront, and, on an
electric bike, an easy pedal over the
Golden Gate Bridge with a return
by ferry. 415-474-3130, electrictour
company.com

Hornblower Cruises
& Events
THE EMBARCADERO

PIER 3

One of the most striking ways to
take in San Francisco’s stunning
cityscape is undeniably from the
deck of a boat. For unparalleled
views in a festive setting,
Hornblower provides brunch cruises
with free-flowing champagne, as
well as formal sit-down dinners
complete with live music and
dancing. The nighttime cruises are
especially romantic. 888-467-6256,
hornblower.com/home/sf

Red and White Fleet
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 43½

In operation since 1892, Red and
White Fleet’s signature Golden
Gate Bay Cruise ferries passengers
past San Francisco’s Golden Gate
Bridge and Alcatraz Island, with
audio tours available in 16
languages. 415-673-2900,
redandwhite.com

Ride the Ducks
San Francisco
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

2766 TAYLOR ST.

Hop on your amphibious boat truck
for an exploration of downtown San
Francisco via land and bay water. Be
ready for iconic sights like Coit
ctguide.com | 145

SPECIALTY TOURS

Adventure Cat Sailing

ADVENTURE

SPECIALTY TOURS

SPECIALTY TOURS

ADVENTURE

2015

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

EDITOR AT LARGE (AND
EXPERT ADVENTURER) JENNA
SCATENA SHARES A FEW OF
HER FAVORITE WAYS TO GET
OUTSIDE AND PLAY IN THE CITY

If you feel like
getting out
on the water,
Alcatraz
Island is a
worthwhile

Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid,
The Ferry Building, The Bay Bridge,
and AT&T Park, as well as plenty of
goofy fun from your duck driver.
877-887-8225, sanfrancisco.
ridetheducks.com

San Francisco Helicopters
DOWNTOWN PICKUPS

If you’re seeking breathtaking aerial
views, San Francisco Helicopters
offers custom charters for groups
and individuals, including lunch and
dinner options, to locations such as
Sausalito and wine country. You can
also book a tour of downtown, the
city skyline, Alcatraz, and the
Golden Gate Bridge. 650-635-4500,
sfhelicopters.com

Viator
CITYWIDE

Viator has built a large selection of
diverse tours and activities around
the world, led by local tour
operators who know their area.
Viator outings in San Francisco
include visits to Alcatraz (at night!),
neighborhood food tours, wine
country tours, and upscale cruises.
888-651-9785, viator.com
ALCATRAZ

146 | Cityguide 2015

PICKS

trip (even locals things so). Lesser-known but just
as interesting is Angel Island State Park, just a 45
minute ferry ride from downtown SF, but with an
atmosphere to make you feel like you’ve gone back
in time 100 years. It’s home to intriguing decaying
buildings, remnants from when it functioned as the
gateway for immigrants, like the Ellis Island of the
West Coast. Pack a picnic or go for tacos and beer at
The Angel Island Cantina.
For a family-friendly afternoon of leisure during
baseball season, catch a San Francisco Giants game
at picturesque AT&T Park on the water. Or, if you
just want to travel the city and see the top sites, a
hop-on hop-off bus like from Big Bus Tours is actually a great alternative to taxis and MUNI for getting
around. An all-day pass lets you ride the line as many
times as you want to great spots like Golden Gate
Park, Haight Ashbury, and Alamo Square.
For a deeper look at Chinatown, the city’s most
intriguing neighborhood, try a walking tour with a
company like All About Chinatown, which combines
history, culture and, of course, food, including a visit
and tasting at the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.

CHINATOWN ©SANDOR BALATONI; ALCATRAZ ©TIM WILSON

For all the world class hikes in the Bay Area, one of
the best is right here in San Francisco: The Lands
End trail, which begins in the tony Sea Cliff neighborhood, then scoops around verdant, cypress-lined
cliffs overlooking the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge,
and Marin Headlands before ending at the historic
Sutro Baths
ruins. (Pro tip:
CHINATOWN
The centuryold Cliff
House restaurant, with
its picturewindow ocean
views, is ideal
for a posthike recovery
cocktail.)

EDITOR’S 

     
MadameTussauds.com/SanFrancisco            

          
    

ADVENTURE

BICYCLING/PADDLING/NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS

WALKING TOURS/JAPANESE TEA GARDEN

BICYCLING

Bay City Bike
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

2661 TAYLOR ST

In addition to offering rentals and
self-guided tours, this outfitter has
capable guides who lead popular
excursions across the Golden Gate
Bridge to Sausalito. If bikes aren’t
your style, you can rent a Segway or
a GoCar to explore the city.
415-346-2453, baycitybike.com

Bike and Roll
San Francisco
MULTIPLE RENTAL LOCATIONS

Bike and Roll has all types of bikers
covered. Want a racing bike for a
long-distance ride, or the Escape
from Alcatraz triathlon? Reserve a
speedy Trek from their fleet. Or just
want a comfort hybrid to explore
the city or ride across the Golden
Gate Bridge? They have those, too.
Pickups are easy at their North
Beach, Embarcadero and three
Fisherman’s Wharf locations, and

HAIGHT ASHBURY FLOWER POWER WALKING TOUR

they offer guided rides across the
Golden Gate, too. 415-229-2000,
bikethegoldengate.com

Blazing Saddles
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

2715 HYDE ST.

This family-owned company offers
self and guided bike tours for riders
of all ages. Trips take you across the
Golden Gate Bridge to the
picturesque seaside towns of
Sausalito and Tiburon (you bike
there and return by ferry). Or you
can pedal through some of the
world’s tallest trees in Old Mill Park.
415-202-8888, blazingsaddles.com/
san-francisco.aspx

PADDLING
City Kayak
SOUTH BEACH

PIER 40

148 | Cityguide 2015

NEIGHBORHOOD
TOURS

All About Chinatown
Walking Tours
CHINATOWN

100 WAVERLY PL.

All About Chinatown is run by a
Chinatown native and has been in
operation for more than 30 years.
Tours hit the more popular spots,
like dim sum restaurants and the
fortune cookie factory, but it’s the
insider stops—like a Chinese
language school—that set these
tours apart. 415-982-8839,
allaboutchinatown.com

AT&T Park Tour
SOMA

24 WILLIE MAYS PLAZA

This is your chance to get an
exclusive backstage tour of the San
Francisco Giants’ stunning home
park. You can walk on the field of
last year’s World Series champs,
explore the press box and
clubhouse where the visiting teams

HAIGHT ©DOUG WERTMAN

City Kayak organizes journeys
throughout the San Francisco Bay
that start from downtown San
Francisco and navigate through
calm waters, so the outings are
perfect for those who have no
kayaking experience. The outfitter
also leads fireworks-viewing trips
on New Year’s, Independence Day,

and certain San Francisco Giants
baseball game days (call ahead for
schedules). 415-294-1050,
citykayak.com

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

200 years of history, 9 live actor shows
Being SCARED has never been SO MUCH FUN!
Located at 145 Jefferson Street • Showtimes Vary
theDungeons.com/SanFrancisco

ADVENTURE

NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS

PIER 39 ©MALLORY JOHNSON; ©COURTESY BIG BUS TOURS

PIER 39

spend their time, and even test your
swing at the batting cages.
415-972-2400, attpark.com

Cruisin’ the Castro
Walking Tours
THE CASTRO

Take a fascinating walk through
LGBT history in the country’s first
and largest gay neighborhood,
exploring landmarks like Harvey
Milk Plaza, the Rainbow Honor
Walk, and the Pink Triangle
Memorial Park. 415-255-1821,
cruisinthecastro.com

Dopios
CITYWIDE

Dopios (“local” in Greek) is an
up-and-coming community
marketplace that allows visitors to
connect with knowledgeable locals.
Let yourself be shown around the
city by the night owls, nature buffs,
and foodies who know the city
firsthand. dopios.com

Haight Ashbury Flower
Power Walking Tour
HAIGHT-ASHBURY

Led by a zany, self-described hippie
resident, this tour reveals the
psychedelic roots, art, fashion, and
architecture of the Haight, the same
street walked by Janis Joplin, Jimi
Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, and the
Grateful Dead. 800-979-3370,
haightashburytour.com
150 | Cityguide 2015

Precita Eyes Mural Walks
THE MISSION

Every weekend, local muralists from
Precita Eyes lead three different
guided walks that start along
Mission and 24th Streets and
highlight the neighborhood’s
magnificent murals, providing an
overview of the contemporary
mural movement in San Francisco.
415-285-2287, precitaeyes.org/
tours.html

San Francisco City Guides
CITYWIDE

Local volunteers who are
passionate about their city’s history
lead these free neighborhood
walking tours sponsored by the San
Francisco Public Library. The many
themes include earthquake history,
the bawdy Barbary Coast, art deco
architecture, and the gold rush.
415-557-4266, sfcityguides.org

San Francisco Movie Tours
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 43½

On this fast-paced bus tour, you’ll
pass famous locations all over the
city as the onboard TV shows a
synchronized video of 200 clips of
movies and TV shows filmed here.
Film-buff guides share facts and
trivia from movies like Mrs.
Doubtfire, Vertigo, and Dirty Harry.
415-233-4409,
sanfranciscomovietours.com

BIG BUS TOURS

60 min

90 min

120 min

ADVENTURE

NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS/ATTRACTIONS

2015

Taste of the Mission/
Discover Noe Valley

DON’T

THE MISSION/NOE VALLEY

MISS

If you’re ready to explore beyond
the wharf and Union Square, J
Walks will take you through the
sunny, irrefutably hip, and culturally
diverse Mission district and around
Noe Valley, one of the country’s
most progressive and desirable
neighborhoods. 415-587-2411,
jwalks.com

Victorian Home Walk
UNION SQUARE

KIDS’
STUFF!
AQUARIUM OF THE BAY

CORNER OF POWELL AND POST STS.

This easy stroll around posh Pacific
Heights and Cow Hollow takes you
inside a period Queen Anne
Victorian and around colorful
Victorian row houses, famous
mansions, and manicured gardens.
You’ll learn to appreciate the
differences between Queen Anne,
Italianate, and stick-style Victorian
architecture. 415-252-9485,
victorianwalk.com

THERE’S PLENTY OF BAY AREA FUN
FOR ADVENTURERS OF ALL AGES.

Aquarium of the Bay
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 39

With 300 feet of clear tunnels, this waterfront aquarium puts you face-to-face with sharks, rays, skates, jellies,
and 20,000 other aquatic animals from the bay and nearby waters. Daily special events include live animal
interaction, shark feedings, and behind-the-scenes tours. 415-623-5300; aquariumofthebay.org

Jelly Belly Factory Tour
FAIRFIELD

ATTRACTIONS

Angel Island TramTours
ANGEL ISLAND

Angel Island’s audio-enhanced
TramTours stop at several scenic
points, including the grounds where
the U.S. Immigration Station
processed hundreds of thousands
of immigrants. Tours require a
reservation and last about an hour
(the ferry ride to the island is not
included). 415-435-3544,
angelisland.com

Aquarium of the Bay
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 39

See the sidebar on this page.
415-623-5300, aquariumofthebay.
org

Coit Tower
TELEGRAPH HILL

1 JELLY BELLY LN.

Jelly Belly produces 1,680 of the famous beans every second, which means that you’ll see an awful lot of them
made during the 40-minute walking tour of the factory and visitor center. (Machines are idle during weekend
tours, but you can still see how the beans are made via video.) Of course, plenty of free samples from some
of the more than 130 flavors are part of the deal. The free, no-reservation tours run daily and depart every 15
minutes or so, which means waits are typically short. 800-953-552; jellybelly.com

Bay Area Discovery Museum
SAUSALITO

557 MCREYNOLDS RD.

Things can get messy—in the best possible way—at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, which features hands-on
art, science, and environment exhibitions for children aged six months to eight years. The Wave Workshop
teaches little ones how plants and animals adapt to the environment under the Golden Gate Bridge, and
the art studios are equipped with tools that encourage children to express their artistic side. 415-339-3900;
baykidsmuseum.org

The San Francisco Dungeon
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

145 JEFFERSON ST.

The Dungeon opened last summer as a 60-minute theatrical trip through San Francisco’s raucous history, with
you and your family (the audience) as part of the show. In full period dress, the cast reenacts key moments
from the boomtown days of teh California Gold Rush, the bawdy red light district that thrived in early San
Francisco, and eerie tales from the prison on Alcatraz Island. 855-753-9999; thedungeons.com/sanfrancisco

1 TELEGRAPH HILL BLVD.

Ferry Building
Marketplace
THE EMBARCADERO

1 FERRY BUILDING

The historic ferry terminal provides
an overview of the Bay Area’s
thriving and culturally diverse food
culture, housing beloved local shops
and eateries like Cowgirl Creamery,
Acme Bread Company, Humphry
Slocombe ice cream, Blue Bottle
Coffee, and Charles Phan’s wildly
popular Slanted Door restaurant.
Find farm-fresh produce, artisan
152 | Cityguide 2015

THE SAN FRANCISCO DUNGEON

©COURTESY AQUARIUM BY THE BAY; ©SAM ROBERTS

The 210-foot historic tower
crowning Telegraph Hill has been an
iconic feature of the San Francisco
skyline since 1933. Its observation
deck offers an exceptional
360-degree view of the city, and
the recently restored, vibrant Diego
Rivera–style murals inside the
tower’s base depict life in California
during the Great Depression.
415-249-0995, sfrecpark.org

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Splash down a
nd cruise
famous McCov
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Save 20%

when you mention
City Guide
Drive the Duck, if

you want!

At the
he corner off Taylor
Tayllor & Jefferson
Jeffferson Streets
S
across from the famous Fisherman's Wharf sign

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ADVENTURE

ATTRACTIONS/BEAACHES/PARKS AND TRAILS

Baker Beach
THE PRESIDIO

LINCOLN BLVD. AND BOWLEY ST.

With the Golden Gate Bridge in the
background, this striking, half-mile
stretch of shoreline is a sheltered,
clothing-optional space for
sunbathers as well as a popular spot
for picnics and bonfires.
presidio.gov

East Beach
THE PRESIDIO

(CHRISSY FIELD BEACH)

The dunes at the north edge of
Crissy Field and Marina Boulevard
provide habitat to many native
birds, fish, and plants. Popular with
sandcastle-building families and dog
owners, it’s also the only beach
located directly on San Francisco
Bay. presidio.gov

Ocean Beach
THE RICHMOND/GG PARK/THE SUNSET

GREAT HIGHWAY AND FULTON ST.

Serious surfers and kite surfers
flock to this often chilly and foggy
3.5-mile stretch of white-sand
beach adjacent to Golden Gate Park
and the Great Highway.
parksconservancy.org

USS PAMPANITO

PARKS AND TRAILS
goods, and a smorgasbord of
organic street food at the Ferry
Plaza Farmers Market—a showcase
of Northern California’s agricultural
bounty that’s known as one of the
country’s best—on Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and (especially)
Saturdays. 415-983-8030,
ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

Fisherman’s Wharf
THE EMBARCADERO AND BEACH ST.

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of San
Francisco’s most popular visitor
attractions, whether for the new
San Francisco Dungeon local history
performance, Madame Tussaud’s
wax museum (look, there’s Mark
Zuckerberg!), souvenir shopping at
Pier 39, or dining on seafood at one
of the waterfront restaurants. Hear
that? Sea lions fill the air with their
sound as they sun in the harbor.
Pier 39 has dining, shopping, the
Aquarium of the Bay, a Venetianstyle carousel, and chances to take
a sightseeing cruise on the bay.
visitfishermanswharf.com

Ghirardelli Square
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

900 N. POINT ST.

After an extensive renovation,
Ghirardelli Square has reemerged as
a San Francisco destination for wine
tasting, artisan foods, and specialty
boutiques. Sample barbecue at the
Pub, nibble organic treats at Kara’s
Cupcakes, or meet for a taste of
Sonoma at Wattle Creek Winery.
The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and
Chocolate Shop serves its famous

154 | Cityguide 2015

sundaes and presents ongoing
chocolate demonstrations.
415-775-5500, ghirardellisq.com

Japanese Tea Garden
GOLDEN GATE PARK

75 HAGIWARA TEA GARDEN DR.

This traditional Japanese garden
covering about five acres is always
tranquil and scenic, but it’s
particularly lovely when the spring
cherry blossoms are in bloom.
Participate in a traditional tea
ceremony to learn how to receive
and drink tea according to ancient
Japanese customs. 415-752-1171,
japaneseteagardensf.com

Madame Tussauds
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

145 JEFFERSON ST.

The newly opened branch of the
popular wax museum features a
typical host of too-real A-list
celebrities, world leaders, and
athletes. But as you’re making the
rounds taking selfies, don’t miss the
local San Francisco personalities,
from techies (Mark Zuckerberg and
Steve Jobs) to hippies (Jerry
Garcia), activists (Harvey Milk) and
more. 866-223-4240; madametussauds.com/sanfrancisco

The San Francisco
Dungeon
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

145 JEFFERSON ST.

See the sidebar on page 152.
855-753-9999; thedungeons.com/
sanfrancisco

San Francisco Zoo
LAKESHORE/OUTER SUNSET

SLOAT BLVD. AT THE GREAT
HIGHWAY

Northern California’s premier zoo
houses more than 1,000 different
animals. Check out the feeding
schedule to find out when the
penguins, grizzly bears, pelicans,
and giraffes will be dining. Recent
additions include a rare (and
adorable) red panda, two
wolverines, and a newborn giraffe.
415-753-7080, sfzoo.org

USS Pampanito
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

PIER 45

The USS Pampanito, a World War II
submarine, made six patrols in the
Pacific, sinking six Japanese ships
and damaging four others. Now it’s
a museum on Pier 45 and one of
the most visited historic vessels in
the country. 415-775-1943,
maritime.org/pamphome

Yerba Buena Gardens
SOMA

3RD AND MISSION STS.

This kid-friendly public park
contains five acres of gardens, a
sprawling lawn, a slew of public art
installations, an artificial waterfall,
several petite cafés, and a fanciful
historic carousel. It’s also home to
festivals, concerts, and workshops.
415-820-3550, yerbabuena
gardens.com

Angel Island State Park
ANGEL ISLAND

Take one of the regular ferries from
Tiburon or San Francisco to the Ellis
Island of the West, now a 740-acre
park with lovely views and more
than 13 miles of hiking and biking
trails. Meander through the U.S.
Immigration Station, a national landmark where hundreds of thousands
of immigrants were processed.
415-435-3544, angelisland.com

Bay Area Ridge Trail
MULTIPLE ACCESS POINTS

This trail system encompasses
more than 350 miles of ridgetop
hiking, equestrian, and biking trails,
with multiple trailheads throughout
the Bay Area. 415-561-2595,
ridgetrail.org

Crissy Field
THE PRESIDIO

For walkers, runners, and bikers
who prefer their trails flat, scenic,
and complete with bathrooms and
cafés, Crissy Field is ideal. The long
and sandy dog-friendly path
stretches along the San Francisco
Bay to Fort Point, a historic military
base beneath the Golden Gate
Bridge. You’ll encounter sailors,
windsurfers, and kiteboarders and
find yourself at eye level with
Alcatraz, flocks of water birds, and
dozens of native plants and grasses
(the area is a restored tidal marsh).
415-561-3000, crissyfield.org

©COURTESY USS PAMPANITO

BEACHES

Alcatraz. Inescapable.

alcatrazcruises.com
415-981-ROCK (7625)

Buy tickets from the OFFICIAL source
for guaranteed lowest prices!
Frequent daily departures from Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing.
All tickets include cellhouse audio tour, now available in 11 languages.

/AlcatrazCruises

@AlcatrazCruises

John Fleck photography

PARKS AND TRAILS

ADVENTURE

Golden Gate Park
Voted best playground in the city
by readers of San Francisco,
flourishing Golden Gate Park
encompasses 1,017 acres, including
hiking, jogging, and biking paths
and must-see attractions such as
the Conservatory of Flowers, the
de Young Museum, the California
Academy of Sciences, the
Japanese Tea Garden, Dutch-style
windmills, and Stow Lake.
415-831-2700, golden-gate-park.
com

the ruins of the Sutro Baths—the
world’s largest public swimming
complex in 1896 and now a series
of darkly beautiful concrete
foundations. The wide path winds
above jagged rocks battered by
crashing waves and often dotted
with sea lions. Looking out, you’ll
see a wide stretch of the ocean and
postcard views of the Golden Gate
Bridge. The three-mile trail ends at
Eagle’s Point, an overlook with
views of Baker Beach, the bridge,
and the Marin Headlands.
415-561-3000,
parksconservancy.org

Interior Greenbelt Park

Presidio of San Francisco

PARKS CENTER

501 STANYAN ST.

MOUNT SUTRO

Located adjacent to the 61-acre
Mount Sutro Reserve, the recently
reopened Interior Greenbelt trail
leads to a lush, mountainous
19-acre forest of eucalyptus trees,
elk clover, and natural wildlife that
was fenced off to the public until
four years ago. sfrecpark.org

Lands End Coastal Trail
THE PRESIDIO/VISTA DEL MAR

POINT LOBOS AVE. AND MERRIE WAY

This trail is hard to beat for its
stunning beauty and accessibility.
You’ll find plenty of parking above
156 | Cityguide 2015

©COURTESY SF ZOO

SAN FRANCISCO ZOO

THE PRESIDIO

VISITOR CENTER
FORT MASON, BLDG. 201

This former military base
(1776–1994) is now a 1,491-acre,
tree-studded national park. More
than a dozen trails and miles of bike
lanes cut through the Presidio,
providing breathtaking views and
cardio-pumping rambles. The route
nicknamed 1,000 Steps—officially
the Immigrant Point/Coastal
Connector Trail—is a quick walk
through fragrant eucalyptus trees
and past sweeping vistas of the
Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands,

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ADVENTURE

GOLF COURSES/PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

COIT TOWER ©RYAN CHASE

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Mention

CITYGUIDE

2015

and (in the distance) Point Reyes.
415-561-4323, nps.gov/prsf

San Francisco Bay Trail
MULTIPLE ACCESS POINTS

Bay Cruise • Ferries • RocketBoat

Five hundred miles of hiking and
biking trails encircle both San
Francisco and San Pablo Bays. Pick
up a section of the trail at multiple
access points aroung the area.
Check the website for details.
510-464-7900, baytrail.org

San Francisco Maritime
National Historical Park
FISHERMAN’S WHARF

499 JEFFERSON ST.

This park is home to a maritime
library, eight historic ships (some
of which are even open for
exploring), and Aquatic Park—a
stretch of beach with buoys in teh
water for swimming laps and with
bleachers for sitting and sunning.
415-447-5000, nps.gov/safr

GOLF COURSES

Presidio Golf Course and
Clubhouse
THE PRESIDIO

Bike the Bridge to Sausalito
or Tiburon and return on
the Blue & Gold Ferry!

At Pier 41 • 415.202.8888
blazingsaddles.com • blueandgoldfleet.com
158 | Cityguide 2015

300 FINLEY RD.
(AT ARGUELLO GATE)

The 18-hole Presidio Golf Course
sits amid century-old eucalyptus
and Monterey pines. The play is so
scenic and quiet you’ll forget you’re

in the middle of a big city. And the
full bar and café are ideal for
relaxing after a long day on the
links. 415-561-4661, presidiogolf.com

TPC Harding Park
LAKESHORE

99 HARDING ROAD

Lined with Monterey cypress trees,
this 18-hole course (with a separate
9-hole course on the same
grounds) is part of the PGA Tour’s
Tournament Players Club. It was the
scene of the 2009 Presidents Cup
and is scheduled to host several
more PGA tour events over the
next 10 years. 415-664-4690, tpc.
com

PROFESSIONAL
SPORTS

San Francisco Giants
SOMA

AT&T PARK

Winners of the 2010, 2012, and
2014 World Series, the Giants are
one of MLB’s longest-established
baseball teams and have the most
Hall of Fame players in all of
professional baseball. Current stars
include 2014 World Series MVP
pitcher Madison Bumgarner,
catcher Buster Posey, outfielder
Hunter Pence, and cool-headed
(despite his name) rookie second
baseman Joe Panik. 415-972-2000,
sfgiants.com

FOR SIGHTSEEING AND ADVENTURES IN MARIN, THE EAST
BAY, AND SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO, SEE PAGE 162.

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creativity
grows here

THE EXPLORATORIUM

BEYOND
THE BRIDGES

MARIN COUNTY
Simply cross the Golden Gate Bridge and you’re in this
outdoor lovers’ paradise.

SAUSALITO
PAGE 164

Stroll the charming bayside village’s galleries and cafes
on a mini vacation from the city.

TIBURON
PAGE 164

Browse surprising shopping finds and take in the views
of the San Francisco skyline.

POINT REYES
PAGE 166

Welcome to cheese country, and bucolic coastal beauty
worthy of a coffee table book.

EAST BAY
The eastern shore of San Francisco Bay is home to
cutting-edge artists and the next generation of culinary
gatekeepers.
OAKLAND
PAGE 170

Oakland has undergone a cultural renaissance in recent
years, sparked by creative types who have crossed the Bay
Bridge in the name of affordability.

BERKELEY
PAGE 174

This university town has always been on the vanguard,
and has beautiful parks, too.

SOUTH OF THE CITY
Alongside the oak-shrouded mansion enclaves and
sprawling tech company campuses, nature makes
itself surprisingly accessible.
PALO ALTO
PAGE 185

Education, art, and Silicon Valley startup buzz abound
in Stanford University’s home town.

ctguide.com | 163

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

IT’S JUST AN EASY DAY TRIP TO SEE
AMAZING REDWOODS, STROLL THE
COAST, EAT IN SOME OF THE BAY
AREA’S TOP RESTAURANTS, OR VISIT
SOME CLASSICALLY COOL CALIFORNIA
UNIVERSITY TOWNS.

MARIN COUNTY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

POINT REYES

MARIN COUNTY
SAUSALITO
This bayside village, its streets crowded with art galleries and cafés
and its shores lined with walking paths and houseboats, is, in a
word, charming.
HISTORY: Prohibition-era Sausalito, with its small-town police
force and discreet location behind the Golden Gate, was known
for speakeasy “soda parlors” and an illicit moonshine industry.
It’s said that in 1925, one-sixth of all the alcohol produced in the
United States came out of this sleepy town.

After madam Sally
Stanford’s famous San
Francisco bordello was
shuttered, she reinvented
herself in Sausalito and was
elected its mayor in 1976.

LOCALS KNOW

DON’T MISS: The many boutiques and restaurants on Bridgeway,
Sausalito’s main drag, offer ample shopping and dining options
not far from the Ferry Terminal. You’ll find even more tempting
restaurants and cafés one block over, on the seven-block stretch
of Caledonia Street. For a day trip, hop a shuttle to the majestic
redwoods of Muir Woods. If you’re crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
with kids in tow, stop off at the Bay Area Discovery Museum—half
science museum, half world’s most intellectually stimulating playground. No little ones? Detour to Cavallo Point resort for dinner at
Murray Circle restaurant, a drink at charming Farley Bar, or just a
peek at the lodge’s views back toward the Golden Gate.

TIBURON
A quick ferry ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, Tiburon makes it easy to forget
that you’re in the ultra-cosmopolitan Bay Area—until you glance across the
bay to the beautiful San Francisco skyline.
HISTORY: Though you couldn’t guess it while window-shopping on today’s
Main Street or walking the path along Richardson Bay, Tiburon used to be
the terminus of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad and a center
of Northern California’s freight and fishing industry.

ST. HILARY CHURCH

DON’T MISS: Tiburon’s main draw boils down to three words:
location, location, location. To really understand the peninsula’s appeal, hike
up to Old St. Hilary Church: An architectural and historic landmark in its
own right, the rural Gothic former mission church abuts a wildflower preserve with picnic-ready
views of the bay. For an up-close look at the water, head down to the aptly named Shoreline
Park; rail fans will want to check out the Railroad and Ferry Depot Museum. Closer to downtown, the houseboats-turned-boutiques of Ark Row offer a shopping experience with a nautical
theme. If you’d rather skip right to the main event, grab a margarita and crowd onto the patio at
Sam’s Anchor Café, or step it up with a signature cocktail at the Caprice and watch the sun sink
through the Golden Gate.
164 | Cityguide 2015

On Friday nights
during summer and
fall, Main Street closes
to car traffic, and the whole
community shows up for
dinner, drinks, and live music.

LOCALS KNOW

©COURTESY BAY AREA DISCOVERY MUSEUM; ©COURTESY MARIN CVB

BAY AREA DISCOVERY MUSEUM

DINING
Belcampo Meat Co.
El Huarache Loco
Farmshop
Marin Brewing Company
Miette
Pressed Juicery
Rustic Bakery
Starbucks
Sushi Ko
Tha Siam
Three Twins Ice Cream
Togo's

SHOPS
Bed Bath & Beyond
Benjamin Eyewear
Calypso
Calypso Home
Diesel, A Bookstore
Erica Tanov
George
Hudson Grace
Hutchinson
Intermix
James Perse
Lark Shoes & Repair
Malia Mills
Poppy Store
Roberta Roller Rabbit
Space NK
Toy Crazy
Unionmade
US Post Office
& Trading Post
SERVICES
Barber Lane
Cooper Alley Salon
Larkspur Landing
Optometry
Maxwell the Cleaner
SoulCycle
Tutu School
Yogaworks

ACROSS FROM THE LARKSPUR FERRY TERMINAL • marincountrymart.com

MARIN COUNTY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

POINT REYES

ST. HILARY CHURCH

On this windswept peninsula jutting far out into the Pacific Ocean,
you’ll find bucolic beauty worthy of a coffee table book.
HISTORY: You’ve heard of wine country? Well, this is cheese
country. Though Point Reyes was written off as worthless by gold
rush–era 49ers, four San Francisco lawyers from Vermont saw
the dairy-farming potential of its open grassland and purchased
almost the entire peninsula for only $85,000 in the 1850s. They
went on to build 31 dairies.
DON’T MISS: Take the Bear Valley Trail
in Point Reyes National Seashore
and watch the landscape morph from
Use mileage to
fern-lined forest into the coastal
grassland of the bluffs, or climb the
locate the turn leading
steep steps at gusty Point Reyes
to the quiet beach town
Lighthouse to spot migrating gray
of Bolinas, south of Point
whales. After a day of outdoor
Reyes. Locals are in the habit
exploration, fill up on local fare in
of tearing down signs that
Point Reyes Station at Cowgirl
reveal its location.
Creamery, or get your seafood
on at Hog Island Oyster Company
or Nick’s Cove Restaurant along
LOCALS KNOW
Tomales Bay.

Bay Area Discovery
Museum
SAUSALITO

557 MCREYNOLDS RD.

Things can get messy at the Bay
Area Discovery Museum, which
features hands-on art, science, and
environment exhibitions for children
aged six months to eight years. The
Wave Workshop teaches little ones
how plants and animals adapt to
the environment under the Golden
Gate Bridge, and the art studios are
equipped with tools that encourage
children to express their artistic side.
415-339-3900, baykidsmuseum.org

FOOD & DRINK

Belcampo Meat Co.
LARKSPUR

12405 LARKSPUR LANDING CIR.

You can get your fancy dry-aged
beef here and eat it, too. A sustainable butcher shop meets a restaurant at this new landmark that has
celebrated locavorist Anya Fernald
at its helm. The menu is small
and focused on comfort: burgers,
French dip, beef tallow fries, chicory
salad, and the like. But in Marin,
where the dining choices are slim,
Belcampo is a welcome addition.
415-448-5810, belcampomeatco.
com $$

Copita
SAUSALITO

739 BRIDGEWAY

The waterfront is just across the
street from this tequila bar and
Mexican restaurant, opened by TV
chef Joanne Weir and restaurateur
Larry Mindel of Poggio. On a nice
day, the doors open up completely
166 | Cityguide 2015

to greet the sea air, a great accompaniment to the excellent, bracing
ceviches, including one made with
halibut and mango. Though the
open-fire rotisserie spinning with
chicken tempts, don’t pass over the
trio of tamalitos (tiny tamales) or
the Mexico City–style quesadillas,
deep-fried and filled with potatoes
and chorizo. For dessert, order one
Oaxacan chocolate milkshake each.
You won’t want to share. 415-3317400, copitarestaurant.com $$

Farmshop
LARKSPUR

2233 LARKSPUR LANDING CIR.

Marin Country Mart now has a
place to see and be seen, a local
spin-off of Los Angeles’ Farmshop.
Bejeweled in rope-slung Edison
bulbs, the dining room is wrapped in
a blown-up black-and-white image
of farmers in a field. Still, one-time
Thomas Keller protégé Jeff Cerciello steals the show in the open
kitchen. The menu is stacked with
fresh produce, fire-cooked meats,
and pizzas, but desserts (Valrhona
budino) and farm-fresh cocktails
(whiskey, kumquat, Chinese bitters)
are also worth the indulgence. No
wonder the joint has been jammed
since day one. 415-755-6700, farmshopca.com $$$$

Mill Valley Beerworks
MILL VALLEY

173 THROCKMORTON AVE.

This four-year-old pub recently
remodeled, expanded, and hired
a chef from L.A.’s chic Gjelina to
execute a new menu, raising its
game from microbrews and snacks
to market-driven dinners. Pig
cheek with eggplant relish is the

perfect starter, followed by plump,
roasted king oyster mushroom
stems bathed in fennel butter. The
roasted wild king salmon luxuriates
with peas and trumpet mushrooms.
Like the food, the beers are clean,
pristine, and creative—particularly
the Botanical No. 3. 415-888-8218,
millvalleybeerworks.com $$$

Sir and Star
OLEMA

10000 SIR FRANCIS DRAKE BLVD.

When the chefs say local, they
mean local. The menu boasts a
“neighbor’s quail,” a side of “Mr. Little’s mashed potatoes,” and a whole
Dungeness crab “plucked from the
surrounding seas.” It may be familiar
rustic California cuisine, but Gradé
and DeLong aren’t dredging up
clichés. That the nearest creamery
is closer to the restaurant than the
nearest olive oil mill may explain
why butter plays such a strong
supporting role. You taste it in the
richness of those mashed potatoes
and in the broth that backs a side of
shelling beans. For dessert, limited
options may include soft-serve
vanilla ice cream with ever-changing
toppings or a semifreddo of Meyer
lemons. 415-663-1034, sirandstar.
com $$$

SHOPPING

// BOUTIQUES AND GALLERIES

Imari Gallery
SAUSALITO

40 FILBERT AVE.

This store’s antique Japanese
screens have a stark and elegant
beauty that rivals even the unforgettable view from the Sausalito
hills. The pieces are often secured

from private collections, so the
chance to buy may well come only
once in a lifetime. 415-332-0245,
imarigallery.com

Sue Averell Gallery
SAUSALITO

480 GATE FIVE RD.

To see San Francisco through an
artist’s eyes, head to urban landscape painter Sue Averell’s personal
gallery and workshop, filled with
her vivid, brilliant, and, above all,
colorful interpretations of the views
just above the streets. For a little
virtual vacation while staying local,
check out her New York, Chicago,
and rural landscapes as well. Note:
The gallery is open from April
through December. 415-706-5051,
sueaverell.com

Shoe Stories of Sausalito
SAUSALITO

22 EL PORTAL

Shoe Stories was the only shoe
store in Sausalito when it opened,
but its owner, Wayne Kaleck,
didn’t use that as an excuse to
cut corners: The vibe is Alice in
Wonderland goes Vogue, and the
store even offers concierge service
to customers who call ahead,
complete with champagne and
a private driver. If you’re nearby,
Kaleck boasts, he’ll personally walk
you over to the store—which, by
the way, also carries shoes. 415-3321662, sstoriess.com
// MALLS

Marin Country Mart
LARKSPUR

2257 LARKSPUR LANDING CIR.

An easy walk from the Larkspur
Ferry, this inviting destination’s

©COURTESY MARIN CVB

CULTURE

LIVE LIFE WELL
J . J I L L

T H E

N O R T H

FA C E

K A T E

S PA D E

AV E DA

R E S T O R A T I O N

H A R D WA R E

MACY’S, NORDSTROM, & MORE THAN 50 SPECIALTY STORES & RESTAURANTS
Located off Highway 101 at Paradise Drive in Corte Madera | 415.924.8557
VillageatCorteMadera.com

MARIN COUNTY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

boutique stores, including INTERMIX, Malia Mills, Unionmade, Space
NK, James Perse, Erica Tanov,
Calypso St. Barth, and Hudson
Grace. Among them are artisanal
eateries Belcampo, Farmshop,
Rustic Bakery, Miette, El Huarache
Loco, and Pressed Juicery to add
to the rustic-chic atmosphere.
Weekends turn festive-casual with
a farmers’ market, food truck rally,
and family-friendly events. 415-4615700, marincountrymart.com

Town Center at
Corte Madera

Northgate Mall

The Village at
Corte Madera

SAN RAFAEL

Several big names, including Macy’s,
Forever21, H&M, and Victoria’s
Secret, anchor this indoor mall. A
recent refresh has given it a modern
look, but the real standout is the giant Century Northgate 15 cineplex,
boasting enough screens to show
pretty much every movie out there.
415-479-5955, shopatnorthgate.com

TOWN CENTER AT CORTE MADERA

168 | Cityguide 2015

This upscale shopping center—modeled after an Italian hill
town—offers open-air shopping at
local and national shops, beautiful architecture, and alfresco café
seating that’s perfect for lunching,
people-watching, and enjoying the
sunshine. 415-924-2961, shoptowncenter.com

CORTE MADERA

1618 REDWOOD HWY.

You’ll see plenty of Apple, J.Crew,
and Lululemon here, both in the
stores and on the shoppers. Stroll
along the outdoor promenade and
pop in to Restoration Hardware to
update your retro look, or check
Williams-Sonoma for the calendar

// SPAS

Spa at Casa Madrona
SAUSALITO

801 BRIDGEWAY

Nestled in the hills of breathtaking
Sausalito, this spa was renovated
in 2011. Its rejuvenating treatments
utilize products sourced from the
surrounding region. 415-332-0502,
casamadrona.com

ADVENTURE

// SPECIALITY TOURS

Seaplane Adventures
MILL VALLEY

242 REDWOOD HWY. FRONTAGE RD.

This family-operated seaplane company offers a variety of tours that
soar over some of the Bay Area’s
most famous landmarks, including

the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz,
and the Marin Headlands. 415-3324843, seaplane.com
// PADDLING

Blue Waters Kayaking
POINT REYES STATION

60 4TH ST., STE. C

Located just an hour away from
San Francisco, Blue Waters is the
only full-service kayaking outfitter
in Point Reyes. The kayaking tours
explore the tranquil waters of Tomales Bay, while your knowledgeable guides provide an overview
of the bay’s unique ecosystem.
415-669-2600, bwkayak.com

Sea Trek Ocean
Kayaking Center
SAUSALITO

2100 MARINSHIP WAY

With tours, rentals, and classes
near Sausalito, Angel Island, and the
Golden Gate Bridge, Sea Trek offers

©COURTESY MARIN CVB

5800 NORTHGATE DR.

CORTE MADERA

100 CORTE MADERA TOWN CENTER

of guest-chef cooking demos. 415924-8557, villageatcortemadera.com

Marin Headlands
SAUSALITO

948 FORT BARRY CHAPEL

This part of the Golden Gate
National Recreation Area includes
historic Forts Barry and Cronkhite,
the Point Bonita lighthouse, lots of
hiking trails, and plenty of stunning
views of the bay. 415-331-1540, nps.
gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm

Mount Tamalpais
State Park
MARIN COUNTY

Just north of San Francisco’s
Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais offers 6,300 acres of parkland
featuring more than 50 miles of
trails and spectacular views from
the 2,571-foot peak. 415-388-2070,
parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

Muir Woods National
Monument
MILL VALLEY

Declared a national monument by
President Teddy Roosevelt and
named after John Muir, Muir Woods
is a 150-million-year-old redwood
forest with ancient trees that are
over 3,000 years old. Only 12 miles
north of the Golden Gate Bridge,
it offers almost six miles of hiking
trails in one of the few old-growth
forests in California. 415-388-2596,
nps.gov/muwo

MARIN COUNTY

// PARKS AND TRAILS

Stinson Beach

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

small kayaking excursions for all
experience levels and specializes in
family-friendly adventures. 415-3328494, seatrek.com

STINSON BEACH

HIGHWAY 1

This popular 3.5-mile beach is a
mecca for surfers, hang-gliders, and
beachcombers. The nearby 51-acre
park offers more than 100 picnic
areas. stinsonbeachonline.com
// GOLF

Indian Valley Golf Club
NOVATO

3035 NOVATO BLVD.

Nestled in woodlands and wetlands,
this hilly 18-hole course makes for a
challenging round. There’s even an
elevator built up the steep hillside
to transport fatigued players from
the 13th tee to the 14th tee. 415897-1118; indianvalleygolfclub.com

San Geronimo Golf Course
SAN GERONIMO

5800 SIR FRANCES DRAKE BLVD.

The longest golf course in Marin
County, San Geronimo has a bucolic
setting that offers panoramic views
of giant redwoods, mountains, and
creeks. 415-488-4030; golfsange
ronimo.com

Bay Club StoneTree
NOVATO

9 STONE TREE LN.

Situated between oak forests and
wetlands near the tiny Marin town
of Novato, StoneTree’s 18 holes
and sand-crowned fairways provide
great turf conditions no matter
what the time of year. 415-2096090; stonetreegolf.com

Point Reyes National
Seashore
POINT REYES STATION

1 BEAR VALLEY RD.

Established to preserve and protect
wilderness, natural ecosystems,
and cultural resources along the
coast, spectacular Point Reyes is
home to more than 1,500 species
of plants and animals. Besides hiking and camping, activities include
bird watching, sea kayaking, and
spotting the northern elephant
seals that appear during the winter
months. 415-464-5100, nps.gov/
pore
// BEACHES

Drakes Beach
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE

1 DRAKES BEACH RD.

Sheltered by dramatic white sandstone cliffs that formed 10 to 13 million years ago, this wide stretch of
beach fronts the Kenneth C. Patrick
Visitor Center, with its exhibits on
maritime exploration and marine
fossils. Note: The visitor center will
be closed in April and May, 2015.
nps.gov

ctguide.com | 169

©COURTESY VISITOAKLAND.COM

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

EAST BAY

UNICYCLIST

EAST BAY
OAKLAND

©GREG LINHARE

The rising center of Bay Area creative culture, Oakland has undergone an artistic renaissance in recent years, sparked by creative types
who’ve crossed the Bay Bridge in search of less expensive, more spacious living.
HISTORY: Named for the oak forest that grew here in the mid-1800s, Oakland was born when three ambitious San Francisco developers hired 200 workers to build a town on the opposite side of the bay. (Oakland’s original name, Contra Costa, means “far shore.”) By
the 1870s, the body of water now known as Lake
Merritt was a noxious, sewage-clogged tidal lagoon.
So bad was the condition of the estuary that in 1870,
THE NEW PARKWAY THEATER
Mayor Samuel Merritt dammed it off from the ocean
and raised the water level. These days, Lake Merritt is
considered Oakland’s crown jewel.
The city went through growth spurts with the coming
of the railroads, but the biggest boost to its regional
prominence came in 1906, when earthquake refugees
from San Francisco doubled its population. The 20th
century saw Oakland’s development into a manufacturing and shipping hub, and when the Bay Bridge
opened in 1936, the Bay Area’s two most prominent
cities became literally linked for life.
DON’T MISS: You can see a wealth of attractions in
a variety of neighborhoods for free by hopping on
the “Free B” Broadway Shuttle. A walk around
Lake Merritt is a must, while DIY devotees
should head to the trendy shopping of TemesThe first Friday
cal Alley. Uptown, with oddball bars like Café
of every month, Art
Van Kleef (order the greyhound) and the
Murmur, a coalition of art
boozy, casual movie theater New Parkway,
venues from the Uptown and
offers the best in nightlife. The Oakland
Temescal neighborhoods, hosts
Museum of California has plenty of exhibits
a popular street party.
that you can actually get your hands on, but
for a real lesson in local history, hit up Lois
the Pie Queen, which serves the best sweet
potato pie this side of the Mississippi.

LOCALS KNOW

170 | Cityguide 2015

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

HISTORY: The word “temescal” comes from the Nahautl word for sweat lodges, which used to sit on the shores of Temescal Creek. Temescal was once its own independent town, a “pleasant northern suburb” occupied by Italian immigrants, cigar factories, and canneries (a
building on Claremont Avenue was once the largest cannery in the world). Temescal
merged with Oakland in the late 1890s.
DON’T MISS: Red Sea offers up the cuisine of Temescal’s significant Ethiopian
population. Perennial local favorite Lanesplitters Pizza on Telegraph Avenue, open
until midnight, is the spot to get one last bite of the city before turning in, and a fried
chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty is practically a civic obligation. Temescal overlaps a bit with Koreatown, providing access to Asian flavors at spots like Pyung Chang
Tofu House (it’s worth a try even if you turn your nose up at the thought of tofu).
The hub of chic shopping and old school charm is Temescal Alley, off Telegraph
Avenue at 49th Street. Find standout jewelry at Esqueleto and Marisa Haskell, hip
housewares at Walrus and tousled men awaiting a trim at Temescal Alley Barber
Shop ($25 for cuts; $20 if you’re a child or an emergency worker).
The Temescal Arts Center features experimental films on second
Sundays and Chicago-style improv from the Magic Jester
Theatre on second Saturdays. Local libraries aren’t
usually a big draw for sightseers, but the Temescal
Berkeley-based
Branch Library, with its starkly beautiful Tudor revival
novelist Michael Chaexterior, is the exception: Its basement is home to the
bon, author of Telegraph
neighborhood’s singular Tool Lending Library, which
Avenue, The Wonder Boys,
lends tools instead of books.

and other bestsellers, is a
morning fixture at Pizzaolo
restaurant.
TARA’S ORGANIC ICE CREAM

LOCALS KNOW

UPTOWN

THE FOX THEATER

Downtown Oakland’s northernmost frontier and the centerpiece
of its arts and entertainment scene, Uptown is one of the town’s
brightest flashing lights—and its most notable comeback story.

©COURTESY VISITOAKLAND.COM/STEPHEN WOO

HISTORY: In Oakland’s early days, the waterfront was the heart
of the city. With the coming of the railroads, the emphasis shifted
north, and the rejuvenation of Lake Merritt (the northwestern
corner of which abuts Uptown) gave Oaklanders a sparkling centerpiece for their rapidly growing city. Uptown in the 20th century
was Oakland’s central shopping district, but eventually closures of
its larger stores sent it into decline. Repeated
attempts to jolt it back to life were met with tepid success until
just a few years ago, when the neighborhood began morphing
into Oakland’s arts and entertainment district.
DON’T MISS: Uptown showcases some of Oakland’s most spectacular art deco and neo-Gothic architecture, including the soaring grandeur of the Cathedral Building, the alluring jade
exterior of the old I Magnin Company, and the eye-popping gilded
polychrome of the Floral Depot Building. Most breathtaking of all
is the refurbished Fox Theater, a ’20s-era movie palace turned
concert hall whose ornate interior comes close
to overshadowing any act that plays there.
Uptown is also Oakland’s go-to for art lovers and the primary beat for Art Murmur, held the first
Friday of every month: Galleries stay open late, bars roll back their prices, and the rows of modern
gallery spaces, like Johansson Projects, Front, SoleSpace (a combination shoe store and art gallery), and SideQuest, host a roving party for the whole town. Catch live music at the Sound Room
and Era, and don’t miss the Starline Social Club, housed in a converted ballroom dating to 1893. A
sign out front still reads “Star Line Janitorial Supply,” but rest assured—it’s currently a music venue.
Café Van Kleef, the Telegraph Avenue bar that earned Peter Van Kleef his nickname, the Godfather of
Uptown, is often credited with kicking off Uptown’s rebirth. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café provides late-night
comfort food, while Spice Monkey marries cuisines from all over the world into the most town’s most
irresistible melting pot (try the Asian tacos).

Rudy’s Can’t Fail
Café, named after
a Clash song, is co-owned
by Green Day bassist and
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer
Mike Dirnt. Now and then
you can catch him there
having a bite.

LOCALS KNOW

ctguide.com | 171

EAST BAY

Oakland’s hippest neighborhood, this roughly square burg south of Temescal Avenue typifies the changing face of the town—the local
press goes gaga over the artisanal neighborhood vibe created by the influx of artists and hipsters.

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

TEMESCAL

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

KONO
Kono stands for Koreatown Northgate, but this stretch from 20th Street to 35th Street is home to an eclectic mix of people and
businesses as well as Oakland’s prominent Korean-American population.
HISTORY: Originally known simply as Northgate or, sometimes, Waverly, this neighborhood between Uptown and Temescal grew up
in the 1930s. Hundreds of its Victorian and art deco buildings still stand today: Many of those along Broadway Auto Row were originally
used for auto dealing, manufacturing, and storage. Like Uptown, Northgate fell on hard times for much of the 20th century and had a
less than flattering reputation until a revitalization campaign remade the area into what it is today. Although known as Koreatown, the
neighborhood is also home to many Ethiopian, Afghan, and African-American residents (wisely, the city ditched its “Oakland’s Got Seoul”
banners a few years back).
DON’T MISS: Getting in on the Art Murmur action, Kono boasts a huge number of galleries, including the mobile public art gallery
ArtisMobilUs (keep an eye out for it—it’s 36 feet long, its side
panels covered with brightly colored paintings), the hipster artist collective Rock Paper Scissors, and the ultra-modern installation projects at Vessel. If your concept of true beauty tends to
involve automobiles, stop by Classic Cars West—a vintage car
boutique showcasing restored, fully functioning vintage autos
from all periods—and pick your pleasure: The antique
beauties include a 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II,
a 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC, or a 1930
Ford Model A.

ART MURMUR

In an ingenious
move to beautify Kono,
local merchants and artists
teamed up to turn the drab
gray PG&E utility boxes into
colorful Art Boxes. Scan the
QR code on each to learn
more about the artist who
painted it.

LOCALS KNOW

ROCKRIDGE

The Stork Club, one of Oakland’s oldest and proudest dive bars, doubles as
a music venue and comedy club, while
the Good Hop offers 450-plus types of
bottled beer (351 more than required
to finish that interminable song). The
oft-noted Telegraph Avenue beauty
shop phenomenon is clearly evident
here as well: A single three-block span
of the street harbors four hair salons
and four nail salons.

MUSSELS

This has been Oakland’s most in-demand neighborhood for more than 100
years—in fact, it’s been a city destination for almost as long as there’s been an
Oakland.
HISTORY: When Oakland incorporated in 1852, it had only 75 residents, some
of whom didn’t even realize that they were living in Oakland. That changed
after the Livermore family (lumber magnates who built California’s first dam)
bought 600 acres that they dubbed Rock Ridge Properties (its prominent
stony outcroppings have since been dynamited into oblivion). When the
Livermores began parceling out their land in the 1900s, Rockridge became
one of Oakland’s earliest real estate booms, even then marketing itself as a
“high-class-residence district”: One overheated 1905 sales flyer described it
as a place “where poppies bloom in November, where meadow larks and quail
announce the coming of day, and the air has that woodsy odor.”
DON’T MISS: At the Rockridge Market Hall, it seems as if a benevolent deity
has gathered every great grocery experience available in this country into
one spot, just for your benefit: It’s crammed with a sumptuous medley of
pastas, cheeses, wines, fresh fish, cold cuts, roasted coffee, warm bread, and
organic produce. If your sweet tooth needs a little more, walk the few blocks
to Dreyer’s sole retail ice cream café, the Grand Ice Cream Parlor. For taste
sensations that you can’t get anywhere else, head to famous Wood Tavern
and try the crispy pork bellies, or hit Box and Bells for fried chicken with raw
oyster mayo (yes, you read that right).
Find some real local color just outside the Rockridge BART station at the
Firestorm Mural Project, a memorial of the great East Bay Hills Fire of 1991
featuring 2,000 beautiful hand-painted tiles. And you don’t want to pass up
nearby Mountain View Cemetery, as odd as that might sound: Offering spectacular views of the
entire city, it’s home to
Millionaire’s Row, the final resting place of some of the Bay Area’s richest industrialists—among
them railroad magnate Charles Crocker, Folger family coffee barons, and Domingo Ghirardelli of
chocolate fame—all housed forever in the most lavish monuments that money could buy.
172 | Cityguide 2015

Rockridge’s residential areas are famous
for huge, friendly block
parties on nights and weekends—major streets even have
block captains who schedule
and organize the festivities.
Ask around.

LOCALS KNOW

© ART MURMUR/LAUREN BRISKEN; MUSSELS ©NATALIE COMPTON

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

is

WET&WILD

From the bay to the redwoods, the uptown to downtown,
discover the side of
you don’t know at visitoakland.org.
#whatSUP

#whoknew

#oaklandloveit

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

Berkeley always seems to find a way to put itself ahead of the pack. The seat of the
University of California, the birthplace of the Free Speech movement, and a hot spot
of culinary creativity, Berkeley is also surrounded by terrific hiking trails and urban
parks. Prepare to be inspired.
HISTORY: Berkeley’s reputation as a hotbed of protest was earned early on during
the 1964 Free Speech movement, when thousands of students and sympathizers
(including Joan Baez) rallied at the steps of Sproul Hall to protest restrictions on political speech and organization. In the end, 800 students were arrested—and
the university changed its policy.

Over the years,
the Berkeley Repertory
Theatre has produced 26
Broadway-bound productions,
making it a perfect place to
see the next big thing.
BERKELEY REPERTORY
THEATRE

CULTURE
// MUSEUMS

Oakland Museum
of California
OAKLAND

1000 OAK ST.

The Oakland Museum of California,
the only museum dedicated to California history and culture, displays
more than 1.8 million artifacts in
its mid-century-modern building.
The Natural Sciences Gallery, which
opened in 2013, presents nature not
in the abstract, but as something
that’s with us every day, from
stuffed local roadkill to mountain
lions in the Oakland Hills. 510-3188400, museumca.org

USS Hornet Museum
ALAMEDA

707 W. HORNET AVE., PIER 3

This registered historical landmark
of a museum is made up of the
aircraft carrier USS Hornet and exhibits from the NASA Apollo moon
exploration missions, as well as
several retired aircraft from World
War II. Take advantage of the
self-guided tour through the flight

LOCALS KNOW

deck, hangar deck, and second deck
of the Hornet or sign up for
a guided tour of its engine room.
510-521-8448, uss-hornet.org
// PERFORMING ARTS

Berkeley Repertory
Theatre
BERKELEY

2025 ADDISON ST.

This growing Tony Award–winning
theater has helped send seven
shows to Broadway in seven years.
Now the ambitious company has
expanded its theater space across
the East Bay and launched a series
of new projects, such as playwriting
labs. 510-647-2949, berkeleyrep.org

Cal Performances
UC BERKELEY

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Comprising five venues and
every known performing art, UC
Berkeley’s main performance
organization knows no boundaries.
One week it’ll be classic theater,
the next an opera, and the next a
performance by a philharmonic
orchestra. John Malkovich, Peter

DON’T MISS: Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, a stretch of Shattuck
Avenue, should be your first stop. Alice Waters, of the legendary Chez Panisse on Shattuck, was among the first to advocate
local sourcing and sustainability, while the worker-owners at the
Cheese Board Pizza Collective are heralded for their inventive
pies. Shoppers in search of the high end seek out Fourth Street;
those looking for a little grit hit Telegraph Avenue. UC Berkeley’s
famous Greek Theatre boasts big acts in one of the most beautiful amphitheaters around, but if you’re looking for a true outdoor
experience, make your way to Tilden Park. From its highest peak,
you’ll see just about everything described in this magazine.

Sellars, Phillip Glass, and Cecilia
Bartoli have all graced the stage. Be
it ballet, jazz, or modern dance, Cal
Performances startle and illuminate.
510.642.9988, calperfs.berkeley.edu

California Shakespeare
Theater
ORINDA

BRUNS AMPHITHEATER
100 CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE
THEATER WAY

Known as Cal Shakes, this awardwinning theater is primarily devoted
to Shakespearean plays and producing newer works inspired by the
classics. The amphitheater itself
(easily accessible via BART and
a designated theater shuttle) is
nestled in the groves of Orinda with
a backdrop of storybook rolling hills.
Bring a preshow picnic, a blanket
(it can get chilly), and a bottle of
wine, and settle in for a showing of
Twelfth Night or Life Is a Dream.
510-548-9666, calshakes.org

Shotgun Players
BERKELEY

1901 ASHBY AVE.

The Shotgun Players are a group of
bold artists who create affordable,
crowd-engaging theater for their
community. Now that they call the
completely solar-powered Ashby
Stage their permanent home, you
can see their innovative, original
productions in a green environment.
510-841-6500, shotgunplayers.org

FOOD
À Côté
OAKLAND

5478 COLLEGE AVE.

OAKLAND MUSEUM

174 | Cityguide 2015

A decade ago, small plates were
heralded as a hot trend and À Côté
as one of their most adept adopters. These days, small plates are

ubiquitous, but this spot maintains
a welcome consistency in both
cooking and service. Plenty of
diners never vary their order from
the tower of crisp, salty pommes
frites and soupy bowl of Pernodspiked mussels, but the menu
includes many other fine choices,
including pillowy rabbit rillettes.
The bar is known for its exceptional
seasonal cocktails, like Il Calderone,
made with San Marzano liqueur, El
Dorado rum, and steamed milk. 510655-6469, acoterestaurant.com $$

A16 Rockridge
OAKLAND

5356 COLLEGE AVE.

The menu at Oakland’s toughest
seat centers on pizza and pasta,
but there are also salt cod fritters,
roasted fennel dusted with bottarga, and a short list of seasonal,
Cal-Med entrées (king salmon with
radish agrodolce) to match with a
nifty selection of old-world wines.
The space, with its marble bar and
dark wood accents, is understated
but upscale, energized by a lively
open kitchen. Like the other A16s, it
seems like a slam dunk. 510-7688003, a16rockridge.com $$$

Bartavelle Coffee
& Wine Bar
BERKELEY

1603 SAN PABLO AVE.

At this coffee and wine bar, worshippers of all things seasonal get
lovingly made tapenades, toasts,
and rustic sandwiches, as well as
artful platters (think smoked trout,
pickles, and hard-cooked egg) and
Acme bread that’s baked right next
door. The aim is to be a Europeanstyle hangout, and Bartavelle pulls
it off without airs. 510-524-2473,
bartavellecafe.com $$

© COURTESY BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE; ©COURTESY VISTOAKLAND.COM

BERKELEY

Get Outdoors…
BEST EAST BAY HIKES
Dog-friendly: Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
To a labyrinth: Sibley Volcanic Park, Berkeley
For the urban hiker: Lake Merritt, Oakland
Kid-friendly: Wildcat Gorge, Berkeley
The quick escape: Joaquin Miller, Oakland

THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY SAN FRANCISCO

isn’t necessarily in San Francisco
…Rehydrate with an
“Adult Beverage”
BEST REFRESHMENT
Inflatable Raft @ Revival Bar & Kitchen,
Downtown Berkeley
Vesper @ Fauna, Uptown – Oakland
Jameson & a PBR @ Bar Dogwood,
Uptown – Oakland
Shrunken Skull @ Longitude,
Uptown – Oakland
Northern Exposure @ Gather,
Downtown Berkeley

…And Eat Really Well
(you’ve earned it!)
BEST AL FRESCO DINING
Mexican: Comal, Downtown Berkeley
Beer garden: Portal, East Lake – Oakland
Californian: TOAST, Rockridge – Oakland
Raw bar: Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House,
Jack London Square – Oakland
Sunday lunch only: Thai Temple,
Lorin District – Berkeley

© 200155 RE
RED OAK
A K REA
R A LT
RE
LTY
TTYY; P H OTO: S COTT
T T H A RGI
GS

WELCOME TO THE EAST BAY

www.redoakrealty.com
SERIOUSLY LOCAL SINCE 1976

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

MISS OLLIE’S

OAKLAND

3838 TELEGRAPH AVE.

Montreal bagels—wood-fired and
dense—are the specialty at this unassuming little spot on a stretch of
Lower Temescal. Have one warm,
slathered with butter, egg salad,
lox, or one of three different brands
of artisanal-ish cream cheese. The
housemade pickles (cucumbers,
green tomatoes) are just sour
enough; ditto for the homemade
lemonade. Flying Goat coffee is the
brew, and there’s lots of room for
spreading out with the Times on
a lazy Sunday afternoon. 510-7886098, beautysbagelshop.com $

Boot and Shoe Service
OAKLAND

3308 GRAND AVE.

For a restaurant that occupies a
former shoe-repair shop, this Pizzaiolo offshoot has never really been
about shine and polish. The aim
is urban-chic rusticity. Avocadosmeared toast, set amid corianderseasoned heirloom tomatoes, is as
good as you could ask of the garden,
while cannellini beans with roasted
Padrón peppers, halved cherry
tomatoes, and a shower of bottarga
show that the kitchen is capable of
much more than arranging produce.
Missteps remain rare at this spirited
restaurant where the service never
stumbles and the festive energy is
highly infectious. 510-763-2668,
bootandshoeservice.com $$$
176 | Cityguide 2015

Box and Bells
OAKLAND

5912 COLLEGE AVE.

Like Benjamin Button, one block
in Rockridge just keeps getting
younger, as evidenced by the latest
lively project from James Syhabout
of Michelin-starred Commis.
Though the underlying theme is
robust tavern fare—a burger, boudin
blanc, rustic pork rillettes—the
kitchen turns out many works of
whimsy, flanking its fried chicken
with raw oyster mayo or its rib eye
with a fricassee of snails. There’s
a patio in back, but the best spot
is the bar, where the crowd lingers
well past happy hour. It’s not exactly
the Mission, but it’s not bad for
a neighborhood that used to go
to bed at 8 p.m. 510-923-2000,
boxandbells.com $$$

Camino
OAKLAND

3917 GRAND AVE.

Camino remains a polar-izing
restaurant, viewed as either a
triumphant showcase of seasonal
simplicity or a frustrating exercise in
restraint. But Russell Moore’s exploration of open-fire cooking leads to
its share of conversation stoppers,
such as a grilled leg of lamb and
smoked lamb shoulder perfumed
with rosemary, then plated with
shell beans and fiery rapini. The
cocktails are crisp and consistent, as
are the desserts, including a nearly
bare peach-and-raspberry tart that

blushes beneath vanilla ice cream.
510-547-5035, caminorestaurant.
com $$$

Chez Panisse Café
BERKELEY

1517 SHATTUCK AVE.

Once the leader of a revolution, At
the upstairs café of legendary Chez
Panisse, the cooking brims with
innovative life. Cauliflower salad
includes a hard-boiled tea egg, its
white stained and seasoned with
Yunnan tea. Clams’ shells smile
wide in a briny black-bean sauce.
Understatement remains the ethos,
but there’s nothing timid about
the grilled chicken in a nest of hotand-sour cabbage. For dessert, tiny
Kishu tangerines and Barhi dates—
they’re ambrosia, intense spheres of
flavor. 510-548-5049, chezpanisse.
com $$$

Chop Bar
OAKLAND

247 4TH ST.

The name is borrowed from a West
African term for a spot that serves
as a gathering place, and that’s
what Chop Bar does for residents
of Oakland’s warehouse district,
who show up here morning, noon,
and night. Breakfast and lunch are
simple affairs of eggs and sandwiches. The burger—ground chuck
graced with bacon and your choice
of cheese, on a toasted Acme bun—
has a reputation as one of the city’s
best. Dinner brings a list of simple,

mostly well-executed fare, like a
charcuterie plate of pâté and sweet
and smoky slices of country ham.
510-834-2467, oaklandchopbar.
com $$

Comal
BERKELEY

2020 SHATTUCK AVE.

With floor-to-ceiling slats of wood,
this sweeping, modern Mexican
restaurant couldn’t be more au
courant. Salmon ceviche is sprinkled
with sesame seeds; bok choy makes
a debut. But more representative of
the menu are the family-style dishes
cooked on the wood grill, including whole fish served simply with
delicious black beans, grilled green
onions, and housemade tortillas.
The tincture-driven cocktails are a
bit intellectualized but well suited
to sipping on the huge back patio,
complete with a fire pit. 510-9266300, comalberkeley.com $$ D W

Commis
OAKLAND

3859 PIEDMONT AVE.

In assessing Oakland’s rise as a serious food city, it’s hard to overstate
the impact of Commis, the town’s
first and only Michelin-starred
restaurant. James Syhabout has
freed high-end East Bay dining from
the strictures of the same old rustic
Cal cuisine. On his seasonally driven
seven-course prix fixe menu, almost
every week brings fresh inventions,
like cured mackerel with shaved dai-

©ERIC WOLFINGER

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BEYOND THE BRIDGES

shop local

rockridge
1 BART station
46 restaurants
13 coffee shops
3 bakeries
32 boutiques
36 beauty salons
21 home décor &
furniture shops
5 sweet parlors
2 independent
bookstores
13 art & gift shops
3 flower shops
1 local hardware store
and so much more!

DINE

SHOP

EVENTS

kon in tuna-confit broth and lamb
saddle swaddled in lamb belly, then
set, along with chanterelles and
sunchokes, on a smear of pistachiothickened sauce. Only a rare few
leave you this fulfilled. 510-6533902, commisrestaurant.com $$$$

The Cook and Her
Farmer
OAKLAND

$

709 WASHINGTON ST.

DEALS
BUZZ

ANNUAL OUT &
ABOUT STREET FAIR
IN OCTOBER 2015

Check out current
deals, events and special
announcements at:
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STROLL

The cook is Romney Steele, whose
family owns Nepenthe in Big Sur.
Her farmer is Steven Day, a former
Oakland schoolteacher who spent a
year harvesting oysters in Tomales
Bay. And their project, in Swan’s
Market, is an all-day counter-service
operation that shifts from morning
scones to midday and evening
comforts such as po’ boys and beersteamed mussels. There are few
surprises, only simple satisfactions,
in a lively urban setting emblematic
of the city’s resurgent downtown.
510-285-6140, thecookandher
farmer.com $$

Cosecha
OAKLAND

907 WASHINGTON ST.

At this counter-service spot, Chez
Panisse–trained Dominica RiceCisneros gives a Gourmet Ghetto
178 | Cityguide 2015

upgrade to humble fare like fish tacos. Rice-Cisneros’s take on them—
delicate fried cod, with jicama slaw,
chipotle crema, and a fiery slice of
jalapeño on top—comes close to
transcendent. Ditto her smoldering
black bean soup, with crisp plantains and latent chili heat, and pork
tortas on thick toasted bread with
guajillo chili sauce: They’re the rare
sandwich worth a cross-bridge trip.
The location, in open-door Swan’s
Market, means you’re apt to need a
sweater. 510-452-5900, cosecha
cafe.com $

Desco
OAKLAND

499 9TH ST.

Donato Scotti has taken over the
space vacated by the short-lived
Borgo Italia. The kitchen’s thrust
remains Italian, but where Borgo
was old-world, the new menu adds
modern Cal-Med twists. You can
get your carbonara, but also pea
fritters and robiola ravioli. The
sweet corner location has been left
largely intact, but the Enrico Caruso
decor is gone. No more checked
tablecloths—instead, you find a
present-day sensibility at an address
with a troubled recent past. 510663-9000, descooakland.com $$

OAKLAND

468 19TH ST.

When you step into Duende, you
come upon a multipurpose space:
home to a bodega with a wine bar, a
cocktail bar–cum–lounge, and a dining room composed of deep, dark
wood booths fringed with detailed
ironwork. No matter what you order
from chef Paul Canales’s menu, you
can taste Iberia—in, for example,
the sobrasada, a mild, spreadable
chorizo plated with little toasts.
However you progress, order the
paella. Canales studs his version,
which serves two or four people,
with clams, rabbit, chickpeas, and
cipollini onions—a mix of earth and
sea that blends beautifully with
the scent of saffron and the bite
of lemon that you squeeze on top.
510-893-0174, duendeoakland.
com $$$

BERKELEY

3211 COLLEGE AVE.

The lighting is so dim, you can
barely see the platters, but your palate tells you everything you need to
know. That tingling on your tongue
is the vibrant ginger kick of channa
masala, or slow-cooked chickpeas.
That soothing creaminess rises
from the vegetable korma, a medley
of beans and carrots bathed in a
cashew-thickened sauce. Service is
sweet, relaxed, familiar. Never mind
that you need a miner’s helmet to
read the menu. Point your finger
and hope that it lands on the sarson
ka saag, with fiery mustard greens
filling in for sautéed spinach. 510658-3461, flavors-india.com $

Great China
BERKELEY

2190 BANCROFT WAY

New digs, same great duck for this
respected outfit, which reopened
two years after it was scorched
by fire. These days, a bar eases
the wait, and the notoriously curt
service seems kinder. The kitchen
still serves crowd-pleasers such as

kung pao chicken and “ant climbed
the tree”—and then there’s the
Peking duck. The piled-high platter
of moist meat and crisp, malty skin
remains the reason that this place
has die-hard regulars. 510-8437996, greatchinaberkeley.com $$

Hawker Fare
OAKLAND

2300 WEBSTER ST.

James Syhabout may hail from
hardscrabble Oakland, but there’s
no hiding his polish. He’s the man
behind the elegant Commis, the
city’s only restaurant to have earned
a Michelin star, and he followed
it up with this feisty Asian street
food joint. Rice congee turns up
here, with ginger, garlic, chicken
cracklings, and 1,000-year-old
eggs. Tom khem–style pork is built
around pork belly, with pickled
mustard greens to cut the meat’s
fatty heft, and shavings of fennel
accentuate the five spice’s star
anise notes. Rarely do you find such
careful touches in food you shovel
quickly from a bowl. 510-832-8896,
hawkerfare.com $

Easy Creole
BERKELEY

1761 ALCATRAZ AVE.

DUENDE

The Dock at Linden Street
OAKLAND

95 LINDEN ST.

At this warehouse-chic build-out
next to the Linden Street Brewery,
the small-batch beer flows freely
and Commis chef James Syhabout
lets his imagination loose. The
result is global bar food, ranging
from oyster po’ boys to yakitoristyle grilled corn to a falafel “waffle”
with merguez sausage and a cooling
splash of lebni, or strained yogurt.
Much of the grub is fried, a fair bit
of it is spicy, and all of it begs for
sudsy lubrication. Think of it as
happy hour from many time zones,
all under one roof. 510-338-3965,
thedockoakland.com $$

Dopo
©DUENDE/ALANNA HALE; ©PLUM BAR

OAKLAND

4293 PIEDMONT AVE.

The size of the dining room has
doubled since Jon Smulewitz first
opened this Italian-inspired spot,
but tables have become only slightly
eas-ier to secure. Blame it on the
kitchen, which strives for simplicity
and achieves it beautifully in almost
every dish, including a crudo of
halibut brightened with lemon and
mint. The salumi transcend the
trend with supple mortadella and

Duboce Triangle pop-up Easy
Creole is now a quirky 22-seat,
counter-service, Louisiana–inspired
restaurant with a no-fry policy and
plentiful vegetarian options. Yes,
the cooks know their audience,
but self-respecting meat eaters
line up for the likes of spicy gumbo
loaded with shrimp, chicken, and
sausage. With its cheap prices and
portrait-filled decor, the joint fulfills
its name’s promise: a painless place
for dinner any night of the week.
510-858-5063, easycreole.com $

Elmwood Café
BERKELEY

2900 COLLEGE AVE.

The red vinyl stools are still in
service at what used to be Ozzie’s
soda fountain, but the syrups in the
sodas are now housemade, as is the
mayo on the BLTs. In this winning
reinvention of a cherished local
landmark, the menu moves from
airy breakfast items such as buttermilk waffles to lunch selections
aimed at a Gourmet Ghetto crowd:
seasonal soups (curried coconut
minestrone, say) share space with
fashionable sandwiches, such as
one made with figs, goat cheese,
and caramelized onions. Half the
profits go to charity, a sweet gesture toward the future from a business that does more than play on its
past. 510-843-1300, elmwoodcafe.
com $
PLUM BAR

ctguide.com | 179

EAST BAY

Duende

Flavors of India

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

smoky pimentón, and the thin-crust
pizzas have a well-earned following.
But it’s the pastas—delicate sheets
rolled fresh each evening—that
truly stand out. Each night’s menu
features three, including a masterful
lasagna alla napoletana with layers
of parmesan and pecorino and an
earthy bolognese. 510-652-3676,
dopoadesso.com $$

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

Hog’s Apothecary
OAKLAND 375 40TH ST.

At Hog’s Apothecary, the meatheavy menu complements 32 taps
of California beer. Cicerone Sayre
Piotrkowski pairs the hearty pork
terrine, bacon-wrapped rabbit leg,
rotating housemade sausages, and
lard-fried chips with heady beers
like Iron Springs’ Flashover smoked
porter and Craftsman’s Triple White
Sage. Most of the beer is shipped
directly from the brewery for
maximum freshness. 510-338-3847,
hogsapothecary.com $$$

Homeroom
OAKLAND

400 40TH ST.

With its cheeky updates of a
childhood staple, this cheerful mac
’n’ cheese place caters to adults
craving a playful reimagining of how
things used to be. The Classic, for
instance, is California modern, with
the sharp edge of true cheddar.
Ditto Mac the Goat, with the musty
tang of chèvre, slivered scallions,
and a drizzle of olive oil. Sides, like
minty peas and chilled roasted carrots, aptly complement the gooey
mains, and on a recent evening, a
vegetable potpie made a welcome
cameo on a menu that feels slightly
restrictive, given its devotion to its
rich carb-built conceit. 510-5970400, homeroom510.com $

Homestead
OAKLAND

4029 PIEDMONT AVE.

The ever more sophisticated
Piedmont Avenue is lucky to have
the addition of this rustic charmer
from a husband-and-wife team
who once worked at Farallon. The
modern-farmhouse menu outlines
deft seasonal dishes. Baked ricotta,
with salty lardo and sweet peaches,
gives way to pan-fried gnocchi
with white corn and chanterelles,
followed by salt-baked halibut in
a bath of hollandaise. All told, the
sharp cooking moves in step with
the shifting tastes of the neighborhood. homesteadoakland.com,
510-420-6962 $$$

Hopscotch
OAKLAND

1915 SAN PABLO AVE.

This tiny, top-notch locals’ hangout
showcases the talents of Yoshi’s vet
Kyle Itani, who cooks up a laid-back
bistro menu with an Asian bent.
Puréed corn gazpacho enriched
with sea urchin and avocado gives
way to salmon with salt-cod-filled
squash blossoms and ginger-stuffed
roast chicken with fried shishito
peppers that give the bird a lingering heat. Desserts can be overly
sweet, but well-balanced cocktails
further demonstrate the scrappy
restaurant’s ability to do big-city
cool. 510-788-6217, hopscotchoakland.com $$$

180 | Cityguide 2015

Ippuku
BERKELEY

2130 CENTER ST.

Chef–co-owner Christian Geideman
supplies a range of yakitori staples
here, from bacon-wrapped mochi
to natto-stuffed tofu skin. You can
get fried eggplant with a mellow
dollop of miso mayo; brussels
sprouts dusted with briny fish eggs;
and fresh uni licked with ponzu.
Yet the restaurant revolves around
the robata. On it the chef sets pork
belly skewers, blistering the meat
and then brushing it with spicy miso
paste. Mostly, though, what he grills
is chicken, searing the skin until its
fat renders and all that remain are
crackling textures and concentrated
flavors. 510-665-1969, ippukuberkeley.com $

Iyasare
BERKELEY

1830 4TH ST.

At his first personal project, chef
Shotaro Kamio (Ozumo, Yoshi’s)
uses a sparkling new kitchen to
cook up refined Japanese fare
that’s rustic in its simplicity. From
Kamio’s Tohoku region of Japan,
try the fancified okonomiyaki with
Dungeness crab, roasted miso eggplant, and a whole grilled branzino
with cooked salmon roe spilling
around it. In an East-meets-West
nod, Ale Industries’ award-winning
beers are on tap. 510-845-8100,
iyasare-berkeley.com $$$

Jack’s Oyster Bar
& Fish House
OAKLAND

336 WATER ST.

Happy hour arrives on the half shell
at this spiffed-up seafood shack
on Jack London Square, the latest
from the team behind Bocanova.
Mixing classic and modern currents,
the kitchen turns out staples like
halibut fish and chips, along with
less-expected tastes like pickled
mackerel with red curry. Cocktails
are crisp, and it’s hard to beat the
abundant raw bar. 510-271-7952,
jacksoakland.com $$$

Kingston 11
OAKLAND

2270 TELEGRAPH AVE.

Born as a Berkeley pop-up, this
winning Jamaican joint has found
a home in the Uptown district.
The chef, Kingston native Nigel
Jones, conjures childhood staples
like jerk chicken, fiery saltfish and
ackee, and a smoldering oxtail stew
with a sweet side of plantains. The
cooking crackles. Though prices
recall the pre–tech boom era (nothing goes for more than $16), the
restaurant feels right now with an
upbeat rum bar, an engaging gallery
of black-and-white photos, and a
bearing that breaks with Rastaand-reggae type. 510-465-2558,
kingston11eats.com $$

Lungomare
OAKLAND

1 BROADWAY

This restaurant’s name, Italian for
“seaside promenade,” carries a hint
of romance not often linked to
Oakland’s waterfront, but the menu
aims to keep the fantasy alive.
Its old-world inspiration shows in
fennel-scented Ligurian fish stew,
cotechino sausages with Umbrian
lentils, and a deliciously dense
ribollita. Amiable service makes
the sprawling space more intimate.
There is—disappointing pizza
notwithstanding-—a bit of Italy to it
after all. 510-444-7171, lungomareo
akland.com $$$

Miss Ollie’s
OAKLAND

901 WASHINGTON ST.

Barbados-raised chef Sarah Kirnon
brings this counter-service-forlunch, table-service-for-dinner
Afro-Caribbean restaurant to Old
Oakland. Filling a corner of Swan’s
Market, the space has lofty ceilings,
generous windows, and tropical
touches. Here, Kirnon pays homage
to her roots, but aligns those traditions with the Chez Panisse–y ethos
of her adopted home. You taste
it in the beautiful braised oxtail,
black-eyed peas and collards basking in its fatty runoff. The presence
of Kirnon’s pepper sauce shouldn’t
imply that her cooking needs extra
kick. Caribbean cuisine isn’t shy
about its heat or its spiciness, and
neither is the menu at Miss Ollie’s.
510-285-6188, realmissolliesoak
land.com $$

Mockingbird
OAKLAND

1745 SAN PABLO AVE.

You can place the cooking at this
smart, cozy restaurant roughly in
the rustic Cal-Med genre, moving
as it does from Moroccan chickpea
soup to duck liver mousse with
rhubarb jam to herb-perfumed
roast chicken that would play well
on farm tables the world over. The
space, which shares a courtyard
with the New Parish nightclub, is
sparsely furnished but filled with
the grainy strains of old jazz records. 510-290-0331, mocking
birdoakland.com $$

Nido
OAKLAND

444 OAK ST.

In an industrially fashionable space
on the scruffy edge of Jack London
Square, this cozy newcomer shines
with a menu of sharply composed
Mexican cuisine. Drawing on feelgood meats and organic produce,
the kitchen ranges farther for its
flavors, which pop in such dishes
as poblano- and cotija-stuffed
quesadillas and wild-caught halibut
in a golden batter with smoky aioli
and chili-dusted papas—a south-ofthe-border spin on fish and chips.
510-444-6436, nidooakland.com $$

COMAL

Penrose
OAKLAND

3311 GRAND AVE.

At Charlie Hallowell’s (Pizzaiolo and
Boot and Shoe Service) latest hot
spot, wood-fueled flames leap in
the open kitchen—only now they’re
firing flatbreads instead of pizza,
along with an array of fish, veggies, and meat. Cal-Med stunners
include fried brussels sprouts with
honey mustard and a grilled half
chicken that’s as good as any bird
in town. Reservations aren’t taken,
but there’s a big bar serving the
newfangled cocktails that you’ve
seen being made by those guys
with muttonchops. 510-444-1649,
penroseoakland.com $$$

Picán
OAKLAND

2295 BROADWAY

This vast room, manned by hosts
who will outdress you even if you
dress up, may be as glamorous as
Oakland gets. It sets the mood for
what’s cooking: Southern food of
the swanky variety. Limey catfish
ceviche, crunchy with celery, is
eaten off barbecue potato chips.
And the fried chicken, crisp and
juicy, comes with a wee skillet with
mac and cheese rich enough to be
a meal on its own. The delicious
cocktails are heavy on the brown

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

stuff. Bourbon lovers, rejoice. 510834-1000, picanrestaurant.com $$$

PIQ
BERKELEY

91 SHATTUCK SQ.

The fresh sweets and savories
arrayed along this bakery and café’s
counter range from sfogliatelle,
shells of puffed pastry ribbed like
armadillos and wrapped around
ricotta, to flaky fazzoletti, or “handkerchiefs,” with olives, tomatoes,
and artichokes in their fragile folds.
And the focaccia: It’s not oily, or
spongy, or leaden, but delicate and
light, the perfect platform for panini
(with, say, eggs and prosciutto).
510-540-7700, piqbakery.com $

Restaurante Doña Tomás
OAKLAND

©COURTESY COMAL

5004 TELEGRAPH AVE.

After all the rapid-fire restaurant
openings in Temescal, it can be
easy to overlook Restaurante Doña
Tomás, which deserves props
for putting the gourmet into the
ghetto. But here it still is, cooking
satisfying Mexican meals in rooms
with artistic flair. A trio of halfmoon quesadillas stuffed with goat
cheese, cremini, and asparagus are
doused in a rich poblano cream.
Bright and colorful cabbage-mango
salad gets extra color and crunch

from spiced peanuts, jicama, and
cilantro. 510-450-0522, donatomas.
com $$$

Revival Bar & Kitchen
BERKELEY

2102 SHATTUCK AVE.

All the Berkeley-approved elements
are in place at Revival: salvagedwood decor, produce grown within
100 miles of the front door, and a
no-waste, snout-to-tail carnivore
ethos. If you have time to settle
in for dinner, you’ll be tucking into
hearty entrées like grilled pork
chop with duck-fried potatoes and
seared albacore slices fanned over
a rich mix of corn and porcini. 510549-9950, revivalbarandkitchen.
com $$$

Shakewell
OAKLAND

3407 LAKESHORE AVE.

The red herring of a name conjures
images of a Zumba class or a Danny
Meyer burger shack, but what
you find instead is a Spanish- and
Mediterranean-focused restaurant
from Tim Nugent and Jen Biesty,
a couple of Top Chef vets. Their
menu is relaxed, wide-ranging, and
communal: Most items, built for
sharing, pair well with that sangria
or a pisco sour. A quartet of bacalao
fritters make crisp kick-starters,

while bombas, paella-like dishes
that rank among the restaurant’s
greatest strengths, come stocked
with ingredients like local squid,
pickled chilies, and preserved lemons. They’re served in the cazuelas
they’re cooked in and delivered
by waiters whose tag-teaming of
tables fits the pleasant informality of the place. 510-251-0329,
shakewelloakland.com $$$

Tamarindo Antojeria
Mexicana
OAKLAND

468 8TH ST.

Tequila was intended to be sipped,
not slugged—a fact that Tamarindo
recognizes. Magnificent margaritas,
rimmed with chili salt and splashed
with such refreshers as tamarind
purée, share space with straightup one-ounce pours. Chef Gloria
Dominguez sticks with small plates
that delve into the layered strata of
Mexican cuisine. Scallops sautéed
with clay-red guajillo chilies bask
atop a bed of avocado relish; a
carnitas torta topped with chili de
arból salsa sets a fire tempered by
a soft Acme baguette. The biggest
draw, however, is the bar: It’s where
grown-ups drink while others waste
away in Margaritaville. 510-4441944, tamarindoantojeria.com $$

Tribune Tavern
OAKLAND

401 13TH ST.

With this beautiful ground-floor
build-out of the old Oakland
Tribune building, restaurateur Chris
Pastena (Chop Bar, Lungomare)
mixes tavern standards—Welsh
rarebit, shepherd’s pie—with lighter
Cal-Med moments, like arugula,
chicory, and sunchoke salad. If
much of it misses, it may not
matter. The strength here is the
setting—a lovely place of restored
marble accents and molded ceilings
that reminds us not just of another
era, but also of how far you can go
on atmosphere. 510-452-8742,
tribunetavern.com $$

DRINKS

Bar Dogwood
OAKLAND

1644 TELEGRAPH AVE.

For those who like a bit of meat
with their drink, this dark, sophisticated spot offers a sweet selection
of sliced-to-order charcuterie. An
assortment of cheeses and a smart
list of cocktails round out the evening. 510-444-6669,
bardogwood.com

ctguide.com | 181

EAST BAY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

The Broadway Shuttle
OAKLAND

The “Free B” is City of Oakland
project operated by AC Transit.
The free, hop-on shuttle bus
makes it convenient for visitors to
explore the waterfront, restaurants,
concert venues, and local shops. It
runs along Broadway, connecting
key destinations like Jack London
Square, Old Oakland, City Center,
Uptown, KoNo, and Lake Merritt
(daytime). Stops also include area
BART, ferry, and Amtrak stations.
Look for the green bus and check
hours on the website. bshuttle.com
// PROFESSIONAL SPORTS
MAISON D’ETRE

Beer Revolution
OAKLAND

464 3RD ST.

The Trappist
OAKLAND

460 8TH ST.

The East Bay’s punky answer to the
Haight’s Toronado, Beer Revolution
is a top place to find rare California
craft beers on tap and, often, rub elbows with the brewers themselves.
It also functions as a beer shop.
beer-revolution.com

Drink like you’re in Old Belgium
without ever leaving Old Oakland.
Funky Flemish beers taste all the
finer emerging from 28 regularly
changing taps (there are also over
100 bottles from which to choose).
510-238-8900, thetrappist.com

Café Van Kleef

SHOPPING

OAKLAND

1621 TELEGRAPH AVE.

Peter Van Kleef was considered a
pioneer when he opened this bar in
2003, but now the place is a classic.
The narrow, high-ceilinged space
features taxidermy on the walls, live
music, and excellent greyhounds.
510-763-7711, cafevankleef.com

Make Westing
OAKLAND

1741 TELEGRAPH AVE.

With its laid-back vibe, location next
to the Fox Theater, bocce court, and
Drake’s and Linden Street brews
on tap, this place makes it easy to
miss the opening act. 510-251-1400,
makewesting.com

Plum Bar
OAKLAND

2214 BROADWAY

This buzzy Oakland bar, right next
door to the affiliated Plum Restaurant, adds modern California twists
to traditional cocktails. Exhibit A
is its gin and tonic, which features
flowering thyme. 510-444-7586,
plumoakland.com

Prize Fighter
EMERYVILLE

6702 HOLLIS ST.

Although this casual, blue-collar
place, which is named after a song
by the Eels, isn’t boxing-themed, it
still has all the right moves: It bobs
with pitchers of beer, weaves with
its East Bay sunny patio, jabs with
excellent cocktails, and, naturally,
offers serious punches. prizefighterbar.com
182 | Cityguide 2015

Maison d’Etre
OAKLAND

5640 COLLEGE AVE.

This store’s name playfully suggests
its reason for being: to celebrate life
at home. Owners Patty and Fred
believe firmly that aesthetic considerations are of ultimate importance,
and that beauty is a necessity for
well-being. Their store is known
for its selectivity and style, offering
appealing objects alive with heart,
history and integrity. 510-658-2801,
maisondetre.com

Turtle & Hare
OAKLAND

100 GRAND AVE.

If you find yourself at the eastern
end of the Bay Bridge’s new span,
stop by Turtle & Hare. One part
furnishings store and one part
modern-art gallery, it offers furnishings so well designed that some
of them have been featured in San

COMAL

Francisco’s Museum of Craft &
Design. 510-747-9877, turtleandhare.net

Umami Mart
OAKLAND

815 BROADWAY

Spawned from the cocktail-centric
food blog of some old college pals,
Umami Mart has developed into a
cool emporium of imported Japanese barware and kitchen things.
510-250-9559, umamimart.com

ADVENTURE

// BEACHES AND PARKS

Crown Memorial
State Beach
ALAMEDA

8TH ST. AND OTIS DR.

After extensive wind and water erosion, Alameda’s 2.5-mile-long beach
was restored to its natural beauty
in 1982. Now lawns, picnic grounds,
and bicycle trails border the sand
dunes. ebparks.org

Tilden Regional Park
BERKELEY

Named after Charles Lee Tilden,
who spearheaded the drive to preserve the 2,079-acre park for public
enjoyment, Tilden Park has hiking
trails, a botanical garden, picnic
areas, and a petting zoo. 888-3272757, ebparks.org/parks/tilden

Golden State Warriors
OAKLAND

ORACLE ARENA, 7000 COLISEUM
WAY

The Warriors are led by new coach
Steve Kerr, a five-time NBA champion during his days playing for the
Bulls and Spurs. Warriors home
games take place at Oracle Arena,
but they have proposed building
a new waterfront arena in San
Francisco, to be completed in time
for the 2018–19 season. 510-9862200, nba.com/warriors

Oakland Athletics
OAKLAND

O.CO COLISEUM, 7000 COLISEUM
WAY

Commonly known as the A’s, the
Oakland Athletics are five-time
World Series champions and 2013’s
American League champions.
Their famous 2002 winning streak
inspired the 2011 film Moneyball,
starring Brad Pitt. 510-638-4900,
oakland.athletics.mlb.com

Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND

O.CO COLISEUM, 7000 COLISEUM
WAY

The Raiders are known for three
Super Bowl championships, an infamously aggressive defense, and, not
least, Raider Nation: rabidly devoted
fans who show up every season for
“the Black Hole” cheering section in
full costume. It’s worth the price of
a ticket to see the show, even if the
Raiders aren’t winning much these
days. 510-864-5000, raiders.com

©COURTESY MAISON D’ETRE; ©COURTESY COMAL

//FREE SHUTTLE

c e l e b r a t e

l i f e

5640 COLLEGE AVENUE, OAKLAND

a t

h o m e

510.658.2801

I R R E S I S T I B LY W O N D E R F U L T H I N G S F O R H O M E
maisondetre.com

SOUTH OF THE CITY

SOUTH OF THE CITY
PALO ALTO
With that wellspring of startups known as Stanford University right in town, it’s no wonder that the
headquarters of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple are within a 20-minute drive of Palo Alto.
HISTORY: When Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà, the first European to reach San Francisco Bay,
passed through this area in 1769, he and his band stopped near an Ohlone settlement and made camp
at the base of a redwood. That tree, named El Palo Alto, still stands, true to its name at 110 feet tall.

Stanford
University features
more than 60 outdoor
sculptures on its spacious
campus, including the Rodin
collection at the Cantor Arts
Center.

DON’T MISS: You don’t have to be a college student to enjoy Stanford Shopping Center, an upscale
open-air mall featuring Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s. Once you’ve sated your
urge to splurge, move on to the University Avenue restaurant corridor, where you’ll find exceptional
Greek cuisine at Evvia on Emerson and fresh guacamole at Reposado on Hamilton.

CULTURE
// MUSEUMS

Cantor Arts Center at
Stanford University
PALO ALTO

©COURTESY STANFORD

328 LOMITA DR.

Originally conceived in the 1890s as
a place to showcase the Stanford
family’s extensive art collection, the
Cantor Arts Center has grown into
a significant Bay Area arts presence,
with wide-ranging collections from
Africa, Indonesia, and the United
States, as well as the largest collection of Rodin bronzes outside
of the Musée Rodin. 650-723-4177,
museum.stanford.edu

Intel Museum
SANTA CLARA

2200 MISSION COLLEGE BLVD.

In the heart of Silicon Valley at Intel
headquarters, this 10,000 square
foot museum takes you through
the decades of innovation of the
technology revoultion, and shows
step-by-step what goes into making
a microchip. While the museum
keeps regular visitor hours, it does
occasionally close for private events
so call ahead before visiting. 408765-5050, intel.com/museum

// PERFORMING ARTS

Stanford Live
PALO ALTO

327 LASUEN ST.

Not to be outdone by the Berkeley
set, Silicon Valley presents Stanford
Live, its own contender in the
performing arts. Stanford’s resident
orchestras, choral groups, and
jazz collaborations rub shoulders
with visiting greats from across
the country for sets worth the trip
down the peninsula. 650-724-2464,
live.stanford.edu

LOCALS KNOW

FOOD
Baumé

PALO ALTO

201 S. CALIFORNIA AVE.

The liberal use of liquid nitrogen,
foams, and gelées is easy to dismiss
as stunt cooking, but rarely does
Baumé, where Bruno Chemel offers set menus of “French cuisine
modern”—aka molecular gastronomy—become that sort of show. A
salad is speckled with curried aioli
that’s been transformed into golden
beads. As the aioli warms, it gives
off waves of vapor. And a dessert
of red raspberry orbs hanging like

ctguide.com | 185

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

STANFORD UNIVERSITY

SOUTH OF THE CITY

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

LEVI’S STADIUM

LEVI’S STADIUM

186 | Cityguide 2015

When Levi’s Stadium, home of the San
Francisco 49ers, hosts Super Bowl 50
in February of 2016, the world will get
to see some of Silicon Valley’s best
tech in action. The Santa Clara stadium
boasts two gigantic scoreboards (200
feet by 48 feet) which light up the
arena with close-up replays captured
by 13 stadium cameras (most NFL
stadiums have four to six). Using the
stadium mobile app, attendees can get
turn-by-turn directions to their seats,
and order beer or food for pick-up (no
line!) or even in-seat delivery. Green
touches include a living roof and more
than 1,100 solar panels, plus concessions food that’s largely locally sourced.
There’s also a 49ers museum, restaurant by San Francisco celebrity chef
Michael Mina, and public and private
stadium tours. Oh, and while you’re
there during football season you can
also watch a game. 415-464-9377,
levisstadium.com

Bushido
MOUNTAIN VIEW

156 CASTRO ST.

At happy hour in this lighthearted
izakaya, you can snack on such
inventions as teriyaki sliders and
deconstructed California rolls. But
when dinner rolls around, tradition
takes hold. House specials include
a fragile chawan mushi, an egg
custard made with fish broth that
hides treasures like tender shrimp,
dark morsels of chicken, edamame,
and pieces of fish cake. The dessert
menu pleases all comers with honey
kasutera cake, a featherlight sponge
with matcha cream filling. 650-3866821, bushidoizakaya.com $$$

Martins West
REDWOOD CITY

831 MAIN ST.

The beer list here is a dizzying
menu of lagers, pilsners, IPAs, lambics, porters, stouts, and witbiers.
The kitchen is equally ambitious, transforming dour Scottish
sustenance into clever dishes that
are a spot-on match for the beers.
There’s haggis-on-a-stick, an elegantly puffy version of a corn dog,
and a brute of a bone that yields

©COURTESY 49ERS.COM

ONE SMART STADIUM TO
HOST SUPER BOWL 50

precious jewels against crystallized
vanilla foam is a delight; its frosty
surface gives way to soft peaches,
berries, and vanilla panna cotta.
650-328-8899, baumerestaurant.
com $$$$

the NFL’s greatest dynasties (five
Super Bowl wins in 14 seasons). Today, they’re led by tight end Vernon
Davis, and sensational quarterback
Colin Kaepernick. The team moved
to their new high-tech stadium in
Silicon Valley (with solar panels
and a living roof) for the 2014–15
season. Levi’s Stadium is set to host
Super Bowl 50 in 2016. 415-4649377, 49ers.com

This airy, country-chic space is an
ideal arena for its safe but thoughtful cooking. Rotisseries yield
beautiful bronzed chickens and
perfectly roasted pork loins, plated
in a shallow pool of their own jus,
while the stove tops simmer with
déjà vu dishes, from a creamy carrot
soup, perfumed with vadouvan, to
braised short ribs on a bed of wilted
greens. Service is friendly but forgetful; still, the coffee and desserts
give you good reason to linger, even
if you’re not securing VC funding
over your beignets. 650-853-9200,
mayfieldbakery.com $$$

SHOPPING

San Jose Sharks

Scratch

ADVENTURE

Mayfield Bakery & Cafe
PALO ALTO

855 EL CAMINO REAL

MOUNTAIN VIEW

401 CASTRO ST.

At this American original, everything
from bar syrups to bread is made
from, well, scratch. Rugged, full-on
entrées—like a Kurobuta pork chop
with apple radish slaw or fried
chicken with cornbread pudding—

Stanford Shopping Center
PALO ALTO

660 STANFORD SHOPPING CENTER

This spacious outdoor mall, with its
variety of anchor stores and highend boutiques like Michael Kors
and Wilkes Bashford, is a sunny
attraction for shoppers any day.
But it’s especially lively on Saturday
and Sunday, when dog owners
take advantage of the weekend
pet-friendly policy. 650-617-8200,
www.simon.com/mall/stanfordshopping-center

SAN JOSE

SAP CENTER AT SAN JOSE

The Sharks, San Jose’s professional
ice hockey team, play home games
at what is known locally as the
Shark Tank—as you can guess, it’s
not a very friendly place for visiting
teams. Led by Captain Joe Thornton, the team won a Presidents’
Trophy in the 2008–09 season and
have made the playoffs 10 seasons
in a row. 800-366-4423, sharks.
nhl.com

San Francisco 49ers
SANTA CLARA

LEVI’S STADIUM,
4900 CENTENNIAL BLVD

Hall of Fame players like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young
helped the 49ers become one of

Unleash Your
Inner Scientist
Check out the high-tech world
of silicon chip manufacturing.   
  


for children and adults and selfguided experiences that let you
explore fun, interactive exhibits
at your own pace.

Free admission and parking

For more information,
please call 408.765.5050, or visit
www.intel.com/museum

Copyright © 2015 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.

ctguide.com | 187

SOUTH OF THE CITY

tease decidedly Southern flavors.
American-bred Wagyu beef is part
of the secret behind the meaty,
full-bodied short ribs bourguignon.
Desserts are cosmic makeovers
of homey American treats. Think
fat-grained rice pudding so besotted with cream that it begs to be
cut with its tart port wine–currant
sauce. 650-237-3132,
scratchmtnview.com $$$

BEYOND THE BRIDGES

marrow as silky as foie gras. Buttery
lamb’s-tongue pastrami fills a soulsatisfying slider. The fragile ale batter on the fish and chips pleasantly
shatters on contact. Don’t forget to
ask for bread; you’ll get wheat warm
from the oven. 650-366-4366,
martinswestgp.com $$$

©COURTESY MUMM

MUMM NAPA

GETAWAYS

NAPA VALLEY
PAGE 190

Napa Valley is synonymous with wine, and for good reason: The region
produced the cabernet and chardonnay that were proclaimed “world’s
best” at the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting. Today, the area boasts more than 400
wineries, several Michelin-starred restaurants, a wealth of luxury spas, and
much more.

SONOMA COUNTY
PAGE 194

Rural yet sophisticated, this sprawling wine country produces wines every
bit as good as those from Napa, as well as an agricultural bounty that
supplies its growing number of outstanding restaurants. Its farms, historic
villages, state parks, and dynamic towns are ripe for all kinds of exploring.

SANTA CRUZ
PAGE 200

This fun-loving beach town is the kind of place where barefoot pedestrians,
die-hard surfers, and farm-to-table restaurants reign supreme. Fun for all
ages is just a short stroll down the Boardwalk—be sure to take a ride on the
Giant Dipper roller coaster.

MONTEREY
PAGE 202

Pristine Monterey Bay is home to frolicking sea otters, seals, migrating
whales, and a picturesque coastline. And the area’s fine dining, art galleries,
and budding wine country show that there’s plentiful beauty beyond the
scenery.

CARMEL/PEBBLE BEACH
PAGE 203

Boutiques, elegant resorts, white-sand beaches, and the best golf in the
West—let the other side of Monterey’s peninsula sweep you away for an
unforgettable weekend.

MENDOCINO COUNTY
PAGE 205

With a low-key wine country, towering redwoods, the lovable Victorian-bohemian village of Mendocino, and a wide swath of rugged coast that’ll knock
the bars right off your cellphone, this is the perfect place to lose yourself for
a day, or three.
See map on page 206.

ctguide.com | 189

GETAWAYS

WORLD-CLASS WINE AND LUXURY IN NAPA
AND SONOMA, GOOD OLD-FASHIONED
FAMILY FUN IN SANTA CRUZ, OCEAN WILDLIFE AND AMAZING GOLF IN MONTEREY AND
CARMEL, ANDTHE QUIET, RUGGED COAST OF
MENDOCINO—IT’S ALL JUST A SHORT DRIVE
FROM SAN FRANCISCO.

NAPA VALLEY

GETAWAYS

BRINGER VINEYARDS, SAINT HELENA

COURTESY BERINGER

NAPA VALLEY

H

ighway 29 meanders the entire length of the Napa Valley, winding past imposing wineries in
styles ranging from French château to Spanish Colonial to industrial-chic redwood. Although
summer and the annual grape crush in early fall are peak times for both winemakers and
tourists drawn by the valley’s famous cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, the area is busy yearround. To the east of Highway 29, the scenic, less-traveled Silverado Trail takes you to dozens of
enticing wine stops, including Mumm Napa, with its daily tours and sparkling wine tastings. And all
along the valley is a string of towns, each—like wine varietals—with its own character.

NAPA
The valley’s namesake town used to be a drive-by burg on the way to wineries farther north, but a revamped downtown has made it a
hot destination on its own: These days, Napa is home to 25-plus urban tasting rooms and a wide selection of fine restaurants, among
them Morimoto Napa (Japanese) and Oenotri (Italian). The Oxbow Public Market, one block east of downtown, is a gastronomic hub
like San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace, offering everything from tacos at C Casa to sipping at Napa Valley Distillery—the first
spirits maker in Napa since Prohibition. Andaz Napa, a sleek, modern hotel in Napa’s west end, is within walking distance of great food
and the town’s coolest tasting rooms, including Back Room Wines, with its hard-to-find bottles, and Vintner’s Collective, a coalition of
20 small local vintners who don’t have individual tasting rooms.

ST. HELENA
Charming St. Helena juxtaposes old and new Napa like no other town
in the valley. Its pedestrian-friendly three-block downtown blends
leafy streets, small shops, and artisanal vendors, all with cosmopolitan
chic. You’ll find the very definition of wine country cuisine at Cook and
at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, from renowned chef Cindy Pawlcyn.
If you’ve had enough of wine (is that possible?), head to Goose &
Gander for a garden-to-glass cocktail.

CASTELLO DI AMOROSA

190 | Cityguide 2015

Great estate-grown wine meets innovation at Hall Wines, the first
winery in California to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. Golfers and gourmets alike head to
Meadowood, a resort tucked away in a picturesque wooded valley near
St. Helena that boasts outstanding links and a Michelin-three-starred
restaurant run by Christopher Kostow.

CASTELLO DI AMOROSA,/JIM SULLIVAN

Just to the south, Dean & DeLuca purveys irresistible edibles and
kitchen gadgets to warm the heart of any foodie, and Napa Valley
Olive Oil Manufacturing Company provides samples of its delectable olive oil. Farther up the valley lies Greystone, the West Coast
branch of the Culinary Institute of America. Ensconced in a towering
fortress that was formerly a Christian Brothers winery, it offers weekend cooking demonstrations and herb garden tours.

THE SONOMA HOUSE at PATZ & HALL
Located in the heart of Sonoma County, amid a
backdrop of vineyards and mountains, our new
Sonoma House will solidify our Sonoma wine country
roots. It is an idyllic setting for our visitors to enjoy
our acclaimed Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.
Open Thursday through Monday, 10am to 4pm
21200 Eighth Street East, Sonoma, California
Reservations: 707.265.7700
sonomahouseblog.com

© 2015 Patz & Hall, Sonoma, CA. Please Drink Responsibly.

NAPA VALLEY

GETAWAYS

TASTING IN NAPA

Though California’s first millionaire, Sam Brannan, is credited with
discovering Calistoga in the 1860s, the Wappo Indians had been
using the area’s natural hot springs and steaming mud for medicinal
and spiritual purposes for nearly 500 years. Over time, Brannan’s
“Saratoga of California” has become a popular destination for
those seeking a novel spa experience.
Lined with Western-style buildings, Lincoln Avenue is the artery
of this walkable town, its landscape checkered with restaurants,
shops, and spas. At dinnertime, dig into contemporary food at
Brannan’s Grill or grab a beer and a bowl of paella in the outdoor
garden at Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery. Accommodations
range from the funky to the upscale—old-time resorts like Indian
Springs mingle with chic hotels, including Solage Calistoga. A
must-see is Ca’Toga, the gallery of Italian muralist Carlo Marchiori,
which features a dramatic ceiling mural and other more portable
works created in his zany commedia dell’arte style.

GMC.SONOMA.EDU

1.866.955.6040

1801 E . COTATI AVE . ROHNERT PARK, CA 94928
GOOGLE MAPS: GREEN MUSIC CENTER

192 | Cityguide 2015

Wine tasting venues run the gamut, from the opulence of
Castello di Amarosa’s 13th-century Tuscan–style castle, to the
classic Napa experience of Chateau Montelena, to the hipperthan-hip wine caves of Venge Vineyards. Notable attractions just
outside of town include the Petrified Forest, among the world’s
finest examples of a fossilized forest, and Old Faithful Geyser,
which is always crowded with visitors waiting for an eruption.
Nearby, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers many hiking and
biking trails.

COURTESY OF NAPA VALLEY VISITORS BUREAU

CALISTOGA

NAPA VALLEY

GETAWAYS

YOUNTVILLE
Founded by one of California’s most enterprising pioneers, George
C. Yount, this tiny town nine miles north of Napa just might have
the best dining per square block in the country. Pull off the highway and venture onto Washington Street, the main strip, for art
galleries, excellent shopping, and, especially, fine food. Thomas
Keller’s array of renowned restaurants (the French Laundry, Ad
Hoc, and the bistro Bouchon) gave the town its nickname—Kellerville—but local eateries Redd, Bistro Jeanty, and Michael Chiarello’s Bottega have also garnered national recognition. For more
casual fare, go for wood-fired pizzas at Ciccio or the $22 prix fixe
lunch at Hurley’s Restaurant.
At V Marketplace, shops, galleries, and restaurants fill the former
Groezinger Winery complex. Traveling west from the highway,
up the hill from Domaine Chandon, you’ll find the Napa Valley
Museum: Peruse its permanent exhibit, The Land and People of
Napa Valley, to learn about the region’s unique geology and native
inhabitants. Overnighters can unwind at the sleek Bardessono
hotel or the Tuscan-style North Block Hotel, which feels like a
slice of the Italian countryside.

ctguide.com | 193

SONOMA COUNTY

GETAWAYS

KUNDE FAMILY ESTATE

SONOMA COUNTY

S

onoma County sprawls west from the scenic Mayacamas Mountains, which separate it from
the faster-paced Napa Valley, and stretches all the way to the beautiful and rugged Pacific
coast. In total, Sonoma contains 16 wine-grape-growing regions (called American Viticultural
Areas, or AVAs) that boast a variety of climates and soils and yield an extremely wide range of outstanding wines.
Sonoma County’s soil and growing conditions are ideal for more than just grape vines, and the area
produces an agricultural bounty that rivals its wines. The county’s southern tip, which includes part
of the Los Carneros AVA, gives a visual introduction to the area’s rolling hills, crosshatched with
grapevines and dotted with olive trees. The adjacent 17-mile long Sonoma Valley is the birthplace
of California’s wine industry—Buena Vista, the state’s first major winery, was founded in 1857—and
it’s big on cabernet sauvignon. From old Sonoma, ramble north up 101 and pick your pleasure: pinot
noir and chardonnay in Russian River Valley, cabernet sauvignon in Alexander Valley, zinfandel in
Dry Creek Valley, or cutting-edge chardonnay along the cooler Sonoma Coast.

SONOMA
Sonoma’s town square, lined with boutiques, restaurants, and
wine-tasting shops, is a popular spot for picnicking or relaxing after a tough day of wine sampling. The Girl and the Fig, a
Provençal-inspired restaurant that features Rhône-style wines and
was an early adopter of locally sourced ingredients, makes a terrific stop for lunch or an artisanal cheese plate. Sonoma Square
is also the scene of the bountiful Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers’ Market, held year-round on Friday mornings. Just off the
plaza is Mission San Francisco Solano, built in 1823 as the last of
California’s 21 Spanish missions.
For wine tasting, head north into Sonoma Valley. Visit the Kunde
Family Estate’s bustling tasting room and perhaps spring for its
special mountaintop tasting ($40 per person) to enjoy classic
views of the valley’s rolling hills. Or take in the grand setting at
Gundlach Bundschu, with its old stone tasting room, wine caves,
and pleasant outdoor courtyard.

194 | Cityguide 2015

SONOMA COUNTY

GETAWAYS

SAFARI WEST

PETALUMA AND SANTA ROSA
Northwest of Sonoma, via a straight shot up 101 from San Francisco, you’ll find a duo of towns worth a stop or a stay. Petaluma, once
known as the world’s egg basket, has retained its small-town charm despite an infusion of artists, musicians, and tech companies. Most
Saturdays from May through October, docents from the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum—clad in 19th-century garb—lead
free walking tours of downtown. Cheese has supplanted eggs as the town’s most ubiquitous product, so stop by one of the many cheese
shops, like the renowned Petaluma Creamery, for a sample—or graze your way along the California Cheese Trail through Petaluma
and nearby towns (find more information at cheesetrail.org).
Farther north is the thriving county seat of Santa Rosa, with its parks, shopping centers, and the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens.
The town’s historic Railroad Square features specialty shops and classic restaurants, among them La Gare, a fixture in town for over
35 years, and LoCoco’s Cucina Rustica. For an exceptionally civilized urban wine and beer experience, visit the Santa Rosa Vintners
Square, a collection of tasting rooms and restaurants that often hosts events and festivals. Kids of all ages will appreciate the Charles M.
Schulz Museum and Research Center, which honors the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, as well as Safari West, a wildlife preserve
just north of town that offers open-air jeep tours and overnight luxury safari tent accommodations.

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
AND SONOMA COAST

BACKYARD

The Russian River Valley boasts stunningly good pinot
noirs—try Williams Selyem, Merry Edwards, and the
wineries along the Westside Road Wine Trail—that are
rivaled only by the area’s redwood forests. Rent a kayak or
canoe and leisurely paddle the summer-mild river, or take
an easy hike at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural
Reserve, a protected stand of ancient redwoods. Other
worthwhile detours include under-the-radar Forestville,
where chefs Marianna Gardenhire and Daniel Kedan
have opened Backyard, a hot place for family-style fried
chicken and strawberry cream puffs. Then head to Korbel
California Champagne for some bubbly, and on to the
(relatively) bustling town of Guerneville, with its rusticchic Boon hotel+spa and its ideal lunch pit stop, Big
Bottom Market. Veer south on the Bohemian Highway
toward Occidental for a slow day in the funky small town
or a screaming fast zip line through the redwoods with
Sonoma Canopy Tours.

If you keep following the Russian River, you’ll meet the sea near Jenner. Now you’re in wine country for pioneers—Fort Ross Vineyard
has opened the only tasting room in the new Fort Ross–Seaview AVA. Sip piney, cherry-filled Sea Slopes pinot noir while perched above
the fog, admiring views that stretch to the Farallon Islands. Later, bunk down at the Timber Cove Inn: The kitchen serves fresh uni and
salmon, and the crashing waves will lull you to sleep. To the south is Bodega Bay, where deep-sea fishing boats and ocean’s-edge resort
golf courses offer other wine country diversions.
196 | Cityguide 2015

WINE DIRECTOR IAN WHITE
SHARES INSIDER INSIGHTS INTO
CALIFORNIA’S BEST BETS FOR
WINE AND BEER TASTING

EDITOR’S

PICKS

Visitors coming to NAPA VALLEY can easily hit the well-known favorites along Highway 29. But for less-known discoveries, start
with Fantesca and nearby School House, hidden on Spring Mountain. These family-owned and -operated wineries offer complex
wines and an intimate tasting experience. Head across the valley and up Howell Mountain to Viader for a private tasting of bold
reds (call ahead for an appointment), plus a stunning view of the valley. From there, shoot down valley to the Silverado Trail and
pop in to the lively and bustling tasting bar at Silverado Vineyards. Then take Highway 29 to Peju (full disclosure: it’s owned by
my wife’s family) and the caves at organic Tres Sabores—you’ll see why valley floor wines are famous. End in downtown Napa at
John Anthony Lounge, where they’re open late, the wines are full-bodied, and the local kindness will make you feel at home.
SONOMA COUNTY is known for its relaxed attitude and wildly varying experiences (from high-end luxury to camping)—and for
masterfully blending old and new winemaking traditions. While it’s impossible to see it all in one visit—the county is more than
twice the size of Napa Valley—pinot noir lovers won’t want to miss the Russian River Valley: Try lush Garry Farrell for earthy
pinot noir and Russian River views, and Lynmar for gardens and meticulously crafted wines. In Sonoma, the new Patz & Hall
Sonoma House is a stylish, arty place to sip and relax. For hidden treasures, look to the caves and family hospitality at Freeman in
Sebastopol, award-winning wines and a welcoming crew at the Balletto tasting room in Santa Rosa, private and custom tastings
and tours with La Pitchoune, and a hands-on, barrel-room experience with Kutch.
MENDOCINO COUNTY has a slew of amazing wineries, but it’s also a sudsy wonderland of specialized breweries. Amid the Anderson Valley’s pinot-heavy wineries is famous Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Booneville, which keeps things eco with solar panels
and recycled buildings. For a different grownup taste, try Bite Hard Cider at the Booneville Cider House. Up the coast in Fort
Bragg, North Coast Brewing Co. is all about pairing its beer with cuisine from its full restaurant. Ukiah Brewing Co. in Ukiah
focuses on unfiltered brews, while Mendocino Brewing Co. serves its more traditional beers from a brewpub that’s been
going strong since 1983.
SANTA CRUZ is known for dense forests and crashing surf, but the wineries, like the Santa Cruz locals, are diverse and welcoming. To experience forested views all the way to Monterey Bay while sipping killer chardonnay and pinot noir, try Silver Mountain
and Loma Prieta. For robust reds, head to Burrell School—the tasting room is in an old red schoolhouse—and Regale, a grand
Italian-style estate.

ctguide.com | 197

EDITOR’S PICKS

SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE’S

GETAWAYS

2015

NAPA & SONOMA DINING

GETAWAYS

REDD WOOD

VINE
DINING
Outstanding restaurants—from diners to Michelin-starred standouts—are
dotted throughout Napa and Sonoma.
Bar Terra
ST. HELENA

1345 RAILROAD AVE.

Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone have
converted half of their terrific
restaurant, Terra, into this relaxed
East-meets-West sidekick with a
kitchen that operates at perfect
pitch. Bacalao fritters resemble fried
seafood gnocchi, their crisp coats
and creamy centers enlivened by an
aromatic saffron aioli. The shoyu ramen has the kind of complex broth
that results from slow and careful
cooking. For dessert, roasted figs in
tangy labne accompany a beautiful
pistachio burma. 707-963-8931;
terrareastaurant.com $$$

Empire
NAPA

1400 1ST ST.

Not your usual sleepy farm-to-fork
Napa endeavor, Empire is complete
with a pipe organ bar and a backlit
jellyfish tank. The menu spans the
globe from Thailand (prawns in
coconut Thai basil broth) to Japan
(shabu-shabu) to the Middle East

Farmhouse Inn
FORESTVILLE

7871 RIVER RD.

As you head west through Sonoma
County, fine dining eventually gives
way to roadhouses and diners—that
is, until you get to this lovely inn. The
dining room glows with polished
ease, and Steve Litke’s masterful
menu skillfully strikes a balance
between comfort and daring, with a
lush pot de crème made with local
Dungeness crab and a textbook elk
tartare. 707-887-3300; farmhouse
inn.com $$$$

Fremont Diner
SONOMA

2698 FREMONT DR.

This country-casual spot serves a
menu of Southern classics with ingredients exuberantly sourced from
local farms, ranches, waters, and
wineries. Breakfast options include
black pepper brisket hash; lunch
means a Reuben sandwich with
house-cured pastrami or a chubby,
blue-ribbon burger. For dessert,
milkshakes with flavors like salted
caramel steal the show. 707-9387370; thefremontdiner.com $$

Kitchen Door
NAPA

610 1ST ST.

For locals or day-trippers, convenient Kitchen Door comes through
with carefully prepared compositions. Pho ga, light and bright, is
scented with star anise. And the
“chicken dinner” is iconic: roasted
bird tender and bronzed, the
centerpiece amid peas, carrots, and
roasted potatoes. 707-226-1560;
198 | Cityguide 2015

kitchendoornapa.com $$

Oenotri

Mateo’s Cocina Latina

1425 1ST ST.

HEALDSBURG

214 HEALDSBURG AVE.

Slow-cooked meats with longsimmered sauces, like the cochinita
pibil, are the most pressing mustorders at this Yucatecan restaurant.
The cochinita, or suckling pig, is
steeped in vinegar, rouged with
annatto seeds, and slow-roasted in a
banana leaf. And the tomate fresca
con ahumado (tequila, tomato juice,
lime juice, and pickled white onions)
is a world-class riff on a Bloody
Mary. 707-433-1520; mateoscocina
latina.com $$

Morimoto
NAPA

610 MAIN ST.

It won’t be a shock to Morimoto followers to see the restaurant’s Noah’s
Ark of a menu, with nearly every
creature that has ever walked the
earth or swum in its waters. The list
runs on for pages: hot and cold appetizers, steaks, grilled entrées, and
a multicourse omakase, or chef’s
tasting. A favorite moment came
with the yose dofu, a tofu made
tableside that is a velvety backdrop
for soy sauce, ginger, scallion, and
mushroom dashi. 707-252-1600;
morimotonapa.com $$$$

Oakville Grocery
OAKVILLE

7856 ST. HELENA HWY.

A favorite of wine tasters seeking
picnic provisions, Oakville Grocery is
a Napa landmark. But you’ve never
had a picnic like this: fried chicken
with bacon rémoulade on Acme
bread, or grass-fed slow-roasted
beef with horseradish aioli, caramelized onion, Fiscalini cheddar, and a
Bouchon bakery brioche roll. 707944-8802; oakvillegrocery.com $$

NAPA

Chef Tyler Rodde uses his woodfired pizzas as platforms for refreshing pairings such as Manila clams
with yellow gypsy peppers. The
pastas frequently grow playful: Black
olives and braised rabbit complete
a sweet-and-salty three-way with
beet strozzapreti. But the most
compelling items are the entrées:
One evening brought roasted rabbit
wrapped in pancetta and stuffed
with spring-onion frittata. 707-2521022; oenotri.com $$$

Redd Wood
YOUNTVILLE

6755 WASHINGTON ST.

Richard Reddington (of Redd restaurant fame) has opened a casual
alternative to Yountville’s fine dining
excess. Yes, there’s charcuterie,
small plates like fried salt cod with
harissa, and generous entrées like
braised lamb shank with sweet-pea
risotto. But most people come for
the perfectly blistered Neapolitan
pizzas and the al dente handmade
pastas, such as mint pea ricotta
agnolotti and rabbit pappardelle.
707-299-5030; redd-wood.com $$$

The Thomas
NAPA

813 MAIN ST.

The bar, Fagiani’s, is on the ground
floor, while the restaurant and raw
bar occupy the two stories above.
The menu moves from teetering
seafood towers to contemporary
musings (grilled pork chop with
quince aioli; wild mushroom mousse
in a Martha Stewart–worthy Mason
jar) that, like the setting, seem
aimed at invoking past-meetspresent moments: gold rush–era
California, gone gourmet. 707-2267821; thethomas-napa.com $$$

©COURTESY REDD WOOD; ©WOLFINGER/OAKVILLE GROCERY

OAKVILLE GROCERY

(cauliflower fritters with hummus),
and the lounge-bar vibe continues
until the wee hours. It’s a fitting
hangout for visitors seeking something hotter than reclaimed wood
and seasonal vegetables. 707-2548888; empirenapa.com $$

WENTE VINEYARDS

Just 50 miles east of San Francisco, Livermore Valley
is the next hot wine country, providing easy access to
award-winning reds.

One of the first areas of California to plant grapes, the Livermore Valley, set in the Tri-Valley region southeast of Oakland, is
still mostly unknown to visitors despite its 50-plus wineries, the
most since Prohibition. Having raked in some of the country’s
most prestigious awards for its reds, it’s on the cusp of exploding as a premiere wine region. Here are three wineries worth a
visit. Ian White

COURTESY WENTE VINEYARDS

3 Steves Winery

These three down-to-earth winemakers (yes, all named Steve)
won the 2014 Red Sweepstakes (best red wine) with their
Cienega Valley zinfandel at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine
Competition, the world’s largest contest for American wines.
Known for its cab franc and zinfandel, 3 Steves offers lively barrel tastings featuring robust wines, boisterous fun, and a tour of
the production facilities. 925-997-7736, 3steveswinery.com

McGrail Vineyards and Winery

MISS

Some say that that it’s the kindness of the McGrail family and
the lovely views that draw visitors to this family-owned and
-operated winery, with its friendly tasting room, picnics, and
private tours. Others maintain that it’s the skill of winemaker
Mark Clarin. Either way, there’s no questioning the quality of
the wine, at least not since the winery’s cabernet sauvignon

won best red at the Chronicle Wine Competition in 2012, arguably putting Livermore Valley back on the map. 925-215-0717,
mcgrailvineyards.com

Steven Kent Portfolio

Sibling wineries Steven Kent and La Rochelle sit on the same
property, and both offer wines with balance, complexity, and
structure. Like most places in Livermore Valley, the wineries
have a casual and unpretentious vibe, but the winemaking is
serious. The bold wines will intrigue you with their touch of arrogance—don’t miss the cab franc at Steven Kent and the grand
cru pinot noirs at La Rochelle. 925-243-6442, stevenkentportfolio.com

Wente Vineyards

C.H. Wente first planted chardonnay vines in 1912, and for the
five generations since then, the Wente family has been making
celebrated chardonnays. No longer just a winery, Wente also
has an award-winning restaurant, a golf course, multiple tasting rooms and wine caves, and an outdoor amphitheater that
hosts wine-and-dine concerts featuring a variety of artists, from
Counting Crows to Tony Bennett. 925-456-2305, wentevineyards.com

ctguide.com | 199

THE LIVERMORE VALLEY

A QUICK WINE ESCAPE

DON’T

GETAWAYS

2015

GETAWAYS

SANTA CRUZ

© JENNIFER CHUANG

SANTA CRUZ

T

ime moves a little slowly in Santa Cruz—
you are, after all, visiting the town whose
university claims the banana slug as its
mascot. In terms of water fun, there’s something for everyone in Santa Cruz. Sandy white
swimming beaches cascade out below the
boardwalk, fishermen cast their lines along the
end of the pier, kayakers and scuba divers find a
world of underwater activity in the surrounding
kelp forests, and easy, rolling waves line up like
corduroy along the sandstone cliffs of
Lighthouse Point.
If you’re hankering for a lesson in surf lingo,
head to the Surfing Museum, set in the old
lighthouse on Lighthouse Point. For a walk on
the wild side, Natural Bridges State Beach provides sightings of shore birds, migrating whales,
seals, otters, and (from October through February) 100,000 migrating monarch butterflies.
First-time surfers and longboarding buffs head
to Cowell’s Beach Surf Shop for smooth,
knee-high rights, while deft shortboarders and
longboarders from all corners of the earth take
the cliffside stairwell to the overhead break at
Steamer Lane.
The most iconic fixture in town is the 108-yearold Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park. As the Giant Dipper wooden roller
coaster climbs to the top of its first peak, take
in the sea, the sun, the mountains, and the city
before you plummet into nearly two minutes of
200 | Cityguide 2015

LIGHTHOUSE POINT

NATURAL BRIDGES STATE BEACH

ctguide.com | 201

©COURTESY SANTA
CRUZ COUNTY CVB

SANTA CRUZ

©COURTESY SANTA CRUZ COUNTY CVB

SURFING BY THE SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK

The industrial buildings on Ingalls Street
are dotted with potent potable destinations, including Surf City Vintners, Santa
Cruz Mountain Brewing, and MJA Vineyards Tasting Room, as well as
culinary highlights like Kelly’s French
Bakery, where the demand for fish tacos keeps the staff running all day. When
you’re ready for a romantic night out,
head east to Capitola and Shadowbrook
Restaurant, secluded on a lush hillside,
and with outstanding prime rib dinners.

GETAWAYS

heart-pounding turns. Dine beachside on
seafood specialities at The Crow’s Nest.
Or head to Pacific Avenue for boutique
shopping, gallery browsing, and peoplewatching. Join the hippies, brawny surfers,
white-haired flower children, and students
wearing “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” hoodies
in the queue for sourdough pancakes at
Zachary’s, or hit the açai bowl lunch rush
at Cafe Brasil. For full-on farm-to-table
fare, try the new rustic-chic Assembly,
followed by sweet seasonal flavors at the
Penny Ice Creamery.

GETAWAYS

MONTEREY COUNTY

SEEMONTEREY.COM

BIG SUR

MONTEREY COUNTY

T

his county brims with food, wine, and sightseeing and recreation opportunities, from the
cypress forests of Point Lobos to Castroville, the self-proclaimed Artichoke Center of the
World. In the middle of Monterey Bay, the 6,094-square-mile National Marine Sanctuary
encompasses an underwater canyon that’s almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in some
places, making this slice of ocean one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Experience
this undersea world up close in a sea kayak, on a whale-watching boat, or at the world-renowned
Monterey Bay Aquarium.
At the southern tip of the crescent-shaped bay is the Monterey Peninsula, which includes the cities
of Monterey, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Connecting the coast with the
inland farms of Steinbeck country is Carmel Valley Road, which ambles through rural Carmel Valley.

MONTEREY
Stylish, scenic, and historic, the city of Monterey has come a long way since its days as a working-class fishing and canning factory town.
Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row now house art galleries, shops, and seafood restaurants such as Chart House, which serves
up bronzed sole and spectacular harbor views. The city also hosts an impressive roster of hotels, including the sleek InterContinental
The Clement Monterey. The liveliest nightlife is found at Restaurant 1833, a sprawling 19th-century mansion with a list of 15 absinthe
varieties to fuel the party.
Monterey Bay Kayaks offers paddling experiences in the quiet wetlands
of Elkhorn Slough, populated year-round by harbor seals, coastal birds,
and sea lions. Of course, the absolute must-see in town is the Monterey
Bay Aquarium, where you can learn about aquatic flora and fauna, watch
sociable otters, and marvel at psychedelic jellyfish. The aquarium works
with several local restaurants and fishing industries to promote earthfriendly practices—a prime example is Cindy’s Waterfront, located at
the aquarium and featuring local sustainable seafood. And, of course,
come September, thousands will flock to town for the 58th annual Monterey Jazz Festival.

202 | Cityguide 2015

MONTEREY CVB

MONTEREY CVB

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM

MONTEREY COUNTY

GETAWAYS

REFUGE SPA

CARMEL AND PEBBLE BEACH
Opposite Monterey on the peninsula is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a cluster of
unique boutiques, galleries, and cafés nestled against the white sandy stretch
of Carmel Beach, with its cypress trees, sand dunes, frolicking dogs, and
stunning sunsets. Once a haven for artists and writers, this one-squaremile village features winding streets, storybook cottages, and outstanding
restaurants. You’ll also find Carmel Mission, whose garden alone is worth the
stop. Head inland for Carmel Valley, a 19-square-mile pocket that combines
upscale shopping, roadside produce stands, and elegant resorts and ranches.
You’ll find easy relaxation at Refuge, a coed day spa that focuses exclusively
on thermal therapy (a process of alternating hot and cold) and offers six
mineral pools, four fire pits, a eucalyptus steam room, and a Finnish sauna.
The industrial-sleek Lokal has an innovative menu with dishes like crispy pig cheek salad and sardine bocadillos with mojito aioli foam.
Just a 2-mile jaunt from Carmel, Pebble Beach shelters magnificent homes, a trio of luxurious resorts—the Lodge at Pebble Beach,
the Inn at Spanish Bay, and Casa Palermo—and, of course, amazing golf. Each August, Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Lamborghinis, and other
classic cars take to the Pebble Beach Golf Course green for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, gathering at the 18th hole to
compete for awards of automotive excellence. In mid-April, Pebble Beach Food & Wine attracts culinarati from around the world.

IT’S ALL
RIGHT HERE

The Portola Hotel & Spa
where great memories are made
Call us today (888) 222-5851 | www.portolahotel.com

ctguide.com | 203

YOU WANT TO SWIM

ARM IN ARM IN ARM WITH THEM.

Secretive, mysterious masters of camouflage are the cast in our newest
one-of-a-kind special exhibition. Wrap your arms (and your head) around
“Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.”
The Aquarium sells CityPASS for access to
all of San Francisco’s top attractions.

Share the Wonder. Share the Love.

montereybayaquarium.org/love

© KERRICK JAMES

MENDOCINO COUNTY

GETAWAYS

©COURTESY MEDOCINO COUNTY CVB

MENDOCINO
COUNTY

LITTLE RIVER INN

MENDOCINO COUNTY

H

alf the fun of driving up to Mendocino County is taking Highway
128 through funky, scenic Anderson Valley, with its sun-drenched
vineyards, tiny towns, and towering redwoods. In Boonville, the Boonville General Store has farm-to-table thin-crust pizza worth writing home
about. Stop by Paysanne for ice cream, and take a look into the Boonville
Hotel—it’s the kind of place where you stop in for a drink and
end up spending the night.
Beyond town, you’ll pass wineries like Goldeneye, known for its pinot noir,
and dog-friendly Navarro Vineyards before being enveloped by the looming redwoods of Navarro River Redwoods State Park. Ultimately, the drive
opens to Highway 1, where the earth seems to fall off into an Albert Bierstadt painting of the American West. You’ve reached the Mendocino coast.
Check into the cliffside Sea Rock Inn for awe-inspiring ocean views from every room and deck. Just around the corner is downtown Mendocino, where
a local art scene thrives—on the second Saturday of every month, the gallerNAVARRO RIVER REDWOODS
ies stay open late for artist receptions and show openings. Stroll through the
STATE PARK
Mendocino Art Center and browse the shops along Main Street (Perfume
Mendo stocks out-of-circulation Jil Sander perfume). If it’s a gorgeous day, listen for the “sunset
alert” and head outdoors for a spectrum of fiery oranges and Easter egg pinks.
To the north in Fort Bragg, you can check out Antique Row’s hip new boutiques before dinner at
chef Nicholas Petti’s Mendo Bistro in the bustling
GOLDENEYE
Company Store, a former hardware and grocery
store for the town’s mill workers. There’s not much in
the way of traditional nightlife in Mendocino County—
but that’s all the more reason to awaken early for a
crisp morning walk on sandy Big River Beach, where
Mendocino Bay meets Big River, before setting off on
a tour of the North Coast’s best vineyards with
Mendocino Wine Tours.
ctguide.com | 205

101

GLENN COUNTY

FORT BRAGG

5

Willits

BUTTE COUNTY
45

REGIONAL MAP

GETAWAYS

128

99

MENDOCINO

70

COLUSA COUNTY

Redwood Valley
20

MENDOCINO COUNTY

20

Williams
UKIAH

YUBA COUNTY

20

LAKE COUNTY

20

NEVAD
COUNT

Yuba City
SUTTER COUNTY

Lucerne

16

BOONVILLE
1

65

45

101

POINT ARENA

113
128

29

99

Lincoln
PLACER COUNTY

16

80

YOLO COUNTY

175

Geyserville
SEA RANCH
5

Woodland
SONOMA COUNTY

HEALDSBURG

505

CALISTOGA

1

Jenner

SACRAMENTO

NAPA COUNTY

Windsor

80

Winters

ST. HELENA

Guerneville

50

80

128

16

101

Occidental

116

SACRAMENTO COUNTY

SANTA ROSA
Sebastopol

Oakville
YOUNTVILLE

Glen Ellen

29

121

5

84
SOLANO COUNTY

SONOMA

1

FAIRFIELD
12

MARIN COUNTY

Inverness
Point Reyes

NAPA

12

PETALUMA

80

37

680

101

12

780

SAN PABLO
BAY

SAN JOAQUIN COUNT

BODEGA
BAY

4

San Rafael
1

GETAWAY
PLANNING
Here are approximate travel times from
downtown San Francisco with light traffic.

80

SAN FRANCISCO

680

 HR.  MIN.

YOUNTVILLE

 HR.  MIN.

ST. HELENA

 HR.  MIN.

CALISTOGA

 HR.  MIN.
 HR.

SANTA ROSA

 HR.  MIN.

HEALDSBURG

 HR.  MIN.

SONOMA COAST/BODEGA BAY

 HR.  MIN.

205

580

Dublin

580

Livermore

Pleasanton

580

132

680
880

Pacifica

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Moss Beach

99

880

SAN MATEO
COUNTY

5

Half Moon Bay

680

Palo Alto

1
280

SANTA CLARA COUNTY

SAN JOSE

Cupertino
85

STANISLAUS COUNTY

17
SANTA CRUZ
COUNTY

101

Boulder Creek

152

Davenport
Felton
SANTA CRUZ

SONOMA

5

99

SAN
FRANCISCO
BAY

MILES

DOWNTOWN NAPA

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Alameda

SAN FRANCISCO
280

4

24

OAKLAND

84

DESTINATION

STOCKTON

Larkspur
580
Stinson
Beach
Mill Valley
Tiburon
SAUSALITO
BERKELEY

Gilroy

MER
COU

152

Capitola

1

WATSONVILLE

156

San Juan Bautista

SAN BENITO COUN
1

MENDOCINO

 HRS.  MIN.

SANTA CRUZ

 HR.  MIN.

MONTEREY/CARMEL

 HRS.  MIN.

25

SALINAS
Pacific Grove
Pebble Beach

MONTEREY

156

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
CARMEL VALLEY
Big Sur
MONTEREY COUNTY

101

©COURTESY CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM

ADVERTISER
INDEX

THE CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM

A
Alcatraz Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155
Ala Romana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Alioto’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Aloft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
ATYS Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
B
Bay Area Discovery Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Beach Street Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Beach Blanket Babylon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Bike and Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Big Bus Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157
Blue & Gold Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Britex Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
C
California Academy of Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
California Historical Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
City of Oakland Broadway Shuttle . . . . . . . . . . . .177
City Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Cliff House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Cliche Now Gifts & Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Comet Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Cowboys and Angels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Crow’s Nest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Cuyana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
D
Daily Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Dainese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CVR3
de Young Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Discount Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
E
Eddie Bauer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Embarcadero Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Epic Roasthouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Eric Trabert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Espetus Churrascaria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
G
Gallery of Jewels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Ghirardelli Square . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Goodbyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Gift Center & Jewelry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Green Gross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Green Music Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
H
Harris’ Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75, 100
Harvey’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101

I
Intel Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
J
Jelly Belly Candy Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157
Jest Jewels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
John’s Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77, 102
Just for Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
L
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Lang Antiques and Estate Jewelry . . . . . . . . . 14-15
Legion of Honor Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Leica Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Le Marais Bistro and Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Love & Luxe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
LUXSF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
M
Madame Tussauds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Marin Country Mart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Martin Lawrence Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
McArthur Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Milk Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Mio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
Mt . Tam Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Monterey Bay Aquarium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Museum of Craft & Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
N
Napa Valley Wine Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
New Deli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Nick’s Lighthouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Noe Valley Pet Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Noe Valley Merchant Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Rockridge District Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Roe Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Rosenblum Cellars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
S
San Francisco Armory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
San Francisco Art Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
San Francisco Botanical Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
San Francisco Dungeon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
San Francisco Electric Tour Company . . . . . . . 159
San Francisco Helicopter Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
SF Jazz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Scarlet Sage Herb Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Shreeve & Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CVR2
Seaplane Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Shadowbrook Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Simraceway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Small Fries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Smuin Ballet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Spinnaker Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Stock in Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Suchada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Sue Averell Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
T
The Village at Corte Madera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Torneau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Town Center Corte Madera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Trattoria Pinocchio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
U
Union Street Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Urban Hardwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123

O
Omnivore Books on Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Ozumo San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

V
Venga Empanada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Visit Oakland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

P
Patz & Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Pier 39 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Plin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Portola Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

W
Walt Disney Family Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
Westfield San Francisco Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

R
Recchiuti Confections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Red and White Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Red Oak Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .175
Rickshaw Bagworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Ride the Ducks SF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153

X
Xanadu Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CVR4
Z
Zeel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

ctguide.com | 207

NAVIGATE SAN FRANCISCO
LIKE A LOCAL

GETTING

AROUND

San Francisco’s spaghetti of transit lines can be confusing, even for residents—and parking is even trickier.
Whether you’re traveling by car or transit, by bike share bike or just looking for a cool footpath to get
where you’re going, these apps have you covered.
Pro tip for transit riders: To avoid the hassle of buying a ticket for every ride, you can purchase a $3
Clipper card, which holds tickets and fares good for travel on MUNI busses and streetcars, BART, Golden
Gate Transit and Ferry, AC Transit in the East Bay, and many other carriers. Pick one up at Muni stations,
Walgreens, CVS, and a variety of independent retailers.

THESE FOUR
APPS CAN HELP
YOU DETERMINE
THE BEST
WAY TO GET
FROM POINT A
TO POINT B—AND
PARK WHEN YOU
GET THERE.

511 SF Bay Transit App
Select “My location,” plug in your desired destination, and choose
when you want to go. The app spits out a variety of public transit options for getting there, including schedules, fares, and time estimates
for each trip.
SFpark
This San Francisco MTA app shows meter rates and parking restrictions throughout the city, as well as real-time space availability and
rates at parking garages in popular locations such as Fisherman’s
Wharf, the Financial District, Hayes Valley, The Mission, and more.
Bay Area Bikes
Ride any one of the hundreds of Bay Area Bike Share bikes located
in stations around downtown San Francisco. Visitors can easily buy
a 24-hour ($9) or 3-day ($22) membership for unlimited 30-minute
rides. The app shows you nearby stations, as well as the number of
bikes available at each.
Transit and Trails
Brought to you by the Bay Area Open Space Council, this app displays a live map of biking and walking trails around the Bay Area. Use
it to plan scenic biking- and walking-path trips, or to find hiddenaway parks and vista points.

208 | Cityguide 2015

#dainese
#dainesecrew
#dstoresf

D-Store San Francisco
131 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-626-5478
www.dstoresanfrancisco.com
d-store.sanfrancisco@dainese.com
Dainese D-Store San Francisco

A R T
A R T

A N D
A N D

A N T I Q U I T I E S
A N T I Q U I T I E S

F R O M
F R O M

A S I A
A S I A

Frank Lloyd Wright designed
Store interior at 140 Maiden Lane,
San Francisco

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