Tag Archives: san francisco

travel in style: san francisco

As you might have noticed from all of my nostalgic exclamations on Twitter and Facebook recently, I packed up my most stylish duds, a slew of accessories, and spent last week in the city where I really did leave my heart: San Francisco! Five glorious days eating absolutely everything I wanted to eat, seeing (nearly) everyone I wanted to see, and buying (not even close to) everything I wanted to buy. I am full, I am happy, and I am exhausted!

{The view from my room at the Huntington Hotel. I couldn’t stop staring!}

While I was thinking about what to share with you about the trip, it occurred to me I’ve never even given you a list of my must-see destinations in San Francisco. Shame on me! And so, forthwith, a completely incomplete Top Ten list of some of my favorite things in what is quite possibly my favorite city in the States (there’s no competing with Paris).

{Clockwise, from top: Old Fashioned cupcakes at Miette, a much-enjoyed cappucino
at Emporio Rulli, and a peek at Dish, my new favorite SF boutique.}

1. Shop in Union Square. I know, there’s nothing exactly novel about Neiman Marcus, Saks, Barneys(!), Zara or Madewell, but when you live in a city without access to any of them, I can assure you that the site of that particular square block of real estate is intensely satisfying. While you’re there…

2. Treat yourself to a crab louie salad at the Rotunda restaurant in Neiman Marcus (really just an excuse to have them serve you piping hot popovers with strawberry butter). And, though it’s tempting to splurge on an order of their famous chocolate-chip cookies, skip it and instead…

3. Have a cappuccino and a sfogliatella at Emporio Rulli, right in the heart of Union Square, for the best people-watching ever.

4. Gorge at the Ferry Building. Or, more specifically, have an Old Fashioned cupcake and a pistachio macaron at Miette, brave the line (or try the secret window around the corner) for a(nother) cappuccino at Blue Bottle, then grab a pack of S’mores Bites from Recchiuti, and a pot of olive oil lip balm from McEvoy Ranch to take home. Sit on a bench outside, watch the ferries go by, and take in a postcard-perfect view of the oft-overlooked Bay Bridge. Speaking of gorging…

5. Gary Danko. Lobster risotto and a cheese cart…what else do you need to hear?

6. Fillmore Street. Any time you see Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jonathan Adler and a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the same block, go there. Follow up with some great window-shopping (or thrifting, if that’s your thing), a stop at Heidi Says Shoes, and a leisurely browse at Browser Books.

7. Hayes Valley. This ‘hood has grown by leaps and bounds since I last visited, and it might just be my new favorite shopping spot. Besides Miette’s Confiserie (best candy shop ever!), there’s serious fashion to be had. The vintage selection at Ver Unica and Reliquary is unprecedented – even I couldn’t resist (as evidenced by that fly leopard coat that followed me home). Then there’s Dish, which is so much my perfect boutique that I could have closed my eyes, pointed to literally anything, and bought it without looking, knowing I’d love it forever. Nida (why don’t these stores have e-commerce?!) is pretty wonderful too, if only for their selection of Isabel Marant and Athe by Vanessa Bruno.

8. Eat in North Beach (aka “Little Italy”). Preferably at Sodini’s, my personal favorite for old-school Italian charm. But wherever you dine, finish at Mara’s for a cannoli.

9. Palace of the Legion of Honor. Nothing whatsoever to do with food or shopping (are you shocked?), but still one of my favorite places ever. It’s all peace, calm and beauty, as far as the eye can see…with a stunning clifftop view of the bay and that big red bridge.

10. Stay at the Huntington Hotel, and spend a day at the Nob Hill Spa. But more on that awesomeness tomorrow…

I’d love to know what you’d add to the list!

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