+ Fried Chicken Thursdays at Magnolia Pub & Brewery
Magnolia Pub and Brewery on the world famous Haight Street offers an upscale dining experience at Haight Street prices. The restaurant is open for lunch or dinner weekly and offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
You can’t go wrong with any of the menu items (plate of pickles anyone?), but the stand out choice is Magnolia’s Fried Chicken Thursdays special – a deal that is not to be missed. They serve it up until it’s all gone and pair it up with some of their delicious French fries and you’ll leave feeling satisfied and smiling.
And don’t forget their brews. They have everything from lighter brew to stouts to pair perfectly with a burger or salad. Tuesdays are $3 Tuesdays with all beers for only $3 all day long. Not only is it a great opportunity to try one of the fabulous house beers but a wonderful chance to take in all that Haight Street has to offer.
Magnolia Pub and Brewery is located at 1398 Haight Street.
+ Squat and Gobble Satisfys Any Craving
For a delicious and reasonably priced breakfast, lunch or dinner check out one of the Squat and Gobble restaurants in the city. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds – from a plethora of dessert and savory crepes to satisfying salads and sandwiches. They also have beer and wine options and several of the locations have patio seating for those sunny San Francisco days – a true treat for city folks.
Be sure to try out their Marina crepe with salmon or the Gobble Club which has turkey with a delightful cranberry aioli sauce. It’s like Thanksgiving year round
Squat and Gobble restaurants are conveniently located at five spots around San Francisco. You can grab a bite to eat in Lower or Upper Haight at 237 Fillmore or 1428 Haight Street. There is a location in the Castro at 3600 16th Street, one in West Portal at 1 West Portal right next to the West Portal Station and a large location in the heart of the Marina at 2263 Chestnut.
+ Sushi and Burritos Fuse at Sushiritto
San Francisco is known for many things and being the capitol of innovative restaurants is one of them. Sushiritto, located in SOMA, is one of the latest fusion restaurants to hit the city by taking sushi and rolling into a burrito-style roll that is easy to eat on the go.
The menu is simple – they offer six signature rolls including a vegetarian Buddha Boy roll – which combines traditional sushi roll elements with a Mexican flair (think ingredients such as Mexican Kabayaki sauce and melted pepper jack cheese).
It’s standing room only in the actual shop so head over to Union Square or find a nice bench to enjoy this unique taste of San Francisco.
Sushirrito is located at 59 New Montgomery Street in San Francisco.
+ Tony’s Pizza Napoletana Serves World Champion Slices
Home to a large Italian-American crowd, any old bloke will tell you that North Beach is the neighborhood to be in if you’re looking for a scintillating slice of San Francisco’s finest pizza. But with more than a dozen pizzerias within a five block radius, how can you tell the run-of-the-mill from the cream-of-the-crop? Leave it to the professionals. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is the dough and marinara of nine-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani — the first American and non-Neapolitan to ever claim the prize for “Best Pizza Margherita.”
With ingredients imported from Napoli each week alongside produce from local organic farmers and artisan cheese makers, Tony handcrafts his award-winning pizzas in the heart of Little Italy from the same 900-degree, wood-burning oven that catapulted him to fame. Just steps away from Washington Square Park, the full-service restaurant turns out a limit of 73 celebrated medium Margherita crusts a day, fresh-as-can-be ingredients permitting. If you’re not one of the chosen ones, you can take your pick of more than 25 other varieties, from truffle to quail egg and speck to the New Jersey-style “Original Tomato Pie.” If baked dough isn’t your cup of tea, praiseworthy antipasti, pastas, inslata, and dolci also await.
+ Yank Sing Delivers Dim Sum on the Ritz
If the hustle and the bustle of Chinatown’s to-go only dim sum spots makes you feel “lost in translation,” but you still have a taste for the Orient, Yank Sing might be just the thing. One of only five restaurants designated “an American classic” with a 2009 James Beard Foundation award — the Oscars of the culinary world — this delightful dining spot is the definitive dim sum house.
With unflinching, rapid-fire servings of an exceptional variety of fried and steamed small plates wheeled around in carefully choreographed carts, your only worry will be to know when to stop. Luckily, you can get comfortable sitting back to overeat and taste your terrific tea at a luxe table dressed in white linens — a far cry from the flickering overhead lights and suspended poultry of Stockton Street. Better yet, with prime locations in both the Embarcadero and the Financial District, your hotel suite or business meeting may be just a hobble, skip or jump away.
+ Design for the Adventurous at Rare Device
Design savvy bay area shoppers know Rare Device as the place to get everything from nautical lore to laser-etching and everything inbetween.
Co-owners, and designers, Rena Tom and Lisa Congdon take pride in their handmade, beautifully crafted collection of zany wares that add panache to a humdrum home. Every object was hand picked specifically because of it’s unique story, it’s usefulness, and it’s position in the modern, quirky aesthetic of the shop.
Part shop, part gallery, Rare Device enjoys hosting traveling shows for many modern artists of today.
Simply put, Rare Device is good stuff for a good home.
+ Let Out Your Inner Pinup Girl at Dollhouse Bettie
Every woman has a saucy siren lurking somewhere within her, waiting to be coaxed out. And nothing helps a woman understand the power of her own sensuality than slipping on a sexy bra or lacy negligee. That’s where Dollhouse Bettie comes in. This vintage lingerie store is located on Haight Street and carries everything from vintage nightgowns to retro-inspired pieces as well as garter belts, stockings and vintage accessories.
The store not only pays homage to the bygone era of the pinup girl but it also encourages women of all sizes to embrace their femininity. Whether you’re just window shopping or looking for something to surprise your special someone – Dollhouse Bettie can help you out.
The store is as intimate as its apparel with fun vintage-inspired decorations. The staff is more than willing to help you out whether it’s figuring out what size you need or to dis.
Dollhouse Bettie is located at 1641 Haight Street.
+ Thread Lounge: Discounted Designers to New Labels
“Where did you find that- and for what price?” will soon be familiar words if you put Russian Hill’s Thread Lounge into your shopping rotation. Opened by fashion industry veteran Colleen Smith, the Polk Street shop sells high-end sample pieces and excess stock from both independent designers and sartorial titans at greatly discounted prices. With 300 labels in the loft-like space and apparel and accessories for men, women and children, it’s a one-stop shop for all seasons and occasions. From chic yoga gear to statement-making evening wear, Thread Lounge Designer Sample Sales has you covered.
You’ll certainly be charmed by the price tags on designs by the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Trina Turk, and Joe’s Jeans, but this boutique’s biggest asset is the attire from lesser-known, up-and-coming designers, like Julie Brown and Nougat of London. Smith’s extensive stable of local and international labels makes for a wardrobe of seemingly one-of-a-kind wears that will no doubt become a talking point. Whether you pick up the most becoming blue jeans or a head-turning party dress, you’ll spur curiosity and envy in all who pass you by.
+ Get Your Body and Mind Aligned at In-Symmetry
San Francisco is inundated with salon and spa storefronts- some pricey, some alternative and some for the gentleman traveler. Yet who wants another mediocre massage when there’s In-Symmetry? Hidden on the south side of Potrero Hill, this high quality day spa has a “members only” atmosphere and an “everyone’s welcome” price- just like Trader Joe’s.
In-Symmetry Spa is as proud of its history of service for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, K.D. Lang, Ashton Kutcher, Pink, and Natalie Merchant as it is its deep-tissue massage services for the masses of locals who frequent here every week. No matter who you are, this laid-back spa will treat you with the indulgence and respect you deserve after your long week at work.
Aside from a Zen Hot Stone Massage that will make your body melt on the table, and a healing Sports Massage, In-Symmetry provides specialized Pre-Natal massages that pamper mama-to-be and Facials that will tone and tighten your face without the surgery. But be prepared, every service here will leave you floating on air with your head in the clouds, so planning your payment ahead of time might be wise.
+ Move Over Shakira- It’s Fat Chance Bellydance
Shakira may have started the belly dancing trend in mainstream America, but recently you’ve seen it featured as a fitness routine on Dr. Oz and in Akon’s “Bellydancer” video. At Fat Chance Bellydance, in the heart of the Mission District, you can see a bodacious belly dancer in front of your own two eyes- or become one yourself.
One part troupe, one part workshop, Fat Chance Bellydance showcases American Tribal Style dancing, created by director Carolena Nericcio. Here you’ll see how improvisational choreography creates a smooth and enchanting hip dance, or learn both slow and fast movements, and how to use zils to make your own beat. Fat Chance is perfect if you’re looking for unique entertainment at a party, wanting to learn how to do solo performances at restaurants and shows, or for an alternative outlet to spice up your fitness routine. Walk-ins are welcome!
+ Experience True American Ballet with the San Francisco Ballet
As America’s first and oldest professional ballet company, the San Francisco Ballet is a must-see for anyone looking to truly experience the American style of ballet. It is among the world’s leading dance companies and one of the three largest American ballet companies, and is the company responsible for premiering ballet staples like Swan Lake & Nutcracker to American audiences.
The company presents more than 100 memorable performances annually, from new works by today’s most prominent choreographers to new interpretations of classic full-length productions. Led by world-famous Helgi Tomasson, the company consists of a diverse international repertoire that is always presented with finesse and elegance.
The company is currently based in the beautiful 3,146-seat War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. With its elegant lines, vaulted ceiling, marble foyer, and sweeping balconies, the opera house complements and completes the breathtaking experience that is the San Francisco Ballet.
+ Dance the Night Away at Madrone Art Bar
For an upscale time on a budget, head to Madrone Art Bar on Divisidero for fun drinks, a chill, friendly crowd and lots and lots of dancing.
Things really heat up Tuesday nights for Boogaloo $2 Tuesdays with the local band “Steppin” playing live music until closing and $2 Tecate beer and $4 Jameson all night long. Fridays and Saturdays also get going with drink specials and theme nights, including a Michael Jackson/Prince dance-off.
You also can’t beat the decor. Madrone highlights different artists and their work – from photographs to paintings and mixed media – every month, making each visit feel like your first.
They also have a photo booth in the front of the bar so even if you forget your camera, you can still have memories of a great night.
Madrone Art Bar is located at 500 Divisadero Street in San Francisco.
+ San Francisco Symphony
Get classical with The San Francisco Symphony. Now entering it’s one hundredth year, The San Francisco Symphony sets the highest possible standard for excellence in musical performance in the Bay Area.
+ 75 Years of Excellence at SFMOMA
The SFMOMA is one of the most inventive museums of modern and contemporary art. Celebrating its 75th anniversary with a brand new rooftop garden, it has something for every taste: traditional paintings and sculptures to new-age mixed media. The brilliant collection features contemporary greats such as Henri Matisse, Alfred Stieglitz, Marcel Duchamp, and of course, the infamous Jackson Pollock.
For art enthusiasts or simply anyone who recognizes and welcomes greatness born in our time, SFMOMA offers not only traveling exhibitions of modern artists, but also artist lectures, curator talks, film screenings, workshops and more.
Complete with an architectural model of Eliot Noye’s Westinghouse 1964 New York World’s Fair Pavilion, as seen in the Men in Black movie, and Andy Warhol’s Red Liz, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is an excellent and eye-opening museum.
+ Gold Dust Lounge’s Music is Money
With the ceiling murals and walls lined with framed currency, the Gold Dust Lounge looked like a Wild West saloon. Don’t let the decor fool you, this historic Dixieland bar was famous for the many Jazz artists who have played there over the years.
San Francisco’s Gold Dust Lounge, in a fight for its life since octogenarian owners Jim and Tasios Bovis were hit with an eviction notice last year, served last call at its beloved Union Square digs and announced an upcoming move to the tourist heavy Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Gold Dust Lounge has reopened and you’re invited! We packed up the pieces in Union Square and moved to Fisherman’s Wharf on the Barbary Coast.
We brought Bing Crosby’s cherub mural on the ceiling, the antique brass lights, the Bovis Family paintings, the tables, the gold filigree mirrors, the old wood bar, the red velvet booths, Herb Caen’s stool, his Vitamin V, the band, the bartenders, waitresses, the Miner 49er, the swinging saloon doors, that familiar marquee -all we’re missing is you! Come have a drink as we kick off more good times for years to come! Help us make the new Gold Dust a home.
+ French Charm in the Heart of Union Square at Petit Auberge
Luxury, exceptional customer service and convenience don’t have to come from a big corporate hotel. Look past the over-starched bellhops and stay at Union Square’s Petit Auberge, ranked one of the top 75 hotels in the US by Conde Naste Traveler.
Like a French B&B you might discover down a back alley in Paris, Petit Auberge’s tucked away, downtown location is convenient for all the sightseeing San Francisco has to offer all while acting as a peaceful escape from the high-traffic city scene. Anyone who’s ever gone out for a day of sightseeing in San Francisco knows that it’s also like spending a full day with Jillian Michaels; the hills and excitement will surely leave you exhausted, and you’ll look forward to the crackling fire, wine and hors d’evoures that await you back at Petit Auberge.
Even honeymooners searching for joie de vivre can find it in the hotel’s luxury Petit Suite with a private entrance and deck, hand-painted French king bed, and champagne and chocolates. In the morning, enjoy a fully stocked gourmet breakfast, and out the beveled glass French doors are only two blocks from Chinatown, Union Square shopping and the Nob Hill cable cars.
+ It’s All About The Fung Shui Views at Mandarin Oriental
Occupying the top eleven floors of a 48 story building in the Financial District, and bumping windows with the famous Transamerica Pyramid, The Mandarin Oriental hotel is the third tallest building in San Francisco. The unobstructed views are so awesome they give you binoculars at check-in.
Arriving by taxi but traveling by cable car, this hotel’s location is perfect for the business traveler looking for some tourism in the agenda. The financial district is the hub of the city’s enterprise, but surrounded by the most popular destinations: Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower, and North Beach are all within several blocks.
Your time within the luxurious Mandarin Oriental will not be wasted, with Silks Restaurant offering Pacific Rim fine dining, and the Mobar Lounge serving appetizers and Asian-inspired cocktails. Of course, if the stay is strictly business, there’s a 24-hour staffed business center and event space for your stay-connected needs.
Guest rooms nestled in the top ten floors are colored with clay and chile red hues, dressed with fresh orchids, and a perfectly fung shui’d window and raised bed design that allows you to enjoy the city skyline without even getting up for your binoculars.
+ It’s Modern Charm at the Inn on Castro
The Inn on Castro may be Edwardian charm on the outside, but it’s all modern design inside – reiterating what it means to not judge a book by its cover. This guest home has 8 bedrooms (and yes, 8 private bathrooms!) that give you a comfortable mix of modern eclectic décor with old-fashioned service. Each room is decorated with original artwork and adorned every morning with fresh exotic flowers. Enjoy a locally famous homemade breakfast in the morning, and brandy in the warm Italian style living room for your evening, complements of your host. There are also three self-catering apartments available off site for those who want to fully be a part of the Castro community.
Located in the heart of the lively Castro District, at Castro and Market intersections, you are immediately immersed in everything this vibrant part of town has to offer: boutique shopping, modern bars, local and friendly restaurants, and four types of public transportation to help you with your sightseeing. In this part of town, you will never be bored and nothing will ever be out of reach.
+ History & Luxury at The Fairmont Hotel
The Fairmont Hotel, located among the finest real estate of Nob Hill, has been a testament to San Francisco’s hospitality since its opening after the 1906 Earthquake. Not only does the hotel offer 591 luxurious rooms and suites (not to mention a 6000 sq. ft. rooftop penthouse suite that accommodates over 100 guests), but has an impressive list of services as well.
As a Fairmont guest, enjoy free use of Nob Hill’s exclusive Club One Health Center & Spa or spend your business trip in the finest corporate meeting space in San Francisco. The Garden Room is, after all, where delegates from around the world drafted the 1945 United Nations Charter.
Throughout the century, socialites and travelers have favored Afternoon Tea Service in The Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar, which serves the best in sustainable fine dining and local wines. Then experience a tropical rainforest and exotic Asian cuisine in the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar.
Seasonal packages are also available, like Valentine’s Day after hours “Wine and Dine Tour” at the California Academy of Sciences. Whatever your interest in staying at the Fairmont, this hotel is sure to provide the highest quality of service.
+ A Life of Luxury at the Mark Hopkins Hotel
Opened during the height of the roaring twenties, the landmark Mark Hopkins Hotel in Nob Hill is every bit as stunning as it has always been. The Intercontinental Hotel Group is known for having the most luxurious hotels in the worl, and the Mark Hopkins is no exception- it’s an impressive match to those of Paris, Rome and Rio de Janiero.
For your stay, this hotel offers a room for every occasion: standard rooms with estate furnishings and city vistas, business and executive rooms with office amenities, terrace suites with outdoor city and bay views, or a two bedroom presidential suite complete with Jacuzzi and parlor.
For the truly decadent world traveler is the $7750 per night Penthouse Suite with three glass-walled views of the entire city, original 1926 carved wood walls and bookcases, a plush living room, Italian marble bathroom, and personal service fit for royalty. Not to worry there are standard rooms and town cars are complementary for all guests.
Dining at the Mark Hopkins will start your day in style with a continental breakfast buffet that is reminiscent of a fine dining experience. Of course, the famous Sunday Champagne Brunch at the hotel’s Top of the Mark is not to be missed.