Collected by Ferrin Lunestad
Most people come to Napa for the wine, but the Napa Valley is also an amazing place for people who love nature and the outdoors. Napa Valley Adventure Tours offers hiking, biking, and kayaking trips around the Valley. And of course, in addition to...
982 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Warfield Theater in San Francisco opened in 1922 as a vaudeville theater, but lives on as a live music venue in current times. Starting with entertainers that included Louis Armstrong and Charlie Chaplin, its prowess lives on with Pearl Jam,...
375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
A key player in the "third wave" coffee movement is Four Barrel Coffee, founded by Jeremy Tooker—who has a particular love for light roasts and the bright, acidic flavors that come with this method. Don’t let that description deter you, though;...
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
With no sign above its unassuming storefront, Tartine is most easily recognized by the line that snakes out its door and down Guerrero Street. People patiently wait for flaky pains au chocolat (the best outside Paris, in my opinion), decadent...
291 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Chef Nicolaus Balla of Bar Tartine says: "Go to Spices I or II in the Richmond District and order everything in the appetizer section. The chili oil pig ear is a great small salad with scallions, crunchy ears, and spicy oil." Check out Chefs Feed...
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Most dim sum places in the San Francisco Bay Area are pretty typical of what you can find in Asia, culture and all. And while I love authentic as much as the next person, there is a place that has elevated the art of the dumpling. I am not alone...
56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
In the largest Chinatown outside Asia, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory glows in the somewhat dark Ross Alley. A group of writers from a Trafalgar Guided Vacation enter the building and see the fortune cookies being made. The untainted, non...
2815 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
There's still a fish market vibe at the Fisherman's Wharf harbor, packed with stall upon stall of delectable catches. If you're going to try a local favorite—and you should—try the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Other tasty choices...
1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Nicole Krasinski describes the novel concept of her restaurant State Bird Provisions as “dim sum and a great hors d’oeuvre party morphed into one experience.” She and her husband, chef Stuart Brioza, prepare beautifully executed...
355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If their New American–style brunch and dinner menus don’t tempt you to Bar Agricole, in SOMA, maybe their recent James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program will. Cocktails run at $11 across the board, and head bartenders Thad Vogler...
2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The date-night dinner-and-a-movie standard has been taken to a new stylish height at this acclaimed restaurant in the Mission District. Grab a table on the patio under the strings of lights to dine on seasonal California cuisine while...
1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
With over 1300 reviews on Yelp, an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and a line that often snakes down the block, I won’t try to argue that Swan Oyster Depot is one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets. But I will...
500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
3870 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Named after Chef Melissa Perello’s grandmother, Frances is a neighborhood fine-dining restaurant where the focus is on simple but elegant cuisine that lets the Northern California ingredients shine. The restaurant is only open for dinner and...
3316 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The chef behind the open-hearth fire at Saison described this nasturtium wrap as the best taco in San Francisco. He could be right. The wrap may have been the most beautiful dish from Josh Skenes's tasting menu, but my highlight was a tuna...
801 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
I love the experimental name, Chocolate Lab, that brings to mind two mad chocolate makers (the Recchiuitis) dueling over creations, beakers bubbling over with—you guessed it—chocolate. This cozy café is known not just for its dessert, and the...
1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
The Alembic’s pink quail eggs are pickled overnight in coriander, allspice, and clove. They’re tangy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and beg for a Sazerac or bitter beer. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to...
220 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
With its community tables and small bites, Barbacco serves great Italian food meant for sharing. They have a large bruschetta menu that can make up a whole meal if you try every one—easier to do than it might seem, since it's so difficult to...
1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
They had me at the yellow building. I love wandering the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco and both Piccino restaurant and separate coffee bar, are lovely places to gather. The coffee bar on 22nd Street serves carefully crafted Sightglass...
2337 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA
If you're craving some flavor packed Oaxacan-focused Mexican head to Uptown Oakland and check out Calavera. The restaurant by chef Christian Irabien is quickly gaining a reputation as the spot to go for traditionally prepared fare of both the...
2065 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Lord Stanley is the restaurant love child of married chefs Rupert and Carrie Blease. The pair took their backgrounds in fine dining and created a relaxed yet still sophisticated dining experience on Polk Street in Russian Hill. We especially love...
1001 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Aster, the latest from super chef Brett Cooper and business partner Dennis Patterson, pays homage to the texture of food with very positive results. These days, everyone is raving about this atmospheric Californian bistro in the Mission, and it...
1499 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
In the buzzy Mission neighborhood, Al's Place is the creation of former Ubuntu chef Aaron London and does genius things with seafood and vegetables, especially vegetables—vegetarians love this spot. This is one of the hottest...
871 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
In lower Nob Hill, this playful restaurant has been hot since the moment it opened its doors. Chef Ravi Kapur's Hawaiian meets California menu is like no other in San Francisco, and features such strange, but surprisingly tasty concoctions like...
48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Sykes Hot Springs is a jewel in Big Sur country. Despite what the signs say it is a good 13-14 mile hike out to the springs up and down over 1000 feet of elevation. But the struggle is well worth it. There are three tubs of varying, yet...
46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
55000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I was putting my bags in my car, getting ready to leave, when a man came up to me and said, “Is it really time to go?” I smiled and answered, “No.” There was mutual understanding that nobody is ever ready to leave this place, where a feeling of...
Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA 93442, USA
Maybe birds are your passion, maybe not. Me, I like watching them do their collective thing - but prefer to do so in comfort, with a hot coffee, and after having slept in past 8am. Wherever you are on the scale of bird-lover, from 'meh' to...
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