Tuesday, March 18, 2014

where i ate in san francisco (via trip styler)

there are way too many restaurants on my where-to-eat-in-san-francisco list -- 28 to be exact, which I've organized by neighbourhood and cuisine. i keep a list of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, museums and outdoor spaces for many of my favourite cities, like los angeles, portland and new york. this practice has always guaranteed fantastic meals, whether i'm looking for a quick bite near dolores park {pizzeria delfina} or a leisurely brunch near ocean beach {outerlands}. 

i knocked a couple off my list last week and they were so good i had to share. two down, 26 to go. the only problem is that i loved these two so much i can't wait to go back.

trip styler tip: when you hear about a fantastic restaurant from a friend, in a magazine or on instagram, keep a note of it in your phone under the name of the city and how you heard about it. or, if you want to get extra fancy, make a custom google map.

state bird provisions
neighbourhood: western addition

i'm optimistically confident when i tell you this will be your most memorable dining experience in san francisco. that is, if you can find it -- and if you can get in. there's no name on the outside and their reservations are famously filled 60 days ahead, though they leave a third for walk-ins. but don't let that scare you off; once you set foot inside you'll feel welcomed. despite its hotspot status -- bon appetit named it the best new restaurant of 2012 -- the restaurant has a neighbourhood feel. while i waited for my table, i saw several diners hugging and chatting with chefs and servers like old friends.

but you want to hear about the food, i know! they serve it conventionally and unconventionally; you can order off a menu or you can order dim sum style, off carts and trays brought past your table throughout the meal. this is dangerous because everything looks delicious. the menu is always changing, but we ate: garlic bread with burrata, raw oyster with spicy kohlrabi kraut & sesame, grilled asparagus with gribiche & toasted hazelnuts, smoked trout quinoa tabouleh, steak tartare caesar lettuce cups, hamachi & avocado mousse on a seaweed cracker and pork belly blood orange salad. we finished our incredible meal with a half order of spiced almond cocoa nib ice cream sandwiches in plum fudge. {statebirdsf.com}

trip styler tip: drop by when they open or early in the evening to secure a table for the same night. i came in around 6:30 and scored a 9:30 reservation.

bar tartine
neighbourhood: the mission

sister restaurant to tartine bakery, whose cultlike following lines up out the door and down the block for bread and pastries on the daily, bar tartine is a stylish bistro where the dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful, as distinctive as they are simple. open for dinner, weekend brunch and as a sandwich counter wednesdays through fridays, this nearly decade-old restaurant is always hopping. many of the dishes are built around their famous bread, baked on site daily. vogue recently called co-owner and baker chad robertson "the cult prince of american breadmaking".

i made a same-day reservation for the very european dinner time of 10:30pm. the room and staff are warm and inviting; i loved the small touches like fresh flowers in the restrooms and the thoughtful wine recommendations from our attentive server. we ate: sliced bread with cultured squash in sunflower oil, smoked potatoes with black garlic, kale with sunflower tahini and yogurt, beef tartare on toast with horseradish, chicken in paprika sauce with buckwheat and chard and rainbow trout with mustard greens and shiitake in broth. {bartartine.com}

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com

Monday, March 10, 2014

san francisco coffee crawl (via trip styler)

in san francisco this week, the first thing my friend asked me every morning was "where are we going for coffee?" whether we were walking from SOMA to noe valley or road tripping to sonoma, our first stop was always coffee. 

as luck would have it, we were in a pretty phenomenal coffee town. and as excessive planning and coffee geekery would have it, i knew where to find it. 

move over, portland; san francisco is hot on your heels, roasting incredible beans and serving up gorgeous cafés. here are a few places to get buzzed in fog city. 

sightglass coffee
locations: SOMA & the mission

blue bottle coffee
locations: embarcadero, hayes valley, SOMA, the mission, oakland

réveille coffee co.
locations: north beach, the castro, the financial district

four barrel coffee
locations: the mission, portola, alamo square

honourable mentions: ritual coffee roasters {the mission, hayes valley, bayview, napa}, jane {pac heights & tenderloin}, saint frank coffee {russian hill}

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

stylish stays in san francisco (via trip styler)

san francisco crafts a unique cocktail of old-world luxury and contemporary california style. known for its bohemian spirit and start-up cachet, the city by the bay is the perfect spot for a getaway filled with charming neighbourhoods, wine, shopping, world-class restaurants and, did i mention, wine?

here are my picks for hotels that rise above the city's famous fog---which has its own instagram account, of course.

hotel zetta
neighbourhood: SOMA
price point: from $250
this tech-savvy hotel, a member of the viceroy hotel group, has a shared games room and a lively lobby scene where you can mingle with budding tech tycoons. 

hotel vitale
neighbourhood: embarcadero
price point: from $300
the selling points of this serene boutique property from joie de vivre hospitality are a stellar location on the embarcadero and views of the bay bridge from the rooftop patio. 

fairmont san francisco
neighbourhood: nob hill
price point: from $250
perched atop nob hill, this luxury landmark hotel is swathed in history and grandeur, and is home to the famous tonga room tiki bar.

hotel monaco
neighbourhood: union square
price point: from $210
this playful and pet-friendly property from kimpton hotels has a 1920s theme plus a complimentary nightly wine reception and an enviable location close to union square.

st. regis san francisco
neighbourhood: SOMA
price point: from $450
an elegant hotel that sets itself apart with its butler service, spa and bentley for hire, this property is high on sophistication and style.

hotel tomo
neighbourhood: japantown
price point: from $115
this minimalist boutique hotel, outfitted in japanese pop art, is a re-purposed budget hotel from joie de vivre hospitality, and close to iconic music venue the fillmore.

phoenix hotel
neighbourhood: tenderloin
price point: from $150
a converted midcentury motel in a neighbourhood in transition, this property has hipster appeal and a vibrant pool scene.

hotel kabuki
neighbourhood: japantown
price point: from $140
this affordable and modern property features a koi pond, japanese garden and unique sauna suites, away from the hustle and bustle of union square.

clift hotel
neighbourhood: union square
price point: from $260
art deco opulence meets surrealist whimsy in this phillippe starck-designed hotel near the city's central shopping district.

cavallo point
neighbourhood: sausalito
price point: from $330
this relaxing hotel across the bay, the sister property to big sur's post ranch inn, sits on a former army base in golden gate national park.

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com