Friday, March 20, 2015

Carrie's SF Picks

- winter: ice skate at Union Square (& get hot cocoa at Starbucks across the street at Macy’s 4th floor and watch the Zamboni!)
- cable car ride up to Fairmont; Tonga Room (excellent tiki bar; used to be the health club. Carrie was married on the boat in the middle of the pool!)
- Breakfast at Sears (only breakfast, not known for other meals – get the Swedish pancakes)
- John's Grill (see the Maltese Falcon – or ignore it and just eat steak. Yum)
- Tadich Grill (Carrie’s Dad’s fave – oldest SF restaurant)
- Starlight Room (there may be a drag show, there may be a cover – the view is AMAZEBALLS)
- China Town: Far East Café, shopping on Grant Ave, dim sum galore
- Cafe de la Presse (get newspapers from anywhere!)
- Cafe Claude (get the citron presse – tart and yummy!)
- FLLW building at 140 Maiden Lane (1949)
- Stookey’s Club Moderne 895 Bush (Carrie’s friend’s new deco bar)
- Whitechapel 600 Polk at Turk – another of Carrie’s friends created this gin bar for time travel – a MUST!
- Uncle Vito’s Pizza on Bush and Powell (owned by Carrie’s ex-husband. Actually very good pizza!)

Market Street:
- street car to Castro Theatre (January = Noir City film fest! first: Twin Peaks bar)
- Zuni Cafe (famous for oysters, hamburgers)
- Chow at 14th/Church (organic food, always good)
- Twin Peaks for view (see photo above!)

Haight Street: 
- Deluxe (where the 40s crowd used to go when there was one)
- Amoeba, Rasputins (record stores!!) 
- Relic Vintage (ask for Oran, Carrie’s friend)
- Big Legs = Piedmont Boutique (for fishnets, wigs, cheap earrings, gloves, costumes)

- Tartine (best croissants outside of France)
- Rosamunde sausage (Mindy often DJs reggae on Sundays)
- Mission Pie (everything is good; the pie is excellent)
- tacos at La Taqueria (Zagat rated!)
- Thrift Town & Mission Thrift
- fresh fruit markets
- 1972 BART station (Brutal)
- Mission Dolores (get your history on)
- Makeout Room for live music (Thursday nights)
- de angelis (best vintage furniture, on Valencia)
- Casanova (dive bar with great collection of black velvet nudes)
- Arinell's pizza (NY style; the best!)
- St. Mary's Pub (just past 30th, tiny place with great DJs)
- Front Porch / Rock Bar (best fried chicken; fab soul food which you can eat in the restaurant or in the bar across the street)

North Beach: 
- Cafe Trieste (coffee!!!)
- Caffee Greco (coffee, pastries and gelato – lovely place to sit and look out the window)
- Vesuvio (since 1948 and still looks the same inside. Stained glass, random chairs, Victoriana. Love)
- City Lights books (books, check their event schedule for readings & book-signings)
- Victoria Bakery (not safe if you are on a diet!)

- walk along water
- Red's Java House (cheap marginal burgers, excellent view and you can sit right on the water)
- Pier 23 (for live music)
- Fancy food at Ferry Building (all local, none cheap)
- Take ferry to Sausalito for lunch at The Trident (MUST SEE INSIDE! Amazing 60s/70s history)
- Hyatt and Embarcadero Shopping Center (70s chic)

Levi's Plaza: 
- Levi's museum (rotating display at Levi’s HQ, also employee cafeteria is excellent and open to public)
- brutalist fountain (walk in it and get your feet wet!)
- Filbert Steps up to Coit Tower (just under 400 steps up; see the famed 30s murals inside the tower)

Fisherman's Wharf: 
- Crab season (= Nov to May) Scoma's is GOOD but $$$, get fresh on the water and ask them to steam it for you!
- Sour Dough Bread Bowl (addicting, nothing like it!)
- Fisherman's Grotto #9 (get spaghetti; crab cakes are good – otherwise this is not the BEST food but the atmosphere is vintage fantastic – since 1935)
- penny arcade / musee mechanic (old and sometimes freaky mechanical amusements. Carrie hates Laughing Sal)

Ft. Mason: 
- Green's (best veggie restaurant in the US)
- old tile benches on the water (if you can find them – walk along the right side of the Festival Pavilion)

Presidio (1776):
- Bowling
- Presidio Social Club (GREAT FOOD and cocktails, can sit outside, parking)
- walk from Crissy Field to Fort Point (see seals and surfers)

Golden Gate Park: 
- Conservatory of Flowers (fab on a rainy day; built from a kit in 1878)
- Japanese Tea Garden (ogle the koi and stay for tea after you walk around the gardens)
- De Young (amazing art exhibits; TOWER has stunning 360 view of SF; go for free Friday night events)
- Archery range at 47th ave (lessons are offered on Saturday mornings)
- 70s Parcourse at Polo Field (there is also a modern parcourse at Crissy Field)

Palace of Fine Arts (1915 Maybeck):
- nice for picnic (feed the ducks and pretend to be a Victorian)
- A16 on Chestnut (ask for Shelley, Carrie’s cousin)

Great Highway:
- beautiful drive along the ocean (occasionally closed for sand)
- Cliff House (fancy place to eat brunch)
- Louis’ diner at top of hill (same great view, no attitude)
- Hike around the ruins of the Sutro Baths (feel like you are at the edge of the world)

SOMA / Potrero Hill / Bayshore:
- Tour Anchor Brewery (best lunch but need to reserve in advance)
- Vega 1246 Folsom Street (M-F only – get the Macau Iced Coffee)
- Twisty street (Vermont)
- Farley's coffee (and the used bookstore across the way)
- The Ramp (oysters, burgers, beer, dogs OK since 1950)
- The Old Clam House (every meal begins with a shot of hot clam juice. Which is delicious, really!)
- Silvercrest donuts (greasy spoon with pool table and pin ball, started life as a dry goods store 1870s)
- Alemany Market (Sat = Farmer's, Sun = flea mkt)

Stay tuned for more to come in Carrie’s Bay Area picks!

You can also see this post on my LinkedIn page