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Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. When you want insight into the top spots a city has to offer, you turn to the locals. So to share the best gems of San Francisco, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb sellers and local bloggers with knowledge on where to go and who to see. Let’s meet the team!
Kara Harms from Whimsy Soul is a Midwestern gal who ran away to San Francisco. She’s addicted to chocolate, cheese (hey, she’s from Wisconsin) and binge watching Netflix. In her pjs. With snacks. She can be followed on Instagram and Twitter @TheWhimsySoul. (KH)
Carrie Wickman-Dorn is a San Francisco local who is nice enough to share some of her fantastic vintage finds with us in her Krrb corner. (CW)
Reichel Broussard of Copy Cat Chic has combined her love of home design and all things ‘tech’ into a career for us to follow. When she’s not scouring the internet for sales, closeouts and bargains in order to make her house into a home (on the cheap), she’s living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Catch her in action on Instagram and Twitter. (RB)
Jasmine Lee of Jasmine Lee Photography is a San Francisco native and photographer extraordinaire. With a knack for capturing weddings as they unfold naturally, and in the most beautiful and artistic way, Jasmine has been recognized by Ceremony Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, BRIDES, Pottery Barn, and more. Fall in love with her work on Instagram. (JL)
Kelly Egan-Huibregtse of A Side of Sweet lives in San Francisco with her husband, Pat, and their puppy, Maddie. You’ll find recipes, DIYs, style, travel & a glimpse into her adventures on Instagram and Twitter. (KE-H)
Ashley Muirbruhn of Hither & Thither grew up in Long Beach, California (and went to the same high school as Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg—though not at the same time). Today her home is in Northern California where she tells the best stories and takes the most beautiful photographs. You can check them out on Twitter and Instagram. (AM)
1. After an exhausting day, where do you go to recharge?
KE-H: I grab a pitaya bowl at Sidewalk Juice when I need a healthy snack to pick me up. Their bowls are gorgeous and totally Instagrammable.
CW: I love going to Ocean Beach, taking a walk and watching the sunset, then depending on how exhausting the day was, possibly followed by a cold beer or a glass of rose at the Park Chalet.
RB: Hiking through the Presidio is a great way to get away from the major crowds.
JL: After a long day of photographing, I’m always craving something to drink. You can find me at Boba Guys drinking a Jasmine Milk Tea with boba! What I love most about Boba Guys is that their drinks are brewed with real tea, they use Straus Family Creamery organic milk, and I can customize how sweet I want my drink! I’m not a big fan of extremely sweet drinks so I order mines at 25% sweetness. It’s the perfect drink and location to unwind after an exhausting day!
KH: During the summer, Baker’s Beach is a wonderful place to relax and watch the sunset. Otherwise, my favorite place to grab much-needed happy hour drinks is Social Kitchen & Brewery – they always have fun new brews on tap!
AM: Dolores Park, in the Mission, just re-opened after a major (2-year) renovation, so it’s once again a great spot to head and relax on the grass with some picnic provisions or an ice cream from Bi-Rite.
2. Where can I find the best burger in the city?
KE-H: My favorite burger places are Roam and Causwells. Roam has awesome build-your-own burgers with things like avocado and fried egg. The Causwell burger was recently featured as the best burger on the West Coast by Thrillist. They grind their meat fresh daily and the burger actually often sells out by the evening.
CW: The Corner Store and Umami Burger.
RB: The Plant – By far the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted.
JL: Whenever I’m in the mood for a really good traditional burger, I head over to Roam Artisan Burger! Their patties are 100% grass fed beef and all of their ingredients are high-quality. My favorite burger is their Sunny-Side that features organic free-range egg, aged white cheddar, caramelized onions, greens, tomato, and sweet chili sauce. Not to mention all of their fries are to die for! You must try the Fry-Fecta that includes all of their featured fries: Russet Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, and Zucchini Onion Haystack. Don’t go home without trying one of their shakes that are also made with Straus Family organic milk.
KH: I’m actually not a burger person. I go for Mexican (Street Taco in the Haight) or Chinese (literally any dim sum joint in Chinatown) is usually what I’m eating.
AM: If you can stray from the rest of the menu, the grass-fed burger at Nopa is amazing. And my friend swears by the black-bean burger at Umami if you’re a vegetarian.
3. The forecast calls for a rainy afternoon. Where do you go?
KE-H: I’d probably whole up with coffee at any of my favorite coffee shops. There are a million, but my favorites are Provender in Potrero Hill, Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in The Marina/Cow Hollow, Jane on Fillmore in Pacific Heights and Sightglass Coffee – The Mission.
CW: If its a Sunday, to the Legion of Honor to browse the exhibits, get a cappuccino and catch the live organ concert in the afternoon. Or go to SCRAP where you can browse through aisles full of interesting discarded craft and art materials to get your creative juices flowing.
RB: Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.
JL: The Ferry Building calls my name when it’s raining. There are many local shops, cafes, and restaurants within the vicinity. Whenever I’m there, I grab an Almond Milk Latte from Blue Bottle Coffee, ice cream from Humphry Slocombe (their Secret Breakfast flavor is delicious), and a dozen oysters from Hog Island Oyster. If you take a seat at Hog Island, you’ll get the perfect view of the Bay Bridge. My personal tip? Go during sunset and watch the Bay Bridge lights come to life!
KH: If it’s a weekend – just plan a late brunch! My favorite is Haight Patio Crepes (the salmon crepe is amazing!)
AM: I love the DeYoung museum in Golden Gate Park. Even on a rainy afternoon, the view from the Observation tower is a special treat. From there you can warm up with hot tea and steamed buns at one of the delicious dim sum spots in the Outer Richmond.
4) You want to spend as little money as possible but still have a good time. What do you do?
KE-H: There are so many options to see San Francisco on a budget. We have so many beautiful outdoor spaces, like Ocean Beach, Land’s End and Golden Gate park. I would grab a picnic and do a hike through all three.
CW: Ride my Vespa around the city (if you don’t have a scooter you can rent a Scoot). Favorite rides are through the Presidio and out towards North Beach to grab a coffee and a bite to eat. Or down the Embarcadero to Flora Grubb Gardens to see all of the beautiful flowers and plants they have, and maybe splurge on a cup of fresh coffee and a tiny succulent plant to take home.
RB: Treasure Island Flea is a fun place to get a big bang for your buck.
JL: Whenever I’m looking for activities to do, I love exploring Golden Gate Park! I really enjoy walking around Stow Lake because of its natural beauty. Along the way, you’ll see one of the most gorgeous stone bridge, waterfalls, squirrels dancing in the trees, and ducks waddling across the pathways. Nature is at it’s best! It’s such a scenic location that I definitely recommend bringing your camera!
KH: Head up north to Sonoma Valley for the day! The tastings for wineries here are much more affordable (ex: $7) compared to Napa Valley (ex: $25), and some are even free!
AM: Head for the beach! It’s easy to forget, but San Francisco has some incredible beaches. For example, you can fly kites at Ocean Beach, take in the views of the Golden Gate bridge from Kirby Cove, or hike past Lands End to get to the coast, just to name a few.
5) And for fellow travelers, what one place is a must-see on a tour of San Francisco?
KE-H: I would say the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It’s a melange of cute shops, bakeries and restaurants and so fun to explore. Even better is to go on Saturday when they host on of the best farmer’s markets in the city. You can find anything you can think of and so much more. It’s where all of the best chefs in the city go to source their produce.
CW: Bottomless mimosa brunch in the Mission followed by a mural walk (must see is The Women’s Building), and an afternoon picnic at Dolores Park (hopefully on a sunny day!).
RB: Ferry Building for a one-stop shop of all the best of San Francisco, or I always love walking down Sacrament Street.
JL: The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco and it draws in many travelers worldwide. You can drive, bike, and walk across the bridge! While there are many locations to view the Golden Gate Bridge, I would highly suggest seeing the bridge from Marin Headlands in Sausalito. You’ll overlook the Golden Gate Bridge on top of a mountain and it’ll be sure to take your breath away. From this location, you’ll also have a panoramic view of San Francisco. My best tip is to go during a weekday at sunset.
KH: My favorite thing to do with visitors is take a long walk from Union Square, through Chinatown, up Nob Hill and ending at happy hour in North Beach. Not only are the views throughout the walk amazing, but you leave feeling like you really experienced what San Francisco is all about.
AM: I have a feeling I’m not the only one who thinks the Ferry Building is one of the most special places in San Francisco—a remarkable food hall with incredible views of the bay, you can sample coffee from Blue Bottle, Oysters from Hog Island, cheeses from Marin County, Sourdoughs unique to the city, and browse ceramics from Sausalito’s Heath without leaving the building. If it’s a sunny Farmer’s Market day, you’ll have to contend with the crowds, but it’s worth it.
Do you know of any other local hot spots in San Francisco? Tell us where to go in your comments!