Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

Hanging out at Alamo Park. Photo: Cntraveler.com

Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can be overwhelming when you’re hard pressed to find the best. To share what gives San Francisco its distinct flavor, we’ve assembled an A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb members and resident influencers with knowledge on where to go and what to pick up. Get ready to meet the team!

Sarah Swangler

Sarah Swangler is a photographer with a passion for travel and fashion. Proceed with caution as the photos on her blog will give you a serious case of wanderlust. Explore San Francisco with Sarah as well as outside city limits by following her on Instagram. (SS)

Ally Chen

Ally Chen started her Youtube channel Fashion by Ally when she was in high school, growing her passion for DIY clothing and her audience. Get outfit of the day inspiration with beautiful San Francisco backdrops on Instagram and visual diary recaps of her happenings on the blog. (AC)

Sarah Tripp

Sarah Tripp‘s love of lipstick was the inspiration for her blog’s name, Sassy Red Lipstick. With her husband Robbie by her side, Sarah roams the city—trying new restaurants, exploring local haunts and discovering artisans in her neighborhood. You’ll be hearting her Instagram photos of San Francisco in no time! (ST)

Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

Photo: Wallpoper.com

If you had to explain the vibe of San Francisco in one sentence to an outsider, what would it be?
SS: Home because anyone and everyone is welcome.
AC: It’s a charming, foggy city with a melting pot of cultures and eclectic neighborhoods.
ST: San Francisco is a thriving melting pot that is characterized by its acceptance of diversity as much as its creative innovation.


We know certain foods are synonymous with different cities. What foods or recipes would you say best represent San Francisco?
SS: Anything farm to table.
AC: You must try the seafood here, especially the cioppino from Sotto Mare. Here’s a little background on cioppino, which was invented in the late 1800’s by North Beach fishermen. They used leftover seafood from the day’s catch to create a tomato-based seafood stew.
ST: Seafood is a huge staple here since we live by the ocean, especially clam chowder. Since San Francisco is such a foodie town there’s so many unique and trendy spots to visit and try!

And what about local restaurants?
SS: The theme is strongly eating local and sustainable foods. Who isn’t happy about that!
AC: There are so many amazing restaurants! If you’re looking for the best burger in town, check out Causwells. El Techo has the best happy hour with a view overlooking the Mission District. Check out Chez Maman for a romantic French restaurant perfect for a date. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you must try Smitten, churned-to-order ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
ST: My favorite local spots are Plow for brunch, Bi-Rite Creamery for ice-cream, Elephant Sushi for fish, and the Dirty Habit for a trendy tapas restaurant.

Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

Happy hour at El Techo. Photo: Cyneats.com

Just like how jazz is such a central part of life in New Orleans, which music style would you say best represents your city?
SS: Rock and Roll. San Francisco is the home to many different genres of Music from big artist to small but on any given night you can catch a rock show. My favorite spot is Bottom Of The Hill. The vibe and artists never disappoint.
AC: The music is as diverse as the cultures in the city. If I had to choose one I would say jazz.
ST: San Francisco has a jazz scene and a rock scene that dates back to the hippie era of Haight-Ashbury. Napa Valley, just outside of the city, is home to the music festival Bottle Rock, which has artists from rock to jam to EDC to pop artists.

Are you fans of any local bands or musicians?
SS: Yes! Of course the iconic ones such as The Grateful Dead, Journey, Steve Miller Band and Green Day. But also The Stone Foxes, Zion I, Geographer and The French Cassettes are all amazing!
AC: Quite honestly, it’s hard to just pick one! To get a feel of local music, you should check out Outside Lands Music Festival that takes place every August in the Golden Gate Park.

Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

Drum session at Outside Lands Music Festival 2016. Photo: Consequenceofsound.net

If you had to describe one design style or local designer as best representing your city, what or who would it be?
SS: The city is the home to many amazing handcrafted artists and designers. I love jewelry so The2Bandits is one of my all time favs. Its boho-inspired jewelry is full love and free spirit vibes which is San Francisco.
AC: I’m a huge fan of couture designs by Altana Danzhalova. Originally from Siberia, Altana arrived in San Francisco in 2009 to pursue her career in fashion. Her work is not only elegant and sophisticated but also very classy.
ST: Sustainable designer Amour Vert is the epitome of San Francisco. While the designer is carried everywhere from Nordstrom to even Stitch Fix, it’s based here. Even more, every element of the clothing is made, cut and dyed here in California. Amour Vert carries basics to build your wardrobe, but also trends to make it chic.

Which stores or shopping destinations would you say summarize the fashion/style of SF locals?
SS: Three famous shopping centers in San Francisco. Haight Street for the iconic grunge and recycled clothing crowd, Valencia Street for all things handcrafted and locally made for the hipster crowd and Union Square for the box store crowd.
AC: I personally love shopping at the local boutiques in the Marina District and Hayes Valley, or in the Downtown area.
ST: The shopping area in SoMa best represents San Francisco locals. You can shop designer boutiques for an it item or trendy pieces at lower costs like Forever 21, J. Crew, Madewell, etc. This area is right downtown and has something for everyone, locals included.

Locals Share What Gives San Francisco Its Distinct Flavor

The shopping scene on Haight Street. Photo: Reportingsf2012.wordpress.com

And lastly, where do you go to hang out with the locals?
SS: To hang with locals, I personally love the Mission. It’s the sunniest part of San Francisco in the daytime and the liveliest in the evenings. El Rio is a favorite among locals who love backyard hangs and live music on Fridays.
AC: The best place to hang out with locals is in the Mission District at Dolores Park or Crissy Field. Bring your dog and enjoy the beautiful sights of the city!
ST: The best part about living in San Francisco is that there’s always something going on. Whether it’s a blogger networking event, a Giants game, sightseeing with family or friends, it’s so easy to blend in with locals because something exciting is always happening!

Looking for more of what makes San Francisco so awesome? See the best local makers in the Bay Area, as well as great AirBnb options in the city and where to go locally to get your DIY on. And you don’t want to miss an opportunity to shop from local sellers in San Francisco.