San Francisco Travel Guide – Best Places to Visit and Eat At

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San Francisco is far more than just tech bros and fleece. The city’s fashion profile has been steadily gaining steam, with a high-profile couture exhibit and world-class independent boutiques—not to mention a restaurant and bar scene that will give you ample opportunities to show off your new looks. Here, all our picks for what to see, shop, eat, and do while you’re there, besides building your startup empire.

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Leah Romero

“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” at the Legion of Honor

guo pei exhibit at the legion of honor

Gary Sexton

Through Sept. 5, the Legion of Honor museum plays host to the breathtaking work of Chinese couturier Guo Pei, best known stateside for designing Rihanna’s omelet-like Met Gala dress in 2015. Over 80 stunning pieces are on display (and deserve close-up viewing).

McMullen

sherri mcmullen

Carolyn Fong

Knits by Aisling Camps and jewelry by Khiry are just some of the treasures you’ll find at Sherri McMullen’s perfectly curated boutique, which just so happens to be celebrating 15 years in business.

City Lights Bookstore

san francisco, ca   may 20, 2013 the city lights bookstore is an independent bookstore founded in 1953 by poet lawrence ferlinghetti and peter martin on columbus avenue in san francisco's north beach neighborhood, the birthplace of the beat generation of the 1950s the landmark bookstore was a hangout of beat generation writers and artists, including jack kerouac, neal cassady and allen ginsberg it continues to be a popular bookstore, specializing in publications of interest to left leaning readers photo by robert alexandergetty images

Robert Alexander

Channel your inner Beat at this North Beach staple that’s been around since the 1950s, and has drawn in everyone from Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg. Don’t miss the poetry room upstairs.

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Leah Romero

La Bande

la bande in san francisco

@ Manolo Yllera

You’ll be transported to Barcelona at the Proper Hotel’s sleek restaurant, which serves an inventive array of tapas and apéritifs. (The salt cod croquettes are a standout.) The Kelly Wearstler-designed interior, with its witty play on stripe motifs, is eminently Instagram-worthy, too.

Flour + Water

flour  water restaurant san francisco

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This Mission District standby is known for its inventive pizzas and pastas, and the space recently got a chic new re-design, too. The pasta tasting menu is a worthwhile splurge (trust us).

Empress by Boon

empress by boon san francisco

JEAN BAI

In the former Empress of China banquet hall, Hakkasan alum Chef Ho Chee Boon offers a modern Cantonese menu with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients.

elle escapes new york

Leah Romero

Fisher Loft

fisher loft at palihotel san francisco

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Ensconced in the Palihotel, this charming bar and restaurant will be re-opening soon, according to its Instagram. Expect caviar-embellished burgers, cocktails, and afternoon tea in a bright, convivial atmosphere.

The Beehive

the beehive san francisco

Emilio Salehi

Don Draper would have fit right in at this midcentury-inspired cocktail bar—though he might have been taken aback by the elaborate feats of mixology, including an Elvis-inspired mix of peanut-flavored bourbon and caramelized bananas. The Beehive also serves the ultimate savory ’60s treat: fondue.

Red Window

red window san francisco

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Spritzes and other low-proof cocktails from co-owner and mixologist Elmer Mejicanos are the order of the day at North Beach’s charming Spanish restaurant and bar.

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Leah Romero

Palihotel San Francisco

palihotel san francisco

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Housed in a historic building, this Union Square gem comes complete with retro touches like old-fashioned elevators and vintage land-line phones, plus some modern upgrades (Diptyque products and a themed Spotify playlist). Noir fans can check out the alley behind the hotel, which boasts a plaque in tribute to one of Dashiell Hammett’s famous characters.

San Francisco Proper Hotel

proper hotel san francisco

Grey Crawford

A circa-1909 building in the Mid-Market district now houses a branch of the popular Proper Hotel, with maximalist interior design by Kelly Wearstler and that rare San Francisco amenity—a rooftop bar with sweeping city views.

The Line

the line san francisco

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San Francisco’s latest addition is an outpost of the beloved The Line franchise, which already has locations in L.A., Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. The Handel Architects-designed stunner is set to open Sept. 1, and will include a restaurant and bar (naturally).

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