April 29th, 2011
Here's the Plan: San Fran!
The City by the Bay is the ultimate big-city-boho getaway.
In a city revered for its restaurant scene, new spots better be ready to play with the big boys. Flour + Water serves up rustic Italian fare (Neopolitan pizzas and homemade pastas) in a hip industrial setting. The menu was so fantastic we opted for over half of it: farro garganelli with braised pork shoulder and fennel ($17), boartadella pizza (pea tendrils, spring shallots, pecorino and fresh horseradish ($17) and nettle cappellacci dei briganti with boar sugo, carrot & pine nut ($17). Not a forkful was left. This super busy spot now takes reservations, and be sure to make them (rumour has it Steve Jobs wasn't able to skip the line). 2401 Harrison St., San Francisco, www.flourandwater.com
Take a walk to Chinatown and find the bustling R&G Lounge, featured on Anthony Bourdoin's No Reservations and one of the Michelin Guide's favourite places. The lunch specials are cheap and cheerful (starting from $6)—the chicken cashew was tasty and worth a tenner. 631 Kearney St., San Francisco, 415-982-7877, www.rnglounge.com
Some clothes are worthy of reincarnation—at least the clothes at Afterlife are. Mixing the kitsch (old boy band concert tees) with high-end reconstructed pieces, this breezy boutique doesn't require a PhD in vintage shopping to score something great—and wearable. Afterlife, 988 Valencia St., San Francisco, www.afterlifeboutique.com
Atop the hill where the city's iconic cable cars meet, the opulent and historic Fairmont San Francisco is the perfect spot to rest (on Frette linens, no less) after exploring the city's endless niches. Seeing as it was the first hotel in the US to have concierges, it's no wonder the staff is attentive and knowledgable, with spot-on recommendations for everything from breakfast diners to late-night drugstores. We loved the hallways lined with black and white photos of dignitaries who have spent time at the hotel, from presidents JFK to Obama. From $179/night, http://www.fairmont.com/sanfrancisco