04/25/2012 04:03AM ● Published by Style
16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project photo courtesy of Rachel Kane, RKane Creation.
Leave the cable cars, Pier 39 and Coit Tower for the tourists
– Style wants you to experience a weekend in San Francisco like a local. With tips on where to stay, dine, shop and play, this insider’s guide is the ultimate answer to the “been there, done that” travel blues.
Fly in the face of tradition with a stay at the luxurious Hotel Kabuki. Located in the heart of Japantown, this Joie de Vivre hotel provides the comforts of home with an Eastern flair. For a truly unique experience, book the Executive Sauna Suite, a two-room gem with separate living and bedroom spaces and a private sauna. Many of these rooms also feature Japanese-style soaking tubs sure to rejuvenate even the weariest traveler. Book online and receive a complimentary pass to Kabuki Springs & Spa – communal baths where facilities include a hot pool, cold plunge, dry sauna and steam room. Following a day of relaxation, unwind at the hotel’s O Izakaya Lounge with a Sake Mojito.
Kabuki Springs & Spa - photo courtesy of Frankie Frankeny.
Turn date-night on its head with dinner and a movie at Foreign Cinema where films are screened nightly in the outdoor courtyard as patrons feast on California/Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. For dinner, Chef/Owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark recommend the Petrale Sole, a specialty they describe as “vibrant, alive and in perfect harmony.”
For Sunday brunch, NOPA’s sun-drenched dining room is the place to be. The Custard French Toast topped with Citrus Marmalade and Honey Lemon Butter is a treat, especially with a side of House Smoked Bacon. In the mood for a balanced meal? Start with a Bloody Mary and an order of the Smoked Rainbow Trout with Housemade Bagel, Farmer’s Cheese and Radish.
Three Babes Bakeshop specializes in handcrafted sweet and savory pie by the slice. Flavors, which change weekly and feature the finest locally grown ingredients, range from classic Lemon Meringue and Banana Cream to the sinfully delicious signature Salty Honey Walnut.
Start your Saturday with a trip to the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market for fresh produce, live music and a friendly neighborhood vibe. Standout booths include Juicey Lucy’s, Snyders Honey, and Quick-N-Ezee Indian Foods, but if it’s citrus fruit you crave, Twin Girls Farms is a must.
Stop by Heliotrope San Francisco for fragrance-free skincare and aromatherapy products. Stock up on organic shampoos and scrubs, or select a clean burning Soy & Shea Butter Massage Candle to enjoy back at the hotel – either way, your senses are sure to delight.
Yoshi’s Club - photo courtesy of Yoshi’s San Francisco.
Discover the beauty of taking the stairs in Golden Gate Heights, home of the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project, a community effort that transformed a once ordinary neighborhood feature into a public work of art.
Climb the stairs at 16th Avenue to find, well, more stairs. Power through the burn until you reach Grand View Park (a.k.a. Turtle Hill), a hidden paradise with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city.
Mug for the camera at Photobooth, a portrait studio specializing in 19th century tintype photographs guaranteed to capture the true you.
Scat with the pros at Yoshi’s, a two-story jazz club and Japanese restaurant in the Fillmore Heritage Center. Visit during May for performances by Goapele, Keiko Matsui, and the Eric Muhler Trio.