This was a fun one! I mentioned on my stories that I was planning a quick trip to SF a couple weeks ago with Aaron. He was attending a conference and I went to tag along and get some work done in a distraction-free environment (anyone else who works from home feel like they need a break sometimes?). I wrote out a list of all of my favorite bay area shops and eateries (including ones I had yet to try) and I immediately started getting excited. As a whole, I think there’s a lot of overpriced crap in SF (just being honest) but I also think it’s a great example of a city that can be really fun when you have a curated guide in hand.
Where to stay
I’ve gotta be honest here: I don’t have a favorite hotel in SF. Overall I think the hotels leave a bit to be desired as they’re generally overpriced and small. But that’s not a huge issue when you’re spending most of your time out having fun. I genuinely don’t mind a small hotel and tend to save money for when we go to really fun places (like Japan next month!) and use Hotel Tonight for quick trips like this where I don’t need luxury, space or amenities.
As someone who lived in the Bay Area, one of my absolute favorite things to do was go to the Alameda Point Antique Faire the first Sunday of every month. This flea market is in my top 5 for sure. It’s huge, easy to navigate, tons of variety AND lots of food trucks. Los Angeles flea markets are majorly lacking in the food department, and truthfully this would help keep me happy + shopping for hours.
I was really excited to check out some shops on Haight I hadn’t been to in years. Also got some great recommendations from instagram that did NOT disappoint. My first stop was Relic Vintage and I was just floored from walking in. Relic specializes in 1920’s-1960’s men’s and women’s clothing. As expected, each piece is so well curated and cared for it almost makes you not want to remove them from their special place in the store. Within minutes the owner Oran came up to me and rather than try to eye me while touching a pair of $400 1940’s pajamas he said “aren’t these amazing?! You should try them on!” while sliding them in my direction. I can’t believe the amount of early 1900’s vintage stores I’ve gone to where I was treated like I must not know anything and like there was no way I could afford or fit into anything they had; this was such a refreshing experience.
Next up was Static Vintage down the street and I had just as good of a time in there! I chatted with the owner about our favorite silhouettes for our bodies, gushed over prints and tried on so many dresses. I walked out with this one!
Another fave Wallflower, is located in the Mission. I loooove Wallflower because it has such an amazing mix of vintage, their own in-house 70’s-inspired line and even some new sunnies to mix it up. A must-stop when you’re in the area!
Where to Eat
Mmm my favorite part! This was really fun because I hadn’t been to any of these places, but had been wanting to try them for so long. I definitely had a Hawaiian / tiki theme going but I promise each place was totally different!
I can’t even believe I had never been to the Tonga Room! It’s sooo fun and located in the basement of the fancy Fairmont Hotel. Amazing happy hour spot and please don’t be alarmed when fake rain comes down over the water every 30 minutes. It’s like a mix of vintage hideaway, tiki dream and a dash of Disneyland.
After returning home I realized I may have gone a little overboard with Boba Guys. I mean I went there all three days I was in town, haha. But actually it turns out I didn’t go overboard because I’ve been craving it everyday since! Why is it superior to other boba places, you ask? Because they use higher quality ingredients, have lots of yummy milk alternatives and let you pick your sweetness levels. Definitely the best milk tea I’ve ever had.
One of my favorite meals of the trip was at aina in Potrero Hill. Absolutely delicious elevated Hawaiian food. The menu was small and there were four of us so we got try the majority of the menu and everything was so good. Highly recommend it for a low key but elevated lunch or dinner.
You know that feeling when you see a picture of a new crazy looking food trend on instagram and you’re like “hmmm okayyy” and you’re simultaneously intrigued and also judgmental and also set very high expectations? That’s me literally everyday, haha. I basically took one look at this photo on instagram and judged it and walked in ready to hate it for basically no reason. I was so wrong and it was amazinggggg!! It’s not just an instagram-friendly food like all of those ice cream cereal tacos I keep seeing (why) but it is truly delicious and perfect for someone like me who enjoys a protein heavy breakfast muffin. If you make it to Craftsman and Wolves, make sure to order the Rebel Within!
Our dinner at Northeastern Thai eatery, Hawker Fare was also delectable. The aesthetic in there is kitschy with lots of Elvis memorabilia and some tiki statues. We went there with a few others and since it’s family style, we got to try a lot. Absolutely looooved the larb and papaya salad. Oh and of course my tiki cocktail was DIVINE!
I’ve been wanting to try Leo’s Oyster Bar for awhile and planned it on our last day! I’ll be honest, the service wasn’t great and I also had an allergic reaction to an oyster (oops lol) but the decor was top notch and the food was pretty good. I’d totally go back for a cocktail and some bar snacks.
San Francisco is definitely a city rich with culture with tons of amazing museums, historic buildings, beautiful parks and even beaches. Although i didn’t have time to make many stops since it was such a short trip and I was clearly too busy shopping and eating, I made sure to go to one of my favorite places in San Francisco. Musée Mécanique is one of the largest privately owned vintage arcade collections and it’s so fun! I mentioned on instagram that Aaron and I had one of our first dates here, just making it way more special. While it’s located in the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, it definitely has a run-down arcade feel (which I appreciate) and is worth the trek!