The Insider’s Guide to San Francisco

San Francisco is my playground! Who doesn’t want to be in the know? Every time folks come to San Francisco, it’s less than obvious where the real gems of this city are hiding… Of course, you have institutions such as The Rotunda restaurant on the top floor of Neiman Marcus or the Palace Hotel’s tea time… but where are the other spots that San Francisco’s natives frequent?

These are some of the spots that you can expect a range of experiences and are most likely where you are going to find more locals than not. This list is one that you can certainly rely on as spots worth returning to with friends and family.

Many of these are downtown SF which is ideal, minus The Dorian and Palm House, which you can find in the Marina & Cow Hollow… perhaps worth a Friday night or weekend jaunt. I have been to The Alchemist in SOMA more times than I can count and have found the ambiance to be ideal. It’s a great spot for groups to meet because they have extensive space upstairs. Group size aside, the Redwood Room at the Clift also has a great vibe to it (though far more intimate) and you can find a lovely chess board there to play!


The Dorian


The Americano


Palm House

Scala’s Bistro


Redwood Room

My personal favorite as they have a chessboard… I dare you to find it and play!

The Wing

Note: The Wing is a women-only, members-only working space. You can apply for membership on their website.

Local Edition

The Alchemist

Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar



theBalm Boutique


Alexander Book Co.

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