Summer season is approaching which means more daylight to stroll streets and more hours to savor delicious meals prepared by chefs sourcing organic ingredients from a mere 50 mile radius. In the Bay Area, there’s always something new to discover whether an alley filled with shops ran by artists or a co-op bookstore. Here are some of our favorites as curated by a mix of California Natives and some new to the city. We hope you enjoy and please share in the comments your favorite places to spend summer.
Starting at Fort Funston, walk down to the beach and stroll south as far as you can go towards Pacifica. It’s a wild beautiful coastline with high cliffs that block all view of city life. Magic!
Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132
Almost every shop in Temescal Alley is sustainable in some way, be it locally made, vintage, etc.
A few of my favorite shops are: Esqueletto Lauren Wolf finds the best hand crafted and sustainable jewelry designers, plus she has a gorgeous vintage ring collection (where my wedding ring came from)!
Ali Golden and Marisa Haskell are both locally made and always full of treasures.
Crimson Horticulture Rarities is another favorite, it’s so visually tantalizing.
49th Street and Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
Outerlands is my current favorite restaurant. My husband is quite the cook (he cooked to pay his way through college and did a stint at Chez Panisse) so we prefer to eat at home. When we do go out, we find too many restaurants too salty, too loud and too expensive. The setting is cozy here, the food is seasoned perfectly and the price fits. We’re happy diners there.
4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122
If you’re looking for a casual outdoor dining retreat, this Mission Bay restaurant should be on your list. Be sure to sit on the back patio, which overlooks the bay, includes a bocce ball court, fire pits and an impressive garden from which they grow their own ingredients for their delicious salads and pizzas.
499 Illinois Street San Francisco, CA 94158
Cactus Jungle Nursery and Garden
Not only does this nursery operate under a strong conviction of sustainable gardening practices (see the list on their website), it offers a wide variety of succulents, cacti and large indoor houseplants (think Instagram favorites, Monstera plant and Fiddle Leaf Fig). As a Californian, I am always concerned with the volume of water consumption of my small garden so this has quickly become my go-to spot for drought resistant plants.
1509 4th St, Oakland, CA 94710
If vintage clothing is your thing and you find yourself in the East Bay, this a great little store nestled between an ultra-cool home decor shop and a landmark theater on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. With approximately 20x20 square feet dedicated to merchandise, this store boasts some of fashion's most notable couture brands including Margiela, Yves Saint Laurent and Dries Van Noten. But don’t worry if you could care less about these labels. If your only interest it to get your hands on some unique and affordable pieces, they’ve got that too.
4188 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
Potrero Hill Community Garden
Grab yourself a coffee and a donut at Dynamo in the mission then walk across the beautiful bridged overpass to the Potrero Community Garden. This garden, which was establish in the 70’s, is home to some of the most spectacular views in the city; yet it remains free of tourists and crowds. Instead, it is filled with chickens, lavender, tomatoes, etc. Strike up a conversation with a local and take a seat at the picnic tables for a perfect afternoon.
San Bruno Ave & 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
This volunteer run bookstore is filled with the most amazing used books, ranging from high-end art to the classic SF beat writers. You could spend hours browsing the shelves, just don’t forget to make your way through the maze to check out the gallery hidden in the back of the store. Follow them on instagram to be in the know with their frequent events.
3130 24th st, San Francisco, CA 94110
This is the perfect healthy lunch spot. Besides being beautifully designed, their local, fresh food is always delicious. Part butcher shop, part bodega this unique space has some of the best salads in the city, which pairs well with their rosé! Before you leave spend time in the deli which is impeccably curated with local goods ranging from honey to beer.
3000 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Amazing record shop next to Greath Highway at Ocean Beach with new and used vinyl from all genres and generations. If your turntable is out-of-service, they also carry a beautiful curation of handcrafted goods and gifts from local artists.
3614 A Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116
Andytown Coffee Roasters
You haven’t fully experienced the outer sunset until you’ve taken a sip of a Snowy Plover, coined the tastiest drink in San Francisco, it features espresso, Pellegrino, brown sugar simple syrup and is topped off with homemade whipped cream. You out the door yet?
3655 Lawton St, San Francisco, CA 94122
I could spend all day at this garden center (which doubles as a cafe). Great plant selection, helpful staff, and sunshine abound.
1634 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
Paxton Gate Curiosities For Kids
This unique toy store has the best finds for the Little Coyuchi. From vintage inspired toys to local kids books, even adults can lose track of time in here.
766 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Nestled between the Sunset & Golden Gate park, this is my favorite organic Acai bowl in the city (tip: add peanut butter, it takes it to a whole other level!). Nearby is Other Avenues, a really great go-to co-op grocery stop.
3906 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Made in their Sausalito factory, their classic earth tones are my favorite dishes. They always have a nice book selection and recently opened a newsstand with local magazines and treats.
2900 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Big Daddy Antiques
THE most inspiring space for interiors and antiques. From vintage textiles and reclaimed furniture to art installations. There is always something to uncover.
1550 17th St. San Francisco, CA 94107