Famous for being the birthplace of the hippie decade in America, San Francisco still reigns today as an alternative fashion capital. In a time when peace and free love led the way, fashion became people to express themselves in bright colours and prints, bell bottoms, fringing and eastern influenced clothing. Fashion is notably not as bold nowadays but San Francisco has still maintained its bohemian feel with many vintage, alternative and music stores in the Haight Ashbury area. Graffiti fills the streets and shop owners reminisce as if 1967 was just last year. On the street, fashion is eclectic with an anything goes mentality and a place where individuality is uniform.
Native San Francisco Fashion Blogger Kailani Andrade and Emma Daniels, Marketing Content Executive from boohoo talks us through a perfect trip to San Fran!
Where to eat?
World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani bakes every kind of pizza imaginable: New York, Roman, Sicilian, and on. His Neapolitan is an award-winner and his on-site pizza school attracts students from across the country. Bonus points for a bustling, friendly atmosphere, including a bar for date nights and booths for grandpa.
Annie Somerville’s been quietly putting out excellent vegetarian fare down at Fort Mason for more than 30 years, and dishes like mesquite-grilled tofu brochettes and potato griddle cakes will win over even the most die-hard carnivore. The water views are pretty great as well.
NOPA on Alamo Square
If you are looking for urban rustic food, this is the place to go!
Brenda’s Soul Food Tenderloin
A restaurant that sells French Soul food? Sign me up!
A16 on the Marina
A Neapolitan style Italian restaurant with a selection of over 40 wines!
Where to shop?
Union Square is a must visit due to all the accessible shopping and trendy shops. If you are looking for another fun (non-touristy) place to shop check out the Marina and Haight Ashbury. The Marina has a mix of sophisticated shops, beauty stores, cafés, and restaurants. Haight Ashbury is always a fun place to shop for vintage finds. My favorite second hand shop on Haight is Wasteland
For SF, there are plenty of quirky areas that are scattered with cafes, shops and steeped in history. Head to Haight Ashbury for the perfect souvenirs or if it’s vintage you’re after look to Retro City, vintage clothing sold by the kilo!
Where to go?
It’s hard to pin point a specific place to go in the city because there are so many amazing different neighbourhoods that each have something different to offer!
Include a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf on your itinerary; boats depart from here to go over to Alcatraz. A definite, if a little eerie, must-see when visiting SF! And of course the Golden Gate Bridge is a no-brainer; it is SF’s most iconic landmark! Geeky fact: the bridge is orange because that’s the only colour visible in fog. Told you it was geeky.
Besides the main hot spots to hit, Union Square, Lombard Street, ChinaTown and Fisherman’s Warf, I personally love North Beach. I love the energy in the community and the food is always amazing no matter what restaurant you pop into. Another fun place to visit in San Francisco is Hayes Valley, it’s super trendy with a so-ho type of style. Hayes Valley also has top-notch restaurants.
China Town is also a must-see; it’s the oldest one outside of Asia! It’s also where Big Trouble in Little China was filmed!
What to pack?
Pack layers! Many people have a tendency to think that since San Francisco is located in California it’s always warm. But, since San Francisco is located on the bay, it tends to have horrible windy weather that keeps temperatures lower than usual.
Unlike other parts of California, San Fran has clearly definable seasons. Unless you’re going in the height of summer always pack a coat, travelling in September some days the temperatures dipped to 10/15 degrees and it gets cold at night too. After a week in Los Angeles, I was a little unprepared so I definitely appreciated the coatI had picked up from Retro City!
The fog also plays a huge part when you are visiting. It may look like it is going to be a gray day but sometimes if you give it a few hours the fog burns off and it turns out being gorgeous sunny weather. So always make sure to pack layers, t-shirts, sweaters, scarfs and coats.