Hi friends! I’m Julianne, and currently live in San Francisco, where I am an interior designer. When Carly asked me to write a guest post about the city I now call home, I was thrilled! Since there are an abundance of things to do and see out here, I thought I would start with a round-up of my favorite cafes and restaurants. Who doesn’t love a delicious cocktail?! There are SO many great places to drink and dine in my 7x7 mile city, that it was hard to narrow it down! Though it feels like I have yet to even scratch the surface of our food and beverage scene, here are my go-to spots.
Best Café: The Mill
One of my favorite ways to ease into the weekend, is to head over to The Mill for a lazy morning complete with Four Barrel Coffee and toast. Yes, Toast! Move over gourmet cupcakes, us San Franciscans will gladly hand over our wallets for fresh Josey Baker Bread and hand made preserves. We’re also admittedly suckers for the airy interior, and the fact that they don’t offer wi-fi. Which, in a tech driven city, it is so nice to put down our phones, and actually socialize…even if it is forced upon us.
Must try: almond milk latte & country toast
Best Brunch: The Butler and the Chef
Hidden away in SOMA, is the cutest French bistro with what I think is the best brunch in the city (that lasts until 3pm!). All of the produce is gathered each day by the chef himself, and I have yet to try anything that I haven’t loved. The atmosphere? As cozy as a quaint bistro in the heart of Paris. As if it couldn’t get any better, the chef’s dog sits outside and keeps watch during the day. You can’t make a reservation, and be prepared for a line before it even opens, but I swear it will make your Francophile heart sing.
Must try: Eggs Benedict and Pain Perdu
Best (hidden) lunch: Boulette’s Larder
To be honest, I’m not sure what I love more about Boulette’s Larder – the fact that it is truly a hidden gem, the interior that is to die for, or their perfectly crafted menu. Located in the Ferry Building, overlooking the Bay, is a little restaurant called Bouli Bar. Hidden behind this restaurant, is my go-to place to take clients, guests, and friends – Boulette’s Larder. With a gorgeous view, mouth-watering menu, and a fab brunch spread, you literally cannot go wrong.
Must try: summer nettle pizza
Best New Find: Lolo
Be still my quirky, heart! Lolo is great at three things: unique Mexican dishes, mescal-centric cocktails, and having the most random and quirky interior you will find in the city. Perfect for girls’ night out, or to quench any Mexican craving, Lolo is my favorite new find. It’s located in the Mission, and their inventive dishes are perfect for sharing.
Must try: El Punal (cocktail) & Tuna Tacon
Best Date Night Dinner: Monsieur Benjamin
Apparently French food is here to stay in SF! Nestled in Hayes Valley, one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, is Monsieur Benjamin. It was designed by one of the powerhouse hospitality firms in the city, Aidlin Darling, and I swear every inch of the restaurant has been thoughtfully designed with the guest in mind. Upon entering (and after being greeted like an old friend) you will immediately see the star of the space: the open kitchen situated proudly in the center of the restaurant. Aside from the delicious menu and interior design, what makes this place perfect for dinner dates is the vibe: it is somehow unpretentious, yet classy, with an unmistakable energy. “Little Red Fox” for the win.
Must try: Brussels Sprouts a la Moutarde, French Dip Sandwich, and Way Back When (dry rye gin, yellow chartreuse, celery)
Very special thanks to Julianne for sharing her favorite spots in San Fran! I know I've bookmarked every cafe and restaurant she's reviewed here and will be looking for an opportunity to get out west as soon as possible!
Have a fabulous weekend! Cheers!
-a & c. and special guest Julianne!