San Francisco is far more than just tech bros and fleece. The city’s fashion profile has been steadily gaining steam, with a high-profile couture exhibit and world-class independent boutiques—not to mention a restaurant and bar scene that will give you ample opportunities to show off your new looks. Here, all our picks for what to see, shop, eat, and do while you’re there, besides building your startup empire.
“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” at the Legion of Honor
Through Sept. 5, the Legion of Honor museum plays host to the breathtaking work of Chinese couturier Guo Pei, best known stateside for designing Rihanna’s omelet-like Met Gala dress in 2015. Over 80 stunning pieces are on display (and deserve close-up viewing).
Knits by Aisling Camps and jewelry by Khiry are just some of the treasures you’ll find at Sherri McMullen’s perfectly curated boutique, which just so happens to be celebrating 15 years in business.
City Lights Bookstore
Channel your inner Beat at this North Beach staple that’s been around since the 1950s, and has drawn in everyone from Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg. Don’t miss the poetry room upstairs.
You’ll be transported to Barcelona at the Proper Hotel’s sleek restaurant, which serves an inventive array of tapas and apéritifs. (The salt cod croquettes are a standout.) The Kelly Wearstler-designed interior, with its witty play on stripe motifs, is eminently Instagram-worthy, too.
Flour + Water
This Mission District standby is known for its inventive pizzas and pastas, and the space recently got a chic new re-design, too. The pasta tasting menu is a worthwhile splurge (trust us).
Empress by Boon
In the former Empress of China banquet hall, Hakkasan alum Chef Ho Chee Boon offers a modern Cantonese menu with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients.
Ensconced in the Palihotel, this charming bar and restaurant will be re-opening soon, according to its Instagram. Expect caviar-embellished burgers, cocktails, and afternoon tea in a bright, convivial atmosphere.
Don Draper would have fit right in at this midcentury-inspired cocktail bar—though he might have been taken aback by the elaborate feats of mixology, including an Elvis-inspired mix of peanut-flavored bourbon and caramelized bananas. The Beehive also serves the ultimate savory ’60s treat: fondue.
Spritzes and other low-proof cocktails from co-owner and mixologist Elmer Mejicanos are the order of the day at North Beach’s charming Spanish restaurant and bar.
Palihotel San Francisco
Housed in a historic building, this Union Square gem comes complete with retro touches like old-fashioned elevators and vintage land-line phones, plus some modern upgrades (Diptyque products and a themed Spotify playlist). Noir fans can check out the alley behind the hotel, which boasts a plaque in tribute to one of Dashiell Hammett’s famous characters.
San Francisco Proper Hotel
A circa-1909 building in the Mid-Market district now houses a branch of the popular Proper Hotel, with maximalist interior design by Kelly Wearstler and that rare San Francisco amenity—a rooftop bar with sweeping city views.
San Francisco’s latest addition is an outpost of the beloved The Line franchise, which already has locations in L.A., Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. The Handel Architects-designed stunner is set to open Sept. 1, and will include a restaurant and bar (naturally).