We may be a tiny bit biased, but San Francisco is our favorite city. It’s home to Chairish HQ, the famous Golden Gate Bridge, one incredible design community, and so much more. We asked some of our favorite SF locals and top interior designers to share their favorite places to eat, shop, and get inspired, plus the one thing you shouldn’t leave town without doing! Our Design Insider’s Guide to San Francisco is one you’ll want to bookmark, whether you’re rediscovering the city you call home or planning a visit to the City by the Bay! 

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Glamorous Restaurant, the battery, Bar with Brick Walls and Vintage Artwork in San Francisco
The Battery by Douglas Freidman courtesy of The Battery

Where to Stay

“The rooms at The Battery are my ‘go to’ when recommending a small, boutique hotel. Membership not required. Guests get the benefit of a clubby hotel & bar in a cozy, warm environment, and the location is very central to great restaurants (Cotogna, Leo’s Oyster Bar, Tosca) and shopping in Jackson Square.” —Susan Greenleaf

Kabuki Hotel. Great location, reasonably priced and a unique experience.” —Katie Martinez

The St. Regis is at the center of just about everything, has gorgeous rooms and a perfect lobby for meeting friends for cocktails.” —Martha Angus

Cavallo Point.” —Catherine Kwong

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Reclaimed wood walls with metal ceiling lamps and white ceramic plate with toast at Outerlands
Outerlands via @outerlands & @jess.thanperfect

Where to Eat & Drink

“Probably a 3-way tie between Zuni for the bread salad and matchstick fries, Cala on Fell Street for the black bean sopes and trout tostadas, and OTD for the lemongrass tofu and fried chicken with siracha butter.” —Susan Greenleaf

Outerlands.” —Katie Martinez

In Situ on the ground floor of SFMOMA is mind-blowingly creative. My fav dish is The Forest 32 which looks exactly like something you would find in the forest but tastes amazing.  So creative!” —Martha Angus.

Saru Sushi.” —Catherine Kwong

Restaurant with hanging white globe ceiling lights and light wood dining tables
Photo by @tartinemanufactory

Where to Get Your Culture Fix

“Would most definitely include The Heath Building encompassing of course, Heath Ceramics, as well as Tartine Manufactory and the PlayMountain pop-up. Design, art, food…perfect combination.” —Susan Greenleaf

Minnesota Street Project.” —Katie Martinez

SF Museum of Modern Art, which is next door to the St. Regis. The museum has an amazing collection! This is not to be missed and is my idea of heaven.” —Martha Angus

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Antiques fair with metal objects and American flags for sale in San Francisco

Where To Go For Vintage Goodies

“Locally, Stuff, on Valencia. There are a few very small spots throughout the city that I comb through for objet and small pieces of furniture but patience and frequency required.” —Susan Greenleaf

Alameda Flea Market, but you have to get there really early.” —Martha Angus

The Perish Trust.” —Catherine Kwong

View of the city of San Francisco from a park

Where To People Watch

Pretty much everywhere. Big sunglasses beneficial.” —Susan Greenleaf

Dolores Park.” —Katie Martinez

Saturday morning at the Ferry Building Farmers Market.” —Martha Angus

Museum goers sit in front of a Rothko and a yellow abstract painting at San Francisco MOMA
SF MOMA via @sfmoma

Where To Get Inspired

Any form of travel is the absolute best. Travel makes me very open to new ideas as well as provides them, be it domestic or further abroad. Closer to home, inspiration comes in the form of magazines — I read everything from shelter, lifestyle, fashion, food.” —Susan Greenleaf

Lands End Trail & SFMOMA.” —Katie Martinez

John Berggruen Gallery and then hop over to Gagosian next door. Best galleries in town.” —Martha Angus

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Picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy day in San Francisco
Photo by @nantuck3t

Don’t Leave Town Without…

Watching the sunset from the opposite side of the Golden Gate Bridge toward Marin Headlands. Looking back toward the city from that vantage point is stunning.” —Susan Greenleaf

Exploring the Presidio and stopping at Baker Beach.” —Katie Martinez

Walking from Crissy Field all the way to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and back for some of the most breathtaking views in town.” —Martha Angus


Huge thanks to our San Francisco experts and be sure to check out their amazing work!

Susan Greenleaf
Katie Martinez
Martha Angus
Catherine Kwong

December 13, 2017

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