One Glorious Night in San Francisco
For Labor Day I met Hassan in San Francisco where he was on a project. We spent some amazing days exploring the city and surrounding areas, but the nights were captivating. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities so it's easy to feel that way, but it's rare that you can say, "that was one of the best nights of my life." Here's the scoop:
We started with an early dinner and cocktails at Hog Island Oysters at the Ferry Building. If you ask any San Franciscan about the best place to get oysters, this is always in the top three. Even the Uber driver said he wasn't a fan of oysters until he tried this restaurant. The oysters did not disappoint, but there was oh so much more! Nestled on the back side of the Ferry Building, the restaurant has a perfect water view of the ferries coming and going, and if the clouds are clear, you can see Oakland in the distance. They don't take reservations, but that's ok - it's one of those great places to have a leisurely early evening. Try the seafood stew if it's on the menu. Sip a cocktail and stay a while...you're in for a hell of an evening.
After what felt like an hours long dinner, we spent time watching the skateboarders along the Embarcadero. We then cabbed it over to the Clift Hotel's Redwood Room. Imagine a large room with high ceilings featuring original redwood paneling which, as legend has it, came from one redwood tree. Just that thought alone is enough of a conversation starter. If you can believe it, we indulged in MORE food - the truffle kennebec fries and flatbread pizza were the perfect chaser for gorgeously crafted cocktails. This is definitely one of those places to people watch, so sit back in one of the plush couches and watch the well-heeled "do" happy hour. If you're lucky you will happen upon a live DJ spinning everything from Sting to Drake. We did a little couch dancing and allowed the life of the room to wash over us.
We ended the evening in perhaps the coolest bar I've ever been to, Wilson & Wilson Detective Agency. This reservations-only speakeasy requires a password (emailed to you after making a reservation) to get in which adds to the mystery of it all. Less well known than its big brother, Bourbon and Branch (which you walk through to get to the Wilson bar), this bar is dark and cozy on the inside but has plenty of glitz via the fantastic cocktail menu that is as secretive as you get. If you befriend the mixologists, you MAY be able to get them to take a photo of you - otherwise, no photographs (or cell phones) allowed. Don't be surprised if you end up ordering one of everything on the menu....and hobble out of there after one.amazing.evening. Bonus points if you get the mixologists to give you a tour of 4 other hidden bars in this amazing space that dates back to the Prohibition Era.
What memories do you have of San Francisco? Any special places you've come across?
Lead Photo Credit: Joseph Barrientos