Three insiders share their favorite spots.
I have lived in the city for more than 20 years, and its spirit for innovation influences every aspect of the city. My go-to spots for great architecture: Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum and Thom Mayne’s Federal Building in SoMa. For cool contemporary furniture, don’t miss Dzine and Arkitektura. Another boutique worth checking out is Propeller, which sells beautiful decorative objects.
Executive chef, Michael Mina San Francisco
For me, the “real” San Francisco is all about food. My ideal culinary tour would include Swan Oyster Depot ($$), the Slanted Door ($$), and La Taqueria (2889 Mission St.; 415/285-7117; $$). Another favorite is the Moroccan restaurant Aziza ($$$). Chef Mourad Lahlou blows me away with his bold and vibrant dishes such as duck-confit bastilla. And the pastries (banana-cream tarts; éclairs) at Tartine Bakery & Cafe are second to none.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Women’s activist and documentary producer
I was born here and have lived all over the world but returned when my husband became mayor in 2003. I like to take my kids to the California Academy of Sciences, then walk around North Beach—aside from the strip of gentleman’s clubs—and take in the view of the bay from the 210-foot Coit Tower. The vista is breathtaking and reminds me of Italy. For breakfast, I’m a huge fan of Mama’s ($$), on Washington Square Park; try the cranberry-orange French toast.