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Us Aussies and Kiwis share certain tastes and feelings towards a host of different things – we’re relaxed folks when stacked against other nationalities, not to mention we really love ourselves breakfast / brunch.
So yeah, knowing where to go as described by a local who was originally a local of where you’re a local is pretty much travel goals. With that in mind, we picked a few of our mates’ heads for their ‘omfg you’ve gotta go there’ joints in California‘s San Francisco.
First up on the advice-giving chopping block is Jess Thoms. Originally born in NZ, Thoms is the co-founder at Xandra – a technology design agency that started in Australia and soon expanded to California. She fell in with the start-up mob after graduating in communications, and the rest is history. Thoms is now based between sunny Queensland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco for client work (not a bad trifecta of homes, you’ve gotta admit). Her Instagram (which you can follow HERE) is a dedicated shrine to food and coffee.
“Ah, smell the billionaire sweat in the air,” says Thoms. “I would describe San Francisco as a melting pot of food, culture, and energy that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The start-up hub breeds opportunity and brings together an eclectic set of international minds that means there’s always something happening. San Franciscans believe that anything is possible.”
Photo: Whitechapelsf / Facebook.
“Whitechapel is a bar that stocks over 400 different types of gin. Literally. After stepping off the hustling San Francisco streets, Whitechapel’s cosy decor makes you feel like you’re in an abandoned London Underground station. Order the The Modern Prometheus.”
Photo: Anna Maria Barry-Jester / FiveThirtyEight.
Photo: Tacolicious / Facebook.
“I’m such a foodie so everyone ~has~ to check out the Mexican food in San Francisco. You can’t beat it. La Taqueria and Tacolicious (both shown above) in the Mission will change your life.”
Photo: Sanraku Sushi.
“My go-to restaurant is Sanraku Sushi, just down from Union Square. You’d be stupid not to get the Sashimi – the quality of fish means it literally melts in your mouth. And they have an insane Sake selection.”
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
Photo: @bluebottle / Instagram.
“Blue Bottle Cafe is an Australian saviour. The closest you’ll get to Australian specialty coffee in the USA (you can even get almond milk) and they serve fresh waffles.”
San Fran’s looking damn-decent, ain’t it? Well get tucked in, ’cause we aren’t done yet.
Founded by Scott Purcell and Frank Arthur, Man of Many is the epitome of all things en pointé (AKA ‘on point’ in the common tongue). Seriously though, they’re cooler than cool – which is probably why they find themselves in SF on the reg.
“We love introducing our readers to fresh, exciting and unique brands, as well as celebrating innovative designs, on-trend styles and timeless classics,” says the duo. “Man of Many values products of quality, aesthetic elegance, high levels of workmanship and inherent usefulness.”
“In the mid-1800s it was the gold rush. In the late-1960s it was the summer of love. Now it’s the tech boom. It seems no matter what the era that California’s San Francisco (or SF if you will) remains at the centre of the action. As such, the beloved city by the bay continues to defy old trends and set new ones, depopulate and repopulate, shift, grow, innovate, gentrify and modernise.”
JOSHU + VELA
Photo: @joshuvela / Instagram.
“Taking a true hands-on approach is Joshu + Vela Tradeshop, where designer bags and wallets are manufactured in house from the ground up using only the best materials. The result of such quality control is a portfolio of handmade accessories that are built to last, practically before your very eyes.”
“If you’re looking for a prime example of the northern California dining experience with a touch of European technique, look no further than Nopa. Here you’ll find mouth-watering rustic food and craft cocktails served in an open environment that encourages camaraderie. Drink, eat, laugh and make some new friends.”
Photo: Cityscape Lounge.
“There’s more than one way to get high in SF, folks. Consider the Cityscape Lounge, aka the Hilton’s impeccable rooftop bar. Gaze through massive floor-to-ceiling windows at breathtaking, 360-degree views of the entire Bay Area including the city’s most iconic landmarks. Joining those unparalleled vantage points are exquisite small plates, signature cocktails and a variety of beers and wines. Sit back, drink up and soak in some of the best scenery you’re likely to find in an urban setting anywhere.”
“Unionmade delivers classic, American style by way of well-made apparel that both looks and feels great. The retailer hosts all the best menswear brands and any modern gentleman with an eye for fashion could get lost in here for hours.”
As Man of Many and Jess Thoms have clearly shown, San Francisco is where it’s at. Like, we all need to get their ASAP to live our best lives. If you’re feeling inspired to get your damn-fine ass over there quick smart, then consider flying with Air New Zealand. Check out why it’s quicker and easier to transit via Auckland when heading to San Francisco / LA / Houston / Buenos Aires / Vancouver by heading HERE.