Flights of Fancy
If You’re Foodies
The only thing you love more than each other is fine wine and cheese. Book a flight to our country’s premium gourmet getaway.
Far too many honeymoon-centric destinations focus on the views and the activities, leaving guests to wander buffets in search of something edible. Refined palates would do well in San Francisco. Ever since Alice Waters opened her groundbreaking restaurant Chez Panisse, innovative groceries, cafés, bakeries, and bars have flourished throughout the city. The town brims with independent eateries, lively al fresco coffee shops, low-lit wine bars, and some of the nation’s best fine dining. Overindulging is likely; but fortunately, the city’s steep hills provide ample workouts for the calorie-conscious. (But really, it’s your honeymoon—live a little!).
Right off the revamped Embarcadero, the Hotel Vitale became the city’s "it" address when it opened in 2005. The 199-room hotspot’s Penthouse Landmark View Suite affords panoramic vistas—"Look, honey, there’s Alcatraz!"—limestone bathrooms, and Fresh toiletries (415-278-3700, hotelvitale.com). For unsurpassed luxury, sink into one of seven suites at the Mandarin Oriental; several have terraces and soaking tubs (415-276 9888, mandarinoriental.com).
At the newly remodeled Fifth Floor, lauded chef Laurent Manrique cooks up seductive California-French fare like duck bouillon with duck confit croquettes, and oxtail and Japanese eel in Bordelaise sauce. Book early and plan to splurge (415-348-1555, fifthfloorrestaurant.com). For casual comfort food, the new 1300 Fillmore in Pacific Heights serves a sensational black-skillet fried chicken (415-771-7100, 1300fillmore.com). And in up-and-coming Hayes Valley, chef Jessica Bonecutter brings a fresh, local approach to the no-reservations Bar Jules. Her menu changes daily depending on what’s in season. (415-621-5482, barjules.com).
EAT SOME MORE
The mother of all indoor-outdoor greenmarkets, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market takes place each Tuesday and Saturday. A few of S.F.’s top boîtes, including the trendy Slanted Door, have moved in alongside food stands like the Cowgirl Creamery and Hog Island Oyster Company (415-291-3276, ferrybuildingmarketplace.com). Power up at local favorite Blue Bottle Coffee in Hayes Valley, a counter serving organic blends you’ll never find at Starbucks (510-653-3394, bluebottlecoffee.net). Or stop into Bourbon and Branch’s "Beverage Academy" for cocktail-making lessons (415-673-1921, bourbonandbranch.com). Wind down at Soma’s new Terroir, a "natural" wine bar that pours chemical-free blends from all over the world. (415-558-9946, terroirsf.com). –S.de G.