Faves and raves by Síofra Caherty
Years in The City: One
Neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights
Self Description: Irish clothing and product designer with a passion for playing the banjo and riding her rusty red bike
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO FOR A RUN
WHERE: West coast of San Francisco, adjacent to Golden Gate Park
WHAT: Gorgeous trails
Run along the beach and the trails at a comfortable pace looking at the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. Its at its best in early spring, when fog is less prevalent. Stop off at the Java Hut Café for a juice drink on your way home.
FAVORITE BIKE RIDE
East Beach, at Crissy Field
INFO: Mason Street in the Presidio
WHAT: Run, cycle, fly a kite
Skip the touristy Marina area and take your family and friends down here for a relaxing and scenic bike ride. Great views of the bridge and the bay. Visit the Warming Hut for a hot chocolate.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY CHOCOLATE
Ghirardelli Square Chocolate
WHERE: Ghiradelli Square, 900 North Point St.
WHAT: Good, old-fashioned, handmade chocolates
INFO: (415) 775-5500 or www.ghirardellisq.com
Be prepared for a long wait that is well worth it. These chocolates are amazing. Brownie sundae with butter pecan and Ghiradelli chocolate-flavored ice cream? Yum! Also, hang around long enough and they will give you a free sample.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A COFFEE ON THE GO
Blue Bottle Coffee
WHERE: 66 Mint St., between Jessie and Mission streets
WHAT: Coffee and sweets
INFO: (415) 495-3394 or www.bluebottlecoffee.net
By far the best coffee in San Francisco. Each cup of coffee is prepared artistically and beautifully. It’s located beside some of the few remaining sewing factories in San Francisco, so you can watch designers take rolls of fabric and rails of clothes in and out of the neighboring buildings.
Gold Cane Lounge
WHERE: 1569 Haight St., between Ashbury and Clayton streets
WHAT: Dive bar
INFO: (415) 626-1112
One of the best dive bars I have been to. Stiff measures, excellent juke box, pool tables and a patio area. What more could you want? The bar staff is really friendly, especially the lovely Brendan, and when you run out of things to talk about, you can admire the 180-pound head of a real moose on the wall or answer the trivia on the napkins.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SPEND A SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Golden Gate Park
WHAT: More than 1,000 acres of natural beauty to discover
You can spend hours here wandering around the Japanese tea gardens, exploring the de Young Museum or just lying on whatever piece of grass strikes your fancy. Bring a picnic and chill out while enjoying the sound of the hippies playing their bongos.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO ON A FIRST DATE
WHERE: Hyde Street pier aboard Balclutha
WHEN: First Saturday of every month, 8 p.m.-midnight
WHAT: Sing old chantey songs aboard an old ship whilst sipping hot cider — reservations required
INFO: (415) 561-7171
A fairly random activity for a first date, but it is sure to be an icebreaker. Make sure to wrap up warm and bring a mug for hot cider. Spend the night singing old chantey songs, then tour the boat and admire the city lights during the interval. Each chorus is easy to learn so you will be singing your heart out in no time. Afterwards, take a stroll along the pier and stop off at the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish coffee.