Faves and raves by Julie Chimenti (Click the picture to see Julie’s faves)
YEARS IN THE CITY: 20
NEIGHBORHOOD: Potrero Hill
OCCUPATION: Office administrator
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Bay Area native who can’t imagine living anywhere else
WHERE: 1100 Valencia St., at 22nd Street
WHAT: Freshest cold cuts, homemade pastas and ravioli served with old-school service
INFO: (415) 647-5581 or www.luccaravioli.com
Growing up in an Italian household, we used to make weekly trips to our local deli in South San Francisco for cold cuts. Lucca is like going home. They have the most helpful guys behind the counter. Steve is “my guy” — he knows exactly what I want and how to slice it.
FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD PUB
WHERE: 2301 Folsom St., at 19th Street
WHAT: Dog- and people-friendly pub
INFO: (415) 282-4663 or www.homesteadsf.com
The Homestead is the epitome of how a neighborhood bar should feel. It was carefully remodeled with a nod to the original Homestead (from 1902). The bartenders are friendly and make great drinks. Where else in S.F. can you find $2 Tecate on tap?
FAVORITE FOCACCIA SANDWICHES
Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store
WHERE: 566 Columbus Ave., at Union Street
WHAT: Mouth-watering eggplant focaccia sandwich
INFO: (415) 362-0536
Thinking about this place makes me want to go there right now! A lucky day is when I get the corner table — the perfect place to watch North Beach go by while I enjoy a focaccia sandwich and finish off with a double espresso.
FAVORITE VIEW OF SAN FRANCISCO
Top of Wisconsin Street
WHERE: 20th and Wisconsin streets
WHAT: Spectacular view of downtown San Francisco and AT&T Park
I get energized when I take the time to stop and enjoy this stunning view. Many commercials are shot at the top of this street because of the amazing, unobstructed view. Bonus: some nights I get to watch the fireworks from AT&T Park from atop this hill.
FAVORITE CHEESE SHOP
WHERE: 856 Cole St.
WHAT: Exceptional variety of cheeses
INFO: (415) 665-5020 or www.saycheesesf.com
If you like cheese, you’ll love this shop. It’s well worth the trek across town. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and they carry a huge variety of domestic and imported cheese.
FAVORITE ‘CROOKEDEST’ STREET
WHERE: Vermont between 20th and 22nd streets
WHAT: “Secret” crooked road
Steeper, but with one fewer turn than its competitor, Lombard Street, Vermont Street is the “crookedest” street in S.F. I always bring visitors for a ride down this street so they can get a taste of a local’s “secret” crooked road.
FAVORITE BASEBALL PARK
WHERE: 24 Willie Mays Plaza
WHAT: The best daytime baseball experience
INFO: (415) 972-2000 or sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/index.jsp
A lifelong Giants fan, I love baseball. I’ve been to a few ballparks and AT&T is one of my favorites. Night games can be cold and miserable, but I’ll endure anything just to watch live baseball (I grew up going to Candlestick!). Day games are almost always spectacular.
FAVORITE AFTERNOON TEA
WHERE: 950 Mason St., at California Street
WHAT: Both elegant and casual afternoon tea
INFO: (415) 772-5000 or www.fairmont.com/sanfrancisco
This may be a rather obvious choice, but I love afternoon tea, and the Fairmont makes it so relaxing and enjoyable — never stuffy or overbearing. Whether it be accommodating for vegetarians or children, the staff is always gracious and hospitable.
WHERE: 1616 Bush St., at Franklin Street
WHAT: An amazing theater of sound-sculptured space
INFO: (415) 771-1616 or www.audium.com
One-of-a-kind sound experience. You sit in total darkness as sounds are orchestrated and wash over you from any combination of 169 speakers.