Famed design blogger Victoria Smith, aka SFGirlbyBay, built a brand on boho-modern style, a healthy flea-market obsession, championing artists and makers—and loving San Francisco. If you follow her, you’ll know that she traded her City by the Bay for Shangri L.A. last year and is now, along with her darling pooch Lucy, the proud owner of a gorgeous Echo Park pad. But she’ll always be an S.F. girl at heart (she even published See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay, a book of dreamy images and her insider’s take on the city), so for our San Francisco series we asked her to clue us into some of her favorite local haunts.
When you come back to San Francisco for a visit, the first thing you do?
Go to Zuni Cafe for their amazing wood-fired chicken for two.
Your go-to place to caffeinate?
Philz Coffee in Noe Valley. My standard order is the Tesora with light sugar, heavy cream.
Where you head when you want brunch with no wait?
I like eating at the Alemany Farmer’s Market food stands—you can shop and eat at the same time.
The one shop you wish you’d opened?
Nest on Fillmore Street. I have a John Robshaw pillow from there that I absolutely love.
A fun activity that’s totally free?
Fort Funston is the best hike in the city with your dog—beautiful views and beach.
Your favorite under-the-radar spot?
The Lands End Trail is a good spot for a hike and it’s kind of a hidden gem.
On the flip side, a popular place that’s worth the wait?
Tartine Bakery. That bread pudding!
Where you always take out-of-towners?
Up to Coit Tower for the amazing views and the murals created in 1934 by the Public Works of Art Project.
Your recommendation for someone wanting a quintessential San Francisco experience?
Tadich Grill for lunch or dinner—and take the California Street Cable Car to get there!
Where you head when seeking inspiration?
I love the faded colors of the homes in the Outer Sunset—the whole neighborhood has great vintage surf vibes.
One particularly photogenic find?
Ampersand is a tiny but adorable must-visit florist in an alleyway in the Mission.
A hotel that’s caught your eye?
San Francisco is ripe for a cool new hotel—I’m always surprised there’s no place like an Ace! But I like the Hotel Vitale for its location—beautiful views of the bay and easy access to the waterfront.
Your favorite escape from the city?
I love Indian Springs resort in Calistoga. If you do a spa treatment (I love the mud baths) you can use the pool all day for free.
Check out Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay‘s blog and her recently published book See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay
All images, unless otherwise stated, courtesy of spot.com