Lonny Mag’s Editor Shares Her Insider’s Guide to San Francisco

Lonny editor Angela Tafoya knows her San Francisco. Before jumping over to head up the design magazine, the gal-about-town logged years as Refinery29’s SF editor, so you better believe her knowledge of the up-and-coming, the soon-to-open, and the really-damn-worth-it is unmatched. She lives in the Sunset neighborhood (after years spent in the Mission) with artist husband, Eric, and adorable toddler, Tallie, and possesses a discerningly playful aesthetic along with an eye for the best in the city. So, for our San Francisco series, we asked her to drop some insider intel on us. From taco trucks to boho boutiques, these are the spots she swears by.

Your go-to place to caffeinate?

I love Sightglass on 20th Street. It’s one of my favorite spots for meetings and friend dates because the coffee is beyond delicious (and, not to mention, quite strong) and the elevated ceiling and afternoon light is incredible.

Where you head for brunch with no wait?

Schmidt’s (also on 20th Street) is such a neighborhood gem. It serves tasty German food in pared-down urban space. Not only is it pretty kid friendly, the interior—think moody hues and minimal décor—is gorgeous and there’s almost never a wait.

A fun activity that’s totally free?

The Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is so breathtaking. Plus, if you get there before 9 a.m. or are an S.F. resident entry is free. There are so many nooks and crannies to discover and it’s the best for an open-air stroll in the city.

Your favorite place for some mommy-daughter time?

I love hitting the park (either Dolores or Mission Playground) and then strolling up Valencia. Sometimes we grab a smoothie at Sidewalk Juice (their Blueberry Almond is the best), pop into different shops, and end up at Natural Resources—they have an adorable little play area and the staff is so friendly and inviting.

How about some daddy-daughter time?

Eric loves taking Tallie to the Academy of Sciences—she’s obsessed with the aquarium.

The one shop you wish you’d opened?

I absolutely love Voyager on Valencia. I recently bought a white Black Crane dress which might be the comfiest thing I’ve ever owned. Marta, the buyer, is the best. I love seeing her smiling face whenever I pay a visit.

Your favorite under-the-radar spot?

El Gallo Giro—THE best taco truck in the city. My friend Defne turned me onto it and now I crave it. They do small but mighty street tacos, and they’re usually parked over on Treat and 23rd Street.

On the flip side, a popular place that’s worth the wait?

Plow in Potrero Hill. The wait is no joke but honestly, it’s worth every minute.

Where you always take out-of-towners?

Usually a walk down Clarion Alley, which can feel a little touristy but the Mission murals are so beautiful and interesting. Also, the Ferry Building is always a must.

Your recommendation for someone wanting a quintessential San Francisco experience?

Swan Oyster Depot or watching the sunset atop Bernal Hill.

Where you head when seeking inspiration?

I love taking evening walks around the city. People watching and observing the sights and sounds of S.F. always relaxes me and ignites inspo. Also, popping by for a visit with my girlfriends is the best. I feel so lucky to have such a strong, inspiring group of women I call friends and their conversation and company is always refreshing.

Somewhere that tickles your interior-design fancy?

Definitely Leo’s Oyster Bar. Who can resist that palm-leaf wallpaper?

Any upcoming openings you can’t wait for?

Reformation on Valencia—seriously, SO SO excited.

Image courtesy of Tonga Room.

The hotel you’d staycation in?

I’ve never stayed at The Fairmont. It’s so quintessentially S.F., plus the Tonga Room is basically Disneyland for adults.

Your favorite escape from the city?

A quick jaunt to Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall is always a great way to get away for a few hours—especially in the summer aka San Francisco’s foggiest months.

First thing you’d do if you moved away and came back to visit?

La Palma burritos!

For even more under-the-radar San Francisco finds, check out Spot’s Undercover San Francisco list.

All images courtesy of Spot.com, unless otherwise noted.