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5 San Francisco Secrets You Won't Find in Guidebooks

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 14/03/2016 Spot

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When most people think of San Francisco, they think: bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz (we get it, Clint Eastwood was great in that movie). But, from neighborhood pop-ups to back-alley street art to the most precisely curated design shops, the city is teeming with cool happenings. And we should know--we're based here.
When we want to play tourist, we frequently hit the blog Spotted SF for fresh ideas. It's the passion project of San Francisco-native Leslie Santarina, who does all the writing and photography for her finger-on-the-pulse little black book in her spare time. Her approach to discovering new places in her city is simple, and profound:
"I think about one thing that would bring joy to my day, do it, and see what else I can explore around it."
An SF lifer, Santarina is intimately familiar with nearly every last corner of this city, so we asked her to share a few amazing experiences you're not likely to find in a guidebook about San Francisco.
Below you'll find her five picks. But first, the one definitely-in-a-guidebook place she considers worth it? "The Ferry Building--especially on Saturday morning, which is farmers-market day. It's a great opportunity to see, taste, and shop from the best local food growers and makers. Come hungry and eat your way through all the stalls in the building."
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BYOB Pizza Night: The Mill

The Whereabouts: "You'll also find this gem on Divisadero Street in NOPA."

The Scoop: "It's a general store full of vintage items, found pieces, handmade objects from local artists, beautiful quarterly magazines, and books. You'll discover something new each time you visit. And owners Rod and Kelly are a fun duo."

The Insider Tip: "They host a number of pop-ups throughout the year to showcase the work of local and visiting artisans."

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A Local Cult Footwear Line: Freda Salvador

The Whereabouts: "Essentially it's the section of 20th Street that runs between South Van Ness and Potrero Avenue in the Mission District."

The Scoop: "It's full of great eateries including Flour + Water, Salumeria, Central Kitchen, Trick Dog, and Sightglass Coffee (above). Sightglass is a warm and cozy spot serving coffee freshly roasted on site and some of the best baked goods in the city. Salumeria is a delicious spot for lunch with a bright, enclosed patio that's perfect for any kind of weather. And Trick Dog is a bar with one of the city's most inventive menus. There's also a thriving artist community here with plenty of studios, galleries, and street art to explore."

The Insider Tip: "Trick Dog's cocktail menu is ever-changing--the most recent is inspired by a kitchy-cute dog calendar. But there is always a 'Trick Dog' you can order off the food menu, which is a hamburger shaped like a hot dog."

RELATED STORY: Say Hello to The Smallest Shop in SF

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An Artisan Hub: Heath Ceramics

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