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Style Destination: San Francisco

Blueprint, November/December 2007

Shopping Neighborhoods
Within the heart of tony Pacific Heights, Fillmore Street (between Jackson and Sutter) bustles with chic, eclectic shops. Local designer Erica Tanov's storefront features her wispy, feminine collection, which includes slip dresses and silky tops (left).

At Nest, you'll find ethnic goods, like Indian quilts and bedding. Experience nirvana by indulging in an organic facial or essential-oil massage at International Orange.

For Scandinavian style, head to Flicka, where you'll find fashion labels Bruuns Bazaar, Malene Birger, and Marimekko, as well as Pappelina rugs and Chang & Biorck pillows.

Just off Fillmore, on Geary and Post Streets, is neighboring Japantown. The pair of celebrated Kinokuniya stores stock stationery, magazines, and pens in all shades of the rainbow. Ichiban Kan (modeled after Japan's 100-yen discount stores) offers up everything from Pocky to sushi shapers.

Check out Mikado Kids Corner for your kitschy pop-culture fix (how about a piece of Hello Kitty gum?). Treat yourself to chef Seiji Wakabayashi's three-course tasting menu at Michelin-rated Bushi-Tei. And relaxation is always on tap at the Kabuki Springs & Spa communal baths.

Hungry hedonists need look no farther than the Ferry Building Marketplace, at the foot of Market Street: Cozy up to the fire with a rich cup of cocoa at Boulette's Larder. Cowgirl Creamery sells cheeses from around the world, as well as its own acclaimed products made fresh in Point Reyes.

Savor the perfect peach conserve at Frog Hollow Farm and artisanal loaves from Acme Bread Company. Then watch the expert shuckers make quick work of the Tomales Bay bivalves at Hog Island Oyster Company.

Michael Recchiuti, a local confectioner, is known for his fleur de sel caramels and unexpected flavor combinations (like tarragon-grapefruit ganache). And for a frosty treat, share a hand-scooped milk shake from Taylor's Automatic Refresher, an outpost of the famed Napa burger joint.

Polk Street, from Filbert to California Streets, is the main drag of the Russian Hill district. Old and new converge at Anica, which features cutting-edge clothing designers (Eskell and Society for Rational Dress) as well as vintage pieces.

If ladylike note cards are your thing, visit Cat Seto's namesake paperie. Spring recognizes that eco-friendly can mean hip (and not necessarily hippie) by carrying sustainable products, like non-VOC paints and bamboo tableware from Heath Ceramics and K Studio.

Just off Polk, on Vallejo Street, The Candy Store's sweets would make Willy Wonka proud.

The once rough-and-tumble Hayes Valley has been transformed. On Hayes Street, Propeller combines sleek furniture with playful accessories.

Fiddlesticks and Lavish are where in-the-know parents buy organic outfits for trendy tots, while the fashion-forward Azalea carries grown-up sizes from Loom-state and Edun.

At home store Rose and Radish, product selection and presentation are key. Housewares are curated by theme (e.g., shape), sold gallery-style, and rotate every three months.

If you consider dessert its own food group, Citizen Cake's rose-petal creme brulee is for you. At the corner of Grove and Franklin, pull up a stool and sip a side-car, courtesy of famed mixologist Thad Vogler at Jardiniere.

 

Rest easy with K Studio's pillows from Spring, say "cheese" at Cowgirl creamery, tour Japantown for a Tokyo-type fix, and cleanse your body and mind at International Orange.

Where to Eat and Drink
Raise a glass of organic, biodynamic vino at Yield Wine Bar (2490 3rd St., 415-401-8984). Judy Rodgers's dressed-up comfort food deserves its reputation at Zuni Cafe (1658 Market St., 415-552-2522); order the legendary roasted chicken.

And while the decor and menu might be no-frills, the carnitas, burritos, and mango agua fresca at La Taqueria (2889 Mission St., 415-285-7117) are muy delicioso.

Where to Stay
Orchard Garden Hotel (466 Bush St., 415-399-9807. From $179, theorchardgardenhotel.com) is hailed as the city's "greenest" hotel. It's where in-room recycling and rigorous energy-saving practices meet luxurious amenities.

At Hotel Monaco (501 Geary St., 415-292-0100. From $199, monaco-sf.com), you'll find glam rooms plus gratis weekday transportation to shopping districts, nightly tarot card readings, and a "Bone-A-Petit" package for your furry friend. Hotel Vitale (8 Mission St., 415-278-3700. From $199, hotelvitale.com) offers complimentary yoga classes, rooftop soaking tubs, and an intimate spa.

Reusable totes are on hand for your trip to the twice-weekly Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, directly across the street from the Ferry Building.

Day Trip
Point Reyes is just an hour north of the city, and the drive-starting at the Golden Gate Bridge and snaking along the Pacific coastline-is stunning. Once there, you can paddle a rented kayak on calm, wildlife-surrounded Tomales Bay or hike in coastal grasslands.

For a different variety of bay watch, check out the California gray whales that migrate through those waters in December and January.