Faves and raves by Shaun Rosenstein
YEARS IN THE CITY: One
OCCUPATION: Political activist
SELF-DESCRIPTION: SoCal-raised, New York-educated, S.F.-inspired guy with a healthy overdose of wanderlust and a constant desire to smile and get those around him to join in on the grins
WHERE: 1489 Folsom St., at 11th street
WHAT: Free peanuts, fresh food and a friendly waitstaff
INFO: (415) 552-3963 or www.basilcanteen.com
Located in the old landmark Jackson Brewery, it’s always the best food (and cocktails!) for any occasion. The aesthetics epitomize the SoMa lifestyle, modern industrial without being cold and distant. Insider’s tip: For a more intimate dining experience, ask to be seated upstairs.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE
Sundance Kabuki Cinema
WHERE: 1881 Post St., between Webster and Fillmore streets
WHAT: Terrific snacks
INFO: (415) 346-3243 or www.sundancecinemas.com/kabuki.html
Best snacks ever! And you get to choose where you sit in their incredibly comfortable seats!
FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY COOKING SUPPLIES
Sur La Table
WHERE: 1 Ferry Building
WHAT: High-quality cookware, knowledgeable staff
INFO: (415) 262-9970 or www.surlatable.com
They specialize in great, quality cookware. With an incredibly helpful, knowledgeable staff, it’s the type of place where you always walk out with some new gadget or tool that you didn’t know you absolutely need!
FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE A CONCERT
Bottom of the Hill
WHERE: 1233 17th St., between Texas and Missouri streets
WHAT: Great acoustics, intimate space
INFO: (415) 621-4455 or www.bottomofthehill.com
The acoustics are great, the space is intimate without feeling oppressively crowded and they consistently book solid performers. The outdoor smoking patio has really cool art (in addition to the obligatory poster propaganda wall), and you know you’re going to have a good time the minute you walk through the door and see the smiling bartenders.
FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS
Top of Twin Peaks
WHERE: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd.
WHAT: Powerful and awe-inspiring
It’s where I first fell in love with The City, its power to inspire and awe, and I love seeing a new visitor’s face light up when the full view is on display. Just remember to bring a sweater, it gets windy!
John McLaren Park
WHERE: Mansell Street and John F. Shelley Drive
WHAT: A hidden gem with amazing panoramic views of San Francisco
I actually just discovered this spot. Not crowded, easy to get to. Definitely one of my favorite new secret spots in The City.
FAVORITE FARMERS MARKET
Castro farmers market
WHERE: Market Street at Noe Street
WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, through Oct. 27
WHAT: Fresh fruit samples, vegan sorbets, the farmers know the regulars by name
The local farmers connect with their consumers and know the regulars by name, and they are always giving out the best fresh fruit samples. Be sure to check out the vegan sorbets. They are the best!
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A CUP OF JOE
WHERE: 270 Seventh St., between Howard and Folsom streets
WHAT: They use an iPad for their cash register
Named after their roasting machine, it also is a mission statement, a philosophy of transparency from bean to cup of coffee.
A Different Light Bookstore
WHERE: 489 Castro St., between Market and 18th streets
WHAT: One of the last gay bookstores in the country
INFO: (415) 431-0891 or www.adlbooks.com
One of the last gay-dedicated bookstores in the country, these guys know their stuff, support local authors and offer an invaluable community resource for anyone looking to know about their identity and history.