The best juice bars in San Francisco
Green juice has really upped its game in recent years, often serving as a healthier option to the best brunch in San Francisco. A single bottle fom a juice bar can provide the nutrients of literally pounds of fruits and vegetables, and juicing is purported to deliver everything from stronger bones to a glowing complexion (beat that, bubble tea). This doesn’t mean your taste buds need to suffer, though: from coolers to cleanses, these top juice bar spots found in neighborhoods across the Bay Area are as delicious as they are healthy. Your body will thank you.
San Francisco’s best tapas restaurants
We love the thrill of tucking into a massive meal—dim sum spreads, hearty pizza pies, huge cuts of steak at SF’s best steakhouses—but in a sea of super-sized options, it feels refreshingly refined to scale down. Enter tapas: as chic as they are delicious, small plates somehow pull off being both elegant and adorable. Plus, you can mix and match plates to create a bespoke feast, and you get to try a little of everything without committing to one dish. We’ve hunted down the best tapas in the city so you can see—and taste—why small plates have such big appeal.
The best dessert in San Francisco
As the city that invented both the fortune cookie and introduced Irish coffee to America, San Francisco has after-dinner vittles on lock. It’s no surprise, then, that the city is home to almost every decadent dessert. San Francisco has everything from classic scoops of ice cream to Italian delicacies, and we tasked ourselves with finding the most creative (donut burger, anyone?), satisfying and delicious treats for every sweet tooth. You're welcome.
The best pet stores in San Francisco
Bay Area pets have it good: between the temperate weather, the parks, and the cosmopolitan tastes of SF dwellers, it’s no wonder the city is home to a bevy of pet stores devoted to pampered animals. With passionate staff and tantalizing goodies to peruse, pet shopping can be more fulfilling than your basic errands (move over, fancy grocery stores). Plus, these spots welcome furry friends who like to pick out their own swag, turning a routine litter run into an outing with your best friend. The Bay’s alternative roots shine through in these neighborhood establishments, where you’ll find organic catnip, raw dog treats, and other bespoke treasures that you won’t see in a chain store (it's easy for both you and your dog to eat vegetarian in this city). There’s even something for those of us whose furry friends are, well, not so furry—bird and reptile experts ensure your best friend gets the care they deserve. If you’re looking for treats, training aids and so much more, San Francisco’s best pet stores have you covered.
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Venice Breeze Suites
This Boardwalk-adjacent hotel offers simple, contemporary digs with extended-stay-friendly amenities like full kitchens and self-service laundry to travelers looking for a locals-only living experience. Along the boardwalk of Venice’s urban beach community you’ll find Venice Breeze Suites, a recently renovated apartment complex that now offers fully furnished suites to visitors who want the comforts of home and budget-friendly pricing, to boot. While the hotel has no minimum stay (except on holiday weekends, when the minimum is two nights), all rooms forgo turndown and concierge service in favor of full kitchens, weekly housekeeping and self-service laundry facilities. Studio and one bedroom suites feature hip design details like exposed brick and double showers, and include amenities such as free wifi and premium cable. In addition to the rooms themselves, you’re welcome to chill out on Venice Breeze Suites’ rooftop lounge—the slick rooftop seating area offers sweeping views of the ocean as well as the boardwalk below, making for a lazy afternoon of people watching and magical seaside sunsets. (One caveat: smoking is allowed on the roof, so if you’re sensitive to cigarettes, you may want to visit during off-hours.) Location: The Venice Beach boardwalk is prime for people watching and souvenir shopping, while nearby Abbot Kinney and Main Street are crowded with upscale shops, dining, and entertainment. You’re also a short drive from Santa Monica, Culver City and the airport.
Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica
Located at the base of the Third Street shopping district, the Santa Monica Hampton Inn & Suites provides dependable and comfortable amenities—think high thread count bedding and a in an upscale yet playful atmosphere. The Hampton Inn is a chain hotel, meaning it’s probably not the most quirky or romantic getaway; accommodations are also supremely reliable, however, making it a safe (but still sophisticated) choice for tourists (particularly harried families) who want to remove unknowns from the vacation equation. This isn’t to say that the hotel is without personality: the lobby is playfully outfitted with contemporary sculptural furniture, accented with splashes of teal and graphic detailing. Here, you’ll find efficient service and all the expected amenities; rooms are clean and spacious, and come with smart TVs, free wifi and luxury bedding. Outside the rooms, there’s a fitness center, business facilities and a heated pool (in case the beach is too crowded for you). There’s also a complimentary beverage and breakfast station, and a 24-hour sundries store in the lobby, so you’ll never be stranded without your toothbrush. For a true SoCal experience, watch the sunset from the warmth of the Hampton’s poolside fire pit, then head into the neighborhood to explore Santa Monica’s world-renowned drinks and dining. Location: Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is a busy mix of office buildings, fitness studios, shops (big and boutique alike) and a range of dining. There are enter
Highland Gardens Hotel
Set back from the chaos of Hollywood Boulevard, the Highland Gardens hotel offers sleek mid-century digs to tourists and travelers who want to relax in style after a long day of sightseeing. Situated on scenic Franklin drive, the Highland Gardens Hotel is a pleasing balance of Hollywood hubbub and hillside respite. The hotel is walking distance (or a short drive—come on, it’s L.A.) from the Walk of Fame and other tourism favorites, and boasts a star-studded past: Janis Joplin famously stayed in room 105, the closet of which is filled with Sharpie-scrawled messages from her fans. Despite its rock star history and proximity to tourist attractions, however, the Highland Gardens is surprisingly serene. The hotel’s decor is chic and welcoming, with airy glass-and- steel architecture and modernist design touches throughout the complex. Rooms are streamlined but comfortable, with amenities like free wifi, high-def TVs and complimentary toiletries. Suites offer fully equipped kitchens, and all guests have access to the Highland Gardens’ laundry facilities and outdoor pool. What makes this hotel especially rejuvenating is its namesake gardens: during summer, the property explodes with fragrant and colorful blooms, making this a unique and romantic spot that’s a few steps above your typical tourist trap. Location: The Highland gardens is close to tourism must-sees like Mann’s Chinese Theater and Madame Tussaud’s, as well as hiking and relaxing in verdant Runyon Canyon park. If you want
Orange Drive Hostel
If you want to save some cash but aren’t into the frat-party vibe of most hostels, Orange Drive is for you—this spot offers reasonably priced and surprisingly mellow shared accommodations in a serene spot off Hollywood Boulevard. While hostels often evoke hair-clogged shower drains and drunken pub crawlers stumbling to their bunks in the wee hours, Orange Drive is a different story. The hostel’s lush front lawn and stately architecture—it’s housed in a prim white manor, est. 1910—are almost enough to make you forget you’re a mere two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. This spot offers private rooms as well as communal dorms, and if you don’t mind sharing your space, group accommodations are a steal and include all the necessary amenities, like private lockers, free wifi and clean, spacious shared bathrooms. Orange Drive Hostel’s peaceful vibe doesn’t mean it lacks glamor: the hostel’s history is haunted by the ghosts of Golden Era A-list boarders including Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth. Spend a day indulging in some sightseeing, then retire to the lounge to make friends over a board game or recharge with a book from the communal library. And if you do happen to feel like partying, have no fear; the front desk will happily point you towards the pub crawl passes, too. Location: Orange Drive’s central Hollywood location is the stuff of tourism dreams. There’s no shortage of walkable attractions, though the crowds can overwhelm; we recommend you supplement your sightseeing with
USA Hostels Hollywood
Steps from the Walk of Fame, this bright, friendly hostel offers travelers complimentary perks like wifi, breakfast and transportation around L.A. Shared rooms and common areas, as well as coordinated group activities, make USA Hostels Hollywood the perfect spot to sightsee on a budget and meet new travel partners. Experiencing Hollywood Boulevard to its fullest requires leaning into kitsch: from the iconic celebrity impersonators to the shops filled with palm tree snow globes and plastic Oscar statues, the neighborhood is a perfect example of L.A.’s often offbeat, delightfully gimcrack culture. It follows, then, that a hotel in the heart of Hollywood should offer the same level of loud, youthful atmosphere, and USA Hostels Hollywood doesn’t disappoint. Inside the brightly painted space, you’ll find modestly priced shared rooms for travelers who don’t mind making new friends during their stay. Six- and eight-person rooms come with bedding, lockers and air conditioning, and shared bathrooms feature walk-in showers. The hostel also offers private rooms with bunk or full beds and private bathrooms, but one of the biggest perks of hostels is how conducive the environment is to meeting and mingling with new people—make the most of your shared stay experience by chatting up your fellow tourists in the USA Hostels Hollywood’s cozy lounge, shared kitchen or surprisingly swank outdoor patio (the latter boasts low-slung furniture and potted palms). The hostel offers amenities that cate
Hotel Solaire Los Angeles
This colorful Westlake villa offers unfussy, reasonably priced accommodations and amenities—think complimentary breakfast and an outdoor pool—in an urban, Downtown-adjacent neighborhood. Inside Hotel Solaire’s colorful Spanish stucco facade, you’ll find streamlined accommodations and efficient service for a few stacks less than what you’d shell out for digs in nearby Downtown. The Solaire’s no-frills atmosphere and low price point land it in the “motel” category, but overall the space is clean, friendly and convenient for business travelers and tourists who want to take in central L.A. Rooms are simply decorated in a neutral palette and offer flat screen TVs and free wifi to guests who want to decompress after a day of museum hopping or sightseeing; there’s also an outdoor pool for soaking up L.A.’s famously sunny weather. While the Solaire doesn’t have a full-service restaurant or room service, guests are invited to partake in complimentary breakfast (including DIY waffles), and there are enough local treasures within walking distance that you won’t mind sourcing your own lunch. Parking is also cheap—$5 a night, less than what you’d pay for a few hours at a meter. If you’d prefer to take public transit, the metro is a few blocks away, and will take you to neighborhoods as far-flung as Pasadena and the Santa Monica beach. Location: The Downtown-adjacent Westlake neighborhood has its share of liquor stores and fast food restaurants, but there’s also a strong residential vibe;
Oceana Beach Club Hotel
Just off sunny Ocean Avenue, the mid-century Oceana Beach Club Hotel offers spacious accommodations and stunning views of the Pacific to travelers looking for a Southern California luxury experience. Santa Monica’s Oceana Beach Hotel is a study in laid-back luxury: here, you’ll find airy mid-century architecture with sleek details like floor-to- ceiling windows, sculptural chandeliers and wood and glass furniture complimented by the Oceana’s seaside-inspired palette of blues and grays. Lounge by the heated outdoor pool after a morning of sightseeing, or take in the sunset dining al fresco at Tower 8, which serves coastal California cuisine sourced from the Santa Monica farmer’s market. (Bonus: the restaurant is open exclusively to hotel guests, so you’ll have a true VIP experience.) Rooms come with standard amenities such as high thread count sheets and free wifi, as well as more opulent perks like a welcome glass of champagne and complimentary yoga classes. The hotel also offers in-room spa and salon services, so you can get a blow-out before hitting the town for dinner, or decompress after a long day of sunbathing with a personalized massage. Location: Supremely walkable Santa Monica is a short stroll to the beach and pier, as well as shops, restaurants, movie theaters and more along the Third Street Promenade. If you’re looking to venture further east, the Metro now runs from Santa Monica to Culver City, Downtown and beyond. Nearby: The Bungalow: This Ocean Front watering
The Cadillac Hotel
This century-old boardwalk hotel offers playfully decorated, homey accommodations for unfussy travelers who don’t mind trading a few amenities for access to an authentic Venice Beach experience. Venice’s beachy culture has become more buttoned up in recent years—the venerated Venice freak show shuttered last April, and along the canals you’re as likely to find craft cocktail bars as you are head shops. Established in 1914, the Cadillac hotel is a welcome nod to the neighborhood’s weird days; the vibe is playful and laid-back, by way of decorative details like a ’70s-esque pistachio color scheme, a hodgepodge of vintage-inspired furniture in the building’s cozy lounge and dreamy retro street art in the parking lot. The Cadillac’s amenities are a bit lacking (you won’t find a pool or a restaurant) but given the price point, the hotel’s mellow ambiance and quirky digs make it a great spot for getting in some R&R after a day of touring the neighborhood. To that end, the hotel’s best asset is its location: the Cadillac is as close to the beach as you can get, and steps from nightlife, shopping, restaurants and more. If you’re looking for a walkable, vibrant spot without any extra frills, the Cadillac is a solid choice. Location: The Cadillac is steps from Venice beach, meaning sand, surf, and boardwalk attractions are at your front door. You’re also walking distance from Abbot Kinney and Main Street, where you’ll find an array of shopping and dining options, and a short Uber will
AIR Venice on the Beach
This laidback beachside hotel offers rooms and suites that accommodate vacations of all lengths—whether your trip spans two nights or two months, you’ll find kitchenettes, laundry service and other homey amenities in streamlined, comfortable digs. Towering over its newer neighbors, AIR Venice on the Beach’s prim gray-trimmed façade betrays its past—originally constructed in the early 20th century, the historical building is a throwback to a different, less tech-industry- fueled era for the neighborhood. This isn’t to say that AIR is outdated. Inside, the hotel is pleasantly modern, decked out in a soothing palette of blues and grays complimented by dark wood furniture and featuring contemporary amenities like keyless entry, free wifi and flat screen TVs in every room. The rooms themselves are designed to suit extended stays as well as short stints; the most modest digs come with a microwave, while larger suites boast fully stocked kitchenettes. All rooms include access to laundry facilities and the fitness center at nearby Gold’s gym, as well as bicycle rentals and a weekend concierge. While “residential hotel” often evokes dreary highway-side stays for business travelers, AIR’s hip, lively location ensures that even the most jam-packed work itinerary will be able to accommodate a little fun, too. If you’re looking for a space that feels like home in all the right ways without sacrificing the perks of a hotel stay, AIR is your spot. Location: The Venice Beach boardwalk is a
This extended stay hotel boasts a hip beachside vibe and design-friendly details like hardwood floors and state-of- the-art appliances for business travelers who want a cut above your typical residential hotel. If you’re booking an extended stay and feel tired of the typical assortment of airport-adjacent chain hotels, Venice Suites is a refreshing balance of functionality and trendy ambience; the residential hotel offers studio and one-bedroom suites that cater to young professionals looking to balance their meeting schedules with surf lessons or a stroll down the canals. In addition to fully equipped kitchens, all suites sport hardwood floors, queen beds with high thread count linens and techy perks like iphone docks and free wifi. There’s also self-service laundry facilities and a rooftop terrace, ensuring that both your chores and your R&R are taken care of once you’re off the clock. The most appealing part of the Suites, however, is its location: close enough to LAX for a quick commute, Venice is a world-renowned travel hub known for its quirky, uniquely SoCal take on beach culture. Stay at the Venice Suites, and you’re guaranteed beach bunnies, burners and at least one Top Gun-esque beach volleyball game, all at your doorstep. Location: Close to souvenir shops, surf and bike rentals and, of course, the beach, Venice Suites’ boardwalk location is a fun mix of yoga-devoted millennials and old school weirdos. The neighborhood is also extremely walkable, and if you’re looki
Oakwood Toluca Hills
Located in residential Toluca Lake, this unassuming residential hotel attracts business travelers and budget-conscious families looking for feel of home without sacrificing the luxury of hotel amenities like maid service, tennis courts and two clubhouses with outdoor pools. Situated in quiet Toluca Hills, the Oakwood offers furnished and unfurnished apartments to extended stay travelers who want more from their facilities than the average AirBnB offers. Studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments are simply decorated without seeming sparse, and cater to long-term visitors with practical accouterments including cookware, cleaning supplies and extra sheets. Rooms also come with standard hotel amenities like complimentary toiletries and high-def TVs, ensuring that even the most utilitarian stay feels a little fancy. Free wifi, meeting rooms and conference facilities make the Oakwood especially appealing to business travelers, but families are also welcome: visitors of all ages can take advantage of facilities like a basketball court and barbecue pits, and kids (and harried parents) will flock to the sprawling playground. The vibes here may be a bit grown-up, but there are enough playful perks to keep the Oakwood out of senior living territory: an outdoor pool, hot tub and tennis courts ensure that visitors actually feel like they’re on vacation. Location: Nestled between Burbank and Hollywood, Toluca Hills is a mostly residential neighborhood that houses a surprising number of indus
Venice on the Beach Hotel
This boardwalk hotel features cozy, beachy furnishings and chill-vibes- only amenities—think memory foam mattresses in the rooms and a sunny, retro lounge on the roof—for visitors looking for an unfussy, laid-back SoCal experience. Set back from Venice Beach’s vivacious boardwalk scene, Venice on the Beach is a homey respite from the melee of L.A.’s most wonderfully weird neighborhood. After a day of people watching—locals include greased-up bodybuilders, skater babes and a 60-year-old man dressed like a tree—you’re invited to relax and recoup inside Venice on the Beach’s seashell pink walls, where you’ll find simple but cozy digs decked out in a beachy palette of blues and whites. Amenities are on the scant side (don’t expect room service) but you’ll find everything you need—rooms come equipped with relaxing accouterments like memory foam mattresses, premium cable and free wifi. There’s also complimentary continental breakfast and 24-hour coffee and tea service, a small business center (a computer and printer, to be specific), and an Astroturf-bedecked rooftop terrace. Take to the deck and pull up a lawn chair to witness panoramic views of the Pacific, particularly at sunset. Location: As the name implies, Venice on the Beach hotel is indeed ocean-adjacent; you’re steps from the stand, as well as the shops, restaurants and entertainment along the boardwalk. You’re also a short stroll from the canals, and a longer walk (or short drive) from upscale It-boulevards Abbot Kinney
I tried L.A.’s top-rated 420-friendly dating apps. Here’s what happened.
It should be no surprise that L.A.—home to Cheech & Chong, Snoop Dogg and an affinity for any trend that promises chill vibes—has fully embraced the relatively recent legalization of recreational weed. Outlets from Goop to the L.A. Times have expounded upon the ways the average Angeleno can use marijuana to achieve wellness, boost productivity and, yes, get faded; inhaling influencers have elevated pothead culture to an aesthetic that’s more Rihanna than Clueless’s Travis Birkenstock. Now, cannabis has reached the final frontier of millennial recreation: dating apps. Billed as “Tinder for tokers” and “the Cupids of cannabis,” a recent spate of dating apps have utilized marijuana's mainstream mania to offer singles in L.A.'s oft-disheartening dating scene a hassle-free path to a 420-friendly partner. As an L.A.-based single woman and casual cannabis user, I was intrigued: Even sans marijuana, Los Angeles can make the most straight-edge relationships seem stoned and surreal. The car culture bubble, class clashes and sprawling, disjointed neighborhoods mirror the dissociative isolation of an intense high; and the city’s sheer aesthetic weirdness is a trip in itself—see: acidic pollution sunsets, endless blocks of low-slung neon strip malls and cartoonish plastic surgery, punctuated by a wealth of modern and postmodern art and architecture. Considering my options in the app store, I fondly recalled an adolescence of lounging on the beach with Jack in the Box, a joint and a high s
This is what it's like to spend an entire night at Canter's Deli
An intrepid writer holes up at Fairfax’s 87-year-old Canter’s Deli overnight. When I opted to spend an entire night inside Fairfax’s famous Canter’s Deli, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After all, as Frank Lloyd Wright put it, “Tip the world over on its side, and everything loose will land in Los Angeles”—and the dinette has been slinging midnight latkes since 1931 to jetlagged tourists, teens pushing curfew, post-concert rock stars, industry heavyweights and every Angeleno in between. Who craves gefilte fish at four in the morning? How does the staff handle the long, dark night shift? And, most pressingly, when and how does a 24/7 restaurant get cleaned? I coaxed a night owl dining companion to join me and, over the course of seven hours, find out what it’s like overnight at Canter’s. At 11pm on a Friday night, Canter’s is busy with millennial couples snapping photos of each others’ onion rings, aging rocker types with leather jackets slung over the backs of their chairs and a demographic I dub “the dad crowd”—lovers of baseball caps and pastrami sandwiches, who arrive with families of four and don’t need to look at the deli’s multi-page menu before ordering. A few dads come in pairs, ostensibly for late-night industry meetings. Over the course of the evening, I become more and more sure that Canter’s is the perfect place to write that screenplay you’ve been putting off: it’s comfortable, steeped in L.A. culture and thus inspiring, and, I’d soon learn, graveyard quiet a