May 21, 2014Posted by Andrea Seifert
Who doesn’t love SF? If you want to explore the City by the Bay beyond the well-trodden trail of cable cars, now-defunct prisons and touristy seafood joints, pick up a copy of The HUNT San Francisco. This beautiful little book fits snugly in the back pocket of your jeans, or neatly in your favorite clutch, and is packed with the inside scoop on old-school favorites, offbeat gems and hip newcomers to this lively city.
An avid lover of bourbon and bonfires, Lauren Ladoceour is a food and lifestyle writer based in San Francisco’s Mission, and the brains behind this guide. Lauren has worked with Rolling Stone, San Francisco Magazine, Food Arts, and Yoga Journal amongst others. She also publishes the quirky-cool biannual Weekend Almanac to San Francisco.
What do you think makes SF such a great city to visit? San Francisco is a city of tribes. And no matter who you are, no matter what you’re into, you will find your scene here. Also, is there a more beautiful U.S. city? The hills perfectly frame views, and even the street art is worth taking in.
As a local, what do you think is the best thing about living in San Francisco? The food! Chefs from all over the country are setting up shop here to play with the amazing produce, fish, and livestock within 100 miles of us. With all these amazing ingredients, you can order anything from dressed-up comfort food to a haute couture tasting menu. I dare you to find a more vibrant restaurant scene in the U.S.
How did you first get into writing? I got my first assignment as a features writer in 2000 for a paper up in Washington State. Since then, I’ve taken a mix of staff and freelance positions at magazines and book publishers, where I’ve been a food and travel editor or recipe developer. Today I’m the editor of Weekend Almanac, a lifestyle biannual I publish with creative director Ali Zeigler.
How did you go about researching The HUNT SF? I made a list of can’t-miss SF hot spots—you know, the classics—and then began checking out every new restaurant and shop that had opened in the past three years. Other times, I’d be out on a walk and would stumble into something I hadn’t seen before.
As a local, you know the city really well, but what was the most surprising thing or place you discovered along the way? I’d biked past The NWBLK a few time but could never tell what it was. A gallery? A warehouse? A workshop? A store? The outside gives no clue. You even have to be buzzed in. But once inside, I discovered it was a little bit of everything: a gigantic space with a little more than a dozen pieces of high-end furniture or clothing or art, with the designers creating it all upstairs. Who knew?!
How did you narrow down the local businesses that made it into the book and decide if a venue made the cut? If I found myself saying “oooh” or “need it,” the business made it into the book!
Which is your favorite neighborhood? It’s so hard to choose! But these days I’m digging the Sunset beach enclave. It’s one of those sleepy neighborhoods with plenty of parking, a couple of awesome restaurants, and beautiful shops.
Describe your ideal SF day I like to start with a hike up Bernal Hill, then brunch in the Mission, wander up Valencia Street for window shopping, and meet with friends for a beer in Hayes Valley or hang out around a bonfire at Ocean Beach come sunset.
I know you’re a foodie, what’s been your most memorable meal here? That’s tough to say. And to be honest, I don’t think I can answer that just because I review so many restaurants in SF!
The best and worst part about writing this book? The best part was getting to explore the city with my photographer friend Meghan. She’s the only other person who likes to eat and check out new places as much as me, and she’s just great to work with over several months on a project like this. The worst part? Well, we were at Park Tavern taking pictures and trying out a few dishes while a PBS camera crew was shooting for Check Please! Bay Area. At the time we didn’t think we were in the shots. Well, fast forward three months, and there are several seconds of me stuffing my face and talking enthusiastically with my hands on one of the city’s most popular shows. Every time the episode runs, I get an email from someone, and I just want to crawl into a cave and hide. The HUNT San Francisco is out now in bookstores around the world, and also available on Amazon