Photo Credit: May Ramirez
Luxury brands know to call Allison Speer when they need to get their name in front of the “right” people in San Francisco. She’s the PR maven whose firm has introduced luxury brands, products and boutiques to high-end consumers in Northern California for well over a decade. Well, we’ve called upon Speer for a different reason and that’s to share with us her fave haunts — the places she goes when she’s not brilliantly organizing a haute event for a client such as Dior, Valentino or Christian Louboutin. We figure if anyone knows San Francisco it is this always stylish California girl who previously headed public relations and special events for I. Magnin [a store we still miss dearly] followed by eight years as West Coast Director of Public Relations and Special Events for Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani. Without further ado:
How long have you lived in San Francisco/the Bay Area?: Since 1991 when I graduated from UC Berkeley
Hood you call home: Presidio Heights
Best thing about your neighborhood: I can walk to everything—my hair salon, my manicurist, CPMC Hospital, Starbucks and one of my favorite restaurants Spruce.
Favorite place to go after a nighttime event you put on: Tosca, the bar is always lively and open late.
Favorite movie theater: The VOGUE Theater on Sacramento Street
Favorite shopping area/boutiques: Fillmore Street; Curve, Betty Lin on Presidio
Favorite designer: Andrew Gn
Favorite bookstore: Books Inc. in Laurel Village
Favorite jewelry store: De Grisogono in NY on Madison Avenue, Lang Estate Jewelry
Best nail salon: Laurel Nails
Best place to get a massage: Marilyn Jaeger on Sacramento Street
Best hair salon: I go to May at Estila on Sacramento Street. I also send out of town guests and clients to Alex Chases on Geary
Favorite park: Golden Gate Park, the Tea Gardens
Photo Credit: Courtesy: The Penthouse at The Fairmont San Francisco
Best place to enjoy a view of city: The Fairmont Penthouse has an amazing view of downtown and the Golden Gate Bridge
Most romantic spot/place: Lands End Trail
Best museum: The Legion of Honor, the French Neoclassical Architecture is so spectacular.
Favorite touristy place: The Ferry Building—I love to see all the local purveyors like Cowgirl Creamery and the Gardener.
Best health club: I play tennis and work out at the California Tennis Club. The Battery has one of the best gyms in town.
Hotel you recommend to out-of-town visitors: I recommend the Battery Hotel. The rooms they are super chic and have a great courtyard and city view; or Campton Place in Union Square.
Place where you always take visitors: I take them to the Lands End Trail, Crissy Field, The Legion of Honor and the Ferry Building.
Favorite coffee house: Jane on Filmore has great coffee and baked goods.
Best bakery: Love Sweet Things at Laurel Village
Favorite weekend getaway, within driving distance: The Lodge at Pebble Beach; I love the drive and views from the Lodge.
Best place to “do lunch”: Cotogna
Best place for cocktails: Spruce Bar
Best overall restaurant: Quince and Gary Danko
Photo Credit: Courtesy Sushi Ran
Best sushi: Sushi Ran in Sausalito
Best Vietnamese: Out the Door
Best Italian: Cotogna and AI6
Best French: La Folie
Restaurant is on your must-try list: State Bird Provisions
Best doggie boutique: GEORGE!
Best dog park: Julius Kahn field and playground
Favorite place to take your dog: On the Presidio Trails
Best place to go in the city when you want to get away from it all: Crissy Field to you can just look out at the Bay and you feel instantly relaxed.