Haute Secrets: Claudia Juestel’s Guide to San Francisco

As one of the most highly esteemed interior designers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Claudia Juestel is routinely in the best homes from Napa to San Francisco to Atherton. But when she’s not managing her client’s projects, writing her design blog, contributing to a leading San Francisco website, working on some of her favorite charity projects, or traveling the world shopping for clients, she does find a little time to enjoy San Francisco’s best restaurants and cultural attractions. We recently caught up with her and found out what it is that she likes most about life in the city.

Where were you born: Wagrain, Austria

How long in San Francisco: 25 years

Neighborhood: Union Square

Occupation: Interior Designer

Favorite restaurant: Gitane (fearless yet unpretentious interior, charming bar tenders, great food and artisan cocktails) and Spruce, but there are many others, as we are so blessed with amazing restaurants here

Best steakhouse: Izzy’s Steaks & Chops (a filet mignon that melts in your mouth, plus the family-owned business is a generous supporter of local charities)

Best sushi: Blowfish Sushi

Best ethnic food: Limon (the best Lomo Salatado in town) and Contigo (small Spanish plates from fresh local resources)

Best Italian: Barbacco (so many favorite dishes and I love the various tasting sizes for their large wine selection) and Farina (amazing pesto and pasta)

Best pizza: Pizzeria Delfina and Flour + Water

Best lunch: Slanted Door and Zuni Café (I cannot get enough of their roasted chicken with bread salad – the one hour wait is well worth it)

Best place for late night dining: Globe (many chefs from other restaurants are there after work)

Best dessert: Black Forest Cake at Schubert’s Bakery (it tastes just like in the old country)

Best place for a romantic date: Spruce and Fleur de Lys

Best Sunday brunch: Zuni Café and Foreign Cinema

Hautest club and/or lounge: The Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel (I am to grown up for the rest)

With Holly Baxter (left) at a Gallery Opening

Best place for a power business meeting: My living room

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? St. Regis

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Wilkes Bashford

Best place to buy jewelry/watches: Cartier, Gump’s & Boucheron

Best spa: The I Spa at the Intercontinental Hotel

Best gym/athletic facility: Sports Club LA in the Four Seasons Hotel

Best massage: Psoas Massage + Bodywork

Best limousine/driving services: My assistant, who navigates this city like a professional driver

Favorite charity event: DIFFA’s Dining by Design for its over-the-top table environments

Favorite cultural event: Opening nights at the Ballet and Opera

Favorite cultural institution: The Ballet and the Symphony

Best museum/exhibit: MoMA and MoAD, and Banksy descending on San Francisco’s streets

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Coit Tower (amazing views) Golden Gate Park

All-around favorite locale in San Francisco, whether a neighborhood, restaurant, venue, or other: My home because it is in the heart of San Francisco, the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building on Saturday mornings

Best aspect of San Francisco: Its smallness, the proximity to nature, and the great food

To get full access to all Haute Secrets, click here to become an exclusive member.