We just returned from San Francisco where we caught up with some talented friends from our study abroad days in Denmark; we also scoped out some modern venues that are fresh on the radar. When traveling, we believe that there’s no excuse for a mediocre experience; every meal you eat, gallery you see and martini that you tip back should be an extraordinary experience, or at the very least, new and different. We started THE MODERN LIST several years ago to record all of these places in 5 different cities. If you like what you’re seeing you can check out TML San Francisco for more, and as always, let us know what we missed.

While the lodging in San Francisco can get a bit pricey at the boutique hotels, you can find some very good deals through Tablet Hotels which keeps a pulse on cool modern pads to rest your head. With the weather kicking into summer gear, the outdoor lounges are a great amenity and the St. Regis Hotel has done a nice job with their outdoor spaces.

St. Regis, 125 3rd Street, 415.284.4000

Informal dining in San Francisco continues to be delicious and pleasant with an abundance of outdoor seating venues. San Francisco is a town where it pays to stay in the queue for a brunch table and there’s no lack of taco stands and burger joints to help you fuel your urban explorations later in the afternoon.

Tacolicious, 2031 Chestnut St, 415.346.1966

orange1 Wichcraft, 868 Mission St (Westfield Centre), 415.593.3895

Universal Café, 2814 19th St, 415.821.4608

Flipper’s Gourmet Burgers, 482 Hayes St, 415.552.8880

Nook, 1500 Hyde St, 415.447.4100

It’s maddening to try and keep up with all of the phenomenal dinner spots in SF.  Here’s a few new-ish culinary wonders with sleek interiors to boot.

Coi, 373 Broadway, 415.393.9000

Contigo, 1320 Castro St, 415.285.0250

Frances, 3870 17th St, 415.621.3870

Nopalito, 306 Broderick St, 415.437.0303

While SF has seen a fare share of drinking establishments close down in the last several years, there’s been a movement of sophisticated, well designed lounges popping up in their place. Put your good digs on and try these.

Gitane, 6 Claude Lane, 415.788.6686

Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Lane, 415.744.5000

In the keeping up with the Jones’ school of urban planning, San Francisco, like every other city, now has their Libeskind collectors addition museum.

Jewish Contemporary Museum, 736 Mission Street, designed by Daniel Libeskind

While we typically gravitate toward the Hayes Valley for design shops, this time around we kicked the tires on a few shops on the main drag. We liked what these places offered up with their refined grittiness.

John Varvatos, 152 Geary St, 415.986.0138

The Hundreds, 585 Post St, 415.440.7700

Vince, 36 Geary St, 415.951.0771

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