If you’re single, wealthy and like to eat, San Francisco is the place to be. That is according to MONEY’s “Best Places to Live 2015” feature, where the online guru of personal finance news and advice ranks U.S. cities based on job economy, real estate market, school districts and unique perks.
And while we love to play the unpretentious card in San Francisco, we weren’t too surprised to see SF snag the ultimate titles for #1 Best Place for Foodies and #1 Best Place to Be Rich and Single—because let’s face it, SF is the virtual playground for the rich and single, where median incomes top off generously at $78,832 and 47.2% of the city’s population is unmarried. So what’s one to do when they’re single and have a wallet filled to the brim (even after forking over $3,500/month in rent)? Treat themselves to the finest dinners, cocktails and dates of course!
Let’s take a look at some of San Francisco’s most exclusive restaurants, bars and hangout spots that attract America’s richest and most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.
Saison. Photo by Snekse via flickr.
San Francisco is quickly surpassing New York as the foodie capital of the United States. In addition to the MONEY honor, San Francisco was just declared the “Best Food City in the Country,” by Bon Appétit with six mentions in their annual ranking of America’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants (and the only city to nab two spots on the Hot 10 list). So where does a wealthy, self-proclaimed SF foodie go for a delectable dining experience?
- Benu—Having recently secured a coveted third star rating from Michelin, Benu serves up an impressive array of plates with perfectly executed delicacies, including thousand-year old quail eggs, foie gras and shark fins. But this fine dining experience comes at a pretty penny. The cost of their current tasting menu? $248 per person with an additional 20% service charge.
- Saison—Also earning a three star rating from Michelin, Saison offers a multi-course menu each night, with up to 14 courses of fresh, innovative and delicious food pairings. Guests are greeted with a glass of Krug champagne and checked for dietary restrictions pre-meal (naturally). It’s no wonder San Francisco’s elite singles stop by for dinner and drinks. However, like Benu, the finest ingredients come at a steep price that call for an after dinner cocktail. Dinner for two is usually upwards of $500.
- Lazy Bear – If there’s one thing San Franciscan’s don’t mind, it’s waiting in line for a good meal or the latest food craze. Taking things up a notch is Lazy Bear, where the ticket-only reservations are more desirable than VIP at Outside Lands. The coveted $120 dinner ticket gets you entry to an extravagant dinner party that begins with cocktails and appetizers in a cozy living room style space, followed by a 12-course dinner with a set menu that changes seasonally.
- AL’s Place – Quality doesn’t always have to come with an exorbitant dinner tab. Take AL’s Place, for example. Just named the #1 restaurant on Bon Appetit’s annual list of “America’s Best New Restaurants,” AL’s Place is an unassuming, vegetable-focused spot on a sleepy (though probably not for long) corner of the Mission District. Menu items range from $7-19 and there’s also a $60/per person family style option and an $85/per person chef’s tasting menu.
- Other Hot Spots: Californios, Coi, Cotogna, Flour + Water, Frances, Liholiho Yacht Club, The Progress, Rintaro and State Bird Provisions.
Trick Dog. Photo by Torbakhopper via flickr.
Once the meal’s taken care of, where do SF’s wealthy singles go next? If you’re thinking drinks, you’re correct. But unlike many American’s who go out to their local dive bar and munch on peanuts and order a beer on tap, SF’s elite singles head out in search of the finest cocktails, courtesy of the city’s world-renowned craft cocktail scene.
- Eden Lounge – Park Tavern is a hot spot known for amazing cocktails. But when you’re feeling fabulous, take things up a level (literally) to Eden Lounge. Located above Park Tavern, the ultra-exclusive Eden Lounge can be turned into a dining room for private events with custom-crafted cocktails.
- Trick Dog – Adorned in marble and steel, Trick Dog put the San Francisco craft cocktail scene on the map. The inventive menu resets every six months (past inspirations include the Pantone color wheel, record albums, and the SF tourist map) and the latest theme is Chinese Restaurant, which features 12 specialty cocktails written in Chinese characters (don’t worry, Anglos, the descriptions are in English and you can order by number), such as the #3 (Plymouth gin, Bigallet China-China, pineapple, celery seed, lime, Cel-Ray celery-flavored soft drink and gardenia), while beer, wine, sherry, shots and other mixed drinks are available. All told, the cocktail menu goes up to item #67.
- Marianne’s – Another “secret” bar, Marianne’s is located behind a bookshelf in Cavalier. Enter through a passcode-required door and find a private bar, bartender and a bathroom that will make you feel like you’ve gone through a portal to an 80s London punk pub. Allegedly this is where Jack Dorsey went to celebrate the Twitter IPO, Tyler Florence held a secret DJ session, Kobe Bryant lounged while in town and where “super angel” (tech speak for super wealthy) Ron Conway pens deals. Dubbed “the millionaire’s hostel” by owner Anna Weinberg (she of Marlow and Park Tavern), the key code is only given to friends of the restaurant group and its owners, and those lucky enough to know somebody who knows somebody.
- Tradition – Can’t decide what kind of cocktail bar you want imbibe at? Try Tradition where the cocktail menu spans the entire drinking lexicon from Tiki to dive to speakeasy to English pub. The physical space is equally eclectic, with church pews and stained glass, vintage alcohol ads and a library ladder. Yet somehow, like the creative cocktails served, it all blends perfectly together. For a more exclusive experience, make reservations for one of the private drinking confessionals, each themed to match one of the drink themes.
- Other Hot Spots: ABV, Alchemist, Bergerac, Blackbird, Maven, Park Tavern
Olympic Club. Photo by Christopher Michel via flickr.
When you’re wealthy and living in San Francisco, there’s the tried-and-true ways to have fun (boating on the Bay, dining at the latest pop up restaurant, attending exclusive benefits and events). And then there are the super-secret, super-exclusive, post it on Instagram and make everyone else jealous things to do. Here are just a few secret perks to living large in San Francisco.
- Gotham Club at AT&T Park – AT&T Park is as much a destination for its food, views and socializing as it is watching the World Champions play on the field. To that end, tucked behind the scoreboard lies the Gotham Club. Equipped with insane views (both of the Bay and the field), a full bar (with baseball shaped ice cubes), a game room (and private bowling alley), this is the stuff [the field of] dreams are made of. So how do you get in? All current and past San Francisco Giants are members, but us mere mortals must be a season ticket holder who’s willing to pay the $2,500 membership fee plus $1,250 in annual dues. Or better yet, know someone who is.
- Wingtip – Located inside the original Bank of Italy building, Wingtip’s flagship San Francisco store boasts a private club where membership gives you (and up to three guests) exclusive access to their urban playground – billiards room, golf simulator, main bar, roof deck, wine cave, wine lockers, parlor rooms and a champagne room. With one of the best whiskey selections in the City, an up-close-and-personal view of the Transamerica Pyramid, and a secret door fireplace that will make you feel like you’re in the Clue mansion, a Wingtip membership may be just the thing that suits you. But, like a fine tailored outfit, it doesn’t come cheap. Initiation fees run $1,000-$3,000 with monthly dues from $100-$300.
- The Olympic Club—Built in 1912 and fully restored in 2006, the athletic club lives up to its prestigious reputation with a fitness center, cardio solarium, hotel facilities, three golf courses, circuit training facilities, swimming pools, and spectacular dining and bars (the list could go on and on). Only the very elite of SF can become members, with a one and a half year waiting list reserved for those that are connected to the exclusive SF social scene or know someone that belongs to the club. And with initiation fees peaking at $9,000, it’s no wonder wealthy singles come here to mingle and play.
Want to check out MONEY’s “Best Places to Live 2015” feature? Click here for your reading pleasure.