The Best of 2017: San Francisco

All your favorite local stories from the past 365 days

By Diane Rommel

The Best of 2017: San Francisco
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26 December 2017

So that was a weird year. The good news:

We live in an amazing place, where Michelin-starred chefs eat $5 burgers, whales meander past on your average Saturday hike, and wildly talented people make wildly cool things for us to buy.

So here’s a look back at your favorite stories from 2017 — covering all of the above, plus how to fight Equifax, eat well in the worst ‘hood in town, buy lingerie and avoid getting a divorce.

Here’s to a safe — and prosperous — 2018.

We played outside.
Who’s up for a historic hike? (Spoiler: The Russians have been here for ages.) Or a hike that ends at a lighthouse? Maybe you prefer a hike that ends at a bar? We got that, too. Or how ’bout getting some space from the rabble with these hike-in campsites?

We ate better than ever, even on a budget.
The food scene in San Francisco remains so rich, so deep, so varied, that even our bargain-basement selections could win Michelin stars (at least if these Michelin chefs are making the picks — Filet o’ Fish, anyone?). And when all else fails, there are always burgers. Just head to Wes Burger if you can’t decide — or see Wes Rowe’s full roster of the top cheap eats in town. Also, we ate all the donuts.

We got outta town.
Gold panning? Check — if you head for Highway 49. Hot-spring hunting? Sure — we’re within spitting distance of some of the best in the country. And for all those trips requiring a boarding card, we figured out a winning strategy for eating well at SFO — without Red Vines.

We spent some time in Wine Country.
It’s the most beautiful place on Earth, and it needs our patronage more than ever — so we talked to winemaker Laura Brennan Bissell about where the locals really eat and drink in Sonoma. We stopped by the best new hotel in Napa. And we asked our favorite Bay Area wine expert for some Northern California must-buys.

We answered some big questions.
Including: How do you fight against the thieves of the credit industry? (Answer: Write/call/fax/protest your local representatives.) How do you protect yourself (and your assets, and your heart) from divorce? (Answer: Pay attention, to everything.) How do you buy a present for a woman? (With care, if you’re buying lingerie.)

We pushed some envelopes
We got in the bath, naked, in public. (It was cool.) And we made the most of our medical marijuana cards. (Everything’s going upscale.)

We sampled the best of S.F.’s creative scene
There are still some peerless designers here — and we found the best of what they’re making, from an artful aviator bag to three superlative takes on the single-most-necessary Bay Area wardrobe staple: the jacket. We sat down with a knifemaker whose life mission is to make the cleanest possible cut. And we tried out a near-indestructible wallet.

We focused on why we live here — aka heaven on Earth.
How far did you get into our list of the 50 best hikes in the state of California? It’s just about time to get the snowshoes out for that Lassen hike, by the way. And once that’s done, it’s time to tackle the best state park experiences, from tidal pools to redwood forests.

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