We’ve had a busy year discovering new and amazing places in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. Can’t believe another year has flown by already! We wanted to look back on the year and give a special shout out to some of our favorites and “bests”. Take a look and let us know what some of your favorites are in the comments below!
Lindsey – Causwells
Enjoy a great brunch without the wait. Causwells has amazing house made ricotta, belgian waffles, and their infamous brunch burger! We can’t think of a better way to kick off a weekend.
Esther – Southern Kitchen LG
You can’t go wrong with delicious Southern food eaten in a cute place in a charming downtown. Southern Kitchen has all that and more. To top it off, they use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of fresh pressed juice from Juice Co. LG while you’re there!
Lindsey – Tamarind Hall
Tamarind Hall serves up some of the best Thai food we’ve had all year. The dishes were flavorful and colorful! With so many menu options we loved trying out more traditional dishes that we had never experienced before at a Thai restaurant.
Esther – Dragon Beaux
If you’re looking for beautifully presented and delicious food, Dragon Beaux is your spot. They serve some of the best dim sum we’ve had and the dishes are certainly Instagram-worthy. Make sure to go early to put your name down. They don’t take reservations and they are almost always very busy.
Lindsey – Sabio on Main
The Sabio on Main tasting menu was an amazing journey for our tastebuds. Located in the quaint downtown Pleasanton, make sure you stop here on your next visit to Tri Valley. Every course was well thought out with unique flavors that married well. The drink pairings were equally as amazing as the food.
Esther – Omakase
Omakase serves fresh fish flown directly from Japan daily. The ambiance is minimalistic and quaint. Just sit back and enjoy your meal here as the chef prepares all of the courses before your eyes. With only two seating times each night and limited to around 15 seats, make sure to make a reservation before you go.
Lindsey – Mademoiselle Colette
The Passion Fruit & Chocolat Mousse from Mademoiselle Colette in Menlo Park was a clear dessert of the year winner for me. The sweet, tart flavor was mellowed out by the chocolate. It’s perfectly airy mousse texture makes it so light I could eat five of these in a row…
Esther – Uiji Time
Located in a shared space with lots of table seating, Uiji Time as all of our favorite desserts. Their menu items include mochi ice cream, soft serve (matcha is our favorite but their tofu flavor is not bad!), and taiyaki. Everything was so tasty we couldn’t help but gobble it all up.
Lindsey – Eureka!
Whiskey lovers will love Eureka. For a smoky cocktail order a round of Holy Smokes. It’s served in a closed mason jar and is infused with smoke, which is released when you open the lid.
Esther – STEEP
If you’re looking for a refreshing and healthy drink, look no further. STEEP offers fresh smoothies, acai bowls, and boba. My favorite was their Pitaya Bowl made with fresh dragon fruit!
Best Winery or Brewery
Lindsey – Pangloss Cellars
Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma is the perfect place to visit and unwind with a flight of wines and a delectable caviar platter. Located on the square, it’s easily accessible and it doesn’t hurt that their wines are delicious as well.
Esther – Clif Family Winery
People often associate Clif Family with energy bars but they actually have a winery as well! We had a chance to visit their winery in St. Helena. It has a great space for tasting and their own food truck is parked right outside for some quick bites.
Lindsey – Havasu Falls
This is more of a backpacking trip than a hike. Nonetheless, it is a once in a lifetime experience to see such beautiful waterfalls cascading clear turquoise waters.
Esther – Coyote Hills Regional Park
Rolling hills, water views, and plenty of trails ranging from hard to easy, Coyote Hills is easy to access and has just the right amount of everything. We also love that its dog friendly!
Lindsey – Mt. Hamilton Grandview
Grab a table at Mt. Hamilton GrandView restaurant for a sunset spectacle like no other. Watch all of San Jose turn pink, purple, orange and red, all while sipping a glass of pre-dinner Champagne.
Kirby Cove has an epic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The walk down (and then back up!) can take a good half hour, but its super peaceful and the tree swings on the beach will make the hike worth it! If you are up for camping they also have a couple of campsites that are available to the public.
Lindsey – Bonsai Rock
Getting to Bonsai Rock requires a bit of a downhill trek, but it’s all worth it. Winter or Summer, this Lake Tahoe Gem is a uniquely gorgeous sight to see. In the summertime take a dip in the lake to cool off!
Esther – Fitzgerald Marin Preserve
Located in Half Moon Bay, this beautiful preserve is a hidden gem. We love walking along the cypress trees to a path that leads to stairs down the ocean. They also have great tide pools for the little ones to explore. Dogs are only allowed on certain areas of the Fitzgerald Marin Preserve.
Best Weekend Getaway
Lindsey – Truckee
What can I say? I just love the mountains! Truckee is the perfect little ski town and Donner Lake is beautiful year round.
Esther – Petaluma
Petaluma has the charm of small town, but plenty of sights to see and great dining options. Visit one of the many farms in the area, sip wine at a wine shop, or take a stroll through downtown to visit one of their many unique antique shops.
Best Overnight Stay
Lindsey – Inn at Park Winters
For an escape from the city, book a weekend away at the Inn at Park Winters. Beautifully manicured grounds, a farm-to-table restaurant and pool with a sunset view is all you need to relax and rejuvenate.
Esther – Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay has it all. With ocean views, golf courses, fire pits, and delicious food, there is no need to leave the resort during your whole stay. grab a cup of coffee and sit by one of their fire pits to watch the fog roll out with the sound of crashing waves in the background…perfection.
Best Vacation Destination
Lindsey – Wanaka
If you’ve ever visited New Zealand, you’ll know the whole country has picture perfect scenery. Wanaka is a small town in South Island that has unprecedented views and is the hub for all things adventure, wether it be bungee jumping, canyoning, or just taking a scenic hike.
Esther – Fairbanks, Alaska
A trip to experience the Northern Lights from the Bay Area is easily done by making a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. No need to deal with foreign fees on credit cards or roaming charges on your phone since you’re still in America. Fairbanks boasts some of the best viewing spots for the Northern Lights since they are actually an arctic dessert- meaning it doesn’t snow very much (equals clear skies for viewing!) despite it being so cold.
Best Local Product
Rumpl blankets are soooo comfy and are just what you want to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s day. They are light and easily packable so you can bring them with you anywhere life takes you!
Esther- American Giant
Our high quality American Giant gear has been keeping us warm all winter! We love the quality design of their sweats and jackets. Everything is super comfy and soft.
You haven’t experienced relaxation until you’ve taken a cedar bath at Osmosis spa. This Japanese fermentation bathing ritual involves immersing your body in a mixture of soft and fragrant ground cedar and rice bran. It’s great for circulation, muscle and joint pain in addition to a myriad of other health benefits.
Esther- MacArthur Place
MacArthur Place is the definition of relaxation and luxury. The spa is situated in the middle of their gardens and is the perfect place to enjoy an Aromatherapy Massage. The soak in my own private outdoor tub (available in some rooms) afterwards didn’t hurt either!