The Classic San Francisco Guide
As one of the most quintessential and iconic cities in America, San Francisco is also one of its most picturesque. Below, many of the standards you’ve loved over the years, plus newer arrivals that have already achieved classic status.
Barrow Salon256 Sutter St. #4, Financial District | 415.732.0356
There's one thing every one of Michelle Snyder's clients has in common: they're fiercely loyal. And it makes sense, too, as her taste level is unmatched and her cuts are legendary. The salon itself has a small library and a minimalist vibe, making it a great place to spend a few hours while your highlights cook.
Credo2136 Fillmore St., Pacific Heights | 415.885.1800
Credo stocks a wide range of non-toxic beauty brands from around the globe, including top skincare and makeup products from de Mamiel, Ilia, Kjaer Weis, Kypris, RMS, Tammy Fender, and our very own goop by Juice Beauty. The original shop debuted in 2015 in San Francisco, and is also home to a Tata Harper spa that offers facials, waxing, makeup lessons, and more. The second shop opened a year later in NYC, with its own Credo Beauty Bar, where you can book similar treatments.
Dermaplus Skin + Body1728 Union St., Pacific Heights | 415.885.6192
Andrea Lembkey owns and operates this quaint second-floor space, where each treatment is leisurely and attentive. As a bonus, she performs some of the most potent, results-oriented laser facials on the market, as well as great waxes.
Habit3212 Fillmore St., Marina | 415.931.3165
No one really enjoys a trip to the waxer but a treatment here comes with cocktails and bump-free results, making a visit almost bearable. They use only natural waxes (both hard and soft) or a sugar, lemon, and water mixture that goes on warm and comes off sans breakage and with minimal discomfort. Each treatment room boasts a different theme—nautical, camping, beach—but not in a kitschy way.
Hotel Vitale8 Mission St., The Embarcadero | 415.278.3788
Situated right across the street from the Ferry Building, this super-holistic hotel has a full menu of spa treatments for both vacationing and business travelers in addition to plush amenities like rooftop soaking tubs and a bamboo garden. Guest rooms are kept purposely neutral to give all five sense a break at the end of the day.
International Orange2044 Fillmore St., Pacific Heights | 415.563.5000
Part yoga studio, part day spa, International Orange (IO)—named after the paint color of the Golden Gate Bridge—is a huge open space of zen in the middle of the city. IO has both restorative and vinyasa yoga available; choose between group classes, private sessions, or workshops. And that's all in addition to a spa menu rife with massages, facials, and more. They also have a location in Marin.
Kristina Holey864 Post St., San Francisco, California | 415.854.5825 or [email protected]
Any facialist worth their salt can make you glow after a treatment, but Kristina Holey’s aim is to bring skin into long-term balance. This means that each treatment begins with a thorough dissection of eating habits, skin-care routine, and general lifestyle and ends with a detailed homework assignment for everyday maintenance. There’s no menu at her airy, laid-back studio; the one and a half to two hours she spends with clients are completely customized, though all include a rousing face massage, as well as broths meant to calm and strengthen skin from within.
Jungle Red4233 18th St., Castro | 415.924.9755
This salon is hip and chic without screaming hip and chic. The front desk staff are always incredibly cheerful and helpful and the stylists do amazing color and nourishing conditioning treatments at reasonable rates.
Sarah Becker Skincare3212 Fillmore St., Marina | 415.447.6159
Sarah actually shares a space with waxing studio Habit, so the rooms here look kind of like a girl's bedroom: dimly lit, pastel-hued, and comfy (the treatment tables are covered in layers of blankets). Once you lie down, Sarah literally tucks you in before beginning the treatment, which is a combination of high-tech and natural elements. The microdermabrasion works wonders without feeling like your face is being sanded off.
Spa Radiance3011 Fillmore St., Marina | 415.346.6281
This deceptively sweet-looking spa is actually pretty hardcore when it comes to anti-aging treatments. The Russian mother-daughter team who founded it in the late '70s rely on everything from LED light therapy to dermaplanting to microdermabrasion in their efforts to stave off wrinkles and discoloration. On a lighter note, there's also makeup application, waxing, and massage.
Veer & Wander6 Brady St, Hayes Valley | 415.864.3012
We love how this streamlined boutique exudes the perfect mix of rockstar edginess and eco-consciousness–the latter being obvious on its shelves that are stocked with some of our favorite natural beauty brands including Vitner's Daughter, Rahua, and our very own goop by Juice Beauty. A full service salon anchors the space, where you can find some of the city's best colorists and stylists.