We recently attended a desert feast, cooked under the stars and inches from our table by Moonrise Standard: platters of lamb so tender we could pull it apart, bowls of spicy hominy, crunchy salads, and an incredible orange polenta cake. The surest sign of a great meal: Everyone stopped talking. Feasts are typically seven courses and emphasize whatever is best that is seasonal and local. The company hosts events throughout California and is available to cater smaller-scale parties and dinners.
Using organic, local ingredients—with all of their meals boasting an average of almost six different fruits and veggies—Thistle whips up colorful gluten- and dairy-free fare, with vegan options as well. We're partial to their “poke" bowl: marinated rainbow beets, togarashi-sprinkled brown rice, edamame, cucumber, and avocado sesame ginger dressing. House-made nut milks spiked with mushrooms, plus superfoods like maca, spirulina, and moringa take the menu to the next level. Local couriers deliver in SF and LA, and shipping is available to greater California and Nevada.
Leaning into being a tourist (or playing tourist in your own city for a day) can be extremely entertaining. Such is the case with GoCar's cool take on the common city tour: a talking, GPS-guided go-cart vehicle that takes you around the big—as well as some lesser known—sights of SF. Following the suggested routes laid out for you is simple, as is making an unplanned pit stop for photos, or veering off to do more of your own thing. Each car fits two people (the driver must be at least twenty-one years old, but kids can ride shotgun); small groups and families can reserve a mini fleet of their own. Most departures are from Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf; for a little adventure, you can end by climbing Russian Hill and then screaming down Lombard Street (aka the oft-Instagrammed Crooked Street).
San Francisco-based startup Fireside Provisions is a little like the Blue Apron of camp food—peruse their website ahead of your trip, enter your specifications, and they’ll deliver pre-packaged food with recipes to your door on the day of departure, swiftly eliminating any anxiety over food preparation. This isn’t your Dad’s camping hot dogs, either: Recipes include chilaquiles, salmon pita sandwiches, pork-fried rice, and even trail snacks like apples and peanut butter. No-brainer.
Dylan John Western Photography
Dylan's sensibility skews more fine art than over-the-top wedding, as his style is casual and unobtrusive, capturing candid moments from unusual angles, like the first look from behind a paned window. If you’re planning on getting married in an outdoor venue with a view (whether it be mountains, beach, forest, or plains), he’s an obvious pick.
Brumley & Wells Photography
It’s awfully rare to find a wedding photographer that shoots in film these days, and that’s exactly what makes Brumley & Wells so unique and different. Obviously, film can be digitized after the event, but the quality of the photo album alone (especially for artists or designers) more than justifies skipping the digital camera. They’re based in San Francisco, but love to travel for destination events.
Caroline Frost Photography
The first thing you’ll notice about Caroline Frost is that she’s supremely organized: She comes to every event armed with a thorough timeline and a neat list of every shot she needs to get before the day is over. That attention to detail means that she can easily fade into the background on the actual day, never interrupting the special moments around the ceremony or during the reception for photos. Caroline is also famously great at organizing wedding albums—rather than disappearing moments after the event, she’ll walk you through the entire process.
855 Bush St., Union Square
Del Popolo’s pizza is worthy of its fame—their Neapolitan-style pizzas are out-of-this-world good. They started off as a mobile pizzeria in 2012 and expanded into a brick-and-mortar space in Union Square in 2015. The beloved truck is still in business–and available for private events within a 50-mile radius of SF.
2790A Harrison St., Mission District
This quality SF ice cream shop (which has locations in The Mission and Embarcadero) caters a crowd-pleasing dessert at events big and small. They're known for their somewhat unusual ice cream flavors (Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Salt & Pepper, Cucumber, Bacon…), but there’s also plenty on offer for the less adventurous sort.
Tempel Smith started studying Buddhism and meditation in 1989 and even spent a year in Burma as an ordained Theravadan monk; after which he studied in silence for nine months (talk about commitment). He also completed a four-year teacher training program at Spirit Rock, where he learned a particular brand of somatic healing called Somatic Experiencing that's a powerful healing tool for people with PTSD. Though Smith does Dharma teaching and much of his work has its foundation in Buddhist principles, his somatic healing methods are firmly secular.
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