Best of 2015
From music and books to restaurants and camping sites, these were the Noisemakers’ favorites from 2015.
Restaurants: Al’s Place + Izakaya Rintaro
Al’s Place—amazing flavors and super farm fresh, you won’t even notice that most of the menu is veg, reservations are difficult but they save space for walk-ins.
Izakaya Rintaro—small Japanese space with lots of nice details, feels homey, especially if you sit at the counter near the fire. Must have the special omelet and the lacy gyoza (if it’s on the menu).
—Dava Guthmiller, Founder/CCO/Eater and Drinker
There were so many good reads this year but I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon and say The Girl on the Train. It’s an easy read that quickly turns into a compulsive page-turner thanks to an alcoholic protagonist (one of 3 narrators) and her “delusions” about the people she observes from the train. For those of you who procrastinate, the movie comes out October 2016!
—Ashley Kasten, Senior Project Manager/Cries at Books
If you like Flight of the Conchords, then you’ll love this mockumentary about a vampire and his roommates. Written by the Conchord’s Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this comedy might have flown under the radar but is well worth watching.
—Janu Flores, Creative Director/Explosive Laugher
For those that love to shop online, this site is a nicely curated feed of well designed things on Amazon.
—Evelyn Wei, Senior Designer/Shopaholic
Nestled next to the picturesque Richmond Costco, this East Bay gem is Porter’s (and my) favorite place to unwind on the weekends. Right on the water, this off-leash dog park boasts lots of open space for sniffing/rolling/running/swimming, sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and even a small cafe serving up hot beverages for chilly morning visits. It doesn’t get much better than that.
—Christine Lee, Creative Director/Cat and Dog Lady
A winter punch mix with gin as the kicker, this punch is guaranteed to keep you warm during these winter months. Go organic with it to get some ultra freshness and bust out your punch bowl with matching cups for your guests (because we all secretly own those).
—Kelly McGrane, Project Manager/Hand-Warmer Enthusiast
Surf Shops: Aviator Nation + Mollusk Surf Shop + Iron & Resin
When you think of San Francisco, surfing and beach life isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind but if you look a little closer there’s a great surf scene.
- Aviator Nation on Haight—a recent extension of the Venice-famous botique that has a well-curated selection to discover.
- Mollusk Surf Shop—a classic! No stinking, drenched wetsuits hanging here. It’s an artsy mix of books, clothing, beautiful boards and quality surf gear. The space itself hosts arts and events too.
- Iron & Resin—browse surfboards, motorbikes, clothing and art at this creative & hip shop with handcrafted goods. Made in the USA.
Don’t have cold feet, see you in the waves!
—Claire Saccoccini, Director of Business Development/Wave Maker
He’s a young guy from Alabama with a super soulful voice. Can’t decide if it makes me want to have a beer and relax or learn to sing.
—Ian Conklin, Senior Designer/Karaoke Reciter
For me, there’s nothing better than escaping into nature- running in the park, swimming in the ocean, hiking in the hills… or, best of all, camping in the middle of the forest. Located on the North Fork American River, this campground not only gives you your own little slice of forest to hide away in, complete with riverside cooking area (and a real bathroom and running water for those of you city slickers), but it’s big enough to take 75 of your closest friends with you.
—Anni Porteous, Office Manager/Retired Wedding Planner
Gluten-Free Foods: Goat Hill Pizza + Parlor 1255 + Mariposa Baking Co.
For those who follow a Gluten-Free diet for health concerns like myself, I’m sure you all know just how cumbersome it can be to sift through your options. Not only is it difficult to find GF items, but it’s also seemingly impossible to find those that actually taste good. Here are my top 3 favorite gluten free bites of all time:
- GF Hawaiian pizza from Goat Hill (Opt for the garlic sauce!)
- Gluten-free mixed berry muffin tarte from Parlor 1255
- Ham & cheese pastry pocket from Mariposa baking co. (As well as so many other things on their menu!)
—Amanda Ortiz, Designer/Water Tower Climber
As a newcomer to SF, I recently went on a chocolate food tour through the city—a super fun adventure and the perfect way for any foodie to really get to know the city they live in from a fresh, educational, social, and historical perspective. Check out some of the favorite local tours from Avital Food Tours or Gourmet Walks for their Gourmet Chocolate tour and others.
—Anna Mumford, Project Manager/SoCal to NorCal Transitioner
Sports have always been a passion in my life and was curious about what SF had to offer in that area. These events help me have a happy mind and body, find new friends and inspiration and best of all they are free! Check out the running club at Lululemon, Training events at Fleet Feet and The North Face, and weekly programs at Nike!
—Eva-Heidi Lindberg, Intern/Urban Adventurer
Snack: Clif and/or Kind Bars
I just can’t get enough of those delicious food-bricks.
—Josh Diaz, Intern/Snack Sneaker