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Locals Only Guide to Shopping and Living in San Francisco: Alana of Etta + Billie Dishes on Her Favorite Spots

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Alana has a design sensibility and an eclectic style that sets her apart in our book. And she's living a dream in San Francisco, a cultural melting pot of counter culture, filled with artistic dreamers, delectable goodies and taxidermy oddity shops. We invited the fine crafter-extraordinaire and owner of Etta + Billie, maker of delicious soaps and apothecaries to take us on a tour of the town she knows better than the back of her hand.
alana San Francisco City Guide
1. What are your 4 favorite things to do in San Francisco?
• Grab a donut and a coffee and sit out in the back garden at Dynamo Donut.
• Hit up the Alemany Farmers Market every Saturday with my family.
• Meet friends for a drink at Junior or Lazlo.
• Eating all the things.
dynamo donut best things to do in San Francisco
2. Name three things that you would do on your perfect day when taking time for yourself? Are there specific places that come to mind that you would do?
• Head to one of my favorite local bakeries (Neighbor, Black Jet, Craftsman and Wolves) to pick up a treat or two and a coffee, then head to a park with a view or near the water (Potrero Hill, Bernal, Mission Bay). I'll sit and eat my treats, sip coffee, gaze, and read. Bliss.
• Treat myself to a spa treatment and a day at the baths at Kabuki Springs.
• Head to ocean beach and stop at Devils Teeth Baking co for a biscuit sando (and a cinnamon rolls), Trouble Coffee for a Fanny Pack, and eat my goodies on the beach.
3. What is something that you absolutely can't live without in San Fransisco and why?
A sense of humor + compassion. ;) Like most cities, there are great things (good food, beautiful, strong community) and not so great things (traffic, homelessness, extreme economic disparity). Having a sense of humor + compassion helps when you come up against some of the less positive sides of city life.

Jenny Lemons Places to shop in San Francisco and the Mission

4. Where are your top 3 places to shop in SF and why
• The farmers market - I love connecting with farmers and seeing how produce and fruit changes with the seasons!
• Alley Cat Books - one of my favorite independent book shops that has new and used titles as well as a gallery space in the back.
• Jenny Lemons - Jennie Lennick is an amazing designer and has curated a space with great maker goods as well as DIY kits if you want to get crafty.
Randall Museum in San Francisco
5. Have you discovered any secret gems you want to fill our readers in on?
I recently found out about the Randall Museum. They have some wonderful exhibits on local history and wildlife. The museum is situated in the hills of SF with a stunning view of the city and the East Bay. Great for kids and adults!
Paxton Gate Great Stores to visit in San Francisco
6. What are your fav shops to go shopping for unique items.
Some of my personal favs and are must sees and dos are: Renegade Craft Fair, SF Made Fairs, Paxton Gate, Makers Market, Palm + Perkins, Oaklandish, and Bay Area Made shows.
Taking some time to get to know Alana and my hometown (in the Bay Area) was such a treat. Even I have a kid and didn't know about the Randall Museum! She gave me some new great ideas for escapes. If you'd like to learn more about Alana and her studio space or see what goes into making her fine goods, check out our other interview with her here: Artisan Studio Tour
guide Local travel

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