From the Forum – Fun things in Napa and San Fran? and Furniture in Lancaster?

Photo by PoPville flickr user egr5005

Winery recommendations in Napa?Good restaurants/bars/favorite things in San Fran:

“My husband and I are headed to Napa next week for a wedding. We will have on day in San Fran. Any favorite casual restaurants? Favorite things to do in San Fran off the beaten path?

We will have 2-3 days in Napa and the surrounding area for winery visits and riding bikes. We’ll be staying in Yountville so any recommendations around the area of wineries to visit would be helpful!”


Furniture Shopping in Lancaster, PA:

“We are really interested in purchasing an entire real wood, mission style, bedroom set. We are thinking of visiting places in Lancaster, PA – any suggestions or advice from others in POPville?

If we go, do we bring a Uhaul and bring everything home with us after shopping OR do we special order and pieces are custom made.

If you have local suggestions for real wood furniture let us know – Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware, have been disappointments.”

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23 Comment

  • For real wood mission style furniture, did you look at Hardwood Artisan? They made my bedroom set – it’s beautiful. Their furniture is made locally in Culpepper, VA – I was invited to go watch my furniture being made!

  • I always thought North Carolina was the go to place for inexpensive quality furniture. Are there similar options in Lancaster, or is the NC drive just a bit too far for it to be worth it for you?

    • justinbc

      Unfortunately a lot of the manufacturers in NC moved to China. There are still some down there, but it’s not nearly the hotbed it used to be.

  • Check out my Aunt’s site

    They deliver to DC

  • Great view and champagne tasting in Napa at Mumm Napa. Website is MummNapa[dot]com.

  • Lancaster does indeed have a great selection of real wood furniture(coming from someone who grew up there). The area to look is in the North-Western part of the county, centered on the towns of Manheim and Lititz(prices are lower than in the more heavily touristed areas to the East and South of Lancaster city). One place I remember being good was George’s Woodcrafts outside of Maytown, although there are a number of places that sell quality furniture in the area.

  • For cheap furniture in the Lanc, you should check out the auctions at a market like Green Dragon ( ). As I recall, you can also buy a live chicken at Green Dragon (though they will slaughter it before they hand it to you),

  • Go out to Dixon’s Auction in Crumpton, MD to buy your furniture! Seriously good prices on some really nice stuff. If you haven’t been, go check it out.

  • I have always liked Creative Classics… right in Old Town Alexandria. Great mission style furniture, real wood.

  • Please please please do not call it San Fran. As a native you will upset the locals (rightfully so). Don’t call it Frisco either (in fact, Google “Don’t call it Frisco” and see how many entries there are). Call it San Francisco. Or simply “the City”

    As for what to do, make the CVB visitors center your first stop.

    Have a great trip!

    • +1000
      As someone raised in the City I completely agree that no one from Northern California ever ever ever says San Fran. I don’t have a problem with Frisco, though, since that’s what my hippy parents said growing up there.

    • Yes, It’s always The City. And if you can, try to make it to Oaktown.

    • Calling that city “The City” would be confusing on a blog about another city, no?

  • For SF – Slanted Door is a hot restaurant bu they have a cafe for way cheaper in the mall/food court underneath nordstrom in Union Square. Love Insalata in San Rafael (I think) and in Napa, Girl & the Fig is the perfect alternative (much cheaper) to French Laundry.

    • The girl and the fig is fantastic but it’s in Sonoma, not Napa. Nothing is an alternative to the French Laundry. And It too is not in Napa but in Yountville. You wont get into the FL but If you want a taste of Keller, go to one of his other restaurants down the street in Yountville — Bouchon or Ad Hoc.

      Some winery recs…
      Sterling for a taste of old Napa
      Clos Pegas for some of the best reds
      Silenus for truly boutique wines
      Gundlach Bundschu (in Sonoma) for great wines in a really low key, hip atmosphere

    • There’s no way they’ll get into Slanted Door on this short of notice. Try to go somewhere that doesn’t take reservations — Mission Chinese Food (the real one!) or Burma Superstar is also worth the wait. Some of the best food I’ve ever had.

      Don’t wait in line for Bi-Rite, head down 24th to Humphrey Slocomb and get the secret breakfast, bourbon and cornflake ice cream.

      • Slanted Door creator Charles Phan now has a more casual place called Out the Door in the Fillmore, went in August and it’s fantastic. No reservations so you wait, but it’s worth it. If the OP likes German food I’d also recommend Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley, again, no reservations and depending on the night can be a long wait but great food and atmosphere in a neighborhood tourists don’t usually get to. Head up the Hill to Alamo Square for the best view in town.

  • Hi there,

    I’m from Lancaster, and boy do I have a list for you! Every piece of damn furniture in my parent’s house is from Amish Country furniture shops. The great thing about furniture in Lancaster is that it’s often timeless, REAL, and you can buy it pure and stain it yourself, or often pick the stain you’d like if they don’t happen to have it on the floor that day. I’ve listed the best places in Amish Country below:

    Note: Gish’s and King’s tend to be much more expensive. They all have the same things, so definitely shop around. I’m adding one below that will just be reopening in the next month. It’s actually in Downtown Lancaster (which yes, is a small city with real city problems!). They do BEAUTIFUL handcrafted furniture from salvaged wood with irish influence (think candle holders made from a piece of an old whiskey barrel). They have gorgeous furniture and it’s pricey (but obvious beats DC by a mile on price). I highly recommend going next to door to Annie Baileys to eat afterwards!

    Hope that helps!

  • A few recommendations for visiting the SF area:

    1) Fatted Calf Charcuterie in Napa. They have also opened a store front in SF but Napa is where it’s at. Awesome and delicious meaty things. There’s a cool market like Eastern Market right next door too.

    2) Brix restaurant just north of Napa (7377 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA). I know people will want to crucify for saying this but I think it’s better than Chez Panisse. Or, at least it was last time I was there (~2 years ago). But, to be fair, I had some pretty high expectations for Chez Panisse.

    3) Go see the redwoods. My favorite spot on this planet is among them. I’m not religious but it almost makes me so to be amongst them.

  • Go to Duckhorn winery. Great wines and great experience and only 30 bucks. Couldn’t believe what great service they had. Definitely go to Buchon – we went at lunch and had a blast. Also went to Morimoto in NAPA – very good, but I kept thinking how I thought Sushi Taro was as good or better if you can believe that!

  • I know it’s in Petaluma (Sonoma county), but I used to work for Della Fattoria and if you like bread, it’s some of the best in the country. They have a cute little cafe in downtown Petaluma.
    Santa Rosa also has some amazing restaurants. Point Reyes Station is beautiful, and the drive through Marin is amazing. Hopefully you have enough time!

  • San Francisco – if you have a car, go across the Golden Gate Bridge, and head toward the Marine Mammal Rehabilitation facility. If for nothing else, the views are breathtaking and most people never experience the view of San Francisco from that area. Also, if you go ro Sausalito, go to bocce bar. Great food and ambience. In San Francisco, the Buena Vista is worth it for an irish coffee to say you did it, and I would also recommend a Night Tour of Alcatraz. Also, there are a TON of new restaurants in the Mission District.
    Napa – it’s beautiful, but definitely more pretentious than Sonoma, and not as quaint. That said, Sterling is fun (ride a tram up to the vineyard), Castello di Amorosa is cool to see, and Rubicon is cool (try to book a private tasting in their cellars).
    Sonoma – this is where the real wine drinkers go!!! Just as gorgeous, and much more personal experiences are guaranteed! Girl in the Fig is definitely worth it for dinner. Vineyards: Ty Caton (just a tasting room, but AWESOME wine), Loxton (you taste in the same place that they store the barrels), St. Francis (do the lunch food/wine pairing), I could keep going and going…have a blast!!!!

  • San Francisco – Too many good restaurants to list. Some of them have been mentioned here and in the forum post. If it’s too late to make reservations, Nopalito is fantastic but not in an area tourists would otherwise go to. If you’re stuck downtown, Perbacco is very good. For very casual good food, check out the Ferry Plaza.
    Avoid Fisherman’s Wharf at all costs, unless you’re doing an Alcatraz tour (highly recommended, do the audio tour) in which case the boats leave from there.
    If you have just a day, here is a quick itinerary that will take you to neat neighborhoods: take the F Market streetcar line (old refurbished streetcars from around the world – $2 fare) from Embarcadero/downtown to the Castro. Walk down Castro Street a block to 18th. Turn left on 18th. In a few blocks you will get to Mission Dolores Park. Walk to the top of the park – amazing views. Go back to 18th. On the next block is Bi-Rite Ice Cream (salted caramel!), Delfina (delicious sit down restaurant), and Tartine Bakery. All worth it. Proceed to Valencia (this is the hipster part of the Mission). Turn right and walk a few blocks. Check out Paxton Gate (weird plants and animal stuff) and the Pirate Store at 826 Valencia. Turn left at some point to go to Mission Street, and walk around there. Excellent burritos at nearly anyplace you see. You can get the BART back to downtown at 24th or 16th and Mission. If you want casual, affordable, and friendly, Chow (Church at Market) was my favorite when I lived there, but it’s not worth a special trip.
    Make your way to Chrissy Field (north side of the city) or better, Baker Beach (which is a bit of a haul) for amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin.
    Do not miss Muir Woods. It’s basically on the way to Napa/Sonoma and absolutely mindblowingly spectacularly beautiful.

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