Katie Sweeney

Correspondent

  • San Francisco, CA, USA

Katie Sweeney is a correspondent based in San Francisco who covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. A Bay Area native, she was one of the founding editors of PopSugar’s online food destination, YumSugar. An adventurous eater with a flair for parties, Sweeney is constantly tracking down the city’s newest pizza places, cocktail hot spots and neighborhood dive bars. She chronicles her escapades as a San Francisco girl-about-town on her website, Six Twists. She also writes for Eater, Grub Street and CitySearch.

  • On November 27, 2014
    Jagteshwar Chadha is now following Katie Sweeney
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the rooms like at Hotel Nikko San Francisco?

    With 510 rooms and 22 suites, Hotel Nikko San Francisco is an excellent place for lodging in bustling downtown San Francisco. The rooms here are spacious and serene, with a warm beige and light blue color palette. Beds are outfitted with exclusive Subarashee Yume pillow-top mattresses and down comforters, and rooms have a 42-inch flat screen television, iPod docking stations, high-speed wireless Internet access and a large desk to get business work done. The luxe bathrooms feature marble counters and separate tub and showers. Rooms and suites on the higher floors offer beautiful views of the city.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What restaurants does Hotel Nikko San Francisco have?

    Hotel Nikko San Francisco is home to the elegant restaurant Anzu. It’s located on the second level of the hotel and is one of San Francisco’s most interesting dining experiences. The menu features sustainable Californian cuisine made from local products that are enhanced with Asian flavors and flair. Sushi is a big feature on the menu at Anzu, as are steaks and sake. And the lobby’s bar, the Kanpai Lounge, offers guests specialty cocktails and savory snacks in a sleek atmosphere.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What restaurants does Hotel Nikko San Francisco have?

    Hotel Nikko San Francisco is home to the elegant restaurant Anzu. It’s located on the second level of the hotel and is one of San Francisco’s most interesting dining experiences. The menu features sustainable Californian cuisine made from local products that are enhanced with Asian flavors and flair. Sushi is a big feature on the menu at Anzu, as are steaks and sake. And the lobby’s bar, the Kanpai Lounge, offers guests specialty cocktails and savory snacks in a sleek atmosphere.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What restaurants does Garden Court Hotel have?

    Il Fornaio, an Italian bakery and restaurant chain, is located downstairs from Garden Court Hotel. However, the Il Fornaio team leases the kitchen space and it's technically not a part of the hotel. Still, Garden Court guests are encouraged to enjoy a meal at the authentic Italian eatery, which is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu consists of traditional Italian dishes, such as a rotating frittata of the day; pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, shaved Parmigiano, mushrooms, arugula and white truffle oil; and housemade ravioli stuffed with kale, rainbow chard, onions, pine nuts and pecorino.

    If you don’t feel like dining in the restaurant, opt to stay in and experience the Palo Alto hotel's room service. The menu, which was newly created by chef Clive Berkman, features artisanal, seasonal dishes with an international twist, such as the luxurious grilled corn and ginger soup. Another option is to visit the complimentary Wednesday receptions in the lobby, where you can enjoy wines paired with items such as mini vegetable Wellingtons.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What’s the best time to visit Garden Court Hotel?

    Downtown Palo Alto, where Garden Court Hotel is located, has one of Northern California's best climates, so any time is a great time to visit. Known for its cool winters and warm summers, the weather here rarely reaches extreme temperatures. (The temperate climate makes it a good year-round destination for those who want to try out Palo Alto's golf courses.) Also something to consider when organizing a trip to the boutique hotel: the activities of nearby Stanford University. During fall's football season, the hotel fills with Stanford alumni and fans from the opposing Pac-12 team. Likewise, friends and family members of graduates take up temporary residence at Garden Court in June around commencement.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What’s the best time to visit Garden Court Hotel?

    Downtown Palo Alto, where Garden Court Hotel is located, has one of Northern California's best climates, so any time is a great time to visit. Known for its cool winters and warm summers, the weather here rarely reaches extreme temperatures. (The temperate climate makes it a good year-round destination for those who want to try out Palo Alto's golf courses.) Also something to consider when organizing a trip to the boutique hotel: the activities of nearby Stanford University. During fall's football season, the hotel fills with Stanford alumni and fans from the opposing Pac-12 team. Likewise, friends and family members of graduates take up temporary residence at Garden Court in June around commencement.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What is the design style of Garden Court Hotel?

    With its plush pillows, gold tables and neutral color scheme, Garden Court Hotel's lobby feels like a sophisticated, stylish Spanish home. Jazz plays lightly and a fireplace crackles warmly in the background. Crafted by the Denise Rainoldi Fenton Design Group, the lobby is modern and elegant, but cozy and welcoming at the same time. There's no coldness here — just airiness.

    The chic, contemporary guest rooms were the vision of Pablo Paniagua, a well-known Spanish designer based in Madrid. They have carpets that recall classic Greek key patterns, navy tufted headboards and floor-to-ceiling canopies, antiqued mirrors, oversized flat-screen televisions and custom-tufted sofas.

    Throughout the Palo Alto hotel, you'll come across stunning photographs of local neighborhoods and open spaces taken by San Francisco photographer Alan W. George. In each room, the images feature the garages of the area, including the famous HP garage (where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established Hewlett-Packard) that sits just a few blocks from Garden Court Hotel. The photos are an homage to the many businesses that started in garages near the luxury hotel.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best Mexican restaurants in San Francisco?

    San Franciscans love their Mexican food and there are lots of places to try authentic enchiladas and tasty tacos. While the Mission District is known for it's super-sized burritos and divey Mexican joints, my favorite place is the more upscale spot Tacolicious on Valancia Street. This bustling taqueria has to die for chili con queso and a rotating menu of tacos as well as traditional sides like beans and rice and Mexican-inspired salads. They also have a super fun menu of chupitos, or shots that are great for celebrating.

    Another favorite Mexican restaurant is Nopalito off of Divisadero Street. The specialty here, the carnitas, are a must try. Another dish not to be missed are the totopos con chile. Nopalitos version of tortilla chips, the totopos come doused in a red sauce topped with cotija cheese and crema with lime.

    Both Tacolicious and Nopalito also have excellent margaritas and palomas. Tacolicious has a massive selection of mezcal and sipping tequilas at it's sister bar next door, Mosto.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco?

    When vegetarian friends visit me from out of town, I love to take them to the Plant Cafe Organic. It's a local chain with three restaurants in San Francisco (one in the Marina, another downtown, and a third on Pier 3) and one in Burlingame and another in Mill Valley. It's not a fancy place, so it's best for breakfast or lunch or a casual dinner. You order at the counter, get a number, and the food is delivered to your table. The Plant offers a variety of salads and sandwiches, as well as massive acai bowls, vegetable juices, and fruit smoothies, but the thing I always order is one of their amazing veggie burgers. The pattie is made from lentils, mushrooms, cashews, bulgur wheat, and beets, so it has a wonderful pink color, dense texture, and earthy flavor. Topped with white cheddar and avocado, it is the best veggie burger I've ever had!
  • On July 31, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best wine bars in San Francisco?

    If you love wine, you can find plenty of fun places to drink it in San Francisco. From Napa to Livermore to Monterey, the city is virtually surrounded by wine making regions. This means San Francisco wine bars are stocked with local gems and as well as international varietals.

    The Marina District has two wonderful wine bars, Bin 38 and California Wine Merchant. At Bin 38, the wine list is constantly changing and it features a wide selection of wine from all over the world. They also have a nicely curated list of beer and delicious snacks (like bacon wrapped prawns and heirloom tomatoes with burrata) that pair perfectly with what you're sipping.

    If you want to try hard to find California wines, head to the California Wine Merchant on Chestnut Street. This wine bar is always packed, but they do sell wines by the bottle, so you can stop by and pick up something to enjoy at a later time or different venue.

    Amelie on Polk Street is a lively wine bar with a vast variety of international pours. The French owner and employees make you feel as if you're in a fabulous little European cafe. Terroir in SOMA is another great spot to enjoy a glass, learn about wine, and shop for bottles.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best rooftop bars in San Francisco?

    Unfortunately, San Francisco's relatively cool climate — the average temperature during summer months is in the mid 60s — means it's not the ideal location for rooftop bars. The fog is also particularly heavy during the summer making rooftops a chilly spot to hang out. However, on the rare day that the temperature rises above 75 degrees, San Franciscans flock to areas that have outdoor patios and rooftop watering holes.

    A personal favorite is the tenderloin hot spot Jones. The elegant indoor-outdoor space has a massive roof area with large wooden tables and comfy chairs. There are two bars which makes it relatively easy to get a drink. Another great rooftop bar is El Techo of Lolinda in the Mission. Lolinda is an Argentine steak house with excellent cocktails and a vibrant roof top bar. At El Techo, they offer beautiful views of the Mission and a menu of Latin American street food.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What is nightlife like in San Francisco?

    While some people believe that San Francisco doesn't have much of a nightlife scene, I disagree. Walk down one of the main streets in any given neighborhood on a Friday or Saturday night and you'll find people bustling in and out of bars, waiting to get a table at a hot new restaurant, and checking out local musicians at a smattering of popular venues. The best thing about San Francisco's nightlife is there is something for every taste in every neighborhood. Whether you want to sip wine and chill, enjoy craft cocktails while mingling, or get your groove on dancing, you can do these things all across the city.

    One thing to realize about San Francisco's night scene is that the dress is always casual; rarely do people get super dressed up. The weather is typically chilly during the evening and night, so there isn't much of a street culture either. Instead people jam inside warm welcoming speak easies and wine bars.
  • On July 30, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best underground clubs in San Francisco?

    There isn't much of a club scene in San Francisco. Most city dwellers don't stay out until the wee hours of the morning dancing. Instead San Franciscans like to go out to eat and drink. Thus, there are some fun underground clubs for partaking in a culinary or spirits driven adventure.

    Take the Press Club for example. This underground bar feels like an upscale and luxurious wine cave. The Press Club offers a selection of wines from an assortment of local and international vineyards including Paradigm Winery, C. Donatiello Winery, Zuani, and Villa Sandi. They have a tasting menu of delectable nibbles, like duck meatballs, castelvetrano olives stuffed with fromage blanc, and empanadas with pork tinga — that are meant to be paired with wine.

    For a different underground dining experience, look to the Stag Dining Group, a well known and popular supper club that has headquarters in an underground radio station. The Phoenix Supper Club also hosts an elaborate underground dinner party that features Champagne, limousine rides, live jazz, and a nine-course meal.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Katie Sweeney answered the question: Katie Sweeney

    What are the best comedy clubs in San Francisco?

    Many legendary comedians including Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, and Margaret Cho got their starts doing stand-up in San Francisco. Thus, the city by the bay is a great spot to check out up and coming talent as well as established profesionals on tour.

    The best place to catch a show is Cobb's Comedy Club in North Beach. This old-school comedy house is large and in charge (it seats 400 people) with a two drink minimum per person. They also have an assortment of food including chicken and waffles, meatball sandwiches, and steak with French fries. All of the seating is first come first serve, so if you've got a big group, try and get to your show early. Upcoming comedians include Tom Cotter, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jay Larson, and Cecily Strong.

    Another popular comedy spot is The Punchline Comedy Club. The oldest club in San Francisco, Punchline is managed by the same group as Cobb's so the same rules apply. Comedians with shows in the near future are Adam Ray, Julian McCullough, and The Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour.