Kimberley Lovato

Correspondent

  • San Francisco, CA, USA

Kimberley Lovato is a correspondent who covers San Francisco for Forbes Travel Guide. The champagne-loving Francophile is also an award-winning author and journalist whose articles about travel, lifestyle and food have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, American Way, Executive Travel, AFAR, Delta Sky, Condè Nast Traveller (UK), Wine Enthusiast, Frommers.com, LeitesCulinaria.com and more. Her culinary travel book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves, won the 2012 Gold Lowell Thomas Award. Lovato snagged a 2012 Bronze Lowell Thomas Award for her essay Lost and Liberated, which also appears in Best Women’s Travel Writing. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and is always planning that next fabulous trip.

  • On March 13, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What are the best restaurants for a business lunch in San Francisco?

    In culinary savvy San Francisco,  business and lunch go together like a fork and knife, and there's no shortage of places to sign the deal during the midday repast. Naturally, many business lunch spots center around the city's financial district, and here are just a sampling to add to your agenda.

    Wayfare Tavern is just one of chef Tyler Florence's palace of good food and since openig two years ago has become popular with the suit and tie crowd and features comfort food faves like fried chicken and mac and cheese.

    Get out of the boardroom and head to the water where EPIC Roasthouse affords epic views of the Bay Bridge (and the recent Bay Lights installation). There is a canopy covered deck when the weather is warm and the kitchen centers around fine cuts of meat cooked expertly on the grill.

    Someone told me of the financial district favorite Perbacco, “So many deals are closed there during lunch, you’d think they we serving them on the menu!”  Luckily, it’s quality Italian they dish out, including mouthwatering hand-made pasta. 

    Hakkasan may be new to San Francisco's dining scene (December 2012) but it's poised to become an old favorite, thanks to its equisite decor and soaring arched windows that peek onto Market and Geary streets. The refined Chinese menu and the private dining rooms make this a top spot for handshake lunches.

    Also pretty young  to the power lunch crowd but definitely one of the cool kids is Bluestem Brasserie The airy two-storey dining room with outdoor 2nd floor seating is worth signing the deal for. As is the fresh and locally sourced ingredients featured on Chef Francis Hogan's new brasserie styel menu. Steak frites have never tasted so good!  

  • On March 13, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What is San Francisco’s dining scene like?

    Tony Bennett may have left his heart here, but most visitors leave their stomachs. San Francisco is, hands down, one of the country's best cities for food, and locals are devoted to the art of mealtime, any time, thanks to the diverse population living in equally ecclectic neighborhoods.

    You can't throw a fork down the street without hitting a place to eat, and it seems a restaurant opens every week somewhere in San Francisco.  From the large oft-praised favorites to  small family run cafes and bars, there is someting to suit any taste and budget.

    Rest assured you will never go hungry in San Francisco.


  • On March 13, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    Where is the best pizza in San Francisco?

    San Francisco has a thriving North Beach neighborhood, our equivalent of Little Italy, so naturally that's the first place to start for some good pizza.

    The most well-known place is Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Born in the Bay-area, trained in Naples, and a 10 time World Pizza Champion (yes there is such a thing) owner and pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani (and his mouth watering pie) is the reason people line up out the door for a table at this North Beach temple of tomoto sauce and cheese.

    Since opening in the Mission in 2005,  Pizzeria Delfina has been a neighborhood favorite, with pizza influenced by the owner's youth back in New York, as well as by some of the best pizzerias in Naples. The menu features six Neapolitan, thin crust delights plus two daily specials.

    If you're willing to cross the Golden Gate, Picco's Pizzeria in the charming town of Larkspur is worth a stop. A local favorite, Picco's fires their thin crust pizza in a wood oven and uses ingredients sourced from local farms.   

    In the up and coming neighborhood of Dogpatch, I'd highly recommend the pizza at Piccino, a light and airy restuarant in sunny yellow building.  The menu is big, and Italian is their specialty, but the pizzas are among the best I've had in San Francisco. The house-made sausage was my favorite.






  • On March 13, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What are the best restaurants in San Francisco’s Nob Hill?

    San Francisco is a restaurant city, a food lover's fantasy, and epicurean delight, and whatever other hungry superlatives you can think of, full of neighborhoods with restuarants to suit any taste.

    A place I've been frequenting for years is The Nob Hill Cafe, just down the street from Grace Cathedral. This neighborhood mainstay has served good Italian specialties like spaghetti Carbonara and pizzas, for decades and is popular with the lunch crowd mid week and Sundays. 

    Nob HIll is home to some of the city's top hotels, all home to some amazing restaurants. For something more funky, head to the iconic Fairmont Hotel and The Tonga Room which has entertained guests since 1945. The festive atmosphere with live entertainment, dancing, and an occasional rain storm. makes this time-honored tropical restaurant and bar an SF landmark. 

    The 1-year-young Parallel 37 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel is is the antithesis of stuffy hotel restaurans and is void of linen table cloths and sterling silver. Instead, diners can expect a casually elegant experience.  Chef  Chef Michael Rotondo has introduced a revamped menu since arriving in January 2013 from his post as executive chef at the iconic (and now closed) Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, which highlights locally sourced fish, meat and produced, served with care and flair.


  • On March 12, 2013
    Shannan Finke is now following Kimberley Lovato
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  • On March 1, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What are the best San Francisco bike tours?

    Despite the numerous hills, San Francisco is a great place to bike, and what an extraordinary way to explore the hidden neighborhoods. Bike tours are popular with tourists and several outfits offer self guided or guided tours. Either way you'll be armed with a bike, helmet, lock, and map. Bring your positive attititude, camera, and sense of adventure!

    Blazing Saddles has the largest fleet so you don't need to reserve, but you can get a discount online if you reserve ahead. Rent by the day from $32 or by the week from $99. You can also book guided tours.

    Streets of San Francisco rent bikes but are known for the friendly and authentic bike tours through some of San Francisco's neighborhoods. All tours start and end in Hayes Valley. Try the Heart of San Francisco tour ($65 per person, 3.5 hours) and discover Haight Ashbury, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Basic bike rental pricing starts at $32/day or $8/hr.

    Bay City Bike is similar to the authors, and rents performanc bikes (for off roaders) and tandem bikes for lovebirds and kids. Daily bike tours begin at 10am and 1pm. The "Golden Gate Bridge Tour" visits  "must see" places like Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, The Marina District, The Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. The guided tour ends in Sausalito where you then have the option to continue with one of our self-guided tours of Marin or ferry back with the bicycle. Of course you can always cycle back over the Golden Gate Bridge too.







  • On March 1, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What are the best San Francisco bike tours?

    Despite the numerous hills, San Francisco is a great place to bike, and what an extraordinary way to experience San Francisco. Bike tours are popular with tourists and several outfits offer self guided or guided tours. Either way you'll be armed with a bike, helmet, lock, and map. Bring your positive attititude, camera, and sense of adventure!

    Blazing Saddles has the largest fleet so you don't need to reserve, but you can get a discount online if you reserve ahead. Rent by the day from $32 or by the week from $99. You can also book guided tours.

    Streets of San Francisco rent bikes but are known for the friendly and authentic bike tours through some of San Francisco's neighborhoods. All tours start and end in Hayes Valley. Try the Heart of San Francisco tour ($65 per person, 3.5 hours) and discover Haight Ashbury, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Basic bike rental pricing starts at $32/day or $8/hr.

    Bay City Bike is similar to the authors, and rents performanc bikes (for off roaders) and tandem bikes for lovebirds and kids. Daily bike tours begin at 10am and 1pm. The "Golden Gate Bridge Tour" visits  "must see" places like Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, The Marina District, The Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. The guided tour ends in Sausalito where you then have the option to continue with one of our self-guided tours of Marin or ferry back with the bicycle. Of course you can always cycle back over the Golden Gate Bridge too.







  • On March 1, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What are the best San Francisco bike tours?

    Despite the numerous hills, San Francisco is a great place to bike, and what an extraordinary way to experience San Francisco. Bike tours are popular with tourists and several outfits offer self guided or guided tours. Either way you'll be armed with a bike, helmet, lock, and map. Bring your positive attititude, camera, and sense of adventure!

    Blazing Saddles has the largest fleet so you don't need to reserve, but you can get a discount online if you reserve ahead. Rent by the day from $32 or by the week from $99. You can also book guided tours.

    Streets of San Francisco rent bikes but are known for the friendly and authentic bike tours through some of San Francisco's neighborhoods. All tours start and end in Hayes Valley. Try the Heart of San Francisco tour ($65 per person, 3.5 hours) and discover Haight Ashbury, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Basic bike rental pricing starts at $32/day or $8/hr.

    Bay City Bike is similar to the authors, and rents performanc bikes (for off roaders) and tandem bikes for lovebirds and kids. Daily bike tours begin at 10am and 1pm. The "Golden Gate Bridge Tour" visits  "must see" places like Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, The Marina District, The Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. The guided tour ends in Sausalito where you then have the option to continue with one of our self-guided tours of Marin or ferry back with the bicycle. Of course you can always cycle back over the Golden Gate Bridge too.







  • On March 1, 2013
  • On February 28, 2013
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    Kimberley Lovato is now following the question:
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  • On February 18, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What new museum exhibits are in San Francisco?

    There's always something new coming to San Francisco's museums, with some of the top exhibits in the world wanting to stop in San Francisco for a while. Who can blame them? Check the websites regularly and mark your calendars.

    Currently (as of early 2013) at San Francisco's Fine Arts Museums---the de Young and the Legion of Honor--- there are two exhibts offering visitors a rare look at old Europe.    

    At the de Young, the Dutch Golden Age is on display in a stunning exhibit called Girl With The Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis that includes 35 paintings from Rembrandt, Hals, Steen and other, plus the eponymous painting by Johannes Vermeer.  The exhibit runs through June 2 and tickets for specific dates and times can be purchased online.  Beginning March 29, the de Young will stay open later on Fridays, until 8:45pm.

    Over at the stunning Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, visitors can spend a day in Paris at the Royal Treasures of the Louvre.  But hurry, the exhibit closes March 17. The collection of decorative arts takes you through the French monarchy from Louis XIV to the French Revolution in 1789. This is the first time these pieces have been on exhibit in the USA.  
  • On February 18, 2013
    Kimberley Lovato answered the question: Kimberley Lovato

    What new museum exhibits are in San Francisco?

    There's always something new coming to San Francisco's museums, with some of the top exhibits in the world wanting to stop in San Francisco for a while. Who can blame them? Check the websites regularly and mark your calendars.

    Currently (as of early 2013) at San Francisco's Fine Arts Museums---the de Young and the Legion of Honor--- there are two exhibts offering visitors a rare look at old Europe.    

    At the de Young, the Dutch Golden Age is on display in a stunning exhibit called Girl With The Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis that includes 35 paintings from Rembrandt, Hals, Steen and other, plus the eponymous painting by Johannes Vermeer.  The exhibit runs through June 2 and tickets for specific dates and times can be purchased online.  Beginning March 29, the de Young will stay open later on Fridays, until 8:45pm.

    Over at the stunning Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, visitors can spend a day in Paris at the Royal Treasures of the Louvre.  But hurry, the exhibit closes March 17. The collection of decorative arts takes you through the French monarchy from Louis XIV to the French Revolution in 1789. This is the first time these pieces have been on exhibit in the USA.