Even though they lead glamorous lives, when celebrities come to town, they still need to sleep, drink and eat like the rest of us. So luxury hotels, bars and restaurants are ideal places for celebrity-spotting.
Fairmont San Francisco up on Nob Hill has hosted celebrities from Mischa Barton and Uma Thurman to Harrison Ford and former President Barack Obama.
Stars with good taste like Brooke Shields, Warren Beatty and Tom Hanks also favor the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The St. Regis San Francisco, which offers discretion and impeccable surroundings.
The Phoenix Hotel is a slightly funky converted motel in the Tenderloin that’s been a favorite crashpad for rockers since it opened in the ’80s. It’s hosted the likes of David Bowie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Moby and Little Richard. If only those walls could talk.
The dimly lit Redwood Room at Clift retains its status as one of the hippest places to hang out in San Francisco. Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton have made appearances, so has Lily Tomlin.
San Francisco’s top tables are the best places to spot celebrities. Foreign Cinema in the Mission has served Green Day, KD Lang and Neil Patrick Harris.
Embarcadero-view restaurants are popular with celebs: The Slanted Door is a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Hamm, while Dr. Dre and Lance Bass have dined at Epic Steak. Rustic Italian A16 has catered to actor Clive Owen, musicians Larry Mullen Jr. and The Edge from U2 and Lou Reed.