700 LOMBARD ST
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133-2317
Artists: Ed Hardy, Kahlil Rintye, Mary Joy, Clifton Carter, and Fip Buchanan.
Co-owned and operated by venerable artists Ed Hardy and Fip Buchanan, Tattoo City, in the heart of the historic North Beach area, is at the apex of the tattoo world. Hardy himself hand picks each of the store’s artists to carry on the tradition he began more than 40 years ago. “Everyone has an individual style, but they all work under Ed’s eye,” says Tattoo City manager Aleph Kali. “It’s quite an honor to work here.” Small and covered from wall to wall with antique flash from Sailor Jerry, Hardy, and other legendary artists, Tattoo City is also part “ink museum.” “A lot of the flash is older than most of the customers that come in here,” says Kali. But don’t head there expecting to pick up any Hardy gear. Mentions Kali, “We try and keep those worlds separate.”
Eat: Fior D’Italia, 2237 Mason St., San Francisco, CA, 415-986-1886; Enjoy classic Italian fare and bask in the novelty of dining at the nation’s oldest Italian restaurant (it was opened in 1886).
Drink: Sweeties, 475 Francisco St., San Francisco, CA, 415-433-2343; A gem of a dive bar, Sweeties is as well known for its free pool table as it is for the extended happy hour. Just be sure to arrive early—it’s a “day bar” that opens and closes early.
Spend: Recon, 1827 Powell St., San Francisco, CA, 415-837-1909; Be warned: cool doesn’t come cheap at this small, inconspicuous men’s boutique. Recon is known, however, for offering up some of the areas most original urban wear.