Best Place to Pretend You're in France - 2012
You're downtown, trying to keep up with Bluetoothed strangers hustling from one skyscraper to the next. Just when you feel overwhelmed, you turn into an alleyway, and suddenly, breathtakingly, you're in France. A thousand little things make Claude Lane special: the colorful, fantastical murals; the rows of tables spilling from pubs and cafes and restaurants, filling the alley with drinkers and diners; neon reflecting off brick and asphalt. You don't need to eat, drink, or shop here to get the instant transported-to-Europe effect, but you should — with fabulous restaurants like Gitane, Claudine, and Café Claude, a contemporary art gallery, and swanky boutiques, you can't go wrong on Claude Lane, especially if you want to say au revoir to San Francisco for just a couple hours.