San Francisco staff share insider tips for navigating the gloriously raucous event.
This year’s Best of the Bay party celebrates the launch of a totally revamped San Francisco magazine. Expect one seriously high-energy, massive affair (we’re talking 12 open bars, 40 restaurants, 11 wineries, and music from Midi Matilda).
Navigating the scene can be intimidating. “People don’t know how huge the event is,” says executive editor Nan Weiner. “It’s a whole different world from what writers and editors are used to!” Here's a list of insider tips from veteran attendees.
- Bring your posse. “I told my girlfriends to expect great wine and food, music, and killer views—basically that it's going to be epic," managing editor Annie Tittiger says.
- Dress to party. “Wear something fun but easy to wear for multiple hours on end,” she says. “Last year I wore some really high heels, and my feet were giving way by the end of the night. There aren’t really that many places to sit.”
FOOD & DRINK STRATEGY:
- “Don’t jump in and eat the first five things you see! You'll get full, and you may miss something better later on,” says Weiner. “Get there early if you don't want to battle crowds.”
- Need a refill? "The back bar by the stage is never crowded," marketing manager Katie Prevost says.
- "Chat up the wine pourers," she adds. "They're usually the winemakers."
- "My friend cozied up to the A16 guys and got tons of samples all night long,” Tittiger says. “Don't be afraid to be friendly. Everyone is there to enjoy the party!”
AS THE NIGHT WEARS ON:
- “Be sure to take advantage of the outdoor terrace at sunset,” research editor Jenna Scatena advises.
- Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities like Vernon Davis. Star sightings make for good water cooler convo in the morning.
- Find the live printmaking booth hosted by conceptual publishers Colpa Press. (And look out for another surprise DIY opp.)
- Don't leave without hitting up the snack bar on your way out to grab a late-night bite for the road.
AND FOR YOU LUCKY VIPS:
- "Hit up the main event area first because it gets crowded later," Prevost says. "It’s best to enjoy it while it’s less busy—You can always hang out in VIP the rest of the night."
- Steal a second outside for a smoke at the cigar bar. "People tend not to make it past the tent and miss this," she says.