In case you missed it, we’ve got a brand new online class on our roster as of today. Introducing Coding 101: Intro to HTML + CSS. Taught by expert designer, visual artist and educator Allison House, this class will teach you the basics of coding in under an hour… and for under $20!


Well, not only is Allison a great teacher, but she’s a former San Francisco dweller. I met up with this jet-setting genius just hours before she hopped on a plane to return to Austin, Texas, the newest place she calls home. She moved there from the Bay six months ago, and jumped at the chance to share her favorite spots in her old SF neighborhood with me as part of her trip.


Read on for why she’ll always come back to these spots, in her own words. And yes, a dance break was most definitely involved ;)


I used to live in Lower Nob Hill, and the views in the LNH/Tendernob area have seeped into my work again and again. My apartment was on top of a hill (right near Grace Cathedral) and I could always see blue and purple mountains in the distance beyond the city.


Lower Nob Hill is full of these Victorian-style buildings with fire escapes out front. When it’s sunny, the fire escapes cast long, lined shadows that spill over the facades. I think it’s such a beautiful effect. Now, on to the five spots I’ve lined up for our walk!


1. Grace Cathedral: Grace Cathedral is at the top of Nob Hill, which means you can look down any street around here and see water or mountains in the distance. The views are so refreshing — and the French Gothic architecture ain’t half bad either! My old apartment was only a block away, so I’d roam around here when I needed a little extra juice.


2. Hotel Huntington: This sign is my favorite landmark in San Francisco!


I’ve photographed it, painted it, and admired it from every angle. There’s something really atmospheric about it, especially when the fog is rolling in at night.


3. Another Cafe: This place opens early, so I used to go here for coffee and a bagel every morning. The interior is covered in murals — even the bathroom! If I can, I snag a spot upstairs next to the open window. It’s a great place to sketch, think and be surrounded by art in the quiet hours of the morning.


4. farm:table: I’m kind of a breakfast fanatic, and man, farm:table does a great breakfast. It’s a small place with cozy communal seating, great coffee and a real neighborhood feel. If I walk out with a slice of banana bread, I know it’s going to be a good day.


5. Owl Tree: I think Owl Tree is my I’m-transitioning-into-my-late-20s bar. I always end up here for very reasonable drinks at a very reasonable hour ;)


The original owner was obsessed with owls and filled the place wall-to-wall with his extensive collection of owl paraphernalia. These days, it’s a classy corner bar, but the origin story really gives it a little something extra.


Oh wait, what about that dance break? Comin’ up in 3, 2, 1…


Don’t forget to register for Allison’s Coding 101 class — you’ll be moonlighting as an engineer in no time.

Are you a Bay Area native, transplant or otherwise? What are your favorite spots? Talk to us in the comments below.