Background: Luda was originally born in Ukraine, but she has been living in the Bay Area of San Francisco for the past 15 years. She has a degree in Marketing and works freelance in marketing and travel blogging. Luda is also a Travel Concierge at a start-up company, where she helps suggest fun activities, restaurants and places for new visitors to see.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Luda: I really love San Francisco and want to show it off to the people who visit the city. Also, I like to make new friends from around the world and learn about their cultures, and I thought it would be a cool idea to teach them about San Francisco too. Plus the city has lots of great (and scandalous) history – they had an unofficial ‘emperor’, hippies, Chinatown gangs, a rich sugar heiress and much more, but you’ll learn about all that on my tour.
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Luda: Did you know that San Francisco has a little island next to it that nobody really visits? It’s called Treasure Island and there is a huge bazaar / flea market on the last weekend of every month. My friends and I like to visit and buy local handmade goods, like jewellery and art.
When a visitor asks me to take them to do a ‘super San Franciscan thing’, I like to take them to Off the Grid – it’s an event held every Friday evening and features a ton of food trucks near the Fort Mason Center. San Francisco has a lot of unique food from around the world and it’s a great way to try out some new cuisines. In the summer they also have a food truck ‘picnic’ with bonfires and little camping tables.
Finally, and probably my favourite from the list, is to wander around Japantown. A lot of tourists tend to visit Chinatown and end up ignoring Japantown, which is why only the locals know about it. I like to look at the Japanese arts and crafts inside the mall, buy Japanese groceries at the nearby Nijiya Market – they also sell pre-made sushi – and eat ramen at Kui Shin Bo.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Luda: Oh, this is a tough question. I love to try new types of food, so my favourite restaurant at the moment is Brenda’s Soul Food – New Orleans-style cuisine with a twist. Try their dish, Beignet Flight – it’s amazing!
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Luda: While San Francisco is famous for its artisan cocktails – just walk into any bar, you can’t go wrong – I would say that my favourite place is The View. I recommend getting there before it gets dark and sitting near one of their huge windows – you’ll have an amazing view of the city’s skyline.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Luda: To be honest, if you’re coming from other parts of the world, like Europe or Asia, it might not reach your expectations. Most clubs and bars close around 2AM, so you’ll have to go to party a little earlier. My British friend was visiting recently and she said Londoners are just getting started by the time San Francisco’s clubs close! That being said, if you’re looking for the best nightlife, you should try any of the clubs or lounges on Polk Street.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of San Francisco?
Luda: San Franciscans are an interesting bunch of people. I was born in Ukraine and have been living here for the last 15 years, and they still surprise me to this day. The people are artistic, innovative, passionate and maybe a little passive-aggressive, but that’s what gives the city its charm.
Showaround: Thank you, Luda, for your answers.
Don't forget to check out Luda's blog!