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May 3, 2012

The Smart Girl's Travel Guide

Nail your next business trip by passing for an in-the-know local. Tuck this handy cheat sheet in your bag and thank us later.

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THE CLUTCH BUSINESS LUNCH: The vibe at Kokkari Estiatorio, the always-packed Greek powerhouse in the Financial District, is upscale casual. (Note: Those jeans-clad diners seated next to you may have invented Twitter.) On the menu: fresh seafood and meats grilled over a wood-fired stove, plus plenty of salads and light platters. The first business lunch you'll ever wish would last till dinner. 200 Jackson Street; kokkari.com

EXPENSE-ACCOUNT DRINKS: Though best known for its impeccable, locally sourced American-fare dinner menu—it earned a Michelin star two years in a row—Spruce, in Presidio Heights, has an equally impressive wine list of more than 2,500 labels. After dark, the clubby eatery draws a sophisticated bar scene of moneyed professionals. Act like a regular—order a Riesling and make a meal of the charcuterie platter. 3640 Sacramento Street; sprucesf.com

NAILS IN A PINCH: Instead of brainstorming with your boss at the hotel bar, suggest heading over to ZaZa Nail Spa, where you can sit side by side and strategize over the "polish for two" ($25 each). In a hurry? The salon also offers the quick and glossy CND Shellac, which requires no dry time. Best of all: online booking. 543 2nd Street; zazasf.com

HAIR TO IMPRESS: San Fran's notorious wind, fog, and seasonal rains can wreak havoc on a polished 'do. Pit-stop at Drybar's Golden Gate outpost and choose from a menu of blowout options, like the pin-straight Manhattan or the voluminous Southern Comfort, each for $35. Every station is equipped with an iPhone dock so you can recharge while you refresh. 1908 Fillmore Street; thedrybar.com/sf

LAST-MINUTE LIFESAVER: Sign up for Uber, your very own private car service. Here's how it works: Text your location to Uber and they'll dispatch a town car to pick you up within 10 minutes. There's no payment hassle: Uber automatically bills your account. Save the number—Uber also operates in other cities, including New York City, Paris, and Seattle. Uber.com; support@uber.com

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