A Guide to San Francisco’s Most Hipster Hood

the mission district

In the central valley of San Francisco there lies a land where there are no hills. It has a deep history of immigrants staking claim in the area since it was settled by Spanish explorers and its latest arrival are hipsters and strollers in a speedy fashion. The area of “The Mission” is full of superb eateries and a plethora of coffee shops and boutiques.

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Not immune to San Francisco’s obvious and palpable housing crisis, the area also brings with it grit and visible homelessness, but in this rising neighborhood the enterprises on 18th Street, Folsom Street, and Valencia Street invite you into delightful spaces, impeccably designed and full of San Francisco’s youngest intelligentsia.

Where to get coffee

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Stable Café, 2128 Folsom Street. Sit inside or upstairs, or in the delightful brick patio adorned with succulents and a string lights in this old carriage house turned coffeeshop and delicious brunch spot.

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Four Barrel Coffee, 375 Valencia Street. This large space is an ode to coffee with a separate drip coffee bar and numerous work stations and high-top benches for the laptop traveler.

Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero Street. People line up around the block for the scrumptious pastries and coffee from this corner spot.

where to snap a pic

Clarion Alley. Murals cover the walls here and new artists are contributing their creativity all the time.

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Dolores Park. On the weekends this place fills up for picnics, rosé and an even more potent smell of the general marijuana cloud which hovers most corners of the city. Climb to the top and take in the views or watch Karl the Fog roll in from down below. If you do go for a picnic, or you want to cook up something at home, stop at the local Bi-Rite. It’s full of artisanal goodness and an easy way to skip the line at the creamery across the street but still take amazing ice cream with you en route.

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where to shop

There is really no shortage of beautiful clothing boutiques, goods for your home and antiques and vintage finds. Stroll the main streets of the Mission (18th, Folsom, and Valencia… there are some destination digs on Mission Street, but it’s mostly pretty seedy) and you will be inspired.

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Thread Lounge, 724 Valencia. The owners here go on 10-15 trips per year in search of new goods, not to mention, travel extensively through the U.S. and this store is the eclectic ode and sale of their findings. (#LifeGoals)

Harrington Galleries, 599 Valencia Street. This is a three-level antique furniture store and the type of place I end up renting a Penske truck to head back home for.

Acacia, 415 Valencia Street. At this gorgeous home goods you’ll find unique rugs and mugs—unique pottery and stitching.

WHERE TO APÉRO & beer o’clock

Mission Cheese, 736 Valencia Street. The folk here are stoked about wine and cheese (so, they get me) and they have a diverse menu of delectable cheese or charcuterie boards and pairing ideas — all featuring California wines and American cheeses. Grab a seat on their patio and watch the people walk up and down Valencia.

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Southern Pacific Brewing, 620 Treat Avenue. This huge loft space has 21 beers on tap and a food menu that you can’t go wrong with.

where to get grub

Mission Chinese Food, 2234 Mission Street. They’ve recently opened a New York outpost as well and their take on Chow Mein is delectable.

There are a plethora of taquerias, arepa bars and spots like %ABV to get California’s own Shishito Peppers or a lamb gyro corn dog. It’s not your average bar food in this hood.

Where to get a nightcap

The Homestead, 2301 Folsom Street. This bar has a speakeasy feel and a cocktail menu to match.

Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia Street. If you’re looking to stay out for a rowdier sort of nightcap, come to this punk bar, a staple to the San Francisco punk scene.

 


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