A Guide to San Francisco’s Sunset District

Far from the Painted Ladies or the bustle of Chinatown, the Ocean-side Sunset district offers community, rich craftsmanship, and damn good coffee.

4500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Mollusk is a neighborhood surf shop that sells clothing and great boards. They carry my surfboards and handplanes [for body surfing]. They occasionally host art shows and live music. The shop is sort of like the cornerstone of the Sunset. 4500 Irving St., (415) 564-6300, mollusksurfshop.com. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, United States
Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or a ginger-lemon apple cider. Lunch and dinner feature such refined but hearty options as cast-iron grilled cheese brushed with garlic oil and slow-cooked lamb shank with nasturtium leaf pesto. The weekend brunch draws a crowd and is worth the often lengthy wait. Standouts include the Dutch pancakes and the house-roasted turkey. You can always make the most of waiting for a table and head to the beach for a quick jaunt before you indulge.
4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke and Josh, my shopmates, make. 4035 Judah St., (415) 682-0600, visitgeneralstore.com. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
This bakery just opened across the street from Woodshop. It’s a godsend. It’s been rough finding good coffee out here, but they serve Blue Bottle Coffee and breakfast sandwiches on house-baked biscuits.”
3940 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
They do their own blend of beans called Elbow Grease, and it’s high-octane stuff.
Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA
Ocean Beach is a massive, four-mile-long stretch of sand. Surfers talk about it in terms of the block they surf. I surf Pacheco or Moraga Street. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
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