San Francisco's Mission District
Collected by Liv Combe , AFAR Contributor
The warm, sunny Mission District—with Dolores Park and Mission Dolores as its cultural and physical center—is historically a Latino neighborhood (and before that, Irish). Now bodegas and taquerias sit cheek by jowl with carefully crafted cuisine and locally designed fashion.
90 Clarion Alley, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Walk down this narrow alley connecting Valencia and Mission Streets and you’ll be surrounded by dozens of colorful murals by local artists depicting environmental and social justice, artistic freedom, and community collaboration. Funded by the...
50 Balmy St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The colorful murals in Balmy Alley are the lower Mission’s own version of the better-known Clarion Alley murals. Stroll through the small, pedestrian-friendly alleyway to see public work by local artists, a tradition that began in the mid-1980s in...
Dolores St &, 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Mission Dolores Park, aka Delores Park, is one of the most popular parks in San Francisco, especially when the sun is out and the mercury is up. On a sunny weekend, you'll be hard pressed to find a patch of green to plant yourself on, but that's...
3543 18th St #8, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Founded in 1971 as the first women-owned and operated community center in the country, the San Francisco Women’s Centers has been working to guarantee a safe space and reliable social services for women and girls in the city. And since 1979, they’...
3674 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
18 Reasons is a new type of community center—one that connects San Franciscans to food and food to community. The goal is to they teach San Franciscans how to cook and eat together. Run by the locally famous Bi-Rite organization in the heart of...
557 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Locanda’s reputation for authentic Roman food and fresh, local ingredients was already established long before it opened in 2005; this is, after all, a part of the small group of renowned restaurants opened by Craig and Annie Stoll of Delfina,...
2234 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
You could walk right by this incredibly popular restaurant on Mission Street and not even be able to tell what it was, thanks to the misleading “Lung Shan Restaurant” sign out front. What will tip you off? The incredibly long lines of San...
974 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Stop by Loló’s new and improved location on Valencia street for a colorful atmosphere, delicious mezcal cocktails, and a creative Jaliscan-Californian cuisine. Owned by a husband and wife restaurateur duo from Jalisco, the western Pacific district...
740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
When you think of a chocolate factory, a hip and airy space in the heart of one of the city's hottest neighborhoods may not spring to mind. But therein lies the surprise that is Dandelion Chocolate: part factory, part café, part...
746 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
You might have caught wind of some recent buzz about this contemporary patisserie with its unveiling of the haute dog, Craftsman and Wolves Chef William Werner’s upscale version of the classic American food (think better meat and a flaky, buttery...
3394 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
If someone described the Lone Palm bar as something out of Miami Vice, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong—the neon signs, dim lighting, and white tablecloths in an otherwise casual, somewhat dive-y bar give off a certain Vice-esque vibe. Stop by the...
3121 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Dalva itself is a wonderful stop for a drink—try the El Diablo, with tequila, lemon, ginger, cassis, and soda—but keep walking through the comfortable, dimly-lit bar and you’ll find something even better: the Hideout, Dalva’s under-the-radar back...
2900 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
While Heath Ceramics is over 60 years old, having been founded in 1948 in Sausalito, their colorful bud vases, dinnerware and tiles have enjoyed a boom in recent years. Straddling the line between a rough, hand-crafted aesthetic and an elegant,...
2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Opened in 2005 by husband and wife duo Annie and Craig Stoll, Pizzeria Delfina’s original Mission location became an instant hit in San Francisco. The pizzeria is an annex to Delfina restaurant, their first James Beard Award–winning venture, and...
1026 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Another key player in San Francisco’s "third wave" coffee revolution, Ritual Coffee is dedicated to making the best cup of coffee you’ll find in the city. Since opening its flagship store in the Mission in 2005, Ritual has worked to...
3030 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Founded in 1974 on the premises of San Francisco’s oldest live/work space, Southern Exposure is a non-profit organization and gallery space committed to serving visual artists, providing, tools, resources, and an open and supportive environment....
826 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Yep, you read that right: There is a Pirate Supply Store in the heart of the Mission! In their words: “We are a ragtag group of miscreants who sell pirate supplies in order to benefit the free programming that happens at our writing-tutoring...
Mission District, San Francisco, CA, USA
If you and your friends are looking to eat a little food in the Mission, do a little shopping, and learn a lot about the neighborhood you’re in, both past and present, then take one of Explore San Francisco’s Mission walking tours. These fun,...
824 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Stepping into Paxton Gate is like entering a wonderland. What began as a small store in an alley off Market Street in 1992 has since grown into their location on Valencia Street, a mecca for those interested in the oddities of the natural world....
199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If you’re looking for a quiet place to have a drink, don’t go to Zeitgeist. If you’re looking to have an early night, don’t go to Zeitgeist. If you’re looking for an incredibly wide selection of beers on tap, gruff but knowledgeable bartenders,...
791 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
This long and narrow vintage clothing store is set deep in the heart of the Mission district’s best shopping, along Valencia Street; luckily, Schauplatz lives up to the block’s reputation. The stock is better-organized than most vintage stores—all...
2330 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Need a last-minute costume or a set of mugs? This vintage and consignment store in the Mission has everything you could want, and more—and then, again, even more. Two levels are filled with everything from clothing and bags to home goods and...
3266 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Stop by Gravel & Gold in the Mission and you’ll find not only vintage goods from around the world, but also handmade and sustainably produced homeware, specialty food products, books, clothing, and jewelry made in and around San Francisco. Be sure...
1360 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
You don’t usually associate a vintage store with being choosy, but a visit to the Painted Bird in the Mission will change your mind. This small shop carefully selects its items from the public, which means its stock is chock full of treasures—...
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