the 415.
by victoria comment


okay, so this version of the 415 could take a while. today i’m covering the mission district, where i probably spend most of my time. i have a lot of friends who live here, have shops here, and well, the mission has some of the best shopping and food in the city if you know where to look. i’m gonna help you out with that right now. there’s so many fab spots, i just know i’m gonna forget some – so i will add to this list and am happy to update with your suggestions.

and don’t forget — the 415 is a precursor to something big coming. i promise, you’re gonna like it. so stay tuned. i won’t tease you too much longer.

so, the Mission — along Valencia Street (from about 16th to 24th Street) there’s tons of cool vintage and boutique shops, clothing and home accessories stores and a loads of inexpensive cafes, wine bars and yummy and very affordable Mexican Food, among other exotic cuisines. and there’s a stretch of 24th street from Potrero to Guerrero with tons of great finds, as well. and then there’s a corridor along 16th street with even more! and don’t forget Dolores Park — a grassy knoll with amazing view of the city, the occasional outdoor movie, and well, pretty much hipster-central.

you gotta eat (and drink):

bi-rite market and ice cream – this is my favorite grocery store, ever. the best and freshest gourmet ingredients one could ever hope for. and the salted caramel ice cream across the street is sure to be your downfall.

Deflina and Delifina Pizzeria – both so delicious! delfina is the upscale sister of the yummy pizzeria and they never disappoint.

dynamo donuts – some of the best donuts ever. try the bacon maple apple. but get there early – they go fast!

foreign cinema – if it’s a nice evening, sit outside and have dinner while watching a ‘drive-in’ type movie on the back wall. good food and amazing atmosphere, it’s one of my long-time favorites.

Gracias Madre – the most excellent vegan Mexican food ever. i swear – it doesn’t even taste vegan, whatever that means — but you could have fooled me.

humphry slocombe – crazy good homemade ice cream with equally insane flavors. try the secret breakfast — cornflakes and bourbon. uh-huh.

kiji – probably my very favorite sushi bar and always the most inventive and fresh rolls around. sit in the cozy back corner, i love it here.

local mission eatery – all local all the time. local farmers and local tastes, local vendors and local artisans, local community and local people. a great spot for brunch.

luna park – the food is delicious (i love the salad Nicoise), but my oh my – their desserts? best chocolate chip bread pudding and coconut creme pie i have ever tasted. they deliver through grubhub, and it’s a real problem for me.

mission cheese – cheese, and lots of it. American artisan and farmstead cheese, California beer and wine, and organic produce, coffee, and bread. yum.

Range – nestled in the heart of the Mission, i love this tiny spot. excellent small plates, and super yummy mixed specialty cocktails. i like to grab a bite at the bar.

the royal cuckoo bar – probably my very favorite local bar. it’s super dark and sometimes i could live without the occasional organ player who drops in, but i still love their mixed drinks, and cozy atmosphere. taxidermy and mood lighting.

Spork a former KFC – and a great spot for dinner. try their original recipe KFC biscuits, or the seared sea scallops. mmmmm.

St. Frances Fountain – hipster breakfast hangout in an old fashioned soda fountain. lots of yummy vegan breakfast options, too.

taqueria san francisco – my personal favorite in the world of burritos and carne asada tacos. i used to bring my dad here when he visited. fond memories.

Tartine – a yummy bakery, beyond any bakery you’ve probably ever eaten at. look for the long line around the block — it’s totally worth the wait. have the bread pudding. have it all.

the summit – coffee house meets communal workspace. bring your laptop and you’ll fit right in. stay for the blue bottle coffee.

walzwerk – on the outskirts of the mission, on south van ness, this east german restaurant is the real thing. i love their schnitznel!


826 Valencia Pirate Store – author dave eggers’ ode to the pirate. a kid’s store, but great fun for grownups, too. everybody needs a spyglass and an eyepatch. great workshops for kids here, too.

arkay workshop – everything in this store adorable, or handmade or local and it’s all really affordable. great clothing, jewelry and home accessories it makes a great spot for finding gifts.

apartment – i love these guys. there’s many vintage home stores on the Valencia corridor, but this is one of my favorites, and the prices are really reasonable.

belljar – sasha darling’s beautiful mission boutique. the belljar carries clothing, accessories and vintage home wares you won’t find anywhere else. a great little gallery with new openings all the time.

candystore collective – although they do serve up some candy in cute vintage jars, this shop is more about the fashion than it is about about the sweets. really cute home accessories and artwork, too. check their gallery schedule for regular openings.

Curiosity Shoppe – run by good friends of mine, derek fagerstrom and lauren smith, this is also one of my very favorite shops in the city. they do the best job of gathering uniquely beautiful, hand-crafted items, all under their sweet little roof. check their calendar for regular art openings, too.

dog eared books – wonderful new and used bookstore. it has just the right amount of attitude. love to stroll out with a couple of bargain books under my arm.

fire escape farms – cutest name for the cutest gardening store. just what you might think – it’s a great little shop for everything you might need to create your own small, but urban oasis.

hazel & gerties – very likely one of the cutest pet boutiques ever. decorated with proprietor jeannine giordan’s vintage collection of amazing pet paraphernalia. friendly and knowledgeable, too. lucy recommends!

Paxton Gate – science meets home garden, it’s a shop full of oddities and treasures — from taxidermy to exotic plants and belljars. their kid’s shop down the block is awesome, too.

pot + pantry – cutest little cooking shop around. owner donna couldn’t be nicer, and she specializes in new and gently used kitchenware, including products from Le Creuset, and Calphalon. they also carry a small assortment of food products from local artisans.

Rare Device – just like it sounds, every object in the store has its own story, and has been chosen because it is either handmade, well-designed, useful, beautiful or all of the above. part gallery – check their schedule for upcoming art openings.

room 4 – great little vintage shop specializing in mid-century modern. i’ve spied some pretty amazing vintage clothing, lighting fixtures and portrait paintings here, too. owner david is really friendly, and Everything is hand-picked, stylish and seriously affordable.

schauplatz – lovely little shop full of vintage clothing and accessories. super helpful staff with a great eye for style.

stuff – a gianormous collective of vintage and antiques all under one big roof. and there’s parking too. woohoo!

thrift town – the mother lode of all thrift stores, it’s got three floors of secondhand finds. mind you there’s some gonna be a hunting here — where’s there’s a lot of great stuff, there’s a lot of stuff in general, so you’ll need to spend a little time here.

this week’s tips:

the burritophile – if you’re looking for the best burrito in the city – this guy’s tried them all. check out his burrito ratings!

check out scoutmob for loads of local san francisco deals. i share more of my favorite spots here, too.

• photo of foreign cinema via soma magazine.

23 responses to “the 415.”

  1. Great list! Thanks. Wish I had had it, when I was last in the SF area. BTW, what place is showing Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal on an outdoor screen? Interesting idea. Thanks, Lisbeth (in Sweden)

  2. fantastic! i’ve just recently moved to the bay area. it’s nice to see such a comprehensive list of places to eat, drink & shop in one of my favorite neighborhoods – thank you!

  3. Dog Eared is my fave used bookstore in the city and I love Delfina pizzeria, bigtime. The biscuits at Spork are to die for (with that honey butter?!) and Tartine, let’s not even go there…just plain amazing.

  4. You should check out the new shop in my hood, Mira Mira. This store is full of truly unique, clothing and accessories. I am obsessed!

  5. I wish this list was here last December! My friend and I met in SF, and although I’m familiar with some areas of SF, I wanted to explore the Mission District. We asked a Cabdriver to take us there, and he dropped us off in the middle of some industrial area. I’m going to bookmark this for future visits-thanks!

  6. Thank you thank you, I love this post!!, I had fun the last time I was in the Mission district and now see how much I missed, Can’t wait to get back there someday! I’ll be dreaming of bacon maple apple donuts and salted caramel ice cream tonight!

  7. my husband and i visited beautiful san francisco this past spring and, by the end of the week, earned a “regulars discount” at monk’s kettle in the district. best beer selection and burgers we ever had. we never sit to eat at a bar but sit at the bar here – it’s an experience in itself. if this place was in brooklyn, i swear that we would be there weekly.

  8. Wow- what a great list! I need to get out to the Mission area more often….the city has so many gems to offer and sometimes we just get stuck in our own neighborhood!
    Thanks for putting this together – it definitely inspires me to get out more :)
    Cheers & Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  9. maybe this is alot to ask but im going through this list since im new to the hood, and im screenshotting so i can print these out….itd be cool if you could download the lists you make for the 415 posts. high maintenance? maybe, ha!

    thanks for the suggestions! ;)

  10. I love the 415, and cannot wait for more posts! But I do have two quick comments on this Mission District post, first off, your link to St. Francis Fountain does not go to St. Francis Fountain (but this one does and second The Summit has a new website, and on it you’ll see that unfortunately they are closing their doors ( Sorry to nitpick, but I figured it was better to say something rather than nothing.

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