always interesting Mission District!
We’re glad you’ve arrived and we
offer a couple of tips
Lydia: Salads. The Mission used to be a salad desert, but that is no longer true and two favorite places are the Salumeria on 20th Street (the chopped salad especially), and Mixt on Valencia. Maria’s latest reviews are a must to check out. Papalote is where I go for killer prawn tacos. Tartine Bakery’s bread is an ongoing must and their new Tartine Manufactory started making amazing blueberry muffins. Oh, and I love the Ramen at Ushio on 16th Street, the drinks at Foreign Cinema – the french fries at Trick Dog. (Check out my very occasional food column Perfect or Not).
Andrea: Arizmendi. It’s a great bakery so I always try to be careful of what I purchase or it can be dangerous… My favorite part is dipping the crust in what’s left of my coffee (Check out our video profile of this worker-owned bakery).).
Mark: The Spice Jar. Taken over from Local’s Corner. They make a mean spicy chicken miso ramen and the shu-mai were to die for. The rest of the menu looks as good as these dishes tasted.).
Laura Wenus: The friendliest people are at Atlas Cafe. If I’m having a horrible day, a latte at Atlas on the patio with a magazine will get me through it. Also their bread is phenomenal. For date night, Cafe Ethiopia is my go-to, because who doesn’t love sharing a plate you can eat with your fingers? As far as group outings go, it’s all about Bender’s,for booze and bar bites (sometimes really cool local pop ups too!).
Laura Waxmann: When pressed for time, the Royal Cuckoo Market on 19th and Mission streets is the perfect stop for lunch. My go-to on cold days are their homemade soups – vegetarians will be pleased to know that they can count on a meatless option. ).
When the sun goes down, the Mission goes out. For nocturnal inspiration check out our Events Calendar. Want some engagement? Go to Manny’s at 16th and Valencia. Want to party? There’s Public Works for their frequent electro DJs and great live music. El Rio always has a lot going on including Salsa Sundays. It has a fairly mixed and persistently inclusive crowd and its monthly queer dance party Hard French is one of the most exceptional Saturday afternoon soul parties around.
The Mission has got a couple of really excellent and intimate venues for seeing live music such as The Red Poppy Art House and the Revolution Cafe. Recently opened, The Chapel occupies a former mortuary built in 1914 and features a well curated calendar of acts. The old stalwart, Amnesia has live music most nights of the week, featuring lots of folk and bluegrass. Brick and Mortar Music Hall also has a full calendar of great live acts.
This neighborhood loves a party, especially one that stops traffic (hydraulic lowriders not included) and invites dancing in the streets. Here’s a few big annual events to put on your calendar now:• MAPP – the Mission Arts and Performance Project, a kind of performance art crawl, happens every other month on the first Saturday of the Month.
• The end of May means it’s Carnaval time. The two day festival features a parade of samba dancers and colorful floats.
• Cinco de Mayo in May has a big street fair and performances.
• For a neighborhood with a long proud tradition of activism, César Chávez Day in March gets its fair due. A weekend street fair on 24th Street with food and music celebrates the famous labor organizer.
• Litquake’s Litcrawl in October has numerous readings in bars and shops along Valencia Street. It’s kind of like a pub crawl for literary nerds.
• The Central American tradition Dia de los Muertos has become one of the neighborhood’s largest, most celebrated events. By October, residents are talking about the “muertos season”. In November, calaveras take over with a procession through the streets and a collection of altars set up at Garfield Square. In recent years, it’s also become a moment in which the neighborhood reflects on its changing character.
It’s always slightly warmer here than elsewhere in the city, so dress for foggy days but prepare to shed layers when the sun is out.
Stylewise: Thrift is king. There are amazing second hand stores in the Mission — Mission Thrift, Community Thrift, Painted Bird, Schauplatz are just a few — for looking fly without wearing out your wallet. But for some unique Mission looks, we also recommend:
• Ok Corral to look like a vaquero.
• Seigelʼs for all your Zoot Suit needs.
• Retro Fit to look like Don Draper.
• Artillery for locally made designs and hip Latin street style.
• Self Edge for high-end, super premium denim.
• Betabrand to look like a 22-year-old startup CEO.
BMR: This acronym stands for “below market rate.” As part of San Francisco inclusionary housing law, housing developers need to include some plan for affordable housing units in new projects.Mission School: An art term used to describe a movement from the 1990s that started in the Mission, but seems to leave out the amazing Muralismo of the 70s and 80s, but that’s another story or maybe just another art term.
SRO: Stands for Single Residency Occupancy, an SRO is a type of residency hotel that offers rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens — some are run by nonprofits to provide affordable housing, others are for profit ventures. The Mission has many SROs.
Ellis Act: Passed in 1985 by the California State Legislature, this measure was intended to help landlords go out of business but many believe it’s been used as a tool for landlords to evict longtime tenants and sell buildings to speculators.
Google Bus: A catch-all term for all private shuttles run by Silicon Valley tech companies, objects of much derision and unrest.
Formula Retail: A fancy way to say chain store, also objects of much derision and unrest.
Super or Regular: When asked this puzzling question at a neighborhood Taqueria, just get Super. The extra buck is worth it for avocado, cream, and cheese.
Approximate Area: 1.4 square miles
Population: Approximately 75,700
62% White, 34% Hispanic/Latino, 12% Asian, 3% Black
California Senate District: 11
California Congressional District: 17
San Francisco Districts: 9, 8, 6