No adventure to the city of San Francisco is complete without visiting The Mission. This colorful and diverse district derives its namesake from the Mission San Francisco de Asis, San Francisco’s longest standing building. Whether your visiting San Francisco for the first time, or for the 11th time, Mission District has something for every type of traveller. From world-famous ice cream, to the recently renovated Mission Dolores Park to the country’s best burritos, this neighbourhood doesn’t disappoint!
Where To Eat?
If you’re hungry - don’t worry there are plenty of choices in The Mission. Burritos, avocado toast, ice cream, Chinese food, papusas, the list goes on and on. There is no shortage of restaurant options, so whatever you’re in the mood for, The Mission has you covered. This may seem a bit overwhelming, and you might feel like in order to cover your bases you might need to have three lunches, so here’s a quick rundown to help you make your mind up.
Bi-rite is arguably one of San Francisco’s most famous creameries. Like every popular eatery in San Francisco, there will be a line, so be ready to wait. Trust me its worth it!
Mission Chinese is arguably The Mission District’s best option if your looking for some Asian cuisine in a sea of restaurants serving tacos and burritos. While you get authentic Sichuan flavor, the décor and the serving staff add a unique San Francisco flare to the restaurant.
La Taqueria was recently selected as the ‘America’s Best Burrito’ by FiveThirtyEight. If you decide to head to La Taqueria, get the carne asada, or chorizo super burrito – you wont be disappointed. The sauce, the tortilla, the seasoning - its all amazing!
Where To Drink?
Now that you have thoroughly explored The Mission, you may be looking to quench your thirst. Well… get your drinking pants on, the selection in The Mission is massive. To narrow down the choice, here are three of my favourite bars in the neighbourhood.
Zeitgeist Don’t expect any fancy fruity cocktails, this dive bar has the basics and they do it well. If The staff and the loyal patrons aren’t fans of photos, so put the phone away and enjoy the night!
Double Dutch is an 80’s hip-hop inspired bar bar and club. If you aren’t a fan of hip-hop music, go in just to take a look at the décor...
Bissau Baobab is by far my favorite bar in The Mission. This Senegalese owned bar and club is home to amazing music, and an even greater crowd.
What To See?
With a full belly, you’re probably ready to explore the sites that The Mission has to offer. The great thing about exploring Mission’s concrete jungle is that it's almost always perfectly sunny weather. Thanks to the many micro-climates that dot the city, the South-Eastern end of the city – where the Mission is located – is always at least 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the rest of the city. Here are a few highlights that you can’t miss!
is located on the western edge of The Mission. Monday through Sunday, rain or shine, you will always find a group of people lounging at this locally loved park. In order to maximize your people watching time, be sure to visit on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. You’ll find groups of people playing beer pong and bocce-ball, and vendors peddling coconuts and Dolores style magic truffles.
Walk down Valencia...
and take in the sites, sounds and smells of The Mission. From local Latino markets, to street vendors, to stores selling luchador masks, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the streets of Mexico City.
is an alley way that is located between Mission and Valencia on 17th Street. This small span of blocks is home to the Clarion Alley Mural Project. Since the early 1990s, till today, the alley has been completely covered in various murals depicting everything from daily struggles of The Mission’s residents, to cityscapes.
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