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SF Neighborhoods

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Looking for interesting neighborhoods to go walking around, tasting food, and have interesting markets, shops etc.
Will be staying in the Marina, have no car, but don't mind taking a bus, or cab to get there. Have been in SF so many times, don't want tourist places, tend to stay away from them. Looking for local places where you go. Just want to wander around. I was thinking of the Castro, or Mission districts, but need recommendations for food. Also, what other neighborhoods would be interesting to check out. TIA

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  1. The Mission is definitely up there. From the Marina you could take a short cab ride to Clement St., which is one of my favorite streets in the city for wandering.

    1. Second the Mission.
      Delfina Pizza
      Bar Tartine
      Limon Rotisserie
      Bar Bambino
      Mission Cheese
      Mission Chinese Food*
      Poc Chuc
      Flour & Water *
      Foreign Cinema
      Tartine Bakery
      Hog & Rocks*
      Local Mission Eatery**
      Pal's Takeaway**
      Puerto Alegre
      Velvet Cantina
      Dozens of taquerias - all up and down 24th, Valencia and Mission Streets.
      * = i don't particularly like but they come recommended by a lot of others here.
      ** = i haven't been yet but they come recommended by a lot of others here.

      Tartine Bakery
      600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Delfina Restaurant
      3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Bar Bambino
      2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Velvet Cantina
      3349 23rd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1058 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Foreign Cinema
      2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      Bar Tartine
      561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      3406 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Limon Restaurant
      524 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Puerto Alegre Restaurant
      546 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Limon Rotisserie
      1001 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Local Mission Eatery
      3111 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1268 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Mission Cheese
      736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      6 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        i don't recall good reports about grub....

        1. re: vulber

          If neither of you has actually been to Grub, might be better to leave it off the list.

          1. re: Windy

            I've been to Grub and I wouldn't go back. Food was overpriced and not good at all, and service left a lot to be desired. Too many better places in the 'hood - mariacarmen's list is great.

          2. re: vulber

            you're right. i misspoke. Ok paprkutr, avoid Grub!

            1. re: mariacarmen

              Avoiding a place is different from not listing it.

              1. re: Windy

                i don't know what you want me to do. i can't edit at this point, can i?

        2. Ninth and Irving or Divisadero and Fulton....

          1. Definitely the Mission. Local Mission Eatery and Pals Takeaway are both great.

            I love Clement St. Halu on 8th and Schuberts Bakery are my favorites. Shop at Green Apple books and Kamei restaurant supply.

            Hayes Valley is really nice. For food alone, Absinthe, Arlequin Cafe, Bar Jules, Suppenkuche, Smitten Ice Cream, Miette, La Boulange. There are great shoe shops here.

            Noe Valley is awesome on a Saturday when the farmers market is there. Toast for breakfast or lunch, La Boulange or Noe Valley Bakery for something sweet and gorgeous, Ambiance and Just For Fun for shopping.

            525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Bar Jules
            609 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

            Local Mission Eatery
            3111 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            Smitten Ice Cream
            Octavia Blvd Linden St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            1 Reply
            1. re: mlutsky

              And don't miss True Sake in Hayes Valley. Worth a stop even if you're not a huge sake fan.

              True Sake
              560 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            2. Was just in SFO last week and really enjoyed strolling the Ferry Building. It's full of shops and eateries. Happened to be there on Tuesday which is their Farmer's Market day. So, double the fun! Hubby and I bought one of many things and shared as we perused. Went to Frog Hollow Farms and shared their summer salad: greens, toms, nectarines, avocado, walnuts and a bit of blue cheese for snap, all in a wonderful citrus vinagarette. 10$ and enough to share along with a croissant/sammy/pastry... (we went to Acme bread) -DELISH! (They have a fabulous avocado toast as well). We also had some yummy morsels from I think -Out The Door. Not even sure but, it was Asian. We started outside though tasing all the fruits and veges from the Farmer's Market. We were able to park in front of the Ferry Building - FREE! After a couple of hours, we drove over to Boudin, parked for free (W validation) and walked up to Ghirardelli to dive into their famed Hot Fudge Sundae. At 8$ a pop, it's a bit steep but, it's a "gotta do" when in SFO. It was good hot fudge and a topper to a great day. (Oh, and of course, bought bread @ Boudin which we ate on the drive home. They'll give you butter too).

              Don't pass up the Ferry Building! :)


              Frog Hollow Farm
              1 Ferry Bldg # 46, San Francisco, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                Ferry Building Farmers Market is a good call - not to miss - and best on a Saturday morning, early. then you still have time to get to the other neighborhoods listed here.

                1. re: Kitchen Queen

                  It was NOT Out The Door but, Delica we bought treats: http://www.delicasf.com/deli.html
                  I had a multi grain onagiri (rice ball) and he, chicken dumplings. Very yummy and easy...just buy at deli counter and take away...

                  1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

                2. The Castro is fun, but no one has ever mistaken it for a culinary destination.

                  As noted, the Mission, Hayes Valley ($$$ including the shoes), Inner Sunset, Richmond district, and especially Ferry Plaza during a market (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) are all great destinations.

                  I'll disagree with mlutsky on Noe Valley; I live in the neighborhood and only eat at a handful of places here voluntarily.

                  Try to hit one of the Off the Grid food truck events. Thursdays at 5 in the Haight or Fridays at 5 at Ft Mason (near the Marina) are pretty big.

                  Off the Grid
                  Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

                  Off the Grid
                  Stanyan Street at Waller Street, San Francisco, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Windy

                    I agree with Windy. Noe Valley is a great place to live, but I never venture down there to eat unless someone else has done the planning. It's out of the way and doesn't offer much else to fill the day with. So I never take my visitors there, even the ones who've visited the city a dozen times.

                    You'll have a much more to look at in terms of eating, shopping, people watching, and overall wandering about in the Mission, Hayes Valley, Richmond district, or Inner Sunset (my personal order of preference for visitors).

                  2. Very few of the condensed shopping districts are worthy food destinations, and even few offer shopping to occupy a visitors time the way the Mission does. The streets to center on are Valencia, Mission Street itself, 24th street, and 18th street at Guerrero. Hayes Street in Hayes Valley is another, and if you map it, the Little Saigon section of the Tenderloin isn't too far away. You're staying near Chestnut, and Union Streets, which has the combination you want, with some gems like Lucca Deli around.

                    North Beach has Grant Avenue for non-food, and surrounding streets for sandwiches, brunches, French regional, and snacking like Foccacia at Liguria, or Pizza squares at Golden Boy. If you really like a healthy walk, you can cross through the Marina over Russian Hill, stopping on Polk St. and end up in North Beach, and spend a nice day hitting up a lot of interesting places. If you're a trooper, you can cut through North Beach to where Chinatown connects, and even end up around the Ferry Building. You'll only want to walk one way if you do that lengthy of an excursion.

                    1. I second the recommendations for the Mission (probably THE food destination in town because of the variety of things) and Clement Street for Chinese food and shops.

                      Also adding to the list Pacific Heights area and Fillmore. You can start from Japantown with ramen at Tanpopo or maybe upscale Indian food at the large bar at Dosa on the corner of Fillmore and Post. Then walk up Fillmore and explore the different places like the original La Boulange, the fairly new Out the Door, excellent Roman food at SPQR or fried seafood at Woodhouse Fish Co., stopping by for yogurt at Fraiche next door, or just keep going up to California and Fillmore at Delfina Pizzeria or a block up to Jane's for coffee or tea and cake or something fancier at the new Citizen's Cake.