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Mission District Food Crawl

HI all! Looking for a specific itinerary for a "show off the Mission District to guests" food crawl. Things I would like it to include:

1. At least 1 mission style burrito stop
2. At least 1 dessert stop
3. In areas that wouldn't scare a guest, i.e. bums are fine but guy shooting up on the street isn't
4. Restaurants don't need reservations, we can walk in whatever time without more than a 20
minute wait and get great food
5. Restaurants have somewhere to sit and eat food, so we don't have to stand and eat all night

Go!

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  1. From start to finish, how many hours, and what time do you plan to start? And is this a weekday or weekend? How many people?

    Here are some itineraries that wouldn't be outrageously expensive, and are doable if you don't mind a 9000 calorie day:

    Lunch near 16th
    1. Mission Cheese -- get a cheese plate. Relax. Phone a pizza order from Delfina.
    2. Tartine -- pick up dessert treats to go.
    3. Pica Pica Maize Kitchen -- get a Maizewich
    4. Pizzeria Delfina -- pick up pizza. Eat above foods in Dolores Park.

    Dinner from 18th to 24th
    1. Reaction Restaurant -- flautas de papa (seating)
    2. Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper -- pick up some honey sticks
    3. Papalote -- get some chips and salsa (seating)
    4. Anthony's Cookies -- get 'em hot
    5. La Santaneca -- pupusas
    6. Rosamunde Sausages --- beer and sausages (seating)
    7. Farolito -- asada burrito (seating)
    8. Humphry Slocumbe

    Skip: Mission Chinese Food and Bi-Rite creamery due to crowds

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    Tartine Bakery
    600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Papalote Mexican Grill
    3409 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    El Farolito Bar
    2777 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Pizzeria Delfina
    3611 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    La Santaneca De La Mission
    2815 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
    2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Anthony's Cookies
    1417 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA

    Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper
    3520 20th Street, Suite C San Francisco, CA

    Rosamunde Sausage Grill
    2832 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Pica Pica Maize Kitchen
    401 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    Mission Cheese
    736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    10 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      This is fantastic! We'd be going for dinner....and we definitely don't mind 9,000 calories. :)

      1. re: debbie421

        I somehow left tacos off my list. La Taqueria's carnitas tacos are really good, and wetter than I've had elsewhere. They also have lighter burritos than you'll find at El Farolito. Tortas would be good addition, but the best places close early. Horchata would be an appropriate drink to have along the way.

        You should start off the crawl with Tartine Bread (pick up after 5PM). You'll need to phone in your order a fews days in advance though.

        If you're going for variety and have a small group, there are plenty of people in the Mission who'd be happy to take your leftovers.

        Check out some of the "San Francisco Bay Are Board Discussion" links below this thread. You'll find several more good suggestions there as well as in: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/749402

        -----
        La Taqueria
        2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. re: debbie421

          I'd suggest skipping Papalote. While the salsa does have a strong following it seems ridiculously overrated in my opinion. It's just a fairly average creamy roasted tomato salsa. I go there fairly regularly only because the Haight really lacks a single decent taqueria.

          While El Farolito is certainly a respectable choice Taqueria Cancun is also quite good (and I'd say, better) with excellent carnitas. If you'd prefer the simple deliciousness of getting your burritos from a truck El Tonayense's Al Pastor is hard to beat with their delicious spicy sauce and a strong contender for best in the city. They're a bit out of the way though now that the walk-in restaurant location on 24th has closed.

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          Taqueria Cancun
          3211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          El Tonayense
          3150 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1. re: belgand

            I'm fond of Papalote's salsa, but their chips are admittedly bad. Can you recommend a better place to get a creamy roasted tomato salsa?

            I am reading on other boards that Papalot's salsa is now available for purchase throughout the city. I've also seen it as a chicken wing flavor at Wing Wings on Haight.

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            Wing Wings
            422 Haight St, SF, CA 94117

            1. re: hyperbowler

              I can personally confirm that it can be purchased from Haight Street Market as well as directly from the restaurant. I'd guess that Bi-Rite and other local, pricier sorts of markets carry it as well.

              Now that I think about it another place to get their style of salsa doesn't immediately spring to mind. My problem with it isn't that it's bad, per se, but just that I find it to be inordinately overrated. I just find it to be average and unexceptional.

        2. re: hyperbowler

          BTW, Pupusas take a while to make even if you can get seated immediately. Whether you go to La Santaneca, or other places, e.g., Balompie #3, I'd recommend you call ahead and get it to go. Otherwise, a food crawl can really lose momentum.

          -----
          Balompie Cafe
          3349 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1. re: hyperbowler

            would strongly put in a recommendation for la santenca - i also dind't find they took too long to make there provided you go at off hours

            1. re: hyperbowler

              Yeah, maybe because I never go at peak hours, but I've never waited long for a pupusa. Not that I'd mind some breaks in the middle of a progressive pig-out like that.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Wait time for me at an uncrowded Balombie on 18th has been a minimum of 15 minutes from ordering to serving, and around the same for La Santaneca. It's completely reasonable, but has the potential to exceed the 20 minute guideline set up by the OP.

                I've never been to La Santaneca at night. I was there on a recent Sunday a little before 4PM, and from entering to getting our food, it took about 25 minutes. This seemed prime time for families. They let you order before you get seated, so this does shave off a good deal of time. Regarding the food, I prefer the regular pupusas to the ones made with rice. The rice ones are stiffer, but I can't detect a difference in the taste. The pork and cheese is my favorite filling. The bean and cheese is good with salsa, but I find the beans overpower the flavor of the wrapper.

            2. re: hyperbowler

              Scratch Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper off my list. I hadn't been in there since the ownership change. If you're into beekeeping, local honey, or chicken raising it would be worth a stop, but I didn't see any honey sticks or crawl-appropriate products in there.

              As a swap in for earlier in the day, Los Yaquis has a $6 botanas plate that would be perfect for a 4 person crawl, and they also serve a larger sized version. The botanas include pickled carrots, pig ear, pig skin, cactus, and quail eggs. It's all mixed with tomatoes and onions. To serve, you put some crema/mayo (?) on a crispy corn tortilla and then layer meat, veggies, and then their housemade oregano hotsauce or habanero sauce. Oh, and there are two pickled pig's feet to nibble on as well.

              They pickle everything in a house made vinegar made of brown sugar and pineapple.

            3. My husband and I were just in S.F.and found a must try in the mission...Roosevelts Tamales. Delicious unusual varieties and homemade flavor.Try the sweet corn tamale...melts in your mouth!

              1 Reply
              1. re: ferrett1

                Roosevelt's tamales aren't the best but it's the best sit down, take the gringos to place for tamales.

              2. 24th street, between Mission and Potrero, is to me the most colorful part of the Mission, without the sketchiness of Mission & 16th - not that I don't eat in that corridor myself, but if that's one of your concerns....

                Notwithstanding that, I would give Poc Chuc at 16th near South Van Ness a try for not your typical Mexican food experience, which is a seated place. For a taqueria, try either (or both!) Taqueria Vallarta on Mission and 16th or Taqueria San Jose at Mission and 24th - Vallarta has the taco cart-experience inside, and San Jose now has very palatable red wine served in real glasses (!), as well as sangria on offer. Both are also seated.

                For more upscale, sit at the bar at either Limon (Valencia near 17th) or Limon Rotisserie (21st & South Van Ness) for a ceviche snack. Both have full bars.

                I second the recommendation for Pizzeria Delfina & Mission Cheese. La Taqueria is also one of my faves.

                -----
                Pizzeria Delfina
                3611 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                La Taqueria
                2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Limon Restaurant
                524 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Poc Chuc
                2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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

                Mission Cheese
                736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                9 Replies
                1. re: mariacarmen

                  limon rotisserie only has beer and wine, but makes damn tasty liquor-less cocktails and sangria

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    If you're going to Poc Chuc, stop by Chile Lindo for a Chilean empanada. It's a takeout window on 16th at Capp.

                    -----
                    Poc Chuc
                    2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    Chile Lindo
                    2944 16th St, San Francisco, CA

                    1. re: Windy

                      for comparisons sake, might try venga (Argentinian) empanadas on 443 valencia between 15th and 16th. im a bigger fan of chile lindo, but some like venga.

                    2. re: mariacarmen

                      given the dishes that have already been mentioned in this thread, what stand out items would you recommend at Poc Chuc?

                      -----
                      Poc Chuc
                      2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      1. re: hyperbowler

                        The Mayan appetizer platter, chimole (pavo negro), and escabeche. Hard to go wrong.

                        Although they have tacos, Poc Chuc isn't a taqueria, so not much overlap with most other Mexican in the city.

                        1. re: Windy

                          +1 on the appetizer platter, if you are making several stops, you won't need a full meal there. The flavors are really vibrant and unusual.

                        2. re: hyperbowler

                          +2 on that appetizer platter. we're talking about a Mission crawl, so it's a perfect sampler of some unique (to this area) food. There's another Mayan restaurant, Haltun, which I don't like nearly as much.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            You can also order all the items from the platillo maya separately which is what I would do now that I know my favourites from a few visits (panuchos and empanadas, for the record). If you have a group, may I recommend the salpicon de res which is excellent and appears to be on the menu full time now. It comes with tortillas to make your own tacos so very shareable. Have a great time crawling, great thing to do in this hood as either a visitor (like us) or a local!

                      2. You can find one more suggestion in my recent post about Chiles en Nogado at La Torta Gorda: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816389

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                        La Torta Gorda
                        2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Thomas Nash

                          Thanks for the tip--- those sound amazing. Note their earlier closing hours, which would exclude them from a weekend evening food crawl.

                          Business Hours
                          Mon-Fri 5:30 am - 7 pm
                          Sat 6 am - 4 pm
                          Sun 6:30 am - 2 pm

                        2. We have friends who were on a diet that allowed them to eat whatever they wanted one day a week. We did the following crawl with them a couple of times on their pig out days.
                          The Sycamore for pork belly donuts and beer
                          Rosamunde for sausages and beer
                          El Farolito for burritos, etc.
                          Humphrey Slocombe for ice cream
                          Mission Pie (especially for walnut pie)

                          -----
                          Mission Pie
                          2901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          El Farolito Bar
                          2777 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
                          2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          Rosamunde Sausage Grill
                          2832 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          The Sycamore
                          2140 Mission St, SF, CA 94110

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: scarmoza

                            oh yeah, forgot about The Sycamore! good food, fun place. perfect for a crawl.