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Mission District Food Crawl

d
debbie421 Nov 2, 2011 08:49 AM

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. h
    hyperbowler Nov 2, 2011 10:18 AM

    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

    -----
    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
      d
      debbie421 Nov 3, 2011 07:54 AM

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

      1. re: debbie421
        h
        hyperbowler Nov 3, 2011 09:22 AM

        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
          belgand Nov 9, 2011 02:24 AM

          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.

          -----
          Taqueria Cancun
          3211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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

          1. re: belgand
            h
            hyperbowler Nov 9, 2011 09:30 AM

            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.

            -----
            Wing Wings
            422 Haight St, SF, CA 94117

            1. re: hyperbowler
              belgand Nov 10, 2011 03:32 AM

              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
          h
          hyperbowler Nov 6, 2011 09:06 PM

          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
            v
            vulber Nov 6, 2011 11:19 PM

            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
              Robert Lauriston Nov 7, 2011 09:26 AM

              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
                h
                hyperbowler Nov 7, 2011 10:17 AM

                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
              h
              hyperbowler Feb 27, 2012 04:18 AM

              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. f
              ferrett1 Nov 6, 2011 06:01 PM

              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
                t
                tjinsf Nov 7, 2011 08:54 PM

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

              2. mariacarmen Nov 7, 2011 10:28 AM

                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
                  v
                  vulber Nov 7, 2011 12:13 PM

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

                  1. re: vulber
                    mariacarmen Nov 7, 2011 05:09 PM

                    Thanks vulber!

                  2. re: mariacarmen
                    Windy Nov 7, 2011 03:07 PM

                    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
                      majordanby Nov 7, 2011 03:12 PM

                      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
                      h
                      hyperbowler Nov 7, 2011 03:26 PM

                      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
                        Windy Nov 7, 2011 04:48 PM

                        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
                          pamf Nov 7, 2011 05:05 PM

                          +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
                          mariacarmen Nov 7, 2011 05:11 PM

                          +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
                            grayelf Nov 9, 2011 08:35 PM

                            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. t
                        Thomas Nash Nov 7, 2011 12:39 PM

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

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Thomas Nash
                          h
                          hyperbowler Nov 7, 2011 06:38 PM

                          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. scarmoza Nov 7, 2011 05:36 PM

                          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
                            mariacarmen Nov 7, 2011 07:06 PM

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

                          2. Disneyfreak Nov 8, 2011 02:04 PM

                            I'm heading to San Francisco next week -- can't wait. Don't know much about the area. Is this do-able for a solo female without a car? How sketchy is the neighborhood?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Disneyfreak
                              pamf Nov 8, 2011 02:52 PM

                              You can take the BART train from downtown San Francisco to the 24th Street and Mission stop quickly and safely. There are other buses available too, but they are slower.

                              If you are planning on visiting during the day, you will be quite safe. Just keep in mind the usual precautions that you would in any urban area. In the evenings you will do best to keep on the main streets. There is a lot of nightlife in the area, so it's busy especially on weekend nights. The BART train runs until about midnight and it is usually well traveled. If you are out late, and prefer not to use public transit, ask the restaurant you are at to call you a cab. Most cab trips within SF city limits are short and relatively inexpensive.

                              1. re: pamf
                                belgand Nov 9, 2011 02:10 AM

                                I'd take that "relatively" quite liberally actually. While most trips won't be more than 2 or 3 miles at most you'll still be paying roughly $20.

                                For public transit the 14 bus runs all night along Mission St. and will take you up to Market St. where you can catch a bus to just about anywhere else, including transbay buses to the East Bay (though they only run on an hourly schedule after midnight or so).

                              2. re: Disneyfreak
                                Robert Lauriston Nov 8, 2011 03:44 PM

                                Valencia St. is lively from 24th to 16th every night of the week. Mission St. not so much.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  v
                                  vulber Nov 8, 2011 05:16 PM

                                  i'd limit that to 16th to 23rd, and even 22nd to 23rd isn't super lively

                                2. re: Disneyfreak
                                  h
                                  hyperbowler Nov 8, 2011 06:26 PM

                                  There are so many great ideas listed here. Good luck picking the things that sounds best to you! The full itinerary I mentioned above would cost $30-$40 +tax+tip+drinks for lunch and the same for dinner.

                                  A food crawl is best geared toward a small group, so if you're by yourself, I'd recommend skipping burritos, the maizewiches, or tortas. They're single item meals, and it's tough to stop eating once you start. Delfina only sells whole pizzas. That said, plenty of people in the Mission will take leftovers, and if you bring a bag with ice packs, they'll store okay for later.

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

                                  1. re: hyperbowler
                                    belgand Nov 9, 2011 02:13 AM

                                    While whole pies they're also on the small side. Each serves one to two people depending on how hungry you are. For a small group with lots of other stops you could probably quarter it

                                3. jwbarth Nov 8, 2011 10:52 PM

                                  The Secret Breakfast at Humphrey Slocumbe can't be beat. And the donut bread pudding at Dynamo is pretty awesome.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jwbarth
                                    h
                                    hyperbowler Nov 9, 2011 12:25 AM

                                    I haven't been there in a year or two, but I remember them selling out of their doughnuts pretty quickly. Do they typically have bread pudding into the afternoon?

                                  2. d
                                    debbie421 Nov 9, 2011 02:30 AM

                                    Thanks for all the great responses! I think my plan is to do Farolito, La Taqueria, La Santaneca, Mission Pies, and Humphrey Slocumbe. We will definitely be going at peak hours (7:00-ish on a Saturday night) so I'll probably shoot myself in the foot on wait times, but whatever. Just to confirm, are all of these places open in the 7-10pm range on a Saturday night?

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

                                    La Taqueria
                                    2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    La Santaneca
                                    3781 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: debbie421
                                      belgand Nov 9, 2011 06:37 AM

                                      Farolito is open until something like 2 AM or so. It's one of the standard late-night stops. I wouldn't really worry about crowds. Even on a busy night at peak hours. These are all fast, order at the counter places so it's rarely much of a problem.

                                      1. re: belgand
                                        v
                                        vulber Nov 9, 2011 06:48 AM

                                        farolito is open until 2:45 sunday-thursday, 3:45 fri-sat; cancun is open until 1:45 sunday-thurs, 2:45 fri-sat.

                                        lines at each naturally are longest before closing

                                        1. re: vulber
                                          mariacarmen Nov 9, 2011 08:29 AM

                                          she picked La Taqueria, tho, not Cancun. Taqueria appears to be open only until 9, so you'd better hit that early in the evening. My favorite carne asada tacos!!

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

                                      2. re: debbie421
                                        h
                                        hyperbowler Nov 9, 2011 08:18 AM

                                        Humphry Slocumbe hours:
                                        Mon-Thu 12 pm - 9 pm
                                        Fri-Sun 12 pm - 10 pm

                                        1. re: debbie421
                                          scarmoza Nov 9, 2011 01:12 PM

                                          Minor technicality - be sure to go to the La Santaneca de la Mission and not the La Santaneca linked in your above post. (Expect really slow service at either :)

                                          La Santaneca de la Mission
                                          2815 Mission St
                                          (between 24th St & 25th St)
                                          San Francisco, CA 94110

                                          1. re: debbie421
                                            d
                                            debbie421 Dec 9, 2011 02:30 PM

                                            Sorry, forgot to report back. This was an amazing night, I'd do it again. Unfortunately, the group was too full for La Santaneca though. I won't bring lightweight next time! :)

                                            1. re: debbie421
                                              h
                                              hyperbowler Dec 9, 2011 02:45 PM

                                              When I've done similar things in the past, we've balanced seated and take out, and brought poultry shears and cut things up into tiny portions (indispensable for Roli Roti's pig's knuckle at the Ferry Building). What kind of portion sizes did everybody eat?

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