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Moving to San Francisco [the Mission] - What are the must hit spots?

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I'm currently staying in the peninsula while awaiting my lease in the city to begin. I'll be living in off 22nd St close to Potrero Ave. I don't mind walking or taking public transport if I have to.

I saw the thread below but was looking for suggestions for a resident versus a visitor.

Is American Grilled Cheese Kitchen any good? I've heard it being hyped up a bit, but I'm not sure what to make of that..

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  1. Since you'll be a resident, you should just plunge in and start eating; don't wait for our opinions. There are many threads on this board specifically about the Mission...

    1. Ice cream, coffee, bakeries, Cal-Italian, Bar Tartine, tacquerias near the 24th street BART station, craft cocktails, craft beer, St. Vincent for their wine list.

      There's a lot of threads on the mission including "walking tours" etc. to search for.

      Is there anything in particular you are looking for? If you search for the best rated categories in the above categories, in the Mission, on yelp that's a good rough guide. Report your experiences and if there's something in particular you are trying to find we can help you find it.

      11 Replies
      1. re: goldangl95

        Thanks. I'm mostly trying to get a sense of the local flavor versus looking for anything specific.

        I mean, I do enjoy; ice cream, bakeries, craft cocktails, and craft beer but wasn't really looking for specific suggestions in that regard.

        While extremely DC centric (my home!) the following list should kind of give you an idea of what I really like:

        Izakaya Seki, Daikaya - Japanese Izakayas
        Toki Underground - Singaporean ramen
        Thai X-ing - Authentic Thai
        Lavagna - farm fresh concept
        DGS Delicatessen - Upscale deli
        Blue Duck Tavern - more upscale local/farm fresh concept
        Maple Avenue - eclectic fusion with more of an asian influence.

        1. re: WSJ

          So, there isn't a lot of decent asian in the mission. There's Namu Gaji which is worth trying and maybe a few others that other board members know.

          Dosa - upscale South Indian.

          Everything in the $$-$$$$ (in the new american category) is basically farm fresh in SF at this point - we are completely overwhelmed with California/New American style restaurants. There's probably about 200 new American restaurants in SF, with about 100 doing competent organic/farm to table type concepts.

          Basically the eats in the $$-$$$ish category are awesome enough in the mission that just eating through that on Yelp will keep you happy for a good long while. (Looking at about 100 decently well reviewed restaurants for the Mission neighborhood alone).

          Report on your experiences! Let us know once you have eaten out a bit what the disappoints are and what you need help with. But you are moving into probably one of the highest concentration of good/diverse restaurants in a 2 mile square in the whole U.S. (definitely in the top 20).

          1. re: goldangl95


            I forgot to mention, I also love middle easter/Mediterranean foods as well (I grew up eating a lot of that and ethiopian). I also really enjoy mezzes and tapas

            The Jose Andres restaurants (Jaleo and Zaytinya) really execute those concepts well, Spanish tapas and Turkish mezze plates.

            And thank you to everybody providing feedback!

            1. re: WSJ

              Not in the mission:

              If you can get in, Coqueta is the new tapas place people want to go to. Gitane has some interesting Basque inspired dishes.

              Many on this board are a fan of Aziza in SF (has Mediterranean/Middle Eastern influences).

              Zare may also be worth a try.

              1. re: goldangl95

                From recent reports, Aziza's Moroccan influences have faded to a whisper, though people are enthusiastic about the Cal-Michelin cuisine.

              2. re: WSJ

                There are a couple of Palestinian / Middle Eastern places recommended in the thread I linked to.

                Tuba on Guererro is good Turkish.


                For tapas, take the 48 bus up Church to Contigo. There's not a lot in Noe Valley that's worth the schlep up the hill, but that is.


                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  i didn't love Tuba - found everything mushy and blandish...

                2. re: WSJ

                  Troya on Clement has good mezze though it's not up to Zaytinya's standards.

                  1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                    I see Troya recommended a lot on here, but didn't care for a meal I had there recently, and was surprised they didn't have house made bread like other places in town. What have you liked there?

                    1. re: hyperbowler

                      It's been a while... looking at the online menu, the muhamara, hummus, dolma, roasted eggplant salad, if I remember correctly. They had some daily specials. I haven't had any of the kebabs or mains.

                  2. re: WSJ

                    Truly Med on 16th is decent for shawerma and falafel, although they've gotten a little overpriced at about $10 for a shawerma.

            2. Everything in that thread would be good for residents too.

              I personally don't understand the appeal of ordering grilled cheese at a restaurant, let alone one that specializes in it. It's utterly trivial to make at home, and you get to choose your own bread and cheese.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                i get the appeal of a grilled cheese place in an area where most people work - grilled cheese, while easy to make at home, is not easy to make in a standard office kitchen, and it also is not tasty when premade ahead of time at home and re-heated. so the location in SOMA makes sense. the location in the mission does not.

                1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                  Not quite up there with the cereal restaurants in Berkeley (now closed). :)

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Yes. I am usually not glad when a food business fails, but that one, I thought, "Maybe people have some sense after all."

                  1. You'll be close to El Metate.


                    The 19 but stops a few blocks away, so you might want to check out the Polk / Larkin area as well. Some of the best cheap Thai and Vietnamese restaurants in town (Lers Ros, Saigon Sandwich, Thai House Express, Bodega Bistro, Burmese Kitchen, Turtle Tower) plus bar-scene central for the under-30 crowd.

                    1. I used to live very close to there, and there's some great food close by, though it's also very easy to get to other parts of the city.

                      One place you should be aware of is La Palma, on 24th Street. Their tortillas are fantastic, not to mention the prepared foods like guacamole, chicharrones, and salsa. They also have tacos, burritos, tamales, etc. Lots of reports on it: http://www.chow.com/search?q=la+palma...

                      I tend to go there for groceries or to augment a meal I'm cooking at home (as opposed to ordering burritos from there).

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Dave MP

                        La Palma has pint and half-pint containers of both Oaxacan and Teloloapan mole paste, and cajeta. Their meats are available by the pint (eg chile verde) or pound (eg carnitas).

                        1. re: Dave MP

                          Grocery shopping certainly distinguishes this post from the SF visitor posts. I don't live in the Mission, but aside from La Palma, I'll make a special detour to get to these places:

                          Bi-Rite for yuppie foods and cheese
                          Samiramis Imports for Middle Eastern groceries
                          Rainbow Grocery for great selection of bulk spices. Also have good range of produce and hippie supplies.
                          The Fizzary : gourmet sodas
                          Alemany Farmers Market : Saturdays in Bernal Heights. Has cheap produce, great dates (I mean the fruit, but why not socialize in a parking lot?), Huarache Loco truck.

                          La Victoria is a bakery that has hosted pop-ups in the past. I think their only offering now is Hapa, a filipino fusion pop-up doing lunch there on weekends.

                          1. re: hyperbowler

                            Rainbow also has great selections of bread, oils, and bulk foods in general. Probably other strengths I'm forgetting.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Rainbow's cheese selection is quite good and their prices are reasonable.

                              The Castro Farmer's Market at Noe and Market is small but decent, and it is Wednesdays 4-8, meaning some hope of getting there after work. Alemany also has All-Star Tamales and Sabores del Sur for awesome alfajores.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Their cheeses are awesome too, and their monger has a pretty good cheese book out.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Arent the bulk food bins at Rainbow often heavily pawed at by people, some of whom appear a bit dirty?

                                  I havent been back to Commonwealth in a while, but I thought that was a good standard place in the Mission.

                                2. re: hyperbowler

                                  I'll second Samiramis.

                                  The Mission has its own farmers' market, Thursdays, which is really starting to come into its own.


                                  and we shop at Evergreen (Mission, between 21st and 22nd) for most things - not organic, not fancy, but tons of great South American products.

                                  Duc Loi has a really good range of products - even Maldon Salt!

                              2. Besides things mentioned above (e.g., Bi-Rite and Rainbow and Alemany FM), what about produce markets? Any standouts for seasonal produce that's cheap and good quality?

                                A few options:

                                Local Mission Market:
                                http://www.localmissionmarket.com/ind... , daily 9am-9pm

                                http://missioncommunitymarket.org/mer... Thursday nights

                                General SF produce thread:

                                1 Reply
                                1. In no order, these are all restaurants i've been to, liked a lot, and would return to:

                                  Local Mission Eatery
                                  The Front Porch
                                  Woodward's Garden
                                  La Taqueria
                                  Ken Ken Ramen
                                  Mission Cheese
                                  Balompie Cafe
                                  Foreign Cinema
                                  Velvet Cantina
                                  Arabian Nights
                                  Osha Thai
                                  Mission Local Eatery
                                  Delfina & Delfina Pizza
                                  Poc Chuc
                                  Mission Bowling Club
                                  Blue Plate
                                  Abbott's Cellar
                                  Mr. Pollo (not what it sounds like - inexpensive pre fixe dinners)
                                  Namu Gaji
                                  Maverick (temporarily closed due to fire)
                                  St. Vincent
                                  The Sycamore
                                  Pica Pica Maize Kitchen

                                  i'm sure there are some i'm missing.... have fun, you have a lot of eating to do!

                                  1 Reply