If you want to spend an exciting day exploring some wonderful food, shopping, and culture in San Francisco, the Mission District is the place to go. The Mission is an ever-changing, exuberant neighborhood with Latino roots where eclectic live music clubs are squeezed door-to-door between craft cocktail lounges, chef-driven eateries, and old-school taquerias.
One of the highlights of the Mission is its vibrant, diversified restaurant scene. If you’re trying to decide where to stop during your neighborhood adventure, this list offers some helpful suggestions: https://sf.eater.com/maps/best-restaurants-mission-sf
If you arrive early enough to stop for breakfast, the mouthwatering bread and pastries at Tartine Bakery are worth braving the wait in line. Bakers Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt have now opened four other Bay Area Locations, but the original Mission bakery is still at the heart of their baked-goods empire. The stars of the show at Tartine are Robertson’s sourdough bread and Prueitt’s pastries—especially the iconic croissants, delicate teacakes, and delicious morning buns. Try to get to the bakery early to avoid lines and snag some of the limited first-come first-serve seating!
When you’re ready for lunch, it’s hard to go wrong with one of the dozens of taquerias scattered along every block. Every San Franciscan has their own go-to Mission burrito spot, but my personal favorite is the cash-only La Taqueria at 2889 Mission Street. Since 1973, La Taqueria has been the self-proclaimed “home to the best tacos and burritos in the world,” and many locals would agree! La Taqueria’s burritos are rice-free, which leaves more room for their delicious fillings. Local tip: order your burrito “dorado style” and they’ll crisp up the outside on the plancha grill.
Check out this list for some other suggestions of where to find the Mission’s best burrito: https://sf.eater.com/maps/burrito-best-san-francisco-mission-taqueria-sf
If you’re in the mood for a beer, the Mission is full of taprooms and local craft breweries. Neighborhood tavern the Monk’s Kettle is a local institution—serving up classic pub fare along with 150 bottled beers and 28 rotating drafts. Craft Fox Ale House boasts 36 taps offering both locally and nationally sourced brews, and at Standard Deviant Brewing you can choose from their made-in-house selection before trying your hand at the pinball machines. Lastly, Southern Pacific Brewing offers craft beers brewed onsite in their warehouse setting with a communal outdoor picnic area where you can soak in the Mission sunshine.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, visit Bi-Rite Creamery just down the block from Dolores Park. Bi-Rite Creamery is one of San Francisco’s best-known ice cream destinations, and often draws lines down the block when sunny weather attracts crowds of visitors to the park. Pastry chef and partner Kris Hoogerhyde uses dairy from Straus Family Creamery to craft flavors including a signature salted caramel, fan favorite ricanelas and roasted banana, and seasonally rotating new flavors. A bonus: there has even been a surge in wonderful non-dairy flavors available at the creamery!