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Best places to visit in Haight-Ashbury or The Mission?

I'm heading to San Francisco for a friends birthday the weekend of December 13th and am looking to explore some new areas. I'm most familiar with South of Market and North Beach, but have been particularly wanting to see what Haight-Ashbury or The Mission have to offer. Any favorite places (restaurants, coffee shops, boutique/vintage shops) or things to do (activities, general attractions, art exhibitions) that are a must and not too touristy? Knowing I will have one day to explore, do you recommend one area over the other?

4 Answers

top answer by
Nitin from Copenhagen

Tartine Bakery & Cafe and Bi-Rite Creamery are good but famous among tourists mostly. Mission has lot of dive-bars. Haight street is good for vintage shops.

For Mediterranean food - Go to Truly Mediterranean , a small shop but awesome Shawarma. 

Haight street - Toronado is a nice bar for good beer. nock-nock bar has interesting (dark) lighting and good sake.

Coffee place - Cafe International is a nice hangout

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tartine Bakery & Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Bi-Rite Creamery (attraction)
  3. Truly Mediterranean (restaurant)
  4. Toronado (restaurant)
  5. Cafe International (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (3)

answered first by
Carina from San Francisco

In terms of just walking around to see the epitome of San Francisco characters at their, your best bet is Haight Ashbury. However, for some great, non-touristy restaurants, and a feel for the newest "hipster" hang-outs, go to the Mission. Locanda is by far the most authentic Italian food in America that I have ever come across- if you go, you MUST get the Cacio e Pepe pasta. For your sweet tooth, go to Tartine Bakery & Cafe and get a chocolate croissant along with your coffee. If it's not too cold for ice cream, though, Bi-Rite Creamery, just across from their specialty-food store Bi-Rite Market, has some of San Francisco's most unique offerings of flavors- honey lavender, brown sugar, and balsalmic strawberry are some of my personal favorite. 

I see that you will be there for the weekend of the Santa Con! This is one of San Francisco's most epic spectacles of the year! On December 14th, thousands of people dressed in Santa suits will strut around town on an unofficial bar crawl, adding a decidedly festive, lively cheerfulness to the city's already-bustling holiday atmosphere. If you're up for taking part in this festival, I highly recommend doing so!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Locanda (restaurant)
  2. Tartine Bakery & Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Bi-Rite Creamery (attraction)
  4. Bi-Rite Market (attraction)
5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Victor from San Francisco

Toronado, but make sure to get the sausage next door.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Toronado (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by

There are some great boutiques on Height and Ashbury such as Haight Ashbury Vintage amongst lots of other stores along the street from one end to the other!  In Ashbury there are amazing crepe places and wine bars.  Just walking in the area you will find tons of options.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Haight Ashbury Vintage (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

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