CONVERSATIONS ABOU T SAN Francisco’s Mission District aren’t ruly complete without the requisite “it’s changed so much.” Depending on the timeline, however, change is relative. Often used as an example in these discussions, Valencia Street was named after either Jose Manuel Valencia or his son Candelario Valencia
and is at least 169 years old; the street also possibly predates San Francisco’s formal naming in 1847. From the beginning the thoroughfare housed an ethnically
mixed population, as shown by an 1866 court case involving a dispute over a plot
of land bet ween the Valencias and John Cabot. In the 20th century, residences
and businesses flanked the drag, and by the late 1970s Valencia Street had a
reputation as a female-friendly place, with the establishment of the Women’s
Building, numerous lesbian bars and Old Wives’ Tales, a feminist bookstore.
Outsiders mostly overlooked the area until the 1990s dot-com boom. Tech
money placed boutiques, bars and artisanal coffee shops between the already
existing taquerias, transforming the neighborhood into one of the Mission’s
main commercial zones, known as the Valencia corridor. KASIA PAWLOWSKA
CIT Y STREETS
In Marin / CURRENTS
WHERE TO EAT Aside from the restaurants mentioned, other
popular eateries nearby include Beretta, Cha-Ya, Curry Up Now,
DOSA, Duna, Limon Rotisserie, Locanda, Lolinda, Puerto Alegre,
Souvla, Tacolicious, Taqueria La Cumbre, Udupi Palace and West
of Pecos, among others.
WHERE TO PARK There are two lots and a garage in the neighbor-
hood in addition to street parking. The Comb Parking lot is at 606
Capp Street; the other lot is at 2351 Mission Street between 19th
and 20th streets; and the Mission-Bartlett garage is on 21st Street
between Bartlett and Valencia. Street parking can be tricky.
Colorful patterns dominate the
space, which features Thai-Isaan and Lao street food.
Be sure to check out Holy
Mountain, the tiki bar upstairs
in the back. hawkerfare.com
CRAF TSMAN AND WOLVES
Guests will find egg-filled muffins known
as the Rebel Within, bonbons, coffee
and many other sweet and savory baked
goods at this contemporary pâtisserie.
Once upon a time a real
chapel, this spot now
includes live music,
a bar and a restored
40-foot arched ceiling.
The adjoining restaurant,
The Vestry, offers late-night
eats and craft cocktails. thechapelsf.com
Stumped for a gift? Look no further.
Paxton Gate has everything from
ethically sourced taxidermy to home
goods, plants, gardening supplies and
other fun goodies. paxtongate.com
LITTLE PAPER PLANES
Since 2004, the boutique
has been spotlighting art
and design not only by
selling it, but also with
its artists’ collaborations
and events. Here guests
will find prints, books,
apparel and jewelry.
DOG EARED BOOKS
This airy bookshop has been stocking a
wide variety of new, used and remaindered
books, including small-press titles, since
The eco-friendly, on-trend women’s
clothing label opened its fifth store
in February, complete with fancy
new touch screens in fitting rooms.
XANATH ICE CREAM
Frozen yogurt, organic ice
cream and vegan treats
can be found here, in addition to fresh saffron and
This vibrant family-owned
restaurant uses local
ingredients and offers nontraditional and inventive
Mexican food. lolosf.com