Modern Guide to Valencia Street: Endless Eats, Craft Cocktails + Street Art in SF’s Hipster Enclave
As the modern hub of San Francisco's vibrant Mission District, Valencia Street is home to some of the city's hottest destination eateries, funky independent shops, most crowded watering holes, and eye-popping murals.
And just when it seems the street can't get busier it does: Forget dining sans reservation here, or even walking at a brisk pace on the sidewalk on a sunny Saturday. And while we locals will continue to lament the ongoing closures of neighborhood mainstay businesses as the Mission continues to gentrify, it seems there's always something new and shiny to catch our eyes.
When your belly is full and your pockets are empty, walk over to the 16th & Mission Bart Station to find your way home.
Best Restaurants on Valencia Street in San Francisco
flour+water pizzeria on Instagram: “Burrata, tomato, basil, chili We love this classic red pie! #crustamove . . . . . . #missionsf #sfpizza #burrata #sfeats #sffoodie #eater…”
Come to Valencia Street hungry. The colorful, quirky decor paired with creative Mexican dishes makes for a fun dining experience at Lolo (974 Valencia St.). Munch on ceviche and plates of tacos, and wash it all down with a couple mezcal cocktails. // Hawker Fare (680 Valencia St.) serves Asian street food in an eye-catching environment with fun tunes and tiki drinks to match. Bring a bunch of friends and order as much as possible. // Enjoy momo and curries at casual Nepalese spot Dancing Yak (280 Valencia St.). // On the opposite end of Valencia, fresh seafood and local produce shine in inventive dishes in a relaxed atmosphere at Al's Place (1499 Valencia St.). // Hidden just off Valencia in a modern setting, vegans and carnivores alike flock to Shizen (370 14th St.) for a life-changing vegan sushi experience. Get there early, and be prepared to wait a couple hours for some of the most flavorful specialty rolls and vegetables you've ever eaten. // On a foggy day, tuck into a heaping bowl of pho or a rice plate at bustling Vietnamese eatery Mau (665 Valencia St.). // For charcuterie, cheese-centric dishes, and a large selection of wine by the bottle and glass, pay Mission Cheese (736 Valencia St.) a visit. // For a healthyish salad or sandwich (and maybe a glass of wine and some Greek froyo), head to Souvla (758 Valencia St.). Don't want to wait for a table? Take it to go for a picnic at nearby Dolores Park. // If you're on the hunt for equally cheap and tasty eats, the pupusas at Panchita's Restaurant No 2 (3091 16th St.) will certainly do the job. // Pregame a night of Valencia street barhopping with a burrito the size of your face and plenty of chips and guac at Taqueria El Buen Sabor (697 Valencia St.)—they're open till 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you're craving Italian, you've come to the right street. Round up your friends and enjoy a couple of Neapolitan-style zucchini- or sausage-topped pies at the newly opened Flour + Water Pizzeria (700 Valencia St.). Score a seat outside for prime people watching or, if you're in a hurry, grab a gourmet slice at the takeout window. // Locanda (557 Valencia St.) serves Roman-inspired dishes—including mouthwatering plates of fresh pasta—in a sophisticated setting. Even with 90 seats, it fills up, so make a reservation. // Further up Valencia, Beretta (1199 Valencia St.) is another lively spot with perfect date night ambiance. Choose some antipasto from a lengthy list before diving into a plate of risotto or a pizza. // If a pasta bar is more your speed, Barzotto (1270 Valencia St.) is a must. Heaping bowls of hand-rolled pasta and bottles of wine ordered at the counter and enjoyed from high top tables make for a chill dinner out.
Coffee, Tea & Sweets
Start your day with a pour over at Ritual Coffee (1026 Valencia St.) or a steaming cup of joe at Four Barrel Coffee (375 Valencia St.). // If tea's more your thing, you can never go wrong with a helping of Masala chai from the steaming copper pot at Samovar Teahouse Cafe (411 Valencia St.). // Or, grab a matcha latte and Japanese fare at Stonemill Matcha (561 Valencia St.). // Boba aficionados love Boba Guys (3491 19th St.) for their now-iconic tapioca drinks—just be prepared to wait in line. // For pastries and tarts almost too pretty too eat—plus the famous, egg-y Rebel Within—head to Craftsman and Wolves (746 Valencia St.). // If you're on the hunt for vegan pastries that won't break the bank, be sure to stop at Arizmendi Panaderia & Pizzeria (1268 Valencia St.). Snack on a slice of veggie pizza or a focaccia on their sunny parklet. // Nothing is better than fresh ice cream at Garden Creamery (3566 20th St.) on a hot day. Pick from tropical flavors, creamy classics, and a selection of vegan options. // Taste small batch chocolate made of cacao beans sourced from around the world before sipping on a decadent frozen hot chocolate or European drinking chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate (740 Valencia St.).
Grab Drinks at Valencia Street's Hottest Bars
Bon Voyage! on Instagram: “Anyone else missing last week’s long weekend? A Tuesday afternoon cocktail seems like just the ticket. Come pull up a stool! 🕺🏻🌴🦁”
With mirrors, wood floors, and gold honeycomb accents, the 60's vibes are swingin' at The Beehive (842 Valencia St.). On weekends, you'll find the retro-inspired bar buzzing with patrons sipping highballs and snacking on cheese fondue. // Hidden behind an unassuming front, you'll find Wildhawk's (3464 19th St.) impeccably designed interior—complete with emerald armchairs and floral wallpaper. Enjoy a vermouth house cocktail or bottle of wine while perched atop a zebra-print stool. // For globally inspired drinks—think Singapore Slings and a Marbella—prepared with a wink (think Kit-Kats for garnish) intended to be paired with Chinese bites (think dumplings and fried rice) in a tropical-meets disco space (yeah, you read that right), Bon Voyage (584 Valencia St.) is one of a kind. // Choose from nine draft beers, wines by the glass, and cocktails at what was once the beloved Elbo room and is now The Valencia Room (647 Valencia St.). Then, climb the stairs for live music and DJ sets. // On a sunny evening, snag an outside table at Etcetera Wine Bar (795 Valencia St.) for people watching, and tapas. // No frills Mission establishment Zeitgeist (199 Valencia St.) is one of the best spots for day drinking in the neighborhood. Kick it at one of the many picnic tables on their outdoor patio with a cold beer or famous Bloody Mary. // A Valencia institution since 1991, Blondie's Bar (540 Valencia St.) has live music on weekdays and DJs on Thursdays. Sip a signature martini on the jam-packed, streetrfront patio. // From comedy to bluegrass, there's entertainment at Amnesia (853 Valencia St.)—and craft beers on tap, too—every night of the week.
Where to Shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco
Le Point on Instagram: “Perfect day for some shopping 💫 . . . #lavendarandteal #newarrivals #cactus4life #shoplepoint”
Stylish Threads for Girls & Guys
For pieces that are equally stylish and sustainable, Reformation (914 Valencia St.) is a must. The minimalist decor and high-tech dressing rooms make for an easy shopping experience and allow the romantic dresses and trendy tops to shine. // Pick up wear-everyday basics with a chic twist including denim, casual dresses, and chunky sweaters at Everlane (461 Valencia St.), another sustainable favorite in a light filled space. While you're there, invest in a pair of super comfy sneakers from their new line, Tread—your feet will thank you! // Fashionistas will be obsessed with Le Point (301 Valencia St.), a concept store specializing in high fashion pieces from designers including Opening Ceremony, Veda, and Tibi. You'll also find home and beauty goods in the sleek, museum like shop. // Hip girls and guys will love Azalea (956 Valencia St.) for brands including Alexander Wang, Citizens of Humanity, and their own line. Find your next pair of uniform jeans from their large denim section, or a statement dress for a rare sunny day. // The Voyager Shop (365 Valencia St.) is your one stop shop for statement pieces sourced from brands worldwide including Paloma Wool, AMU, and Veja, plus a curated collection of ceramics and gifts in an aesthetically pleasing space. // Home to colorful Carolina K dresses and structural Samuji pieces for girls and Universal Works shirts and Levi's denim for guys, plus much more, in an industrial setting, Aggregate Supply (806 Valencia St.) is a trendsetter's paradise. // // The hip, industrial shop, Self Edge (714 Valencia St.), houses high quality denim and leather goods for guys. // For messenger bags, cycling accessories, and technical apparel that is equally durable and styling, Chrome Industries (962 Valencia St.) has you covered. // Betabrand's (780 Valencia St.) laid-back flagship store stocks pieces designed and crowdfunded by real people including Dress Pant Yoga Pants and Executive Hoodies. // Looking for a perfectly worn in addition to your closet? Check out Afterlife (988 Valencia St.) for a collection of curated vintage items ranging from graphic t's and Levi's to statement pieces. // If you're on the hunt for a one of a kind vintage piece, NO (389 Valencia St.) also offers a large selection of hand picked items—including designer finds—at reasonable price points.
Gifts + Home Goods
Whether you're in search of a Free People top, unique pair of earrings, candle, or cheeky BlueQ knickknack, you'll find it at gift store-clothing boutique hybrid Therapy (545 Valencia St.). // Go in the curated Needles & Pens (1173 Valencia St.) shop to pick up a hostess gift, and chances are you'll leave with a couple zines, ceramic goods, and handcrafted soaps for yourself. // Often Wander (593 Valencia St.) is a cute spot to snag an organic, eco-friendly candle, or boho statement necklace. // There's nothing better than having shelves upon shelves of books at your fingertips. Pick up a novel at Dog Eared Books (900 Valencia St.) and unplug for the afternoon. // If you're looking to redecorate, you'll surely fall in love with a couple locally sourced pieces of furniture or decor at home and bath goods store Acacia (415 Valencia St.). // Spruce up your home with Paxton's Gate's (824 Valencia St.) ethically sourced taxidermy, succulents, and other oddities. // One man's trash is another man's treasure at Community Thrift Store (623 Valencia St.), a Valencia Street staple since 1982. You'll find furniture, home goods, clothing, jewelry, and much more inside this cavernous space.
Things to Do While You're in the Mission
ITZE on Instagram: “#prideafterhours”
If you're all shopped out, there are a plethora of ways to chill around Valencia Street. When the fog burns off, make the couple block trek to Dolores Park (Dolores and 19th St.)—along with the rest of the city. Grab some goods for a makeshift picnic at Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th St.) and a couple of bottles of Rosé and get ready to soak up the sun. // Check out the Mission's abundance of vibrant street art with a stroll around the neighborhood—start at the Valencia-adjacent Clarion Alley (between 17th and 18th streets), filled with murals by local artists. // Catch a movie at the stylish Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (2550 Mission St.), where elevated theater fare, draft beers, and frosé are delivered to your seat. // Or, get tickets to a concert at The Chapel (777 Valencia St.)—a converted chapel turned music venue—with artists to please every type of music fan. // Speaking of "chapels": The Assembly (449 14th St.) is a beautiful coworking space and clubhouse where women congregate for fitness classes, wellness talks, and special events.
In the mood for a sweat sesh? Get rock-hard abs with a full body reformer class or cycling class at BodyRok (3585 20th St.). // Take one of Burn SF's (1043 Valencia St.) heart-pumping classes combining mat pilates with HIIT techniques. // Get your zen on—and a great work out in—during a Vinyasa Flow class at Yoga Tree (1234 Valencia St.). // Love Story Yoga (473 Valencia St.) also offers Vinyasa classes that are sure to boost your strength and flexibility and clear your mind.
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#OftenWander #Blondie'sBar #Shizen #Paxton'sGate #TheVoyagerShop