Establishment neighborhood
3560 18th St., Mission
The gentrification of the Mission hasn't included a ton of new architecture, so Farina's neon sign and sleek modern build makes it stick out a little on the street—all the better, because their famous Neopolitan pizzas (cooked in a specially made oven) are not to be missed. The best seat in the house is the back patio, which is super lush, and benefits from the Mission's warmer microclimate (it's usually about 10 degrees warmer here than in the rest of the city). The entire patio can be rented out for private events, and the restaurant provides heat lamps that make it a good option year-round.
1199 Valencia St., Mission
The first thing you'll notice about Beretta is the elegant décor—industrial chandeliers dangle from the high ceilings and glass light fixtures dot the bar. One of the first spots that brought the Mission to culinary fame, they're best known for great Italian comfort food (don’t miss the thin crust pizzas and classic pastas) and an insanely good brunch (how can you not order the carbonara brunch pizza?). The upstairs event space is perfect for an event that feels sophisticated but with a little bit of cool factor.
The Scarlet Sage Herb Co.
1193 Valencia St., Mission
The word 'apothecary' gets thrown around a lot in reference to beauty shops, but this Mission store is in fact a real-deal apothecary, complete with shelves of medicinal herbs, natural remedies, and essential oils. It can be tough to make sense of it all, so thankfully the staff is knowledgeable and eager to help. For those looking to expand their horizons, there are informational books and a metaphysical department if you're into that sort of thing.
Trick Dog
3010 20th St., Mission
Located in the Mission, Trick Dog is sort of a classic hipster spot for craft cocktails—you can be almost certain that your bartender is going to be sporting a well-groomed beard and a handmade apron. But with that creativity and attention to detail comes a James Beard Award-nominated cocktail program that incorporates out-of-the-box ingredients into a seasonally changing cocktail list. Visitors also love their menus, which change every month and have been imaginatively shaped into a Pantone color wheel, a zodiac guide, and a map of San Francisco. Just don't try to steal one (trust us, they're on to you).
Mission Dolores
3321 16th St., Mission
Cultural history of San Francisco often focuses on the '60s, but Mission Dolores, the city's oldest standing building, is a gentle but firm reminder of San Francisco's long and fascinating history. Built in 1776, the mission has a simple exterior but a more opulent space for quiet prayer inside; a visit will feel like stepping into tiny old European churches, but with a distinctly California sensibility. While this is definitely a tourist destination, it's interesting to note that Mission Dolores is still an active parish of the Catholic church, with an elementary school and plenty of opportunities for worship if you're so inclined.
956 Valencia St., Mission
Corina Nurimba and Catherine Chow, the two Cornell grads behind Azalea, are big believers that shopping should be an experience, and a pleasant one at that. This means that customer service is priority number one at both the original Hayes Valley outpost and the newer one in the Mission. The stores are split into men's and women's sections and do a really great job of staying current and affordable with the brand offering but not super trend-driven in the assortment (Topman and Nudie jeans for guys; OAK, T by Alexander Wang, and the house line for gals).
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