The Civic Kitchen
2961 Mission St., The Mission
The Civic Kitchen is an entirely purpose-built (meaning every amenity is built to spec) cookery school in San Francisco’s Mission district. More than just a kitchen, this space is a fully immersive culinary experience for the gourmand with floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with cookbooks for inspiration, a large communal table for meal sharing, and the cook space itself, which feels like the cozy, well-designed kitchen of a friend. The classes are intended to be practical—themed around building meals and menus rather than zoning in on individual, complicated dishes. Choose to learn how to pull together a full Sunday brunch, how to cook a chicken and assorted grains ahead of time for easier meal-making during the week, or, if the mood strikes you, how to prepare a full celebratory Chinese new year dinner (dumplings, noodles, steamed fish, the works). The school has over a dozen chefs on staff (each one with their own particular area of expertise) and classes never go above fourteen students.
2900 18th St., The Mission
The team at Heath, one of our long-time favorite SF and LA destinations for gorgeous mid-century-inspired minimal tableware, has nailed the aspect of creating a true community by opening a neighborhood newsstand.
595 Alabama St., The Mission
Opened a year ago, Tartine's light-filled, warehouse-like offshoot is a foodie paradise with lines out the door to prove it. There are the same amazing breakfast and lunch options you can find at the original location, but here you'll also find beer and wine, a soft-serve machine, and (blessedly) a full-on dinner menu. There's a separate, and semi-secret, line for people who are just buying bread and jam, but if you want to wait for something from the full breakfast menu, or a gem from their pastry case, there's a Blue Bottle next door offering sustenance and caffeine in the meantime.
Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Café
740 Valencia St., The Mission
Founded by two friends, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring—who got their start roasting up cocoa beans just for fun in a garage—Dandelion Chocolate sources the highest-quality beans, and, in small batches, crafts incredible chocolate that really draws on the complex flavors of every bean. At their Valencia Street café, you can grab a hot chocolate (or an espresso drink and a pastry made in-house by Executive Pastry Chef Lisa Vega) and watch the entire bean-to-bar process from start to finish. And, of course, you can get your hands on their amazing chocolate offerings. In addition to their Mission District location, they also have a spot in the nearby Ferry Building (as well as a factory and café in Tokyo).
3106 16th St., The Mission
Ice cream sandwiches steal the show at Cream, from waffle-based to cookie, brownie, mini-sized, gluten-free, and vegan. There are locations in a few states now, and in addition to this SF shop, there's also a second outpost in Stonestown Galleria. Also, note: Cream caters—and what's more awesome than an ice cream sandwich bar?
1069 York St., The Mission
Reiki and spiritual healing are definitely not for everyone, but if it's not your first alternative therapy rodeo, Tanya Corona is kind of a one-stop-shop. She's trained in Reiki, chakra clearing, and crystal and sound healing, and her healing activation sessions combine a little bit of everything.
Yoga to the People
2973 16th St., The Mission
YTTP's mission is to make yoga available to everyone—meaning their classes are donation-based, and you only contribute the suggested $10 (or other dollar amount of your choice) if you can. Their particular yoga brand is power vinyasa flow. The YTTP studio has a changing room, bathroom, spot for your belongings, but no showers. There's also a location in Berkeley.
Small Trade Company
550 Florida St., The Mission
Founder and designer Matt Dick has roots in traditional Japanese design, and it shows: Whether it’s the heavy canvas aprons, linen smocks, or wool blankets, everything has a distinct utilitarian simplicity to it that makes for the best kind of workwear (clients include Mast Brothers and Blue Bottle coffee). The Small Trade Co. space above Heath Ceramics (also a client) serves as both workshop and showroom.
Veer & Wander Apothecary
6 Brady St., The Mission
The specialty at Veer & Wander is beauty products from niche and exclusive brands like Cake, Verso, and Bellmondo, and for balance, owner Connie McGrath mixes in luxe vanity-table standbys like Ellis Faas, and Balmain haircare, and most recently, goop's own organic line of skincare. The full-service salon next door is the place to go for trend-driven cuts and color—think: perfect blunt bobs and mermaid hair.
El Techo de Lolinda
2518 Mission St., The Mission
This is a local favorite for great margaritas (which should arguably be ordered only by the pitcher) and big sweeping views of the city. The vibe is cozy, and while there are ample heat lamps to keep you warm as the sun goes down, this place is really best for day drinking—get there early enough put in a brunch order.
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