Everyone thinks the Mission is the spot for the young, hip, and food savvy (we think we’re calling them “artisanal bros” now), but development along the stretch of Divisadero between Golden Gate and Haight is drawing plenty of food fans, for good reason. There’s no shortage of new favorites and places that have been around for decades, and you can easily make a day of sampling some of the best food in the city. Call it NoPa (North of the Panhandle), Western Addition, or just “Divis,” but don’t call it late for dinner because these few blocks have got it going on, food-wise. Here’s your blueprint for eating through the best day ever on Divis.
10:00 a.m. - Breakfast at The Mill
1:00 p.m. - Pick up lunch at Bi-Rite Market
1:15 p.m. - Hoof it one block up Hayes to picnic at Alamo Square Park
5:00 p.m. - Hit up happy hour at Bar Crudo
7:30 p.m. - Check out some live music at The Independent
10:30 p.m. - Grab a late dinner at Nopa
The Mill opens at 7 a.m. every morning, but by 10 the massive crowd has started to thin and you can find a seat. Order the $4 Cinnamon Toast. Yes, $4 toast embodies the sort of extravagance in San Francisco no one can stop talking about, but this stuff is transcendent. A thick piece of bread, coated with butter, and then coated with cinnamon and sugar. That’s how you start a day. Also, Four Barrel coffee.
If ever a store was made for unique gift giving, this “modern day general store” is it. They sell a host of interesting wares for the home. Plus, they have a full Warby Parker (yes, the glasses) studio in back, so you can spend some time choosing your next pair(s) of frames.
This corner spot is filled with thoughtfully-chosen jewelry, letterpressed cards, home goods, and other sweet surprises you’d expect to find in a cute corner spot. Many of the items are handmade; all of them are in great taste.
The newest location of this grocery store / ice cream stand / sandwich counter is a prime spot for California produce-ogling. Order any sandwich that catches your eye off the specials board or from the deli case and grab a drink from the refrigerator. Unsurprisingly Bi-Rite offers more varieties of kombucha than we can count on one hand, but there’s plenty of sparkling water to go around.
Enter the park on Hayes and Scott; the path to the top of the hill is a little less steep than the walk up Hayes Street. At the top: one of San Francisco’s most famous vistas, Painted Ladies in the foreground, downtown San Francisco and the bay behind. If you’re up for a walk and some ‘90s nostalgia, walk north 20 minutes to 1709 Broderick Street, the location of the Tanners’ house in Full House. (The house is painted purple now. No, they didn’t live on Alamo Square, only the opening credits sequence was filmed there.)
Bar Crudo hosts $1 oysters and $5 drink specials seven days a week, starting promptly at 5 p.m. Arrive early, as there’s usually a line. And snag a bar seat if you can – the people-watching is much better. Order a bowl of seafood chowder to go with your oysters and wine.
Perhaps the first spot to really bring the crowds to this stretch of Divis, The Independent attracts plenty of nationally-recognized acts, packing the 500-person venue most nights of the week. Shows typically start at 8 or 9 with ticket prices between $15 and $30. There’s plenty of room for standing and dancing if that’s your thing, but if you feel like chilling out snag one of the bench seats on either side of the venue. They’re raised, so you’ll still get a view. And the sound is great no matter where you are.
One of the few great spots that serves late in the city, Nopa serves its full dinner menu until 1 a.m. This place is perpetually packed and still one of the toughest reservations in town. Order the pork chop or the burger, definitely whichever seasonal salad comes with an egg on it, and a Blue Bottle (coffee) martini to finish – they’ll make it decaf if you ask. Even though it’s late, it’s worth making a reservation, especially toward the end of the week.