Mission District, The Mission. Whatever you wanna call it, this vibrant SF neighbourhood doesn’t mind. Anything goes in The Mish.

It’s the best place to get tacos and burritos (go to La Taqueria or a truck called El Gallo Giro), drink margaritas smuggled in by a friendly transvestite in Dolores Park, buy candles and sarapes, eat pizza at Tartine and oh, go to Mission Chinese for dinner. I was crazy drunk on a cross-cultural combination of sake and moscato that night and the only thing I remember is that meal so it had to be good.

You’ll find artisanal chocolate shops next to fusty charity shops, fancy patisseries (try Craftsman and Wolves) next to dodgy dollar stores and thrift stores that call a spade a spade (see below). One of the best things to do with your time is go street art spotting. My friend Ria and I found a hula hoop when we went.

Many of The Mish’s murals reflect its Latino cultural heritage. A few others make gender, or socio political statements, and the rest are art for art’s sake (and some are suitably weird).  

The art is ever-changing, but here's where to find some of the best murals:

  • Clarion Alley - between 17th St and 18th St, and Mission St and Valencia St. Shilo just painted one here.

  • Balmy Alley - between 24th and 25th Sts, and Treat and Harrison Sts

  • Women’s building at 3543 18th St

  • Carnaval murals - 24th St and South Van Ness Ave