The birthplace of the Bay area was at a now vanished lagoon named after the Lady of Sorrows--Dolores in 1776. You can find California's newest historical plaque marking this spot less than half a block from the intersection of 16th & Valencia. Today magazines across the country talk about this locale as  the West Coast's "most happening" You will find all manner of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops catering to one of the most diverse and eclectic communities anywhere.
Till recently, most visitors began and ended their visit at nearby Mission Dolores which was built in 1787 at the base of the extraordinary neighborhood known officially as the Liberty Hill Historic District and more commonly as the hill above Dolores Park.
Yesterday and today the Mission has been a crossroads for many immigrants making it the center of San Francisco's most vibrant street life. Not just for the 60,000 living within its borders but also as the home of the Mission Miracle Mile which by day is the main working class shopping street for the Peninsula and by night the coolest twenty-something pub cruising zone.  A ironic contrast worthy of a modern art museum.
Since the 1950's the Mission's dominant culture has been syncretic Latin. While Mexican food is popular the specialties of Central America and the Andes are featured. Yet these immigrants are much like those who came before, dreaming the golden dream of a big house in a safe neighborhood and a better life for their children. There is a big city edge to the Mission and lots of problems and problem solvers. Not every visitor will want to come here.  Only the good weather is expected to remain in the near term and debate about change is a hot topic particularly amongst the Latin and bohemian populations being displaced. You can follow this story in the New Mission News the paper of record located at our sister site,
Introduction to the Mission District by SFCVisitor'sBuerau
How to get there Transit Guide
Latin Food & Drink
Latin food is found everywhere in the Bay Area but is most plentiful here in the Mission district. The key ingredient is Salsa, a spicy mix of tomato, onion and chili sauce and sometimes very hot chilies. Most meals begin with chips and salsa and will be served with rice and beans. The beans are usually served refried but black whole beans are popular too. You'll also be given a choice between corn or flour tortillas. The many burrito parlors generally give you a large choice of fresh ingredients and a choice of hot or mild salsa. The Mission is proud to have few chains and especially no "wrap" parlors with their more exotic fills. You can find one of the world's oldest burrito parlors El Faro (2399 Folsom @20th) founded in 1961.
El Salvadorian and Peruvian food is widely available in the Mission at many Latin restaurants and feature an emphasis on seafood,
Two favorites not to miss:
Loma Saltado strips of beef sautéed with onion green pepper and french fries in delicious sauce
?404?">Pupusa:: Fresh Tortilla filled with meat and/or cheese and garnished with a tangy shredded cabbage sauce generally at a bargain price
There are 62 SF Mexican Restaurants ranked by diners at and it is no surprise that Pancho Villa Taqueria at  3071 16th near Mission took a top ranking. The other two in the winner's circle you may not have heard of since they are near the Ocean and in the Sunset Tommy's Casa Aguila.
Click here to buy this book at Now >Burritos by sidewalk
Best 5 burritos in  the Mission on Local kids love the Mission's and their  picks
Picante, muy picante!" Get it here now
What one reviewer said about the book to our left "These two hooligans have really burrowed through all the beans, to unearth some of the most accurate and palatable information on burritos published."
Cinco de Mayo FOOD Links
?404? -
``Vale la pena,'' a salsa recipe || Leftover tortillas
by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, author of ``Healthy Mexican Cooking"

Mexican Panaderia Recipes by
There's dozens of Latin-style bakeries with great prices and fresh treats.

Maté on the move by Seattle Times
A new stimulant drink from South America

Favorite Latin Restaurants by Latinolink
Cha Cha Cha has a new 2nd location near Mission & 20th St
Restaurants with Cuban Food by
4 in the Mission and 4

Favorite Taco spots and glossary by sidewalk

Where to Eat
The diversity of San Francisco's  3,000 restaurants is astounding.
HOTTEST BLOCK: Mission between 19th & 20th starring   Charanga's a colorful comfortable  Caribbean  Latin tapas restaurant.  When its too busy there's 
Cha Cha Cha at the Original McCarthy's or go traditional Mission at the excellent Peruvian restaurant across the street,  Fina Estampa . Some people say the roasted chicken at the corner Pete's Bar-B-Que is the best in town. Mission Villa next to Bruno's  is the City's oldest Mexican restaurant. Park behind the old El Capitan theatre marquee

sfgate_blk.gif (1281 bytes)'s Bay Area's Best 100 Restaurants of 1999 Congratulations to the following 6 Mission cool spots A-B || C-F 1) DELFINA G - O 2) LA TAQUERIA  P-Z   3) SLANTED DOOR 4) TI COUZ, 5) UNIVERSAL CAFE, 6) ZUNI CAFE
SFgates's 28 Mission/ Bernal Heights/ Glen Park 

Top Restaurants of the Inner Mission

Mission contains everybody's favorite form of diversity: a wide variety of cuisines at bargain prices. Criteria Selection Our compiled list required a web review (which you can access nearby) 2) a location between Dolores & Potrero and 14th & Cortland (basically the  94110 zip code)  3) dinner hours and 4) reasonable prices  of less than $15 per entree.

Top 49 Places to Eat in the Mission

Picks in Nearby Neighborhoods
Bargain Restaurants in the Greater Mission Neighborhoods

Music & Nightlife
The 1999 opening of the
Beauty Bar at the corner of Mission & 19th established a new frontier line on the Miracle Mile and brought the beauty, glamour, and cocktails of New York to the Left coast's most fascinating stretch of watering holes. However there has never been a club with greater pre-opening buzz than opening next to the New Mission Theatre in the Fall of 1999
Mission Clubs & Bars | Casanova -  Club Tueffel || Cosmo- Elbow Room ||  Esta Noche - Kilowatt || ?404?"">Latin American Club  - Mariposa Tango Club ||Sadie's Flying Elephant -Treat Street Cocktails || ?404?">
Uptown to Zeightgeist Get much insight inc.\ event schedules on the 69 dark arts spots of  the  94110 zip code

  December '96 10-club mid Mission JAUNTby SAM WHITING, Chronicle Staff Writer || clubs and map
"All 10 clubs still alive & kicking high"
Live from the Tip Top Inn Chix-vs-Dix by
Their debut Stream  (Oct. '98) from at 3001 Mission St. @ 26th

Top Clubs:  Our picks are based on recent awards, rumors and innuendo of what's new & who's cool, cross-cultural happenings like music & dance of the Carnaval variety and a community involvement
?404?">Bahia Cabana,
Blondie's Bar & No Grill, ?404? - Bruno's, Elbo Room, Liquid, and the new 

3140 Mission St. (between Cesar Chavez and Precita) (415) 648-6611
The famous old Cesar's Palace dancehall is back with the
vengeance of a million dollar make-over and a dinner menu.

station.gif (10627 bytes) Mission Bars by
Find a few words on 21 leading joints

Other Mission Business
Mission|| books|| cafes|| clothes|| film|| fine arts|| footwear|| furniture|| galleries|| music|| restaurants|| specialty|| theatre|| video||
Round World Music
|| Email:[email protected]
DJ & world musicologist Robert Leaver writes about the local scene in

Parks & Recreation
Dolores Park - review from
My Park: Dolores Park, Emil returns to his home away from home.

Mission Dolores

One of 21 Missions on the ?404?">Mission trail  Mission Dolores features a museum, a graveyard, gift shop and a beautiful Basilica with the customary alcove dedicated to Latin America's great patron saint the Lady of Guadeloupe. You'll also find over a dozen nearby churches whose founders likely sensed the special energy in this area. The newest is the Gay Jewish synagogue across the street 
Virtual tour of Mission Dolores by

The Mission District

The Story of the Mission District By KQED-TV9
From the Ohlone Indians who lived simply in peace and harmony for 10,000 years to the Central Americans Immigration
cal-72x96-century.gif (2977 bytes)

Roaring Twenties Part 2 of 7 || Mayor Sunny Jim Rolph   San Francisco's greatest Mayor from 1911 to 1930 and a proud Mission home boy. "There are Smiles That Make You Happy" was his  Carnaval theme song. His home at 21st & Sanchez should be landmarked
In search of Adolph Sutro
By Annalee Newitz by
Before there was the Sutro Tower there was the Triumph of Light This Mayor went the Carnaval distance to build cheap transportation and entertainment for the people
Mission Moments SF Library collecting photos for display
"The Mission is still changing. Now," says Kate Connell, the Mission librarian, the new immigrants are ``recent college graduates.''
Life long resident Leo Sapienza remembers

Present & Future of the Mission
I Love speaking Spanish in the Mission
by sfgate's Fernando Quintero
"I like reading the newspapers in the Mission. They print stories in both English and Spanish. And they do a much better job of covering my neighborhood than the mainstream press does, which is usually limited to entries in special sections about race, or coverage of parades and ethnic pride celebrations, or stories about crime, poverty or some other social pathology."

Emil Guillermo Returns to his old Neighborhood
Part of the New City series. Emil has his own page for and is  moderator of "NCM:New California Media/News and Views from the New Majority," on KCSM-TV
Mission Clandestino  CD Review By Josh Kun October 21, 1998
Ex-Mano Negra leader Manu Chao, ready to face the end, waiting for "the last sign that maybe he won't be swallowed whole by the 21st century."
Hispanic Life Meets The
Limiting lofts by By Angela Rowen
San Francisco's Planning Commission
has imposed
a moratorium on lofts some say SF will explore new zoning others say "election year ploy"
Mission's New Wave: Artists & Latinos Concerned by
``We want to make sure that this remains an arts district,'' Judy West said. ``Twenty-five years ago, the artists cleaned up the neighborhood. Now, all our industrial buildings are being turned into software companies.''

Whitewashing Lilli-ann

"OpNet is putting words into action and demonstrating that the people of San Francisco place importance on creating jobs that will build a better future for young people in the multimedia industry" San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown

Kids & Families:
Former Mission  District resident Whoopie Goldberg scored her biggest screen success based on a story set in the Mission District. "Sister Act" was filmed in the neighborhood surrounding St. Paul's Parish at Church & 28th.. Sister Act II repeated the always refreshing story of redemption through the arts of song, dance and story. As California schools mark their 20 year aniverssay in last place for school arts funding successful Mission programs continue to show that great things are possible by feeding the right side of the brain
Youth Arts Education in
The public presentation of youth arts gives programs accountability and credibility. Parades must be recognized and supported as more than party themes. Carnaval San Francisco, despite desire and demonstrated success has no children & youth program which doesn't consider dropping out each year for lack of resources
"Every kid is beautiful inside"
Capoeria Masters teach a dance to young adults who learn the balance between taking up a challenge and moving in the rhythm.
A Call for Carnival Arts Education

London based Caribbean festival arts expert  Dr. Patricia Tamara Alleyne-Dettmers thinks the Universities should get with the program

Mexican Bus Mural Tours
Hop on "El Volado," the Mexican Bus for a fun 3-hour tour of  murals
BART Mural Tour
Precita Eyes mural walks are always guided

?404?">Mission Fiesta Visitor Itinerary
One of ?404?">3 Latin Neighborhoods featured in ?404?"> a 1998 project of the California Cultural Tourism Coalition with 13 culturally themed adventures
The Mission

"In the Mission, Latinos and bohos have been increasingly displaced by Silicon Valley stock-option insta-millionaires while trendy restaurants and boutiques have sprung up along Valencia "" Street."
16th Street by SFgate
At its nexus of Valencia is easily accessable on BART and offers one of the most surreal encounters with diversity this side of Star Wars

Valencia Street
The only thing constant is change: There is no street changing faster in San Francisco than Valencia. The intense metro working class shopping district of the  Mission Miracle Mile one block over has not impacted the quiet Valencia corridor for decades. The big change in 1999 was the loss of through traffic with the expansion of bike lanes. Another  mortuary is converting to a school as Synergy joins New College for the new millennium. The restaurant hub at 22nd & Valencia saw the addition of its most elegant diner room, the 69 seat Watergate  Three churches have expanded in recent years and smaller independent  bookstores remain plentiful with Dog Eared Books expanding. Lots more square footage is devoted to home furnishings on the upscale side. Radio Valencia  survived another year without a fire truck driving into its dining room.

Dolores and Valencia Corridor by sfgate
With some words about Dolores Street and a '98 list of worthy spots

24th Street
Shopping for ingredients on 24th St. by sfgate

Scouring 3 ethnic markets for traditional ingredients
24th Street Guide to the Mission by
"Many consider 24th Street to be the true heart of the Mission. "

Latin Arts At one time the big three for Latin Arts in the Mission also included the Mexican Museum which is now building a magnificent structure  at Yerba Buena Gardens.  They all share long histories of fostering creative talent and asking important questions. 
Galleria de la Raza ||
[email protected] || links || events || 2857 24th Street, 415-826-8009.
Also has a gift store in the annex
(irregular hours)

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
Theatre, Gallery,  Dance & Music classes keep things lively

The Brava Theater Center || [email protected] || 2781 24th St. 415.641.7657 The City helped BRAVA Women for the Arts take over the decaying gem as a cornerstone of the 24th Street Revitalization Project a task force initiated by long departed Supervisor Jim Gonzalez to try to create at Latin tourist Mecca. In 1995  Treasurer Susan Leal invested the limited SFRA funds in this building. Check out the emblems high above depicting all the countries of the hemisphere. 
Precita Eyes Mural CenterPrecita Eyes || [email protected] ||
Visitors Center at 2981 24th Street  415-285-2287 (also 348 Precita 285-2311)
Two of America's most important mural environments are located on 24th Street Balmy Alley (near Harrison) and the Mini Park (irregular hours)

Sweet question? How is it that so many of the best known names in chocolate and ice cream got their start in San Francisco? We don't have the answer but suggest you conduct you own study be taking a closer look at two of the longest standing Mission competitors.
St. Francis Fountain make their candy and ice cream on site or  Mitchell's Ice Cream w/ easy parking less than a mile away.

?404?"">anderias or Mexican Bakeries with their tantalizing variety of selection are plentiful on 24th Street. Its OK to grab
too many on your tray with the tongs, you'll be amazed at the low prices. Don't resist all   healthy fruits & veggies blazing colorfully from the sidewalk.  There's lots of fast food and inexpensive eats on 24th Street and a few but growing number of gringo business. The the coffee house to see and be seen are at either end,in the Brava Theatre building near the parking garage and Cafe la Boheme in the Dance Mission building at the 24th Street BART
burrito1_t.gif (2990 bytes)Casa Sanchez  trades burritos for tattoos
Original burrito parlor of famous chips & salsa purveyor knows how to make lifetime customers. Dogs welcome on the outdoor patio. for special meat-and-rice dish.

Mission South of Cesar Chavez
The top of Bernal Hill offers one of the best 360 degree views of the Bay Area and a chance to explore some of San Francisco's magical hidden stairways and mini-parks. Before leaving the summit envision yourself atop a pre-
Colombian pyramid and pay homage to the four directions. with some advance planning you can you can pick a direction to travel in and be assured of a nice respite at the base. If you walk West to  Mission street consider two of the Mission's most charming coffeehouses a Cafe Abo 3369 Mission St. (at 30th St.) or Cafe Commons 3161 Mission St.(near Precita). Bernal's commercial center is South on Cortland Street where the ?404?">Progressive Grounds Coffee House at the corner of  Bennington is the most prominent of your five cafe options (Deli Pub, Liberty Wine Bar, Moon Cafe & Martha's) The Eastern route will take you over the 101 freeway to Bayshore and SF's oldest restaurant The Old Clam House Going North you should consider Park Bench Cafe which overlooks pretty Precita Park with an excellent kid's play area and a Rec Center run by Mission Neighborhood Centers.  The first San Francisco Carnaval was held hear in 1979.

Arts & Theatre District
Artists have been gravitating to the Mission for many decades. North Beach may have had the reputation but the Mission had the cheap rents, food, and ambiance of an arts district since the 1960's.
Mission Arts DATABASE by
Here's our sister's attempt to be comprehensive and provide you with a database to sort by discipline, zip code of alpha
Artists' Television Access || Events || [email protected]
Besides shows, classes, and workshops you can make them too.
?404? - Intersection for the Arts
Cutting edge entertainment across a wide spectrum for 30 plus years.
Creativity Explored
Full-time visual arts center for disabled adults and great gift store
SF Mime Troupe
Celebrating its 40th year in 1999 the internationally renowned group of theatrical satirists make audiences laugh at the absurdities of life || [email protected]
a breeding ground for new performance is growing to 3 spaces
Connecting art, culture, and community through artist and audiences.
Theatre Rhinoceros
Theatrical work by gay and lesbian artists addressing gay issues.

Film & Video
Roxie Cinema || Schedule
San Francisco's Premier Independent Cinema Theater || The Castro Calendar by sidewalk ||
A Cathedral of Cinema, SF's favorite theatre, the house organ   still plays and the grand venue often sells out at 429 Castro & 16th/ Market
El Rio Outdoor Cinema || directions
In the courtyard of the Mission's El Rio bar. 3158 Mission St. (at Precita)   1998 inaugural  season concluded with a two-part Day of the Dead tribute to the late Akira Kurosawa. May to November

Red Vic Movie House
|| The Red Vic Calendar by sidewalk
rep, cult and premiere independent films.

discounts, Spansih Sub-titles, DVD, related pics at  REEL now
Movie Matches at
Mission Murals by
"no part of the city nurtures its artists more than the Mission District. In fact, the entire neighborhood is like one big outdoor museum that's open all the time."
Mission's Oldest Murals by
?404?">Latino Mission Murals Photo story by Dean Coppola

"Although many younger male Latino artists prefer to do spray-can art murals, even some of them are slowly turning toward traditional murals, which last longer."

SomArts SMRC Mural Resource Center ||  Theater || Technical Services ||  Gallery || [email protected] 934 Brannan St. S F,  94103 phone 415.552.2131 fax 415.522.0136
Precita Eyes Mural Center || murals 1 || murals 2 || murals 3 || Murals 4
"photographs taken of copyrighted murals for the purpose of reproduction can only be used with written permission from the muralists"
Dedicated to enhancing the neighborhood with murals, as well as educating and involving others elsewhere in community arts projects. Susan Cervantes is the founder and director of Precita Eyes Murals.

Precita Eyes does collaborative art  in Russia

May Mural Awareness Month by

Reclaim May Day
Maypole in Dolores Park. Art & Revolution Street Theatre too

Parade on 24th & Mission Streets is on the first Sunday in May
Animal Wingding by A June Saturday
Afro Solo LogoAfro Solo Festival August 14 - 29, 1999
- San Francisco - theatre and performing arts company presenting a feast of African American art, culture, intellect and entertainment.

SF Indie Fest || [email protected]
The 2nd annual will be December 9-12, 1999

The Mission's legacy as a metro center for working class and immigrants has led to a concentration of non-profit organizations and a reputation as a center to progressive alternative thinking
Bay Area Progressive Data-base Calendar || Community-building || Computers || Control || Creativity || Demographics || direct action || ecology || economics || education || government || health || issues || labor || law || media || places || socioeconomic models || World-Wide Web sites
Great database of over 1000's in the San Francisco Bay Area of interest to progressive activists || FAQ
Information For and About Nonprofit Organizations
Pagan groups || Cuban solidarity Groups by
The Mission and Berkeley share a progressive left view on life plus multiple BART stations and lots of dedicated global citizens
Raquel Medina of MEDA by Emily Guron of
The Director of one of the more successful neighborhood economic development associations in the City stepped down in Feb of '99

Small nonprofits Keeping up with high-tech
For many... "the first question about technology is: Buy or beg? "
Greater Mission district

Nearby Neighborhoods
As presentedby ||
bernal heights || castro || noe valley || potrero hill || soma || lower haight ||
Our partner in this web guide, the New Mission News is distributed in these six neighborhoods. These other nearby neighborhoods of the sunbelt are worth getting to know too. Only upper Haight and a few parts of SOMA become overrun with tourists in the summer.
lower polk/van ness  || upper haight || western addition || cole valley || hayes valley

The Castro
Widely known as the gay capital of the world, this neighborhood abounds with cafes, shops and nightlife.
info on businesses, culture, and people.

e industrial zone is becoming a cultural oasis dominated by galleries, lofts  and    and multimedia companies
SoMa? What's That? by the
Here's their skinny to SoMa's nightlife, and
"trendsetters galore. "

SOMA Club Crawl by SFgate || clubs and map
Virtual SOMA- 3D city model.

Noe Valley by sfgate
"A quaint area where people know each other's names, babies rule the sidewalks and outdoor cafes draw summertime crowds."
online directory to the neighborhood's businesses
Love the Haight
Take a tour of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and free your mind.

Diego Rivera, Radical Politics, and San Francisco's Public Murals (published April '99 ) Click now for more info
Murals of California, by Robin J. Dunitz click tor read the review
148 pages 3rd edition (April 1998) by Timothy W. Drescher, Willie Brown (Preface), You Save: $3.99 (20%) at CLICK NOW

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Last Update May 11, 2000
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