How I See SF:Musician Bob Mould
Local legend Bob Mould calls San Francisco home. Find out his favorite burrito spot in the Mission and which 'hood he haunts when not on tour.
If you want to have a truly genuine San Francisco experience, then you have to consult the experts: our friendly locals. Knowledgable, passionate, and always ready with a recommendation for what to do, see, or eat, San Franciscans of all types have been part of our ongoing "How I See San Francisco" series.
Bob Mould is a prolific musician, perhaps best known as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for punk rock band Hüsker Dü. He has produced a number of solo albums and has collaborated with everyone from the Foo Fighters to John Cameron Mitchell. He's also performed at a number of San Francisco music festivals, including Noise Pop.
We asked Bob what he loves most about San Francisco.
What does a typical day in San Francisco look like for you?
I have a small footprint in SF, which has been home base for 13-plus years now. Up until the pandemic, I did not have a car. Getting out to the Great Highway during the pandemic was a great salvation with the car. I spend much of my time walking from my home in Corona Heights down the hill to Church Street and then back up to Castro Street. I love walking this neighborhood.
Which neighborhood, other than your own, do you like to explore?
I first came to San Francisco in 1981, as a working musician and punk rock kid with no money, to stay with Jello Biafra and explore the Mission neighborhood. The Mission was the great hang out at the time. It's still great! The Roxy Theater, thrift stores and Four Barrel coffee (I’m a huge coffee drinker). La Cumbre has my favorite burrito. As a closeted gay punk kid, I went to the earlier leather bars like the Eagle.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?
San Francisco has great live music venues, from Bottom of the Hill and Swedish American Music Hall to the Great American Music Hall and The Chapel. We were all thrilled when The Chapel opened in the Mission and I love that intimate venue. I’m excited that Kilowatt is open again. I would also add that the Castro Theater is an incredible cultural landmark. I remember watching "Milk" and walking out changed. Everything was recontextualized after that.
What’s your favorite annual event that happens in San Francisco?
Folsom Street Fair in SoMa is incredible, as is Dore Alley. Also Noise Pop, of course, and Sketchfest. I also enjoy Bay to Breakers.
San Francisco prides itself on being a welcoming destination. What has your experience as part of the gay community been like in San Francisco?
When I first visited the city as a closeted gay punk in ’81, I wandered the Mission and checked out the bars when AIDS was only known as "the gay cancer". It left a real impression on me. Experiencing Folsom Street Fair has been an affirming experience. Folsom is important to the community. It’s a prime example of sex-positive inclusivity. It symbolizes a lot of what I love about SF.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
Poesia is one of my all-time favorite spots in the Castro. They have great family recipes.
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?
I know this might be surprising, but I’ve never been to Zuni. It’s got a great reputation and that’s definitely a place I would like to try.
Where do you like to view sunrise and sunset?
Sunrise is easy: my place in Corona Heights. Sunset is also simple: Ocean Beach. I also enjoy Outerlands out by the beach.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
Get out to the ocean and Golden Gate Park. The uninterrupted green space, along with so many great things to do in the park, make it great to visit. Salesforce Park is also a pretty crazy eco-preserve right on the middle of downtown.
What’s one part of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew about?
Divisidero Street, with its plantings in the medians and cool spots to visit like The Independent and The Mill. It's full of urban street life. It feels like the next version of The Mission and has great coffee.
Any final advice for visitors coming to San Francisco?
Always bring layers in summertime. Believe the hype on the 2 p.m fog!