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October 5, 2016

Where to Stay in San Francisco: Mission District

San Francisco is a network of different neighborhoods. In a city so large that the weather can vary depending on where you are, there is always something to see and do. Change happens quickly as the various neighborhoods attract new residents and visitors, and each one offers an entirely unique flair. The Mission District is no exception.

And no wonder! According to users of, the world leader in booking hotels and other accommodations online, there is a lot to love in the Mission. Visitors to the site have a lot of reasons for loving this neighborhood. 

Food and Dining

One of the best things about the Mission District is that its local population is a fabulous mix of cultures – and it shows in the food. You'll find vegan cafes featuring Asian food next to a butcher's shop serving traditional cuts from Central America. Latino influences are also apparent in the easy availability of tasty favorites such as pupusas, tamales, and horchata. Expect to see taquerias tucked between fancy boutiques and upscale restaurants. There are also plenty of chic options, like Locanda, Delfina, Loló, Dosa, and Flour + Water, for those who are looking for some fine dining.

Nightlife and Music

The Mission District also offers great nightlife. Places like Foreign Cinema are known for their food as much as the unique vibe they project. You'll also find innovative cocktail bars like ABV and more traditional bars like Shotwell’s. Of course, there is more to an evening than drinking, and the Mission has you covered there, too. Enjoy a round of miniature golf at Urban Putt or go dancing. The famous Public Works club and Little Baobab are here for when you want to move to electronic beats, or you can enjoy live music at great venues like Brick and Mortar Music Hall and The Chapel.

Art and Galleries

The Mission is known for its artsy edge and murals. Throughout the 1990s, this section of San Francisco was famous for its bohemian vibe and abundance of accessible arts and culture. There are some wonderful galleries in the Mission District. From the Mission  Cultural Center for Latino Arts to the nonprofit visual arts gallery Southern Exposure (affectionately known as SoEx) to City Art, an artist collective with over 200 members, you will find work from yet-to-be-discovered talent as well as highly respected juried art shows. 

Culture and Architecture

Another cultural highlight not to be missed is the Galeria de la Raza. This storefront gallery is known for celebrating Latino culture. The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is another great stop. There are a variety of theaters in the Mission District. Stop by Brava! for Women in the Arts Theater Center, Dance Mission, and the famous Roxie Theater, the oldest cinema in San Francisco and the second oldest in the world. While you are in the Mission, you can also visit the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores.

Moving Through the Mission

The Mission District is very walkable, with plenty of parks, paths, and coffee shops, each perfect for people watching. Head down Valencia Street for a very non-commercialized view of San Francisco, or sit out at a cafe like Samovar Tea Lounge, Linea Caffe, Sightglass Coffee, or Philz Coffee. For the more artistically minded, a walk through the colorful Balmy Alley is practically a stroll through a gallery with its large and colorful murals. Plan your trip to the Mission during May or November for a colorful taste of the city. The last weekend in May is the annual Carnaval San Francisco, and Nov.1 is Día de Los Muertos. Both are wonderful celebrations of Latino culture.

There is something for everyone in San Francisco’s Mission District. From a range of food options to a variety of cultural outposts, from the most amazing public art to some of the best coffee shops, the Mission District has you covered. Plan your trip to San Francisco today!