Mission and Valencia Street Corridor

Nightlife Area / Shopping Area
Mission and Valencia Street Corridor Prior to the 1990s, establishments along the Mission and Valencia Street Corridor were mostly limited to auto shops, dive bars, and taquerias serving a working-class Mexican population. San Francisco United States 37.7545315949371 -122.41979598999
4.75 8
Mission and Valencia Street Corridor - Nightlife Area | Shopping Area in San Francisco.
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Jonah
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Party Earth Review Prior to the 1990s, establishments along the Mission and Valencia Street Corridor were mostly limited to auto shops, dive bars, and taquerias serving a working-class Mexican population. Internet-fueled gentrification... ... read full review

  • Neighborhood:

  • Address:

    Mission and Valencia Streets stretching
    approximately from 16th to 24th Streets
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    Get Directions

  • Metro:

    BART: 24th Street Mission
    MUNI J Line: Church Street & 24th Street

  • Hours:

    24/7

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Mission and Valencia Street Corridor Review

The Scene

Prior to the 1990s, establishments along the Mission and Valencia Street Corridor were mostly limited to auto shops, dive bars, and taquerias serving a working-class Mexican population.

Prior to the 1990s, establishments along the Mission and Valencia Street Corridor were mostly limited to auto shops, dive bars, and taquerias serving a working-class Mexican population. Internet-fueled gentrification, however, brought an explosion of eclectic stores, chichi restaurants, and higher-end bars, creating what many residents describe (or decry) as the hippest place in town.

Known as El Corazón, or the Mission’s “heart,” 24th Street features murals of South American history popping from the sides of stores peddling plantains, and authentic joints like La Taqueria pumping out cheap burritos just as they have for decades. Bargain shoppers take advantage of the myriad thrift stores, as streets resound with the mariachi and accordion tunes that billow out from Mexican music shops.

Further north reside upscale clothiers like Therapy, while classy restaurants like Foreign Cinema and Beretta get packed with the latest influx of well-dressed foodies. That trend continues toward 16th Street, with art and design spots far outpacing taco stands, and oddball boutiques like Paxton Gate and pirate supply store/writing workshop 826 Valencia punctuating the diverse scene.

By night, the streets are flooded with young revelers of all types, from grunge-tastic music fans at Elbo Room and Make-Out Room to cocktail connoisseurs in the speakeasy tucked inside Dalva and rich tourists nibbling foie gras with their martinis at Chez Spencer.

Other drinking dens and eateries covering the entire price spectrum abound, allowing visitors to transform from refined diners into unhinged boozers in a matter of steps.

The scene is more casual come morning, comprised mostly of mellow shoppers and flannel-clad creatives sipping lattes at the coffee shops, though popular brunch spots like Mission Beach Café and the diner Boogaloos still have lines out the door.

Full of flavor, fiestas, and fun-loving folks, the Mission and Valencia Street Corridor is a true San Francisco treat.

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Tip from Jonah:

Bring a bike! Valencia Street in particular is a great spot to ride, with wide bike lanes and tons of bike racks up and down the blocks.

  • Crowd

    Fashionable hipsters, music lovers, college kids, foodies, families, trendy shoppers, thrift-store lovers, tech and arts industry professionals, the shabby-chic, and the just plain shabby. All ages by day, mostly 20s to late 30s by night.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Shopping near 24th Street:
    Many shopping options, with a strong emphasis on thrift stores and Latin American wares around 24th Street, including Mexican folk-art shop Studio 24 (2857 24th Street), Mexican market Casa Lucas Market (2934 24th Street), all things soccer at Argentina Gift Shop (3250 24th Street), and local art at Galeria de La Raza (2857 24th Street).

    Shopping further north:
    The area toward 16th Street is home to a number of independent clothiers, bookstores, boutiques, and unique shops, including pirates’ supply store 826 Valencia (826 Valencia Street) – also the home of Dave Eggers’ highly regarded youth writing workshops – the enormous used clothing and furniture store Thrift Town (2101 Mission Street), sex toys at Good Vibrations (603 Valencia Street), and cutting-edge music at Aquarius Records (1055 Valencia Street).

    Bars and Clubs:
    Live music and DJs take to the stages most nights at Elbo Room (647 Valencia Street), Make-Out Room (3225 22nd Street), and Savanna Jazz (2937 Mission Street).

    Festivals:
    Major festivals include the annual Carnival on Memorial Day; First Friday Monthly, a food and art crawl on the evening of the first Friday; Open Studios on the first weekend of October; The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence-sponsored Hunky Jesus Contest on Easter Sunday; the Street Food Festival in late August; Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade the second weekend of April; the Transgender and Dyke Marches in June; and the Day of the Dead procession on November 2.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Cheap to moderately priced Latin American food:
    Many eateries including spicy dishes at Puerto Alegre (546 Valencia Street), cheap fresh tacos at El Toro (598 Valencia Street), some of the most popular chips and salsa in town at Casa Sanchez (2778 24th Street), and fresh-ground tortillas at La Palma Mexicatessen (2884 24th Street).

    Other notable places to eat:
    Classic American diner fare at burger spots Urbun Burger (581 Valencia Street) and Burger Joint (807 Valencia Street), South Indian from Dosa (995 Valencia Street), Thai at Osha Thai (819 Valencia Street), Peruvian at Limon (524 Valencia Street), vegan favorite Herbivore (983 Valencia Street), Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission Street) for pricey Mediterranean fare, classic foreign films, and a crowded scene from brunch to dinner, and Beretta (1199 Valencia Street) for craft pizza and craft cocktails.

  • Prices

    Food and drink prices run the gamut, from $5/plate taco joints and PBR-powered dives to swanky restaurants.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: V-necks, plaid, white t-shirts, jeans, suits, cocktail dresses, sexy miniskirts, everything in between.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights when partiers from all over the Bay Area show up to enjoy the Mission’s magnetism and multi-faceted party scene, or during the day to chill at a coffee shop, read in a quiet bookstore, or hit a bustling brunch spot.

  • Close By

    Mission Dolores Park, located a few blocks west between 18th and 20th Streets, is a lovely little grassy getaway that overflows with visitors on sunny days.

Mission and Valencia Street Corridor User Reviews

Average rating:
Where Trendy Boutiques Meet Street Taco Carts
Aleksandra B. Feb 20, 2013
The Mission and Valencia Street corridor is where San Francisco’s Latin heritage merges with bespoke tastes of the young and wealthy techies. Italian furniture stores, mom and pop taquerias, trendy restaurants and bars line both streets. A whole day can go by exploring Valencia and Mission, and arguably, a whole day should be devoted to just that. Try Tartine Bakery, even if the line is out the door. Hint: line will always be out the door, no matter how early you get there but it will be worth the wait. On Valencia, the shopping options are endless, with trendy boutiques, and vintage shops that sell everything from deer horns to Ray Bans. Stop by Gracias Madre on Mission Street for a completely Vegan Mexican meal or grab a street taco if you’re craving something more authentic. A must see are the many vibrant murals decorate the connecting side streets, reminding visitors of the rich cultural roots of this unique neighborhood.
Unique and Interesting Neighborhood
Jody P. Dec 1, 2012
I walked around the Mission district when I was in SF and had a great time. As a hugh Hitchcock fan, I started my visit to the Mission district at the Dolores Mission. For those who don't know, parts of the movie Vertigo were filmed there. It is a really cool church - very southwestern in style - and I felt like I was in an old Hitchcock film. Loved it! The surrounding Mission district has a bunch of shops, restaurants, and bars. I went to a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place that was recommended to me by a native and has some of the best Mexican food that I've ever had there. By the smell of the district, you could probably have a great meal at any one of the restaurants there. After dinner, I did a little bar-hopping in the district which was a lot of fun. This is a great neighborhood to check out if you have a chance.
Tunnel of Inspiration
Jaclyn W. Nov 26, 2012
I toured this on my last day in San Francisco. I stopped at the famous Tartine bakery up the street where I inhaled a slice of quiche (though secretly would've loved to have eaten a huge chocolate croissant) and then wandered down through the Mission. The tunnel of graffiti art is mesmerizing and actually pretty inspiring. One is of a motif that is based on freedom and reads, "There are more Africans in the U.S. Prison System today than were slaves in 1850." Interesting stuff. The neighborhood feels like a mixture of hipster Brooklyn, but more quiet than Williamsburg noisy (could have been the time of morning) and a weird ghetto. On the way to Four Barrel Coffee, we passed vintage bikes parked along the streets in streams of colors and cutesy places named things like, "Taylor Stitch." You must go to Four Barrel if you are a coffee drinker! This place not only makes great drinks and imports fancy beans, but they have a line where they custom drip make your coffee according to your palette. At the end of your journey, if you have room, stop by Zeitgeist for a Blood Mary and ask to sit in the garden . They make them real well in this heavy metal grunge bar. All in all you will not be disappointed in the Mission area. Great scenery and interesting people.
Bar Hop Central
Rachel G. Nov 21, 2012
This is my favorite portion of the Mission district. From about 15th street to 21st street on Valencia, you literally don't need to go anywhere for anything else. This is one of the best places to hop from bar to bar on an average night. The bars on Valencia vary from dive bars to upscale night lounges. Some of my favorite bars on Valencia are Cassanova Lounge, Beretta, Elbo Room, and Delirium. I love to go here on a mellow night and just hop through my favorite bars and have a fun filled night. Mission is one of the best places to go and meet new and interesting people. Of all the European people I have met in San Francisco they have all come from the Mission district.
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