You could easily just walk on by this little corner bakery at 18th and Guerrero and not know what you're missing. Or maybe there will be a line-up out the door and the smells wafting out will be impossible to ignore. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman has called Tartine his favorite bakery in the U.S. and in 2008 the owners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson won the James Beard Foundation award as best pastry chefs in America. Anything you get here whether it be a cookie, croissant, piece of cake, sandwich, bread pudding, anything, will make your taste buds fall in love with this place and anticipate what delight you will choose on the next visit.
Just west along 18th is the BiRite Market which has been a Mission institution since 1940. The store is still in the same family and has its original neon sign and art deco facade. They stock lots of delectable local food and host a non-profit community space for tastings, art shows, dinners, classes and workshops.
And just a little further along the street is the BiRite Creamery featuring ice cream flavors like honey lavender, roasted banana and orange cardamom. You can enjoy your treat around the corner in Dolores Park.
Here is a quick afternoon snack inspired by the good bread at Tartine and the salted caramel ice cream at BiRite: toasted baguette rounds with dulce de leche and sea salt.
This ten minute film by the Miles Brothers of a trip along Market Street 105 years ago is a fascinating glimpse of the traffic, people and fashion of another era. But what adds a whole other dimension to this footage of people going about their everyday lives is that it was shot just days before the devastating earthquake and fire on April 18, 1906. The Ferry Building at the end of the street stayed intact, but many other buildings were destroyed. At least 3,000 lives were lost and nearly three quarters of the city's population were left homeless. The film was shipped on a train to New York just the night before or else it would have been incinerated in the Miles Brother's Market Street office.
Along Clement Street you will find Asian food markets and discount bazaars, coffeeshops, a variety of ethnic restaurants. Try the 22 ingredient Rainbow Salad at Burma Superstar or grab some Chinese take-out and have a picnic in nearby Golden Gate Park. Green Apple Books has been here since 1967. Little Victorian cottages and stucco houses line the side streets. Depending on the day, maybe you will catch sight of the afternoon fog rolling in...
Infinite City by Rebecca Solnit in collaboration with other artists, writers and cartographers is a unique atlas exploring different aspects of San Francisco through maps and essays. Some of the diverse topics include butterflies, bars, cinema, industry, redevelopment, trees, tribes, coffee and zen. With layers of history and local treasures past and present, the book is a multi-faceted view of the city that will leave you musing at street corners and eager to discover even more.
Looking for a good book to read and want some more suggestions? There are over a hundred books in the shelfari bookcase on the right side of the page. Lots of fiction, also some non fic, bios and graphic novels. Browse away...