• Little Saigon

    Little Saigon and Tendernob

    Little Saigon and the Tendernob are two Tenderloin neighborhoods that are home to large immigrant populations and some of the best food in the city. Join us as we take you on the only food tour of this district and explore the flavors of Asia, the Middle East, and beyond!
  • The Mission

    The Mission District

    San Francisco's 1st neighborhood, The Mission District is still the heart & soul of this vibrant city. This area is so rich in culture, that we have 3 Mission food tours & 2 neighborhood walks.
  • North Beach

    North Beach

    North Beach is that rare thing -- a neighborhood that manages to be a perennial hit with tourists, and also to remain beloved by San Franciscans. It's San Francisco's Little Italy and the home of the beatniks.
  • Scenic Running

    Scenic Running

    Just a short run from the urban landscape of San Francisco's busy city streets you will find numerous trails and parks offering phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the City Skyline and other gems.
  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    Established in the 1840s, San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Our food and walking tours are 2nd to none.
  • Parrots!

    Parrots!

    Wild Parrots in San Francisco? Yes there are officially at least two flocks of wild Parrots here. These Parrots have evolved into a brand new species of parrot indigenous to San Francisco.

Gentrification Blogs

TUESDAY JUNE 2 – WE NEED YOU ALL IN CITY HALL

TOMORROW- TUESDAY JUNE 2ND, 1:00- 5:00PM or later…

TUESDAY!!!   WE NEED YOU ALL AT CITY HALL!!!

NEW ALERT:  A MONSTER ON BRYANT!!!

FROM THE PLAZA 16 COALITION

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THE MISSION TAKES CITY HALL PART 2

Last time they feared us. Maybe this time they will do as we say.

SUPPORT THE MISSiON LUXURY MORATORIUM

Tuesday June 2nd 2015

 

1:00 pm :: Come early to guarantee a seat in the Chambers
1:30 pm ::  Rally on Steps of City Hall
3:00 pm ::  Hearing begins on moratorium at Board of Supervisors, Room 250 at top of grand staircase.

Hearing may last until 6pm or much later. Join whenever you can!

FOR UPDATES on day of hearing: 

Text to 415-710-8908

or follow on Twitter: @PlazaSixteen

or follow our Facebook page

- Seniors and parents with children will be granted priority in speaking at hearing and do not have to wait in line.

- Children welcome!

- Food provided!

- RSVP and stay tuned on the event page.

:: SUPPORT the LUXURY MORATORIUM for the Mission! ::

This temporary moratorium would allow time for a community-based plan for truly affordable housing. It would temporarily stop all market rate projects within the covered areas in the Mission, including the Monster at 16th and Mission.

Luxury housing accounts for 93% of the housing being built in the Mission. The SF Planning department has determined that only 13 sites remain in the Mission for the development of affordable housing. The very limited property left in the Mission must be prioritized for affordable housing, not luxury condos unaffordable to the majority of San Franciscans.

_

_________________________________

SCOTT WEINER IS A DICK

SALVE EL BARRIO LA MISSION

MARTES 2 de Junio en la Alcaldía de SF
1:30 PM MITIN en las gradas de la Alcaldía
3:00 PM LEVANTE SU VOZ en la mesa de los supervisores

La audiencia durara hasta las 6:00pm o más tarde. Alcancenos cuando puedas. Evnvie un mensaje al 415-710-8908 para manternerlo informado o signalos en twitter @PlazaSixteen. Niños y familias son bienvenidos.

:: AOPOYE un ALTO a la CONSTRUCCIÓN de CONDOMINIOS ::

Este alto temporal nos dara tiempo para crear un plan comunitario que ofresco viviendas de bajos ingresos.

Los espacios limitados en la Mission deben de ser una prioridad para vivendas de bajos ingresos y no para condominios de lujo.

 

 

 


:: ALERT!  ::  Breaking News! ::

ANOTHER LUXURY MONSTER SLATED FOR THE MISSION!
Save our Cultural Spaces and family-run legacy businesses!


We have just learned that a huge, 274-unit development of mostly luxury housing, proposed for the 2000 Block of Bryant Street, will be coming before the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 18th. We will need a very big community turnout at this meeting! This Wednesday, June 3rd we will have an organizing meeting to begin the fight against the Monster on Bryant Street.

This project would allow for the demolition of:

  • three (3) rent-control dwelling units 
  • Tortilla Flats, a Legacy, family-run Business
  • Businesses employing Union and blue collar workers at the A.C.T. prop, a music studio, and an auto repair shop
  • Inner Mission (formerly Cell Space) artist space, a Mission cultural institution 
     

ORGANIZING MEETING TO STOP THE MONSTER ON BRYANT

Wednesday, June 3 at 6PM
Inner Mission (fomerly Cell Space)
2050 Bryant St. between 18th and 19th

Please join us for this meeting to get the ball rolling on fighting the Monster on Bryant Street! It’s a perfect “next step” after the Mission Takes City Hall Part 2.

 

 

:: We Need You! ::
PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING FOR THE MONSTER ON BRYANT

Thursday, June 18th at 12 noon
City Hall Room 400

We will need a very big community turnout for this hearing. Please join us and please help spread the word to anyone who cares about the affordable housing of the Mission and the preservation of our city’s priceless cultural institutions and legacy businesses.

 

More info on the website: Plaza16.org.

Join and endorse the Plaza 16 Coalition.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

   

 

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Castro Courier

It’s Our Right and Duty To Petition

Doug Comstock

From the Castro Courier/ Westside Observer

As Californians we all have the power to make law. The initiative process gives us that power. It was adopted at the turn of the last century and it served to break the railroads’ monopoly at a time when elected politicians were firmly in the railroads’ pockets. Recent “citizen initiatives” — petitions by regular folks who have hit the streets to get signatures for various causes including saving our cable cars, raising the minimum wage, protecting neighborhood firehouses, limiting campaign contributions, bringing Sunshine to the backrooms of City Hall and stopping the growing height limits on the waterfront.

Now Supervisor Scott Wiener, another politician firmly placed among the powers that swing the purse, has taken it upon himself to “improve” the citizen initiative process. We’re not sure if he’s sore that his pet projects, like 8 Washington went down to ignominious defeat or that height limits on the waterfront were adopted — both via citizen initiative. Whatever it is, Supervisor Wiener wants to water down the process and make the signature gathering so difficult that only his wealthy special interests can participate, and ordinary citizens will have to go before the Board of Supervisors, hat in hand, to beg for the right to exercise their civic duty.

The City is changing fast, and monied interests are at the front of the line. The sway that highly capitalized campaigns have to persuade voters was very apparent in the last several elections. With local politicians dancing to the tunes that high-priced lobbyists and contributors play, it has never been more valuable to have the citizen initiative process available to solve the problems that elected officials refuse to confront.

As Quentin Kopp put it in last month’s Westside Observer column: “Wiener will undoubtedly persuade power-loving colleagues to present his anti-democratic measure to November 2015 voters; I invite all readers to join efforts to stop the silencing of voters by voting ‘No’ on Wiener’s sly scheme this November.” This is important.

Doug Comstock is the editor of Westside Observer in the city.

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Food Delivery, Food Courts, The New Black

 

The Next Big Thing and an Unsuspecting yet Dubious Populace

Regardless of what developers, realtors, or those that they have purchased on the Board Of Supervisors will tell you, what makes San Francisco such a great place is it’s historic resistance to change, particularly change for greed’s sake. People come from all over the world to see the Victorians, the cable cars, the street cars, the parks, the mom and pop retail stores, the independent restaurants, the quaint neighborhoods built in a human scale. These are all beautiful creations that compliment a healthy lifestyle, they invigorate and stimulate us. The same thing cannot be said for boxy glass and steel condos that have been and continue to be built all over the city as if there is no tomorrow. There is no time to take a step back and reflect on how these cold and visually insulting behemoths will ultimately take away our sense of community, draining us of what we have taken for granted for so long: our delight in moving around what has always been such an engaging and aesthetically pleasing city. But although no one thought that there would be so much change happening so quickly, it is here all around us. Few are happy about it, but a small group of people have clearly grown very rich as a result of all of this change, and they don’t care who they had to evict to make it happen, so take it or leave it. They moneyed interests have won, and the city is being remade so that they might benefit.

There is yet another new change that is now being thrust upon us without any time to reflect or to discuss how the change will affect our society or or community. It isn’t the ride-sharing services that employ the under employed. No these services whose drivers are now trying to make ends meet in a city that was stolen out from underneath them are no longer new, in fact they are legal now, and I hope will start paying taxes and maybe insure their drivers. It isn’t Air BnB, again many of the people renting out their living spaces to out of town travelers, are also just trying to make ends meet in a city that is no longer theirs. No, the newest thing to be shoved down our throats as the newest thing on this race to the bottom,  is a revolution in how we choose to eat. Two new ways to eat are being deployed at a rate faster than atrocious condos can be built. Are they necessarily bad?  You be the judge:

First up, we have a slew of new home or office meal delivery services, many promise gourmet meals delivered to you in as little as 10 minutes for around $10 or less. Huh?

Munchery (munchery.com), a company that’s been around since 2010 but has taken off recently —  the company fills about 4,500 orders a day and claims double-digit month-over-month growth. Munchery calls on seven staff and around 35 part-time chefs to make a wide variety of main dishes, sides, kids meals, and desserts that you order on the website or the iOS app at least two hours and up to two days ahead of time. The cost is around $10-$12 per entree, $2.95-$4.95 per delivery for most of the Bay Area, and it offers a wide selection and delivery range. The items are made earlier that day and delivered chilled. You have to heat them up yourself.
Sprig (eatsprig.com)  The start-up’s easy iOS interface offers three rotating meals a day prepared by Nate Keller, formerly head chef at Google’s cafeteria. I ordered chicken agridolce with brown rice and spicy broccoli, and French onion shredded beef with carrots and green beans (there was a vegetarian option, a quiche, but it looked a little lackluster in the photo). Every dish is $10, with a $2 delivery fee. The hot food was at my door within 12 minutes of ordering. It was basically magic.
Spoon Rocket (spoonrocket.com)  Started in the East Bay by two college students delivers meals (lunch) around $8.00 in about 10 minutes.
Chefler (chefler.com) Delivers “healthy” meals to buy professionals and parents but they are not currently accepting customers.
Plated (plated.com) is one of several services that deliver food and recipes to your door, you would  then follow the instructions and prepare  the ingredients yourself. Not sure if having someone who is so uncreative that they can’t manage to find their own recipe or choose their own ingredients prepare anything in the kitchen is a good thing.

Having tried these services, I have to say, the food is okay, not great, but it could be worse. I feel for the drivers, you know they aren’t being paid much and I’m told that you are not supposed to tip them. In a city with a restaurant on every block I find it hard to imagine these businesses being able to compete, but I wish them all the best of luck. The saddest thing is that all of these services encourage the consumer to not leave their home or office and makes it convenient to not interact with real people in the outside world. In our increasingly fragmented society where more and more people never look up from whatever screen they are using, this does not bode well.


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Food Courts, I mean Food Halls Invade 

Next up, we have  a deluge of Food Courts heading our way, but they have been made over to look like Whole Foods meets the Ferry Building to make the dot com crowd feel safe, and they have been rebranded oddly enough as Food Halls:

 

Second Act (the former Red Vic Theatre)

Haight Street between Cole and Shrader Streets

The Haight’s Red Vic Movie House was a legendary place, you could watch movies on couches and recliners, and eat real popcorn with real butter. Now it is a mid-sized food court called, The Second Act Marketplace, a food stall and events space inside the now-defunct theater. Second Act is designed to serve as a neighborhood hub, offering coffee, juice and food options alongside book readings, film screening, shows and more. Betsy and Jack Rix, who were part-owners of the original Red Vic, are behind the metamorphosis, which brings five food vendors to the new space. We wish them luck.

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The Market Hall

Mission Bay

 

Forget that Oakland has already had a venue called Market Hall, albeit the official name is Rockridge Market Hall, and they have been in business since 1987. Not to mention, like the name implies, Market Hall in Rockridge is actually a market and not a food court. Forget about that Market Hall for second and remember that big sterile food halls are really the new black, as we’ve seen in the recent announcements of South Beach’s The Market Hall,  This non-market  which is also not a hall, is from the creative brain of Los Angeles Developer Tony Riviera, who comes with an idea and a 1990-ish look that would probably look great in the Southern California wasteland or San Mateo yet look completely out of place in San Francisco, except in maybe the new UCSF wasteland in South Beach/ Mission Bay. This impersonal and icy-cold,  huge and vapid space looks like the interior of a German airport but not as interesting. The only saving grace about this endeavor and this whole disgusting area, where no true San Franciscan would be caught dead, is that if the Big-One hits, it’s all going into the quick-sand and will return to SF Bay. So pray for an earthquake before it’s too late.

 


The-Market-Hall

 

Twats Inside

The Twitter building has turned out to be a major job killer and a curse on the Mid-Market neighborhood. When the Twit nest first opened, the rents all around the immediate area went up, doubling and tripling almost over night, many restaurants closed immediately. But many struggled to stay open, believing that the the twatty employees would become customers. What they didn’t realize, was that much like home-schooled children, the Twit-staff rarely leave their building and do not mix much with the neighborhood. Their food is prepared for them inside the building and served to them for free. So it was with surprise that we heard about the food court that the Tweets are opening in their building. One great thing we heard, The Cadillac Bar and Grill is being resurrected inside the food court:  The Cadillac Bar & Grill, a revival of a Mexican restaurant that’s been closed since 1999. Inside Scoop got the details from owner Michael Rodriguez, who’s ready to revisit the concept 15 years after the last fajita was served.

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The plan is for the revived Cadillac to occupy a huge, 8,000-square-foot space, including a 50-foot bar pouring margaritas and the like. Family-style taco and fajita plates will dominate the menu (half of which will date to the original incarnation, and half of which will be updated for modern tastes), and a mesquite-fired grill will be in action. With a big patio, mariachis roaming the room, and tables designed for groups, it’s definitely meant to be a party atmosphere, in line with that of the original (which lasted for 17 years before meeting its end in the Moscone Center expansion and redevelopment). It’s set to reopen sometime this fall.


 

 

 The Hall (L.A. North)

6th and Market Streets

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One on of the most dangerous and sketchy blocks in the city, a giant Food Court has been announced: Called The Hall, it’s taking over the former billiards parlor at 6th and Market, and comes from entrepreneurs Ted Wilson (a wine distribution exec and vintner) and Scott Peterson (a former chef at Bocadillos, Bizou and Chow). Matt Semmelhack (AQ, TBD) is also consulting on the project, which will feature seven vendors, including a seafood restaurant, an Indian spot, coffee and pastries, and more.

Here are the seven participating vendors:

· Fine & Rare: A concept from Wilson and Peterson, this spot will offer Southern-influenced seafood dishes sourced as locally as possible, as well as a raw bar and a wine shop with bottles to go.

· The Whole Beast: A brick-and-mortar incarnation of the popular food stand and pop-up, featuring dishes created from whole animals.

· Little Green Cyclo: A food truck gone perm, with Vietnamese dishes like pho, banh mi, and spring rolls, as well as bubble tea and housemade sweets.

· Raj + Singh: Curries and other Indian fare, including vegan and vegetarian options, and naan freshly baked on-site.

· Cassia: Moroccan-Peruvian fusion in dishes like a meatball masala bowl or a coconut pork pita pocket, from the folks behind the Fuki food truck.

· Dignitá: Coffee (including cold brew), pastries, and healthy snacks.

· Anchor Brewers and Distillers: An on-site bar, featuring wine and beer from the Anchor portfolio.

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All of this fare will be offered in a communal setting, with picnic tables, trees located both indoors and out, and what’s described as an “indoor-meets-outdoor, rustic-industrial vibe.” An outdoor grill will apparently cook many of the meats and vegetables, which all the involved vendors are attempting to source as locally as possible. The Hall says it plans to land by the end of September; we’ll have an update later today with more info.

 


 

 

Castro Food Court Hall  

 

Market and 15th at Sanchez Streets
Project yet to be officially named

 

2200-Market-Street

The Century Building at 2200 Market. Bandido’s from the owners of Hi-Tops has opened on Leticia’s old spot.

Next door to “No-Tell” MotelBeck’s Motor Lodge, on the spot that used to house, “Home“, is a building that I wanted to hate. The owner of the now defunct Rosie’s Cantina owns the land and she didn’t want a building that didn’t fit in with the neighborhood, and in my opinion, she did a great job and the building is stunning and a good fit for the surrounding area. The main floor of the building houses an upscale restaurant that just opened it’s doors called, “Bandidos.” So far the clientele appears to be mainly gay men, probably because this restaurant has been opened by the owner’s of the wildly popular gay bar across the street, “Hi-Tops.” So perhaps this is a new gay bar in the hood? One thing is for sure, this intersection needs a street light or two to see all the pedestrians in the cross walk at night.

The building itself is a ‘Flatiron Building”, which is a triangular shaped building built on an irregular shaped lot. This intersection is where Market, 15th and Sanchez meet, so the lots at the intersections are triangle shaped. A new building directly across from this structure is also a flat iron and points back across the intersection, and across Market Street on the current vacant lot next to the Swedish American Hall, a third flat-iron with the same style of architecture is going to be  built. Although I wanted to hate it, it sounds like it could be very cool when all three buildings will be finished. Let’s see if I can find an artist’s rendition of the yet to be built building…

 

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An artist’s rendition of the third flat-iron building to be built at this intersection. This one is a little bland, but at least they are incorporating below market rate housing on-site

 

Ugh…No imagination in this building, no detail at all, just bland and boxy. But am told that there will be lots of bicycle parking. So in other words, they will all be parking their cars on the street. Too bad this city has no leadership worth anything…

But back to the building across the street…

 

 


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An artist’s rendering of the new building.

 


The Bay Area Reporter says that the new multi-use building, which is located at 2175 Market Street (at 15th)  and is just completing construction, will feature a 3,895-square-foot emporium-style marketplace, to be shared by a collection of food vendors. The new space will join behemoth-to-be Market Square (that’s the Twitter building) and the smaller Second Act and 331 Cortland in adopting a shared-space model. This building is especially hated by it’s neighbors to the south and south southwest because it completely blocks the view of the entire neighborhood. There used to be a gas station here just a few months ago…

Though the specific vendors are still being decided, the planning report notes that the concept will be similar to the Ferry Building or a “European-style” marketplace, with a bar rumored to be part of the upcoming plans. A formula retail clause will restrict the vendors to local businesses only. There’s also an adjacent restaurant space whose tenant is yet to be determined. The building is expected to open its units to tenants in the fall; updates on potential tenants will follow as soon as they’re announced.


 

 

331 Cortland Marketplace

Bernal Heights

331 Cortland

So we began in the Haight and looked at a smaller scale food court that began organically and brings something to the neighborhood without dominating it or destroying the eco-system that is already in place. We end with more evidence that the Food Hall concept can work if done right. In fact, besides Haight Street, it is currently working very well in Bernal Heights at 331 Cortland Avenue. It has been open now for about 5 years, it doesn’t have the cutting-edge restaurant scene of the Mission District or the tourist pull of the Ferry Plaza. But an influx of innovative food companies, embraced by a community with a fervor for locally grown businesses and food, has turned the neighborhood into something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: an epicurean destination.

Alyson Jacks moved to Bernal Heights 20 years ago when the neighborhood was best known for its drug trade; the commercial strip, Cortland Avenue, had only a handful of unremarkable restaurants and liquor stores.

“In my time living here it’s been an extraordinary transformation,” said Ms. Jacks, wearing a black sweatshirt with “Bernal Heights” in gold letters. “I don’t have to get in my car to get anything.”

Local residents trace its initial revival in the early 1990s to the opening of Good Life Grocery, a midsize market, and Liberty Cafe, which later drew a following for its upscale twist on chicken potpie. After young families, attracted to the neighborhood’s tiny Victorian homes and narrow, walkable streets, created a real estate boom a few years ago, others built on the culinary foundation that had helped spark the turnaround.

The latest batch of food businesses focus on handmade products. Last month, an indoor marketplace at 331 Cortland Avenue opened with six kiosks inside 1,000 square feet. At Bernal Cutlery, Josh Donald slowly sharpens knives with Japanese whetstones behind an ornately carved wooden counter. Paulie’s Pickling sells East Coast-style deli sandwiches from a space barely larger than a pickle crock. Ichi Lucky Cat Deli offers fish and prepared sushi rolls. El Porteño Empanadas fills beef empanadas with meat from Prather Ranch and sweet ones with banana and dulce de leche. There’s also an organic produce stand and Wholesome Bakery, which sells vegan and gluten-free sweets.

The owner of the building, Debra Resnik, was inspired to create the market while volunteering at La Cocina, a San Francisco nonprofit organization that supports food entrepreneurs. The vendors previously had street food stands or worked in catering, and Most of the vendors live within blocks of the market.

“I love that it’s all artisan food, and I love supporting local people that we live around,” said Joey Bennett, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years and brings her young children to the marketplace.

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