View mission food tour- in a larger map...
Here are the Mission District 's
FOODIE POI's (Places of Interest)
A list of 300 or so restaurants in the Mission, some that we frequent, some we have yet to visit. Feel free to comment or add to the list...
If you would like to know if a particular restaurant has been used in the past or is currently a stop on our food tours, just click on the name and read the corresponding notes. If there are no notes at all, then they have definitely not been a stop before...
Here is a very brief SOMA tour route, not all that great. I know it is SOMA and not the Mission but geographically, historically, seismically & demographically, SOMA is closely related to the Mission.
SoMa (South of Market)
WELCOME TO SOMA!
On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 in the morning, an earthquake estimated at 7.9-8.25 on the Richter scale shook San Francisco, A strong foreshock preceded the mainshock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds. There were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. Widely interpreted previously as precursory activity to the 1906 earthquake, they have been found to have a strong seasonal pattern and have been postulated to be due to large seasonal sediment loads in coastal bays that overlie faults as a result of the erosion caused by "hydraulic mining" in the later years of the California Gold Rush.
SoMa is the moniker of the neighborhood that is situated south of Market Street and north of the Mission District. The boundaries of this eclectic urban area will vary based upon whom you ask. The typical borders are Market Street, the Embarcadero, Townsend and 11th Streets. The neighborhood includes South Park, South Beach, Mission Bay and portions of the Financial District.
After the Second World War, SoMa was cluttered with warehouses and rundown Victorian style homes. The affordable housing and buildings attracted artists and musicians, which set the stage for the indie music scene. In the 1990s, the neighborhood began experiencing gentrification. The artist community gradually gave way to information technology professionals. Although San Francisco is erecting skyscrapers in SoMa, the neighborhood is not as densely developed as other parts of the city.
SoMa is home to the old San Francisco Mint, which was established to transform gold bullion into coins during the California Gold Rush. Known as the Granite Lady, the sandstone building is one of the few structures to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire. The neighborhood has several parks and a 1905 Charles Looff Carousel.
The community has galleries, loft apartments, residential hotels and trendy restaurants. This section of the city has a diverse mix of cultural attractions, such as the award- winning Yerba Buena Gardens, which has prestigious museums and arts centers. Visitors will discover a wide assortment of eateries and retail shops dispersed throughout SoMa, ranging from economy to high-end luxury establishments. The live music venues attract business travelers who are attending meetings at the Moscone Center as well as tourists and locals. SoMa is home to several small theater companies, cultural festivals and street fairs.
1. Giants Stadium/ AT&T Park
AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, opened in March 2000. Built in the South of Market neighborhoods of South Beach and Mission Bay, the stadium replaced the legendary Candlestick Park. The original name of the sports field was Pac Bell Park, which honored its
sponsor Pacific Bell. The stadium became SBC Park when
SBC Communications purchased Pacific Bell. When the corporation acquired AT&T, the organization changed its name and the ballpark’s moniker to AT&T. The stadium has won awards for its classic design.
Notable features of the stadium include the 24-foot tall right field fence and the water beyond. The height of the wall commemorates Willie Mays’ roster number. The portion of the China Basin adjacent to the stadium is named McCovey Cove in honor of another Giants star Willie McCovey. A small scoreboard keeps a tally of the number of home-runs that have cleared the fence and “splashed” into the cove. The stadium has four
fountain-topped pillars along the wall in right center field. Water jets stream forth at the end of the National Anthem and for a Giants victory or home-run. A foghorn that was installed in Candlestick Park was relocated to the new facility. The stadium sounds the horn to signal a Giants home-run or win. The entire stadium is a wireless Internet hotspot.
Outside the stadium, visitors can view statues that honor Giants Hall of Fame players Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda. A seal balancing a baseball on its nose is located near the ferry square. The statue honors the San Francisco Seals, the minor league team that played in the city before the Giants moved here from New York in 1958. Located at 24 Willie Mays Plaza, the ballpark provides various public and private behind- the-scene tours.
2. The Children’s Creativity Museum
The Children’s Creativity Museum began its quest to create a positive environment for families to create, collaborate and communicate in 1998. Originally known as Zeum, the organization changed its name in 2011 to better reflect its purpose and raise awareness of its primary mission. Located in the Yerba
SOMA (SOUTH OF MARKET)
Buena Gardens district, the museum provides interactive, high-tech multimedia exhibits for children of all ages.
The artist-in-residence at the Community Lab invites participants to step inside a magical world where their whimsical finger paintings come alive. In the Animators Studio, children use clay to create figures for stop-motion animated movies. The Digital Workshop enables visitors to take photos and then morph them with computer software. Children learn the basic concepts of a live stage performance in the Music Studio. Visitors learn to overcome their stage fright and gain confidence in their artistic abilities. They can select their preferred background courtesy of a green screen and learn how to create original music with GarageBand. In the Main Gallery, children can assume one of several roles involved in a newscast. This enables them to learn about teleprompters, green screens and special effects. In each exhibition space, the museum saves the multimedia projects on DVD so that visitors can share their adventures with family and friends.
3. The Moscone Center
Located in the South of Market neighborhood, the Moscone Center is San Francisco’s largest trade show and meeting complex. Consisting of three halls, the
center is named in honor of the former mayor George Moscone who was assassinated in 1978. The
complex served as the setting for Geraldine Ferraro’s nomination as
the first female vice presidential candidate during the 1984 Democratic Convention.
The architectural team for the critically acclaimed complex also designed the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Built in 1981, the complex initially had one hall that is now known as Moscone South. The Esplanade Ballroom and Moscone North exhibition space were completed by 1992. The final component of the complex, Moscone West, opened to the public in 2003. The excavation and foundation work incorporated unique design solutions. The high- tech meeting facility has more than 700,000 square feet of exhibition space. A significant portion of the complex is located below ground in the award-winning Yerba Buena Gardens, the city’s cultural hub. Moscone North is beneath a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Moscone South is beneath the children’s museum, a vintage carousel, ice skating rink and a bowling alley.
In addition to the innovative use of glass walls and skylights, the Moscone Center integrates green
sources of energy. The 60,000- square-foot solar array on the roof is one of the largest in the country. Installed in 2004, the project is part of the city’s initiative to obtain municipal energy from carbon- neutral sources. The complex has received awards for its sustainable initiatives. Located at 747 Howard Street, the center hosts numerous worldwide gatherings for more than one million attendees and exhibitors each year.
4. Museum of Craft and Folk Art
Visitors to San Francisco with an interest in folk art and crafts will certainly not want to miss a visit to the museum dedicated to those two artistic mediums. The Museum of Craft and Folk Art is conveniently situated in downtown San Francisco in the
Yerba Buena Museum District. Home to creative
traditions that span the globe, the museum houses a variety of exhibitions that change on a frequent basis, ensuring there is always something new for visitors to see and enjoy. By focusing on a single exhibit, the museum is able to delve deeply into a subject matter and provide visitors with the opportunity to truly appreciate each exhibit while taking advantage of interactive learning
SOMA (SOUTH OF MARKET)
opportunities. After spending some time exploring the museum, visitors may wish to browse the museum’s gift shop where they can choose from a massive collection of pieces crafted by folk artisans from around the world as well as local artists.
5. Contemporary Jewish Museum
Located in the Yerba Buena Gardens district in San Francisco, the Contemporary
Jewish Museum showcases modern Jewish culture, providing perspective into the
religion through art and ideas.
Founded in 1984, this museum has always placed an emphasis on striking architecture. Daniel Libeskind designed the current building, which became the museum's new home in 2008 following its initial stay in the city's financial district.
One of the unique facets of the Contemporary Jewish Museum is that its collection is always changing. With revolving exhibits, the museum is able to constantly refresh its presentation, making it a prime spot to revisit often.
One permanent fixture at the museum is the instantly recognizable stainless steel cube located in front of the building. This sculpture is call "The Yud."
This stainless steel block offers a striking contrast to its brick surroundings. "The Yud" is often used for exhibitions that utilize sound and visuals. The modern look of the building emphasizes the goals of the museum to spotlight how Jewish art relates to contemporary society.
In addition to its rotating exhibits, the Contemporary Jewish Museum has a popular cafe and auditorium that is used for film screenings, lectures and other special events.
6. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Yerba Buena is the original name that Spanish colonists bestowed to the area now known as San Francisco. The early settlers chose the name in recognition of a
medicinal plant, which was once prevalent in the Bay Area. To honor the
city’s rich heritage, San Francisco established the Yerba Buena Gardens cultural center in the neighborhood South of Market. The focal point of the development is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), which was founded in 1986. The interdisciplinary cultural center is a platform for the visual arts, live performances and film productions by artists from around the globe. The YBCA hosts a broad assortment of musical,
dance and theatrical genres for audiences of all ages. The museum displays thought-provoking works of art while the theater embraces in-house, international and indie films. Each year, more than a quarter of a million patrons visit the center to attend the screenings, performances and exhibitions held at complex. Housed in two landmark buildings, the YBCA frequently serves as the venue where Apple, Inc. announces a new product. The non-profit organization uses a German art exhibit model known as Kunsthalle, which means the center does not maintain a permanent collection. This exhibit philosophy ensures that guests will have a different experience each time they visit the center.
7. Museum of Modern Art
Founded in 1935, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a highly acclaimed institution of modern and contemporary art. The museum was originally located on the upper level of the War Memorial Veterans Building. When SFMOMA outgrew this venue, it was determined that a new museum would be constructed south of Market Street. This area is now known as the Yerba Buena Gardens cultural district.
In the summer of 1988, the museum commissioned Mario Botta to design a new home for its CityWalkingGuide.com
SOMA (SOUTH OF MARKET)
collection. The building opened to the public in 1995 after a three-year
construction project. The five-story structure contains more than 65,000-square feet of exhibit space, making it one of the nation’s largest museums of modern art. The galleries radiate from a central, 130-foot tall atrium. Mr. Botta encompassed the heart of the building with trees and infused it with natural light. A distinctive turret and oculus skylight tops the atrium. The museum has a rooftop garden that serves as a sculpture gallery as well.
From its initial donation of 36 works of art, the museum’s collection now includes 27,000 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, photographs and media designs. Visitors can experience the exhibits through interactive kiosks and self-paced audio, docent and spotlight tour that focus on specific artists. The first museum dedicated to 20th century art on the West Coast, the facility exhibits works by Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol. Approximately 650,000 people visit the museum each year.
8. Museum of the African Diaspora
The Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) opened in 2005 after three
years of research and development. The facility is one of the anchor institutions in the Yerba Buena Gardens cultural district. Located inside the 42-story St. Regis Museum Tower, the institution chronicles the migration of African people throughout the world. The MoAD has the distinction of being one of the few museums that focus exclusively on the African Diaspora. The term includes forced migrations that occurred due to the slave trade as well as voluntary relocation of Africans who traveled abroad in conquistadorial roles, such as adventurers, explorers and mercenaries.
In addition to providing intriguing exhibits, the museum sponsors educational and public outreach programs. The MoAD shares the
story with visitors through an en gaging mix of multimedia mediums,
such as music, talking walls and lighting. The collection is housed against a visually stunning backdrop on the first three floors of the tower.
Based upon the discovery of the earliest human remains in Africa, the 20,000-square foot museum explores the concept that all people have a common African ancestral root. The non-profit organization asks visitors to
ponder the question when did they first realize that they were African. The MoAD also traces the rich legacy of African music, art and culture and its influence on countries around the globe. MoAD shares the backstory of the slave trade and African liberation movements in the Old and New Worlds. After exploring the compelling exhibits, visitors of all ethnic backgrounds will gain a better understanding of history of the African people.
9. Cartoon Art Museum
The Cartoon Art Museum was established in 1984. Its goal is to preserve and promote cartoon art in all its various forms. These include editorial cartoons, graphic novels, comic books, the Sunday funnies and Saturday morning cartoons. Through its exhibitions, traveling collections, classes, lecture series and community outreach programs, the museum promotes individual expression and cultural diversity through this unique form of art. It is the only institution of its kind in the western United States.
The collection was once known as a “museum without walls” because the works were displayed in various venues throughout the city. This changed in 1987 when an endowment from renowned Peanuts creator Charles Shultz enabled the institution to establish a permanent home. Situated in
SOMA (SOUTH OF MARKET)
Yerba Buena Gardens, the collection has more than 6,000 pieces. The museum has five galleries and a comprehensive research library at its South of Market neighborhood location on Mission Street. The Cartoon Art Museum hosts approximately 10 major exhibitions each year. The museum’s cartoonist-in-residence program enables visitors to observe and speak with a professional artist during the creative process.
10. San Francisco Railway Museum
Founded in 1976, the San Francisco Railway Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of rail transportation in the city as well as educating people about its valuable contribution to the local economy. The City by the Bay is one of the few places where you can still experience riding on a vintage street or cable car. The museum gives visitors a behind- the-scenes tour of the sophisticated engineering marvel that controls one of the city’s historic transit systems.
Items on display include archival photographs, rare books and audio-visual exhibits. The museum has scale models of various streetcars that once ran on the lines, including the F Market & Wharves Lines and its heritage streetcars as well as the National Landmark cable car system. Inside the museum, an interactive replica
of a 1911 motorman’s platform enables visitors to experience what
it is like to operate the controls. Other displays include
antique fare boxes and a Wiley “birdcage” traffic light. In addition to its collection of railway artifacts, the museum provides a retrospective of the 1906 earthquake. The museum gift shop has souvenirs that are unique to San Francisco and the street railway system.
The museum is located on Steuart Street in the South of Market Street neighborhood. Admission is free, and the F-Line has a stop in front of the building.
11. Treasure Island
Named in honor of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island is a man-made isle in the San Francisco Bay. Constructed from dredged fill, the flat island extends from Yerba Buena Island, an anchor point for the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge. Treasure Island was constructed to provide a landing area for Pan Am Clipper flying boats, but its role expanded to host of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. The exhibitions, pavilions, entertainment, green spaces and lighting displays were popular tourist attractions for two years.
When the world’s fair ended in 1940, the U.S. Navy commandeered the island for the upcoming war effort. In exchange, the federal government relinquished ownership of Mills Field, which became San Francisco International Airport. Treasure Island served as a naval training and port facility until 1997. Building One, an Art Deco edifice, and hangars 2 and 3 are the only remaining structures from the world’s fair era.
Today, Treasure Island is a popular sightseeing destination with raised walkways that delineate the perimeter. The island’s strategic location provides breathtaking vistas of the San Francisco’s iconic skyline, especially at night, sunrise and sunset. While lights shimmer in the distance, sea lions frolic on the shore. The expansive grass- covered area on the island’s western shore, which faces the city, is a unique venue for weddings, picnics and festivals. Numerous buildings on the island have served as recording studios or backdrops for television and movie productions, including The Matrix, Rent and the Pursuit of Happyness. The island is scheduled to undergo major redevelopment to create residential neighborhoods, retail space and as a venue for special events. The island is accessible by automobile and public transportation.
SoMa (South of Market)