Meandering southward through the tree-lined streets of San Francisco, you move instinctively toward the enticing aroma of fresh tortillas.
Ranchera music flows through air as you begin to see bright pops of color from wallside murals and local shops brimming with curiosities. Your senses are active as you naturally feel welcomed into your surroundings.
There is no mistaking it: You have found your way to the warmest portion of the city, the historic Mission district.
One of San Francisco's eight cultural districts, the Mission or Calle 24, represents Latino culture and is home to more than 400 businesses and services. It is a vibrant neighborhood, renowned for its unique stores, incredible food and cultural events.
In response to a notice by District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, several organizations have collaborated to create an initiative titled Shop the Mission. On Dec. 7, two new marketplaces were launched: El Tiangue and La Placita. While food vending is still allowed, retail vending has now shifted to these two sites, and each hosts special events. Visit both markets and have fun playing Mission Lotería, a “shop small, support local” initiative, combining local art and small businesses with imagery inspired by the Mission. To play, simply shop at participating businesses and collect a Mission Lotería sticker with your purchase.
2137 Mission St.
Open daily, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Large indoor retail space converted into a pulgita for vendors
Managed by CLECHA | clecha.org
24th and Capp streets
Open Tuesdays-Saturdays | 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Public space built for community arts, cultural events and the weekly Mission Community Market
Managed by Calle24 | calle24sf.org
"Postres del Corazón"
Feb. 9 | 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
Mission Lotería and Amor 100.3 FM Radio Pop-Up
Feb. 17 & 24 | Noon-4 p.m.
Along with these new marketplaces, the brick-and-mortar businesses of the Mission are the very bond connecting the community. The neighborhood offers a mix of legacy businesses with long histories, and new ventures that bring a creative eye to the district.
Enjoy some of the country's best Mexican food at La Taqueria or El Farolito. Take in a movie with some truffle popcorn at the Alamo Drafthouse, or dance to live music and enjoy authentic Senegalese bites at Bissap Baobab, after strolling down Valencia Street's recently expanded sidewalks. Explore the handcrafted goods at boutiques like Dcopperplus, then sip a margarita flight at Tio Chilo's. There is much to recommend this legendary district, known for the resilience of its entrepreneurs and residents.
To keep up with the latest Mission events and updates, visit sf.gov/shop-mission. There, you can view event details and artwork, and learn more about the organizations working together on Shop the Mission. Then find your way to the neighborhood itself, taking in the many sights, sounds and flavors on offer, all while supporting the local businesses that enliven the city.