Mission District

The Mission District’s blend of class and crass evades definition as this colorful neighborhood changes from block to block.

The Mission District's multifarious corridors comprise an invitingly seedy melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and cool kids. Dusty produce bins line the sidewalks in front of colorful Latino markets, and the aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans emanates from first-class cafes along this diverse neighborhood’s main streets. Whether you’re looking for upscale restaurants, lowbrow dive bars, the best taquerias, or simply delicious street food, the Mission delivers.

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On the Map

Mission District is bordered by Duboce Triangle, Lower Haight, Hayes Valley, The Castro, Noe Valley, Potrero Hill, Bernal Heights, SoMa, and Bayview

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Possible

SFO Airport: 30 minutes by cab without traffic or 45 minutes by BART
Golden Gate Park: 53 minutes by public transit
Fisherman's Wharf: 45 minutes by public transit
The Ferry Building: 23 minutes by public transit

The Mission District: It's Complicated

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The Mission District's streets are more than names and numbers. They often serve as geographic indicators when answering the question, "Will I find amusement or will I feel apprehensive?"

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The neighborhood's inhabitants lead markedly different lives.

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The Mission's incongruity is evidenced street by street, crosswalk by crosswalk. Its residents vary as much as its lifestyles–leaders of the area's Latin American community share the neighborhood with inflowing students, artists, and entrepreneurs.

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Before there was a strong bicycle culture, there was a strong bus culture. The Mission has both.

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A few blocks away from the bus stops, friends socialize on the sprawling lawns of beloved Dolores Park.

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Stark contrasts present themselves on every corner in the Mission.

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The neighborhood's main thoroughfares tell strikingly different stories.

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Mission Street's corner bodegas and urban convenience kiosks transform into private label markets and pricey boutiques along Valencia Street.

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Regardless of the neighborhood's differing cultures, ages, professions, shops, restaurants, and lifestyles, a unifying characteristic is evidenced throughout the Mission.

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Signature street art adorns its walls, facades, and sidewalks.

Latino Influences at The Heart of the Mission

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The Mission owes its soul, and its name, to the Latino community that calls the neighborhood home.

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Its traditions influence every part of the neighborhood.

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From the Mission's corner bodegas and cultural holiday celebrations to its open-late taquerias and Spanish language signage, the Latino culture has left an indelible imprint on the spirit of the neighborhood.

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Pixel
For those who don't know the Mission, it's one of the most interesting and diverse neighborhoods in SF...You'll find Mexican grocery stores, hipster restaurants and home decor stores, dive bars, activist bookstores, and amazing street art. It's a slice of SF unlike anything you'll find in the places where hotels are located. I recommend getting a BART card or renting a bike to get around."

Jascha

Visited in 2012

Greener Pastures In Dolores Park

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The Mission intersects with The Castro in Dolores Park, and its beloved green hills serve as gathering places for multiple neighborhoods.

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On the Streets: Dining

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It doesn't get any better than dining in the Mission. Stylish restaurants and cafes with monosyllabic names line Valencia Street.

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The Mission's culinary options are endless. Mexican, Senegalese, Indian, Thai, Vegan, Freegan? You'll find it here.

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Tartine Bakery adds a dash of unparalleled esteem to Guerrero Street.

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Adding sweetness to the culinary scene on 24th Street, Humphry Slocombe Creamery caters to crowds that can't fit inside the building.

Pixel
24th Street is filled with great taquerias, cafes, fun shopping, and some of the craziest and inventive ice-cream and doughnuts in the world."

David & Tina

Hosts Garden Studio: Totally Private

On the Streets: Boutique Sensibilities and Sidewalk Wares

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When it comes to shopping, there's a marked difference between the numbers marked on the price tags of the neighborhood's wares.

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On Mission Street, you'll find sidewalk sales in direct sunlight.

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On Valencia Street, you'll find tailored boutiques with soft lighting.

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Although stylish shops saturate Valencia, not every boutique is what it seems.

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826 Valencia's facade may lead you to believe it's another hip shop on one of the Mission's hippest streets. Indeed, the store sells accessories for swashbucklers, but author Dave Eggers founded 826 with an alternative aim. As a non-profit that dedicates itself to helping children and young adults develop their writing skills, 826 serves the residents of the Mission in inspirationally creative ways.

On the Streets: Art

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In the Mission, every surface seems to serve as a canvas for public displays of expression. Some are creative and some are challenging, but all remain distinctly Mission.

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Clarion Alley serves as public canvas and public bench.

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Taking art to the streets. Literally.

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The Mission elevates street art to new levels.

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In some cases, the neighborhood brings it down to the ground level.

Pixel
Staying in the Mission means you get all the fun of San Francisco, with all the fun people. This is seriously the best part of SF, and the Mission is known for its eateries, coffee shops, book stores, art galleries and bars. The Mission is awesome."

Cafe Society

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In the Mission, coffee is a cultural institution.

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Introducing craft coffee to the masses, the Mission's small-batch roasters and professional baristas pour the perfect cup, every time.

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And their clients return the next morning, every time.

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The Mission Never Sleeps

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The Mission's nightlife is as varied as its inhabitants.

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Avant-garde performance art happens in alleyways as live music emanates from upstairs music clubs and the guy next to you orders another round of the seasonal microbrew.

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The nights are long in the Mission, and there's still more to do.

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Luckily, slice shops, street vendors, and the neighborhood's famous taquerias stay open late. If you're really lucky, you'll have a few dollars left to taste a Mesoamerican specialty sold to you by The Tamale Lady.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Born and raised in LA, Aubrie Pick moved to San Francisco a decade ago to attend the Art Institute. She's called the Mission home since 2005, and loves nothing more than drinking morning coffee from Four Barrel while watching her dog romp in Dolores Park. Some of her other clients include California Home + Design Magazine, 7x7 Magazine, SPIN, Mix Magazine, and Eater.com.

Aubrie Pick

View website »

Marc Olivier Le Blanc specializes in commercial and editorial portrait photography. Although he's currently based in the vibrant Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, he returned to his native France to shoot Paris for this project through a traveler's eye. He always strives to turn both the ordinary and the unusual into something extraordinary.

Marc Olivier Le Blanc

View website »

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