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Places

Find your San Francisco neighborhood

As the home of free love, Silicon Valley, and the American gay rights movement, the San Francisco Bay Area has a reputation and influence that belies its relatively modest size. It’s best to get to know the city through its neighborhoods.

Each distinctive neighborhood has a main drag, from which smaller streets radiate, and San Francisco’s compact dimensions mean each rolls into the next without vast stretches of city to traverse in between. An efficient public transport system of buses, streetcars, and the BART subway makes it even more visitor-friendly.

The Castro

The colorful Castro district in San Francisco. Photo: Shutterstock

The home of equal rights champion Harvey Milk, the friendly, flamboyant around-the-clock party that is the Castro neighborhood is also located at the spiritual and physical heart of San Francisco.

Anchor Oyster Bar

The intimate and locally owned Anchor Oyster Bar seats 20 at the most and has been serving up a menu of sustainably caught seafood for the past three decades.

Anchor Oyster Bar

579 Castro St 94114, San Francisco

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Richmond

View of the Richmond district of San Francisco. Photo: Shutterstock

Leave historical Chinatown for the amateurs. The Richmond District in the northwest corner of the city has a huge Asian population, and it’s where the best dumplings and other Asian-influenced food can be found.

Shanghai Dumpling King

Make sure your visit the unassuming, no-frills (and cash-only) Shanghai Dumpling King delivers up all the steaming baskets of xiao long bao and soup dumplings your heart could desire.

Shanghai Dumpling King

696 Monterey Blvd, San Francisco

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North Beach

In the North Beach area you'll find Little Italy with Italian restaurants, delicatessens and bakeries. Photo: Shutterstock

Before San Francisco became a city, it was known as the Barbary Coast, for its lawless nature and saloons frequented by sailors. A little of this maritime flavor remains in the old North Beach neighborhood, adjacent to Fisherman’s Wharf and home to the city’s petite Little Italy.

Comstock Saloon

A regular fixture on national cocktail bar hotlists, the Comstock Saloon features black-aproned barkeeps and a beautifully restored, turn-of-the-20th-century wood-paneled bar, setting the scene for vintage drinks and a refined, contemporary version of saloon food.

Comstock Saloon

155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco

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The Mission

The Mission District is historically the Latin neighborhood. Photo: Shutterstock

Historically, the Mission District is a Latin neighborhood, anchored by San Francisco’s oldest surviving structure, the Mission Dolores — one of 21 religious outposts originally established by Spanish Franciscan priests dotted up the Californian coast. With Silicon Valley pushing up property prices and the attendant process of gentrification.

Tartine Bakery

The little, French and popular Tartine Bakery is known for its fantastic breads and pastries. Today, Tartine Bakery is found on five different locations around San Francisco. Anyone who wants to visit the original head to the one located in the Mission area.

Tartine Bakery

600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco

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Financial District

The Financial District in San Francisco seen from above. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Financial District is the neighborhood that serves as the main central business district in San Francisco. This is where you'll fint the largest concentration of corporate headquarters, insurance companies, savings and loan banks, real estate firms, law firms, and other financialinstitutions.

MKT

Located on the fifth floor of the ritzy Four Seasons Hotel, MKT is a new farm-to-table restaurant, with interior design inspired by the city’s newspaper-publishing roots. The Cali-derived menu consists of small plates (sample: scallops with roasted eggplant, brown butter, sorrel, and black mission figs), locally produced steak from top ranchers and wines from the nearby Napa Valley. Capped off with near-telepathic service, it’s a treat.

MKT

757 Market St, San Francisco

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Oakland

On the other side of the bridge you will find Oakland. Photo: Shutterstock

Also consider taking a short trip across the bridge to Oakland, the area’s new bastion of cool and home to new restaurants, bars, and venues that have opened their doors in recent years. A short walk from the harborside Jack London Square, there’s the legendary Everett & Jones barbecue restaurant, and old Oakland, with its several-square-block area of Victorian buildings housing up-and-coming and heritage eateries, such as Ratto’s market and deli, and facing it across the street, vintage-style Italian bistro Desco.

Duende

Duende, a stunning, modern, Spanish eatery and bodega in a huge former flower depot, is run by former musician Paul Canales. It was fitted out by his artist friends, contains a music venue, and features some delicious and visually arresting plates, including a black paella, with squid ink, crayfish, white fish, and fried cherry tomatoes

Duende

468 19th St, Oakland

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