I am thrilled to see that the first post in my new series, San Francisco Profiles featuring the Sunset District with my friend Derek was so well received! Like Paris, San Francisco is a city of villages and what better way to introduce you to them than to interview locals about their favorite parts? I will continue to reach out to friends who are either natives or have lived in San Francisco for awhile and ask them where their favorite hangouts are. After each interview, I am including additional spots to check out should you choose to visit.
Meet Matthew. (Update: my wonderful friend Matthew passed away in the fall of 2017, a wonderful man full of passion for San Francisco, and in particular his neighborhood of Miraloma.)
Matthew was one of the hippest 50-year-olds I know! By day he was a brilliant brand strategist, but when he stepped out of the office he was a passionate environmentalist, veteran Burning Man participant and all-night clubber. He was also an extremely nurturing and responsible parent and as a result, he has two of the coolest kids I have ever met (and I am pretty particular about rugrats). As you might expect (being a friend of mine) he was a big foodie, he and I enjoyed many explorations seeking out tasty lunches. I have also never met anyone who appreciated a 99% dark chocolate bar as much as Mr. Misadventures and I do!
Matthew lived in a very special and really small neighborhood called Miraloma Park. I mentioned that Sunset is residential, well Miraloma Park is almost exclusively so, with not much in the way of retail, I’ll share a few spots in the black book section at the end. Instead, Matthew shares a little about some of his other favorite San Francisco spots. (He actually has to leave his Wisteria Lane to get to the good spots…)
 Favorite thing about San Francisco.
The hills. I love the terrain of San Francisco. It’s one of the most unique features of the city; it provides us views from so many places, reference points, they help define many of the neighborhoods, and of course contribute to our micro-climates.
 Least favorite thing about San Francisco.
The remaining elevated freeways near Potrero Hill and SoMa. When you tear those down, good things happen (you can now see the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley).
 What differentiates your neighborhood?
My neighborhood is Miraloma Park (few know it) and it’s unique for its proximity to Mt. Davidson (the tallest point in San Francisco) and Glenn Canyon Park. The coyotes are quite vocal at night and the red-tailed hawks soar above regularly. It’s one of the few neighborhoods that’s more like the hills of Mill Valley and less like the city (which has pros and cons).
 Favorite coffee spot in San Francisco.
I have a few favorite coffee spots: Papa November cart in Lower Potrero Hill (15th and Kansas) for mornings on the run (they make a delicious cortado, which is not common). XO in Noe Valley (1799 Church St.) because that’s where my partner and I often squeeze in a quiet coffee before work (so more for sentimental reasons). Coffee Bar (1890 Bryant St.) in the eastern part of the Mission for days when I want to work on my laptop outside the house and office. And for all around relaxation, ambiance, and quality my favorite these days is MA-Velous at Mid-Market (1408 Market).
 Favorite spot for drinks.
Southern Pacific between the Mission and Potrero Hill (620 Treat Ave.) for casual post-work drinks. Beretta in the Mission (1199 Valencia St.) for more upscale. Rickhouse downtown (246 Kearny St) for dark and cozy when there’s a hankering for stiff drinks.
 Favorite local hangout.
I love any of the MANY hangouts in Golden Gate Park, especially the roller skating spot (on Sundays) near 6th Ave. where “The Godfather of Roller Skating” bring his boom box and organizers skaters around a makeshift rink. People gather around, picnic, dance, skate, and just hang out.
 Favorite lunch spot.
Ananda Fuara in Mid-Market (1298 Market St).
 Favorite dinner spot.
Ooh, so many for different reasons, but here are a few: Gitane (downtown, 6 Claude Ln) for higher end dinner and for overall decor, menu, service, etc. Beretta for nice pizza (Mission). Source for vegetarian (Lower Potrero Hill/SoMa, 11 Division St.). Liberty Cafe in Bernal Heights (410 Cortland Ave.) for comfort food
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
I like taking new-comers to one or all of four places: Audium near Pacific Heights (1616 Bush St.) for a weird experience. Twin Peaks on a clear day or night for the 360-degree view of our city. The audio tour of Alcatraz; absolutely mesmerizing and a little scary. Fort Point during the day for an unforgettable view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the city.
Here are a few spots in San Francisco’s Miraloma Park:
EAT – Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch/Dinner:
> Creighton’s American Bakery (673 Portola Dr.) for great fruit tarts and bran muffins (check out the Ohio sugar cookie too)
> Tower Burger (729 Portola Dr.) try the original tower burger made with Niman beef and don’t miss the onion rings
> Pop’s Sandwich Shop (737 Portola Dr.) get the Freebird for a taste of Thanksgiving all year round, every sub comes with a lollipop!
> Taquieria Miraloma (755 Portola Dr.) inside the Miraloma Market and known for their burritos, tried the pulled pork one
DRINK – Bars:
> Miraloma Club (749 Portola Dr.) Blue collar dive bar at the highest elevation of any drinking establishment in the city.
THINGS TO DO:
> Visit the park in Miraloma Park. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle once wrote, “Hard to believe, but true, that the best view in San Francisco is from the top of the kiddie slide at Miraloma Park.
> Hike in Mt. Davidson (the tallest point in SF) including the Mt. Davidson cross
> Glenn Canyon Park
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
Here are other posts and guides from a few other local sources.
The Mergy Notes – a blogger who posts about things happening in the area, particularly Mt. Davidson
History of the Miraloma Park area from MtDavidson.org
More Miraloma Park history from Outsidelands.org
How about you? Do you have any Miraloma Park additions? Have you been to this area of San Francisco? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?
See my entire collection of San Francisco post in my San Francisco Guide. Also you can save 42% off admission to the best San Francisco attractions with a San Francisco CityPASS. PLUS, skip most tickets lines!
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