San Francisco’s Mission District has seen a lot of changes over the past few years. And whether you love the change or hate it, it’s easy to see that the neighborhood is charged with energy (like our e-bikes!). Getting off at the 16th or 24th and Mission BART stops is like taking a shot of San Francisco with no chaser. Into food? You’ll love it here. Big fan of art? It’s everywhere. Want a taste of history? This is the place to find it.
The Mission District is one of the most vibrant areas in the Bay, and this quick guide shows you the can’t miss spots while you e-bike on through.
Four Barrel Coffee
Just 0.3 miles from the 16th and Mission BART stop, Four Barrel Coffee is the perfect stop to slow down and enjoy the neighborhood. And when we say slow down, we mean slowwww down. The first thing you’ll notice when entering the coffee shop is a slow bar located to the left. This serves as a nice change from the usual grab-and-go nature of most cafes. Sure, your drink takes a little longer to make, but this gives you a chance to hang out with your barista and learn about the process that makes your drink so special. Apart from the Slow Bar, Four Barrel Coffee also changes the game by playing all of their tunes on a record player. The music is barista’s choice, but we’re sure that this awesome staff wouldn’t mind looking for something in particular.
And while the music inside is a major draw, don’t miss the parklet outside. You can easily park your e-bike, sit with your coffee, and enjoy some of the best people watching in the city. It’s the perfect stop for charging your brain and your senses.
Taylor Stitch is a must if you’re a guy in the Bay Area (though they have some options for women, too!). From the outside, this little shop looks just like all of the other clothing stores around. But as soon as you enter, you’ll find it’s nothing like the rest. What sets Taylor Stitch apart is the option to make your own shirts from scratch! FROM SCRATCH! Head over to the wall of fabrics to choose from a variety of customizations (fabric, buttons, pockets, etc.). Once you’re all measured up and have made your choices, your information is sent to New Jersey where the shirts are created and shipped back in five weeks. It’s that simple!
Apart from the custom shirts, Taylor Stitch also offers a variety of bags, socks and hats to keep you looking fly while you cruise around the Bay on your e-bike. I literally wanted to buy everything in the store. Maybe next time.
Valencia Street Cruise
The e-bike really shines on Valencia St. One of the few flat roads in the city, you can zoom from place to place without needing to stop for a charge. Lined with shops, bars, restaurants and music venues – you won’t miss a beat when you ride this street.
We recommend starting at Duboce and riding it all the way, but you can mix it up to suit your needs. Here are some of our favorite spots:
- Voyager (Boutique Clothing & Home Goods)
- No Shop (Thrift)
- Samovar (High-quality teas)
- Mission Workshop (Bicycle bags & apparel)
- Self Edge (Rare Denim & Apparel)
- Paxton Gate (Plants & Gardening supplies)
- Little Paper Planes (Unique gift shop by local artists)
- Gravel And Gold (Women’s Clothing)
Ice Cream always hits the spot after a nice ride. Bi-Rite Creamery is a local favorite that offers some of the most unique flavors you’ll find. This ice cream is all hand-made in small batches, so you’ll want to come back a lot to make sure you don’t miss a good one! Highlights this week were toasted coconut, green tea, and honey lavender. They also serve ice cream sandwiches and baked goods if you’re really hungry.
Grab a cup or a cone and head across the street to enjoy your treat in Dolores Park. You may even get an impromptu concert or two to enjoy as you chow down!
After getting your fill of food and sights on Valencia, head to Gray Area to see art in a brand new light. Gray Area Foundation of The Arts focuses on showcasing artists that incorporate skills in coding and technology to deliver some out-of-this-world pieces. You’ll see interactive light displays, GIFs as art, and even a few virtual reality experiments. You’ll want to check Gray Area’s calendar beforehand to make sure that you get there when all of the fun is happening. They offer monthly events to showcase their artists and to foster a community around art that some say has been lacking in the Mission. It’s true that art and technology can play hand-in-hand, and Gray Area is leading the way in bringing that vision to San Francisco.
Whew, what a day! And that’s only a brief snapshot of things to do in the Mission. This is one of San Francisco’s most exciting neighborhoods, so you’ll want to plan a few trips to tackle it all. However, if you have your e-bike in tow, there’s no limit to the fun you’ll have here.
Enjoy the ride!