By Claire Broaddus,
A small three block radius in San Francisco is a hub of authentic culture and delicious food. This is the Mission District, a center for art, food and culture since the 70s and 80s.
A standout piece of the Mission District is the murals. One major place that the murals reside is in Balmy Alley. The alley, which is a residential area, is filled from end to end in beautiful and artistic murals.
One unique aspect of this area is the delicious food. King’s Bakery has been around for a long time and is a Mexican bakery. It was purchased years ago by a Chinese man, Sam Leung, who worked with the owners for months to learn their recipes but also expanded the menu with some of their own creations.
Chris Milano, the owner and operator of Foodie Adventures, a food tour business in San Francisco, has lived in the city all his life and has a love for the Mission District. He said that the best place for high school students would be ” La Palma, because they have lots of unique items and outdoor seating which is great for people watching.”
A long time iconic spot in this area is La Gallinita, a butcher shop that looks a bit sketchy on the outside due to the barred windows and run down appearance. When walking inside, a barrage of smells fill customers’ noses, primarily fresh carnitas and asada tacos, as well as freshly fried chicharrons, which is made of fried pork cheek and or belly. La Gallinita is run by Sal, a long time resident of the Mission District and he does lots of the cooking and enjoys talking to visitors to his shop.
The La Palma Mexicatessen opened their doors in 1953 and has been thriving ever since. They have a wide array of food such as handmade tortillas, sopesitos and tamales, but their most popular dish is their huaraches, which are made of either masa, blue corn, white corn or cactus. This delicacy is filled with beans and cheese and are downright delicious.
Milano said that he gets lots of teens on the tours. Some are visiting on vacation, some are locals who come with their families and there are also some school groups from across the Bay Area and the world.
The Mission is a long time staple and cultural area in San Francisco but is shrinking. It used to be many blocks of thriving cultural life, but now has shrunk to a mere three blocks. This is due to the technology companies popping up on all sides of the area and slowly boxing in this historic area, but if you want to escape from Davis, head to San Francisco’s Mission District.