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The sunny neighborhood of NoPa/Alamo Square is one of the most walkable and exciting areas to visit in SF. It’s home to extraordinary food, drinks, parks, shopping, and entertainment. It’s also a short walk from Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, and the historic Fillmore District. It’s perfect for a brunch date, a mid-day park hang or a night of bar hopping with friends. In short, it’s a very easy neighborhood to love. Here’s a guide to the best things to see and do during your next visit to NoPa and Alamo Square.
1. The Mill
A joint venture between Josey Baker Bread and Four Barrel Coffee, The Mill serves deftly poured cappuccinos and drip coffee alongside freshly baked artisanal toast and other treats. The airy space is also a whole-grain sourdough bakery where the smell of fresh bread is always in the air. Breakfast is the most popular time to visit but don’t miss their pizza night which happens every Monday from 5pm-8pm.
Location: 736 Divisadero Street
This sunny corner cafe has been a neighborhood favorite since it first opened its doors in 2009. A great spot for coffee, a sandwich, and even a glass of wine in the afternoon.
Location: 1799 McAllister Street
Thanks to its central location, fair prices, and proximity to the nightlife along Divisadero Street, Bean Bag Cafe is a Nopa/Alamo Square staple since 1992. Try one of their breakfast burritos, sweet crepes, and other breakfast treats.
Location: 601 Divisadero Street
This open and airy cafe, bakery, and restaurant are one of the most exciting additions to the neighborhood in the past few years. Their house-made pastries and breakfast sandwiches are all worth a try, including their smoked trout tartine and miso white chocolate blondie.
Location: 1801 McAllister Street
5. Eddie’s Cafe
Eddie’s is a rare breed in SF, a working-class restaurant that serves generous portions of delicious food at an affordable price. Eddie’s Cafe serves classics like omelets, pancakes, grits, and hamburgers. Coffee is served in an assortment of mismatched mugs that line the back wall. Eddie’s isn’t fancy, but it’s deeply satisfying and unlike anywhere else in SF.
Location: 800 Divisadero Street
This extraordinary restaurant has roots in New Orleans and a deep love of southern cooking. Their brunch menu includes freshly made beignets, low country gumbo, biscuits and gravy, and other southern classics. This food is rooted in tradition, beautifully plated, and very tasty.
Location: 919 Divisadero Street
7. Alamo Square
This hilltop park is located along Steiner St. and offers a postcard-perfect view of some of SF’s most famous houses, the Painted Ladies. This row of seven Queen Anne Victorian-style homes is one of the most recognizable sites in SF and has been featured in movies such as Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and television shows like Full House (1987-1995). Its a great place to snap a few pics or spread out a picnic blanket.
Location: Steiner Street between Hayes and Fulton.
The Panhandle is one of the most underrated parks in SF due to its unusual shape. This long, skinny green space is eight blocks long (0.75 miles) and 1 block wide. It’s home to a public outdoor gym, a playground, a basketball court, and inviting expanses of green grass that are perfect for picnics and casual sunbathing. It also offers separate running/walk paths and bike paths that serve as an important connector between the famed “wiggle” bike path and Golden Gate Park.
Location: Between Oak and Fell Streets, and bordered by Stanyan and Baker streets.
9. Rare Device
This bright and airy gift shop focuses on home goods, cards, prints, and other unique items. If you’re looking for unique gifts for friends and family, this place is a great place to stop.
Location: 600 Divisadero Street
10. Perish Trust
Perish Trust is a modern general store carrying rustic, vintage home goods & unique pieces made by local craftspeople. You’ll find items here that you won’t find anywhere else in SF.
Location: 728 Divisadero Street
11. Asmbly Hall
Asmbly Hall is a popular clothing store that specializes in an assorted mix of hip and novel apparel with a focus on quality and craftsmanship. They describe their unique style as “sophisticated prep.”
Location: 624 Divisadero Street
This Divisadero Street clothing boutique carries curated pieces from local and independent designers. It’s one of the only clothing boutiques on the block and they’re definitely worth a visit.
Location:505 Divisadero Street
4505 is a must-stop for anyone who craves barbeque in SF. Their brisket, burgers, chicken, and house-made sauces are all extraordinary. Their large outdoor patio is a great place to enjoy barbeque and a beer along Divisadero.
Location: 705 Divisadero Street
14. Lucinda’s Deli
Lucinda’s Deli is a block down from Alamo Square and makes some of the most popular sandwiches in the neighborhood. They’re a popular destination with no indoor seating, so it’s best to order ahead unless you want to stand around for a bit.
Location: 535 Scott Street
Souvla is a fast-casual Greek restaurant that focuses on inventive and flavorful salads, wraps, frozen yogurt, and other Greek specialties.
Location: 531 Divisadero Street
16. Bi-Rite Market
Bi-Rite is a specialty grocery store that also makes some extraordinary sandwiches. They have an excellent range of gourmet options from a tasty tuna Nicoise to their popular “vegan hippie” (pictured) and tons of other sides and grocery items to choose from. Bi-Rite carries some of the most beautiful and freshest fruits and vegetables you’ve ever feasted your eyes on, so be sure to visit.
Location: 550 Divisadero Street
17. Fool’s Errand
This cave-like wine bar is a great date spot, a gathering place for friends, and the perfect spot to enjoy a solo date with wine and a good book. They offer cute sidewalk seating, plenty of tables indoors,s and a small counter with a few seats. They’re known for the Reisling selection, but they have an excellent by-the-glass menu from natural to classic pours. They don’t offer a full food menu but do have some nice snacks to enjoy including tinned fish and cheeses with fresh baguette.
Location: 639A Divisadero Street
This charming cocktail bar creates a gentle transition from outdoors that reminds us of drinking in a beautiful greenhouse. They have an inventive cocktail menu and a tasty food menu that makes it a perfect spot for brunch to dinner and even late-night bites. It’s a very easy place to love.
Location: 528 Divisadero Street
19. Madrone Art Bar
Madrone is an important nightlife hub and home of the famous “Motown on Mondays” dance party. It’s not a huge space, but they use every inch of this incredible space to host some truly legendary parties. They have DJ and karaoke events every night of the week, so check their calendar for the latest.
Location: 500 Divisadero Street
20. Che Fico
This large and airy restaurant focuses on Italian cuisine through the lens of California. The chef’s Jewish-Roman heritage plays a huge role in the dynamic menu. The food is familiar, playful, beautifully plated, and deeply flavorful. In interior puts the entire culinary process on display, from the open kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven to their salami curing room and the hundreds of persimmons dangling from the rafters.
Location: 838 Divisadero Street
This upscale sushi restaurant is a bit more relaxed and has more of a chic party vibe than your average sushi bar. They pride themselves on their incredible selection of Japanese shochu and sake, which pair beautifully with the cuisine. The fish that Tsunami serves is flown in daily from Japan’s famed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.
Location: 1306 Fulton Street
Nopa is a popular restaurant and gathering place on Divisadero Street that is known for its extraordinary cocktail menu, wood-fired cooking, and gorgeous interior. Bar seating is first come first served, otherwise reservations are recommended from this extremely popular restaurant.
Location: 560 Divisadero Street
23. The Independent
as the best (and only) concert venue in the neighborhood, The Independent has hosted world-renowned acts like Green Day, John Legend, Dave Chappelle, and many others. With a capacity of 500, it attracts big names but still provides an intimate setting for concertgoers.
Location: 628 Divisadero Street
24. Emporium SF
This historic theater-turned-arcade bar is one of the liveliest spots in the neighborhood. It’s a fun place to visit solo but can easily accommodate groups of almost any size. They host DJ nights and other fun events throughout the week and feature a full bar and the option to bring your own food from outside. Table reservations are free and highly recommended for larger groups.
Location: 616 Divisadero Street