There are certain blocks in this city that seem like mini-universes. Each week, we'll highlight a stretch of pavement where you could spend an entire day and night. First up? 22nd Street between Mission and Valencia.
Where to shop: Need to blow some cash? Just got paid? Head to one of the Mission's finest boutiques, Mira Mira. This hyper-curated spot is a girl's wildest dream come true. It specializes in hard-to-find independent designers like Something Else, Clover Canyon, One Teaspoon, Only Hearts, TBA, and stuff from Parisian jeweler Marine de Diesbach. Top your shopping trip off by heading to the Skechers Outlet on the corner and picking up some shiny new kicks. Kidding!
Where to get your hair done: For the girls, Pretty Pretty Collective will take care of your 'do with expert care and precision, from cut to color, no matter whether you're going to be on the runway or just strutting your stuff down Valencia Street. And while you're getting your hair did, you'll have plenty to look at. PPC is also a mini art gallery with continuously revolving art installations direct from 111 Minna. How's that for legit? For the guys, Willy's Barber Shop, an old-school, no-frills barbershop, will take care of any stray hairs from your beard to your head. And with prices topping out well under $20, you'll have plenty left for tipping.
Where to drink: Honor a time-honored tradition and let yourself slip into a margarita haze at the rough-and-tumble Latin American Club. Sure, the other drinks are mighty stiff, but grab one or two of their hefty margs in a pint glass, and you'll be set for the night. If you're there at the right time, you might score a window booth with your friends for prime people watching sessions.
Happy hour: From 4-7 pm on weekdays, Cava 22 gets pretty happening for happy hour. Beers are $3, margaritas are $4 and they have a huge tequila selection. Bar bites include ceviche and nachos, but if you're feeling like an entree, try one of their seafood dishes. Make-Out Room sports a weekday happy hour (excluding Friday) from 6-8 pm, wherein PBR pints are $2, well drinks are $3, and micro-pints are $3.
Photo via vittlemonster.com
Breakfast: While you may have a wait ahead of you if you come during rush hour, Boogaloos is often times worth it. If you're sitting at one of their sidewalk tables, you'll get to watch the Mission world go by, with a steaming cup of coffee in front of you. We recommend their lemon cornmeal pancakes, the uber-indulgent Temple 'O Spuds, and their Polenta 'n' Eggs. And this place is seriously vegetarian and vegan-friendly. You can sub tofu for eggs in any dish, and even veggie steak and chorizo is something they'll happily cook up for you.
Lunch: Our favorite sandwich to order at legendary Lucca is Sandwich #1 (it's on our Big Eat), which boasts ham, salame, mortadella, provolone, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, mild italian peppers for just $6.59. You're not far from the park so if you need a place to scarf it down, head to Dolo. Escape from NY is good for lunch or late night, depending on how many drunk people you want to fight that last slice of mushroom-pepperoni for.
Dinner: Garcon is where to take your date if you're looking to seal the deal, whatever that means to you. From cheese plates to steak frites to coq au vin, this spot has French food on lock. But if that all sounds a little scary to you, you can always opt for the Angus beef hamburger on a brioche bun. Lolo is a colorful little nook that's pretty unique when it comes to Mission-style Mexican fare. Their menu usually tops out at $15 for entrees, so if it's a date night, things won't get sticky once the bill comes. Our mouths water for their Tuna Tacon, their Squash Blossom Quesadillas, and the Wonton Ravioli with Huitlacoche and Requeson. But really, everything on their playful menu is bound to please. Be sure to get their sangria, and look forward to theri upcoming Agave Bar, featuring their house-made Mezcal.
Where to wild out: Awesome DJ nights, cheap, impromptu shows (from the likes of Sic Alps, Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore, Jonathan Richman, and more), and 60s prom-esque decor makes the Make-Out Room one of the most endearing dives in the area. There's plenty of room to dance, lounge, and drink any night of the week away. If you're a writer, definitely get in on their once-monthly Writers With Drinks event to massage your brain a bit. Because Burning Man is coming up, I thought I'd include Revolution Cafe. Walk by, and you'll see what I mean. It's a tad small, but they've got live music during the early evenings and some afternoons, beer and wine specials, and ample outdoor seating.