A neighborhood not so long ago considered to be off the beaten path (and that's putting it nicely) by San Francisco's affluent and hipster denizens alike, the Bayview—along with its oft-hyphenated neighbor Hunter's Point—has been quietly edging toward a renaissance in recent years, with urban pioneers and artists migrating here in search of cheaper housing and studio space. Developers got the memo, and soon the nearby San Francisco Shipyard, a World War II–era naval base turned modern mixed-use project with pre-fab condos and visions of grandeur, became a thing.
But, of course, such movement was the pebble that started the ripple toward gentrification in this corner of the city historically populated by a low-income African American community; the ripple became a tidal wave earlier this summer when a photo campaign titled "I Am Bayview"—in collaboration with Bayview Underground and district supervisor Malia Cohen—pictured a young, Mission-y–looking white guy in a series of 29 images of residents and triggered emotions about gentrification that were floating so very near our collective surface.
The project's art director, George McCalman, says gentrification wasn't originally the point: "The project, indeed, was an homage and a celebration of the African-American residents and the diversity of the whole neighborhood," he says. "The whole controversy was a misinterpretation of the work, which is fine with me, as it initiated an interesting debate. The campaign bares the soul of a beloved neighborhood when real estate is at a premium and everyone has a heightened sense of how everyday people can be affected adversely."
And this is the crux of this moment in the Bayview: a diverse neighborhood both growing for good and potentially the not-so-good; the next golden land for real estate developers and investors, but still a borough of opportunity for an entrepreneurial maker set who's making the forgotten 'hood home. There remains a deep sense of community here with residents and independent business owners fighting to keep its identity alive—just look at Imprint.City, the nonprofit that's bringing art installations and cultural events to the area, and the Quesada Gardens Initiative whose volunteer-led efforts are greening local public spaces.
The Bayview is as rich as it is complex, and it deserves the moment of attention that the recent controversy has afforded it (for better or for worse). But go see for yourself: We've rounded up some of the neighborhood's most authentic flavors, artistic endeavors, and more. Here's where to eat, drink, shop, and play in the 'hood.
Plant mavens Bay Area–wide cross town and bridges to get to Flora Grubb Gardens (1634 Jerrold Ave.), a once abandoned building turned lush green mecca bursting with the most succulent succulents and exotic foliage, plus all your planting needs, garden objets, books, and more. Grab an espresso from the Ritual Coffee bar to enjoy in the backyard or at the long DIY table where you can employ soil, stones, and stems to create your own living work of art. // In 2009, Tina Colloway opened Urban Farmgirls (1584 Wallace Ave.), offering garden design services, products, and staging. Since then, she's become known among insiders for her line of Pozzola pots that look like heavy-duty cement pottery but are, instead, lightweight, earth-friendly alternatives that come in all shapes and sizes. Look for the vintage Airstream parked out front. // Tina Frey Designs (1485 Bancroft Ave.), made the move from Dogpatch to Bayview in the summer of 2018. Stop by the fashionable studio and showroom to shop her signature resin housewares and accessories in black, white, and candy-colored hues, as well as vintage finds and artworks curated by Frey herself. For more on the architecture and design of the space, check out our Office Envy feature, here.
If you live in the neighborhood, you're already down with All Good Pizza (1605 Jerrold Ave.), a rustic beer garden serving up Neapolitan-style pies from the brick oven, as well as salads and panini grilled on freshly baked bread. Try the prosciutto fig pizza with organic homemade fig jam, arugula, chèvre, mozzarella, and grana padano. // International soul food is on the menu at Old Skool Cafe (1429 Mendell St.), the jazz-themed nonprofit supper club that doubles as an incubator for young adults learning the arts of cooking and hospitality. Founded by entrepreneur Teresa Goines with the mission of helping at-risk youth (ages 16 to 22), Old Skool Cafe serves a mean gumbo with Dungeness crab in a 1940s-inspired space. // At Radio Africa & Kitchen (4800 3rd St.), chef/owner Eskender Aseged plates his Ethiopian recipes with a Californian twist—think saffron chicken, seared ahi tuna, and Ethiopian stew. Go on Tuesdays when there's live music. // The notable Mission-based supermarket and eatery Duc Loi Pantry (5900 3rd St.) also serves its signature banh mi in Bayview.
Before opening Laughing Monk Brewing (1439A Egbert Ave.), owner Andrew Casteel was brewing his own craft beer at home, experimenting with different styles. When he perfected his formula, he decided to share his mastery with strangers, many of whom are now his loyal clients and friends. The Bayview taproom, recognizable for its mural of an autumnal tree, pours around 16 house-made beers in Belgian, German, and Californian styles, all blended with local and seasonal ingredients. Go for yoga on Sundays and have a beer toast afterward. // Not just into beer? Seven Stills (1439 Egbert Ave.) is both brewery and distillery, so you can have your spirits with a craft beer back. Taste limited-release whiskey, house-made beer, and test batches from Seven Stills' Experimental series. // Another at-home DIYer, Barbara Gratta made wine in her garage for over 10 years before opening her tasting room just two years ago. Taste her cab, pinot grigio, and grappa at Gratta Wines (5273 3rd St.), inside Butchertown Gourmet Marketplace, Thursdays through Sundays. // Sake lovers will enjoy the fresh Junmai styles brewed onsite at Sequoia Sake (50 Apparel Way). // Sweet on honey wine? Give it a try at San Francisco Mead Company (1180 Shafter Ave.) on Saturdays (1 to 6 pm) during a tasting tour lead by one of the founders and mead makers.
Baker Xan DeVoss started the Butchertown Gourmet marketplace along with Barbara Gratta of Gratta Wines. Here you can pick up fresh brioche, rye, challah, bagels and more, all naturally fermented onsite, at DeVoss' micro artisan bakery, Fox and Lion Bread (5273 3rd St.). There are also salads and sandwiches—order up the the portobella with pecorino cheese and grilled onions. // Chef William Werner has brought his beloved Craftsman and Wolves (1598 Yosemite Ave.) to Bayview, where residents are happy to have their Meyer lemon morning buns and strawberry jam kouign amanns without driving to Valencia Street. The cafe also serves lunch on weekdays. // Followers of SF's well known Feve Artisan Chocolatier (2210 Keith St.) can purchase Michelin-starred pastry chef Shawn Williams' signature pralines, truffles, and candied nuts directly from his laboratory. Choosing is hard work—go for black sesame matcha, almond lemon crunch, and bourbon pecan.
Founded in 2016 by art consultant Tyra Fennel and Laughing Monk Brewery's Andrew Casteel, Imprint.City is a nonprofit aimed at activating the neighborhood's underutilized spaces with art and cultural events, such as Bayview Live, a festival dedicated to urban music, visual and performing arts, and tech. Last year, the group unveiled The Sprayview, a street museum on Egbert Avenue composed of 15 eye-catching murals by artists and galleries including Fnnch, Josue Rojas, 1am Gallery, and Royal Dog. // Inside the mystical landscape design HQ that is Living Green (1465 Custer Ave.), Andres Guerrero's Guerrero Gallery hosts shows for both emerging and established mid-career artists, such as recent turns from Libby Black and Terri Friedman. This summer, see works by Tosha Stimage and Cheryl Pope (through July 7) and local mixed media artist Laura Rokas (July 14 through Aug. 11).