Modern Guide to the Inner Richmond: Endless Eats + Park Life
(Courtesy of @walterparenteau)

Modern Guide to the Inner Richmond: Endless Eats + Park Life

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Once written off as the "outside lands," today's Inner Richmond has all the makings of the next hip San Francisco neighborhood—even if its residents might like to keep that a secret.

Situated between the Presidio and Golden Gate Park, the Inner Richmond balances the hustle of urban life with the innately laid-back nature of SF's west side. It is anchored by two main drags, Clement Street and Geary Boulevard, each dotted with countless restaurants with a heavy Asian accent—the 'hood isn't called SF's "New Chinatown" for nothing. Have fun shopping the many Chinese markets and, of course, gorging on some of the best dim sum in town.


The Inner Richmond, though, represents many flavors and cultures—there's also Vietnamese, Korean, French, Italian, Russian, and Irish. If you crave it, you can probably get it here. If you're in the mood for an adult beverage, choose from a selection of dive bars, wine bars, and draught houses. Or, grab a coffee at one of many cute cafes and check out the neighborhood's boutiques and artisan shops.

Restaurants & Bars in San Francisco's Inner Richmond

Inner Richmond's spate of Chinese restaurants is recently joined by Mamahuhu, from chef Brandon Jiu of Chinatown's Mister Jiu's.

(Courtesy of Mamahuhu)

Restaurants

For more than 40 years, Inner Richmond locals have been kicking off weekends with breakfast at Eats(50 Clement St.), a just-right spot to fuel up on chicken and waffles, spinach portobello Benedicts, or huevos rancheros before a hike in the Presidio. // Plant-based cafe Nourish(189 6th Ave.) serves up grain bowls, organic smoothies, sandwiches, toasts, and GF wraps. // With multiple Bay Area locations, KoJa Kitchen's (343 Clement St.) Clement Street outpost is the place to go for Korean-Japanese fusion that won't break the bank. // No-frills institution Good Luck Dim Sum(736 Clement St.) has an astounding variety of dumplings, most of which are purchased as part of an affordable three for $3.30 deal. // For a more contemporary experience, head one street over to Dumpling Baby China Bistro(3751 Geary Blvd), to get crispy pork lumpia, soup dumplings, and bao buns for takeout. // Get a big bowl of crab pho or a crispy duck bahn mi sandwich for $12 or less at Cafe Bunn Mi(417 Clement St). Cash only, folks. // Family-owned Italian restaurant Giorgio's(151 Clement St.) has been serving the Inner Richmond pizza, pasta, and other Italian classics for over 40 years. // Burma Superstar's (309 Clement St.) tea leaf salad is a neighborhood headliner; the Burmese flavors are worth the wait in line. // Prefer not to wait? A few blocks over, sister restaurant B Star (127 Clement St.) serves some of the same favorites alongside more fusion dishes. // Chapeau (126 Clement St.) is known for consistent, classic French cuisine and great hospitality. Diners can order menu items à la carte, or take part in their three-course menu for $65 // Be sure to make a reservation at the Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Wako(211 Clement St.) for fresh omakase in an intimate setting. // Heritage Restaurant & Bar(708 Clement St.) serves seasonal California cuisine and cocktails in a 1908 historic building. // If you're in the mood for Mediterranean, head to Kitchen Istanbul(349 Clement St.) to share mezes and kebabs with friends. // AtMamahuhu(517 Clement St.), you can order from a selection of Chinese-American classics—mapo tofu, sweet and sour chicken—brought to you by Brandon Jew, of Michelin-starred restaurant Mister Jiu's. // Its five-star rating on Yelp doesn't lie—Caliente Bistro Kitchen(4828 Geary Blvd) is the go-to spot for Mexican food in the neighborhood. // For homemade pasta and expertly selected wines, spend a quiet evening at Corks(4342 California St.).

Coffee & Sweets

The atmosphere is always chill at neighborhood staple Blue Danube Coffee House(306 Clement St.). Enjoy some Mexican hot chocolate or a solid chicken sandwich in this homey cafe known for its eclectic decor. // If you're looking to grab a quick breakfast or lunch—think bagels, breakfast burritos, sandwiches —before heading to nearby Golden Gate Park, be sure to stop at The Velo Rouge Cafe(798 Arguello Blvd.). // Also by Golden Gate Park is Rise & Grind Coffee and Tea(785 8th Ave.). This modern spot has an extensive drink menu that includes original creations like a black sesame latte, as well as a drip coffee with espresso drink appropriately named the red eye. // Line up for the famous, freshly baked croissants at Arsicault Bakery(397 Arguello Blvd). // Get your pirogi fix at Cinderella Russian Bakery(436 Balboa St.), which has been serving the pastries alongside such Russian specialties as borscht and piroshki since 1953. // Previously named Toy Boat Dessert Cafe, Toy Boat by Jane(401 Clement St.) serves everything from ice cream to wraps in a fun and colorful, kid-friendly space. Their motto: "Healthy eating means having a salad and a cookie—it's all about balance." // Speaking of healthy eating, build your own açaí bowl or grab a fresh juice at Palmetto Superfoods(202 Clement St.). // Family-run Schubert's Bakery(521 Clement St.) will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings with their huge assortment of cakes and desserts.

Bars

Grab a pint and enjoy live Celtic music at mainstay Irish bar The Plough and Stars(116 Clement St.). // Darts, pool tables, and a menu that includes shepherd's pie makes The Bitter End(441 Clement St.) a fun hangout after a busy day. // With plenty of pours plus bar bites in a modern setting, neighborhood wine bar High Treason(443 Clement St.) is the perfect spot for a date or to catch up with a friend. // Stop by Richmond Republic Draught House(642 Clement St.) to enjoy some of their 20-plus beers on tap and some seriously good bar food. If you live in the area, join their Mug Club for $150 dollars and get a free beer on Tuesdays, happy hour prices always, and more. //Scarlet Lounge(408 Clement St.) is a cozy and welcoming bar that serves a notoriously good bacon bloody mary. // If you're more in the mood for German food, beer, and a sports bar atmosphere, Steins(731 Clement St.) will do the trick.

Inner Richmond Neighborhood Shops

Green Apple Books. (Courtesy of Michael Lyon)

Browse the thoughtfully sourced collection of design objects, art, paper goods, T-shirts, and occasional exhibits at Park Life(220 Clement St.). // If you're in search of the perfect gift be sure to stop at Foggy Notion(124 Clement St.) for environmentally conscious skincare, fragrances, ceramics, and jewelry from local artisans. // Yonder Shop(701 11th Ave.) offers a curated selection of ceramics and knickknacks from around the globe. The space also doubles as a ceramic studio for owner Linda Fahey and art studio for Zai Divecha. // Shopping for the little one in your life? With whimsical toys in a retro space, Tantrum(248 Clement St.) is a must. // Crammed with new and vintage tomes, Green Apple Books(506 Clement St.) is a bookworm's paradise. Be prepared to lose track of the time in this literary haven. // Find the fiddle leaf fig of your dreams at Sloat Garden Center(327 3rd Ave.). // Jazz up your kitchen shelves with affordable tableware and kitchen essentials at Kamei Restaurant Supply (525 Clement St.)—they have everything you could ever want and need. // Tea connoisseurs will love neighborhood gem Aroma Tea Shop(302 6th Ave.), where you can peruse endless loose leaf teas recommended by their expert employees. // At vintage boutique The Golden Hour(147 Clement St.) you can look through clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home items sourced from all around the world. // Makers and creators flock to The Wishing Well Workshop(252 Clement St.) for art supplies and printing services of all kinds. // Try your hand at pottery making by taking classes at Richmond Clay House(1017 Clement St.).

Things to Do in SF's Inner Richmond

Walk along Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line, at the Presidio's Lover's Lane.

(Courtesy of Mitch on Unsplash)

Parks + Fitness

Bordered by Golden Gate Park and The Presidio—San Francisco's largest and most beautiful natural areas—the Inner Richmond is a prime jumping-off point for outdoor activities. In the Presidio, go for a walk down Lover's Lane or hang out at family- and dog-friendly Mountain Lake Park. In Golden Gate Park, rent a boat on Stow Lake; peer into the Bison Paddock; stroll through more than 2,000 species of plants and flowers in a Victorian-era glass greenhouse at the Conservatory of Flowers(100 John F. Kennedy Dr.). // If you're looking for a leisurely Sunday morning activity, pick up some fresh produce at the weekly Clement Street Farmers Market(200 Clement St.) which runs from 9am to 2pm year-round. // In need of an indoor workout? Active Pilates (9 Clement St.) offers small group and private Gyrotonic and reformer classes. // Yogis will love the many power classes at Moxie Yoga(182 6th Ave.).

Museums

Foggy day? Enlighten your mind at the de Young Museum(50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.), popular for its fashion exhibits such as Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love (through April 24, 2022). Be sure to visit the Hamon Tower Observation Level for incredible views of the city. // California Academy of Sciences(55 Music Concourse Dr.) is fun for the whole family with a living roof, aquarium, planetarium, and adults-only NightLife events.

Meet Poppy, Cruise's all-electric self-driving spokesvehicle. Five years of nonstop driving in San Francisco has made her a local's local. Like you, Poppy has been exploring every corner and celebrating all the city has to offer. From her very first drive to delivering thousands of meals during the pandemic, Poppy's journey is a love letter to San Francisco, one neighborhood at a time. Be sure to also follow her adventures and unique city knowledge on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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