Dogpatch is home to a burgeoning arts and maker scene. (Mural by Dominic Alleluia; photo courtesy of @cleaver_sf)

Modern Guide to Dogpatch: A burgeoning arts scene meets low-key eats and drinks

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Dogpatch is San Francisco's neighborhood that coulda, woulda, shoulda. We're all still waiting to see if it's actually gonna...gonna take off as the cutting-edge arts destination, gathering place, and residential enclave developers have been billing it as for the last several years now.


It's true that the much-anticipated Institute of Contemporary Art, heavily backed by Minnesota Street Project founders Andy and Deborah Rappaport, is slated to open here in 2022. It's also true that several luxurious new apartment and condo buildings have appeared in the waterfront 'hood of late—even architect Stanley Saitowitz has an address in the works—spurring a general sprucing up of the urban landscape and public parks in the area.

Nonetheless, buzz is buzz and reality is something else: Dogpatch still maintains a quiet vibe, at least as destinations go, especially since the pandemic. This despite its easy access to public transit and proximity to SF's champion sports arenas.

Covid wasn't kind to Dogpatch, which lost many of its mainstays including the beloved restaurant Serpentine, the second outpost of M.A.C. Modern Appealing Clothing, the Recchiuti Confections' Lab, Ann Hatch's Workshop Residence, and Traci Des Jardins' School Night.

Still, art and music lovers will find plenty of entertainment here, and there's still a solid spate of bars of restaurants where you can grab innovative Indian, a terrific bagel, craft beer, ice cream, and hipster cocktails.

See what's up in the Dogpatch these days.

Where to Eat in Dogpatch

Besharam's kachor dholki, a stew of fried English pea dumplings and thin squares of roti flatbread mingled with crunchy peanuts, radishes, and cilantro in a warm lentil broth.

(Sarah Chorey)

The Best Restaurants in Dogpatch

Owner Heena Patel spent years cultivating her craft at La Cocina before opening her first restaurant, Besharam (1275 Minnesota St.), where the innovative menu riffs on traditional Indian cuisine with Californian flair. // Covid proved fatal for longtime gathering spot Serpentine. Currently in its place, find pop-up restaurant Anomaly (2495 3rd St.), which is serving beautifully plated tasting menus at $99 a person. // The cozy, no-frills, laid-back Just For You Cafe (732 22nd St.) has been a popular breakfast destination since well before Dogpatch landed on the radar. Make the most important meal of the day count with eggs any style teamed with pork chops, apple-sausage, or catfish on housemade breads. Their beignets are legendary. // We love the homemade pasta and thin crust pizzas served inside and on the sunny patio at the bright yellow Victorian house that is Piccino (1001 Minnesota St.). // Gilberth's Rotisserie & Grill (2427 3rd St.) is labor of love: While chef/owner Gilberth Cab, originally from the Yucatan, is creating his Latin-fusion menus, his wife Julia sources the best wines for pairing. // Simple in decoration and with only few tables, Marcella's Lasagneria (1099 Tennessee St.) will win you over with freshly made lasagnas for carnivores and vegetarians alike. We're fans of the new build-your-own bellinis at lunch. // An old-timer in Dogpatch, Hard Knox Café (2526 3rd St.) aims to sate your soul with Southern comfort food. Look for their exceptional Belgian waffles paired with crisp fried chicken and cornbread muffins. // Long Bridge Pizza Co. (2347 3rd St.) is Dogpatch's answer to the neighborhood pizza place, though Tuesdays and Wednesdays bring burgers and chicken parm. // Organic everything—avocado toast, burger, breakfast burrito, smoothie bowl—is on the menu at The Plant Cafe (2335 Third St.), which has added grocery items and organic barbecue to its offering. // Gluten lovers grab breakfast sandos and banh mi at Wooly Pig (2295 3rd St.), a homey spot that's all about community and friendly serviced. Soups and salads are also on offer.


Cafes + Specialty Shops

Attention, bagel lovers! Daily Driver (2535 3rd St.) slings freshly made organic bagels schmeared with cultured butter, cream cheese, and spreads all homemade in the onsite creamery. Get there early (they stop serving at 2pm) for bagel sandwiches stuffed with the likes of gravlax with dill cream cheese; Petaluma beef bagel dogs; a few salads and baked goods; and lots of coffee drinks. // When the owner of beloved ice cream shop Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous was ready for a pandemic-era change of pace, the Sunday Family team stepped in. Now called Sunday Social (699 22nd St.), the neighborhood creamery is still serving rotating weekly flavors such as sweet cream, frozen hot chocolate, and java. // Some of the city's best croissants, tarts, and macarons are to be found at Neighbor Bakehouse (2343 3rd St.). Advance pre-order and delivery are available // Every neighborhood needs a cheese shop. La Fromagerie (2425 3rd St.) offers an impressive international selection alongside a concise of menu of cheese platters, light eats, and wines by the glass. // In the American Industry Building, the chocolatiers at Nosh This (2325 3rd St., Suite 326) are known for their award-winning Almond Crack and Bacon Crack. // Olivier's Butchery (1074 Illinois St.) is a traditional French-style boucherie committed to sourcing quality meats—that means pasture-raised, grass-fed, and non-GMO—from sustainable ranchers. // Honey Bear Boba (801 22nd St.) will satisfy all your milk tea, matcha latte, and mango slushie needs. // Have your cake uniquely decorated and eat it too: The Cake Gallery (1661 Tennessee St.) can take your party from sweet to sublime with confections designed for pretty much every theme you can imagine. Purple Rain? They got you.

Where to Grab a Drink in Dogpatch

Ungrafted wine bar provides a signature photo op.

(Sarah Chorey)

Beer

Harmonic Brewing (1050 26th St.) keeps its mothership in the neighborhood. Ample indoor and outdoor seating, a dog-friendly policy, tap beers, and food trucks make it a locals favorite. // // The beloved Haight Street brewery goes full-service here in Dogpatch: Magnolia Brewing (2505 3rd St.) is a lofty, industrial space with the scent of hops lingering in the air and communal tables for devouring American fare—think roast chicken, pork chops, and sausages. Cans and growlers of beer are available to go; there's also a short but strong list of cocktails and a few wines by the glass.

Wine

With limited seating in pandemic times, reservations are recommended if you hope to dine in (or on the patio) at Ungrafted (2419 3rd St.), the wine bar and retail shop run by an all-sommelier team with an eye toward budget-friendly yet expensive-tasting wines. The food pairings are legit: Order up bratwust, fried chicken, or caviar. Want to learn more about wine? Blind tasting flights and classes are also available. // With a focus on small-batch organic and biodynamic wines, Yield (2490 3rd St.) is perfect for intimate nightcaps or after-work drinks. Peckish? Pair your glass with the usual accompaniments.

Cocktails

The whole "jerky bar" aspect here still confounds us, but there's no denying that Third Rail (628 20th St.) makes some mean drinks. Even the snobbiest cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate seasonal ingredients and hand-cut ice in concoctions such as the house signature (bourbon, Lillet, fresh lemon juice, honey, and orange bitters). // Take yourself out for happy hour or bring your buddies to watch a game on the big screens at The Sea Star (2289 3rd St.); either way, you'll have a great time in this underwater-themed watering hole. // You didn't have to see it in the Cate Blanchett movie Blue Jasmine; The Ramp (855 Terry Francois St.) has been a waterfront go-to for bloody marys for eons. // Go for $1 oysters and $7 cocktails during happy hour at Mission Rock (817 Terry A Francois Blvd.). The view of the bay from the heated patio? Priceless. // Among SF's oldest bars, Dogpatch Saloon (2496 3rd St.) made its debut in 1912 and still gets us with occasional live music and a fireplace.

Things to Do in Dogpatch: Galleries, Museums, Makers + Rock Climbing

(Courtesy of Minnesota Street Project)

Museums + Galleries + Music

The neighborhood's budding creative scene is perhaps nowhere more evident than at Minnesota Street Project (1275 Minnesota St. and 1150 25th St.), a collection of three warehouses dedicated to providing "economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists, and related nonprofits." Check the website for a variety of special exhibitions. // The Midway (900 Marin St.), bordering Dogpatch and Bayview, is easily one of the city's most popular mixed-use venues. Go for the immersive sound experience at Envelop SF, stay for creative culinary events, art exhibits, DJ sets, and block parties. // Arts patron and Chronicle Books publisher Nion McEvoy finally got a museum with his own name on it. McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (1150 25th St.) houses the family's collection—think Diane Arbus, Libby Black, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney—and hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art as well as screenings, performances, and literary events. // The Museum of Craft and Design (2569 3rd St.) is a sweet little space for rotating exhibits and public programming. Don't miss the gift shop, stocked with a sharply curated selection of beautifully crafted goods. // Founded by Claudia Altman-Siegel in 2009, Altman Siegel (1150 25th St.) gallery brings internationally recognized fine artists to the neighborhood. // Hugomento (795 22nd St.), an ethereally beautiful gallery with a slight Japanese accent, got off to rocky start. One day after the new showroom's opening, the City of San Francisco shut down due to Covid-19. Show your support by shopping handmade earthenware and sculpture. // Dogpatch Arts Plaza (19th and Indiana St.) transforms a once-dead-end street into an 8,000-square-foot public outdoor art gallery for large-scale installations.

Shopping

Fashion mavens need no introduction to Bryr Clogs (2331 3rd St.), whose Dogpatch studio (currently closed to the public; watch Instagram for updates) offers made-to-order in a range of styles and confectionary shades. // SF is one of America's most bicycle-friendly cities, and also home to one of the top brands of messenger bags. Rickshaw Bagworks (904 22nd St.) stocks colorful eye candy that's both practical and cool; you might also get a tour of the factory. // Designing apparel and gear for serious campers and outdoor adventurers, Triple Aught Design (660 22nd St.) has its home base in a 4,000-square-foot warehouse where they also offer events and courses in self-defense, survival tactics, and more. // Dutchman's Flat (2544 3rd St.) is a boutique cannabis dispensary specializing in top-shelf and equity brands. Shop Caliva and Henry's Original flower, Jetty Xtracts vapes, Wyld gummies, and Kiva chocolates; online ordering is available.

Fitness + Outdoors

Curious about rock climbing? Give it an indoor go at Dogpatch Boulders (2573 3rd St.), where the routes are set by experienced, world-class climbers who are also on-hand to catch you if you fall. // If the pandemic has you itching to beat the crap out of something, 3rd Street Boxing Gym (2576 3rd St.) is your place to be. First-timers get half-off classes; pros can dive in for bootcamp and Academy programs. // Once known as "Toxic Beach," Warm Water Cove is now a well-maintained park directly on the waterfront with walking paths, lawns, benches, and an industrial harbor feel.

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