The Marina gets a lot of flack for its athleisure-clad mommies who juice-lunch between Pilates and shopping and for its puffer-vest-wearing bros who share investment tips over beers.
But let's be real: We all like it for its (sometimes-sun-soaked) Marina Green—with its waterfront views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and lush stretches grass and beach, this is hands down the city's top spot for running, biking, and playing with the pups. Plus there's something to be said for a 'hood where day drinking is encouraged and there are endless food trucks dishing out cheap eats at Off the Grid.
It's time to open your mind and give Chestnut Street a chance.
Where to Eat + Drink in SF's Marina District
Blue Barn (3344 Steiner St.) boasts an amazing salad menu, offering combinations of locally-sourced ingredients that you could never come up with on your own in a rustic setting. If finding a spare seat is too daunting, head to their smaller outpost (2105 Chestnut St.) around the corner and pick up a salad in their signature white to-go box to bring to the nearby Marina Green for a picnic. // Serving Greek sandwiches, salads, and spit-fired meats in a white tiled space, Souvla (2272 Chestnut St.) is the perfect spot to grab lunch solo or catch up with a friend over a glass of Rosé. Off-menu hack: get your salad or pita sandwich "Greek Style" aka stuffed or topped with Souvla's addicting fries. // When you're in search of something healthyish, tasty, and affordable, Glaze Teriyaki (2095 Chestnut St.) is the place to go. Enjoy the mix-and-match teriyaki dishes in a casual-trendy setting or grab one of the tables out front to dine al fresco. // Pick up handmade pasta, Italian dishes, and made to order sandwiches at Lucca Delicatessen (2120 Chestnut St.), a charming neighborhood staple since 1929. // Fuel up for a long night out in the Marina with a quality—and affordable—burger at Super Duper Burgers (2203 Chestnut St.). // For no frills American eats, head to Mel's Drive In (2165 Lombard St.), the legendary diner that has appeared in quite a few Hollywood movies. Tourists and locals alike love Mel's for late night shakes and fries, or diner style breakfast. // Chubby Noodle (2205 Lombard St.) is the place to go to feed your spicy garlic noodle and pork taco cravings. Enjoy dinner at the lively fusion restaurant, or pick from 15 dim sum items and three drinks during $45 bottomless brunch. // Influenced by the cuisine of Italy's Campania region, A16 (2355 Chestnut St.) has perfected the Neapolitan pizza and home-made pasta. With pizza served straight from the wood-burning oven and a relaxed ambience, A16 is the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion. Fun fact: A16 is named after the highway that connects Naples and Canosa, Puglia in Italy. Cute! //
Le Marais' (2066 Chestnut St.) French-inspired menu is the easiest way to start any morning in the Marina. Bacon-gruyere toast with an over-easy egg and the onion jam croissant are just a couple of our favorites, but you'll just have to try their heavenly, buttery, flaky pastry creations for yourself. // Serving up healthy brunch and lunch options including bowls, smoothies, and tofu scrambles, The Plant (3352 Steiner St.) is the first place to come to mind when we think classic Chestnut fare—be sure to get their beloved vegan beet Plant Burger. // For the quintessential brunch experience à la Marina, Delarosa (2175 Chestnut St.) is your best bet. The line might get a bit long, but the Pizza Carbonara is worth the wait. Wash it down with spicy Bloody Mary. // Causwells (2346 Chestnut St.) offers delectable dishes using local ingredients including a Brunch Burger, vegetable hash, and biscuits and gravy. Plus, with Mimosas, Screwdrivers, and Salty Dogs galore, its the perfect place for boozy brunch.
Snacks + Sweets
In search of a post workout pick me up? Look no further than Project Juice's (2234 Chestnut St.) superfood smoothies, bowls, juices, and healthy bites. // Cakes and cupcakes galore is the motto at Susie Cakes (2109 Chestnut St.). At the entrance, you'll be stunned by the shelves upon shelves of cakes and trays full of cupcakes and cookies—not to mention how the cream-filled air will influence your shopping behavior. // There's always room left for a donut from Dynamo (Marina Yacht Harbor). Nestled in the old kiosk at the Yacht Harbor, our favorite donut shack is the perfect pit-stop to get back all the calories you might have lost from a long walk at Chrissy Field.
The Marina just wouldn't be the same without The Tipsy Pig (2231 Chestnut St.). Serving rustic food as a solid foundation for the inevitable drinks to come, this beloved gastropub is the place you go to have fun all night long. // If you're on the hunt for craft cocktails and whiskey in a posh setting, The Dorian (2001 Chestnut St.) is a must. Sip on a martini, or share the Provacateur's Punch, a vodka, Rosé, and Aperol filled fruity concoction with friends, in the chandelier filled hotspot. // Kick it in one of tiki lounge Del Mar's (2125 Lombard St.) hanging swings—beachy cocktail in hand. Between Wednesday game night, DJ's Thursday through Saturday, and plenty of day drinking opportunities, Del Mar is always happening—plus, the tropical wallpaper, lawn chairs, and massive punchbowls make for the perfect Instagram shot.
Where to Shop in the Marina, San Francisco
With local brands and designers including Self-Portrait and Marissa Webb housed in a gold-ceilinged setting, Two Skirts (2124 Chestnut St.) is a fashionista's heaven. Fall in love with a summery dress for a weekend getaway, or a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. // Carrying chic basics and standout pieces, Dress (2271 Chestnut St.) is a one stop shop for every modern Marina girl. Whether you're looking for a new pair of Mother Jeans, a Calleen Cordero statement belt, or ALC cocktail dress, you won't leave empty handed. // Pick up stylish and affordable wardrobe staples at Amour Vert (2110 Chestnut St.). The best part? The fabrics and production practices are sustainable, and 97% of the garments are made in California. // While local company Marine Layer (2209 Chestnut St.)—creator of the softest-shirt-ever—is busy conquering the rest of the nation, we still like to frequent the original shop on Chestnut for bright tees and colorful prints for guys and gals. // Guys in search of shirts, denim, outerwear, and sturdy shoes will dig Taylor Stitch (2030 Chestnut St.)—every item is made sustainably and intended to be worn for the long haul.
Luxury cosmetic store Blue Mercury (2060 Chestnut St.) is the place to go for all of your makeup, skincare, and fragrance needs. The minimalist, light filled setting makes for a positive cosmetic shopping experience with brands including NARS, La Roche-Posay, and Clinique at your finger tips. // Embrace preppy with bags, gifts, and clothing featuring bold colors and prints from Toss Designs (2185 Chestnut St.)—don't forget to have everything from your coin purse to nightshirt monogramed. // If you're in search of a hostess gift, calming candle, or some new decor, be sure to stop at Ei Home (2176 Chestnut St.). // Even plants look fit and healthy in the Marina. From a fig fiddle leaf tree to tomato seeds, Sloat Garden Center (3237 Pierce St.) has all you need to green up your home and keep your botanicals alive.
Things to Do in San Francisco's Marina
When you walk down Chestnut Street, it seems like basically everyone either just worked out, or is on their way to work out. Get ready to sprint your way through class at Barry's Bootcamp (2246 Lombard St.). In the moment, the half run, half strength workout might feel like the worst 50 minutes of your life, but you'll thank us later. After your sweat sesh, reward yourself with a preordered smoothie from the Fuel Bar. // Feel the burn with a Sculpt reformer class or tap it back in a cycling class at BODYROK (2128 Lombard St.)—you'll leave the high intensity workout feeling like a rock star. // For a Megaformer class with a twist, try CORE40's (1902 Lombard St.) Ramped class—the machines move up and down throughout the class for an added challenge. // Don't be ashamed to show off your new, hard-earned abs at the Fitness Court at the Marina Green. The suggested "7 movements in 7 minutes" exercise will pump up your heart rate and build up your muscles with a sweeping view of the Golden Gate Bridge. No gym can beat that.
Bring a picnic, and run, bike, play soccer, and practice your kite-flying skills while overlooking the harbor at Marina Green. Previously a U.S. Post Office Department Airfield, this green lawn and promenade now fills up quickly on sunny weekend days. // Built for the World Expo in 1915, the Palace of Fine Arts (3301 Lyon St.) is a romantic San Francisco landmark, with Greek columns, a pond, and enough lawn to spread your blanket. Head there on Saturday, bring some snacks, and watch all the happy couples take their wedding pictures. // Once a military base by the sea, Fort Mason (2 Marina Blvd.) is now a bastion of culture, good eats, and events. Fort Mason hosts annual fairs such as the Renegade Craft Fair, Big Book Sale, West Coast Craft, Eat Drink SF, and many others. On Friday evenings, food truck lovers flock to Off-The Grid for street food specialties with live music and every Sunday, from 9:30am to 1:30pm, you can fill your straw bags with fresh produces from more than 35 vendors at the Farmers Market. // Movie titles are changed by hand at the Presidio Movie Theater (2340 Chestnut St.) and the neon vintage sign on the pastel art-deco building still glows brightly after decades of use. The theater might not be your IMAX Triple Surround experience, but its cozy enough for your foggy afternoon movie date.
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