Faves and raves by Rafael Mandelman
YEARS IN THE CITY: 25
NEIGHBORHOOD: Mission Dolores
OCCUPATION: Lawyer for local governments and affordable housing developers
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Despite The City’s fair share of problems, it’s still a pretty amazing place, and I feel very lucky to be here
FAVORITE CAFÉ TO READ THE SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES
WHERE: 3463 16th St., between Sanchez and Church streets
WHAT: Lovely staff, not too crowded
INFO: (415) 864-2965
The owner is a sweetheart, the staff is lovely, and it’s usually not too terribly crowded.
WHERE: Gibson Road, near 25th Avenue and California Street
WHAT: Great view of The City’s iconic span
INFO: (415) 831-2750 or www.nps.gov/prsf/planyourvisit/baker-beach.htm
Who can argue with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge? It’s gorgeous.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE
WHERE: 429 Castro St., between 17th and 18th streets
WHAT: Get your fill of organ music
INFO: (415) 621-6120 or www.castrotheatre.com
One of the last neighborhood movie theaters in San Francisco, the Castro is a treasure and the perfect place to satisfy a hankering for a little organ music.
Bird & Beckett
WHERE: 653 Chenery St., between Carrie and Diamond streets
WHAT: A bookstore where you can connect with the community
INFO: (415) 586-3733 or www.bird-beckett.com
Not just a bookstore, Bird & Beckett is a true community cultural center, with regular jazz concerts, readings and book clubs. But it is also just a delightful place to wander the aisles looking for a good book.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO FOR A RUN
The top of Twin Peaks
WHERE: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd.
WHAT: A sense of accomplishment
The view of course is amazing, and getting oneself to the very highest spot in San Francisco does give one a sense of accomplishment.
FAVORITE ICE CREAM JOINT
WHERE: 3692 18th St., at Dolores Street
WHAT: Try out the salted caramel ice cream
INFO: (415) 626-5600 or www.biritecreamery.com
It’s only two blocks from my home, and when the line isn’t too long, the salted caramel ice cream is one of my guilty pleasures.
FAVORITE TAKE OUT
WHERE: 3611 18th St., between Guerrero and Dolores streets
WHAT: Excellent meatballs
INFO: (415) 437-6800 or www.pizzeriadelfina.com
I find myself at the Pizzeria Delfina almost every week getting take-out after a long day. The meatballs are really, really good.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS
WHERE: Between 18th, 20th, Church and Dolores streets
WHAT: One of the best views in The City
On a nice day, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a smoothie from Dolores Park Café, a pastry from Tartine or a sandwich from Bi-Rite.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH
WHERE: 2298 Market St., at Noe Street
WHAT: A great place to watch the world go by
INFO: (415) 621-8579 or www.cafeflore.com
Even after years of gentrification, the Castro remains one of San Francisco’s most dynamic neighborhoods. Café Flore’s outdoor tables are a great place to sip an iced tea and watch the world go by.