Faves and raves by Justin M. Hunter (Click on the picture to see Justin’s faves!)
Years in The City: 12
Neighborhood: Upper Haight/Panhandle
Occupation: Aspiring software developer
Self Description: Is it me, or is this town becoming too hoity-toity?
FAVORITE PLACE TO PLAY HOOPS
The Panhandle Basketball Courts
WHERE: Oak/Fell and Ashbury streets, The Panhandle
WHAT: The best run in town and a true cross-section of The City
I’ve been playing out there for 12 years now, and it’s my second home. I’ve played all around The City, and nothing compares to the community out there. Gentrification has pushed out a lot of the older players over the years, but still it’s a true cross-section of San Francisco. Just don’t be intimidated out there.
FAVORITE FOOD TRUCK
WHERE: Various food truck locations
WHAT: Crispy garlic tofu pork bun!
INFO: (415) 813-8800, www.mobimunch.com/thechairman or @chairmantruck
The crispy garlic tofu pork bun is insanity. Somehow they flash fry the tofu to the point where it’s all gooey and brielike inside, yet crispy on the outside.
FAVORITE PLACE TO DO KARAOKE
WHERE: 1942 Market St., between Laguna and Guerrero streets
WHAT: Get there early!
INFO: (415) 626-4726 or www.themint.net
But get there way early (before the collared shirts arrive). Get in, get on and get out.
FAVORITE PLACE TO ‘DO BRUNCH’
Samovar Tea Lounge
WHERE: 297 Page St., between Laguna and Octavia streets
WHAT: Try the a poached egg/nori/smoked salmon/brown rice bowl
INFO: (415) 861-0303 or www.samovarlife.com/lounges/zen-valley
You walk out after a poached egg/nori/smoked salmon/brown rice bowl at Samovar, and you feel rejuvenated (and smarter). Some serious body nourishment goes on in there.
FAVORITE BURGER JOINT
WHERE: 500 Castro St., at 18th Street
WHAT: A veggie burger with bacon
INFO: (415) 431-4278 or www.harveyssf.com
The black bean burger at Harvey’s in the Castro. Get it with avocado, cheddar and bacon (yes, veggie burger plus bacon … don’t judge). And you’ll have a very happy tum.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO CLOTHES SHOPPING
WHERE: 3464 Sacramento St., between Laurel and Walnut streets
WHAT: Score some seriously fancy duds
INFO: (415) 346-6388 or www.goodbyessf.com
Goodbyes in Laurel Village is my spot. I’m glad more people don’t go there (shh), but you can easily score some seriously fancy duds in there.
FAVORITE SECRET PARKING SPACE (NO LONGER!)
17th/18th streets and DeHaro
WHAT: By lunchtime, lots of all-day and four-hour spots
If you’re a fan of killing the environment by driving to work (or if the 22 sucks … usually the case), you can always park around 17th/18th and DeHaro-ish. You might need to take a two-hour spot at first when the morning rush is on, but by lunchtime a ton of all-day/4-hour spots are wiode open.
FAVORITE WING BAR
Kezar Pub and Restaurant
WHERE: 770 Stanyan St., between Waller and Beulah streets
WHAT: Great wings, great wing sauce
INFO: (415) 386-9292 or www.thekezarpub.com
A large order of hot wings at Kezar Pub are the best in town. Plus a side of wing sauce for dipping. Always.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS
WHERE: Stanyan and Kezar Dr., Golden Gate Park
WHAT: One of the last true original “San Francisco” spots in the Haight.
Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park always gets a good reaction. Given how much the neighborhood’s been changing over the years, it’s probably one of the last true original “San Francisco” spots in the Haight.