Faves and raves by Nate Cardozo
YEARS IN THE CITY: Five
NEIGHBORHOOD: Mission district
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Food geek and refugee from Los Angeles who is thrilled that the fog is finally lifting
FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX
Golden Gate Disc Golf Course
WHERE: Marx Meadow, Golden Gate Park
WHAT: Golf, but with frisbees
I picked up disc golf in Santa Cruz and the course here in The City is one of the best. Strolling through the woods behind Marx Meadow with friends and a bag of discs is a great way to pass an afternoon.
FAVORITE BREAKFAST JOINT
Mission Beach Café
WHERE: 198 Guerrero St., at 14th Street
WHAT: Upscale, inspired brunch place
INFO: (415) 861-0198 or www.missionbeachcafesf.com
My favorite item at this neighborhood spot are the “mbc huevos” with pulled pork. The swarm of hipsters on a Saturday morning can be brutal, but I can see the place from my living room window, so I know what I’m getting into.
FAVORITE TWITTER CART
Crème Brûlée Man
WHERE: Check his Twitter stream and find out!
WHAT: Torched custard cups, on wheels
L.A. has its Korean taco trucks and NYC has its fancy dessert trucks and yes, they use Twitter. But in my mind, SF’s Twitter cart scene is more interesting and certainly more diverse. Unlicensed and unbelievably tasty, these men and women are the cutting edge of California cuisine.
FAVORITE VIEW OF THE CITY
Bernal Heights Summit
WHERE: Bernal Heights Park
WHAT: Park, dog park, cell phone tower
Walking distance from anywhere in the Mission or Noe Valley, the top of Bernal Heights is a great place to take in the view.
FAVORITE QUIRKY SF ACTIVITY
Walking San Francisco’s stairways
WHERE: Pretty much every neighborhood in The City
WHAT: Who needs the gym?
INFO: “Stairway Walks in San Francisco,” by Adah Bakalinsky, 6th ed., 2006
Urban hiking is a great way to see The City, get some exercise and meet your neighbors. And it’s free. If you need inspiration, pick up Adah Bakalinsky’s awesome guide book and start walking.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP
WHERE: Post and Webster streets
WHAT: The heart of SF’s Japanese community
Chinatown is overrated and overrun with tourists and I try to avoid it. Japantown, however, with its restaurants, groceries, bakeries, knickknack shops, hardware stores, bookshops and dollar store, is worth seeking out.
FAVORITE COMMUNITY SPACE
WHERE: 593 Guerrero Street, at 18th Street
WHAT: A nonprofit “Art Community Food” space
Run by the folks from Bi-Rite, just around the corner, 18 Reasons is either an art gallery, a cooking school or a community center, depending on who you ask. Located, literally and figuratively, at the crossroads of San Francisco’s food revolution, 18 Reasons is my favorite place to go to learn about which farmhouse cheeses go well with Belgian beer or to swap cookbooks. Only in S.F.
FAVORITE SPOT FOR A PINT AFTER WORK
City Beer Store
WHERE: 1168 Folsom St., between Seventh and Eighth streets
WHAT: S.F.’s best beer bar
INFO: (415) 503-1033 or www.citybeerstore.com
Craig and Beth, the husband and wife owner/operators of this tiny bottle shop and tasting room, know more about beer than just about anyone in The City. What’s more, they’re friendly and they’d be happy to help you learn more too. They have only a few beers on tap at a time (the menu rotates frequently) but they’ve got hundreds of bottles to choose from. Take one home or have one there.