Mission District, San Francisco

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references


  • History
  • To see
  • Events
  • Where to eat
  • How to get there

Mission District is one of the most famous and well-known neighborhoods in San Francisco, bordering Castro and South Market. Although this area underwent profound changes around the 90s, the Mission District still retains its aneclectic and multicultural ima, remaining the center of the Latin culture of the city.


Until the 1776th century, the only inhabitants of this area were the Indians of the Yelamu tribe, of the Ohlone people. In XNUMX the area was colonized by the Spaniards and Father Francisco Palou founded the Mission San Francisco de Asìs there.

For the Ohlone it was the end: in 1841 slavery had decimated the Native Americans, of which only 50 remained.
The neighborhood, which revolved around the Mission Church, continued to expand, mainly thanks to the thrust of the gold rush, so much so that it had the first baseball stadium, called Recreation Grounds, inaugurated in 1868. In the same period immigrants began to arrive of Spanish, German and Irish nationalities.

After the 1906 earthquake, the Mission District continued to receive immigrants from Ireland and Germany, along with new immigrants of Polish nationality.
After the 70s, when the Mission District was stormed by the punk culture, around the end of the 80s, the first immigrants from Central America, the Middle East and South America began to settle here. From the period of the "Dot - com Bubble" onwards, this area has become the headquarters of several companies linked to the world of information technology, lowering the age of the resident population and forcing many people of the middle - lower class to leave the neighborhood, to due to the progressive increase in house prices and rents.

To see

Despite the development of the last decades, Mission District retains its Latin soul, especially in its main arteries, and in particular Mission street, between 14th and Cesar Chavez Street.

Valencia StreetInstead, it has become the technological heart of the neighborhood, even if it still maintains a link with the population of artists who lived there before the advent of the techies.


Wandering around the Mission District it is easy to come across beautiful murals, which express well the artistic atmosphere that one breathed, and still breathes, in the neighborhood. A mural not to be missed is the facade of the 826 Valencia Street, painted by Chris Ware.

One cannot fail to be enchanted in front of Balmy Alley, where the facades of the buildings have been entirely decorated with splendid murals by local artists, who have continued to embellish them since 1971, or by Clarion Alley, whose facades have been painted by generations of artists from the 90s, inspired by the murals of Balmy Alley.
Also not to be missed is the 50s-style Food Chain Mural by Brian Barneclo, at 1800 in Folsom Street and the Maestra Peace Mural of the Women's Building, which celebrates the female universe.

Breed Gallery

The Galeria de la Raza is the main showcase for contemporary Latin art; here mainly local artists exhibit, reading meetings, film screenings in Spanish and Latin American languages ​​and theatrical performances are held.

City Art

A collective that includes more than 200 artists, including photographers, painters, jewelers, sculptors and potters, who aim to make their art known to as many people as possible. City Art is therefore halfway between an art gallery and a shop.

Mission Dolores

The Mission, founded in 1791, is the sixth of 21 California Franciscan missions.
The complex includes two churches, one of which is the Mission San Francisco de Asìs, which, together with the Presidios 'Officers' Club, is the oldest building in the city. The church is painted with typical frescoes of the Ohlone population.
The Mission is also home to a museum that tells its story.


Carnaval san francisco: it is a great celebration, lasting two days in May, held in the Mission District. The Festival celebrates Latin American and Caribbean cultures and their traditions. The highlight of the event is the Grand parade, which each year has a different theme, and within which more than thirty musical groups and dancers parade.

Dia de los Muertos: the day of the dead is a very important occasion for the Latin American populations living in the area, who celebrate it with a parade and commemorative installations for the dead in early November.

Where to eat

Foreign Cinema: it is the favorite place for hipsters, with an internal courtyard where classics of foreign cinematography are shown while enjoying absolutely exceptional food.

Flour + Water: it's the right place to eat some good pizzas or have a feast of pasta, even if these aren't the only dishes on the menu.

How to get there

Mission District is easily accessible by car, taxi or public transport.
If you decide to go to the neighborhood by car, there are several parking lots, also guarded, where to leave it.

Mission District is served by convoys from the BART, which stop at two stations: on 16th and 24th streets.

There is a bus terminus in the neighborhood, Transbay Terminal Mission & 1st Street, with buses departing for East Bay, North Bay / Main County and San Mateo County.

Muni (Municipal Rail) is the subway network, serving the Mission District via the J - Church and 14 Mission lines.

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