San Francisco: Good Eats in the Mission District

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After hanging out at the Sutro Bathes/Lands End, we made our way to the Mission district. This area is a popular area for the younger generation, and seems to be the more “hip” area of San Francisco. This isn’t quite where the LGBTQ area is (Castro Distric), but we did see quite an influence here.

We didn’t really explore the area, rather we were on a mission to fill our tummies. We had a couple of places in mind on where to eat but there wasn’t really a set plan. But we did get really lucky and found parking right away

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Bi-Rite Creamery (Yelp)
3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Since we spotted Bi-Rite Creamery when were searching for parking, we opted to get dessert first! This is definitely one of the more highly recommend ice cream places in San Francisco, offering flavors such as Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Buttermilk.

We tried not get too greedy and only got 3 singles and an ice cream sandwich. Unfortunately, we gobbled up everything before thinking about taking a picture. Proof of how good it was! The flavors were not too over-powering and the ice cream was nice and creamy.

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Mission Chinese Food (Yelp)
2234 Mission St
Lung Shan Restaurant
San Francisco, CA 94110

After some a quick ice cream stop, we were ready for some real food. One restaurant that keeps on popping up when I search for Chinese food in San Francisco was Mission Chinese Food.

Since we were in the area we decided that we should give it a try. It was about a 10 minute walk from the creamery.

We got to the restaurant a little before 2pm, and there wasn’t really a wait. We only had to wait a few minutes as they prepared a larger table for us.

It should be noted that the restaurant name is not actually visible anywhere on the exterior of the restaurant. Instead you should be looking for a restaurant called Lung Shan Restaurant.

The interior of the restaurant is definitely interesting. It seemed to have a weird east meets west kind of theme, with a random array of decorations and lighting. If I didn’t know better I would not have guessed that this was a even a Chinese restaurant. The menu was rather simple, and did not have too much items to choose from. We decided to order a little bit of everything to share.

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We got first got the Smashed Cucumber, which was like a typical Asian cucumber salad. But it came on top of a bed of hummus-like dip. This dish was quite refreshing and the extra dip was a nice complement to the vegetable.

Another small dish we ordered was the Golden Mountain Spring Roll. The only word I can think of to describe this was that is was interest. It appeared to be an egg roll wrapped with rice noodles, served with a side of fish sauce. I didn’t really like this one as much. The sauce was a bit too salty and we ended up dipping the rolls in the sauce of some other dishes that we ordered.

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We continued down the list of small dishes and order the Tiki Pork Belly, because who can resist pork belly. The pork belly was braised nicely, and was not tough to the bite. The side of pickled pineapple and other fruits also helped make the meat taste/feel less oily.

Since we had only chose small dishes, we decided to pick something a little more filling. So we chose the Salt Cod Fried Rice. Salted fish and fried rice is a rather common Chinese dish, I am more used to of the rice to be fried with chicken bits. Instead this particular dish was accompanied with Chinese sausages.

I half expected it to be too salty because both the salt cod and Chinese sausages have very  a very bold taste, but I was proven wrong. There was a good mix of the two meats making the salt level just right. I actually kind of wish there was a little more salt cod.

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Another more filling dish we ordered was the Matcha Squid Ink Noodles. This sounded really weird to me at first but it turned out to be really good. Despite being made out of squid ink, the noodles did not reek of a seafoody smell. The sauce was a also a good addition, offering a subtle hint of match green tea.

Lastly we ordered the Taiwanese Eggplant (it’s the dish behind the bowl of noodles). This one felt more like a traditional dish. I don’t remember any “twist” to this dish. The sauce was a little on the darker side but it was not salty at all. This dish definitely tasted like something I can order at a Taiwanese restaurant.

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Tartine Bakery & Cafe (Yelp)
600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

By now we were quite stuffed, but there was one more place we wanted to go to before leaving the Mission District, Tartine Bakery & Cafe. We actually parked rather close to this place and when we first got out of the car I spotted the long line for this place.

I tend to get curious when I see long lines, so I immediately looked up the place on yelp. Turns out Sarah had already planned to visit this place! So we came here after our hearty lunch.

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There was still quite a long line leading out of the door when we got there at about 3pm, and it took about 30 minutes or so before we got to the front of the line.

This is after all a cafe, so besides the wide selection of cakes and pastries, there were also sandwiches and what not. Since we were not hungry we decided to get some pastries to go.

The chocolate cake was really tempting me…but we ended up only getting some regular croissants, chocolate croissants, a scone, and a small order of bread pudding.

We had the bread pudding later that night, and although it was not as fresh, it still tasted really good.

As for the croissants and scone, we ate it the next day. Despite having been put out overnight, the croissants were still really nice and flaky. As for the scone, Dad gobbled it up in seconds…proof that just as yummy!

I would definitely come back another time to try the pastries while they are still warm/fresh and possible even get my hands on that chocolate cake.



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