Clockwise from left: Bi-rite Creamery; Dolores Park; one of Tartine Manufactory’s hipster staff and a glass of arty coffee; one of the Mission district’s famous murals; freshly baked bread at Tartine Manufactory; flowers from La Fleuriste at Heath Ceramics Although best known for the vibrant public murals painted on the walls of its buildings, San Francisco’s Mission district is fastdeveloping into one of the city’s coolest hangouts for those wanting to sip, snack and shoot the breeze. Queues at Bi-rite Creamery’s fashionable ice-cream parlour on 18th Street snake around the block. Its dairy delights are hand-made with organic milk from nearby Straus Family Creamery, and extra treats such as peanut brittle, brownies and marshmallows are conjured up in the adjoining bakery.
Bestsellers include salted caramel and balsamic strawberry ice cream, but more unusual concoctions like Bombay spice, white chocolate with miso caramel swirl, Earl Grey, orange cardamom and roasted banana are equally lick-tastic, as are the fresh fruit popsicles and extravagant sundaes—try the honey lavender ice cream topped with hot fudge, drizzled with blood orange olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Stroll across the road to the beautiful and bustling Dolores Park to enjoy your frozen feast.
More queuing is required at the city’s hippest bakery, Tartine Manufactory. Scandinavian minimalism meets Japanese teahouse Zen at this shrine to baked goods designed around an open-plan bakery. Bag one of the comfy leather-clad booths in the light and airy, Instagram-friendly space, which is dominated by beige wood, white walls, exposed concrete and glowing orb lanterns. Bearded, tattooed staff saunter around delivering pastries, sandwiches, pizza, craft beers and generous pours of Californian wine, while a regiment of baristas whip up caffeinefuelled beverages topped with frothy hearts. Pop next door to Heath Ceramics for kitchen porn, plus fresh-cut flowers, jewellery, bags and other household temptations.
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