Mission Dolores is a vibrant nabe named for the oldest standing structure in San Francisco, established by the Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s. Mission Dolores is straddled by two uber-hip nabes–the Castro and the Mission District. Just to the south lies quieter Noe Valley. At this nabe's heart is Dolores Park, a well-loved green space where sunbathers bask and groups converge to the sound of impromptu drum circles. Filled with beautiful historic homes, Mission Dolores is serviced by myriad public transportation options and is home to some of the most highly regarded culinary ventures in the city.
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The Valencia area of the Mission District has more than meets the eye, and what meets the eye is already pretty persuasive. With it’s interesting conglomeration of several different ethnic influences, ages, and interests, both the local hipster youth and the artistic professionals can find entertainment here, as long as you don’t mind a little nighttime urban grit. Visitors enjoy the same daytime and nighttime pursuits as the locals, who are much happier to cater to tourists than in more tourist-y areas of the city (think Haight Street). Shopping here is a haven for the vintage enthusiast, the thrifty shopper on a budget, and anyone looking for interesting things to fill your home and closet. And the food! Oh, the food! The restaurants here are some of the city’s best and most affordable, and yes, the abundant Hispanic fare is to die for. The rent around the Mission is moderate and affordable, which is part of the reason why so many young artists and professionals flock to the area.What's awesome
Dolores Park- the BEST place to catch some sunWhat's not so awesomeChloe N.
Occasional crazies/gawking men on street corners (please stop)
A little gritty at night on the side streets
Center of the FranciscoverseBrad F.
I’ve lived in the bit of San Francisco squished between the Mission District, Duboce Triangle and the Castro for about 18 months and I think it’s the best place to live in San Francisco.
I prize walking destinations above a lot and Mission Dolores has these in spades. It isn’t too much of a destination in itself, which is great for quietness, cleanliness and safety, but it’s walking distance to the Castro, Duboce Triangle, the Mission District,Hayes Valley and the Lower Haight. With all of those options, it’s easy to find delicious food, a good bar, amazing ice cream or a spot in the park to soak up the [infrequent] sunshine.
It also butts up against Market St. to the north, so transportation options abound. Walking to 16th/Mission BART is also quick and easy, even for a regular commute. It’s not the least parking-friendly nabe in the city, but it can be fairly difficult depending on your timing.
Overall, I highly recommend it for living and as a neat part to walk through safely if visiting the city. The further east you travel toward the Mission District, the sketchier things will get (especially Mission St. and eastward), but the entirety of Mission Dolores is inhabitable and pleasant.
You Gotta Love ItMichaela Ann M.
I love this tiny little neighborhood. Aside from Dolores Park, the obvious draw, it’s only steps from the Castro and the unique activity of the busier Mission District streets. It has a quiet, calm feel in between the hectic neighborhoods it borders.
My Mission is the Mission DoloresAlexander B.
Somehow this chunk of neighborhood in between The Castro and Mission remains one of the most beautiful and sunny places to set up shop for a memorable afternoon. Whether your “cruising” Dolores Park, enjoying the decadence of Bi-Rite ice-cream or noshing on buttery croissants at Tartine Bakery, the Mission Dolores neighborhood never disappoints. It’s best to jump on the J-Church(if you have a good book or I-pod) and jump off at 18th and Church.
A fun neighborhood surrounded by beautiful churches, gourmet restaurants, hip stores, and endless smiles!
I adore DoloresGena F.
With half the scene of the Mission and more of the peace and quiet of Noe Valley is Mission Dolores. This neighborhood is a gem. Gorgeous Victorians, quiet streets and Dolores Park, which on a sunny weekend may make up for its lack of a scene during the week.
It's all about the parkJessie W.
The main attraction if definitely Dolores Park. It’s the best place to go during the summer, when it’s warm. Everyone in the city will be there. They’ve recently “banned” drinking there though, which is a bummer. For good ice cream during those sunny days, Bi Rite is right down the street. It’s much quieter here than the Mission District, but more expensive.