San Francisco: A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch

While much of San Francisco is undergoing new development, an outlying neighbourhood affectionately named “The Dogpatch” is having its moment in the spotlight. Once a booming centre for industrial enterprises and shipping (the neighbourhood borders San Francisco’s Central Waterfront), the spacious warehouses and Victorian buildings lining the nine square block area are now peppered with designers, artisanal brewers, winemakers, and chefs.

Take a look at our neighbourhood guide to Dogpatch for the best places to visit on your next trip to San Francisco.

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch

The Dogpatch Historic District borders Tennessee and 22nd Streets © Courtesy of Jacky Recchiuti

Drinking Destinations in Dogpatch

First and foremost – coffee. Piccino Café and Coffee Bar is a must, housed in a former horse stable dating back to the 1840s (now a bright, canary-yellow). If you’re hungry, there’s a sit-down restaurant, too.

Coined as San Francisco’s “first jerky bar,” Third Rail serves upscale craft cocktails, local beers, and regional wines with a side of – you guessed it – jerky. Noticing a jerky trend on the East Coast, the owners decided to make the snack in-house at the bar.

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | Third Rail

Third Rail is an excellent option for top-notch cocktails and jerky © Kristian Melom, c/o Third Rail

No need to go to Napa ­- do all of your wine tasting right here in the neighbourhood. Like many places in Dogpatch, Yield Wine Bar is a no-frllls after work hangout, serving sustainable wines. Urban winery Sutton Cellars has been making wine in-house since the mid-90s (as well as vermouth). If you’d rather do it yourself, Dogpatch Wineworks is the place for you. Select your own vineyard and varietal and let the experts teach you how it’s done.

Dogpatch Saloon has been a go-to in the area since 1912, holding strong as a favourite local hangout for decades. Magnolia Brewing Company has expanded its 16-year-old Haight Street enterprise in their new spacious Dogpatch location (an old can factory from the 1940s). The brewery supplies many of the Bay Area’s top restaurants, including its own.

Dogpatch for Foodies

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | Smokestack

Magnolia’s new barbecue restaurant, Smokestack, includes a beautiful and spacious bar © Eric Wolfinger. c/o Postcard Communications

Not to be overshadowed by the beer is Magnolia’s other half, Smokestack. Line up at the counter and order a smorgasbord of barbecued meats – brisket, hot pastrami, pork spare ribs and smoked duck, to name just a few. Pair with sides of macaroni and cheese, chipotle pork and beans, and of course, a Magnolia craft brew or cocktail of choice.

Far from the city’s more touristy waterfront restaurants is The Ramp, a San Francisco staple since the 1950s. On an even slightly sunny day, locals flock to The Ramp’s prime dockside seating for $1 oysters and a cold beer.

More upscale but certainly still embracing the independent spirit of Dogpatch is Serpentine, housed on the corner of the American Industrial Center (once the boiler room of a tin can factory in the 1900s). Menu items are locally sourced and fresh. And do not overlook the cocktails. Just For You Café and The New Spot are also worth a visit.

Sweet Treats

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | Little Nib

Pick up locally-made chocolates at Little Nib, Recchiuti Confections’ Dogpatch location © Jacky Recchiuti

There’s no shortage of homemade ice cream shops in San Francisco. But ask a local, and many will tell you to head to Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous, a parlour-style shop serving flavours like Maple Ginger and Bourbon & Caramel. Just look for the storefront with the line out the door.

In 1997, Michael and Jacky Recchiuti became some of the first confectioners to make European-style artisan truffles in the U.S. with their company Recchiuti Confections. Today, you can taste their boxed chocolates, caramels and other treats at Little Nib (among other locations in the city). The duo’s other neighbourhood business, theLab, is a fully-fledged restaurant and event space – be sure to check out the new experimental dinner events, tasteProject.

“Dogpatch is the last bastion of an untapped old San Francisco,” said Jacky Recchiuti. “Starving art students, hipsters, old neighbourhood cronies and families with strollers, and of course old business folks like us band together as an extended family of sorts.”

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | theLab

theLab is a beautiful addition to the neighbourhood from Michael and Jacky Recchiutti © Jacky Recchiuti

Creative Vibes

The large, industrial spaces in Dogpatch work in the favour of the community artisans and craftsmen. At Workshop Residence, an artist residency program fosters collaboration with one artist at a time. Manufacturing partners are pulled in to assist the artist in producing functional products to be sold, such as custom Dogpatch Maps. Products can be purchased at Workshop’s retail shop.

On the same block as Serpentine is Dogpatch’s Museum of Craft and Design, the first major cultural institution in the neighbourhood. Established in 2004 in its original location of Union Square, the Museum’s relocation to Dogpatch in 2013 is a welcome addition, displaying both original and traveling exhibitions from around the world.

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | MCD

Museum of Craft and Design is a popular destination in the neighbourhood © Matthew Millman, c/o Museum of Craft and Design

Shoppers’ Delight

Despite the hills, San Francisco is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US. Local company Rickshaw Bagworks offers a myriad of colourful messenger bags in a beautiful brick-lined shop.

Your friends and family will no doubt welcome a souvenir sample of La Fromagerie Cheese Shop‘s 50 cheeses from all over the world. Opt for an international flavour, or an American brand such as Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog.

Pick up some new pieces from the eclectically stylish Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC), blending a mix of local brands and hard-to-come-by international collections. The family business opened its first location in Hayes Valley 34 years ago, opening its Dogpatch location four years ago.

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | Workshop Residency

Shop at Workshop Residency’s storefront and buy items from the artists © Workshop Residency

After you’ve eaten and shopped your way through the neighbourhood, head to Dogpatch Boulders for an indoor climbing session. Day passes are just $20 – Intro to Bouldering classes are held weekly to help with the basics. Those who plan to extend their California vacation beyond San Francisco can opt for the $75 monthly membership, good for all nine Touchstone Climbing Gym locations in the state.

 A Neighbourhood Guide to Dogpatch | Dogpatch Boulders

Dogpatch Boulders is a great place to mingle with the locals and burn some calories after eating your way through the neighbourhood © Dogpatch Boulders

Header Image © Workshop Residency

Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to San Francisco from London Heathrow, making it easy to check out San Francisco’s hottest districts.

Have you been to San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighbourhood? Where are your favourite places to go in the area? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Lindsay Wright

About Lindsay Wright

When she's not finding a way to sneak off on a trip, Lindsay Wright is scouting out the latest restaurants, local music clubs, hiking trails, and happenings in the San Francisco Bay Area. A true Californian at heart, she is constantly exploring and promoting the wealth of travel-worthy activities in the Golden State.
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