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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.


Drinking Destinations in Dogpatch

First and foremost: coffee. Housed in a former horse stable dating back to the 1840s (now a bright, canary-yellow), Piccino Café and Coffee Bar is the perfect place for coffee lovers to begin their explorations. And if you’re hungry, there’s a sit-down restaurant here, 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.

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-frills after work hangout, serving sustainable wines. Urban winery, Sutton Cellars has been making wine 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

Not to be overshadowed by the beer is Magnolia’s other half, Smokestack. Line up at the counter to order a smorgasbord of barbecued meats, from brisket and hot pastrami to 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 touristy waterfront taverns 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, located on the corner of the American Industrial Center. Menu items are locally sourced and fresh and the cocktails are a big draw. Dogpatch favourite, Just For You Café is also worth a visit when you’re in the area.

There’s no shortage of ice cream shops in San Francisco, but ask a local and they’ll tell you to visit 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.


Creative Vibes

The large, industrial spaces in Dogpatch work well for 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 was a welcome addition, displaying both original and traveling exhibitions from around the world.


Shoppers’ Delight

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.

After you’ve eaten and shopped your way through the neighbourhood, head to Dogpatch Boulders for an indoor climbing session. Day passes are just $25, while those who plan to extend their California vacation beyond San Francisco can opt for the $125 monthly membership, good for all nine Touchstone Climbing Gym locations in the state.


Written by Lindsay Wright

Image credits:

Smokestack © Eric Wolfinger

Third Rail cocktail © Third Rail

Workshop Residency © Workshop residency