It’s lean, it’s green, it’s the Panhandle. Just north of this small oasis of greenery is NOPA, a vintage San Francisco neighborhood with a post-hipster vibe. Bordered by Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury and Anza Vista, the main drag of NOPA is Divisadero Street, known to locals as simply “Diviz.” Here you’ll find many of your needs as an urban dweller met: yoga studios, Thai takeout, top-notch burritos, gift shops which stock uniquely SF items (check out the Perish Trust), and buzzing bakery/coffee shop The Mill, a gorgeous space where you’ll find Josey Baker’s bread (along with its cult following – often in the form of a long line!) Craving Mexican food a bit more dressed up than the burrito joints you’ve been frequenting? Grab lunch at Nopalito, neighborhood namesake/culinary-crowd obsession.
Keep it local and check out the famous Painted Ladies, a row of picturesque Victorian houses that face Alamo Square. (If you’re going to indulge in that viewing pleasure, you might as well do it right by also grabbing cone at Bi-Rite, SF’s most beloved frozen treat.) Looking to do some booty-shaking without skipping a beat? Madrone Art Bar hosts thumping soul nights on the regular. Bar Crudo and Barrel Head Brewhouse are both happy hour bright havens.
You’ll never get lost in NOPA, the location is built right into the name. North of the Panhandle is central without the downtown crowds; close to Golden Gate Park, but on the sunny side of the fog-belt. A number of MUNI lines traverse the area and street parking is (relatively) plentiful.