Insider’s guide: Where to eat, drink and play in SF’s Dogpatch this summer

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San Francisco’s sunny Dogpatch district has evolved from a gritty working-class neighborhood to an enclave for artists and young families. It’s home to redwood-filled Esprit Park, the Museum of Craft + Design and La Cocina’s annual San Francisco Food Festival, which means the food and beverage scene is superb. Where do you start? With this list of new and distinctive spots, beginning with Daily Driver, the just-opened, wood-fired bagel shop and butter-and-cheese creamery.

Open since June, Daily Driver brings rural cheesemaking to the city with a coffee roastery and wood-fired bagels on site. (Courtesy Frankie Frankeny)

Sandwiched between Magnolia Brewing Co., and the Museum of Craft + Design, this bright, 7,000-square-foot bagel sanctuary and coffee roastery is a collaboration between two couples: Tamara Hicks and David Jablons, who own and run Toluma Farms and Tomales Farmstead Creamery in West Marin, and Hadley and David Kreitz. Hadley works at the farm and makes cheese; David, an industrial engineer, built the farm’s wood-fired oven and perfected those bagels.

What’s all the fuss? This bagel — hand-rolled, boiled and wood-fired daily — is legit: Chewy in the center with a golden, crisp crust that draws fans to wait in line (at $3.50, it’s also the Bay Area’s most expensive bagel). They’re also here to watch. Public-facing windows look into the urban creamery, where Hadley and crew are churning and hand-batting bars of cultured butter bright as gold, made from the milk of Silva Family Dairy’s grass-fed Jersey cows. Cream cheese, chevre, ghee and quark, a soft, spreadable German-style cheese, are also made on-site, ready to dress those buzzed-about bagels.

You can watch butter — made from the milk of Jersey cows — being paddled at Daily Driver. (Courtesy Frank Frankeny)

Daily Driver offers six classics — plain, onion, poppy, everything, salt and garlic — and a small menu of bagel sandwiches, including the divine Gravlax, made with King salmon, red onion, capers and dill cream cheese ($16) and the epic Lobster Roll, a glistening, buttery bagel dog overflowing with plump pillows of lobster ($21, after 11 a.m.). Also look for Red Bay Coffee espresso drinks with add-ins that range from charcoal to matcha. Daily Driver is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends at 2535 Third St.,

Looking for other new or enticing Dogpatch eats and activities? Here are five more of our favorites, from an innovative modern Indian restaurant to a weekday-only bar with James Beard cred.

Cold Drinking Caramel features Recchuiti’s burnt caramel frothed with milk and served over ice. (Recchuiti at the Lab)

Recchuiti at theLab

If you find yourself face-planting into Recchuiti Confections — it’s a normal reaction to world-class chocolate — head to the eminent chocolatier’s expanded home and retail shop inside the historic Swan. This is where the Michael Recchuiti creates confections and experiments with new flavors. Look for exclusive specialty items on rotation — hello, Illanka Pot de Creme — in addition to drinks like Cold Drinking Caramel ($5) made with frothed burnt caramel and milk over ice. Wanna stay awhile? Try a Friday Flight (available from noon to 6 p.m.) and sip wine or spirits paired with  desserts or classic Rechuitti delights.

Details: Open from noon daily Monday-Friday and from 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday at 801 22nd St., San Francisco;

Flora Grubb Gardens is an oasis offering pots, plants, garden club events and even a Ritual Coffee bar. (Courtesy Caitlin Atkinson)

Flora Grubb Gardens

Closer to Bay View-Hunter’s Point, Flora Grubb is an oasis, easily one of the most beautifully curated garden shops you’ll ever visit. A labyrinth of palms and terra cotta pots of every size lead you to a bevy of succulents and a wide variety of air plants. Patio sofas are tucked in nooks for you to rest before exploring more. When the creative spark hits, head to the potter’s bench where an expert will answer questions while you scoop soil or charcoal. Ritual Coffee has a shop in the back with a full menu of espresso drinks, Song Teas and botanically-inspired drinks. Sip those while enjoying a croissant at a table in the back patio next to the massive succulent wall.

Details: Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 1634 Jerrold Ave., San Francisco;

School Night is San Francisco’s first weeknight-only bar. (Orange Photography)

School Night

Traci Des Jardins’ ground-breaking Jardiniere closed in April, but the James Beard award-winning chef’s bar is alive and well in the Dogpatch. Located inside The Pearl, this weeknight-only bar specializes in hand-crafted Pisco, whiskey and agave cocktails. The small menu focuses on Mexican-inspired bites — Des Jardins is the brains behind Arguello and Mijita Cocina Mexicana — from the wood-burning oven, including Achiote Chicken Thighs with cilantro rice ($16), smashed duck fat-confit Fried Potatoes with guajillo mojo ($12), and, yes, housemade churros ($8).

Details: Open 5 to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursdays at 601 19th St., San Francisco;

Chef Heena Patel’s modern Gujarati food is served on cheeky plateware with satirical quotes. (Courtesy Alicia Fischer)


Eat modern Indian and sass much? You’ll do both at chef Heena Patel’s restaurant inside the Minnesota Street Project. Besharam, an Urdu word for shameless that is often used in South Asian culture as an insulting label for women who dare to do things not considered “appropriate,” was born from the La Cocina restaurant incubator. The menu celebrates gourmet updates of Patel’s native Gujarati food, like Dhokla, steamed fermented chickpea cakes laced with green chile, lemon and curry leaves ($14), and Dahi Wada, urad dal dumplings with spiced chile yogurt, cilantro and tamarind ($13). Savor the bold-flavored dishes while sipping a Trust No Auntie ($14) made with Pisco, beet and turmeric. Dishes are served family style, and in true Gujarati fashion, utensils are optional.

Details: Hours vary. Open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Tuesday-Saturday and weekend brunch  at 1275 Minnesota St., San Francisco;

Harmonic Brewing

Open three years in a renovated industrial warehouse, this brewery and tap room is pleasantly tucked away from the bustle of Third Street. Harmonic typically features 12 beers on tap, including their light and bright H’ella Waits IPA, oatmeal-ish Cold Press Stout and traditional Czech-style Prague Rock Pilsner. The space is bright, dog-friendly, kid-friendly and often has a gourmet food truck or pop-up on-site, such as Las Marias Venezuelan Kitchen, Good to Eat Dumplings and El Chino Grande from Chris Yang, the former chef at the now-closed ‘Aina. Did we mention the live music and comedy shows?

Details: Hours vary. Open daily at 1050 26th St., San Francisco;