The Inner Richmond
Welcome to the Inner Richmond! When I realized I wanted to launch a blog, I thought it'd be fun to start with the streets I grew up on. The neighborhood is a multicultural melting pot, having hosted multiple waves of immigrants from across the globe. With the Pacific to the West, Presidio to the North, and Golden Gate Park to the South, the grid of pastel stucco homes that is the Richmond district is surrounded by nature on all sides. It feels removed from the bustle of downtown, especially as the fog rolls in. Frozen chocolate dipped bananas from Toy Boat thawed to an edible temperature while strolling the aisles of Green Apple Books frequently growing up. The Inner Richmond is rarely on tourists' radar, and even a lot of San Franciscans don't give the area the attention it deserves. Now you have no excuse! With a few spots to eat and shop, you should feel more comfortable and excited than ever to stroll along Clement Street. Enjoy!
127 Clement Street
Burmese cuisine isn't as widely known as food from neighboring Thailand, which is wild to me. It's delicious, especially some of the more California fusion-esque dishes being served up at B Star.
B Star is the younger sibling to Burma Superstar, just a few blocks down. I personally like B Star because they have a cozy covered outdoor area and brunch every day. It's also (usually) less packed than Burma Superstar, and who doesn't love a shorter queue?
Don't miss: the tea leaf salad! Quintessentially Burmese, tea leaf salad is fresh and crunchy and really, really delicious. Fermented green tea leaves make up the core of the dish, surrounded by romaine lettuce, dried shrimp, peanuts, lemon, fried garlic, some sesame seeds, tomatoes, jalapeños, and a few other things tossed together to perfection. It's often served with all of the ingredients separated in a beautiful display, allowing you to pick and choose how much of each thing you want. If you're me, you throw it all together and call it a day!
401 Clement Street
I hadn't been into Toy Boat in maybe a decade until last week, but it really hasn't changed much. Sure, the specific toys and Pez dispensers are different, but the zany spirit is the same.
They serve Double Rainbow ice cream, chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, as well as sandwiches and baked goods. Frozen bananas were a particular favorite of mine growing up, though it should be noted that you have to wait a bit for them to thaw to a chewable consistency! Situated on a sunny corner, it's also prime people watching territory.
397 Arguello Blvd,
Prepare for the lines, especially if you hit Arsicault on the weekends. After their discovery by Bon Appétit, and crowning as the best croissant in the US, they sell out quick.
I let fate decide when I indulge, if I drive by and there's no line AND a parking spot? I stop. Fate saying "go ahead, have that chocolate-almond croissant." And then take it home and take photos of it while using all of your self control to not devour it immediately. I guess #doitforthegram will now become #doitfortheblog.
212 Clement Street
Smack dab in the middle of Clement sits Seedstore - a neighborhood boutique to really make everyone happy. Men's & women's apparel, home goods, trinkets, patches, the works. They've got a really lovely collection and a particularly brilliant "what that fog?" tote that I've got my eye on.
220 Clement Street
Next to Seedstore is Park Life, a completely different vibe than its neighbor but equally fabulous. Their coffee table book collection is particularly great, as is their t-shirt selection. They also host work from local artists - be sure to check out the gallery in the back room! I've only recently "found" Park Life, and will have to keep myself away lest I spend all my income on magazines, tchotchkies, and ceramic sharks.
Green Apple Books
506 Clement Street
Green Apple Books has been a pillar of the Inner Richmond since 1967, so they're celebrating 50 years as being easily the best used bookstore in the city. With two storefronts, they carry used and new books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, greeting cards....and much more. Even when you're not sure what you're looking for, it's hard to leave empty handed or disappointed. I went in to "just" take pictures and left with two books. This blogging adventure may get expensive.
275 6th Ave #101
This is one shop that wasn't on my radar at all, and I have no clue why. Tucked off Clement on 6th, it's airy, smells divine, and is filled with mainly California-made products. From honey to salt to handicrafts and the many, many candles I almost walked away with. It's the kind of gift shop I wish every city had - no magnets and keychains, but full of authentic items that let you take home a real bit of San Francisco. Beautifully designed and impeccably stocked, be sure to stop by Foggy Notion when roaming the area.