For those that don’t know, the sleepy district bordering Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach known as The Sunset is a place I’ve called home for over three years. The simplicity of this neighborhood might even make you forget you’re in a city with the apparent close-knit community, small cafes, restaurants and surf shops that beg you to enjoy the slow style of life. With waves crashing gently in the background as brunch is served at the intersection of 48th Avenue and Judah, The Sunset is one of the best kept secrets in San Francisco. The hours spent peeking into General Store, enjoying a snowy plover at Andytown Coffee Roasters and hitting the bluffs at Ocean Beach is a great way to enjoy a seaside afternoon. From long lines at all the must stop eateries to neighbors lazing around in casual attire, an afternoon visit here is highly recommended.
4001 Judah Street | Mon-Fri: Cafe- 8a-11a + Lunch- 11a-3p | Sat/Sun: Brunch 9a-3p | Dinner | 5:30p-10p
Be prepared to wait, and then wait some more for a (not so secret) stellar meal at this Sunset gem. Here you will find locals enjoying brunch inside the interesting interior and cozy design of Outerlands, often sipping a lemon ginger apple cider and feasting on a cast-iron grilled cheese paired with mushroom, squash and kale soup. The small but mighty menu will leave you torn on what exactly to order, so I always encourage sharing to try as many items as possible. If you’re not into the whole hour long brunch line (understandable!), Outerlands now accepts dinner reservations! The warm and woodsy interior makes for a great date spot when the fog begins to take over in the late afternoon.
4033 Judah St | San Francisco | Mon-Sun: 7-7p
If you do decide to wait for a table at Outerlands and the line is long, walk a few doors down and grab a cup from Trouble Coffee to pass the time. This tiny cafe is said to be the inventor of the $4 toast movement and for good reason. Don’t expect much inside, as the simple driftwood decor and delicious coffee make this a popular pit stop for surfers and wanderers alike.
4035 Judah Street | San Francisco | Weekdays 11am-7pm | Weekends 10am-7pm
You know those types of shops you walk in and wish that it could be your house? Well, for me, this shop is General Store located next to Outerlands. It’s as if you step through the entrance, look around, and feel comfort in everything that hangs from the walls and sits along the shelves. From the beautiful neutral walls with pops of color to the outdoor garden, you may easily be tempted to buy everything in this shop including the impressive clothing, unique cards, accessories and even some vintage gems.
4300 Judah St | San Francisco | Mon-Thurs: 7a-4p | Weekends: 7a-6p
Beachside cafe is one of my favorite spots in San Francisco for its laid back vibe. The interior is gorgeous and the chicken-and-waffles live up to their reputation! With a large menu and huge assortment from their bakery case, you’re guaranteed to have an awesome meal, especially during weekend brunch. Once finished, walk a block towards the ocean and explore the vistas along the sand dunes.
A stroll along Great Highway is necessary during any trip over to The Sunset! The brightly colored homes and buildings bring a pop of color to the often cloudy, fog filled skies along the beach which is all part of the charm. On a warm day, the sand will be sprinkled with sunbathers and don’t be surprised when you spot endless surfers roaming the streets, barefoot beach go-ers with sandy toes and an all around feeling of simple beach living in this not so urban district of San Francisco.
3655 Lawton St | San Francisco | Mon-Fri: 7-5p | Weekends: 8-5p
Stop and enjoy a snowy plover and strawberry corn muffin at Andytown Coffee Roasters, a relatively new and contemporary coffee shop. Their baked goods, indoor/outdoor seating and delicious speciality coffee makes this cafe a great place to try while exploring the neighborhood.
3906 Judah St | San Francisco | Mon-Fri: 8-7p | Sat/Sun: 9-7p
Another great cafe to grab a bite to eat is Judahlicous which specializes in organic, locally sourced foods, juices and a killer acai bowl. A little off the beaten path, Judahlicious is a nice place to get a healthy start to the day while maintaining an environmentally focused mindset the second you walk through the door.
It gets quite chilly around these parts and sunsets are actually rare do to the thick fog, so be sure to dress warm! Whether you’re a local or a traveler visiting San Francisco, be sure to make time to explore this awesome neighborhood between popular destinations such as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the SFMOMA!
Like this guide? Pin it and take it with you!