Hometown Tourist: Inner Richmond

Inner Richmond Clement Street boasts delicious food and entertaining stores.


Josephine Rozzelle

Shoppers walk up and down the two-block farmers market on Clement Street on a Sunday at noon. Pets are not allowed at farmers markets per health department regulations.

San Francisco’s Inner Richmond is home to lively Clement Street, a cluster of restaurants and unique, trendy retail boutiques, reflecting the street’s hot-spot nature.

For breakfast, visit Eats, a small restaurant on 2nd Avenue that serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays and brunch on the weekend. Eats offers a wide selection of breakfast and lunch options including everything from tasty breakfast classics like the waffles with berries to savory lunch specials such as the fried chicken sandwich.

Northern California farmers and vendors populate the usually car-ridden street between 2nd and 4th avenues every Sunday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the Clement Street Farmers Market. Fresh produce, seafood, dairy, grass-fed meats and honey are just some of the extensive food items available at the two-block market. Live music and food trucks periodically join the community event.

Green Apple Books, between 6th and 7th avenues, is a must-visit bookstore with towering shelves that help squeeze as many editions as possible into every nook and cranny. The intimate set-up leaves little space to wander and creates a maze of volumes for avid and casual readers alike. Shelves hold everything from new and used novels, to cookbooks, stationary and coffee table books, featuring photos of dogs underwater.

Seedstore and Parklife, two captivating retail stores, are side-by-side on 3rd Avenue. Seedstore primarily sells clothing and shoes, while its neighbor Parklife has comfortable, San Francisco-themed T-shirts as well as art books, decorative design items, and a one-room art gallery in the back of the store.

Across the street is the Inner Richmond staple Giorgio’s, a family-oriented Italian restaurant excelling in traditional pizza — even with an option to specialize crust thickness — and Italian specialties like baked and vegetarian lasagna and cannelloni.

Burma Superstar stands out as a lunch and dinner spot with a constant line of patrons waiting for tables. Superstar does not take reservations, often guaranteeing waits of 30 minutes or more, but its well-known plates such as its tea-leaf salad are worth spending time under cozy heat lamps and an awning — even in the rain. All of the entrées are of sharing size, making it easy to try many different dishes if you go with family or friends. Burma Superstar is located at Clement Street and 4th Avenue.

For the best desserts on Clement Street, visit Toy Boat Dessert Cafe, which focuses primarily on its ice cream parlor aspect, but also offers lunch fare, coffee drinks and baked goods. Its selection of Double Rainbow ice cream flavors and cold treats, such as chocolate covered bananas and ice cream sandwiches, are only part of what sets this store apart.

Vintage toys decorate the shop from floor-to-ceiling – including a complete set of Spice Girls dolls, a vast collection of PEZ dispensers and a coin-operated mechanical horse for toddlers – giving the cafe a nostalgic, youthful feeling.

Clement Street is situated between Geary Boulevard and California Street. It is about a 5-block walk from Golden Gate Park or the Presidio and accessible by Muni lines 1, 2, 33 and 38.