Street Wise: a Stop-by-Stop Guide to Third Street, Dogpatch

Daily Driver has some of the best bagels around
Daily Driver has some of the best bagels around | © Frankie Frankeny
Photo of Leon Beckenham
14 September 2021

San Francisco’s hippest neighborhood weaves together microbreweries and menswear boutiques along this bay-skimming stretch on the eastern side of the city.

Unlike much of San Francisco, the industrial Dogpatch district was, for the most part, left to languish post-World War II. It took until the ’90s for new life to be breathed into this gritty docklands, its waterside warehouses and canneries revamped for the ever-growing population of tech innovators and creative entrepreneurs in the city. Riding the wave of renewal is Third Street, its main drag, now transformed into a thriving thoroughfare with everything from bagel bakeries to artisan breweries and some of the finest brunch spots.

Museum of Craft and Design

Museum
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Mode Brut, 2021-2022, Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. Mode Brut_Museum of Craft & Design_#12_Henrik Kam 2021
Mode Brut, 2021-2022, Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. Image courtesy of Henrik Kam. | Image courtesy of Henrik Kam
Most of the action on Third Street starts just north of 23rd Street, and this is where you’ll find this fabulous craft and design museum. As a non-collecting institution, it’s dedicated to showcasing a wide range of artists, artisans and designers through a regularly rotating program of exhibitions, workshops and experiences. You can also pick up some great pieces in the museum’s store, including fun stationery, original jewelry and books that’ll look perfect on your coffee table.

Daily Driver

Cafe, Bakery, American
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Daily River SF. Pastrami-on-Caraway-Sesame-with-sauerkraut-and-a-beer-credit-Frankie-Frankeny
© Frankie Frankeny

Turn right out of the museum, and you’re just steps from some of the finest bagels in San Francisco – perhaps even the West Coast. Daily Driver is a big bright, airy space serving (mostly) organic bagels freshly baked in wood-fired ovens. You can custom-build your perfect filling or choose from a selection of in-house creations. It even has an on-site creamery churning out house-made butter and cream cheeses.

Hard Knox Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Dessert Shop, South American, Dessert, $$$
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Brunch. melissa-walker-horn-BKSntHf8oiU-unsplash
Brunch | Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash
If you have a hankering for some homestyle Southern cooking, Hard Knox Cafe is the place to find it. A fixture on Third Street for more than 20 years, it offers some of the most delicious soul food this side of the Mississippi, together with great brunch options, including french toast and any-which-way eggs. Its lengthy menu also has Cajun favorites, from cornmeal-battered catfish to candied yams, all of which will have you loosening your belt a notch or two before pushing back out onto Third Street.

Magnolia Brewing

Gastropub, Pub, Restaurant, American, $$$
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pouring beer. amie-johnson-VJXLzQi5TlE-unsplash
pouring beer | Photo by Amie Johnson on Unsplash
Magnolia Brewing has been a part of San Francisco’s beer scene for more than two decades, producing some of the finest award-winning ales in the city. Just on the corner of 22nd Street, this location is one of two where you can sample its eclectic menu of handmade brews while chowing down on some seriously tasty fare. It’s a big and buzzy industrial space that weaves together a real sense of place with a friendly vibe and innovative craft beers.

Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous

Ice Cream Parlour, Candy Store, American, $$$
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tanya-trukyr-7WiJXeq_t3U-unsplash
Ice-cream cone | Photo by Tanya Trukyr on Unsplash

If you like the sweeter things in life, then just next door is this wonderful little candy and ice-cream store. The couple-run establishment has been a favorite among the sweet-toothed since opening in 2010, thanks to its fabulous selection of regularly changing, creatively flavored treats. Home-made, small-batch ice cream can be topped with the likes of hot fudge or caramel – frequent lines are testimony to its deliciousness.

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    This new kid on the block has quickly established itself as one of the sharpest menswear boutiques in the city. It offers an expertly curated collection of well-known and emerging fashion brands, all presented in a coolly urban setting. Its mission is “to deliver an elevated retail experience,” and with a combination of harder-to-find items, outside-the-norm footwear and hot-off-the-line new arrivals, it does just that.

    Bryr Studio

    Shop
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    Bryr Studio. Chloe in Natural Leather
    Courtesy of Bryr Studio

    If you’re looking for some original footwear, you’ll find few places better than Bryr Studio. Designer Isobel Schofield and her team create an impressive line of stylish high-heeled clogs, guaranteed to turn heads as you strut down the street. The boutique and workshop are in the same building, with an open studio every Friday. Pop in for a browse, or order your fully customized pair online.

    The Sea Star

    Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
    Map View
    The Sea Star 2
    Courtesy of The Sea Star
    Although opened under various names, there has been a bar at this address since at least 1899. The Sea Star’s not-so-subtle diving theme is reflected through vintage deep-sea paraphernalia, an octopus ceiling lamp and 14 rotating beer taps with ocean-inspired names. As it doesn’t have a kitchen, drinkers are welcome to bring their own food. Occasional live music and a pool table add to the welcoming vibe.

    Petite Auberge

    Bed and Breakfast
    4.3/5 (976 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Petite Auberge / Booking.com
    Price Drop
    Now from $172 per night

    A sashay away from the top of Third Street in the Lower Nob Hill district, this charming guesthouse is as easy on the eye as it is on the pocket – and a good base if you want to explore Dogpatch. As hinted in the name, the look is French Provençal with a smattering of Asian influences from the owner’s travels. For extra coziness, plump for a room with a working gas fireplace. Morning brings a free (and plentiful) breakfast, while evenings offer guests a complimentary cheese and wine hour.

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    Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco

    Boutique Hotel, Luxury
    4.2/5 (976 Reviews)
    Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco
    Courtesy of Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $186 per night

    Channeling the spirit of San Francisco’s bohemian past, this swanky hotel creates an avant-garde atmosphere through the theme of classic rock’n’roll. Free sangria upon check-in sets the mood, while the music theme continues throughout the high-tech rooms. Its Rambler restaurant offers top-notch dining, while a Beatnik-inspired bar with a crackling fire is wonderfully intimate. Plus, it’s just a short cab ride from the north end of Dogpatch.

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    These recommendations were updated on September 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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