When people talk about must-see spots in San Francisco, Ingleside is frequently overlooked. Even though this district in San Francisco doesn’t get much love, it still has a lot to offer and is home to everything you could ever want or need, all along Ocean Avenue.
While not technically located in Ingleside, Mount Davidson is easily accessible from Ocean Avenue. The mountain boasts the title of highest point in San Francisco; the panoramic views from the top definitely backs that up. If you have ever seen those Instagram pictures of downtown San Francisco with a downed white tree in the foreground, then you have seen Mt. Davidson. Take a short hike through a beautiful forest and you will be rewarded with a few places to sit and take in the view.
The Ingleside Terraces Sundial is an often overlooked and somewhat hidden historical piece of San Francisco. The Sundial, which still works, was erected in 1912 and since then a neighborhood and park has been built around it, making it the perfect place to sit and take in a part of San Francisco’s lesser known history.
Speaking of history, the venerable El Rey theatre still stands as a symbol for Ocean Avenue and Ingleside as a whole. While it has been converted into a church, its tall tower still stands high, making it a staple of Ingleside. Witnessing this old theatre is like stepping back in time, and when it is all lit up it is easy to feel transported back to yesteryear.
Famous for it’s hills, San Francisco also boasts beautiful views because of them. If you walk a few blocks up the residential Orizaba Street, you will get to Lakeview and Ashton Mini Park. Like it states in the name, you are treated with the view of Lake Merced, but you can also see all of Ingleside, many of the surrounding neighborhoods, and a view of the ocean.
Due to the large student population that lives in and near the Ingleside area, there is no lack of cute, quiet coffee shops to either get some studying done, take in the beautiful artwork made by local artists, or chat with a friend or a member of the community. The Fog Lifter and Java on Ocean are two of the coffee shops that inspire all members of community to come together and share a cup of coffee, tea or espresso.
If you have a San Francisco Public Library card then you can help yourself to any of the books that the Ingleside branch has. While the recently built modern library is a bit small compared to some of the other branches around the city, the Ingleside library boasts a beautiful outside reading area where you can catch the sun and get lost in a book.
For the dessert connoisseur, there are a few places along Ocean Ave to satiate that confection obsession. Super Cue is a tea and boba chain located in San Francisco. There is a location right on Ocean that is one of the only places open past ten. They are famous for their herbal and black teas, and the huge amount of add-ons and ways one can customize a drink. Another sweet destinations is Rainbow T Dessert.
Beep’s Burgers has been a staple of the Ingleside district for more than 50 years. Offering up juicy old-fashioned burgers, fries and shakes, all within a drive-in location, this food stop is a must-see. And with a recent change in management, this burger joint is considered by many to be in an upswing, providing top-notch food.
St Emydius Church is a church one block away from Ocean and has been a staple of the Ingleside area since it was built in the 1920s. The large white church has two distinct golden spires that gleam and shine during the day. From the intricate white designs to the golden tips, the church is a sight to see. The church is still up and running and holds daily mass.
As this is San Francisco, one of the most artistically inclined cities in America, there is public art sprinkled throughout the entire city and Ingleside is no exception. From the murals located on the fire house and bus stops, to the giant red mosaic spheres that populate some of the street corners, there is no shortage of art to behold when just strolling the streets of Ingleside. The Sun Spheres created by Laurel True add color and culture to the street. They are located on Ocean Avenue between Miramar and Grenada.