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Top Things To Do And See In Noe Valley
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Top Things To Do And See In Noe Valley

Picture of Devon Delfino
Updated: 9 February 2017
Nestled between Diamond Peaks and the Inner Mission lies a rarity in San Francisco: the perfect little bit of city to soak up fog-free rays. Even on the dreariest of days, Noe Valley seems to be the only microclimate in San Francisco where you can almost always count on blue skies. This quaint neighborhood may not be known for its nightlife, but, when it comes to relaxation and laid-back vibes, it cannot be beat.

Grab a Cup of Coffee (or Tea)

Martha and Bros. Coffee Co.

The original location for the franchise, Martha’s offers tons of house and foreign blends that even the pickiest of coffee connoisseurs will find refreshing. Pick up a pastry to finish it off and you’ve got a quick and delicious breakfast! If there’s time and an open table (they tend to fill up rather quickly so be prepared to stake your claim), snag a seat in the patio out front as you enjoy the sun, fresh air and the occasional breeze.

3868 24th St, San Francisco, CA, +1 415 641-4433

Lovejoy’s Tea Room

For the habitual tea drinker, nothing comes close to the experience you get at Lovejoy’s Tea Room. Sip one of over 20 varieties of tea (black, white, green or herbal; all available in a bottomless pot) while you sample tea sandwiches or a scone or crumpet in the classic and quirky ambiance that makes Lovejoy’s truly special. It’s the closest a Californian can get to the high tea experience without boarding a plane.

1351 Church St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 648-5895

Diamond Café

This small corner café is a San Francisco classic, offering up coffee as well as hearty breakfast options like omelets, waffles and crepes. The Diamond Café is a great option for those who are on the go (even long lines move quickly and the service is fantastic) or are looking for an inexpensive cup of java. The café has indoor and outdoor seating and is open seven days a week. Just keep in mind that they close at 4:00 p.m. every day.

751 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA, +1 415 655-3674

Get Some Brunch

Holey Bagel

Grab a perfectly toasted bagel at this classic 24th St. stop. The bright blue storefront and no-frills interior have remained nearly unchanged for over a decade—and so has the quality of bagel. Stop by to pick one up as you tour the rest of the street’s many shops and boutiques. It may not look like much, but locals know that the Holey Bagel is the best spot around for a delicious, freshly baked bagel in Noe Valley. (They also offer non-dairy cream cheese options!)

3872 24th St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 647-3334

Chloe’s Café

This classic, charming little café serves up some seriously delicious dishes that are enough to make anyone hungry for more. The flavors are artfully balanced and served up simply allowing the food to speak for itself. Try one of their famous croissants, the banana walnut pancakes or their popular avocado and Jarlsberg scramble for a brunch worth remembering. A word of caution to anyone who has never been to Chloe’s: be prepared to wait, space is limited and perfection takes time!

1399 Church St, San Francisco, CA ,+1 415 648-4116

SAVOR

A popular spot on 24th, SAVOR offers a mix of savory Mediterranean and southwest-style dishes that don’t disappoint. With something for everyone (crêpes, sandwiches, and salads that will make anyone love salad again), even picky eaters will love their selection of tasty eats. Pop around the side for outdoor patio seating that’s pet-friendly, shaded by blue striped awnings and the perfect place to sip a mimosa or two with your meal. Call ahead on for weekend brunch availability as it gets quite crowded.

3913 24th St, San Francisco, CA , +1 415 282-0344

Go to The Park

Upper Douglass Dog Park

For those with canine companions, Upper Douglass Dog Park, which overlooks the city and has wonderful bay views, is a veritable haven. Let you pup run loose in the enclosed space and get to know some of your fellow dog lovers. While relatively new, having just opened in March of this year, the dog park is a great addition to an already dog-friendly neighborhood and is popular with locals. Since there’s enough room to play without feeling too open or exposed, it’s a great option for new owners (and pets) to start socializing.

Douglass St and 27th St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 831-2700

Upper Noe Recreation Center

This newly renovated park is perfect for anyone with kids—it comes complete with a playground with a sand pit, baseball diamond and multipurpose field, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, a dog play area as well as a recreation building that’s used for both senior and pre-K activities. It’s one of the spots that gives Noe Valley its community feel, loved by kids and parents alike. Check out the San Francisco Recreation and Parks website for related events and information.

295 Day St San Francisco, CA, +1 415 970-8061

Go Shopping

Ambiance

Ambiance is the height of boutique shopping offering up the ultimate mix of trendy and classic, with pieces from Diane Von Furstenberg, BCBG, Kensie, 7 For All Mankind, Steve Madden and Vince Kamuto (among many, many others.) The staff is friendly (garnering the Mayor’s Certificate of Honor for outstanding service to the people of San Francisco just last year) and the small boutique is packed full of enough must-have items to occupy the better part of a afternoon. Just look for the black-and-white striped awning!

3979 24th St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 647-5800

Omnivore Books

This popular bookstore is perfect for any foodie of the vegan, vegetarian or just plain hungry persuasion. Omnivore Books offers up a well-curated mix of new, vintage and signed cookbooks in a quaint, classically Noe Valley setting. Work up an appetite while you browse their selection before running home to make a new and oh-so-delicious meal at home. Check out their website for information about in-store and offsite events like author talks and book signings, many of which are free!

3885A Caesar Chavez St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 282-4712

Noe Valley Pet Co.

Opened in 1999 by owners Paula Harris and Celia Sack, this pet-friendly neighborhood wouldn’t be complete without the ‘mom and mom shop’ known as the Noe Valley Pet Co., which offers tons of accessories, treats, and other necessities that will make you and your pet happy. Stop by for almost anything you could think of for your companion—even referrals for cat-sitters or information about local puppy socials—and say hello to one of the many dogs and cats that frequent the store.

1451 Church St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 282-7385

Go To Church

St. Paul’s Catholic Church

Amongst the Victorian and Edwardian architecture that characterizes Noe Valley is St. Paul’s Catholic Church, built in the Gothic style in 1897. The impressive building takes up an entire city block and is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows that depict various biblical scenes and saints. While the exterior is more subdued, consisting mainly of thick stone blocks, the inside of the church is far more extravagant and is definitely worth a viewing for architecture buffs and devout Catholics alike.

221 Valley St., San Francisco, CA, +1 415 648-7538

By Devon Delfino

Devon Delfino, a Bay Area native, is an arts and entertainment journalist and recent graduate from Boston University. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city, paddle boarding and listening to music (though not usually at the same time.) Follow her on Twitter: @devondelfino