Deco Ghetto

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle stated that the Deco Ghetto is a ‘teenager of a neighborhood going through an identity crisis’. This is because it’s not an established destination like the Mission, Castro or Russian Hill, but it does have a reputation and is slowly finding its footing. Known by San Francisco insiders for its diverse cafes and bars, it is well-worth a visit. However, don’t expect to find stellar examples of Art Deco homes – the neighborhood’s name actually refers to the large cluster of Art Deco furniture stores found within these blocks!

Where it’s At

The Deco Ghetto, located around Market and Van Ness, is easily reached via the F cable Car or bus lines 6, 7, 66 and 71.

What to See

As an artsy neighborhood, it only makes sense to check out the local art scene while strolling around Deco Ghetto. The place to get a sense of the neighborhood’s artistic side is the Linc Gallery (1632 C Market). Its bright red doors make it hard to miss and, once inside, you will be treated to a wide array of contemporary works done by local artists. For those traveling with children, the gallery also holds art classes on a regular basis.

If Art Deco is your taste, don’t miss Decodence, one of the original furniture galleries that gave the neighborhood its name (1684 Market).

Those just browsing as opposed to buying should at least walk by the Flax Art & Design at 1699 Market – the building itself is worth seeing due to its multicolored façade and giant pencil sticking out of the roof.

Where to Eat

There’s no shortage of places to eat in the Deco Ghetto. For coffee, try Cesar’s Café at 208 Valencia, which, in addition to a good selection of coffees, also serves up sweet and savory crepes. Swing by on Saturdays for live music. On a bright sunny day, soak up the rays at DeLessio’s outdoor patio and enjoy its famous macaroni and cheese or homemade chocolate bubble-wrap bars (1695 Market). And if you find yourself feeling thirsty, grab a drink at the legendary dive bar Zeitgeist. People come from all over the city for its to-die-for Bloody Marys (199 Valencia).