Inner Richmond

If you are a foodie, get yourself to Inner Richmond. Although on its surface it may seem like a mash-up of residential comfort and Chinatown chaos, if you peel back the layer of suburban tranquility and multitude of Chinese groceries you will discover one of San Francisco’s most vibrant – and best kept secret – restaurant scenes.

Inner Richmond’s unique cultural diversity can be traced back to pre-World War I. At the time the neighborhood was popular with the Chinese immigrants but, following the Russian Revolution, saw in influx of Russians – followed by Irish and Middle Easter Jewish families. Following World War II, Inner Richmond was the neighborhood of choice for Japanese residents. As the years went by, all of these cultures began to mix within Inner Richmond, leaving it with the global table of restaurants we enjoy today. Take a walk down Clement Street and your nose will be teased by the aromas coming from the Burmese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, French and BBQ kitchens.

Where it’s At

Inner Richmond sits within the sand dunes between the bay and the city, with the core hugging Clement Street.

What to See

When you’re not busy satisfying your taste buds, Inner Richmond is an excellent neighborhood to escape the city and enjoy some green space. Quaint Mountain Lake Park is ideal for a jog or a game of chess, but the main draw is Golden Gate Park. Accessible via 8th and 10th Avenues, Inner Richmond is a great place to base a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake and museums. Even more popular than Golden Gate Park is The Presidio, a National Park. Built as a military fort, it dates back to 1848 and today, instead of soldiers, houses an array of rare birds and animals. Particularly enjoyable is a stroll through the cypress and eucalyptus trees.

Where to Eat

You’ve had Thai and you’ve tasted Vietnam, so why not try something new. Angkor Wat (4217 Geary Blvd) is the place to dive into the wonders of Cambodian cuisine. For Old World charm, stop in at the Blue Danube and enjoy a Viennese inspired espresso (306 Clement St.). Finally, the Cinderella Bakery (436 Balboa St.) is all about such Russian delicacies as Piroshki stuffed with fried cabbage, meat pirogi and hamantaschen.