Sweets & Streets of San Francisco's Mission District

Sophie Speer is a chef and the founder of 7S Supper Club in San Francisco, California. 

Anyone who thinks that San Francisco is a foggy goop in the summertime has not spent enough time in its vibrant, eclectic Mission District. Most days, the fog surrounds but doesn't touch our hipster coffee shops and taquerias.

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It's a good thing, too, because as a resident of the notoriously expensive neighborhood, exploring my own streets and eating cheap treats is about all my summer travel budget can handle. 

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You can't throw a donut without hitting a colorful mural around here. Painted by local artists, they tell the stories of the Latin American communities that have lived in this neighborhood since the 1940s. 

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If you're visiting the city and want to avoid the fog and wind, here are a few of my favorite spots:

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- 24th St. corridor, including Balmy Alley. 24th Street is a gorgeous, tree-lined street of mom and pop shops and solid coffee spots (including the original Philz Coffee).

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Tip: pick up a spiced chocolate donut at Dynamo Donuts & Coffee and wander over to Balmy Alley, where the mural scene has a decidedly grassroots vibe.

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- Clarion Alley, between 17th and 18th Streets, is the Mission's most impressive art walk. With a constantly changing rotation of street art and an absence of cars, the block-long alley is the perfect spot for a stroll with your lover.

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- Dolores Park is one of the better people-watching spots in the city, with a sweet view of the financial district and the Bay Bridge. 

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It's a piece of art in itself - a spot where anything goes, including pop up dance parties, a sexy Jesus competition, and lots of artisan pot brownie bakers selling their goods.

Grab a salted caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite across the street, or avoid the line wrapping around the block and visit their soft serve window.

Make sure to get the sprinkles. 

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From your perch at the top of the park, you can view my favorite mural of all - the gorgeous colors of a San Francisco sunset.

Shop the Dough Naughty Donut Print Monokini Swimsuit and more at my Etsy shop Alea Swimwear ; )