San Francisco Streets: West Portal Avenue

San Francisco’s West Portal Avenue is one that most people don’t know about. It’s not exactly the first place you think to go when visiting San Francisco, but yet it has a charm that makes you feel at home.

With lots of mom-and-pop shops and restaurants, West Portal Avenue is a quiet area frequented by families. I love walking up and down the avenue on a weekend morning or afternoon. If you want to take a break from the more fast-moving or more crowded parts of San Francisco, enjoy my guide to some of the best places to eat, drink, and shop on West Portal Avenue.

Where to Eat & Drink on West Portal Avenue

Ballast Coffee is my favorite place to go for caffeine. They use a rare bean called “Barako” that makes their cups of coffee extra special.

Que Syrah is a great wine bar for a glass of wine and cheese before you go to dinner, or for a cozy happy hour.

For a hearty breakfast, head to Squat & Gobble. You’ll love their crepes just as much as the name.

Locals agree that Trattoria da Vittorio serves fantastic Italian food.

Shaws has been around since the 1930s and you’ll feel it when you walk in for delicious ice cream or fudge.

I love a good burger and fries and Calibur delivers with a simple but quality menu.

For great Mexican food and bright and colorful decor, dine at El Toreador.

Submarine Center makes the best sandwiches with fresh ingredients and a secret sauce.

If you’re craving good Greek food, then West Portal Avenue’s Orexi is the spot.

Roti Indian Bistro serves up delicious, traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist.

Philosopher’s Club is a fun place for a casual drink after work to watch a game, or to end your night.


Shopping on West Portal Avenue

For my fellow book lovers, Bookshop West Portal has a great selection and a calendar of author events and readings.

There aren’t many trendy clothing stores on West Portal Avenue, so I was pretty happy when Siren Boutique moved onto the block. I can always find a cute top or dress here.

Ambassador Toys is a really great shop to occupy the little ones, or to find a good gift for birthdays and holidays.

GG’s is a great gift shop offering books, candles, scarves, accessories, and more, so you know you’ll walk of out of there with something sweet.


Things to Do on West Portal Avenue

There are a lot of places in San Francisco to practice yoga, but not a lot of have the strong community and great teachers like at Thriveability Yoga.

CineArts at the Empire is a no-frills, small movie theater, showing the latest films.

If you need a good facial, Dimitra’s is one of the best places to go.

Prolong your pampering and head to She-She Nail Salon for a solid manicure and pedicure.

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