Lonely Planet Experiences: Flavors and Murals of the Mission
The Mission might be San Francisco’s oldest neighbourhood, but this district has turned into one of the trendiest parts of the city. Walk among the hippest locals in town on this San Francisco food tour that combines artisanal eats with some of the most beautiful murals and legendary street art in the city. Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this city adventure hand-picked by the world’s leading travel publisher. Lonely Planet Experiences powered by Urban Adventures bring stories to life in the best-loved cities around the globe.
- Get to know the uber-cool locals of the Mission
- Sample artisan donuts, Mexican pastries, tasty pies, and other delicious local snacks!
- Stroll by some of the Mission’s best street art and learn about its history from an expert local guide
- Hear stories of how the Mission came to be and what makes this neighbourhood so unique
- Wander through Dolores Park and finish your local tour near the famous Mission Dolores church
- Each Lonely Planet Experience comes with six-months free access to Lonely Planet’s Guides App which includes over 8,000 destinations guides and unbeatable discounts to Lonely Planet Guidebooks
Inclusions: Local English speaking guide and food samples at 5 different locations
Exclusions: $2 bus fare, drinks, and tips and gratuities for your guide
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Meeting point: Dynamo Donuts, 2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
- Starting time: 9.30 AM
- Ending point: Dolores Park, 19th & Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Your Mission food tour will kick off the only way we know how at 9:30 am – with coffee and donuts! But these aren’t just any donuts. These are artisan hoops of heaven! They’re locally-sourced, made with organic, sustainable ingredients to create an eclectic selection ranging from bacon maple apple, to chocolate rose or even lemon and thyme. Enjoy a donut and a cup o’ joe with your local guide as they introduce you to the neighbourhood and its legendary food scene.
Your next stop on this SF food tour is a local panaderia, a Mexican bakery that captures the Latino culture and charm that is everywhere in the Mission district. Here you can choose from a selection of pan dulce, or Mexican sweet bread, made daily in the bakery. To wash that all down, you can also try an agua fresca, a blended fruit drink that is sure to refresh.
Fully stocked up on energy after your breakfast, we’ll continue our tour towards the murals along Balmy Avenue. This area’s artistic roots date back over 30 years, giving us plenty to chat about. Your guide will give you the scoop on the murals we’ll find here and what they mean to this neighbourhood. Whether they’re describing the plight of migrant workers from Latin America, oppression in Nicaragua, or the gentrification of the mission District itself, the multitude of murals along Balmy Avenue each have a special story to share and your local guide will make time for you to soak in all the beautiful artwork.
Next up, pie time! Whether you’re up for some strawberry rhubarb, or perhaps you fancy a roasted cauliflower and black olive quiche made with free range eggs, organic milk, and cream, you’re sure to find your slice of happiness in the local spot we take you to. Having tasted these delights, we’ll hop on a bus to travel a few minutes down the heart of Mission Street itself and make our way to one of the oldest and most beloved taquerias in the neighbourhood. Here you can sample a carne asada, al pastor, or another of this spot’s famous tacos – a must-try in the Mission!
We’ll continue to tour SF onwards to Clarion Alley, where we’ll find the second largest collection of murals in the Mission. It might be more contemporary than Balmy Avenue, but Clarion Alley shares the same vibrant stories and is lined with lots of colourful graffiti. We dare you to try and pick your favourite – it’ll be difficult!
Our final section of the tour will take us to the centre of the hipster scene, where we’ll check out the Mission’s best thrift stores, grab a last snack at one of the trendiest bakeries in San Francisco, and then we’ll head to Dolores Park, finishing up at the Mission Dolores church itself. We’ll conclude your food tour here, the perfect spot for you to continue to spend as much time as you like learning about the history and stories that built San Francisco.
- Inclusions: Local English speaking guide and food samples at 5 different locations
- Exclusions: $2 USD bus fare, drinks, and tips / gratuities for your guide.
- Dress standard: Casual clothing is appropriate for this tour.
- Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
- Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
- Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
docsimonm – Excellent tour. Brilliant tour guide.
Fantastic tour that gives some great perspectives on its history and its future. Walked away with a real sense of the soul of this district. The murals are brilliant, the food delicious. Christian was our tour guide, possibly the best guide we had. Super knowledgeable. Being a well travelled local, he gave us some brilliant tips for the rest of our Californian adventure. Can not recommend highly enough.
Eliza T – Invaluable (and Delicious) Experience
This was a fabulous way to get to know a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. Christian was a wonderful guide and ambassador for the area- friendly, enthusiastic, and incredibly knowledgeable about the history and culture. These are my favorite kind of walking tours, because you get to know the culture and history of an area while being fed (and you get the best examples of both culture and food!). I would never have been able to learn about the area in as much depth or simply find the food or art on my own. It’s a fascinating area and being guided through it by an expert ensured that I saw it through a positive lens.
CCLees – This tour is an absolute must! Isabella was superb – Urban Adventures does it again!
My husband and I did this trip on our first day in San Fran and what a fabulous introduction to the city it was as well as being a great way to meet other people. Isabella was our tour guide and we can’t thank her enough for making us feel welcome in a city she clearly loves. Whilst you might consider taking in the Murals of the Mission District on your own you will not get the unique insights that Isabella was able to provide nor sample the wide range of great food along the way. Isabella went above and beyond and really made the tour bespoke to our small group, taking into account the needs of everyone. Seeing the Murals of the Mission is a must however I think Isabella and Urban Adventures make it truly unique. Do this tour at the start of your trip if possible so that you can return to some of the great eateries and cafes later on if you want to. A massive tank you to the wonderfully creative and insightful Isabella and to Urban Adventures who quite obviously know how to select the very best in creative, professional and friendly tour guides.
Sheila A – Isabella is GREAT!!!
It is definitely worth it booking this tour! I was actually the only one to book the tour on 8/4 and I am so gracious that Isabella still showed me around the Mission District! We had the best time eating the food and looking at all the murals. Isabella is so smart and explained very well the history of the murals!!! I am so thankful Isabella was my guide because I left San Francisco with a friend!
Blake C – Wow. Five Stars!
One of the best walking tours I have ever done. Christian was just amazing. He kept things informative and interesting and my teenage kids were blown away. Not an easy task. Well worth the price and then some. Just all and all a great tour with a great guide! Thanks so much Christian and Urban Adventures!
Marlene M – Not Your Ordinary Touristy Place!
I couldn’t be more pleased that I chose this tour out of many choices! The time spent exploring the Mission was well worth my time. Christian, my tour guide, did an excellent job sharing some very interesting and enlightening insights about the past, present, and (possible) future of this part of SF. He explained the message and significance of every carefully chosen socially or politically charged mural – and of course we had a great time trying some exquisite flavours the Mission had to offer. At the end of the tour – I was left wanting for more and wishing it was longer!