San Francisco is mainly known for all the tourist attractions in the Financial, Richmond, and Mission districts. Each district has its own unique environment, but are all very common for its welcoming attitude. In San Francisco communties are divided by districts and each and every one of them has its own history. One specific district that not a lot of people talk or hear about is Excelsior, my beautiful hometown.
Excelsior District is located outside of the Mission District and in between Ingleside and Hunter's Point. If you are not from San Francisco or currently living in the city, but still have no idea where I am talking about here is a pretty little map for your convenience.
In its earliest days Excelsior was predominantly Italian, Swiss, and Irish. Around the 80's Excelsior became predominantly Latino, and Filipino. Just like the Mission, Ingleside, Bernal Heights, Ocean View and Visicitation Valley are considered the most ethnically diverse districts in San Francisco.
As some of you may know, San Francisco streets are named after San Francisco mayors, representatives, celebrities, and historical figures. Excelsior on the other hand its streets are named after European cities. If you have been on the 14 going towards Excelsior, you will notice a beautiful bridge before entering the district with the names of each street. Crossing that bridge will make one feel like they are entering a new world and a vibe that San Francisco does not neccessarily emits.
So what are some attractions in Excelsior?
Once you enter the district you will see a bunch of restaurants of different cultures such as Salvadorean, Mexican, Chinese, Filipino, Thailanese, and more. And the best part is that everything is within walking distance, I mean how great is that? These restaurants have been in business for a very long time. Before I was even born. Plus, the food they serve is extremely delicious and authentic that you will not get from a lot of restaurants.
Let's name some shall we.
Henry Hunan's Restaurant
Excelsior Action Group
This is the best Chinese restaurant in Excelsior. It is owned by a very welcoming and beautiful couple who is constantly checking to see if the food is okay, if there is more that they can do, or asking if the accomodations are alright. Pricing is great and the vibe one receives after walking in is so relaxing. 10/10 Recommend.
OH.MY.GOD. As we all know the Mission District has some of the best taquerias ever, but this one right here is amazing as well. Just by walking down the street one can smell the carne asada. This restaurant is busy all the time, I do not remember a time where they had a slow day. Yes it is that good.
BEST SALVADORAN FOOD EVER. I have been going to this restaurant since I was a baby; basically family with the owners. The service is very nice and welcoming, but the wait for the food to arrive feels like a lifetime. Typically the wait would be around twenty to thirty minutes. On the bright side, once the food comes you will forget how long the wait was. Every dish is cooked just right.
Now that is just a few out of many restaurants in Excelsior where you will not regret going. Although the thought of coming here for the good food sounds tempting it is not the only thing that makes this district unique.Excelsior is filled with both big and tiny parks where families or group of friends can play on the swings or compete in the soccer fields.
There are three main parks: Excelsior Park, John Mclaren Park, and Crocker Park.
Excelsior Park is mainly known for bringing your younger sibilings after school or elementary baseball games. The park itself is very secluded, you will not find it unless you drive around the neighborhood. Unlike Crocker and John Mclaren where it is out in the open. Both of these parks are connected, but each with a different purpose. Crocker is famously known for its soccer fields and homemade pupusas. John Mclaren is known for the dogpark and long steep hikes, but it is so big that driving is a neccessity. People out of Excelsior always come to these parks to meet and hang out with friends, families, or walk their dogs.
Now that you have a sense of what Excelsior District is like take in consideration this is a district that has been untouched. Excelsior has and will remain that way because we want to maintain that uniqueness and feeling of family.