Pretty Pretty Collective
Pretty Pretty Collective is more than just a hair salon, embracing style and culture via beauty and hair design – cut, color, and everything in between, like art, fashion, rock and roll, tattoos, hot rods, motorcycles, coffee, food, fun, and creativity. At PPC, fashion production, event production, photography, make-up, and revolving art installations are curated by both local and global artists. Stay tuned for this fall when PPC is slated to open a second location in LA, complete with Four Barrel Coffee (for when your missing a little Mission pizzazz during your SoCal jaunts). PPC strives to enrich any community that becomes home with integrity and a vibrant culture of talent to keep you lookin’ pretty pretty.
3290 22nd St., SF | (415) 282-2002 | theprettyprettycollective.com
This très magnifique boutique on the main thoroughfare of the Mission’s shopping district moved into their newer, larger Valencia storefront two years ago, a dream come true for those who of us who wanted more of their magnificent antique finds. And let’s face it, 24th and Guerrero was just a tad off the beaten path (er, uphill) for us busy aesthetes. Like a museum where everything is for sale, Gypsy honeymoon would be overwhelming if it weren’t so expertly curated. There is an eclectic soul and authentic eye here, where vintage and antique French mingles with European, Asian, African, and American housewares, furniture, art, and jewelry. Inventory is carefully chosen and lovingly presented to create a magical shopping experience. Featured are wonderful handcrafted organic soaps made in Inverness, vintage postcards, old books, prints, photographs, linens, textiles, clothing, and more. Receive 20% off selected items when you mention the Mission page!
1266 Valencia, SF | (415) 821-1713
Luz de Luna
Take a visit to this delightful shop on 24th Street and be sure to knock off a few slots from your holiday gift list. Just recently relocated from their former smaller storefront on 25th Street, the newer digs are much larger, which means more unique and one-of-a-kind trinkets and treasures, accessories like scarves, jewelry, religious items, and more – including an impressive collection of creative salt and pepper shakers, Frida Kahlo swag, and bags made from recycled soda cans. Owner Denise has a passion and love for antiques and vintage jewelry and shares her heritage and celebration all of the Latin cultures with the Mission District. Open everyday until 7pm and 6pm on Sundays, you will find tchotchkes representing all cultures and interests all at an affordable price, which makes Luz de Luna the perfect spot to start your holiday shopping.
3182 24th Street | (415) 920-9988
The Smile Center
Few people look forward to a trip to the dentist, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Dr. Debbane and his friendly staff at The Smile Center will take care of you. They have been serving the Mission District for close to thirty years now and recently re-located to swankier digs. The new office is equipped with the latest in dental technology including all digital x-rays, which provides close to a ninety-percent reduction in radiation, don’t you know. The Smile Center always use the latest procedures in order to minimize patient referrals for specialists that can be costly and inconvenient. Dr. Debbane and his staff also provide the latest in implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and even braces. He is the only one that will treat you from start to finish to maintain those pearly whites with the a consistently high level of treatment.
2780 Mission St. | (415) 641-1001
Not your average candy store, the adorable Rock Candy Snack Shop is an emporium full of all things delicious and indulgent, including vegan and non-vegan goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth, as well as loaded nachos, fried tasty treats, and savory sandos toasted to perfection (housemade onion jam, anyone?) They also have a great selection of unique confections like brownies made with wine flour, chocolate swizzle sticks, and Eye Candy – that is, the current exhibition of dazzling and sometimes-sparkly local art for purchase or simply admiring. Mission gourmands need not travel far for a glycemic boost; Rock Candy is just a hop, skip, and a jump up Bernal – and let’s face it, you’re gonna need the extra cardio.
521 Cortland, SF | (415) 948-7497 | rockcandysnackshop.com 
Ayiti: A Story of Love and Resistance at Mission Cultural Center of Latino Arts
Afoutayi Productions and MCCLA present an original performance that explores the secret power of Haitian history through story and a spectacular display of Haitian traditional dance, music and percussion. Ayiti: a Story of Love and Resistance (Ayiti being the indigenous name of the shared island) is the story of Hassen, a Haitian immigrant boy living in San Francisco. Hassen's future is indelibly altered when his grandmothers' stories lead him on a magical journey in which he meets the super heroes of Haitian history and discovers the love and resistance that have guided his people.
This not-to-be-missed production features an all-star cast of Haitian traditional dancers including Fabienne Denis, "Fofo" Pierre, and many others, with art direction by David Solnit. For more details and tickets, visit missionculturalcenter.org  or call (415) 821-1155.
Friday, October 19 & Saturday, October 20 at 7pm @ Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St. | $9-$11
Modern Times Bookstore
Since 1971, Modern Times has survived the collapse of the New Left from which it emerged, the assault of chain bookselling, the death of independent stores throughout the country, gentrification of the Mission, and the competition from online booksellers – all from the support of an ever-expanding community of friends, members, customers, authors, artists, and activists. Selling both new and used books, this San Francisco institution offers wide-ranging literature on globalization, politics and media, as well as an array of graphic novels, fiction, and criticism – not to mention their informed sexuality and gender sections, an extensive collection of writings on Latina/o history and culture with a full selection of Spanish language books, and a nice collection of children’s books. With something for everyone, Modern Times fosters a vital literary community with an exciting calendar of events at their new 24th St. location, as well as a blog with community resources online.
2919 24th St., SF | (415) 282-9246 | moderntimesbookstore.com 
Free Hatha Yoga in the Dolores Park!
Purusha Yoga Studio offers a not-for profit Seva Project, a program that educates and certifies professional yoga teachers within San Francisco’s at-risk population and also provides free yoga instruction to the public. Every Sunday at 11am in Dolores Park near the tennis courts, Purusha yogis make the trek from their Outer Richmond home base to provide people of the Mission a relaxing morning flow and meditation for body, mind, and spirit and it’s totally free! All ages and all fitness levels are welcome, even your four-legged friends. All you need is a mat or a towel and a positive attitude. So come and play outdoors in nature and enjoy inverting, reverting, and melting into the ground in this inviting, low-key, and fun environment.
Sundays at 11am @ Northeast corner of Dolores Park, Dolores and 18th St., near the tennis courts | purushayoga.org 
The Armory Club
Rumors that Kink.com have been tirelessly working to get the old Aces Café across the street from the SF Armory on Mission and 14th Street up and running in time for the Folsom Street Fair are, as it were, true. (They opened last weekend). Updates to the old biker bar include large windows to replace the dated stone façade of its predecessor, as well as an overall Victorian opulence to match the velvet-draped and chandeliered upper floor of the Kink.com headquarters. The drink menu is cocktail-heavy featuring homemade grenadine and bitters, fresh and locally sourced fruit for garnish, and of course a nice selection of liquors, beers, and bubbles. Quite the transformation indeed. (Jackie Andrews)
1799 Mission, SF | armoryclub.com 
Iron & Gold
This two-year old La Lengua watering hole won this year’s Best of the Bay award for Best Happy Hour, and for good reason – delicious six-dollar cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else until 9pm, like the Sazerac made with Old Overholt rye, bitters, absinthe, and sugar served in a bucket; The Restaurateur made with Fernet-Branca, green chartreuse, gin, lime, and ginger beer; Pimm’s Cup made with Pimm’s (surprise!), gin, ginger ale, fresh fruit, and mint; and our personal favorite – the Dizzy Oaxacan made with delicious smoky mezcal, amaro, grapefruit, lemon, agave, and ginger beer. Iron & Gold may not be a dive bar – it’s way too nice for that label – but the warm and cozy décor along with dimmed lights will appeal to those that like to kick it low key as well as your persnickety out-of-town guests.
3187 Mission, SF | (415) 824-1447 | Find them on Facebook
Owning a car in the city can be a pain. Aside from the regular street sweeper dodging, there’s the occasional break down and the bothersome biennial smog check. Luckily, the family-owned SFC motors is your one-stop shop where you can buy an affordable used car and bring it back for all the upkeep and – get this – have it be a pleasant experience. Their prices are always competitive and they offer a free re-test if your vehicle fails which actually happens about 20% of the time, even for new cars. As displaced refugees from the Vietnam War, their family has lived and worked in the Mission District for three decades, fixing up cars and making a reputation for themselves as honest and hard working. If you need any kind of automotive assistance, do yourself a favor and give these folks a holler.
398 S Van Ness | (415) 861-2002 | sfcmotors.com 
La Nee Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massage – a more than two thousand year old healing art that combines meditation and yoga stretches with deep pressure massage and reflexology – is finally gaining traction here in the US, and for good reason. It combines all of the benefits of Ayurvedic therapy with traditional massage techniques to send you to straight to a state of nirvana. Let the knowledgeable and talented staff at La Nee work their magic, loosening all the little kinks and knots to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. If you’re a little more sensitive to the deep tissue, try the Thai Aroma Oil Massage with light to medium pressure or the Thai Herbal Massage. La Nee also offers prenatal massage for the all the expecting mothers out there as well as gift certificates (baby shower gift idea, anyone?) and package deals that accommodate practically any budget. (Jackie Andrews)
1453 Valencia, SF | (415) 282-2236 | laneethai.com 
With retro prom-themed décor, opulent vintage chandeliers, and Liberace-studded deer mounts, Makeout Room is the perfect place to add a little kitsch and nostalgia to your evenings out. As the home base for Lost and Found with DJs Lucky and Primo, spend your Tuesdays slow dancing to the sweetest 1960s soul 45s. Every other Monday you will find arguably the best karaoke night in town with sax-slinging DJ Purple, but let’s not forget the long-running cumbia night known as El SuperRitmo! on Saturdays or the monthly Writers with Drinks – a mash-up lit event with famous and not-so-famous writers and maybe a comedian thrown in for good measure. The solid calendar of events will lure in and then the strong drinks will keep you coming back – the Makeout Margarita will compel you to do just that, so beware if you have dreams of a future political career. (Jackie Andrews)
3225 22nd St., SF | (415) 647-2888 | makeoutroom.com 
San Francisco Street Food Festival
Hungry? This weekend, take your appetite to the streets and chow down on some of the most delicious food from the Bay Area and beyond at the San Francisco Street Food Festival. This year, kicking off the festival is the first-ever Night Market – modeled after the night markets all over the world – to celebrate the diverse food and people that make San Francisco such an amazing place to eat and live. The whole shebang supports La Cocina, a non-profit in the Mission that helps low-income and immigrant women entrepreneurs launch food businesses. Read more about it at sffoodfest.com . (Jackie Andrews)
Night Market: August 17, 2012 from 6-9pm at Alemany Market | $25 entrance fee/$10 or less per plate | Free shuttle from 24th St. BART
Street Food Festival: August 18, 2012 from 11am-7pm @ Folsom between 20th and 26th Streets, SF | Free/Passports available online for savings on food
St. Mary’s Pub
Welcome to the best new old bar in the ‘hood. A recent well-deserved makeover has transformed this rundown, dingy dive into a stylish and comfortable neighborhood bar complete with HD TVs, pool table, pinball, and a well-curated jukebox. There’s a different drink special for each day of the week, free pool on Mondays, and a weekly line-up of guest DJs spinning everything from surf and rockabilly to dark wave and post-punk. Nurse a hangover on Sunday Bloody Sunday with their one-of-a-kind bloody mary menu. Grab a slice or a papusa from one of the neighbors and try the Florentine Mary made with sundried tomato pesto or a chipotle Southwest Mary with lots of fresh lime juice. Find them on Facebook for daily updates on drink specials and DJs. (Jackie Andrews)
3845 Mission | (415) 529-1325
The owner at Asiento wanted to open a neighborhood bar and restaurant that solves problems we all have going out with friends – some are on time and others are late, some eat and others don't, and some don't mind splitting the tab while others do. Here, folks have complete freedom to come and go, and order and pay at the bar when they choose. No pressure! Problem solved! They serve tapas with a Latin flair, but their menu represents many types of cuisine from lemon hummus and fresh Thai spring rolls to queso fundido (a.k.a. cheese crack) and juicy burgers. Let’s not forget the drinks, like hand-crafted basil lemonade and the cucumber Rosemary. And with their new entertainment license, they have a whole calendar of weekly events, including Thursdays and Sundays that feature local DJs and live performances, while weekends are reserved for patrons to host parties – no minimums, just come and have fun! – and even bring their own entertainment. (Jackie Andrews)
2730 21st St | (415) 829-3375 | asientosf.com 
Another Monkey Thai Restaurant
In a city that loves its long lines wrapped around the corners of tiny pop-ups and dives, it’s nice to know there are still places with well-deserved hype, but without the wait. The owners of SOMA’s Koh Samui & The Monkey scored when they swooped up this spacious location with a full bar on Valencia Street. With the help of an award-winning mixologist serving up fresh seasonal cocktails like the popular Monkey in the Middle (a ginger vodka concoction with pomegranate juice and homemade raspberry-lime foam), a chef creating clever Thai dishes for the ‘hood like Tom Yum nachos, as well as cheap lunch specials and happy hour drink deals, Another Monkey is a great place to both impress a dinner date or just grab lunch when the Thai craving calls. (Jackie Andrews)
280 Valencia Street | (415) 241-0288 | anothermonkeythai.com 
Miss Phoenix Rose Tattoo
Named after the owner's daughter, Miss Phoenix Rose Tattoo is proud of their prime Mission District location with über-talented and friendly artists like Chicago native and published comic artist Micheal Bianco and Atlanta transplant Adam Goodman who brings a southern flavor to the shop. Their newest rising star is local Thomas “Tea” Montano whose easy-going personality and contagious laugh are sure to leave you with a memorable experience (and a damn good tattoo.) Whether your desired ink is tribal or realistic, full color or gray scale, these guys can make it happen with a degree of skill that is anything short of impressive. Seriously, check out their portfolios online. Be sure to like their Facebook page for a 15% discount on your nest tattoo! (Jackie Andrews)
3340 22nd St., SF | (415) 800-7425 | missphoenixrosetattoo.com 
Strategically located one block from the 16th Street BART station and spitting-distance from multiple MUNI lines, the Casanova Lounge is a great place to either start your Mission bar hop or grab last call before stumbling home. With the exception of New Year’s Eve, there’s nary a cover and always stiff drinks at the bar with DJs spinning obscurities, oddities, and the occasional hit from nearly every genre imaginable. They keep the black velvet kitsch of the 1970s alive in this dark, red, candle and gaudy lamp-lit dive with their tacky-yet-mesmerizing paintings of nude women that adorn the walls. Go on a chill weeknight and sip a pint-sized hibiscus margarita or a carefully constructed bloody mary with all the fixins’. (Jackie Andrews)
527 Valencia | (415) 863-9328 | casanovasf.com 
The Napper Tandy
This neighborhood Irish corner pub is more than just a place to slam a few post-work Smithwick’s or a certain insensitive drink  on St. Patrick’s Day. A recent facelift upped this former dive to a sports maven’s haven in the heart of the Mission, boasting nine HDTVs and a huge projector screen in their back room to catch every nuance of every game under the sun, 365 days a year. Not unlike a traditional pub you would find in Ireland, owner Marissa Brown wanted to bring a piece of home to San Francisco, serving traditional Irish food like Guinness beef stew, Sheppard's pie, and fish and chips. Their motto, "You are a stranger here but once," about sums up the warm and friendly vibe you will find at The Napper Tandy. (Jackie Andrews)
3200 24th St., SF | (415) 550-7510
Cruz Skate Shop
Located in La Lengua – that long, skinny stretch of the Mission sandwiched between Bernal and Noe – Cruz Skate Shop is a hybrid skate shop catering to both the skateboarding and roller derby communities. Skateboard shops are no longer a rarity these days, but Cruz is one of only three roller derby shops in the country and the only one of its kind in California. Whether you’re a B.A.D. derby girl hopeful or a skate punk looking for a new board, Cruz can help you gear up. They stock up on hardware for both sports, as well as roller skates, boards, and safety gear. For the non-athletes who want to support a local and female-owned business, check out their cool apparel, books, zines, and tote bags that embrace a punk and D.I.Y. aesthetic. (Jackie Andrews)
3165 Mission, SF | (415) 285-8833 | cruzskateshop.com 
Etcetera Wine Bar
Those of you who have been around the ‘hood for a minute might remember when 795 Valencia was an oxygen bar. Oh, the early aughts! The spot has changed hands a few times, but Etcetera may be the best yet, and after only six months in business have solidified their seat among the heavy wine hitters in the Bay Area. This warm and cozy wine bar offers a classy respite from the dive bar scene but without the pretension or excessive posh that your typical wine bar may offer, with monthly wine flights and tapas specials on top of the classic cheese and charcuterie plates and full dinner menu. Their flammenkueche, a French spin on pizza with a crispy crust and crème fraiche, is to die for and their two tapas with bottle of wine deal for $35 can’t be beat. (Jackie Andrews)
795 Valencia, SF | (415) 926-5477 | etceterawinebar.com 
James Choi at his family owned corner market turned sandwhich hub of the Mission.
Recently  a physicist teamed up with a bakery to formulate the perfect sandwich, which resulting in a long string of symbols seemingly lifted from the chalkboard in Good Will Hunting. Back in 2009, when Rhea’s liquor store decided they wanted to include a Deli and make delicious sandwiches, they didn’t need science, just good ingredients with perfect proportions and creative combos like Korean steak, pork katsu, and faux-BBQ chicken. Plus, their house-made aioli, jicama slaw, pickled red onions and jalapenos sandwiched between Boar’s Head cold cuts and Acme bread make the perfectly portable and un-soggy meal to take to Dolores Park or the new Mission Playground. (Jackie Andrews)
800 Valencia, SF | (415) 282-5255 | Take-out, dine-in, or delivery
Mission Cultural Center Presents: La Quebradora
The Mission Cultural Center has assembled a collection of art and performances that map Mexican cultural history through the spectacle of Lucha Libre, including an appearance by the "Mexican Hulk Hogan” himself, el luchador Mil Máscaras. On June 6 from 6:30-9:30pm, watch good battle evil in “KKK vs. EZLN,” when six burly combatants in colorful masks determine the future of mankind – or just put on a damn good show. Other events are planned for the duration of the exhibition. Call or visit the Center website for the complete schedule of programs. (Jackie Andrews)
2868 Mission, SF | (415) 821-1155 | missionculturalcenter.org 
Even if you’ve never been inside Mixcoatl, chances are you have noticed the corner storefront wrapped in colorful luchador masks. How could you miss it? But step inside this museum-like tiendita and you will find a kaleidoscopic array of arts and crafts that reflect the creativity and customs of the Huichol people of western Mexico, including yarn paintings, beadwork, and embroidery in vibrant patterns and symbols -- not to mention the many cases of silver, turquoise and other gemstones, feather jewelry, scarves, candles, and more. (Jackie Andrews)
3201 24th St., SF | (415) 341-4191
Co-owner Miguel Escobedo at the 24th St. location. Photo: Brant Ward/Chronicle
Papalote Mexican Grill
In a neighborhood with a taqueria (or two, or three) on every block, one must have a menu standout to beckon the hungry masses. At Papalote, their secret weapon is the salsa – elevated to cult status even before co-owner Victor Escobedo defeated Food Network celeb Bobby Flay in a Throwdown. If the fiery, roasted salsa brings you in, then their fresh, colorful ingredients and vegetarian friendly menu (tofu mole, anyone?) will keep you coming back for more. (Jackie Andrews)
3409 24th St. | 1777 Fulton St. | papalote-sf.com 
Who wants to hang out with these guys? You do, that's who!
We’ve all lowered our standards for the sake of booze-induced late night snacking before, but the good folks at Bender’s Bar don’t think we have to. Not with all the vegetarian and vegan-friendly comfort foods made from high quality ingredients on their menu, a curious thing indeed for a Mission dive and rowdy rock music venue. Relics of ill-fated watering holes adorn the walls and fake IDs encased in lacquer play peek-a-boo from the tabletops. But more importantly, where else can you wash down seitan tacos and tater tot-topped mac and cheese with a Pliny the Elder on draft? Need we say more? (Jackie Andrews)
806 South Van Ness, SF | bendersbar.com 
Mission Sunday Streets
Another year of Sunday Streets is upon us, marking the onset of beautiful San Francisco weather – knock on wood – with this ongoing free health and community event. This year, the third "Streets" of the season kicks-off the new Mission Pilot – four consecutive months of Sunday Streets in the Mission on May 6, June 3, July 1, and August 5! Bring your roller skates, unicycle, skateboard, or just a plain pair of walking shoes and enjoy the activities, performances, and vendors that line this route, closed off from automobile traffic for the whole day. (Jackie Andrews)
Mission Sunday Streets begins Sunday, May 6 from11am-4pm @ Valencia from 14th St. to 24th & 24th St. from Valencia to Hampshire, SF | www.sundaystreetssf.com