Piccino serves California-style Italian fare. (©Piccino)

The Dogpatch: San Francisco's Hottest New Neighborhood

By Rachel Ward on 04/17/14

A sunny, industrial enclave by the city’s eastern waterfront, Dogpatch is a historically gritty seaport that has recently evolved into one of San Francisco’s most intriguing and up-and-coming neighborhoods. Converted factories, warehouses and pre-1906-earthquake Victorians now house a concentration of stylish eateries, bars and shops as well as artist studios and galleries. The micro-hood is also headquarters to San Francisco’s invigorated manufacturing movement. To check it out for yourself, just hop on the Muni T-Third Street line heading south of AT&T Park.

 

EAT

Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Lab.

Located in a lofty yellow building that served as a stable in the 1800s, Piccino serves Italian-style California cuisine made with fresh, organic produce in a chic, sun-lit setting. Regulars rave about the thin-crust pizzas and sophisticated wine list. A block away, in the former boiler room of a tin can factory, Serpentine has a reputation for excellent cocktails, a mean burger and long brunch lines. The just-opened Magnolia Brewery Dogpatch, the beloved Haight Street pub’s second (and significantly larger) location, has an adjacent restaurant dubbed Smokestack that specializes in barbecue, beer (more than a dozen on tap) and whiskey. For an elevated take on the diner breakfast, snag a table at Just for You Cafe and be sure to try the giant beignets, a neighborhood favorite. If it’s pizza that you’re craving, head to the new Long Bridge Pizza Co. for a taste of Naples-meets-the-Big-Apple. The Lab, a sleek little cafe from famed local chocolatier Recchiuti, serves both savory and sweet dishes.

You’ll find plenty more ways to satisfy any sweet tooths, from ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, where flavors range from chocolate chip to candied violet and all toppings and cones are housemade, to the burnt caramel truffles at The Lab’s chocolate shop, Little Nib. Chocolate lovers will also want to make a stop at the Poco Dolce shop, best known for subtly sweet olive oil confections.       

DRINK

Third Rail serves craft cocktails.

Although compact, this neighborhood has no shortage of diverse watering holes. You can blend your own bottle at Dogpatch Wineworks, a 15,000-square-foot working winery, wine bar and tasting room. For those with a predilection for Old World wines, the neighborhood wine shop and bar Dig (in the same cheery yellow building as Piccino) stocks French and Italian bottles. Organic, eco-friendly sips and vegetarian food can be savored at cozy Yield Wine Bar. When a craft cocktail is in order, Third Rail mixes spirit-driven, bold-flavored drinks in four categories: spirituous, aperitif, seasonal and citrus. Pair your libation with the gourmet jerky served by the ounce in nine flavors. The century-old dive Dogpatch Saloon closed last year and then came back to life with specialty cocktails and an updated look.

SHOP

Workshop Residence

A leader in the local manufacturing movement, Rickshaw Bagworks designs bike-friendly messengers as well as iPad sleeves, totes and accessories. Stop by the storefront to get a tour of the factory operation and design your own bag. You can further explore the made-in-San-Francisco scene at the Dodocase factory and shop. The brand has been handcrafting handsome iPad sleeves using traditional bookbinding techniques since 2010. Pop into Workshop Residence to check out the rotating selection of home goods, apparel and more. The open gallery, store and studio space hosts visiting artists and designers. Back at the yellow building, MAC Modern Appealing Clothing is a visionary, cerebral boutique carrying avant-garde European designers like Comme des Garcons and Dries Van Noten alongside local talent and limited editions.

 

EXPLORE

Al Liu - Dogpatch Boulders

For those with an adventurous streak, the new Dogpatch Boulders, a massive, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to a type of rock climbing that does not use ropes or harnesses, is the largest gym of this breed in the country. Design geeks will want to visit the Museum of Craft and Design, one of the few museums of its kind. Housed in a Gary Hutton-designed industrial structure with mobile walls, it’s a non-collecting institution that showcases innovative and contemporary artwork. The gift shop is also worth a look—you’ll find a quality selection of jewelry, toys and ceramics.