History: Real estate speculation in San Francisco is as old as the city itself. With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, John Townsend, a former mayor of San Francisco, oped to lure prospectors to his tracts of land on Potrero Hill and in Dogpatch (then Potrero Nuevo) by choosing street names that promoted the fortuitous future of California: Streets running north-south are named for American states, while those running east-west are named for California counties. The area now called Dogpatch once the heart of San Francisco’s industrial waterfront, is dotted with the remains of factories, warehouses, and workers’ cottages (some of the oldest intact structures in the city) that adventurous San Franciscans are busily converting to new uses.
Don’t Miss: What’s old is new on San Francisco’s east side. The circa-1941 Noonan Building, home to maritime field offices in World War II, is now crammed with the studios of artists who routinely open their workspaces to public tours-giving you a chance to see where and how they create handmade jewelry, photographs, letterpress prints, and more. The American Industrial Center on Third Street, once a can factory, now hosts a variety of unique businesses, from the Dogpatch Boulders rock-climbing gym to the ultra-modern Museum of Craft and Design. A onetime horse stable is now the Yellow Building, a massive co-op that offers fresh Italian food at Piccino and must-have men’s and womenswear at Modern Appeal Clothing. Serpentine cafe was once a boiler room, but now offers mouthwatering seafood. Over on Third Street, you can get in on the neighborhood’s artisanal spirit and make your own wine at Dogpatch WineWorks, while on 22nd Street, you can sample local Recchiuti Confections at Little Nib, or keep heading east to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, where a husband-and-wife duo concoct their housemade ice cream with a range of unusual ingredients, from ghost peppers to Anchor Steam beer. Speaking of which, just a few blocks over in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, you can tour the Anchor Brewing Company, then climb up to McKinley Square Park and watch the afternoon fog roll in over the rest of the city.