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The ultimate guide to living in San Francisco's Mission District

moving to the mission in san francisco

The Mission District, commonly known as "The Mission," is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in San Francisco's southeastern part. The Mission is known for its colorful murals, unique shops, and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. This neighborhood is home to a mix of residents, including artists, young professionals, and families.

One of the primary reasons people choose to live in the Mission is the neighborhood's lively culture and sense of community. With an abundance of art galleries, community centers, and cultural events, residents of the Mission are never far from a lively social scene. The neighborhood's famous murals attract visitors from around the world, and the area is home to a number of theaters, music venues, and galleries. Residents also have easy access to a variety of outdoor spaces, including the nearby Dolores Park.

The Mission's demographics are diverse, with a mix of ethnicities and incomes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the neighborhood's population is approximately 60% Hispanic, 20% White, and 10% Asian. The median age in the Mission is 34, slightly younger than the San Francisco median of 38 years. The median household income in the Mission is $85,000, lower than the citywide median of $104,000. However, the cost of living in the Mission is also slightly lower than other areas of San Francisco, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money while still enjoying city living.

One challenge that the Mission faces is its crime rate. According to the San Francisco Police Department, the neighborhood has a higher-than-average crime rate compared to other areas of the city. However, it is important to note that the neighborhood is actively working to address this issue through community-led efforts, and crime rates have decreased in recent years.

Housing: buying a home or renting in the mission district

As of April 2023, the median home sale price in the Mission District is around $1.4 million, according to Zillow. However, the price range can vary depending on the type of property, location, and size. Single-family homes tend to be more expensive than condos and apartments.

The Mission District has a mix of apartment complexes, condos, and homes. However, the majority of the housing stock in the area consists of rental units, including both apartments and single-room occupancy (SRO) units.

As of April 2023, the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment in the Mission District is around $3,200 per month, according to RentCafe. However, rents can vary depending on the unit size, amenities, location, and other factors. It's worth noting that the Mission District has experienced rapid gentrification in recent years, which has resulted in higher rents and a housing affordability crisis.

Schools in San Francisco's Mission District

The Mission district has several schools that serve the community. The public schools in the area are part of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), which is the seventh-largest school district in California. Here are some of the schools in the Mission and how they are graded:

  • Cesar Chavez Elementary School - This is a public elementary school that serves grades K-5. According to, Cesar Chavez Elementary School has a rating of 7 out of 10.

  • Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School - This is a public school that serves grades K-8. According to, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School has a rating of 5 out of 10.

  • Mission High School - This is a public high school that serves grades 9-12. According to, Mission High School has a rating of 6 out of 10.

  • John O'Connell High School - This is a public high school that serves grades 9-12. According to, John O'Connell High School has a rating of 4 out of 10.

  • The New School of San Francisco - This is a private high school that serves grades 9-12. According to, The New School of San Francisco has an overall grade of A-.

It is important to note that school ratings are not the only factor to consider when evaluating schools. Other factors such as extracurricular activities, student-teacher ratios, and overall academic performance should also be taken into account.

Basic services and amenities in the Mission

In terms of basic services, the Mission has a range of options for residents. There are several laundromats in the area, including The Wash Club and Laundromat Express. The neighborhood also has multiple post offices, including the 24th Street Post Office and the Mission Postal Annex. Shipping stores like The UPS Store and FedEx Office are also available.

Coffee shops are abundant in the Mission, with popular options like Ritual Coffee Roasters, Philz Coffee, and Sightglass Coffee. There are also several grocery stores in the area, including the locally-owned Casa Guadalupe Market, the discount chain Grocery Outlet, and the health food store Rainbow Grocery Cooperative.

Popular spots and must-know events in the Mission

Compared to some other neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Mission District has a higher density of bars and restaurants, which makes it a popular destination for nightlife. Bars in the Mission offer a mix of casual and upscale experiences. Some of the more popular options include:

  • El Techo de Lolinda: This rooftop bar is a great spot for happy hour drinks and features stunning views of the city.

  • Trick Dog: This cocktail bar is known for its inventive and creative drink menu, which changes seasonally.

  • Zeitgeist: This popular dive bar features a large outdoor patio and a wide selection of beers.

  • Latin American Club: This lively dive bar is known for its margaritas and attracts a diverse crowd.

The Mission also has a vibrant restaurant scene, with a wide range of cuisines to choose from. Some popular options include:

  • Mission Chinese Food: This restaurant serves up inventive Chinese-American dishes in a funky and casual setting.

  • La Taqueria: This local institution is famous for its authentic Mexican food, especially its burritos.

  • Tartine Bakery: This bakery is known for its delicious pastries and breads, and is a popular spot for brunch.

In addition to bars and restaurants, the Mission has a number of dance clubs that offer a variety of music genres. Some popular options include:

  • The Valencia Room: This nightclub features DJs spinning a variety of dance music, as well as occasional live music performances.

  • Elbo Room: This popular venue features live music and DJs, and is known for its lively and eclectic atmosphere.

  • Public Works: This multi-level venue hosts a variety of events, from dance parties to live music performances.

There are several annual events that celebrate the neighborhood's history, art, and diverse community. Here are some popular annual events in the Mission:

  • Carnaval San Francisco: This is one of the largest and most colorful annual events in the Mission, celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture with a grand parade, live music, dance performances, and street food.

  • Day of the Dead: Celebrated on November 2nd, this is a Mexican holiday that honors deceased loved ones. In the Mission, several community organizations and businesses set up elaborate altars and host cultural events to commemorate the occasion.

  • 24th Street Cultural Festival: This is a vibrant street fair that takes place every year on 24th Street between Mission and Bryant. The festival showcases the diverse cultures of the neighborhood, featuring live music, dance performances, food vendors, and local art.

  • Open Studios: Every fall, artists in the Mission open their studios to the public, showcasing their work and giving visitors a chance to meet the artists and learn about their creative process.

  • SF DocFest: This annual documentary film festival takes place at the Roxie Theater in the Mission, showcasing the work of independent filmmakers from around the world.

In terms of industry-related events, the Mission is home to a thriving tech and startup scene, and there are several events throughout the year that cater to this community. For example:

  • Techqueria: This is a national organization that hosts events for Latinx professionals in tech. They frequently hold events in the Mission, such as networking mixers and career fairs.

  • Women Who Code: This global organization has a San Francisco chapter that hosts events for women in tech, including workshops, panel discussions, and hackathons. They often hold events in the Mission and other nearby neighborhoods.

  • Product School: This is a tech education company that offers courses in product management, coding, and data analytics. They have a campus in the Mission and host events and workshops for their students and alumni.

Overall, the Mission offers a unique blend of culture, community, and affordability. Despite its higher-than-average crime rate, the neighborhood is actively working to improve safety and security for residents. With a variety of basic services and amenities, as well as an abundance of cultural events and community organizations, the Mission is a popular choice for those looking for an authentic San Francisco experience.

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