San Francisco Weekend Series: Alamo Square & Full House

Whatever happened to predictability? And what really happened to the milkman, paperboy and evening tv? Those were the good old days. And yes, I’m quoting the theme song to one of my most fave 80’s sitcom, Full House. It’s probably your favorite too if you’re an 80’s baby. I’m reminded of it each time I see the row of brightly painted Victorian homes, the “Painted Ladies”. Jamie and I planned on taking a yoga class in the area and somehow we just ended up making a spontaneous, fun day out of it in the Alamo Square/Nopa neighborhood. Here is a recap:

The Mill SF
The Mill is a cafe that gives a minimalistic yet high-end vibe. They serve Four Barrel coffee as well as baked goods from Josey Baker Bread. Everything is San Francisco made. On a Sunday morning, the lines are usually long and most seats are already taken. In our experience, we waited it out in line (which moved fairly quickly) and were lucky to grab a table by the window. Jamie and I both ordered Four Barrel Hot Chocolate and two of their fancy toasts: Avocado Mash and Cream Cheese. We sampled each other’s toast, and I was surprised at how much they filled us up! The hot chocolate was good too, with just the right amount of sweetness. The cafe was a great place to chat and get some work done as we waited for our 12:30pm class to roll around.

The Mill - Avocado Mash & Cream Cheese Toasts/Four Barrel Hot Chocolate
Top: Four Barrel Hot Chocolate & Avocado Mash Toast / Bottom: Cream Cheese Toast

Yoga Garden SF
A few blocks down past the Hayes neighborhood is Yoga Garden SF, a cute, cozy 2-story home turned yoga studio. It’s set in the hustle & bustle of the city though once at the entrance, the garden pathway leads you right to zen. We checked in to our packed class “Intro to Yoga” and Martine, our teacher, went at a slow and structured pace that made you leave all your stresses and thoughts behind. We began with breathing techniques then a pattern of the usual yoga basics. It was easy but a little challenging at the same time. I give ourselves a pat on the back for the hour-long endurance. I honestly enjoyed the class and I’m planning to take it again with my husband pretty soon. By the way, they offer free yoga classes on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month.

Yoga Garden SF pathway
Yoga Garden SF pathway

Alamo Square Park & Painted Ladies
After class, we headed up to Alamo Square Park to take some pics of the Painted Ladies (now our Facebook cover, yay!). Even as native San Franciscans, visiting this place and viewing the row of Victorian houses with the city background truly never gets old. There were a lot of people there: tourists taking pics and locals just hanging out. I’ve recalled just driving by to see the Painted Ladies on numerous occasions as a kid but never stepped foot in the beautiful park. It was a real treat to walk around a bit and admire views of the ever-changing San Francisco skyline. This is definitely a must-visit place!

The Painted Ladies - Alamo Square Park
The Painted Ladies – Alamo Square Park

Divisadero Farmers’ Market
Jamie and I started to get a little hungry but first, wanted to put our yoga mats away. On our walk to the car, we went through the farmers’ market on Grove Street by Divisadero. It’s a smaller sized market with maybe less than 20 vendors. You’ll find all the usuals like assorted flowers and fresh fruits & veggies at great prices. There was also baked goods, pressed juices, and even artisanal soaps. We didn’t purchase anything at this time but did admire all the stuff being sold. They run year-round every Sunday from 10am-2pm.

Divisadero Farmers' Market flowers
Divisadero Farmers’ Market flowers

We Yelped around and decided Greek food as it was the healthiest choice to have after a yoga session.  Jamie kept it lite and went with Greek Fries and “Cretan Wildflower Honey” Greek Frozen Yogurt. I got the “Mary’s Free-range Chicken” pita with a side of Greek fries (they made the “best fry” lists). The fries were really good paired with the garlic and harissa yogurt sauce. Although I was only able to eat half of it, the sandwich was amazing! It’s a fresher take on the typical chicken gyro as it’s wrapped with fresh rotisserie chicken, fennel, pea shoots, navel orange, and pickled onions. I was too full to have frozen yogurt but Jamie seemed to enjoy hers. Souvla has three SF locations: Nopa, Hayes, and Mission.

Souvla’s “Mary’s Free-range Chicken” pita with Greek fries

Everywhere you look, everywhere you go there’s inspiration at every corner to make something out of nothing when you’re in San Francisco. Our Sunday was a success! I hope this gives you ideas when you’re in this neck of the woods. Stay tuned in as we take on new neighborhoods. Let us know what you’d like to see!


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