Pork bao. Bean-to-bar chocolate. Coffee worth walking across town for. For your next Crosstown Trail adventure, make sure you arrive at Leland Avenue in Visitacion Valley when you’re hungry, thirsty, and ready to linger.
“Viz Valley,” at the southeast corner of San Francisco, is a diverse community with working-class roots. It once had the largest Maltese population outside Malta. Today, it’s home to multi-generational families, immigrants, artists, gardeners, and activists. A highlight, for locals and visitors alike, is the Visitacion Valley Greenway, six verdant parks that climb up from Leland, the neighborhood’s main street.
The award-winning Greenway is part of the Crosstown Trail, and many Trail visitors report that it’s one of their favorite discoveries.
Next to the Greenway’s Hans Schiller Plaza, at 144 Leland, is Mission Blue Gifts & Coffee, a dedicated supporter of the Trail since it opened. Proprietor Kellie McCord and her team have welcomed hikers with water and bananas, and they offer Crosstown Trail gear for sale. Inside, you’ll find jewelry and other work made by local artists as well as coffee from local roastery Saint Frank.
Mission Blue will celebrate their one-year anniversary on Saturday, September 26. Says Kellie, “It would bring us great joy if those of you who will be on the Crosstown Trail that day to stop by and say hello!”
Apparently, Kellie’s enthusiasm for the Crosstown Trail is infectious. Several other businesses along Leland would love to see you when you’re in the area. Stop in or, if appropriate, call ahead to place your order:
The Good Chocolate, 25 Leland Ave., (415) 336-4555: Organic, zero-sugar chocolate, made on the premises.
Frisco’s Family Deli, 28 Leland Ave., (415) 347-7077: Made-to-order sandwiches and Mediterranean specialties.
Leland Market, 65 Leland Ave., (415) 859-5560: Corner market with Latino and Asian specialties.
Taqueria El Buen Sabor No. 2, 98 Leland Ave., (415) 349-4134: See menu here.
Pho Luen Fat, 110 Leland Ave., (415) 585-1167: Banh mi, pho, other Vietnamese specialities.
Grub Kitchens, 167 Leland Ave., (415) 845-7915: American traditional; daily specials.
Visitacion Valley is on Section 1 of the Crosstown Trail. To plan your route, visit our maps and route descriptions page. And take this map of Leland Avenue and environs — the neighborhood also features a church designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan and a school with an intricate, glazed terra cotta Art Deco facade.