Pork Buns and Princess Cake: A Day Out on Clement Street

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It has the best cha siu baos (aka pork buns) and features a diverse array of ethnic food markets, cool boutiques and kid-friendly stores. If you haven’t visited the Inner Richmond’s Clement Street (save driving past on Park Presidio) it’s time to head there now. Here are our picks for a fun day out with your fam in what has quickly become one of our favorite San Francisco streets.Clement St. from flickr by notphilatallPhoto credit: notphilatall via Flickr Creative Commons


Except for the one at the SFPL Richmond Branch, the nearest playgrounds are on the outer edges of this neighborhood. We recommend:

mountain lake park from kate d via YelpPhoto: Mountain Lake Park playground by Kate D via Yelp 

Mountain Lake Park
The play structure here is a bit old-skool but it does the job and kids will be enchanted by the nature trails and grassy field (a hot-spot for bouncy houses and neighborhood birthday parties). There’s a few BBQ’s too. The lake itself is currently being restored (it’s one of the few naturally occurring lakes in SF proper) and will become a haven for wildlife.

98 Funston Ave. at 12th Ave.
Online: presidio.gov/explore/mountain-lake

Angelo J. Rossi Playground
Along with an indoor swimming pool and two baseball diamonds, the park has equipment for kids of all ages as well as Bocce ball and tennis courts.

2 Willard North St.
Online: sfrecpark/angelorossiplayground

Argonne playground by Ana G via YelpPhoto: Argonne Playground by Ana G via Yelp

Argonne Playground
Bright, modern play structures, sand, a renovated picnic area, grassy lawn, and basketball and tennis courts all make this neighborhood playground a great spot to burn off all those Toy Boat treats.

18th Ave. and Geary Blvd.
Online: sfrecpark.org/argonneplayground


richmond branch library_sfpl_tyrone B via yelpPhoto of Richmond Branch SFPL by Tyrone B. via Yelp 

SFPL’s Richmond Branch
It still looks spiffy after its 2009 renovation. The library has an impressive array of bilingual publications and music and DVD’s in multiple languages, and they offer a regular Toddler Tales class every Wed. from 11 – 11:30 a.m. Enter the Children’s Library from 10th Ave. where there is a small play structure.

351 9th Ave.
Hours: Mon., 1-6 p.m.; Tues. – Thurs., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 1-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m.
Online: sfpl.org/richmond

The Four Star Theatre
A few (short) blocks passed the heart of Clement St., this neighborhood theatre usually shows at least one kid-friendly flick.

2200 Clement St. at 22nd Ave.
Online: lnsf.com/4-star-theatre 


One of the highlights of this neighborhood is the diverse array of restaurants, from coffee shops to dim-sum to everything in between. You could actually eat at a different restaurant every night here for a month and still not cover them all! Here are our top picks for kid friendly cuisine.

Giorgio’s Pizzeria
This classic pizza parlor hands kids wads of dough to play with almost upon arrival, insuring happy campers all around. Great pizza and a family friendly atmosphere. Win!

151 Clement. St.
Hours: Sun. – Th., 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Online: giorgiospizza.com

good luck dim sum via Yelp maggie cPhoto: Good Luck Dim Sum from Maggie C via Yelp

Good Luck Dim Sum
Ask any local and they’ll likely give you a different answer for their fave dim sum place, but Clement St. boasts some winners. Good Luck Dim Sum is cheap, friendly, and super yummy. It can get crowded on the weekends, though, so be prepared for a line. Seating is limited, so it’s mostly a to-go place.

Bonus tip: Call your order in ahead of time to save time.

736 Clement St.
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. every day except Tues. (Closed Tuesdays)
Online: goodluckdimsum.com

Cafe Bunn Mi
The highlight are the  Vietnamese sandwiches on fresh baked rolls, like crispy duck and lemongrass steak, as well as Pho, Saigon noodles, and yummy appetizers like Imperial Rolls and chicken wings. Vegetarian options are limited and it’s a cash only place, but prices are very reasonable. Kids can also use the clean restroom here.

417 Clement St.
Hours:  9 a.m. – 9 p.m., every day

chicken and waffles_via Dan. M YelpPhoto: Richmond Republic Chicken and Waffles by Dan M via Yelp 

Richmond Republic Draught House
This recently opened spot is quickly becoming a local favorite due in no small part to the local brews like Henhouse’s Honest Day’s Pay and SF brewery Triple Voodoo’s Anarchy IPA paired along with burgers, fries, and salads as well as weekend brunch items like chicken and waffles and Cali Benedict. It’s totes tot friendly, but stick to pre-8 p.m. or brunch hours.

642 Clement St.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-midnight; Fri., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., 9:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 9:30 a.m.-midnight
Online: richmondrepublicsf.com 

Clement St. Farmer’s Market
Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Clement St. between 2nd and 4th Avenues, this is the little-market-that-could. Two blocks packed with fresh seasonal produce, baked goods, and flowers make this one of the most bustling neighborhood market’s in town.


toy boat dessert cafe via Chuck N yelp (533x400)Photo: Chuck N. via Yelp 

Toy Boat Dessert Cafe
For sweet treats (assuming you resisted the Q dessert menu) try Toy Boat. Ice cream, pies, cookies, and other treats in a whimsical atmosphere. It’s decorated by vintage toys and PEZ dispensers and there’s even a mechanical horse the kids ride for just .50 cents.
401 Clement St.
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Genki Crepes
Delicious crepes plus trinkets for sale equals a winning combo for kids of all ages. Try the red bean ice cream and banana combo crepe for a one-of-a-kind treat.

330 Clement St
Hours: Mon., 2-10:30 p.m., Sun., Tues., Wed., Th., 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Online: genkicrepes.com

princess cake slice schuberts bakery via Yelp Stephanie LPhoto: Schubert’s Bakery Princess Cake by Stephanie L. via Yelp 

Schubert’s Bakery
Three words: Swedish Princess Cake. They also make outstanding mousse cakes including cassis and mango. Be a superstar at the next potluck and grab one of the many beauties from this bakery.

521 Clement St.
Hours: Mon. – Fri., 7 a.m. -6:30 p.m., Sat, 7 a.m. -6 p.m., Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Online: schuberts-bakery.com


gummies at sakura discount store on clementPhoto: Gummies at Sakura on Clement by Sakura via Yelp

Clement St. is home to many, many great places to spend your hard-earned cash (and usually very little of it!). In addition to the following there are numerous housewares stores, an incredible array of produce, and several “kitchen-sink” kind of stores that have inexpensive scarves, sunglasses, and other favor-bag accoutrements! Kids will enjoy browsing through the variety of toys, hats, and sparkly things.

green apple via Yelp Mark D. (533x400) Photo: Green Apple Books by Mark D. via Yelp 

Green Apple Books
With both new and used books, they’ve got everything from the latest NY Times bestsellers to some seriously hidden treasures. The small but well-stocked kids section is very affordable. Snap a photo with their mascot Mergatroid for your album!

Insider Tip: Check out the bargain bins out front for some discounted kid’s books.

506 Clement St.
Hours: Sun. – Th., 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. and Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. -11:30 p.m.
Online: greenapplebooks.com

Sloat Garden Center via Yelp Kevin Y (533x400)Photo: 3rd Ave. Sloat by Kevin Y via Yelp

Sloat Garden Center on 3rd Ave.
Located halfway down the block between Clement and Geary, when this garden center is closed you’d hardly know it was there. But during open hours it is an oasis in the city, with one of the best plant selections in the greater Bay Area.

327 3rd Ave.
Hours:  8:30 a.m. – 6: 30 p.m.
Online: sloatgardencenters.com/3rd-avenue

6th Avenue Aquarium
Located just before 6th Ave on Clement, this small store packs a ton of fresh and saltwater aquatic creatures, from sea snails to anemones. It’s tight quarters, but kids will love the illuminated tanks and impressive array of colorful fish.

425 Clement St.,
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., every day

Getting There
Parking can be very challenging on the evenings and weekends. If you can, hop on a bus to get there. The 1 California, 2 Clement, and 38 Geary lines all run near by. If you drive, try California St. or one of the side streets, and be prepared to circle a couple times.

There are public restrooms at the library. Most restaurants and coffee shops along the way will let you use their facilities in an emergency, or if you buy (another!) treat.

What are your favorite spots on Clement St.? What’s your fave restaurant or shop? Let us know in the comments below!

—Amber Guetebier

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