San Francisco’s Mission District: Where I Fell in Love with Street Art

Mission District Murals in San Francisco


I went to the Mission District for a burrito.


It’s no secret I have an obsession with pretty much all things Mexican, including the food. So of course, I had to have a burrito in the birthplace of the burrito!! (well the mission style burrito was born there…but you know what I mean!)

So we asked around and were told we had to go to La Taqueria for the most authentic and best burrito. It’s a small, no frills, cash only restaurant with a line out the door and family style seating. There’s not a lot on the menu, but that was ok…we were only there for one thing. Burrito time!!! And it was fantastic! I loved it! (Side Note- you should definitely try the agua fresca!! It was outstanding!! All four of us were fighting over it!)

Anyhow, after we finished lunch, I mentioned wanting to check out some street art to my husband before making our way up to the Painted Ladies. I hadn’t done a lot of research on the Mission District street art, I just knew I didn’t want to miss out while we were in the area.

I didn’t really have a plan…just a street name:

Balmy Street

We walked a couple blocks from the restaurant and murals were everywhere! Every street, alley, and building had some sort of mural. I’m not a huge art museum person. I go to art museums because I can appreciate the history, the stories, and the artists. But I don’t typically spend hours upon hours looking and studying each piece. I’ll admit, I just don’t get a lot of it.

But these wall murals were something totally different to me. I could’ve spent hours wandering those streets looking at them all. In hindsight, I should’ve done a tour…I’ll definitely look that up for next time!

My children were also in awe. Where they might complain and really just humor us in an art museum, they were totally engrossed in the streets lined with art! We heard more of , “Mom/ Dad, Look at this one!” and “Oh, I think this is my favorite! No this one!” or “Take my picture with this one!”

And that, my friends, is when I fell in love with street art.

The Mission District murals are one of the world’s largest collections of street’s practically a free public museum! Some of the murals are political, others historical, and some are just fun! Topics from immigrant history, human rights, gentrification, to the environment are on display.

If you are on the street art hunt in San Francisco, some specific streets/areas to see street art are 24th St, Clarion Alley (between Valencia Ave and Mission St), Coit Tower, and of course Balmy Alley.


Mission District Murals

Mission District Street Art

Mission District Street Art

Mission District Street Art

Have you seen the Mission District murals in San Francisco? I wrote all about the rest of our San Francisco fun HERE if you want more tips on exploring the city with kids.

I’ve started keeping a running list of cities that are supposed to have amazing street art. I’ve been told that Melbourne Australia, Bogota Columbia, Toronto Canada, and Austin Texas are tops in the street art game. What other cities would you add to that list? Let me know what y’all think!

Save & Pin for Later!

Mission District Murals- San Francisco

Linking up this week with #theweeklypostcard and Two Traveling Texans– Check it out!

Two Traveling Texans

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    1. Haha…well the burritos got devoured before I could grab the pic!! I’d love to see all the street art in Bristol one day!

  1. I have been to San Francisco but not to the Mission. I am a fan of street art, so, I really want to go to the area. I haven’t been to San Francisco in a long time. It is time to go back (I live in LA).

  2. I agree the Mission District has great street art. Other places I would add to your list are NYC (Bushwick), London (Shoreditch), Valpraiso in Chile, and Philadelphia. I am actually working on a blog post about a street art tour I did in Philly. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  3. I would have fallen in love too with street art had I started in SF! I got hooked in Nashville! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  4. Really love this Julie! Already pinned it as it looks like exactly my kind of neighbourhood and I’m hoping to go to SF next yeara 🙂 Love the pictures as well.

  5. These are wonderful murals. What a great thing for your children to see and appreciate the talent and hard work that went into creating such beauty and fun images.

  6. Street art is totally different from art museums, and good street art is a world apart from run-of-the-mill (ugly) graffiti. I’ve been to Bogota and can confirm the street art there is fantastic too! Surprised by the street art scene in San Francisco – I don’t remember seeing when I was there a few years ago. To be honest, my only lingering memory of the Mission District is the smell of urine in the streets… not entirely pleasant!

    1. Oh my goodness…that’s definitely not a pleasant memory! I do agree that there is a wide range of what is considered street art! I hope you get a chance to check out a better side of the Mission District!

  7. These murals are amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing. I haven’t been to CA in AGES, but now I totally want to go back to see the Painted Ladies and have a burrito on Mission Street 🙂

  8. The Mission really is the best spot for awesome murals in SF. There are starting to be more and more throughout other neighborhoods though, and thank goodness other west coast cities are following suit.

    1. I’ll definitely try to expand our search through some of the other neighborhoods next time we’re there! 👍🏻👍🏻

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