It's All About The Dogpatch

At the risk of seriously dating myself, I can remember a time when the only reason anyone ventured this far down Third Street was the occasional visit to The Ramp. This was absolutely considered the end of the earth by most San Franciscans. My, have things changed. Granted it's been 12+ years but we're not gonna talk about that.

Now it's an actual neighborhood called Dogpatch and it's the hottest, hippest destination in town. This restaurant is well-positioned as the hub and an absolute must - especially if you're under the spell of the omnipotent wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza. With toppings like wild nettle, nectarine, whole milk and mint or roasted mushrooms, stracchino and shaved garlic there's no end in sight for this enchanting trend.

But pizza is far from the only reason to visit Piccino. I had a creamy, charred corn soup with relish, and a cheddar cauliflower, arugula, farro salad topped with almond gremolata that made me want to cry. Everything about this place is so hip it hurts. Starting with this understated-yet-oh-so-perfect centerpiece of onions. And their website, seriously I don't know what's more impressive - their food photos or their commitment to being the hub of this delightfully eclectic neighborhood.

I went for lunch. And while I'm dying to go back for dinner, I can name a few reasons why a noontime visit is the way to roll. The daylight will give you lots of time to explore and take in the flavor of what makes this neighborhood so great. It will also give you time to get over the nervous breakdown that is sure to occur as you attempt to find parking in this neck of the woods.

After lunch, check out neighboring MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) then pop into the Piccino Coffee Bar next door, fuel up with a cup of Sightglass and head out to this place for dessert. I know everybody is doing handcrafted chocolates but Poco Dolce is really doing it right plus it's fun to taste it at the source. Next head off to this place and try your hand at making wine, or just sippin' it or just to check out a cool venue for a private event.

Once you calm down enough to consider getting back into your car, swing by this place and grab an amazing cut of meat to whip up for dinner. Not a bad way to spend the day at the end of the earth if you ask me.