By Roman, CISL SF student

After a two-month stay in San Francisco, the Mission District has become one of my favorite places in the city. This area, found between 16th Street, 24th Street, Van Ness Avenue and Church Street, is one of the most lovely neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Based on my experience, I highly recommend you visit the Mission Dolores Park, not just to see it, but to stay there and get a sense of the San Francisco lifestyle. This park is located on a hill at 18th and Dolores and offers a beautiful view of the city.

How to get there

Take the BART-Train or a MUNI-Bus to 16th Street and Mission Street. Now you are in the heart of the Mission District. But before walking straight to the park, you will have great opportunities to buy items for your picnic.

Here are two places that I can recommend from my own experience:

Duc Loi Supermarket at 18th and Mission StreetOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This place sells a big variety of Asian and Latin American food, so you can buy some fruits, snacks and beverages for your picnic. But besides the regular supermarket supply, they also have a counter where they make fresh Asian style sandwiches. You can choose between 12 different sandwiches with pork, chicken, turkey, and other ingredients. If you’re not sure which sandwich you prefer, tell the staff that you want a sample of the sandwich topping and they will give you a piece for free. When you place your order, they will make you a fresh sub on a crispy bread right in front of you.

Bi Rite Market at 18th Street and Oakwood Street

The Bi Rite Market is a small grocery store and it offers a lot of delicatessen and fresh food. This place is a little bit pricy, but the food there is delicious. Like Duc Loi, they also offer a lot of sandwiches, but their selection is more of the Italian style. Additionally, they also sell a large variety of fresh salads and other deli items, like grilled meat, vegetables, pastries, and sweets.

When you have taken care of all your picnic needs, now you are ready to go to Dolores Park. Bring a blanket and make yourself comfortable, and have your picnic while enjoying the amazing view of the skyline of downtown San Francisco. On some days you may get the chance to listen to live music and join groups of dancing people.