Outer Sunset: A different side of San Francisco

Ocean Beach, crisp air, and chill vibes make the Outer Sunset a must see destination for travelers wanting to experience a different side of San Francisco — away from the hustle and bustle of the urban core. This neighborhood, known for its persistent fog, single family homes and great diversity has many interesting things to do and see and it’s all easily accessible by public transportation on the N-Judah line.

Up to 50 percent of Airbnb guests’ spending happens in the neighborhoods where they stay. With few hotels in the Outer Sunset, we are proud to be bringing more travelers here to enjoy all the neighborhood has to offer while supporting small businesses and supplementing the income of our local hosts. We believe that everyone can benefit from growing interest in tourism — hosts, guests and locals alike — rather than just the traditional industry. That’s why we recently partnered with SF Travel, as well as with the San Francisco Council of District Merchant Associations  (SFCDMA), to invite our hosts to a merchant walk to help spread the word about the neighborhood’s local gems and promote it as a destination to travelers and folks from other neighborhoods.

Stop 1: 3 Fish Studios

Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin are printmakers and painters, husband and wife, and founders of 3 Fish Studios which started in 2006. The Outer Sunset is home to their workshop and studio, where art happens daily and visitors are always welcome. They love collaborating, making, and sharing creative projects and are unbelievably welcoming. Eric creates his prints using a traditional process called relief printmaking where you take a flat object and carve it to create a relief.

He said, “We’ve lived in this part of the city for 20 years. We started in our garage on 47th Avenue. We wanted to truly engage with the neighborhood and our neighbors. We get tons of visitors from all over the world and lots of travelers who are not drawn to the typical attractions … people trying to find the authentic, real San Francisco.”

“It’s important to understand how small business plays a role in the sense of community of a place and it’s important to know that artists in San Francisco can still make a living.”

-Eric Rewitzer

Prior to the official guided tour, Erin Rheinschild from SF Travel, the official destination marketing organization for San Francisco and Airbnb’s partner for this event, kicked things off and introduced Ashley Summers, a representative from Supervisor Katy Tang’s office who spoke about some of the many great things happening in the neighborhood. “We want to promote the Sunset as a destination … and put it on the map, and that is very much a literal thing because you’ve probably picked up a map downtown and that’s where they usually put the legend or they just focus on the northeast part of the city.”

There were never many options for visitors to stay on the Westside of San Francisco. Airbnb now  provides tourists the opportunity to stay in a unique place like the Sunset, which has a variety of great shops and restaurants as well as access to transit that will take them across the city.”

-Ashley Summers

Stop 2: Outerlands

At Outerlands, locally sourced, organic fare is served in a warm, handcrafted setting with a focus on sustainability. Owner Lana Porcello, who lives in the neighborhood, welcomed hosts with trays of cookies. They make all of their own bread and most other items from scratch and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outerlands has been open for nine years and they are soon opening a new bakery on outer Taraval. According to Lana they opened in the Sunset because “we wanted to bring the conversation that was happening in the larger city around food to the neighborhood.”

Stop 3: Blackbird Bookstore

Opened just three months ago in response to the current social climate, Blackbird Bookstore is a small, curated shop with titles that reflect the interests of the Outer Sunset and the City at-large and doubles as a community space. Books are curated based on what is new, winning awards, what people in the neighborhood are looking for, and focus on topical interests. They have a large children’s section and story time for kids on Saturdays, too. Look for their new backyard space to open soon.

Stop 4: Case for Making

Case for Making, open in its current incarnation for the past three years, offers curated creative supply basics, including their own line of more than 60 handmade watercolor paints made with pure pigments and no fillers or extenders — unbelievably vivid colors. They also sell raw materials and have workshops, selected and designed to encourage process-focused exploration. With large work tables, you can actually sit down and create in this space. They host lecture series, have events and welcome the community to participate.

Alexis Joseph chooses most of the supplies in the store. “We work with a lot with people who come in off the streets who want to have a little bit more creative time in their lives and we get them going with a basic setup and some tips to they can start painting at home and watercolors are great for that.”


Stop 5: Lady Falcon Coffee Club

Lady Falcon Coffee Club was founded on Ocean Beach and this vintage 1948 coffee truck roasts their own unique craft coffee beans. Hosts got to try a cup of single origin Guatemalan that was sooo good and learned a little about coffee beans and how they are roasted. The truck is often at Ocean Beach and Alamo Square and moves around to various locations. You can follow them on Twitter or Instagram to see where they will be next.

Stop 6: Java Beach Cafe

Java Beach Cafe is not only a neighborhood institution, but also a citywide institution. They have amazing coffee, great food, but more importantly, it serves as a living room for the neighborhood.  At Java Beach we spoke with Patrick Leong, a San Francisco host and member of the Home Sharers Club of San Francisco who has been sharing two rooms in his home in Lower Haight on Airbnb since 2010. “I started hosting to earn extra income to support the creation of my own business and have made really good friends doing this.” Over the years, he has received over 600 positive reviews for the space he shares.

“I come to merchant walks to meet other hosts, meet others in the Airbnb community [and to] meet with merchants and check out places I’ve read about but haven’t yet been to.”

-Patrick Leong, SF Host

The N Judah runs by Patrick’s house and we think after this merchant walk he’ll be jumping on more often to head to the end of the line and frequent all the new businesses he discovered in the Outer Sunset.

Stop 7: Hook Fish Co.

The last stop on the guided tour was Hook Fish Co., a recently-opened fish market and eatery that started as a catering and pop up business.  They serve environmentally sourced fish and sell seafood by the pound that’s all traceable back to the fishing vessel that brought it in. They have a casual menu with grilled fish tacos, burritos, and sandwiches with a big focus on the ingredients. They have indoor and outdoor seating and counter service to order. Owner Christian Morabito said, “My wife and I live right up the street and always wanted to have a place that was accessible for grabbing local seafood here in the neighborhood.”

Hook Fish Co.

Learn more about more how Airbnb supports small business in District 4.