San Francisco is a wonderful city for foodies, but many visitors never venture much farther west than Van Ness or Fillmore Street.
That's too bad because the city's Richmond district is an intriguing neighborhood with a host of Chinese restaurants, food and gift shops, as well as a smattering of bookstores and other shops.
Joe's Ice Cream is one of those step-back-in-time ice cream parlours that makes its flavors right on the premises so stopping here for an ice cream, sundae or shake is a very smart detour. The shop is located right at the corner of Geary Blvd. and 18th Avenue.
I have not tried Family Fortune Restaurant, but a few locals insisted that it was the best Chinese eatery in the area. It's located on Geary Blvd., the main east-west drag, between 14th and 15th Avenues.
Green Apple Books is a great place to waste an hour or two browsing through fiction and non-fictions.
Parallel to Geary Blvd., but just a block north is Clement Street, which this guide describes as the area's main dining-shopping drag where "you'll find great Burmese, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants, Chinese bakeries that sell siu mai (steamed meat dumplings), BBQ pork buns and other dim sum for under a dollar ..." If you like to cook Chinese at home, Geary and Clement streets are good places to look for small Chinese groceries that are likely to have some of the harder-to-find ingredients that are part of Chinese cooking.
In reality, the inner Richmond district is the real Chinatown of San Francisco.