My City: Art galleries, poetry, tequila and coffee 

Faves and raves by Marta Sanchez

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AGE:
I beg your pardon
YEARS IN THE CITY: Entire life
NEIGHBORHOOD: Excelsior/Mission
OCCUPATION: Journalist and owner of Casa Sanchez, the makers of award-winning chips and salsa. Their website can be found at www.casasanchezfoods.com.
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Quirky observer with a zest for art, culture and a joie de vivir in the Mission, where she was born and bred.

FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO A POETRY READING
Mission Cultural Center
WHERE: 2868 Mission St., between 25th and 26th streets
WHAT: Visited frequently by great talent
INFO: (415) 821-1155 or www.missionculturalcenter.org

They’ve all been there: Grammy-winning musicians, National Book Award authors, world acclaimed artists, NPR journalists. And they’re all approachable. Never a dull moment.

FAVORITE PLACE TO BOX

Frisco Boxing
WHERE: Various venues including Roccapulco, 3140 Mission St., at Cesar Chavez Street
WHAT: Shows that get your heart racing
INFO: www.oldcitysf.com

What can I say: You’re either into it or not. Nonetheless, exhilarating shows that make you jump out of your seat.

FAVORITE HOLE IN THE WALL
The Ave
WHERE: 1607 Ocean Ave., between Capitol and Faxon avenues
WHAT: True-grit city boys and a great old school juke box
INFO: (415) 587-6645 or www.myspace.com/aveclub

Danny Glover’s son opened it. And they sell my favorite tequila, Aroma Añejo, harvested by Mission district homeboy and entrepreneur Robert Aranda.

FAVORITE GIFT SHOP

Encantada Gallery
WHERE: 904 Valencia St., between 20th and Liberty streets
WHAT: Affordable and unusual Latin American arts and crafts bought directly from the artisans
INFO: (415) 642-3939

Mia, the owner, flies to the Americas regularly and returns with full suitcases of affordable and unusual arts and crafts. I love that they come straight from the artisans’ homes where they’re made. Be sure to ask her for stories of her trips.

FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO MUSIC
Yoshi’s Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant
WHERE: 1330 Fillmore St., between Eddy and Ellis streets
WHAT: Every seat is excellent
INFO: (415) 655-5600 or www.yoshis.com

No such thing as a bad seat. Clear sound system. You can appreciate and be swept away by true talent.

FAVORITE PLACE TO DANCE
El Rio
WHERE: 3158 Mission St., between Powers and Precita avenues
WHAT: Great casual place for a simple, good time
INFO: (415) 282-3325 or www.elriosf.com

Music that makes you move, people are approachable, and cheap drinks. It’s a perfect place to go to on the spur of the moment.

FAVORITE CAFE  
Martha and Brothers Coffee
WHERE: Seven locations in San Francisco, but favorite one is at 3868 Mission St.
WHAT: Family-owned but holds its own against stiff competition
INFO: www.marthabros.com

Not just great coffee, but it’s a family business that stands up to the big boys.

FAVORITE ART GALLERY
Togonon Gallery
WHERE: 77 Geary St., second floor
WHAT: They sell to museums, collectors and first-time buyers
INFO: (415) 398-5572 or www.togonangallery.com

Surrounded by the best galleries in The City, it’s owned by the ever-so-charming San Francisco native Rafael Munsi, who has experienced taste in art. Every show is completely different from the last. They sell to museums and collectors, yet first-time buyers feel welcome as well.

About The Author

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