Etxe (ech-ay) curates experiences that enlighten the soul and deepen human connection. This blog shares our adventures, focused on place, culture, community and creativity. 

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Summer in San Francisco, guest blog by Jane -- local artist & creator in NOPA

This is our first guest blog post! We'll be highlighting local artists and creators in San Francisco for the next few weeks. Thanks Jane!

Summer in San Francisco

On this chilly, overcast day, I’m bundled up in my apartment with a couple sweaters and a blanket: turns out it’s August, so what better thing to do than think about my favorite places in San Francisco, foggy summer day aside.

I live in NOPA (North of the Panhandle), a small and relatively newly named neighborhood, bounded by Divisadero, Masonic, Fell and Turk streets. Even in this small radius of only a few blocks, there are so many great places to eat, shop and hang out.

Nopalito is one of my favorite brunch, lunch and dinner spots nearby. Located in Falletti’s plaza on Broderick street between Oak and Fell, there is often a wait to get in, but if you stop by during odd hours (they are open throughout the day) or right when they open in the morning, you’re usually guaranteed a table. You can sit inside at the bar overlooking the kitchen, at a shared table, or in their enclosed, heated front patio area.

They have small plates and large plates to accommodate all appetites. Some of my favorite dishes include: Ceviche Nayarita, Ensalada de Lechuga, Empanada con Desebrada de Res, Enchiladas de Mole con Pollo, Pozole Rojo, and Carnitas.

The ensalada and ceviche are refreshing on a warm afternoon and the pozole will warm you up on a chilly evening. Get the carnitas to share, or plan to have leftovers.

After a meal at Nopalito, walk over to Divisadero and Hayes to check out Rare Device, a store filled with unique, well-designed and often handcrafted items. They have everything from jewelry to kitchen accessories and host monthly art shows and community events.

You will walk in and immediately think you need one of everything in the store. My boyfriend stopped there to pick up this sweet card and gift--I can’t wait to send some Pantone postcards to my friends! It’s a great place to go to support local artists and artisans as well.

Speaking of local artisans, Workshop SF is a wonderful resource for learning new skills. Located at the corner of Baker and McAllister, they have classes ranging from Screen Printing for Newbies to How to Make and Blend Tea taught by local makers and DIY professionals.

I recently took Sewing 101, where we made our own beer koozie and sock puppet. Workshop has also partnered with Western Editions, originally a Kickstarter project, to offer Letterpress classes in the neighborhood. Workshop often hosts DIY parties for making, mixing and mingling!

There are plenty more amazing places in my neighborhood and throughout the city, but these are just a few of my favorites. Now the chilly weather has me thinking it’s time for some pozole from Nopalito!

About our guest blogger: Jane Philipps previously worked with me on the design/production team at Betabrand. She then worked in product development at Levi's and is currently making art and doing freelance projects in San Francisco. Feel free to email her at  jane.philipps(at) for more insider tips about NOPA, art, and living in the city!