Outer Sunset, just south of Golden Gate Park, is a quiet, atmospheric neighborhood where thick fog frequently obscures the trim pastel houses, Asian groceries and surfers cycling down to Ocean Beach. Until recently, you’d never call it cool. But a hip and quirky micro-neighborhood has emerged, its epicenter at Judah Street and 45th Avenue, with a clutch of locally owned businesses bolstering a sense of community and drawing style seekers citywide.
The menu at this rustic cafe from the husband-and-wife team of David Muller and Lana Porcello is ever-changing; a recent visit turned up whole baked trout with walnut gremolata. But there’s always soup and Muller’s homemade levain bread. 4001 Judah Street; (415) 661-6140; outerlandssf.com.
2. Polly Ann Ice Cream
If you can’t decide which of the 48 daily flavors to choose, go for green tea, everyone’s favorite, or spin the wheel of destiny and leave it to fate. For the intrepid, there’s Durian, a stinky-but-sweet flavor stored in the back. 3138 Noriega Street; (415) 664-2472.
3. Tuesday Tattoo
With its calm environment and friendly staff, this is an unintimidating place to get inked in San Francisco. Jesse Tuesday (right), Sam McWilliams and Hannah Wednesday specialize in intricate custom designs; even if you’re not in the market for body art, their portfolios — open on the front counter — are worth a browse. 4025 Judah Street; (415) 242-6028; jessetuesday.com.
4. Trouble Coffee Company
The magic words at this funky coffee shop, sheathed in reclaimed wood, are ”build your own damn house.” Say it to the barista and he’ll hand over a cup of coffee, a thick slice of cinnamon toast and a Thai coconut, all for $8. 4033 Judah Street; (415) 690-9119; troublecoffee.com.
5. Carville Annex
This tiny gallery — the space is basically a hallway leading to a staircase — has a lofty mission: to spotlight emerging talent and involve the viewer in the process. In January it’ll feature inhabitable sculptures by the local artist Llewelynn Fletcher. 4037 Judah Street; carvilleannex.com; by appointment only.
Four creative young artisan-designers (all surfers) share this studio with a by-appointment shop in the front where they sell their work: handmade heirloom-quality surfboards, typography-driven graphic art, and custom wooden furniture like a walnut slab table with cast bronze legs. 3725 Noriega Street; (415) 240-5504; woodshopsf.com.
7. General Store
Mason St. Peter, an architect, and Serena Mitnik-Miller, an artist and designer, opened this shop last December, envisioning a place with a little of everything. Most of the items are made locally, including Botany Factory terrariums and Tellason denim. 4035 Judah Street; (415) 682-0600; visitgeneralstore.com.
8. Mollusk Surf Shop
This quintessential California surf shop has been a community anchor since it opened in 2005, selling silk-screened T-shirts, hoodies and hand-printed posters along with a plethora of surf gear and boards. There’s also an art gallery and a treehouse installation made from recycled wood by the artist Jay Nelson. 4500 Irving Street; (415) 564-6300; mollusksurfshop.com.