5 Places Chef Heena Patel Loves Within Walking Distance of Besharam
San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures from all around the globe. Heena Patel, creator of Besharam, uses bold flavors to represent her Indian roots in the heart of San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. This slice of the city is a mere nine square blocks along San Francisco's eastern waterfront, but has a whole lot to discover.
Chef Patel sees Dogpatch as an extension of Mumbai, which constantly fuels her passion to cook Indian cuisine. If you can't reserve a table at Besharam ahead of time, you can still explore Dogpatch through the lense of Chef Patel. These are her five favorite places within walking distance of Besharam.
What I cook is like a blank canvas. I paint my food with the colors and textures I use. - Chef Heena Patel
San Francisco Street Food Festival (Humboldt St.)
For those looking for a full day of eating and drinking, the San Francisco Street Food Festival is the place to be. Chef Patel describes it as a representation of inclusivity, "celebrating food with international flavors and the American food we consume. Last year, it was named one of the best outdoor festivals of 2017. It’s special to my heart because it’s organized by La Cocina,” which is a food organization that gives minority groups the opportunity to grow their culinary skills. Don't forget to explore San Francisco's other great food festivals.
Minnesota Street Project (1275 Minnesota St.)
Minnesota Street Project is an art gallery and movement that provides artists from all backgrounds with a space to create and showcase their art. "I fell in love with the Besharam location when I walked in for the first time," shares Chef Patel. "One of the reasons why I love it is because it opens up to a gallery. Unique, abstract art is an extension of the food I am serving at Besharam. The Minnesota Street Project offers a space for young artists to experiment and gain exposure for their art with lower rent— and that’s rare." You can show your support for these talented artists by purchasing their one-of-a-kind art pieces.
Long Bridge Pizza (2347 Third St.)
Started by two Bay Area natives with a vision to create laid back vibes and serious pizza, Long Bridge Pizza is undoubtedly a Dogpatch gem. "I love to indulge on a good pizza,” says Chef Patel. A local favorite is the Loading Dock pizza, which is topped with soppresata, sausage, and mushrooms.
Piccino Coffee Bar (1001 Minnesota St.)
Piccino Coffee Bar prepares coffee made with beans roasted by Sightglass, a neighboring coffee shop in the SoMa neighborhood. It isn't just a coffee bar, though. Piccino is a place where all members of the community are always welcome to reconnect and chat. It is one of the few coffee shops in the area with late night hours. Local crowd pleasers include their Gibraltar coffee and Banner Dark blend, brewed using a French Press.
Dogpatch Boulders (2573 Third St.)
Take rock climbing to the next level at Dogpatch Boulders. They offer incredible indoor climbing challenges: 17-foot-tall walls and over 14,000 square feet of bouldering terrain. In fact, they are the largest bouldering-only gym in California. Whether you're new to the sport, or already have some experience, don't be afraid to chalk your hands, throw on a pair of rock climbing shoes, and use that core strength!