This walk was originally posted in the Ocean Beach Bulletin. I recommend taking a minute to read the comment thread over there since the locals have posted some nifty insider info about this neighborhood.
Hello, Judah! I've walked on Judah Street before, but haven't had time to enjoy the local establishments. So this walk was short but full of shopping and snacking inside the neighborhood stores and restaurants.
Well, first things first...to start out on the right foot, I had to get a chicken enchilada at Celia's Restaurant. I've eaten at the big Celia's in Daly City before when a huge mariachi band was playing. Locals have confirmed that a band does indeed play at this location as well.
The next stop was inside Mango Medley to get a Mango Bliss dessert. Unfortunately, they only take cash and I had zero dollars on me. :/ I'm intrigued by the menu and plan to come back soon, bearing paper currency, of course. In the meantime, I'm taking suggestions on what to order.
To mix things up, I hung a right on 44th Ave. to walk along Irving to the beach. This is one sleepy street, but there are few spots I highly recommend visiting.
First, you should stop in A Happy Planet and take a look at the nifty organic mattresses and bedding. it is, without a doubt, the most relaxed store I've ever been in. So, if you are feeling stressed, stop in and just look at the white towels and you'll calm right down.
When you are done
napping testing out the mattresses at A Happy Planet, walk across the street to Mollusk Surf Shop and peruse the racks of surfboards, t-shirts, movies and books. If you can't make it to their store (which you should, because it's fun), you can buy everything they offer, including the surfboards, right on their website. ooooOOoooohhh.
The last place worth noting on Irving Street is The Last Straw, a super cute teeny tiny art gallery/store. This place sells all things girly - jewelry, soaps and trinkets - in one super compact space. This is definitely the place to head on your search for the perfect gift for your mother. But heads-up, like Mango Medley, this place only takes cash.
I have already publicly professed my love for Java Beach Cafe. However, I must say that it just multiplied exponentially with the discovery of their new travel lid! As I'm demonstrating (poorly) in the photo, the new lid is equipped with a lever that pushes a flap in the lid back and forth to open and close the mouth hole, thus preventing unwanted spills and keeping the coffee (or in my case, chai) warmer longer. BRILLIANT.
The last stop on this tour was at The General Store's one year anniversary party, in full swing when I arrived. People were milling outside, inside, in the back yard and around the corner. There was even a band rocking out on the back porch. And you want to know why? Because this store is really cool.
The General Store is a neat space stocked with an eclectic mix of artisan kitchen and decor products, clothes and shoes. There are also shelves of super nifty books, maps and notecards. Most of their items are available for purchase through their website, but if you can make it to the store, it's worth it. The space is inviting in a way that only general stores can be.