A San Francisco Street Transformed by Food

For decades, as this city polished its reputation as an essential food destination, a stretch of Market Street just a short stroll from the groundbreaking Zuni Café remained stubbornly unchanged, an odd wasteland of check-cashing stores and weed dealers punctuated by the whiff of urine.

A city survey last year declared that Market Street between Seventh and 11th Streets was San Francisco’s dirtiest commercial strip. While nearby Union Square and the South of Market district blossomed, these half-dozen broad blocks remained something people rushed through on their way to more charming neighborhoods.

But in a city consumed by a tech boom that has left no inch of its roughly 47 square miles unnoticed by developers, the neighborhood now called Mid-Market is undergoing a transformation that would render it nearly unrecognizable to anyone who hasn’t braved its sidewalks for a few years.

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