8.4 out of 10

Columbus Ave, Russian Hill

Ranked 1st best street in Russian Hill
37.8043407487741 -122.416029592193
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The Hustle and Bustle of North Beach"

Columbus Avenue is the main strip in North Beach. If you are on of those people who like cities that fall into a grid, Columbus Avenue screws that right up because it goes on an angle through the Italian section of the city.

Columbus Avenue is lined with restaurants of all kinds (not just Italian). You can get sushi, burgers, pastry, California cuisine and just off Columbus you can get Thai, French and Asian cuisine. So there is no shortage of food or cafes along Columbus Avenue. Plus most cafes offer free wi-fi so you can plop down with your laptop and grab a cuppa joe.

For entertainment, there is Cobb's Comedy Club and Bimbo's, both of which host A and B list talent. Robin Williams has played at Bimbo's many many times and Tracey Morgan has performed at Cobb's recently.

For the physically fit, you can try your hand at bikram yoga at Bikram Choudouri's yoga studio at Columbus and Lombard. The talk of the town is that it's the hottest bikram studio in the city getting upwards to 105-110 degrees some days. A pure adrenaline rush for the heat enthusiasts.

Columbus Avenue also has a beautiful park where local painters display their works on the weekends and the retirees do their calisthenics in the mornings. Washington Square park has a cement path with in it that let's you get around easily if you have small children or a stroller. Plus there's a post office on the east side of Washington Square park.

There's also a public library at the corner of Mason and Columbus, a few niche hotels along Columbus Avenue, and two banks. Let's not forget about the famous Molinari deli and free samples at the Z. Cioccolato fudge shop.

Columbus Avenue offers all of this and an extremely friendly neighborhood. Perhaps that's why tourists and locals love it.
Pros
  • Alfresco dining
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great restaurants
  • really beautiful
Cons
  • too many smokers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"My GroundHog Day Place"

Have you ever seen that film, Groundhog Day, where that guy is stuck in the same place and doomed to repeat the same day over and over? Well, my Ground Hog day street, the street that I would choose if I had to be doomed to repeat one day over and over again, would be Columbus Ave. Firstly, Columbus has restaurants where you can eat all three times of the day. There are great coffee shops where you can get coffee and eggs and all that. There are also great restaurants for eating lunch, where you can sit out on the street—European style—and people watch while you have lunch—great Italian food and gelatos. At night you can have dinner at the garlicky Stinking Rose, one of my favorites.

In the early morning you cam watch the Yoga people doing their thing in Washington park. Later in the day you can lay out in the sun on the grass. If you want to get a book and chill out there is the Beatnik landmark, City Lights Books. You can read it sipping espresso at El Greco, with its high windows and clean décor.

At nighttime, you can listen to live jazz or just hang at one of the many pubs on Columbus. Great for just talking, catching up, or meeting someone new. If you are into strip joints and peep shows and drunk frat guys, you can find your share of those too. I am more into scruffy artsy guys, and they tend to pop up around here as well.

In other words, it’s the perfect place to have on infinite loop.
Pros
  • really beautiful
  • great restaurants
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • drunk frat boy types
  • a little dangerous late at night
  • too many tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Come Hungry, Come Ready to Walk"

This is a great walking street, if you are looking to get a sense of San Francisco and are just visiting the area. It passes right through the heart of Little Italy, so if you have any kind of weakness for dessert food, you might want to consider bringing a blindfold, as the pastries in the windows will likely entice you into one of the many little cafes, where you can grab and go or spend hours people-watching.

The Stinking Rose is another quintessential San Francisco spot, known for garlic, garlic, and garlic. Yes, everything at this restaurant is served with - you guessed it- garlic. If that is not quite your cup of tea, keep walking and you will hit the abundance of seafood restaurants found in the Fisherman's Wharf area. With parks (Washington Square), restaurants, diversity, and a seaport all at your fingertips, this street is almost as eclectic as San Francisco itself.
Pros
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great restaurants
  • Alfresco dining
Cons
  • Parking can be tough to find
  • a little dangerous late at night
  • too many tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5
2yrs+

"A Great Walk"

Columbus Ave. goes from North Beach to the Financial District. I use to walk down this street to work in the morning and always got my day going in a good way. In the North Beach area, there are a lot of great restaurants and delis, but there are a ton of coffee houses in the area. They are always a great spot to stop off at in the morning. One thing that can get annoying is at the intersection of Columbus and Broadway there are the strip clubs. The guys that work the doors always try to get you to go in aw you walk by, but I guess I can’t hate because that’s their jobs.
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Transition from peaceful to lively"

Columbus street stretches diagonally across the Northeast corner of San Francisco. It cuts through rectangular streets and has one end at Washington street. From there, it becomes a vertical street called Montgomery. The street has a fairly even slope that extends from Fisherman's Wharf to Chinatown. Shops line the street; cafes, restaurants, bars and even car repair shops. Traveling from northwest to southeast, I find that It is a fairly quiet street in the beginning, with plants lining the sidewalk every 5 feet. Nearing Chinatown, more people (tourists as well as residents) appear. The streets of Chinatown are rarely empty and crowds of people run in both directions. The 30 bus line runs along this street. It connects downtown to Chinatown and is very convenient to residents.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Street that cuts right through the city"

Columbus Ave cuts right through the northern part of the city. If you don't mind walking (if you haven't done enough yet in this city), this is a great street to walk because it crosses so many streets. It sort of gives you a view of all directions due to it cutting through the city the way it does.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"A Trekkie street with Italian flare"

A diagonally street that runs from the North Beach area to the Financial District area. You can find many Italian cafes with alfresco dining along this street. This street is most famous for being the place where the Star Trek characters Checkoff and Uhura came back in time and had to walk the streets looking for humpback whales.
4/5
2yrs+

"On end to the other"

Columbus St. is a long one. Busy, bustling and full of hot spots, restaurants, shops and crossroads to some of the best sections of town. It will take you from one end of town to the other, from the wharf to Union St. It's a great place to walk, and meet up with friends at any one of the many coffee shop. The famous City Lights Book Store is a highlight, or a pilgrimage if you're a writer, or lover of beat poets from the beatnik days. It stands as another generational marker. It is where poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and cronies the likes of, 'the man' Jack Kerouac would hang out to review the signs of the times.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"San Francisco's Little Italy - charming!"

This street runs through the heart of North Beach, the Italian section of San Francisco. It is loaded with some of the best restaurants in SF. There a lot of good bets here, but we especially loved the Rose Pistola and the Steps of Rome. These are not just red sauce and pasta places, but a lot of them specialize in some fabulous northern Italian and Roman fare. I have to mention The Stinking Rose, a place that features food that is ultra-garlicky. Just the great sign outside and the straw-covered wine bottles hanging from the ceiling make it worth the trip. After dinner, stroll around the cool little boutiques and stop for an Italian pastry at one of the many awesome little bakeries/coffee houses.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Amazing food and the warmth of North Beach"

If you're looking for some good Italian food, head to North Beach. Macaroni's, the Stinking Rose and North Beach Pizza are just a few examples of amazing dining opportunities. North Beach has its own unique aura. It feature a small town hospitality within the nightlife of bustling city. Never pass up an opportunity to visit with friends and sit in the park, enjoying some Gelato on a summer's night. The lights at night are captivating and you can always find something to do. When it comes to urban fashion, check out The Darkside Initiative, you can definitely find some good clothes there at good prices. From here you can walk to Downtown, Chinatown, or just explore the sights. Don't miss out.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"San Francisco's "Little Italy""

Columbus Street
Columbus St. is a historical and one of the most attractive tourist attractions in San Francisco. Columbus St. is covered with Italian and Mediterranean restaurants, schools, businesses and churches- it is known as the little Italy of San Francisco. Since the late 18th century, the Italian immigrants were very prominent in this area and so helped to shape the neighborhood. During the daytime Columbus St. is very lively and festive, especially for tourists. It is located near cable cars and public transportation and one of the richest neighborhoods in San Francisco (Pacific Heights). The Italian/Mediterranean restaurants in this area are some of the best in the city. Columbus St. is mostly composed of tourist sites and businesses, especially restaurants, but its cross streets, such as Lombard St. are some of the wealthiest and prestigious streets (only the wealthy own property on these streets). There a few apartments that are on Columbus St. and they mostly suit couples or singles. Annual Italian festivals are held on Columbus St. and they are one of the liveliest and fun festivals in the city. Columbus St. is also near Chinatown, downtown and the Marina district.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5
2yrs+

"Very popular street that is the heart of North Beach!"

Columbus Avenue is a very popular and unique street in San Francisco. The street usually stands out as it goes diagonally across the city, cutting through many important streets. Columbus Avenue is also the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach District also known as Little Italy. It is personally one of my favorite streets and districts in the city. It runs on the west side of Washington Square Park, a very large and beautiful park. There are many amazing restaurants on Columbus Avenue. Some of the best Italian food in the country is served here. Columbus will also run right next to San Francisco’s Chinatown. As you head south you will run into San Francisco’s downtown district with many office buildings. Eventually Columbus Avenue will end at the Transamerica Building.
5/5
2yrs+

"The Italian neighborhood."

Like most, or all, older American cities, San Francisco neighborhoods developed along cultural lines. North Beach is the Italian neighborhood & Columbus Avenue is the heart of it. Threatened with extinction in the past as Italians mainstreamed into American culture & Chinatown expanded, North Beach is now more of an attraction than an ethnic neighborhood.

Packed with great restaurants & cafes, you'll also pass historically significant sites like Washington Square. The street has a pleasant walking scale but also offers great biking: you can rent one at several shops along the way.

Columbus runs arrow straight & obliquely across the regular square grid of the San Francisco street plan, carrying cable cars directly across the city. For some reason, this angle seems to open up the rigid grid, making you feel like you are seeing more of the city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Heart of Northbeach"

Columbus Ave. is the heart of the North Beach District. It's a very long though quaint street, with lots of Italian eateries, coffee shops and famed comedy clubs. If you're looking to get the Italian, North Beach experience, just walk down this street and see what you find. Interestingly enough, it butts up next to China Town, so you'll also see the Chinese influence as well.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5
2yrs+

"An interesting street, a good walk"

Columbus Avenue runs diagonally down northeast San Francisco- I don't know why it does, but it makes for a pleasant walk if you go from the Fisherman's Wharf area to Union Square or the main downtown area. The street feels somewhat old-fashioned but has some good places to eat as well as plenty of stores geared towards tourists. It's a safe and pleasant walk which will show you a good chunk of the city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Russian Hill

1

Columbus Ave

4/5
"The Hustle and Bustle of North Beach "
37.8043407487741 -122.416029592193
2

Macondary Ln

4/5
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4

Hyde St

3.5/5
"Great Place For A Date"
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5

Bay St

3/5
"The way to the Bay"
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6

Vallejo St

3/5
"Stepping It Up Through North Beach"
37.7976059058908 -122.416511662245
7

Lombard St

3/5
"LOVEbard street"
37.8021223831976 -122.418766302356
8

Jansen St

2.5/5
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37.8022580000431 -122.413765999395
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37.8012247082483 -122.414399074311

Unranked Streets in Russian Hill

Allen St

3.5/5
"Allen St: Crystal Clean and Clear"
37.7993983342161 -122.419763000987

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