6.7 out of 10

Nob Hill

Ranked 66th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7941296340029 -122.415241175365
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Nightlife
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

4/5
2yrs+

"Great workout"

Nob Hill lies on a high altitude.
Pros
  • Tram
  • Good Transportation
  • Gorgeous Hotels
Cons
  • Lower Nob Hill is a bit sketchy
  • near the tenderloin
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Nob Hill, from a Local and Real Estate Professional's POV"

I live on Nob Hill right across from Grace Cathedral and I'm also a real estate professional specializing in this area.

What's not to love about Nob Hill? It's near everything. Minutes from Union Square, the Wesfield, the Embarcadero, Chinatown but residential enough: safe, quiet, family-friendly. it offers amazing views, safe walks, shopping options (Trader Joe's, Whole foods) and recreational activities of all kinds. In my experience, rent around the area ranges from $2500 to as much as you're willing to spend.

However, a distinction must be made between Nob Hill and Lower Nob Hill or "Tendernob". As you head downhill towards the Tenderloin, you may have to choose between affordable rents or the safety and quiet of Nob Hill. It is also not as family friendly. On the other hand, it offers a variety of nightlife options, restaurants and bars. Rent-wise, I've come across studios and 1 or 2 bedrooms from $1200 to $2000.

Hope this helps and I would love to be of assistance in the future. Have a lovely rest of 2013!!!
Pros
  • Safety
  • good eateries
  • Cable Car Museum
  • Gorgeous Hotels
Cons
  • near the tenderloin
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Mix of neighborhoods"

San Francisco just doesn’t get any more San Francisco than Nob Hill. The grunge and grime of the Tenderloin borders it on the south. The other-worldliness of Chinatown inhabits its East. And the clamor of Van Ness takes up space on its west. But away from its edges, Nob Hill seems affected by none of this. Cable cars chug up and down its steep slopes, some of the city’s ritzier hotels sit on its peak, concert halls, and brilliant views of the rest of the city.

Want more of the peace and quiet that Nob has to offer? Stroll up to its northern neighbor, Russian Hill. Both peaks offer less hustle and bustle than the rest of the city, some great corner stores and out-of-the-way bars and restaurants, and great views of all of San Francisco.

Heading down off the hill, Polk Street on the neighborhood’s west side offers some of what the hill’s peak is missing: bars, cheap eateries, coffeehouses, and hangout spots. Don’t miss out on good cuisine at The Bell Tower, a classic sandwich at Miller’s East Coast Deli, and great deals on good wine at The Jug Shop. And stick around for the fresh apple fritters that Bob’s Donuts churns out at 11PM --- San Francisco’s singular don’t-miss event!
Pros
  • good eateries
Cons
  • near the tenderloin
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
2yrs+

"For the young and trendy"

Nob Hill is a middle to upper class neighborhood and home to many young urban professionals. It is situated in between Russian Hill (to the north) and the Tenderloin (to the south). The district is split between hilly residential blocks that saturate many of the side streets and commercial areas which cluster around Polk Street and Van Ness. The residential neighborhood is made up of three to four story Victorian style apartment buildings. Many of these upscale residents’ are home to trendy post graduates and young families. The commercial district is mainly situated on Van Ness, offering big brand name stores, car dealerships and mattress outlets.

Nob Hill is also known for its lively nightlife. On weekends, Polk Street is usually densely populated with recent college graduates and offers plenty of dive bars, cocktail lounges, clubs and sports taverns. In many ways, its reminiscent of the downtown college life the avid customers are so used to. During the day, many locals like buzzing around the corner coffee shops, upscale boutiques, chic restaurants and neighborhood book stores. Moreover, the commercial streets are always bustling with window shoppers and people stuffing their faces on restaurant patios.

For visitors, transportation rides up and down most roads. On weekdays, line 1 is full of young urban professionals commuting down to San Francisco’s financial district. While the 12 runs east and west. If you’re in between buses, taxis drive through the neighborhood all the time. Also, the cable car chimes through Nob Hill and up and down Hyde Street. Parking is almost impossible to come by unless its during the late morning or early afternoon. If it’s lodging you want, the area offers famous hotels that group around Huntington Park including the fancy Fairmont Hotel.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Not Snob Hill Anymore"

Okay so there is the old joke that is should have been called “Snob Hill” and all that, but actually, if you look at it in terms of statistics, you get a little bit of a different picture. Take a gander:

Median Income: $56K

Average Rent: $1,100

Given that overall, the SF median income is $70K and average rent is $1300, that makes living in Nob Hill, slumming. Well, sort of anyway. This is about average for the country as a whole, but a whole lot more affordable than some Nob Hill’s neigbhors.

Why the lower rents and incomes? I suspect it has something to do with the lower reaches of Nob Hill that border Downtown and the areas surrounding the Tenderloin. Crime is higher in these area as well and people are a lot more packed in. About 51,000/sq. mile vs. 16500 of SF overall. That is pretty densely packed and basically means a lot of people living in tall apartment buildings.
Pros
  • Affordable Apartments
  • Good Transportation
  • Cable Car Museum
  • good eateries
Cons
  • Crime More of an Issue
  • Packed
  • near the tenderloin
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Very eclectic neighborhood"

Nob Hill used to be what Pacific Heights is now. It is a centrally located neighborhood that has great views because of the hill much of it is perched upon. So, all of the big money of the late 19th century decided to build their palaces there. This is where all four of the Big Four (Stanford, Hopkins, Huntington and Fair) lived at the turn of the 20th century. The 1906 earthquake destroyed every one of their mansions and people decided to rebuild in other, sturdier neighborhoods. What a bummer, right? Anyway, all of the land was either donated for a public park - in the case of the Huntington Park-- or, converted into a hotel named after the person's mansion that used to stand there. The Ritz Carlton is also at the top of Nob Hill. But, the hotels are really the only thing about the neighborhood that are still Swank. Oh, the Cathedral is really beautiful and has great concerts, but that's about it. The grandeur of the hotels is a sharp contrast to the rest of what Nob Hill now is. The further down the hill you go, the more eclectic and grittier the neighborhood gets. A lot of young professionals live down around Polk Street, and because of that, a ton of little bars and neighborhood restaurants have popped up in that area. My particular favorite Polk Street spot is Argonaut books. It's a great bookshop that specializes in California and San Francisco history. It's such a cool spot and I love when specialty shops like this stay alive for the long haul. Chinatown is slowly starting to creep in on Nob Hill from the East, so the demographic is becoming a lot more Chinese and the businesses are following suit. The tenderloin which borders Nob Hill to the south is a pretty sketchy neighborhood in my opinion. A lot of people like the grit, but I've walked the streets of Manhattan at 3 am without blinking and the Tenderloin scares me late at night. There's just a weird energy to the place. But, a lot of people like it. Union Square is also abutting Nob Hill and that's one of the biggest tourist nightmares in all of San Francisco. So, basically, there are all kinds of people in this neighborhood on any given day. That's one of the things that makes SF great. But, it also can make it dirty and noisy. Nob Hill wouldn't be my first choice for a place to live, but the buildings at the top of the hill are beautiful, it's centrally located, and very diverse which is perfect for a lot of people . . . .mostly young people.
Pros
  • Gorgeous Hotels
  • good eateries
  • Affordable Apartments
  • Good Transportation
Cons
  • near the tenderloin
  • Crime More of an Issue
  • Packed
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Hyde & Jackson - Best Restaurant"

Most of the good stuff is in the upper corner of Nob Hill at Polk and Washington, and at the south end near Union Square on Mason between O'Farrell to the south and Sutter to the north.

The higher on the hill you are, the ritzier the shops and pricier the restaurants, with a couple exceptions. I have repeated my favorite day in nob hill half a dozen times. Here it is:

After a 16 mile Sunday morning run, my then boyfriend asked me to hike with in Castle Rock state park. At the outlook point where you can see the ocean beyond the trees, he proposed and I accepted.

Then, we drove to Union Square, parked underground, and rode the trolley car past the Trolley Car Museum to Hyde and Jackson, where our favorite restaurant is. Hyde Street Fish, owned by Vietnamese family, has four amazing must-haves:

1) the clam chowder
2) the crab cake appetizer
3) the fish cooked in parchment paper in a heavenly broth of fresh herbs, lemon, wine, tender potatoes, and julienned vegetables. (en papillote)
4) the velvety smooth, crunchy topped, vanilla bean dotted creme brulee.

Reasonable corkage fees, but they have an amazing wine selection. Make a reservation.

After dinner, grab the trolley car back to Union Square.

This makes a great night whether you just got proposed to or not.

I also went to the Grace Cathedral for an art history class assignment. Since then, I've been to Florence and seen the original Ghiberti bronze doors. The SF copy is pretty good. Also, you can see people walking the labyrinth in the foyer. I liked doing this, but pick a not so busy time because it's a little hard to be contemplative with people mulling about.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"More diverse than it seems"

Nob Hill is one of San Francisco’s most historic, elegant and wealthy neighborhoods. Once a secluded hillside home to Gold Rush millionaires and railroad barons, many of Nob Hill’s mansions have been replaced by luxury hotels such as The Fairmont and The Ritz-Carlton. The beautiful Grace Cathedral sits atop Nob Hill surrounded by Huntington Park. Grace Cathedral hosts an incredible line-up of concerts throughout the year featuring Classical, Choral and Chamber music. Nob Hill is also home to the fascinating Cable Car Museum on Masonic where you can witness working cable lines in action.

As you descend down from the top of Nob Hill, the neighborhood quickly diversifies. On the northwest side, Nob Hill begins to blend into Chinatown. On the south side, it borders Union Square and to the southwest, Nob Hill melts into the Tenderloin and is generally referred to as the Tendernob. For this reason, Nob Hill offers a variety of homes and apartment buildings at many price points. Public transportation is very good in this area. Driving and parking are challenging due to the steep hills and limited parking spaces. Any walk around the Nob Hill area will be rigorous due to the neighborhood’s steep hills.

There are many incredible restaurants in Nob Hill. Among the best are Fleur de Lys, Grubsteak and Le Colonial. If you are a fan of oysters, Swan’s Oyster Depot is well worth the long wait to sit at the counter and savor shellfish, crab and lobster piled high.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Old fashionably nice"

Nob Hill definitely holds up its name, this neighborhood is full of hills. From what I remember when passing by Nob Hill is that the roads were under construction most of the time. Although it creates some traffic and a non-smooth ride, the outcome of these new roads are very beneficial to the look of the community and to your car. The houses on Nob Hill are old fashioned yet look pretty new and refurbished. This is what makes the houses here look so gorgeous. I’d say that living here is for people who make a pretty high income, or for those living on a retirement fund.

Not only is Nob Hill well known for its hills and houses, but also the fact that the famous cable car system of San Francisco that runs through Nob Hill. The cable car is one attraction everybody in San Francisco must ride on at least once. Not only is it a great way to tour the city, but it is an experience that must be met. However, riding on the cable car can be scary at times since it runs up insanely steep hills and will eventually go down insanely steep hills. There is also a Cable Car Museum on Washington and Mason Street.

Nob Hill has many hills leading down to Chinatown, and personally for me, it is the easiest way to get to Chinatown. It feels like a roller coaster though because when you’re reaching the border line of Nob Hill and Chinatown it is literally a mountain. Basically you’re going uphill towards Chinatown on Nob Hill, and once you reach Chinatown its straight downhill. And once again, it can be pretty scary, hopefully your car brakes are in top notch condition.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Interesting blend, but mostly for rich people"

Nob Hill is a famous San Francisco neighborhood. There are quite a few landmarks that you will want to see if you are just visiting San Francisco and want to get a taste. Nob Hill also is home to some fancy hotels in Huntington Park. If you want to stay at a “snooty” hotel, Nob Hill is the place to go!

In fact, Huntington Park is the center of Nob Hill. It offers the Fountain of the Tortoises, which resembles the famous fountain in Rome.

Mostly, this is a rich person’s area. There are lots of wealthy families and yuppies.

Nob Hill also has some quintessential San Francisco attractions like the Cable Car Museum. Plus, you are not too far from the waterfront and Fisherman’s Wharf.

However, on the down side, Nob Hill is next to the Tenderloin neighborhood. This means that you will start to see some dive bars and crime protruding into the area. Also Chinatown juts into Nob Hill as well. It is difficult to see where Nob Hill ends and Chinatown begins. But who cares really? This is an interesting neighborhood and a good place to get a feel for San Francisco life.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Two Faces of a City"

More than anywhere else (except perhaps the Golden Gate Bridge), Nob Hill is the place outsiders associate with San Francisco. The dizzying views, clanging cable cars, prime hotels, and other landmarks combine with the hurlyburly on major streets to impart a feeling of being smack in the middle of everything exciting and invigorating about the city by the bay.

But the look and feel of Nob Hill from a tourist’s vantage point changes significantly when you examine the area from the perspective of a resident. This compact, busy, often crowded neighborhood, while offering proximity to most of San Francisco’s urbane attractions, also comes with some urban drawbacks: noise, steep streets, expensive housing, and difficult parking. Still, that doesn’t keep a great number of folks, rich and striver alike, from happily calling this place home.

Historically, the neighborhood once drew California’s wealthiest. Gold Rush tycoons and silver magnates, followed by the railroad and land barons who figured prominently in the great canvas of California’s post-statehood history, flocked to the area, 370 feet above the crass, unpaved, and unruly streets of the Barbary Coast that extended from the waterfront. Many built homes not of wood but brick or even stone, impressive sights in a frontier city where most buildings were sheathed in redwood clapboards. With the cable cars in the 1870s, Nob Hill became ever more desirable, and mansions and faux chateaux began to fill in the lots all around the slopes of the steep hill. But the 1906 earthquake tumbled a number of these famous edifices, and the ensuing fire finished off the ones remaining.

In rebuilding, Nob Hill began to take on the character it has today: a destination for tourists at its center (the small Huntington Park at the summit, flanked to the east and south by four high-end hotels—the Fairmont, the Stanford Court, the Mark Hopkins, and the Huntington—and by the monolithic Grace Cathedral to the west, not only a landmark but a significant community resource), with a succession of apartment blocks and smaller single-family residences (which have been carved up into smaller condos today) dropping down the hill’s slopes, especially to the west. Only the Flood Mansion, rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1906 calamity, reminds visitors of the 19th-century character of this hilltop. By the neighborhood’s western extremity (Van Ness), the ritzy feel of the summit deflates into tight rows of rental units, relieved here and there by a high-rise or hospital, such as St. Francis Memorial, on Hyde and Pine, a Catholic facility with a well-used emergency room and a staff of oncology experts known throughout the United States. The hospital also hosts a sports medicine clinic, a burn center, and a wound-healing division.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the neighborhood today is a melting pot of sorts, with middle-aged and retired whites predominating (50 percent) in the population of about 25,000, followed by increasing numbers of Asians (35 percent), and a mix of races and ethnicities comprising the rest of an increasingly young, upwardly mobile populace. As for schools, given the relatively well-heeled population of the neighborhood (parents with the means usually pay for private education) and small population of school-aged kids, the only public school in the neighborhood is Spring Valley Elementary, which offers a science-intensive curriculum and received a 7 out of 10 GreatSchools rating. There are no public middle or high schools here, but the Cathedral School for Boys, associated with Grace Cathedral, has a K-8 curriculum considered one of the city’s best.

Buses grind up and down a third of the neighborhood’s streets. The area is a checkerboard of lines running to the Financial District to the east (the 1, the 12, and the 30X) to North Beach (the 19), and to South of Market (the 27). It has one of the biggest concentrations of the city’s remaining three cable car lines, with about half of the tracks running through the neighborhood, which also houses the Cable Car Museum, a cavernous warehouse that displays the crinkum-crankum gears and pulleys underlying the system, fascinating for its Rube Goldberg ingenuity. Taxis are also an option in the area; because of the swarm of tourists on and around the top of Nob Hill, it’s also possible to hail a cab from the street here.

As with any neighborhood so close to big hotels and tourist venues, parking is difficult. Locals get the “C” resident permit allowing them to park for up to 72 hours in designated areas, and they also learn how to parallel park on steep inclines (wheels turned toward the curb if facing downhill; away from the curb if facing uphill).

Crime can also be an issue, with the great number of people moving through the area at any given moment (either tourists or residents of adjoining areas passing through or frequenting bars and restaurants). According to San Francisco Police Department statistics, the most frequent crimes include car break-ins and vehicle thefts (more than a dozen of each in any three-month period over the last few years), robberies (a dozen or more every three months), and burglaries (several dozen every three months). The incidence of disturbing the peace (noise nuisances caused by car alarms, verbal disputes, and the like) and vandalism (graffiti, for the most part) has climbed recently. Though violent crime is moderate (about 24 assaults in any three-month period), murder has not been an issue in the last three years, with no homicides on record.

Shops and corner stores can be found on most streets, with concentrations of them lining Polk and Van Ness on the western perimeter and California on its southern edge. If you’re looking to stock the larder, the Whole Foods at California and Franklin (just outside the neighborhood limit, across Van Ness) is a good option for high-end produce, meats, and cheese, especially if the standard grocery look and feel of Cala Foods (at California and Hyde) grows wearisome.

Aside from the tourist hotels at the summit, each with its bars and restaurants (i.e., the Fairmont Tonga Room and Laurel Court; the Stanford Court’s Aurea; the Mark Hopkins’ Nob Hill and Top of the Mark, etc.), this neighborhood, particularly on its western side (up and down Hyde and Polk streets), beckons with small restaurants both sophisticated and homey—Hyde Street Bistro, and its Provençale-tinged menu; Hyde Street Seafood House and Raw Bar, with its emphasis on local fish; U Lee, a nook with a few tables that keeps the locals supplied with some of the city’s best Chinese food; and 1550 Hyde, a café/wine bar with a market-oriented menu and large wine list. Polk Street between Broadway and California also harbors a stretch of restaurants, including Swan’s Oyster Depot (a classic raw bar/chowder house) and Hahn’s Hibachi, a Korean barbecue. Nob Hill Café is a pasta-and-pizza bistro on Taylor, near Grace Cathedral, and Rue Lepic is a cozy French restaurant on Pine that sits in the shadow of the Mark Hopkins but offers reliable standards. A couple of the city’s top-rated steakhouses, Harris’s and House of Prime Rib, stand two blocks apart on Van Ness. The area around Polk and California is also the best bet for nightlife (though homeless and panhandlers congregate here as well); locals and visitors alike frequent the Lumiere (a small art-house cinema), numerous ethnic restaurants, and nightclubs like the Red Devil Lounge, as well as a collection of bars, gay and straight, for all ages and tastes.

Given its adjacency to Union Square and the Financial District, housing can be expensive. According to figures from real-estate firm Coldwell Banker, condos sell anywhere from $300,000 to $900,000, while single-family homes go from $1.3 to $2.4 million. With these prices, it’s not difficult to see that almost three-quarters of residents here rent, rather than own, though monthly rentals for a studio range from $900 upward, while a one-bedroom apartment starts at $1,300 and can range up to $2,500. A Nob Hill address can still command a high price, even as the neighborhood transitions from a quiet, somewhat starchy district into a hipper, more diverse, crowded area with a new and young, albeit chaotic, energy.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Definitely A Chill SF Neighborhood"

The Nob Hill area has several separate regions due to the fact that there's a gigantic hill in the middle. Along Polk St there's lots of restaurants, bars, shops, etc. A few blocks south in the Tenderloin is great, cheap food but with the cost of going through all the homeless. Cable cars run from Nob Hill to the Financial District and Fisherman's Wharf, making for great work or weekend rides. Due to the hills, there generally aren't too many bums and the streets are relatively clean by SF standards. Car break-ins aren't intense, but they definitely happen still.

Overall, a very fun atmosphere with lots of diversity. Close to lots of areas with many opportunities around every corner.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Different and mixed"

I lived on the corner of Geary and Leavenworth for 10 years. I was officially in Nob Hill, but the Tenderloin was right across the street. My building was great. They only rented to respectable people with jobs, but it has since changed hands and I don't know who lives there now. I had floor to ceiling window that opened out into the air. It was a wonderful apartment if you like a lot of natural light. My plants thrived there. It is also one of the warmer parts of the city so I kept windows open most of the year.

Each building in the area has a different character, and a different type of tenant, so it's important to choose the building wisely. Watch to see who goes in. Ask the manager what sort of people live there. Ask about noise, drugs, pests. Most of the managers will tell the truth.

The downside was all the noise. I sleep like a rock so the noise never bothered me. Other people who have lived in the building couldn't handle it and moved out. If you are a light sleeper this is not the place for you. The Geary bus stops at the corner at Geary and Leavenworth every few minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during the night.

Also the area is a red light district. The working girls for the most part leave people alone, but they do make noise. I never had any problems with them other than once in a while when they got to loud at night. I just yelled for them to hush up a bit and they did.

The area is full of drug dealers, but they leave the non druggies alone. They are not a problem as long as you mind your own business.

There are many places to eat in the neighborhood, all within a few blocks. Most of the restaurants are very reasonably priced. The eating places were from every possible ethnic cuisine. If you like to eat out, you can eat in a different place every night for a month without going into the same place twice. The restaurants are one of the best parts of the area.

The close proximity to Union Square is great if you like to shop. Also China Town and North Beach are just a short walk using the Stockton Street tunnel.

Street parking is hard to find at times. I rented a space to save the hassle of looking for parking. There are many parking garages in the area that rent on an hourly, daily or monthly basis.
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Gorgeous Area, Beautiful Sites"

For a dose of some spiritual bliss, check out Grace Cathedral. Apart from the inside, you can enjoy the amazing, though somewhat gruesome, brass sculptures on the doors on the outside. In the courtyard nearby you can walk the labyrinth.

Across the way is a lovely little park. If you're a night owl, you'll surely enjoy it late at night in the spring-fall seasons.

Looking for rejuvenation? Enjoy the plus treatments at the Nob Hill Spa.

And just down the block you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city while taking in a drink at the Top of the Mark in the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"A little taste of everything"

Nob Hill has has a splash of everything San Francisco. On Mason Street you will find the Cable Car Museum - a great place to brush up on your cable car facts if you wan to be a true San Franciscan. Here is where you can collect all of your cable car souvenirs.

When you need your carbohydrate fix, locals tend to frequent Il Cartoccio, a petite restaurant located off the lobby of the Nob Hill hotel. I have had the gnocchi in lemon cream sauce and it is truly heaven on earth.

Shopping is unique in Nob Hill and again, there is something for everyone. Venus Superstar is your very own punk-rock boutique where you will find jewelry and paintings from local artists as well as many edgy t-shirts.

A wide variety of night life hot spots populate the area and accomodate whatever you desire. The Hyde Out on Hyde Street is a laid back and easygoing neighborhood bar that offers free popcorn and 30 beers on tap. If you are looking for something a bit more trendy, try The Red Room, a very hip, dar, and red bar. But, go on weeknights if you want to avoid the masses. The oversized couches and cosmos make for lots of rose-colored conversation.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Travelling to Nob Hill?

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Best Streets in Nob Hill

1

Larkin St

4/5
"Great place for families,close to everything!"
37.793666999617 -122.419618694353
2

Clay St

4/5
"Great place to have a baby!"
37.7932480649139 -122.414276842085
3

Broadway St

3.5/5
"I kept getting lost and landing on this street, and wishing my destination were there."
37.7966322302523 -122.416546492609
4

Sacramento St

3.5/5
"Ultimate Shopping Experience"
37.7922889854079 -122.414709225677
5

Pleasant St

2/5
"A lovely little pleasant st"
37.7928880028567 -122.413560501143

Unranked Streets in Nob Hill

Auburn St

3.5/5
"Quiet, Clean, Decent"
37.7957495000299 -122.41241999949

Codman Pl

2/5
"A small alleyway street in Chinatown"
37.7941096664559 -122.409960000372

Golden Ct

2.5/5
"Earthquake in 1906, now named after resident"
37.7919546662654 -122.415479001817

John St

3.5/5
"John St: Pleasant"
37.7959545028542 -122.410809001167

Kimball Pl

2.5/5
"Kimball Street: A mini Jungle"
37.792100768336 -122.416290337073

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