6.6 out of 10

Excelsior

Ranked 70th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7232808369174 -122.428547096036
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Eating Out
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

jh6 jh6
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 18, 2017

"Love this neighborhood"

Love living close to McLaren Park! Love being able to get to BART quickly via walking or public transit. Quiet neighborhood. Parking is the worst problem. Also needs better street cleaning, like so many other places in the city.
Pros
  • Dark Horse restaurant/pub
  • Sip Wine Bar
  • Good Location
  • Relatively Safe
  • Affordable Rents
  • Old school neighborhood feel
Cons
  • Parking is terrible
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Affordable But Boring"

Excelsior or the Excelsior District as it is known is one of those neighborhoods of fairly monotone looking homes lined up in rows at the southern end of the city. The homes here are fairly boring looking and the slope of the hills are pretty soft. You do get some good views looking north in areas and out to the bay, but this is no longer the really beautiful area of SF.

Okay, so what does the Excelsior have to offer?

John McLaren Park—This is not an outstanding park—SF has tons of parks so the competition is pretty high, but I definitely think it is one of draws of this neighborhood. It has a golf course, hiking trails, tennis courts, etc.—just about everything you could want from a park. But don’t come here at night, though I could say the same for every park in the city from Golden Gate Park to San Bruno.

Rents—This is about as reasonable as it gets in terms of rents. You can find rents averaging around $1K throughout Excelsior. So this is definitely a place to look into if you are looking for an inexpensive place to live that is still relatively close to the city.

Restaurants—There are number of Asian food joints along Mission on the western side of the neighborhood (the residents of the neighborhood are fairly evenly divided between East Asians and Hispanic), but none of these eateries are really much to write home about. In other words, I never once remember someone suggesting that we should head over to one of the restaurants in the Excelsior in order to get something. These are more the kind of places that you go to if you happen to be in the area and don’t want to schlep into the city.

Bars—There is a little bit of nightlife here, however, in the form of dive bars like Pissed-Off Pete’s and Bottom’s Up also along Mission. I don’t know if I would call these outstanding, but they are nice places to hang out if you are already in the area.

Schools—Unfortunately the schools are a big drawback for parents moving here. The local elementary, Cleveland has some of the worst ratings in the city, with CST scores in the bottom quarter almost across the board. If the elementary school is like that, you know that this will pretty much follow through at all levels.

Overall, I would say that the neighborhood is okay, though not fantastic. A good spot for living affordably that offers a few okay entertainments, but whose main draw is location. It is close enough to the city that you could be virtually anywhere in the city in about 30 minutes, but also far enough where you could commute to Palo Alto relatively easy.

It is not however a truly attractive neighborhood that people are dieing to move to.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
  • Good Location
  • Relatively Safe
Cons
  • Monotone Look
  • Just Okay Restaurants
  • Bad Schools
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5
2yrs+

"Learn Your Geography"

The streets in Excelsior boast the names of cities around the world including Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Naples and Persia, to name a few. The area has gentle hills and a real suburban feel to it.

Having lived in nearby Portola, I frequented this part of town when going to and from my friend's place over here. The area is pretty clean and relatively safe, not too upscale and not too depressed. A solid area that I'd recommend for living if you don't mind being so far out of the rest of the city.

One of the more inspiring sites is seeing more families than you might see in some of the other neighborhoods and the pace over here is accordingly a bit less frenetic than you might find in more urban parts of the city. Not much in the way of shops over here, but you can enjoy the lovely McLaren Park instead and retail therapy often does not mix with nature. ;)
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Houses and a slight confusion"

Ever since I was young, around middle school to high school, I’ve always been confused about the Excelsior. I have a friend who lives here and whenever I would ask him where he lives, he’d tell me “Excelsior,” and because of my ignorance back then I had no idea what that was, so he’d basically say “Around Mission and Geneva.” And because of my geographical ignorant mind, I thought he meant the Mission District (even though Geneva Avenue is far from the district itself). I think this is the confusion hits a lot of other people as well. I have a couple friends who also tend to mistake the Excelsior for the Mission District. Not sure why, but it is definitely a strange mix up by us. Balboa High School also lies a bit outside of the Excelsior, another confusion many people and I have a lot. We tend to think Balboa High lies farther than where it is. Excelsior houses a lot of homes as well as a big park and several playgrounds. I’d say this is a great place to raise kids as you get the chance to bring them to the nearby playgrounds and parks. Not only that, there is also a golf course in the vicinity. Restaurants aren’t that far off as well, you’ll just need to take short drive towards Ocean Avenue.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Diverse & family friendly"

Excelsior is home to the Excelsior Festival. This annual event celebrates cultural diversity. This neighborhood is indeed quite diverse, with a large population of Latinos and Asians. The Excelsior Festival brings in about 5000 people each year and has free music and entertainment. They even have an “Excelsior’s Got Talent” competition. I am sure that is pretty cute to watch.

There is also Jerry Day, which celebrates Jerry Garcia who was a former Excelsior resident. This event brings out a lot of deadheads to the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, which is also in this neighborhood. You can learn more about this event at jerryday.org.

Excelsior isn’t terribly close to downtown or the waterfront. However, it is near San Bruno National Park, which is a definite plus.

A good thing, of course, about all the cultural diversity in Excelsior is that it means lots of places to eat. There seem to be a lot of Asian and Mexican restaurants.

Excelsior doesn’t seem to have much in the way of cool stores or trendy restaurants at this stage in its development. However, this seems to be a great place for families and I don’t think it would “break the bank” quite as much as many other San Francisco neighborhoods.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Sleepy today, stylish tomorrow?"

Excelsior is a rather sleepy and drab neighborhood on the very outskirts of Downtown. In recent years, I’ve heard more and more people referring to Excelsior as the Outer Mission as prices are driving Missionites further and further out of the Central Mission District and into this area. Some things the neighborhood has going for it are more affordable rent prices (by San Francisco standards), cultural diversity, yummy inexpensive ethnic restaurants, McLaren Park and more sunshine than most other areas of the city. Some of the Excelsior’s negative aspects are it’s distance from the action of downtown, the bland 1950’s architecture, and the traffic along Mission Street that makes it especially hard to make left turns. On the flipside, it’s very fast and convenient to get on the 280 freeway and commute to the South Bay. In terms of public transportation, I find the busses to be very crowded and slow through this area.

Something important to consider is the Excelsior’s potential for growth. I believe that over the next decade, the Excelsior will probably experience a new wave of revitalization as more and more artists and working young people are priced out of the more fashionable and hip areas. It may be the next great neighborhood, if you can summon the patience.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"A family friendly community"

Colorful murals can be found at the Excelsior Playground Courts in the Excelsior District, where you can play tennis or lift weights while your kids play in the recreation center.

Most residences in this neighborhood were built in the 1950s, and include single family homes as well as duplexes and apartments. The area is great for kids with lots to do to keep them busy.

The BART station and highways 101 and 280 are nearby, making transportation accessible.

Most locals recommend eating anywhere but Excelsior and when I inquired about the best place to go in Excelsior, I was told "the Mission." Cheap shot, but we want the truth.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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Best Streets in Excelsior

1

Madrid St

4/5
"Just far enough from mission"
37.7210819693083 -122.433211597762
2

Paris St

3.5/5
"it is a beautiful place to live families mean while the atmosphere of this city is excellent"
37.719888723871 -122.43628960118
3

Edinburgh St

3.5/5
"Diversity in the Excelsior...."
37.7213631776277 -122.431908086514
4

Geneva Ave

3.5/5
"A busy street that can be dangerous after hours."
37.7145777776039 -122.437030572662
5

Moscow St

3/5
"Charming Homes in Crocker Amazon neighborhood"
37.7175641369692 -122.43042117281
6

Congdon St

2/5
"A slightly sloping street"
37.7302813549448 -122.426094569592
7

Craut St

2/5
"A Narrow street with houses"
37.7296597498266 -122.428298750818
"Great for jogs, dog-walking, and general outdoor recreation"
37.7223061076071 -122.420881446955
"Stoneyford Ave: Similar Ave"
37.73018712813 -122.421030070748

Unranked Streets in Excelsior

Amazon Ave

3.5/5
"Decent place to live"
37.7158496852439 -122.436620981062

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