7.3 out of 10

Glen Park

Ranked 48th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7369379045144 -122.432706189037
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Clean & Green
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Nightlife
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Students

Reviews

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

"It Makes a Village"

Stand at the corner of Bosworth and Diamond streets at evening rush hour—BART riders venturing out onto the sidewalks from the station, cars and buses and bicycles ambling past—and you'll feel as if you’ve left San Francisco. Though the city’s hubbub lies just over Billy Goat Hill, in the congestion of Noe Valley and the Mission and the skyscraper grove beyond, things slow perceptibly here. On these four corners, there’s a small grocery, a bank, a café, and a flower shop, reminiscent of a town square on the East Coast, one near the end of a commuter railroad line. Perhaps the village feeling comes from the fact that the city’s usual grid disappears here, the circular streets and avenues and lanes tracing the contours of the surrounding hills and canyon rather than going straight up and down them. Perhaps it’s that everything about this confluence of storefronts and transit and homes suggests “small town”: mature trees, low-slung buildings, modest businesses (there’s another grocer farther up Diamond Street whose name trades on the village theme).

Whatever the human reasons for its village atmosphere, Glen Park is what it is largely owing to its topography. The neighborhood takes its name from Glen Canyon Park, a steep and rugged ravine about a mile long that runs along the neighborhood’s western edge and drains Islais Creek (one of four remaining free-running, above-ground creeks in San Francisco, whose flow has been diminished over the years by surrounding urban development). Much of this park’s land remains as it was when the native Ohlones used it to gather food, including the wild cherries (“islay,” hence the name of the creek). Though there are hiking trails and some concessions to human activity like a recreation center, a day camp, benches, and restrooms, most of the park is considered a natural-resource area, meaning it is quite different from the manicured lawns and gardens found in places like Golden Gate Park and elsewhere. The open grasslands and steep cliffs of the canyon, made of chert and serpentine common in the area, offer habitat for birds (notably raptors, including red-tailed hawks and great-horned owls) and coyotes, as well as rare flying insects, including the damselfly and mission blue butterfly.

Extending on either side of the canyon are blunt hills that proved daunting to urban developers until the late 19th century, when the fields mostly held pastures for dairies run by Swiss farmers, giving the area its moniker of “Little Switzerland.” In the 1890s, three German brothers by the name of Joost (a local street is named for them) laid the tracks for a train linking the area to the Mission District and downtown to the northeast, as well as to San Mateo to the south. This brought the initial wave of home development to the area, augmented significantly after 1906, when refugees from the quake and fire streamed into the neighborhood. Largely Irish and German immigrants, with a few Scandinavians in the mix, they settled into modest cottages that dotted the dirt roads winding along the slopes of the hills. By the 1920s, with the increasing popularity of automobiles, the city began grading and paving the local streets, bringing in more developers, who put up houses in the arts-and-crafts or Mission revival style.

Today, Glen Park is an enclave that still showcases many of these old dwellings, most of them restored and maintained as single-family homes. As with other hilly neighborhoods, the higher up you go, the more recent the development and the more modern the architecture. Hence, you’ll find a row of Queen Annes on the lower part of Surrey Street, arts-and-crafts dwellings on the upper part. Finally, all the way up on Diamond and Moffitt, you’ll find late-20th century construction in the form of condos and small multi-unit buildings.

As its homes might suggest, the neighborhood is inhabited by a mix of people (roughly 9,000 of them), classified according to the U.S. Census Bureau as 65 percent white, 15 percent Asian, and the remainder either African American (5 percent) or mixed/more than one race (15 percent)—with about 14 percent of all races also identifying as Latino. They tend to be approaching middle age (with 39 the median age here) and solidly middle class (with median household income of $80,000 annually). Roughly half own their homes, the other half rent.

Though not known as a shopping or dining destination per se, Glen Park offers its residents (and the curious from adjoining areas as well), a perfectly acceptable array of eateries (ethnic and domestic), cafes, and shops, most of them clustered in the “U” formed by Bosworth, Diamond, and Chenery streets. Bird and Beckett is a beloved independent bookstore on Chenery known for its collection of new and used books as well as used jazz recordings, along with a host of in-store readings and musical performances. Gialina Pizzeria on Diamond is much more than what its name implies, an Italian restaurant that serves a nightly special in addition to a panoply of pies with intriguing ingredients. Tyger’s Diner is known for its large breakfast and brunch offerings, and Chenery Park goes for American classic (with nouvelle touches) at dinner. Modernpast has arty home furnishings, while Glen Park Hardware sticks to the basics. A number of coffeehouses (Higher Grounds, Pebbles, Café Bello) and Canyon Market, a self-described “urban hybrid” grocery with traditional and natural goods, rounds out this village center. Though parking in this commercial district can be tight on weekends, there’s usually plenty of (free) space in the adjoining blocks. To make parking easier for locals who don’t have a garage, the city issues a “D” residential parking permit (at $96 a year), allowing cars with the decal to disregard the two-hour time limits on certain blocks.

The Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library has a new home on Diamond in a recently built, well-lit, roomy building, with amenities like comfortable seating areas, free wi-fi, and a movie collection that includes many Asian films.

Because of the accessibility to area highways (I-280 and US 101), many residents drive to work and to do errands. But easy public transportation is among the pluses of life here. Union Square and Financial District commuters have two options: The centrally located Glen Park BART station (for trips downtown and to the airport) is a short walk from any point in the neighborhood, as is the MUNI “J” streetcar, situated in a median on San Jose Avenue. The No. 44 bus runs up and down Bosworth and then along Glen Canyon Park, and three small lines—the Nos. 35, 36, and 52—serve the area’s hill-clinging streets and lanes, the latter two connecting with BART.

Schools in the area serve a number of groups and needs. Several nurseries and preschools cater to the burgeoning population of Baby Boomer offspring, including the Waldorf-based Neighborhood Play Garden/Preschool/Kindergarten, Glen-Ridge Co-op Nursery, A Child’s Garden Preschool, and Glen Park Montessori. Glen Park Elementary, a public K-5 grade school off Bosworth and Lippard Avenue, rated 5 out of 10 by GreatSchools. St. John’s School on Chenery is a Catholic K-8 elementary that promotes its technology-leaning instruction of math and the sciences.

Criminal activity in Glen Park is light given the population density and proximity to more rough-and-tumble neighborhoods to the south and west, and most crimes here fall in the property categories of vandalism, robbery, and burglary, with the area not immune to the rash of car break-ins and auto thefts experienced elsewhere in San Francisco, according to police stats. Disturbing-the-peace violations are common, especially around bars and near outdoor-drinking spots such as Walter Haas Playground and Billy Goat Hill Park, with the accompanying drunk-driving and intoxicated-person arrests. Finally, assaults are not unheard of, with at least four having occurred in a recent three-month period. There has been only one homicide reported in the last three years.

Real estate here is considered desirable, especially as Noe Valley becomes more crowded and buyers seek options in adjoining districts. The market in the area has recovered somewhat after having slumped in the recent recession, with median sales prices up by about 4 percent in the last year, according to Trulia. A two-bedroom, one-bathroom single-family home can go for anywhere between $650,000 and $720,000, with prices reaching over $1 million for more bedrooms and bathrooms. A two-bedroom, two-bath condo generally goes for $700,000. Rentals are reasonable if difficult to find: Studios (when available) can be had for $1,000; one bedrooms average about $1,800; while a two-bedroom, one-bath single-family home rents for $3,200 a month.

Many longtime residents worry that, with gentrification, their sleepy little “village” of Glen Park will give way to a crowded, busy vortex of “must-list” restaurants and trendy shops. Others welcome the revitalized commercial district as an omen of smart growth. The answer here, as so many other in-demand neighborhoods in San Francisco have witnessed, lies is balancing progress with planning.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A home in this city"

My buddy lived out here a little while ago, so I got to know the area pretty well. Glen Park is a great place to settle down and raise a family, even though it's a little ways off the beaten path.

Like a lot of the best family neighborhoods in San Francisco, this one is cut off from the main grid by a big hill. Get past it a little, and on the other side you'll find this lovely neck of the woods. Most of it's residential, but there's shopping and dining down at the bottom of the hill. Try Tyger's, Le P'tit Laurent, or Red + White for a great food fix. For brunch, I used to go to Eggettes / Rockit Swirl … soo good. If you need a break from all that, Osha Thai offers a good alternative.

Speaking of food, Canyon Market is one hell of a grocery store. It's not Safeway, but you can find a great option for anything you're looking for right here in our Glen Park supermarket.

And don't forget to check out the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library if you ever have a lazy Sunday to kill. This branch has a character to it that's different from the other library branches … it's cozier and more comfortable.
Pros
  • BART station
Cons
  • far removed
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Nicely Situated But Overpriced"

Glen Park is an often overlooked neighborhood just to the west of Bernal Heights on the southern end of SF. For those that aren’t actually residents of Glen Park, if you have heard of Glen Park, it is probably due to presence of the Glen Park BART station.

Glen Park is mostly a residential neighborhood made up of older houses, about half of which date from the 1920’s or before. That means lots of bungalow style walk-ups along the hills, although newer homes tend to be the ones that are farthest up into the hills of Glen Park. Newer, for Glen Park means homes from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The typical Jazz era home here is a walk-up bungalow on a narrow street with a first floor garage. A nice little hovel. The typical post War home is farther up on the hill with a street level parking space and hillside home with large panoramic windows pointing south towards the hills of Mission Terrace and the Crocker-Amazon neighborhood.

The median home price here is $1 mil, with prices ranging from $650 K to $2 million on the high end. (There was also one home that was listed as having sold for $2.65 million--but something doesn’t seem quite right about the listing; it sold for $300 K back in 2009. I will have to look into it further at a later date.)

Glen Park is a cute little main street area with a pub, laundry ,corner market and a couple of restaurants--nothing outstanding but everything that you need within walking distance so you can pop off the BART, get what you need and head on home. You can leave your car parked in your personal first floor garage which most of these homes have. With the BART station on the southern end of the neighborhood, commuting could not be easier.

The public schools are about average here, with Glen Park Elementary and James Lick Middle School both having APIs of 4. I’m not sure which high school serves Glen Park but if it is Balboa, you get more of the same. There are private alternatives nearby that serve the affluent families of Saint Francis Wood, but you will of course have to pay their high tuition fees.

As to crime, there are the typical city worries that you face on this side of the hills. In the last 6 months there have been 17 assaults, 68 burglaries and 19 robberies. Most of the assaults were down by Arlington St., but both burglaries and robberies were pretty spread out across the neighborhood. These are not as high as the city average, but they are not exactly in keeping with suburban rates either.

Overall, I would say that home prices are high enough here that you might be better off buying something a bit farther to the west in the Sunset District, where you get a bit more value for your buy: better schools, safer and less expensive in terms of living overall.
Pros
  • Nice Older Bungalows
  • Good for Commuters
  • Cute Main Street
  • BART station
Cons
  • Overpriced
  • Older Home Problems
  • Some Crime and Mediocre Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 23, 2016
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A quaint neighborhood with one of my favorite hiking locations"

Glen Park is a relatively small neighborhood in San Francisco with a great deal to offer. This area has a lot of little privately owned stores and restaurants. You won’t see as many of the big chains and I, for one, appreciate this fact. "Quaint" is a great adjective to describe Glen Park.

Another good thing about this neighborhood is that is close to Glen Canyon Park. I went for a hike in this area and it was very convenient and pretty. There are people exercising and walking their dogs, but not overwhelming amounts of people. The best thing about Glen Canyon Park is that you really start to feel immersed in nature. You can see a little stream even running through the canyon. I love the fact that this neighborhood has such a great hiking locale and is close to the BART at the same time.

If you are looking for good restaurants, you can find them in Glen Park. I ate at La Ciccia, which was a really nice Italian place. To specify, its actually a “Sardinian” restaurant. Sardinia is an island, so this restaurant serves more like food that you would see on the Mediterranean diet, like seafood, olive oil and fresh vegetables. Delicious!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 23, 2016
Add a comment...
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The BART station is the busy part of this neighborhood"

Although Glen Park is a relatively quiet neighborhood, there is one part of it that receives a lot of attention and traffic, and that is the Glen Park BART Station. There will be a plethora of commuters scrambling to this station during rush hours in the morning and at dusk. The neighborhood itself is like a park, as the name suggests. There are trees and bushes everywhere, making the whole neighborhood green and fresh. You definitely get the suburban feel in this quiet little neighborhood, although there are only small shops and restaurants here and there, you can easily head towards Market Street or elsewhere by the nearby BART station. The area of the neighborhood that is more quiet and peaceful would be the area furthest from San Jose Avenue. I consider San Jose Avenue more of a mini highway/freeway rather than an avenue or a street. San Jose Avenue is busy at times, not only that but MUNI trains also run through San Jose Avenue, contributing more to the noise. There are several parks within the vicinity including Billy Goat Hill Park, or the larger park, Glen Canyon Park. At both parks you will definitely get to relax in peace and enjoy a great scenic view of the area around.
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 23, 2016
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Quiet Respite from the City IN the City"

Glen Park feels like you are in the suburbs, far from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, yet you are really only a brief Muni or BART ride away from shops, restaurants, and a hopping nightlife. There aren’t many places to shop or eat out in the neighborhood, but the few places there are fill with people during rush times. Go to Tiger’s Diner for a delicious breakfast, and stop by Canyon Market for a bottle of wine and some organic veggies for dinner. Moms in jogging gear and nannies with their young charges are the most common sights on the streets of Glen Park; it’s rare that you’ll encounter a busker or beggar here. If you want to feel like you live in the suburbs but still remain close to the action, Glen Park is the neighborhood for you!
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 23, 2016
Add a comment...
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Close to Downtown but peaceful"

Although officially a part of San Francisco, Glen Park is more like a hamlet, sequestered away in its own little valley. Glen Park is a wonderful area, like living in a small town with all the conveniences of the big city next door. Although is feels removed from Downtown, Glen Park has its very own BART station that takes you to the heart of the city within minutes. Other than BART, public transportation can feel somewhat limited compared to other areas of the city because it takes a while to travel along Glen Park’s small streets. Parking is not too bad in Glen Park and almost everything in the neighborhood is walkable or bikeable. However, a vehicle is probably the best way to venture into the city at night, especially if you plan to stay out later than midnight when the BART system shuts down.

Glen Park neighborhood is chocked full of tiny winding streets lined with well-kept homes. There are several community gardens tended with much love. Along the main commercial streets, Diamond and Chenery, there are several inviting cafes and delicious restaurants. The Bird and Beckett Bookstore is exceptional, and it often hosts poetry readings featuring San Francisco legends and emerging talents. Glen Canyon Park lies to the northeast of the neighborhood and is a beautiful place to take a leisurely walk, and is dog friendly. In the spring the hillsides burst with wildflowers.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 23, 2016
Add a comment...
3/5
2yrs+

"The old meets the new"

Glen Park is nestled in a quaint little valley below Diamond Heights and just around the corner from Noe Valley. Many of the homes in Glen Park are situated along the narrow and winding streets of the hills. Real estate offers old San Francisco charm and spectacular views.

There are few stores and restaurants downtown at Diamond and Chenery Streets. There is quite the mixture of old world meets new, as several modern shops have popped up in recent years.

For great food in Glen Park, check out Gialini Pizzeria or Eggettes. If you are looking for a great cup of coffee, you can't pass up Pebbles Cafe at 2852 Diamond Street, where the cream is rich and the oils are congealing. Coffee is served in a La San Marco cup with no saucer with dentist office music playing in the background.

Access is easy into Glen Park with a BART station and quick access to Interstate 280. There is much to offer and even more to explore, with hiking trails close by at Glen Canyon Park.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
CanW
CanW Hi, Any thought comparing Glen Park with the area around CCSF? I'm trying to find somewhere around here so that I can easily get to 280.
Jun 24, 2016
Add a comment...
3/5
2yrs+

"Oh What an Aroma!"

Glen Park has lots of Bay Laurel trees and is really a wonderful fragrance to inhale (well, if you like the smell of eucalyptus that is). Set in among the hills are some great drives, walks, shops and trees to enjoy.

On the southern edge is easy access to public transit through BART where a few buses connect as a transfer point. For those interested in getting on the highway, the Monterey exit is right there.

Beware though -- I had a horrible 4 car head on collision making a left onto the highway heading toward Monterey Blvd from the BART station. There's a little hill that makes it tough to see oncoming traffic and tough for them to see you also.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Travelling to Glen Park?

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Best Streets in Glen Park

1

Sussex St

4/5
"A great place to live."
37.7371700007253 -122.439276999845
2

Lippard Ave

3.5/5
"Nice street in Glen Park"
37.7342712428452 -122.435714629973
3

Conrad St

3.5/5
"Pleasant and peaceful"
37.7372723960675 -122.436290992961
4

Arbor St

3/5
"A quiet residential street in Glen Park."
37.7378602476642 -122.439054489638
5

Bemis St

3/5
"Small street with a view"
37.737114023762 -122.430588554821
6

Digby St

2.5/5
"Great view from where you live!"
37.7395876572122 -122.432520050647
7

Farnum St

2.5/5
"Great Street of Mid Century Homes leading to Walter Haas Park"
37.7391117530814 -122.434165411574
8

Brompton Ave

2.5/5
"A nice street in Glen Park"
37.7336954997373 -122.43500325479

Unranked Streets in Glen Park

Addison St

3.5/5
"Nice looking houses, peaceful street"
37.7400581475447 -122.435179904179

Chenery St

3.5/5
"Very peaceful and friendly"
37.7357775008656 -122.439271999339

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