7.1 out of 10

Outer Sunset

Ranked 55th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.750239228842 -122.499440971677
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Beach Lovers

Reviews

4/5
2yrs+

"Safe Neighborhood.......Shady at Night"

I live in the Outer Sunset. My kids and I occasionally walk to the beach which takes about 10 minutes from our house. There are nice coffee houses such as Andytown on Lawton & 43rd Ave., Java Beach on Juday & 48th Ave. and the one on Sloat Blvd. My kids attend Sunset Elementary School and A.P. Giannini Middle School which are next door to each other with the Ortega Library in between them. This is a wonderful neighborhood for families.

As far as the weather, we do get the sun (believe it or not).....it's just a little moody from time to time. If you're a runner/jogger/walker, the fresh brisk air is perfect so you're not running on a smoldering hot weather. Golden Gate Park is walking distance as well, and you can smell the lovely eucalyptus as you walk through it.

It's pretty diverse here. There's a lot of Asian families in this area. Irving Street, Noriega Street and Clement Street (in the Richmond District) are like mini-Chinatown, so you don't need to go all the way to Chinatown for your Asian food and shopping.

At night time, you can get the "riff-raff" from the beach, so lock your doors and close your windows, but for the most part is a quiet neighborhood.

Most houses are attached, so you're basically sharing walls. You'll hardly see any lawns because it's mostly cemented - which is a drag; however, the City has been doing their best to beautify the sidewalks with planting trees and flowers. A 2 bedroom/1 bath single family home would probably be $2,600 per month at its lowest. This neighborhood used to be cheapest, but there are bidding wars for fixer uppers for a $1M, which really sucks!
Pros
  • Beach
  • Decent homes
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Beware of the weather"

I don't spend a lot of time in the Outer Sunset, because it's very far from where I live and the weather there scares me. One time I was there and one second everything was fine, then a cold wind swept in quickly, and there was a torrential downpour all of a sudden. I never happen to come here during good weather and the Outer Sunset is known for having constant fog.

Besides the weather, the good point is that this area is right on the beach. I'm from the east coast so I don't always see the benefits of the Pacific Ocean. There's a beach, but you can't go in without a wetsuit. What's the point? The water is COLD! However, in this neighborhood, you'll often see surfers trying to catch some waves on a sunny day. It's a fun activity to watch if you have time. Bring a lot of extra layers if you venture near the beach though; it's windy.

To get to the Outer Sunset, I usually take the N-Judah. It's a Muni line that runs right along the edge of the park on Judah St.
Pros
  • Beach
  • Zoo
Cons
  • Harder to get to
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
2yrs+

"Sleepy Beach Town"

Outer Sunset is such an interesting neighborhood because it seems to defy the normal contingency of a beach town. It is about as on the beach as you get get in San Francisco proper but no one wants to live here. It's kind of crazy. People often complain about how gloomy it always is in Outer Sunset, but honestly, it's gloomy in most parts of SF year round so that doesn't seem like a deal breaker if you live in the city already. It's also kind of far which lends itself to the undesirable quality of the area, but I always think, it's on the beach, so what the hell else do you want to be close to? A lot of people think it's too far from the central part of San Fran, though, and if you add to only one means of public transport and the fact that it's always cold and crappy here, then you have found yourself one of the only beach towns in California that no one wants to live in (although, I probably still would).
Because it isn't a popular neighborhood, the rent is still relatively cheap and the demographic is wholly middle class. It's all like 1960's in this part of town-- beach homes that haven't been fixed up in years and all of your neighbors are teachers and cops. It's like being in a time warp, but I kind of like it. It's really laid back here and the surf is decent if you can handle the cold.
The one noteworthy thing about this neighborhood is that the SF Zoo is here -- although I don't find that noteworthy. There is nothing more depressing to me than a bunch of caged up animals with being accosted by bratty toddlers, but that's just me. Golden Gate Park abuts Outer Sunset too. How can you beat the beach and the park?!
There are a lot of restaurants in the nabe (like most of the city) but I honestly can't vouch for any of them. . . . nobody wants to go out here so I've never gotten to eat here. I have, however, grapped a hot drink and watched people surf the ice water which was entertaining enough. It's pretty sleepy as far as bars and shopping go, being that it's a worker's kind of neighborhood, but it's close to some fun, it's cheap, and it's beautiful.
Pros
  • Beach
  • Decent homes
  • Affordable Rents for SF
Cons
  • Harder to get to
  • Not much nightlife
  • Not much sunshine
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Cold But Pleasant"

The Sunset District is the Richmond District’s southern twin. It stretches out just to the south of Golden Gate Park. It is a bit cut off from the rest of the SF, so many SF residents find it geographically undesirable, which is a good thing because that usually means some better deals on rents. Which is in fact borne out by the prices here, you can find a two-bedroom here for $2000 on average (and in some spots, even lower). There are also a fair number of 3 and 4 bedroom places here (though these are fairly small bedrooms).

Outer Sunset nestles right up against the southern portion of ocean beach, though the homes are not the kind that you would expect for beach front property. They pretty much look like the kinds of homes you would expect to find throughout the city, tiny and bunched close together. Unlike other places along the California Coast, the beach doesn’t seem to raise prices very much.

I mostly know outer Sunset because on the southwest corner is where you find the SF zoo. It’s sort of a weird spot for a zoo I guess, being right next to ocean, but it makes it really beautiful, though always fairly cold and foggy (you definitely want to wear layers if you are going to visit it).

This actually seems like a fairly reasonable place to get a home if you have a family. In terms of school, Outer Sunset is home to St. Ignatius College Prep, which seems like a fairly good school (its always hard to say with private schools since they don’t have completely open records the way public schools do). The public high school is Lincoln High in Central Sunset. Lincoln is sort of a middling school with average test scores and ranks below most of the schools you find in the more affluent areas of SF—which is probably the drawback for most families.

In terms of things like supermarkets and other conveniences of suburban living, it is still mostly little ethnic markets in the Sunset with the exception of a centrally located Safeway right at the heart of the district.
So, put simply, if you don’t mind the cold and fog that seem to constantly blow off the ocean, the Outer Sunset could be a great spot to set down roots with your family.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents for SF
  • Zoo
  • Decent homes
Cons
  • Harder to get to
  • Not much nightlife
  • Not much sunshine
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
3/5
2yrs+

"Ethnic and Urban"

Outer Sunset is an ethnic and diverse community, with more than a third of its residents being Asian or Pacific Islanders. From block to block and corner to corner you will find an Irish bar, Thai noodle house, Chinese dry cleaner, or Vietnamese restaurant.

The San Francisco Zoo is always a hit among tourists and locals. Located on Sloat Boulevard near the Great Highway, the zoo exhibits koalas, lions, meerkats, and its very own Family Farm. Also located in Outer Sunset is Lake Merced. This large urban lake includes a parkland that allows you to jog, walk, boat, fish, or even skeet shoot at the Pacific Rod and Gun Club.

Check out Bashful Bull Too!! for your fine chicken-fried steak with country gravy cuisine. This restaurant is known for your "last full breakfast before the Pacific."

You will find lots of shopping in Outer Sunset. Great shops include: White Rose Boutique (a funky women's clothing store), Free as a Bird (a store full of kites and nothing but kites), and the San Francisco Wine Trading Company (domestic and imported wines).

If you love activity - Outer Sunset is your community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
2yrs+

"Trendy neighborhood with beachfront views"

Located in the south west corner of San Francisco, Outer Sunset is somewhat isolated from the rest of the city. However, the location is hard to beat considered it boasts waterfront views and housing within walking distance to the beach. The people who occupy the area are predominately white and middle class. But in recent years, more ethnic groups have been moving into the neighborhood.

Mostly a flat and urban suburb, the neighborhood is relatively quiet offering a great place to raise a family. Cafes are frequently visited among the locals while small businesses, sporting good stores and furniture boutiques are sprouting up all over the area.

Commuting into the city can take relatively long, especially if you work deep into the Financial District (around 40 minutes). But many locals use the Muni (N-Judah line) which provides a faster and more direct route. Public street parking is a bit easier to come by in this area with the exception of rush hour and weeknights.

For recreation, the San Francisco Zoo is one of the biggest attractions in the neighborhood. Elsewhere, you can find the Harding Park Municipal Golf Course conveniently located next to Lake Merced.

Since the neighborhood is located right next to the Pacific Ocean, wet-suited surfers frequent the beach on sunny days. Every once in a while you can get a glimpse of hang gliders launching themselves off the cliffs of Ocean Beach.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Sunny beachfront California, without the sun"

If Los Angeles had a satellite in San Francisco, this would almost be it, aside from one glaring oversight - the sunshine here is at a minimum. However, this is as close to a beachfront community as you will get in San Francisco. With the Pacific Ocean right there and clean, perfect breaks, this is actually a fantastic place for surfers who do not mind the cold and the fog. Be forewarned, however, that the water is ALWAYS cold here.

Aside from the beach, the fog, and the zoo (located in the southern part of the area), there is not much to report back on the area. The homes are pretty similar, block-by-block, in their unique, only-in-San-Francisco-will-you-find-this-architecture kind of way. The area is actually fairly modest as a whole, with more families than young trendsetters.

And on that one rare day in mid-September where you get sunshine, it is like hitting a goldmine - the area becomes the beaches of Southern California with the charm of San Francisco, all rolled into one. And that is always a good day.
Pros
  • Beach
  • Decent homes
  • Zoo
Cons
  • Not much nightlife
  • Not much sunshine
  • Harder to get to
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Sparse But Sincere, Then There's the Zoo"

I have had at least three different types of food days in SF's Outer Sunset, and none of them were sunny. The three big streets that cut it into sections are Noriega, Taraval, and Sunset at the south end. In the top third, on Judah, there are a few shops, restaurants, but we can't pull ourselves away from the magnetic pull of Outerlands. If you're out with a vegetarian, this is a good option. They do things here with a cast iron skillet that are so good it should be a crime. Dutch baby pancakes (sweet with apples or savory with bacon), awesome grilled cheese, and the fried egg sandwich. We actually bought a cast iron skillet. We had hoped that the large green rectangle on the map labeled West Sunset Playground would actually be green in real life. A school, lots of asphalt, dirty sand, and some metal playstructures. We just kept driving and headed to the zoo. The SF Zoo is at the southern tip of this area. We renew our family membership annually for $95 and when a nanny joined our family part time, we got her a student membership, which is only $60. Even if you're paying, it's nice that three and under kids are free (This is not the case at the Childrens Discovery Museum down in my neck of the woods). There's a playgroup we went to once - it's on Tuesdays - for my daughter. It cost five dollars extra, but we got to see a lemur up close and it was a nice break to see her interact with other kids inside for a little while. But with my husband and older son, all four of us that is, we can have just as good a time at Fort Funston, walking around, hiking, watching the waves, or heading over to Lake Merced. Most of the time, though, if we are not wearing three or four sweaters, our foray into the outdoors of outer sunset are less than ten minutes long.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
4/5 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 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • 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+

"A laid-back beach community with parking"

The Outer Sunset is a laid-back beach community that spans 20 oceanfront blocks from the southwest corner of Golden Gate Park to the northern most boundary of the San Francisco Zoo. Sunset Boulevard divides the Outer Sunset from the rest of the Inner Sunset areas. The neighborhood is laid out on an easy-to-navigate grid, and parking is really great in the area. The MUNI N and L lines, as well as several bus routes service the Outer Sunset.

The main feature of the Outer Sunset is Ocean Beach, a favorite for surfers and hot-blooded San Franciscans who do not mind its chilly waters. There are many casual cafes, pizza joints, health food stores and coffee shops that line the major east-west streets of the neighborhood. The homes and apartment buildings of the Outer Sunset vary wildly from historic turn-of-century Victorians to sleek 1920’s hacienda-style dwellings, to funky 1970’s beach huts to sleek contemporary beach villas. For the most part, the majority of homes are funky, weathered and decorated with beach-combing paraphernalia.

Due to its oceanfront location, weather in the Outer Sunset is unpredictable and, at times, ferocious. A calm and sunny afternoon can quickly transform into a cold, windy and drizzly evening. Before, during and after storms, the sea churns wildly and the wind blows howls straight off the Pacific. But the Outer Sunset is very beautiful, especially if you have a fireplace to cozy up to.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Surf's up!"

Outer Sunset is THE place to go if you want to relax, chill, get some downtime, read a book, think about stuff, surf, get some chill food and coffee, and to have fun with friends! Although Ocean Beach may not be the cleanest beach around, it surely does the job when having fun or wanting to relax. I know that for sure as I frequently do go to the beach to hang out with friends and such. There are some great sandy and grassy hills as well on the beach where you can go to hide away from the busy part of the beach to read a book or to have alone time with that special someone. There’s also a great little boardwalk-ish type pathway where people usually skateboard, rollerblade, and bike on. It gets pretty crowded at times too because of tourists and also because people just like to stand against the wall to look out over the beach. There are also a couple of places to eat and get coffee at along the beach, and there they don’t really have your traditional kind of coffee, but the coffee sure does taste great though, especially on a cold morning. Aside from the beach, there aren’t really any busy places and restaurants to eat at in the Outer Sunset, the only place I can think of that is the least bit busy and active is 45th/46th Avenue of Noriega Street. Outer Sunset is a great place to live at though! The whole neighborhood is practically safe, calm, and just peaceful in general.
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 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Foggy, waterfront neighborhood with a zoo"

Outer Sunset is on the West Side of San Francisco, just south of Golden Gate Park. This is the part of town that seems to get all the SF fog. If you are looking for bright sunshine, you are far less likely to find it in Outer Sunset. But you will find a lot of surfers looking to catch that perfect wave.

There are a variety of attractions in Outer Sunset. They include the Zoo and a variety of golf courses. So if nothing else, Outer Sunset is cool in that it shares its territories with giraffes, emus, llamas, etc.

The bottom line is that there is definitely a lot to do in this area and amenities are convenient. Incidentally, there is a very large Asian population. In fact, I heard that between Inner and Outer Sunset, about 50% of residents were Asian.

The commerce part of Outer Sunset has typical amenities you might find in any city. For example, there is the Stonestown Galleria. This is a standard mall (one much like you might find in any city) that has Border’s, Macy’s etc. There are a lot of stores however as well as a big movie theatre. I did note that there seems to be a lot of traffic on Sunset, especially on the retail area of Irving Street.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"It Takes an Ocean"

The most remarkable thing about some parts of San Francisco is that they can be so unremarkable. Take the Outer Sunset. Its low-slung homes dating from the mid-20th century don’t have the architectural flourishes one associates with the city’s Victorian-limned blocks. It’s also not as thoroughly commercialized as its counterparts closer to the core, meaning there are fewer big supermarkets and franchise shops to choose from (some would call that an advantage). This two-mile-long, half-mile wide rectangle has the same monotonous grid imposed over former sand dunes found elsewhere in the western third of the city and a paucity of large trees and other leafy greenery, a result of the gusty winds and fog that limit growing conditions in the area for all but two sunny months out of the year.

The otherwise busy N-Judah trolley line terminates here, a large circle at La Playa and Judah Street where the cars swing around and head east, toward the Haight and downtown. The turnaround often feels like an outpost, a place that comes momentarily to life only when the train lumbers in, disgorging its remaining passengers, who often slip quietly into a coffeehouse or shop along Judah, then head back into the fog-locked, numbered avenues where their homes lie.

So what makes this misty, sleepy neighborhood anybody’s idea of a place to live? Ocean Beach, for starters: It’s one of San Francisco’s unsung treasures, the windswept western boundary of the city before it melts into the sand and waves. The wide beach from Sloat Boulevard (and farther south) up to Lincoln Way (and beyond) is accessible to pedestrians via crosswalks on the Great Highway, many with timed streetlights that stop traffic for walkers. (It’s important to note that there are two Great Highways, the two-lane residential street and the actual four-lane highway that runs parallel to it, separated from each other by a wide grassy island with a path winding down the middle.) The mostly clean, broad strand attracts joggers, beachcombers, and even nighttime picnickers, who are allowed to build fires in the rings provided by the National Park Service, which manages Ocean Beach as part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. It’s clear from the number of surfers on any given day (they generally park in the lot off Sloat and the Great Highway) and the cars on the residential side of Great Highway that Ocean Beach attracts a sizable crowd even on gray days. Beach Motel, Days Inn, Great Highway Inn, and Ocean Park Motel (the latter a charmer for its retro kitchenettes and grassy courtyard) attest to the area’s standing as a destination, catering not only to out-of-towners but also the overflow guests of locals.

Second, this is a fairly peaceful area. Many residents say it’s the nearly omnipresent fog that cushions the area in a noise-muffling blanket, others believe it’s the white noise of the waves breaking on the beach. Not only is it one of San Francisco’s least densely populated neighborhoods (roughly 30,000 residents, about half white/half Asian), but according to San Francisco Police Department statistics, violent crime is uncommon, with a handful of assaults in any quarterly period and no homicides in the last three years. As can be expected in a neighborhood with such a high concentration of cars, auto thefts and break-ins are regular occurrences, particularly along transit corridors. Robberies are seldom, though property theft is rising, as is vandalism. And lastly, complaints of disturbing the peace are increasing (one thing the fog can’t muffle is the obnoxiously loud car alarm that, once triggered, won’t turn off). Overall, however, it’s not dangerous by comparison with other parts of the greater Sunset and the rest of San Francisco.

It’s also a draw for its rows of well-maintained (if architecturally lackluster) homes and easy street parking (no permits required for residents and visitors alike). One way the locals doll up their residences is with designer colors: Many edifices are painted bright pastels or deep shades of purple, green, blue and red. Still, don’t go looking for bargains. In spite of their straight lines and few frills, the median home price hovers in the low $600,000 range (though condos, fixers, and older houses in need of rehab are priced up to a third lower). Upward of 60 percent of the neighborhood’s residents own their homes.

Schools, private and public, are a big factor in why families choose this neighborhood and stay here. Because of its strong Irish and Italian roots, Catholic schools still serve the neighborhood (as well as residents citywide). Holy Name and St. Gabriel elementary schools, both attached to churches of the same names, give parents a parochial option to the neighborhood’s public elementary schools: Francis Scott Key (which earned a 9 out of 10 rating from GreatSchools) and Ulloa Elementary (which got a 10 and is often cited for its English Plus bilingual program). The private St. Ignatius College Prep ranks among San Francisco’s top high schools and pulls students in from many communities, often competing with the public Lowell High for the number of university-bound grads. Independence High, an alternative high school within the S.F. United School District, is also situated here. A.P. Giannini Middle School (with a 9 GreatSchools rating and a music program that parents participate in) rounds out the list of public offerings.

With two trolley lines (the aforementioned N-Judah as well as the L-Taraval, which also ends in the Outer Sunset, 12 blocks south), the neighborhood has fairly direct access to downtown, including the 71 bus and the 16X express. The 48 winds its way laterally across town, over Twin Peaks and through the Mission to the bay, and the 18 cuts a north-south route through the area.

Aside from a fairly run-of-the-mill collection of Asian restaurants, organic produce stores, vegan juice joints, and service shops along Judah and Taraval, the Outer Sunset boasts only a few eateries and retail stores that attract visitors. Thanh Long (a Vietnamese restaurant noted for its roast crab) and Cajun Pacific (celebrated for its New Orleans-style food) have earned raves from outside the ’hood. Among the few businesses with a citywide reputation are Free as a Bird, which sells kites and wind-powered devices of all sorts, and Sloat Garden Center, a one-stop emporium for gardeners and landscapers. And certainly well-known to the area's many Irish is the United Irish Cultural Center, with its big restaurant and pub, along with dance, music, and language classes and a weekly toddler group where moms (and nannies) can swap tales while the wee ones run wild.

The Beach Chalet is also a point of interest (albeit technically not in the neighborhood, but at the western extremity of Golden Gate Park, which runs along the northern limit of the Outer Sunset and gives its residents a much-needed greenery fix). This oddly named building looks more like a bank transplanted from Southern California, its tiled roof and stucco exterior evoking anything but a Swiss Alps hut. It does, however, claim a certain architectural pedigree, having been designed by Willis Polk (one of the city’s greatest post-1906 quake architects), and its ground floor houses some extraordinary murals, mosaics and carved wood, executed as WPA projects during the 1930s. Upstairs is a brewpub, and in the back is another restaurant (the Park Chalet) with a huge fireplace and outdoor seating (when weather allows).

The San Francisco Zoo abuts the Outer Sunset at its southern end. Though the zoo itself has been plagued with a couple of feline-on-human attacks in the last few years (a tiger badly mauled a handler in 2006 and a year later broke free and killed a teen before being shot dead by police), the collection of critters has been trimmed and made less ferocious, and so has the feeling of “us versus them” with the addition of a so-called family farm that houses some pet-able domestic animals. The zoo no longer houses elephants (the last of them having been removed to a sanctuary), but it still has an extensive assortment of wild creatures, including giraffes, gorillas, big cats, bears, zebras, and the biggest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins in the world. The presence of all these exotic species in an environment so often foggy, chilly, and wet suggests that the Outer Sunset is habitable in ways that are not immediately obvious to the outsider.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Foggy Ocean View"

The Outer Sunset is perhaps the foggiest part of the city. On the western edge of this area you can not only hear the waves, but you can feel the wind and visit the ocean regularly. The Pacific in all its glory is a fabulous site.

The lights on Great Highway are timed -- perfect for a bike ride and even a car ride, though do be careful of the sand if you're riding your bike.

Where Great Highway meets Lincoln you'll be able to head out to the ocean and enjoy a bonfire (while it is still legal), perhaps catch some fire dancing on the sand, and if you look east, you'll be able to site the windmill in Golden Gate Park.

if you have to travel north/south on the west end of town, Great Highway is a great way to go with Sunset Blvd being a great second choice. This is a nice suburban part of SF with wide streets.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Outer Sunset

1

Great Hwy

4/5
"All Beach. All Street."
37.7510945938287 -122.508204796973
2

Pacheco St

3.5/5
"Pacheco St. - quiet neighborhood good for families and biking"
37.7493843379104 -122.501761764865
3

Sloat Ave

3.5/5
"great shopping and the zoo!!!"
37.7353844284109 -122.505972381326
4

Vicente St

3.5/5
"Vicente - full of recreational opportunities"
37.7379820010721 -122.505932500156
5

48th Ave

3.5/5
"Don't Forget Your Parka..."
37.7631330000183 -122.508264999174
6

44th Ave

3.5/5
"Great Place for peace and quiet."
37.763320500025 -122.50398249915
7

45th Ave

3/5
"Quiet street, but very close to the beach."
37.7493467942991 -122.504077352821
8

46th Ave

3/5
"Great Street, main attration would be the bus"
37.7632255000275 -122.506124999152
9

37th Ave

3/5
"A street that has access to many things"
37.7642890000019 -122.496525499914
10

Noriega St

3/5
"Buses. Supermarkets and Polly Ann. Oh My."
37.7531494164252 -122.501213215914

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