5.4 out of 10

San Bruno

37.6238380589071 -122.427936175152
Great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Students


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Noisy but Affordable"

San Bruno is the middle class city just to the west of SFO. Given the high cost of neighborhoods to the south this might be the first truly middle class neighborhood before you start hitting the wholly unaffordable Peninsula.

The noise is of course a real problem in most places in San Bruno, since you are right next to San Francisco’s main international airport. Like most things, it is possible to get used to it. I lived right next to a freeway for a year and did manage to get used to the rumbling from trucks and the near constant traffic noise, but if you are noise sensitive this is definitely not the place for you.

The homes here are more affordable and much older with some dating from before World War II and the vast majority having been built in the 1950’s. They are well-maintained for the most part but they definitely do show signs of age. One of the nice things about most of the neighborhoods here is that they were built in an era where sidewalks were still appreciated—unlike now where automobiles are the rule and not the exception.

Rents are relatively affordable by Bay Area standards, though hardly a steal at around $1900 for a two bedroom. This is probably still overpriced since most of these places would go for around $1000 across the Bay, but still pretty good for this side of world.

Commuting into SF from San Bruno, however, is much easier than in many of the more expensive cities to the south. You have both BART and CalTrains, which makes life a lot easier.

One of the drawbacks to area however is that the schools though solid, are not anywhere near as strong as those in the more expensive neighborhoods to the south. Just so I’m clear, my understanding is that these are not terrible schools, they just suffer by comparison.

As far as nightlife goes, you do have a few options. There a few places that bill themselves as dive bars here, and a hookah bar to boot as well. Not to mention a some kind of gentleman’s club where guys can have pretty gals wait on them—if that is to your taste.

In terms of food you have a fair number of East Asian choices here, my favorite being a Pilipino place called Tribu Grill. If you’re looking for something other than Asian food, you may have to leave town though, I don’t know of any worth it.

This is an okay place to live if you want a safe middle class neighborhood that is relatively affordable and close enough to commute into the City.
  • Relatively Affordable
  • Good for SF Commuting
  • Close to the Beach
  • Ugly Houses
  • Airport Noise
  • Average Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5

"Its proximity to the beach make up for its lower middle-class aesthetic"

Nestled in between South San Francisco and Milbrae, San Bruno is home to all ranges of lower middle-class residents. San Bruno is part of the greater San Mateo County and, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population exceeds 40,000 residents. The residents here boast waterfront views and bayside accommodations which make it a prime location for perspective beachcombers. Moreover, one of the city’s other appealing aspect is its proximity to the San Francisco International Airport. And with it comes a variety of airport accommodations, including airport hotels, airport parking and auto repair shops.

San Bruno’s residential quarters are a little bit less impressive. The city sits on a rather small incline with quaint, orderly streets, bushy sidewalks and modest front yards. Most residences look like their out of a 1950’s, middle-class starter neighborhood with maybe a husband trimming the hedges while his wife attends the garden. These homes are typically one story in size and are unflatteringly complimented with narrow driveways and even narrower garages. The estimated median household income here is around $75,000, with housing prices ranging from $400,000 to $600,000 in price.

For commuters, Highway 360 runs east and west while the much more used Highway 280 traverses the city north and south (connecting its residents to the greater San Francisco area). Other commuters take advantage of the San Bruno Bart station which edges the northeastern corner of the city. And while you’re there, you can browse the Shops of Tanforan (shopping center), which include a Target, JC Penney, Starbucks and a movie theatre complex. The city also has a handful of neighborhood parks, including the San Bruno City Park. The public grassland is bordered by Crystal Springs Avenue and El Crystal School. It offers shaded walkways and hiking trails, picnic tables, a playground, a small ballpark, a public swimming pool, and a recreation center that includes an indoor basketball court. Moreover, San Bruno Park School District serves the city’s seven elementary schools and one intermediate school, while the San Mateo Union High School operates Capuchino High School. Unfortunately, one of the city’s most notable areas is the vast Golden Gate National Cemetery that straddles the northern border.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers

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