5.6 out of 10

South San Francisco

Ranked 96th best city in California
37.6521060792421 -122.4281644576
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
  • Clean & Green
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5


Just north of SFO, South San Francisco is a middle class city where many SF commuters live. This area is not to be confused with Bernal and those neighborhoods that are on the south end of SF proper—they are often referred to as south San Francisco, but they are only a grouping of neighborhoods not an actual city.

That said, South San Francisco is the kind of place that people drive through but never really go to unless they live there.

The majority of houses here were built in the 50’s and they have a bit of worn look to them. Steady growth however, has continued since then and you will find some fairly nice home development up in the hills.

Unfortunately, there are some aspects of South San Francisco that hold it back. One is the proximity of SFO that makes for a lot air traffic noise throughout the majority of the area. The other problem is the fact that it is really not a very attractive area for the most part, with sort of ugly warehouse sort of area on the eastern end and a lot of dingy looking homes in others.

The schools are also considered to be pretty average and in some places on the lower end of that, and though the gang
problem in the area is exaggerated, there is still a bit of hoodlum culture in the schools.

There is also a lack of basic amenities in the area which drives a lot of residents to other cities for supermarkets and that sort of thing.

There is a little bit of nightlife here, including a handful of bars like Houlihan’s and Molloy’s Tavern and there are a few restaurants as well, especially Filipino places and a some Italian joints.

All this adds up to a somewhat overpriced area (for what it actually has to offer) whose main selling point is proximity to SF proper.
  • Close to the City
  • Relatively Inexpensive Housing
  • Some Newer Homes
  • A Little Ugly and Industrial
  • Airport Noise
  • Somewhat Overpreced
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
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 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Schools 3/5

"The peninsulas bayside coal room"

Located between Daly City and San Bruno, South San Francisco is rightly called the “Industrial City.” It’s acres of industrial commerce, retail stores, transportation and warehousing prove to be the San Francisco peninsula’s coal room. Moreover, visitors confuse South San Francisco as actually a part of the metropolitan San Francisco. However, the city is actually south of San Francisco. Its dividing factor is a whole city called Brisbane.

South San Francisco’s residential quarters are part of the greater San Mateo County district. The residential area occupies the eastern edge of the San Francisco peninsula and is situated mostly on the westernmost hills that afford the only views of the San Francisco Bay. Two dozen neighborhoods give perspective home owners in this area a variety of living options. You’ll be accompanying just under 65,000 residents, most of them of middle-class status. In dollars, South San Francisco’s median household income is around $72,000/year, while average housing prices register at $615,000 (well over the California average). The ethnic makeup of this working class is a melting pot of sorts, with white, asian and hispanic residents making up the bulk of the population.

While some of its western quarters are dominated by residential neighborhoods, the South San Francisco’s bayside real-estate is congested with industrial complexes and modern office buildings. The city’s top employer is Genentech, which employs over 8,000 South San Francisco residents. For local commuters, U.S. Route 101 skirts the eastern side of the city, running up to downtown San Francisco. Moreover, many residents take advantage of the Bart station that serves the city’s public transit needs. The transportation service connects South San Francisco residents to the greater Bay Area, with popular stops including Downtown San Francisco, Oakland and parts of the East Bay. Those looking to travel outside the Bay Area will be happy to know that the San Francisco International Airport conveniently lies just south of the city’s limits. Its surrounding area, which includes southern parts of South San Francisco, host a handful of airport accommodations (airport parking lots, cheap airport hotels and car repair shops). For young families, the South San Francisco Unified School District serves the city’s children, as well as parts of two other adjacent cities (Daly City and San Bruno). Among them include El Camino High School and South San Francisco high school, which coincidentally share a cross-town rivalry.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers

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Best Neighborhoods in South San Francisco

"Can't wait to move here"
37.6512280056582 -122.443438786855
"typical SSF living"
37.6506794446984 -122.42680059204
"Some Nice Newer Homes"
37.6577233216984 -122.449337091704

Unranked Neighborhoods in South San Francisco

"Affordable Family Living"
37.6440420486339 -122.433333973982


"Nice family neighborhood."
37.6396261624914 -122.429271619756
37.650339109529 -122.433623304817
"Little Box Homes Close to the City"
37.6473666915865 -122.458938036544
"Slightly Better than Your Average SSF Neighborhood"
37.639220378789 -122.450021862945
"A Bit Dead, but a Good Value"
37.6627134055975 -122.45848491044

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