3.9 out of 10

Tenderloin

Ranked 86th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7844598728041 -122.414600755802
Great for
  • Pest Free
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
Aug 04, 2016

"Ahhhh the 'loin"

"unsafe" really isn't the right adjective to describe the 'loin. "filthy and disgusting" are more appropriate terms. You see, it's not really that unsafe. You'll be disgusted and harassed, but at least during the day you're unlikely to be an actual crime victim. At night it's much worse, but still, the sheer volume of humanity around here makes actual muggings and so on less common if you keep your wits about you. Disclosure - I'm writing this as a 200+ lb man. Women will likely be harassed much more.

Visiting the loin is like visiting a zoo with no cages. The animals are very unpredictable and can be violent. Eye contact is not recommended, but if you're looking for that exciting safari feel, you can do no better!
Pros
  • good restaurants
  • dive bars
Cons
  • unsafe
  • Dirty
  • Beyond sketchy at night
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"A Walk on the Wild Side"

What you have heard about the Tenderloin is pretty much true. It is definitely the most dangerous area north of Market St., and perhaps the second most dangerous area in all of SF. It definitely doesn’t hide this fact either. There are blocks in the Tenderloin where you will literally be afraid to make it to the end of the block.

The oddity of this neighborhood, of course, is that it is bordered by a couple of neighborhoods known for their affluence: Nob Hill and Downtown. This is the thing about San Francisco, you will literally have low cost housing projects and massage parlors within just a block or two of high class jewelry stores and theaters. Of course, this does create quite a bit of a problem in terms of crime.

How bad is the crime here? Well the Tenderloin experiences a full quarter more crime than the Mission (also known for its crime) even though the Tenderloin has about half the population. Basically, your are twice as likely to have a crime committed against in this area than anywhere else in this part of San Francisco.

There are apartments for rent in this area, and though they are definitely less expensive on average than some apartments just a few blocks outside of this neighborhood, many are only moderately downgraded for the dangers of the neighborhood. Many still have price tags above $1500 for a one-room. Though you can find some at $1000, very few are willing to deal with the crime in the area in order to take advantage of any small savings in rent.

Despite all of this, the Tenderloin is the place for a wide variety of restaurants and bars: Indian places like Shalimar, Naan-n-Curry and New Delhi; lots of cheap Thai places (Little Saigon is here—I know that Thailand and Vietnam are not the same places by the way—no need for mail); and, oddly enough, a fair number of vegetarian restaurants like Millennium and Ananda Fuara.

In terms of bars and nightlife you have gay dance clubs like Deco Lounge and Bearracuda; pricy lounges like Bourbon and Branch, and the Redwood Lounge; and outright dives like the Ha-Ra Club, Hi-Tide and of course, Mr. Lews.

There is certainly no lack of things to do in this neighborhood. This is still not somewhere you would want to live, however.
Pros
  • dive bars
  • moderate rents
  • good restaurants
Cons
  • unsafe
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Not the safest place"

The Tenderloin is the home of the worst reputation in San Francisco. Ask anyone in town about the Tenderloin and they’ll tell you about shootings, mugging, people on drugs or just out of their minds staggering up and down the streets, and the widest assortment of liquor stores, discount stores, porn shops, dive bars, and shady clientele that a city could ever dredge up.

And this reputation is 100% deserved. The Tenderloin is dangerous and notoriously shady. Even public transportation that runs THROUGH the Tenderloin tends to get clogged with crazies, drunks, and people you just didn’t want to meet that day. Don’t live in the Tenderloin. Don’t walk through the Tenderloin alone at night. Don’t flaunt anything pricey in the Tenderloin. Don’t zone out and stop paying attention to your surroundings in the Tenderloin. And if you’re offered a little baggie of anything in the Tenderloin, just keep walking.

But this place has its highlights, too. Brenda’s Soul Food, for example, has some of the best soul cooking in San Francisco. There’s a great “speakeasy” (the place isn’t marked in any way and you need to know a secret password to get in) called Bourbon & Branch right in the center of the ‘loin.

This place also houses Little Saigon, San Francisco’s Vietnamese neighborhood. Come here for your fix of Pho or bahn mi and you won’t leave disappointed.
Pros
  • good restaurants
Cons
  • unsafe
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
2yrs+

"Gritty is an understatement"

The Tenderloin is . . .well, it's kind of exactly as it sounds. It's a pretty bad neighborhood. People are trying to claim that it's gentrified and getting kind of a hipster vibe . . . but, it's not there yet, and I don't think it's going to be for several years. It's pretty much the apex of dirt and crime in San Francisco. I wouldn't ever be here at night with a group of people let alone, alone. Actually, I was here during the day pretty recently and it is sketched me out. There's a lot of drugs in the Tenderloin too. So, if you're into drugs, and, ahem, ladies of the night, then this is your spot. If you like to sleep through the night, then I wouldn't live here.

The neighborhood could be cool because there's a lot of old theatres and dive bars. The Alcazar is a great theatre that is a historical landmark that has a lot of cool plays. It's surrounded by run-down buildings and filth, but it's a beautiful building in and of itself. But, I think the coolest / weirdest / most noteworthy attraction is the Mitchell Bros. O' Farrell Theatre. It is kind of a strip club but not an actual strip club. It has been around forever and has housed a lot of celebrities and a lot of scandal. I've never been because I'm a chicken, but I hear the shows are definitely interesting.
And, I think the idea of the theatre pretty much sums up the feel of the Tenderloin in general.

There are a lot of bars that people claim are cool, hip dive bars with cheap beer. But, honestly, I don't think the area is stable enough to enjoy them. I would do so if you're kind of tough and maybe not a girl.

As far as rent: it's cheap compared to the rest of San Francisco, but you're going to be living either in a severely run down place or surrounded by unsightly places and people. I don't really recommend much here.
Cons
  • Dirty
  • Beyond sketchy at night
  • unsafe
1/5
2yrs+

"Lock Your Doors!"

Undoubtedly, this is one of the least safe areas of San Francisco. Though there are worse areas, I have a friend who was assaulted in this part of town.

Every time I've been through there, the streets were full of lots of vagrants and it was not uncommon to get approached on the street. I also notice when I drive by car through there, especially late at night, that some of the folks cross the street without care or concern for what color the light it and if it is safe or not. Sometimes they seem completely oblivious. Sometimes they seem like they just have an attitude.

I suggest you walk swiftly and keep your belongings close to you. You'll want to use your wits and walk with confidence over here.

Unless you're looking to pick up a hooker, in which case you might have the most luck up by O'Farrell.

Colorful is just one way to describe this part of town. ;)
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The Tenderloin of San Francisco"

I have in live in San Francisco, CA for over thirty years. Arriving in the early seventies from Baltimore, MD as a military brat living on the Presidio, circumstances beyond my control kept me here.
My current home is in a district call the Tenderloin. While no rent in San Francisco is cheap, the part of town I live have the lowest price rent anywhere in the city. In addition to having low rents, the Tenderloin have the biggest number of people sleeping on the streets and doorways anywhere in the city. In my opinion the large number of homeless people have to do with the two large free meal programs in the city; Glide Church and St Anthony's Church.
In the Tenderloin is also the main branch of San Francisco Public library systems, a great place to find a restroom, use free computers and just chill relaxing looking at books or watching DVD movies.
Walking distance to the downtown area, the Tenderloin is a great place to live if you are lucky enough to get a job downtown. If I could leave San Francisco and the Tenderloin I would, but for now I am grateful to call it my home.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"A seedy and unsafe reputation"

The Tenderloin is centrally located in the city, but that’s about the best thing it has to offer. The neighborhood is rather seedy and unsafe, overrun with drug deals and crime. Assaults, shootings, muggings, vandalism and car thefts are all the norm. The people who live in the area are typically from a lower socioeconomic class, but the crowd can be diverse (Vietnamese and African American families). If you’re walking through the neighborhood, never do it at night. The Tenderloin is usually overflowing with homeless, disabled and mentally unstable people anxiously pandering the streets in search for loose change.

Cheap and fairly dilapidated apartment buildings and old rundown hotel buildings line Hyde Street with drug stores and laundromats nestled on almost every corner. The neighborhood also houses law students from the University of California Hastings College of Law. However, many students retreat back to their student buildings or spend their free time elsewhere.

The nightlife can be diverse with locals pouting in the dimly lit dive bars. However, if you head north to the “Tendernob” (where the borders of the Tenderloin and Nob Hill meet), there is a great bar scene with a hip, up-and-coming feel. If you’re hungry, there is also a couple inexpensive indian restaurants, thai cuisines and other international eateries.
Cons
  • unsafe
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Safer to Dive in the Daylight"

For me, this neighborhood dredges up all the nostalgia of someone who's never lived here. The Tenderloin of my imagination was carved out of Geoffrey Eugenedes prose in Middlesex, one of my favorite This American Life episodes about two sisters who run away from home and end up in the Tenderloin, and my own daytime meanderings when I was checking out Carver Elementary after applying to the San Francisco unified school district. None of these second hand narratives or first hand trips were very positive. But... We love Peruvian food and I teach with a woman who is Peruvian. We went to Fina Estampa at her recommendation. come to find out, this place isn't wholly Peruvian. I still come back for the paella, though, and it's enough for our whole family (two preschoolers, husband, and me) and the kids love the bread. Back when an Irish sport called hurling (no, not that kind) drew me up to various pitches in the city, I ended up at Hilltop Park. Probably the bright spot for me in this neighborhood, the circular field makes for a good walking loop during the daytime. We had a fun date night there in April when one of our high school throwback favorites, The Church, played at Great American Music Hall. We looked online for a bar to hit afterwards and stayed at Edinburg Castle til near closing time. Not for the ambiance mind you. For the easy going unpretentiousness of it, the casual bartenders, and cheap drinks. A little scary leaving though.
NightOwlnOrinda
NightOwlnOrinda And don't forget Dashiel Hammett's Maltese Falcon, also set in the Tenderloin. Great review.
2yrs+
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Not quite gentrified yet"

The Tenderloin is a neighborhood that unfortunately borders two great neighborhoods - Union Square and Civic Center. Sadly, the Tenderloin isn't at all like those nicer areas of the city. It's dirty, unsafe, and full of shops advertising porn or electronics of questionable sources. Homelessness, drug use, prostitution, and crime are all major problems. While these factors do keep rents low, you have to question if it's worth not feeling safe walking around at night. The Tenderloin gets quieter and safer-feeling as you move off Market Street, though. Parts of it form the Theater District, with some of San Francisco's major theaters.
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"The insanely strange Tenderloin"

I use to pass by the Tenderloin very frequently every week on my way back home. And every single time I would pass by this neighborhood I would a tingly feeling. It wasn’t fear or anything, but rather the strange, dark feeling of the neighborhood. The Tenderloin is definitely well-known in San Francisco to be one of the most unsafe neighborhoods around. And it is definitely evident as you pass by this street. There are numerous numbers of homeless people around, and you’ll occasionally see drug addicts and dealers roaming the sidewalk. I wouldn’t recommend finding a place here as you will never find peace and quiet. I wouldn’t also recommend walking through the streets neither at night, nor during the day because you are bound to be approached by a drug addict or homeless person.

What sometimes confuses me is the fact that in the Tenderloin, there are numerous amounts of businesses and shops. I’m surprised I don’t hear much about people breaking into these businesses. Besides that, there various MUNI stops all over the Tenderloin. And if you’re lucky (well I mean unlucky) someone seemingly crazy will get on the bus, as I have been on the bus many times when this happens. The best thing to do is to get off the bus right away at a safe stop if he/she were to do anything out of hand.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Don't choose to live here..."

Tenderloin is considered one of the least safe neighborhoods in San Francisco. On the good side, I can say that this neighborhood is conveniently located downtown near Nob Hill. I can also say that the rent is cheap. But in this case, I would say its a classic case of "you get what you pay for!" Yes, there are many homeless people, lots of drugs, prostitution, strip clubs, (you name it) lurking in the Tenderloin.

So why is this neighborhood named Tenderloin? No one knows exactly why. But as the story goes, cops who worked in this district made so much extra money from the bribes and various illegal activities that they were able to afford to eat tenderloin every night for dinner.

Strangely, this neighborhood is home to some of San Francisco's theatre district. Theatres include the Opheum Theatre, The Geary and the Curran. The EXIT theatre is also in the Tenderloin. Clearly, the arts needs better funding so that theatres can be located in better neighborhoods.

I haven’t spent too much time in the Ternderloin, so I can’t tell you much more. However, I have noticed that there are a lot of Indian restaurants that look pretty good. “The Tandoor-loin” is a little enclave of Indian restaurants.

If you are looking for a dive bar or just to see this part of town for yourself, feel free to check out this area. Just be sure not to look too much like a tourist. Be prepared to be hassled for money when you walk down the street.
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"More than meets the eye"

The Tenderloin is considered by many to be the underbelly of San Francisco. I will not deny that the Tenderloin is a rough neighborhood. When walking through the area, its good to know where you are going or at least never appear lost. Homelessness, drug abuse and prostitution are rampant, and many economically disadvantaged people call the Tenderloin home. Despite its grittiness, I quite like the Tenderloin. There are many unique dive bars such as the Ha-Ra, The Lush Lounge, The Gangway, Edinburgh Castle and Whiskey Thieves. There are also many excellent high-end watering holes such as Bourbon and Branch, Rye, The Ambassador and Ruby Skye. The Tenderloin is also home to Little Saigon where one can savor wonderful Vietnamese sandwiches, pho and other authentic delights.

The Tenderloin is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in San Francisco. If you can find an apartment that is high enough off of the street and you can block out the occasional crack-head freaking out in the alley, your money will go far. The best area to look is the upper part of the neighborhood that boarders Nob Hill, often referred to as the Tendernob. Due to cheap rents artists of all disciplines live in the Tenderloin and many theaters and galleries are scattered throughout the area. Café Royal on Post Street always offers an eclectic variety of live music along with a dark poetic atmosphere. The Café’s upstairs balcony is a great place to enjoy a fine glass of wine and watch the world go by.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A perfect place to not stop by."

Striving to be objective is difficult when you are describing the area in San Francisco known as the Tenderloin district. It is fair to say that the neighborhood is definitely full of characters. Charm, eehh not so much. Unless for some reason the trash on the streets, aroma of urine, homeless people and drugs tend to be your cup of tea, and it is for some. Not to knock the folks in this area as, all people in the country should have some level of respect as human beings. There are a few bars and eateries worth paying a visit to just be aware of your surroundings while visiting the area.
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"The Tenderloin neighborhood is good for single, low-income adults."

Surrounded by the best of everything San Francisco has to offer, the Tenderloin (or the "TL" as locals call it) is a good, densely urbanized area for single adults on a tight housing budget, students and people who keep their personal lives close-to-the-vest.
The TL is very small, only a few blocks on each side of an isosceles triangle wedged amidst some of San Francisco's best neighborhoods: Civic Center, Nob Hill and The City's premier shopping districts, Union Square and the Heart of Market St. (which features the mammoth San Francisco Center, an elegant high rise shopping mall). The City's three best live performance theaters (the Golden Gate, Orpheum and Curran) sit at the virtual vertices of the triangle.
The neighborhood itself is schizophrenic, having two personalities, one for the day and a severely different one during the nighttime.
In the daytime the signs of poverty are easily spotted, homeless sleeping on sidewalks, storefront churches and two or three bodegas/liquor stores on every block. But the streets also feature the lively and casual street life only seen in America's most densely populated urban neighborhoods, where the local economy exists by volume of sales and not high prices. And this especially includes food. Nowhere in San Francisco is there such a variety of independent and "home cookin'" diners. And the prices are stunningly affordable. The Manor House @ Jones and Turk offers more than a dozen breakfast specials such as Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs w/ Hash browns and huge omelets also w/ hash browns for just $4.95. For lunch and dinner there are dozens of cuisines available, Indian/Pakistani buffets, great Thai food, pizzas in twenty+ different styles, Chinese restaurants, representing the popular Cantonese to the tongue blistering Hunan, (and the competition drives them to offer the great value '"Three items plus rice" with huge portions for just $5.95). Fried Chicken abounds, many with a combination of seasonings which would get "The Colonel" court-martialed. On Eddy St. near Leavenworth there is a tiny cafe with no visible name which serves Soft-shell blue crabs with fries or onion rings for $5.95. And at the western most vertex of the TL is "Little Saigon", a neighborhood of Vietnamese shops and restaurants. Try Mangosteen @ Eddy and Larkin or
Saigon II at Ellis and Larkin. Or grab a Vietnamese sandwich, served on baguette from one of the numerous shops for $2.95-$4.95.
But the TL is also a stark neighborhood. The buildings are old, and although the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency works with other groups to refurbish them (rehabilitate is probably a more accurate word), it will be several years before more than a few will be restored to their early San Francisco attractiveness. Landscaping is almost nonexistent with a few sad looking trees on each block. There are only a couple of tiny parks, and they are often locked. When they're open they are usually the site of heavy drug activity.
And here is the TL's major fault; drugs and alcohol abuse are heavy and in clear evidence. Only by staying in the vertices of the TL triangle can you minimize the likelihood of seeing drug deals in progress. And near any convenience store (that is to say, everywhere) you will see people drinking and drunk.
At night the TL feels scary, and in parts it is. People are well advised to stay off of Jones and Taylor streets as well as Golden Gate, Turk, Eddy and Ellis streets between Hyde and Mason streets. These are the sites of major drug activity and consequently are unpleasant to say the least. Women should avoid walking alone to avoid harassment and visitors to the city are advised not to linger, and in every instance MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Do not "eyeball" street activity as this is regarded as aggressive behavior.
But that said, the TL has some great nightlife. The neighborhood got its name from its mid-20th century incarnation as the city's premier nightclub district (all serving the over-rated Filet Mignon aka Beef Tenderloin) and a few hot spots are carrying on that reputation. Ruby Skye at Taylor and Geary is THE destination for the glamorous and luxe crowd. For goofy fun, check out Polly Esters on Eddy St.. Polly's is 70's retro (Poly esters, get it?) and is loud, loose and casually chic. The TL also features The Tea Room, where men can meet and hang with like-inclined men as well as enjoy live male dancers.
Lastly a word about rents. The primary living unit in the TL is the SRO or Single Room Occupancy. These are often called Efficiency Apartments in other cities. They offer small rooms, most with shared bathrooms and in the redeveloped ones, kitchenettes, at weekly or monthly rates. These SRO's, with their low maintenance and the security of a desk clerk controlling access, suit many singles perfectly, especially middle-aged or elderly single men and women on fixed incomes and to a certain extent, younger singles attending college or starting careers. These SRO's offer the lowest rents available in San Francisco for anyone who prefers to live alone.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
2/5
2yrs+

"Bad rap or bad rep"

Most tourist guides rate the Tenderloin as "the worst neighborhood in San Francisco," and firsthand experience confirms that rating. I suppose if you can get past the numerous drug addicts, drug dealers, prostitutes, and mentally challenged, you may just find a fair place to live. That's pushing it though.

There's not a lot of shopping in the "Loin." But, if you are in the market for a size 14 stiletto or some lucite mules, check out Foot Worship on Sutter Street. Although, you will find the staff almost too eager to assist in your foot fitting.

Aunt Charlie's is the neighborhood's best known gay bar with a DJ that spins a variety of music every night of the week.

After a late night out, stop by Thai Noodle on Geary Street, serving the bar closers at 2:30 am. The food is nothing extraordinary, but at that time of night, who cares?

The Tenderloin is not for the faint at heart, but can be exciting if you want a glimpse into the seedy side.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

Travelling to Tenderloin?

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Best Streets in Tenderloin

1

Mason St

3.5/5
"Taste of the South in the North"
37.7849293013598 -122.409425276759
2

Ofarrell St

3.5/5
"Heart of the City"
37.7856592876358 -122.414003183197
3

Jones St

1.5/5
"Armpit, but sasy to get to the freeway"
37.7848901637378 -122.412788070186

Unranked Streets in Tenderloin

Antonio St

2.5/5
"No Bandera's here just Antonio St."
37.7852376653394 -122.413422007747

Olive St

3.5/5
"Olive Street is relaxing"
37.7846055028663 -122.418630501174

Willow St

2.5/5
37.783673002897 -122.418446001174

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