jcristinal

  • Local Expert 2,167 points
  • Reviews 24
  • Questions 0
  • Answers 41
  • Discussions 0

Reviews

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

"Ups and Downs - Literally!"

You thought Noe Valley was a bit out of the way? Ha! Trying climbing the steep hill at the southernmost point of the valley, and you'll find yourself all the way up in Diamond Heights.

This place has tremendous views of the Castro and the Mission, and the houses are to die for. Who wouldn't want to live somewhere overlooking the beating heart of this great city?

The downsides: Housing here gets a little pricey, there's no shopping or grocery places right in the neighborhood, and Diamond Heights Boulevard, a big highway, runs right around the edge of the neighborhood, blocking it off from its northern neighbor, Noe Valley.

The upsides: You're right next to Glen Canyon, which is one of the great overlooked parks in this city. Christopher Playground is a decidedly killer place to bring your kids any day (or night---this isn't a high-crime area) of the week.

And just descend the big slope for some awesome eats. Dolce & Salato is one of my favorite food spots in the city. . Firefly, Lupa, and Contigo are personal friends, too. And for some after-dinner drinks before heading home, head to Bliss Bar, the Dubliner, or Incanto Restauranta and Wine Bar.
Pros
  • restaurants
  • Glen Canyon is close
Cons
  • hilly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"All about the park"

Buena Vista Park is the focal point of this neighborhood. And Buena Vista Park is basically the coolest place is Northern California, so that makes sense. But check out the other side of the hill, people … this is one of the most character-crammed neighborhoods this city has to offer.

First of all, the streets are all etched into the side of this steep slope. Steps lead down to streets below, intersections have to become switchbacks so cars don't fall off the side, and sometimes streets just dead-end abruptly. It's like a big maze, and you have to know your way around or you're going to get frustrated (or excited!) trying to get back out.

I like to just wander through the maze and check out the houses that some people get to live in. You can't see a whole lot from the street, but the views from people's windows have got to be spectacular. And there is one great place for views of the whole eastern side of the city. I think the hill's called Corona Heights (based on the Corona Heights playground that's right on the face of it). It's right next to the Randall Museum (which is cool in its own right, but it's totally trumped by the big bald crag right next to it), and it's a great climb any day when you're feeling like a mountain goat. Climb to the top for great views of the Western Addition, the Financial District, the Bay Bridge, and the whole East Bay.

Oh yeah, and don't forget Buena Vista Park, too. That place is incredible. But chances are you knew that already.
Pros
  • the park
  • the views
Cons
  • steep
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
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
Just now

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

"A lot for a little"

Marked by the little lake, Laguna Honda, this tiny little slice between Inner Parkside and Inner Sunset has way more character than its size suggests.

This isn't for the faint of limb. The whole place is a hill (hence the heights in the name!). Roads wind up the side, breaking the familiar grid pattern that covers most of the rest of SF. The peaks are marked by fun little parks – Grand View and Rocky Outcrop—that are great to bring kids (or dates) to on days without fog. The views of the Sunset and Golden Gate Park are spectacular from here, and the best part is that nobody but local-locals (the folks who live up here) bother to come see it. A lot of the time, you've got these great spaces all to yourself.

Just don't expect to get any shopping done up here – you have to go downhill to do your daily splurging. But that sort of fun isn't too far away. Just descend the 15th Avenue Steps (also a park!) and head up to Irving Street to hit up San Tung's Chinese for dinner, JJ Ice Cream for dessert, Terry's Lodge for some drinks, and Andronico's awesome grocery store for anything else you might need. And don't forget to switch it up with Sakura Japanese, Little Bangkok, Little Eritrea Bar & Grill, and the Blackthorn just a little way further down the road.
Pros
  • neighborhood feel
Cons
  • hilly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"The views!"

Usually people head to Twin Peaks for the views or the exercise that the hike gives you. There's not much else here. Both peaks are a vast open space. Of course, there are houses here, but they sit on steeps streets and you won't find any shops or restaurants rest at.

The views from the two hilltops are unparalleled. You can see downtown to the northeast and can look west over the Sunset neighborhood. Be prepared for it to be windy if you go to the top. Actually, be prepared for it to be windy if you're anywhere in San Francisco. The water brings in a lot of weird weather patterns.

I used to live near the Twin Peaks and I had a great view of both hills from my balcony. It was interesting to watch the fog roll in from the west and flow right over the peaks. Both peaks actually serve as a barrier to the fog that comes in from the western ocean-facing side of the city. This causes the western side of the hill to be foggier and colder than than the sunnier eastern side.
Pros
  • the views
Cons
  • no shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • 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
Just now

"Great views"

Ocean Beach isn't like the beaches I'm used to on the east coast. Even if you go in the summer, remember to dress in warm layers! It will probably be 55 degrees and windy down on the sand. Contradictory to most of the country's season sensibilities, the better times to visit this beach are in late fall or early spring when the temperature is actually higher than in summer.

You can get here easily by taking the 38 along Geary if you're coming from a northern part of the city. The N-Judah also goes all the way through the Sunset if you need a southern transportation option. If you take the 38 to the end of the line, you'll end up at the Cliff House, a restaurant that overlooks the ocean. The cliffs around here are a great way to enjoy the views of the ocean. Also at this site are the ruins of the Sutro Baths, which was a large indoor swimming pools complex. All that remains now are concrete walls.
Pros
  • Many outdoor/water sports
  • Public transportation options
Cons
  • Always cold and foggy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Desrted but some gems"

When I think of the Central Waterfront, I mostly think of the Dogpatch neighborhood. But, I think the Dogpatch still needs more time to develop. Once the population of SF grows a little bit more, I think more people will actually move to this area. Right now, it feels a bit deserted. Things can get weirdly creepy on Illinois sometimes. There are occasionally homeless men milling about, or other dirty-looking men hopping fences to fish. I prefer not to walk here alone when it gets dark, because there isn't anyone around to help you if you get into trouble.

This is supposedly becoming an artsy district. I don't think I would be able to tell that from it's appearance. I only believe that sentiment because I did work for an art studio located here. Otherwise, the place looks industrial.

As you walk south on 3rd Street, the neighborhood gets better and there's more to see (there are even people there!). There are some important gems to go to in this area. Firstly, you have to go to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, which is the best ice cream shop in the city. Afterward, head to the Hard Knox Cafe across the street.
Pros
  • best ice cream shop there
Cons
  • not many people around
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A really fun place"

Noe Valley has the reputation of being very family-friendly (but in an annoying way to singles). People often picture hoards of mothers pushing their children in double-wide strollers and ruining the scene for everyone. I'm not saying this doesn't happen sometimes, but singles can also enjoy what the area has to offer.

The neighborhood feels like it's own world because it is separated from the Castro by a few hills to the north. It's basically suburbia with a lot of stuff to see and do. If you want to shop or eat, then head to the main thoroughfare, 24th Street. You have to check out the Noe Valley Baking Company, one of my favorite bakeries in the city. Try the cherry chocolate bread, the rugelach (yum!), or the chocolate covered Noe-o's. Another well-recommended restaurant on the same street is Firefly. You can get a prix fixe for just $36 most days of the week. 24th St. also has a lot of cool shops to browse if you don't want to eat. After eating, head to Billy Goat Park and hike up the steep hills.
Pros
  • lots of restaurants
  • good shops
Cons
  • can get crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Give this area 5-10 more years"

Just wait: Mission Bay will be the next hot neighborhood in about 10 years. Right now, the scene is a bit strange. On the one hand, you have a number of open parking areas and deserted lots to contend with. If you pass by these areas, you might see Giants fans tailgating or soccer fans celebrating before a game. You might even see some homeless men gambling and drinking, as I saw this weekend. As you head farther south, then you can tell that this place is in a development boom. Most of the buildings look new, with large glass windows and walls.

Apparently, there are a lot of biotech companies starting to call this place home, and it'll show. The buildings will remind you of office parks, beautiful ones, but still not residential-looking. You'll see strange company names, like "Nektar," on each building. Also springing up, seem to be a ton of high-rise condo buildings. I saw one under construction this weekend, in fact. The buildings have small lawns on the sides with very manicured gardens. I think the boom in construction shows that the area is in a time of development and might be a great neighborhood in a few years.
Pros
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Not developed enough
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A far off place"

Ahh, Portola, where do I begin? You’re a quiet, nothing-happening neighborhood just to the side of a major highway. You’re a little shady at night, but you’re an okay place to raise a family. But you’re so damn far away from the main San Francisco drag, someone living there can feel like they’re in a totally different place.

The scattering of businesses along James Lick Boulevard make it all worthwhile, though. Johnson’s Barbeque is one of the best BBQ places in San Francisco. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a great dinner place (despite it’s name!). Jim Georgie’s Donuts has pastries to rival bigger names like Bob’s. The San Bruno Café is a classic pit stop on any lazy day. And Yummy Bowl is one of the better pho spots in the city, even though this area is no pho hot spot.

Portola’s in good proximity to some of the lower gems in San Francisco, too. John McLaren park, one of SF’s biggest and least-known green spaces, is just blocks away. Bay View’s pretty shady, but a stroll around South Basin (in the daytime) makes the trip worth it. Same deal with Candlestick Point State Recreation Area: definitely take a look. And Visitacion Valley and Crocker-Amazon are both worth stroll-throughs if you’ve got nothing better to do.
Pros
  • some restaurants
Cons
  • far removed
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
citygalsf
citygalsf There is no James Lick Blvd. in the Portola. The main commercial strip is along San Bruno Ave. Unfortunately, with Mr. Johnson's recent death, the BBQ restaurant is now closed, and sorely missed. A relatively new gem is the "Fancy Wheatfield Bakery", a terrific source of Chinese pastries.
2yrs+
PortolaGardener
PortolaGardener We're anxiously awaiting Portola Four Barrel. It is to open at the dead end of Burrows at San Bruno Avenue in November 2012.
2yrs+
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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 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A great neighbord to live in"

The Inner Sunset might as well be one of the bustling bits of San Francisco life (even though—trust me—it’s not). Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve is one of the best parks in the city. Golden Gate Park is just a short walk above you. West Portal, just south and east, offers a great strip to shop on. And our own little series of parks – Hawk Hill, Golden Gate Heights, and Grand View – should be destinations in their own right (even though – once again – they’re not).

But that’s not all on the menu. Up on Irving Street, the restaurants are hoppin. Underdog offers vegetarian hot dogs—they’re like nothing you’ve ever experienced. San Tung Chinese is a staple of mine. Sometimes take-out Chinese food is the best meal you can ask for. And the Chug Pub just a block up on Lincoln is every recovering frat boy’s dream.

All the way down on Taraval, the fun keeps going. Guerra quality meats is a great stop to refill your meat locker. (Or your freezer—whatever.) San Francisco Wine Trader has some killer deals on some great bottles. And Sushi Zen really hits the sushi spot any day of the week.
Pros
  • restaurants
Cons
  • busy sometimes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • 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
Just now

"At least try the food"

The very middle of the Sunset? Please: Nobody goes there unless they LIVE there.

Exactly! That’s what makes this area such a gem. It’s got all the trappings of a more popular neighborhood, but it’s peaceful, calm, and quiet.

Start your trip with a visit to Sunset Reservoir, one of the bigger bodies of water in the city. You can lose track of a whole afternoon just sitting along the edge of the reservoir and staring at it. (Believe me, I’ve done this.)

Down on Taraval Street, life picks back up again. Kingdom of Dumpling has some of the best soup dumplings not just in San Francisco, but in the U.S. I’m deadly serious, you have to try these --- they might change your life. Parkside Tavern has a ton of character and definitely deserves a stop-by. And the Trolley Café --- just go take a look at it!

Wanna get out a little? Just head further down into Parkside to Pine Lake Park or Sigmund Stern Grove, two of San Francisco’s greatest gems when it comes to park spaces. Laguna Puerca alone is worth a pit stop (here I go again – more staring out at a lake). Seriously, if you don’t head out to Central Sunset for any other reason, just visit it for this park.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • 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
Just now

"Give this place a chance"

Some people think that downtown is the pulsing heart San Francisco.

Some people are wrong.

The Inner Richmond is the perfect landing place to get to everything else. Just north: The still-unspoiled beauty of the Presidio. Just south: The cosmopolitan charm of Golden Gate Park. Take a bus East and you’re downtown in minutes. Take one West and you can get to Sutro Heights before you know it. See what I’m getting at here?

But do yourself a favor and just stay in the Inner Richmond for a while. Up on Clement Street, Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing is just as good as the name suggests (okay, maybe not THAT good—still worth the trip!). Good Luck Dim Sum is one of the best dim sum places in the city. And a night doesn’t get too much better than when it’s split between the Rockit Room and the Bitter End.

Oh, and don’t forget Burma Superstar – it’s one of the city’s legendary Burmese restaurants.

Balboa Street’s another gem. Stop by Tekka Japanese or Sushi Bistro for a great taste of the Far East. Katia’s Russian Tea Room is an awesome spot to waste away part of the afternoon. And finish up your trip with a stop at Cinderella Bakery & Café. Trust me – it’s worth it.
Pros
  • Good ethnic food
  • Less expensive
Cons
  • A little dirty
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • 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
Just now

"Discover this place"

The Central Richmond doesn’t get nearly enough respect. The Outer Richmond has Sutro Heights and spectacular views of the ocean. The Inner Richmond has the Presidio, some of the best spots of Central Park, and downtown just a few blocks away. What can Central Richmond possibly have to offer? Oh, I’m soooo glad you asked.

First off, this is one of the best segments of Geary. You’ve got Tommy’s (the Mexican place, not the meat place). You’ve got John Campbell’s Irish Bakery (god, this place is to die for). You’ve got Joe’s Ice Cream. And don’t forget Trad’r Sam – that place is awesome. It gets even better if you go just a couple blocks up to Clement Street. One Hundred Percent Sweet Café is a terrific dessert place. PPQ Dungeness Island is one of my favorite place to eat crabs in this city. And the Pho Garden Vietnamese Restaurant is a hidden treasure.

Got an afternoon to kill? Take a stroll through the shallow hills of Seacliff – most San Franciscans never get away from Sea Cliff Ave down by the bottom on their way to Land’s End Trail. Or if you’re looking for less water and more green, take the quick hike down to Golden Gate Park – this part of the park is fantastic (and about as often forgotten as Central Richmond itself.
Pros
  • Close to many good areas
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • Less sunshine
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • 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
Just now

"Great views of the ocean"

Most San Francisco dwellers know the Outer Richmond only as “that place with the awful weather that you have to go through to get to Sutro Heights and Ocean Beach. But drill deeper: This place has so much more to offer!

First of all, the views from the tops of the hills in this area (and there are tons of hills over here) are incredible. You can see the ocean from almost everywhere, and the sight of Golden Gate Park below you is to die for.

Need something else to thrill you? Head on down the hill to Balboa Street for some of the finer things in life. Al-Masri Egyptian is 100% worth a stop. Shanghai King dumpling always offers a solid meal. The Balboa Theater is one of my favorites in the city. And Americana Vietnamese & Italian Cuisine, as strange as it sounds, is a dear personal favorite of mine.

Got kids? The Cabrillo playground is a great place to spend your afternoons. Or if you want to switch it up, just head right down to Golden Gate Park (or up to the cliffs near Lincoln Park – see how great this neighborhood is) and explore the surrounding awesome-ness. No matter where you head in the Outer Richmond, you’re sure to find something that’ll thrill you – or at least a hell of a view.
Pros
  • Great parks nearby
  • Less expensive than other neighborhoods
Cons
  • Chilly and foggy
  • Far removed
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 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 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A fun place to visit"

If you take any of the underground muni trains down Market, you spend a lot of time underground and start to wonder what makes this any different from a New York subway. Then, POOF, the tunnel opens and you’re staring down a beautiful shopping street out past the twists and turns of the Twin Peaks.

There are a lot of reasons to come out to West Portal for an afternoon. It’s got awesome restaurants, like a Squat & Gobble and a Tuttimelon. The Village Grill always gets rave reviews. And the Roti Indian Bistro and the Bursa Mediterranean restaurant are fan favorites, too. Take a pit stop at the Portal’s Tavern for a refresher. And never leave the Portal without stopping at Ambassador Toys to check out all the great games they’ve got available. Need more reason to stop by? There’s a movie theater right along the main strip, and up the road a couple blocks is a great San Francisco library branch.

Being in West Portal feels like being in a brand new city. The pace is slower, the South Basin (in the daytime) makes the trip worth it. Same deal with Candlestick Point State Recreation Area: definitely take a look. And Visitacion Valley and Crocker-Amazon are both worth stroll-throughs if you’ve got nothing better to do.
Pros
  • suburban
Cons
  • far away from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Peopla aspire to live here"

Sea Cliff is known as a neighborhood that caters to the wealthy and even has a few celebrity names on its list of residents. The area feels like an isolated piece of suburbia dropped into the middle of the city. It's bordered on both sides by two parks: the Presidio to the east and Lincoln Park to the west. The north side of the neighborhood overlooks the Pacific and boasts great views. Being enclosed on three sides makes this area feel more cozy and adds to the isolation. The only buses that reach Sea Cliff are the 29, which runs north and south, and the 1, which run along California Street.

The houses in the neighborhood tend to be large and expensive. A lot of them share the same architectural look and have red-tiled roofs that are common in California. Walk through the area gawking at the sites. You'll want to see these houses. Maybe you'll even spot Robin Williams house! If you walk toward the Pacific, you can take the steps down to the one public beach in the neighborhood, China Beach.
Pros
  • Neighborhood feeling
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Land of the really rich"

Presidio Heights seems like a richer extension of Laurel Heights to the south or Pacific Heights to the east. All three of these neighborhoods would be a dream to live in, really. However, it will be only that: a dream (unless you're practically a millionaire). Residents here easily make over $100,000 a year and houses sell for the millions.

Presidio Heights stands out because it has the Presidio as its backyard. This vast expanse of greenery is one of the greatest parks in the city. If you live in Presidio Heights, then it's like having a natural fitness center nearby. You can run along the paths or just relax among the trees. You can even go camping in the Presidio.

This neighborhoods is near a lot of great restaurants and shops, which is surprising because it seems far from the busier areas of the city. There are many greats stores on California Street to go to and you can also hop down to Laurel Village, which has a grocery store. You'll also find good places to eat on Sacramento.
Pros
  • Near the Presidio
Cons
  • very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
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 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Great views of the water"

I was just in South Beach this weekend while rollerblading, which I recommend highly. This area is a fitness junkie's paradise. There are long paved paths that go along the edge of the water and around the stadium (AT&T Park) in the area. You get great views of the East Bay and the Bay Bridge. It's also fun to see all the large boats that dock. Right next to the stadium, there is also a cool harbor with sailboats that you can gawk at.

Luckily, I wasn't there this weekend when there was a Giants game, because I hear it's madness, but we did see people forming a line for a soccer game at the stadium. The crowd seemed very tame and it didn't affect the atmosphere. I also didn’t drive, which can be a nightmare. Take public transportation to the Transbay Terminal and then walk over.

This are has the perfect mix of ingredients. It has the water and the public areas, but it avoids becoming a tourist trap like the northern part of the Embarcadero. The great thing is that you can hop up to the more crowded areas easily by public transportation.
Pros
  • Great jogging trails
  • Great views
Cons
  • Parking
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
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
Just now

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

"Expensive but nice"

Laurel Heights reminds me of a more western Pacific Heights. Being away from the busy areas that Pacific heights sits adjacent to certainly has its benefits. This neighborhood is situated near the foot of the Presidio and has a quiet ambience. Similar to Pacific Heights, there are an abundant number of Victorian homes with wealthy families to fill them. Laurel Heights is like a piece of suburbia dropped into the middle of the city. I can often forget that I'm even in San Francisco when I'm there.

When I take morning jogs, I love to run along Sacramento and then down a few blocks into Laurel Heights because it's not very crowded. And if I can't finish my run, I have a number of transportation options to take me back home. including the 38 bus that runs along Geary and the 1 on California. It's always fun window-browsing around the shops that are both on California St. and Sacramento. I have also seen and heard about many good restaurants in this area, even though I haven't had the chance to eat at them all.
Pros
  • nearby hospitals
  • near Presidio
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Good for families"

Potrero Hill is a cute area that seems best suited for families. Houses here sit on a large hill (hence the name) and get a great view of the water.

This area has a lot to offer. There are good restaurants, bars, and shops around. Sometimes I come here to get more of a suburban feel without leaving the city. Unfortunately, to get here, I often have to take two buses. The area seems isolated. The transportation is fine for within the neighborhood, but if you want to head northwest, then using public transportation may take awhile. I think a lot of the families in this area have cars.

One fun event that the neighborhood holds in the Bring Your Own Big Wheel race (BYOBW race). Everyone brings their own big wheel and races down the hill. It used to occur on Lombard Street but recently moved to Potrero Hill to be safer.

This neighborhood is sort of a mixed bag. While it does seem family-friendly, there is some crime that occurs at the south end.
Pros
  • family-oriented
Cons
  • isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Home of the rich"

It seems that in SF, the great the hills, the greater the wealth. Every time I see a dazzling house, I happen to be on one of the steepest hills in the city. Perhaps it keeps crime away? Regardless, this is the case with Pacific Heights. In this neighborhood, you'll find magnificent houses that would be a dream to live in.

The neighborhood is situated on a large hill (hence the "Heights") and caters to the wealthy, which is why you probably won't be renting here (but you'll want to!). Danielle Steel even has her 55-room home here.

On an interesting side note, Pacific Heights is one of the few neighborhoods that withstood the 1906 earthquake, because it is built on a layer of bedrock. This is where the mayor lived and he hardly felt the quake at the time. The earthquake also helped spur the development of the area. The wealthy Nob Hill residents moved from their destroyed homes and built new ones in the relatively empty Pacific Heights area. So, maybe for all that money you pay, you're also paying for built-in earthquake protection. What else could justify these prices?
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Nice Views
Cons
  • Expensive Rents
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • 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
Just now

"Have to deal with drug addicts and homeless people"

I used to live in Western Addition and I wouldn't say it's a great area. The neighborhood attracts a lot of homeless people, which can bring crime and drugs with them.

On my way to work, as I would walk south on Gough, I would often see a number of drug addicts falling asleep in the park on Turk. I would also see the remnants of many smashed car windows near the intersection of Gough and Eddy. Seeing glass all over the ground was pretty much a daily occurrence. I also know that there was a shooting in the parking garage of my apartment building in 2008 that resulted in a death. The area attracts some strange people because there are s many churches in the neighborhood (it's known as Cathedral Hill). That's why there are so many homeless people. They often hang out by St. Mark's Church on the corner of Franklin and Geary.

Despite all the apparent crime, I never felt totally unsafe walking around by myself at night. I used to walk home from work at 10:30pm and the worst I would see were some intoxicated men that would loiter outside a convenience store.
Pros
  • affordable
Cons
  • homeless population
  • crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
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
Just now

"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
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 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Mix of neighborhoods"

San Francisco just doesn’t get any more San Francisco than Nob Hill. The grunge and grime of the Tenderloin borders it on the south. The other-worldliness of Chinatown inhabits its East. And the clamor of Van Ness takes up space on its west. But away from its edges, Nob Hill seems affected by none of this. Cable cars chug up and down its steep slopes, some of the city’s ritzier hotels sit on its peak, concert halls, and brilliant views of the rest of the city.

Want more of the peace and quiet that Nob has to offer? Stroll up to its northern neighbor, Russian Hill. Both peaks offer less hustle and bustle than the rest of the city, some great corner stores and out-of-the-way bars and restaurants, and great views of all of San Francisco.

Heading down off the hill, Polk Street on the neighborhood’s west side offers some of what the hill’s peak is missing: bars, cheap eateries, coffeehouses, and hangout spots. Don’t miss out on good cuisine at The Bell Tower, a classic sandwich at Miller’s East Coast Deli, and great deals on good wine at The Jug Shop. And stick around for the fresh apple fritters that Bob’s Donuts churns out at 11PM --- San Francisco’s singular don’t-miss event!
Pros
  • good eateries
Cons
  • near the tenderloin
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Neighborhood for the wealthy"

Want your San Francisco experience to be mellow, neighborhood-y, quiet, and, uhh, steep? This is the neighborhood for you. Just off the main drags of Van Ness on the west and Columbus Avenue on the east, this place leaves the hustle and bustle of city life below as its altitudes climb.

Russian Hill is best known for being the home of the curviest road in San Francisco. And that little section of Lombard Street that climbs the hill in a series of switchbacks is definitely worth the hype. But come on, people, this neighborhood is so much better than that.

Polk Street on the west side of the hill has tons of great eateries, shops, bars, coffeehouses, dessert spots, and anything else you can think of. The same great perks can be found on the east side of the hill in neighboring North Beach. But up on the hill itself is a fun little park, some corner stores and delis, housing with a ton of character, and some of the best views you can get in the city (from here, the Marina looks just like Italy’s famed cliffside village, Positano).

If you’re up on Russian Hill, heading straight down to the water is always a good stroll. Avoid over-touristed and out-of-the-way Fisherman’s Wharf in favor of the narrow beach and winding pier at the end of Van Ness (just outside of Fort Mason). This area doesn’t get as much traffic and has killer views of Marin County to the north.
Pros
  • Nice Victorians
Cons
  • A Little Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"One of the best SF sites"

This is one of few neighborhoods (yes, people live here) that’s also a park. Yep, the whole thing’s a park.

Maybe the best way to get to know the Presidio is to stick to the outside of it. Starting at Marina Green, you can walk or bike along the waterfront all the way under the Golden Gate Bridge, passing through former airbase Crissy Fields and the touristy Warming Hut along the way. Keep going past the Golden Gate and you’ll be greeted by a rocky vista, terrific views of the Pacific to the West, and finally by the little-known gem that is the Sea Cliff neighborhood.

But you have to dig deeper to find the real meat of the Presidio. Explore the roads and trails of this former military base to see former officer’s houses, general barracks, and the San Francisco National Cemetery, where only military personnel with badges of honor are allowed to be buried. Enjoy the spectacular forest and various hikes the park has to offer. And back at Crissy Fields, don’t miss such awesome sites as the House of Air, a huge indoor trampoline center that’s open to the public, or the enormous Sports Basement for all of your outdoorsy needs.
Pros
  • Good Jogging Area
  • Green Space
Cons
  • homeless population
  • Too Many Inaccessible Areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A lot of things to see"

The Embarcadero’s a car and pedestrian thoroughfare between the places (like Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building) where people actually WANT to be. But don’t let your destination distract you from where you are now … every pier holds its own little surprise!

Along the embarcadero you’ll find Tcho chocolates, which just opened its factory for tours and has a can’t-miss sweet shop in front. Another crowd-pleaser is the Teatro Zinzanni, a cirque du soleil-style good-ol’-fashioned circus for the whole family. And don’t miss the Fog City Diner, an area staple with classic diner décor, or the Filbert Steps just a few blocks away (take a map—they’re easy to miss and well worth hitting).

Not into the tourist spots? Just grab a bike, a skateboard, some rollerblades, or just your own two feet and cruise this strip. The sidewalk’s wide, the foot traffic’s heavy but never overpowering, and if you don’t feel like stopping at the Ferry Building, the Embarcadero will take you all the way to AT&T Park, with great views of Oakland and points south along the East Bay on the way. It’s free and fun, and you’ll always get some bizarre story out of the experience.
Pros
  • Beautiful views
  • Must-see tourist stop
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Poor parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"Trendy, safe neighborhood"

If the Mission district’s that slightly dirty, still-can’t-get-it-together older brother that everybody loves even though he’s a little rough around the edges, Mission Dolores is his polar opposite younger sister: upscale, safe, trendy, casually cool, but ever-so-slightly annoying for not being just a little more edgy. It draws about as much character from the Castro on its west side as it does from the Mission to its east. And that’s okay! But seriously, M.D., edge up a bit.

This place has nice eateries (check out Bi-Rite Creamery, one of the best ice cream spots in SF), great-looking places to live, walking distance to a bunch of neat neighborhoods, and one of the best parks in San Francisco (Dolores park, of course), so it’s hard to beat for a great place to live. If you can’t quite stomach the mission and think the Castro’s just a shade too cute, this is your place.

Got time for a stroll-by? Awesome – start at Dolores Park, taking a look at all the characters who call this place their daily hangout. Head east on 18th, past Dolores Park Café and Bi-Rite, all the way to Valencia Street, this neighborhood’s east border. Scope the hipness on Valencia while you walk up to 16th, then take a left and get greeted by bars, sushi places, and a pork store. Take scenic two-lane Dolores Street back down to the park, then join the rest of the group there and just bask in the coolness.
Pros
  • great eateries
  • Dolores park
Cons
  • homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"So much more than meets the eye"

Ahh, the mission district. At first glance, you’ve got another taco place on every block, grown men hanging out on street corners (and openly gawking as you jog past --- seriously, stop), lots of “discount” and “wholesale” stores, even more closed storefronts and abandoned properties, and a general shadiness that detracts a little from every experience there.

Look past that. Those taco places, first of all, are AMAZING. Some of the best (and the freshest) Mexican food I’ve ever had, and always worth the low prices. And if you know where to go, the little diamonds in this slightly rough part of town are shiny and pristine. In the ice cream category, for example, you’ve got a foodie war between Bi-rite in nearby Mission Dolores and Humphrey-Slocombe on the east side of the Mission. Both amazing, both worth a try. Up and down trendy Valencia Street, the furthest west street in this area, you’ve got used book stores, consignment fashion spots, fantastic eateries of all sorts, and the kind of quirky little shops you usually only find in Haight Ashbury.

Also, this place is convenient to get to. The 49 takes you down here from anywhere on Van Ness. The 12 takes you here from Soma and South Beach. There’s a BART station on 16th. Basically, all roads lead to (or near) the Mission.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Sketchy at night
  • Some dangerous blocks
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Not all it’s cracked up to be"

This neighborhood’s got a great reputation for being chock full of young professionals, start-up businesses, big open lofts, art studios, great art and furniture finds, and the kind of “anything goes” atmosphere that makes San Francisco the city it is. And that’s all true.

But there’s a seedy feeling to SOMA that I’ve never been able to shake. A lot of the buildings look like they’ve seen better days. There are seemingly abandoned buildings (these probably house those lofts and art studios this place is famous for, but they still look dingy) and closed storefronts almost everywhere you go. The artists and entrepreneurs live amongst lower-income blue-collar types. And there are just few enough people on the streets to make you wonder how safe you are at certain times of day.

Also, it’s just not a happening place to take a stroll through. Sure, there are tons of places to hit if you know what you’re looking for, but this isn’t one of those neighborhoods where fun times just jump out at you. At first glance, most of SOMA just looks boring.

Worth a visit for the great furniture shop Funky Furniture SF and the craft brew gem City Beer Store. Also worth checking out at night for countless hole-in-the-wall bars up and down the neighborhood (The Stud, Lone Star Saloon, Slim’s, and Bar Agricole, just to name a few). Also a hotspot for some good coffeeplaces and restaurants. I’d pass on living here.
Pros
  • Great food
Cons
  • Some run-down areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Take the steps"

Telegraph Hill's two main focal points are Coit Tower and the Filbert Steps. Let's start with the steps. The steps run along the backyards of some amazingly beautiful houses and gardens. It's sort of like peeking into another world. I wish I could live there (minus all the tourists going past my house daily). In the greenery along the steps, you might even see (or hear) some of the parrots that reside there. There is a wonderful documentary that can tell you more about these beautiful birds called " The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill." It's about Mark Bittner, a resident that feeds and looks after the parrots on the hill. Additionally, regarding the steps: make sure you're sort of in shape. You can take breaks, but it might take awhile to get up all those steps. It's not from the faint of heart.

After you have ascended the steps, then you're on your way to Coit Tower. Right outside the tower, there are breathtaking views of the water and the surrounding land. You can enter the tower for $5, but I would suggest taking in the sights for free.
Pros
  • Beautiful views
  • Attractive Older Buildings
Cons
  • Difficult to walk to
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
StBloomSF
StBloomSF Good review. I'd forgotten all about the parrots. Yet another reason to move to Telegraph Hill if you have the bank for it.
2yrs+
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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 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A trendy neighborhood now"

Haight-Ashbury, casually known as The Haight is no longer the ultra-hippie mecca that it used to be. Of course, you'll find some aging stoners hanging around (and young ones, too), but I think the area attracts more than just Grateful Dead fans these days. The epicenter, Haight Street, actually appears to be turning into a pretty trendy place. Yes, there are, of course, the required smoke shops around, but there are also up-and-coming restaurants, bars, and clothing shops.

As you walk down Haight Street, you'll be amazed at how many great shops there are. I have seen a number of impressive vintage clothing stores that I've made a note of.
A popular hot spot is Toronado, a great bar for beer lovers. It has over 40 beers on tap that range from local SF favorites to ones from Belgium. The pub doesnt serve food, but they do allow you to get food from Rosamunde Sausage Grill next door and bring it in to enjoy with your beer. It's an amazing combination.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • Expensive to live in
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Tourist trap with some hidden spots"

I feel sad to say anything bad about North Beach, because it has such a rich history, but this area is turning into San Francisco's version of Little Italy. This is a tourist mecca. There are a lot of gelato shops, coffee places offering espresso, and Italian eateries. Most of it doesn't feel genuine.

However, I do think there are still some very good gems that have escaped the tourists. There are some small Italian food shops that remain authentic and some restaurants still trying to showcase genuine food that isn't too Americanized. If you walk along the side streets off of Columbus, you can spot these places. I hope they last among the busy tourist destinations.

Recently, there was a North Beach Festival and it was full of drunken frat-boy types, which led me to believe that the population of this area is slowly changing. I spoke to one resident about the festival and he wasn't too proud that it even existed, because it didn't represent the authentic Italian history of North Beach.
Pros
  • good lunch break street
  • great for walking
Cons
  • Lots of tourists
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Unique area in SF"

Fort Mason is a unique area in San Francisco. I wouldn't classify it as a "neighborhood," because it is a mostly isolated area that is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It has an interesting look to it because it is composed of mostly old military buildings.

Most of the buildings in Fort Mason sit on a large piece of land overlooking the water. The buildings have a cookie cutter-feeling to them, because this was an old military post. Currently, you can even rent apartments here. Some of the other buildings are used as posts for park offices.

Overall, I think Fort Mason provides a beautiful green space in the city. It offers great views and wonderful gardens. After you explore the upper area of Fort Mason, you can walk down a long flight of stairs on the side of the hill to get down to Fort Mason Center. This is a very long building on the edge of the water that serves as the venue for thousands of events throughout the year. We even bought our Christmas tree here!
Pros
  • Green space
  • Near the water
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A must-see area"

Golden Gate Park is one of the best places to relax in the city. It's huge, which is impressive because San Francisco is not a large city. When I go here, I often get lost, because the roads zig zag and are not always labeled clearly (but that's part of the fun, right?).

I run, rollerblade, and bike here, and enjoy the miles of paths that the park provides. You could spend all day here enjoying the great weather that SF often has to offer. (But beware, the Sunset, which is south of the park, often has very cold temperatures that can roll into the park, so bring extra layers!) There are also a lot of open green area where you can have a picnic, read a book, or watch the dogs run around.

If you want to do something more structured, then you could rent a boat on Stowe Lake or see one of the many exhibits in the park (like the Conservatory of Flowers). I prefer to use the park as my own personal oasis for exercise and relaxation.

This is an easy destination to get to. There are plenty of bus lines that run along the side of the park, like the 5 or the 21.
Pros
  • peacefull
  • green
Cons
  • homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A large working crowd"

If you're in the Financial District, then you're probably here for business. This is an area full of high rises, banks, and commercial buildings. This is a prestigious place to work in SF, because it probably means you're doing well in life.

The Financial District is not an area where you would spend a few hours to see the sites, unless you're there for the buildings. There isn't much to do because of the many office buildings. This is, however, a good place to grab a quick lunch. There are a lot of little cafes and coffee shops tailored to the busy businessperson.

I think the best thing to visit is the Ferry Building, which sits at the end of Market Street. It sort of embodies the Financial District in the way it represents commerce. The building is full of booths and shops that will sell you mostly food-related items. There is a gelato shop, Blue Bottle Coffee, chocolate stores, meat purveyors, etc. I really love coming here and browsing for a few hours.
Pros
  • Great nearby food options
Cons
  • Not at all residential
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A great place to visit"

I would consider the parts of this district that are farther from Market Street to be part of SoMa, but, nonetheless, this is a thriving area.

The scenery around the south Financial District includes a lot of high rises and medium office buildings. On Market Street, you'll find a lot of well-dressed business people dashing here and there. At lunch, there are usually a lot of people frequenting the many restaurants and cafes. I wouldn't consider this a place where tourists flock congregate. There are shops in this area, but they seem to be off the beaten path. Tourists tend to stick to Market Street because it's easier to navigate.

Because a lot of people commute t this area, there are a lot of transportation options. A number of buses run down Market, like the 5, 38, or 21, and the Embarcadero BART stops right on Market, too. About a block from this neighborhood is the Transbay Terminal, where all the buses have their final stops. You can catch a number of buses here.
Pros
  • Cute eateries
  • Great Transportation
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
Just now

"Beautiful suburban area"

When I discovered Duboce Triangle on a run one day, I was absolutely smitten. It's picturesque! This area seems like a very sweet and friendly neighborhood. There's a park named, what else, Duboce Park and it's very popular with dog owners. You can stop by and watch the dogs run around for awhile. It's a great place to enjoy the scenery.

The neighborhood isn't very big and I think that's what gives it a good vibe. It's sort of a quiet and quaint area located in one of hte greatest cities in the country.

Duboce Triangle is mostly residential. You aren't going to find a lot of crazy nightlife or great restaurants here. There is a cute cafe across from the park that draws the dog owners and coffee lovers in. If you do need to venture out to get your restaurant fix, then the Castro or Market Street are extremely close by.

One downside of the area is its price. Because this neighborhood is so prized and gorgeous, rents and housing prices are going to be above average (and San Francisco rents are already pretty high).
Pros
  • Duboce park
  • dog heaven
Cons
  • no restaurants
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Best place for shopping"

Downtown really is a one-stop shopping hub. There are so many different stores in this area. Anytime I need to buy anything, I go here. One great spot is the Westfield Mall that is located on Market Street. It has a lot of popular stores and even has a really delicious food court. This isn't like a Sbarro's/Orange Julius type food court; they have a vegan spot, great Asian choices, etc. It seems more upscale than other food courts I've been to.

North of Market, there's more shopping. You'll hit the big stores like Macy's and Nordstrom's, which sit on Union Square Park. This is a really great part. It's not full of a lot of greenery, but doesn't have places to take you're lunch if you work in the area. I was also there one time when a live band was playing on a stage in the center of the park.

I would recommend avoiding the south end of Powell, where it meets Market Street. This is where the cable car picks up tourists and it's usually mobbed during the day.
Pros
  • many stores
  • union square park
Cons
  • homeless population
  • crowds
  • chain restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • 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
Just now

"Super Crowded"

Chinatown is a fun place to visit, but the general consensus that I've heard is that you wouldn't want to live there. It's a very congested area, which makes for some fun things to see, but I've never seen the energy die down. It seems like a stressful place to live.

The streets are usually packed with people, a lot of them tourists, and there are all sorts of shops selling their wares. On Grant Street, the epicenter of the area, I haven't seen shops selling much that a local would want to buy. Try the blocks surrounding Grant, like Stockton or Powell, if you're looking for a really great market or shop that the locals enjoy. Also, if you're interested in some really great loose teas or amazing Chinese food, then Chinatown is the place to visit.

Luckily, Chinatown offers some really great transportation. There are a number of bus lines here and a few cable care lines. Unfortunately, because Chinatown is so densely populated, you might have to squeeze in if you're getting on a bus.
Pros
  • Cheap shopping
  • Great Chinese food
  • great for walking
Cons
  • a little dirty
  • very, very crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5
Just now

"One of my favorite neighborhoods"

Alamo Square is one of the prettiest areas in the city. I would love to live here. I'm always telling people that my top street to live on is Steiner Street. The houses are gorgeous! Of course, these houses also included the famous "Painted Ladies," a row of homes that includes the "Full House" home. Tourists often congregate here and take pictures. I wouldn't suggest living lose to these homes, because it seems like the homeowners have become annoyed about the constant attention. One house had a sign in the window that said, "This house is NOT the Full House house."

The centerpiece of this area is Alamo Square Park. The park takes up a four-block area and sits on a very steep hill. It's a great place for people watching and relaxing. You can get a great workout if you're willing to run on the hill. The park also includes a tennis court.

Alamo Square Park also boasts great views to the North and east down Hayes Street. Recently, San Francisco's famous Bay to Breakers race occurred, and you could see crowds of runners all the way down Hayes.
Pros
  • great views
  • quiet
  • pretty house
Cons
  • no restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Quiet yet vibrant neighborhood"

The Castro is the largest gay neighborhood in the country. It has a very rich history in the gay movement, with its most famous incident being the assassination of activist leader Harvey Milk. I love the vibe of this area and think it has more of an open-minded feeling than some of the other neighborhoods in the city. As you stroll through the streets, you'll be reminded of this, because there are large rainbows flags that are attached to the streetlights.

The streets with the coolest spots in this area are Market Street and Castro Street. I tend to walk down Market a lot because I do my grocery shopping in the Castro. There is a really great Safeway grocery store right there that offers an amazing variety of products.

The great thing about the Castro is that it has a lot of amazing restaurants and bars. There are some good gay bars located on Castro Street and there's a fun karaoke bar right on Market.
Pros
  • Great bars
  • Tolerant community
  • Delicious eateries
Cons
  • Not friendly to cars
  • Bus transportation is limited
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
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 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Has something for everyone"

Lower Pacific Heights seems like a mix of everything you could want. There are a number of distinct areas that you could break the neighborhood into: a suburban part, an upscale shopping area, and Japantown.

Japantown is smaller than you might expect. It's only a few blocks long and a couple blocks tall. Most of the stores are situated on Post Street, including a cool mall there. It doesn't have much shopping available, but there are some good restaurants in the mall and on the street. The mall sits on a nice plaza where events are sometimes held (including a Cherry Blossom festival in April). Overall, Japantown is quiet and is a good place to grab dinner.

Most of the Lower Pacific Heights shopping occurs on Fillmore. This is a more upscale shopping experience. I love going here. There are a number of higher quality restaurants and a Johnny Rockets for when you just want to grab a regular burger. To enjoy this kind of atmosphere, it's going to be a bit pricier to rent on this street.
Pros
  • great shopping
  • great restaurants
  • quiet
Cons
  • just above a bad area
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Good shopping/eating, not for living"

Cow Hollow is pretty similar to the Marina, except it's not on the water. The residents are mostly young, professional people. This is not really a neighborhood for families if that's what you're looking for. Additionally, you're going to have to pay more to live in this prized area. One bedroom apartments are probably going to cost $2300+ in rent. The high prices are what you pay to live close to all the bars and restaurants that are nearby.

The shopping and restaurants are great in this neighborhood. I especially love Union Street where most of the shops are located. My favorite restaurant, which I heavily recommend, is Betelnut. They serve upscale Chinese food and great drinks. It will be a little bit pricey though (the theme of the area).

If you are looking for a quiet neighborhood, then this isn't the place. On Thursday through Saturday nights, you'll find hoards of young people crowding the street. Hoards of young DRUNK people. I once saw a girl throwing up all over the street here.
Pros
  • great restaurants
  • great bars
Cons
  • Loud
  • Crowded
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Live here if you can"

The Marina is the kind of area that reminds you why you live in San Francisco. It has beautiful homes, a quiet atmosphere, and a great waterfront area. There is a paved path that runs the length of the water for people to use for walking or jogging. You will see a lot of very fit people jogging here! In fact, this area is known for its attractive residents. It's a running joke that everyone looks beautiful even in the grocery store after hitting the gym.

As for things to see and do in the area, take advantage of the water! There are two swim clubs in SF and they both use the bay as their swimming pools. There is also a small beach along the water (the water is not warm though). Exercise in the green space or sit on a bench and watch the waves. You can kill hours here.

There are also some shops along Chestnut that are fun to browse. For the kids (and adults), there's the Exploratorium, which is a really fun science museum. They have hundreds of exhibits and it's a place that never gets old.
Pros
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • Expensive, scarce parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
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 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"On the upswing"

The epicenter of Hayes Valley is Hayes Street. This street is developing cooler eateries and stores every week and it's really on the rise as a fun area. The area is pretty centered on bar life, eating, and buying expensive clothes. Some favorite restaurants include include 4505 Meats (meat store), Suppenkuche (German food + beer), Paxti's (Chicago pizza), and Moishe's Pippic (deli).

At Hayes and Octavia is a small (but pretty) park called Patricia's Green. You can take your lunch there and watch people play with their dogs. Currently, a number of eateries are opening on the edge of Patricia's Green. The Project Project is a plan to open a number of businesses in empty lots using recycled shipping containers. So far, Smitten Ice Cream and Ritual Coffee have opened. There are also plans to install a Suppenkuche biergarten, a container for 4505 Meats, and possibly a spot for the famous Delfina Pizzeria.

One of the problems with San Francisco is that a lot of places don't stay open very late, but luckily Hayes Valley comes to the rescue. You can find great cafes and bars open later than other neighborhoods.
Pros
  • Lots of shops
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • Not very big
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Take your visiting friends here"

Fisherman's Wharf isn't a place that the locals like to frequent. It tends to be crowded with tourists and is a slightly stressful and chaotic place. However, if you have visitors coming from out of town, then this is a mandatory area to visit.

The best part of this area has to be Pier 39. There are a lot of shops to browse through and there are many places to grab a meal if you need to (mostly chains though, like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co). After you pass the shopping area, you can walk to the end of the pier. This gives you a great view of the water, Alcatraz, and the towns across the bay. Also at the end of the pier are the famous seal lions and seals lying out on the floating docks.

Some important attractions that I would suggest seeing are the aquarium, the Alcatraz tour (it leaves from this area), and possibly a relaxing cruise or boat ride. There are some great dinner cruises that go under the Golden Gate bridge and come back in a couple hours.
Pros
  • a must for tourists
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • Too many chain restaurants
  • A Tourist hotspot
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"Many cultural adventures here"

I think the civic center area often gets a bad reputation because it sits adjacent to the tenderloin, but since moving here, I've seen so many great features of this area. I've only lived here for about a month and my entire opinion of this area has changed.

Civic Center serves as the cultural hub of the city. In a two-block radius, you can find the opera, symphony, ballet, and many theaters. I think the main draw of the area is the huge park at Polk and McAllister. This area often serves as the place for large events or festivals. I recently went to the Earth Day celebration here and there were dozens of booths set up in addition to a stage for bands. The open space makes it easy for parades to set up and start here, so if you live in the area, you often have a front row seat to all the parades happening in the city. It's often a very fun experience.

The downside of a lot of open space in the civic center is that homeless people congregate here. The park also sits across from the library, which attracts people that are loitering.
Pros
  • Huge open park
  • cultural sites
Cons
  • homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish

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