• Local Expert 155 points
  • Review 1
  • Questions 0
  • Answers 7
  • Discussions 0


5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"A suburb in the city"

I have lived in Sea Cliff since I was two years old, and as frustratingly boring as the neighborhood can be as a teenager, I still love the quiet neighborhood I have always called home. When my family first moved here in 1991, we were the only Asians on the block, but the neighborhood has gotten considerably more diverse since then, especially since a lot of the older, longtime residents have passed away. However, it's still extremely white (a lot of Jewish people though); I know of only one African-American family and no Hispanic families. The neighborhood was created in the 1910s as a whites-only residential neighborhood; the architect also created St. Francis Wood as a whites-only neighborhood with similarly wide, winding tree-lined streets, large, detached houses with gardens, and pillars designating the boundaries of the neighborhood. Commercial businesses are not allowed in Sea Cliff, and houses can't be subdivided into apartments/condos, so if you're looking to rent an apartment, it will have to be south of California street and therefore outside of Sea Cliff.

It's a great place to raise a family, not so great for young, single people who want to have fun. Growing up, it always took me forever to get places on the Muni (ex: 30 minutes on the 1 California to get to Fillmore, 45 minutes on the 38 Geary to get to Union Square, etc.). Public transportation is awful in comparison to the rest of the city, and if you want a taxi, you'll have to call it. Luckily, I went to Katherine Delmar Burke School like all the other girls in the neighborhood (boys usually go to Town or Cathedral), so I was able to safely walk to and from school everyday. My brother briefly went to Alamo School, which is a top public elementary school down the street for Outer Richmond kids. Presidio Middle School and George Washington High School (both of which were attended by my parents) are also great public schools within walking distance, although most Sea Cliff parents send their kids to private schools.

One of the best things about Sea Cliff is the neighbors; it's probably the only neighborhood left in SF where you can literally go next door to borrow a cup of sugar. We know everyone on our block, and we still have block parties. All the houses have gardens/backyards, so teenagers in the neighborhood tend to throw a lot of ragers (especially because of the proximity to China Beach, Baker Beach and Land's End), but usually it's dead quiet at night. The closest bars are Trad'r Sam's, which is a tiki bar on 26th and Geary that's always filled with college kids and has alcoholic ice cream drinks, and the Tee Off Bar and Grill, which has $4 pints, an awesome beer selection, surprisingly sophisticated food, an outdoor backyard area, and a cute dog named Olive (Sea Cliff is very dog friendly). Other than that, there's nowhere to go out. There are quite a few cheap, awesome Asian restaurants on Clement (albeit the quieter end in comparison to the part closer to Arguello), Geary and Balboa, plus a few cafes, Gordo's, etc. (mostly Asian food though); the only "nice" restaurant in the area is probably Aziza on Geary. All the stores and restaurants are pretty cheap and unpretentious, and they've all been around forever; it isn't a trendy area. Houses here can stay in the same families for generations, and most of the families have been in San Francisco for a long time. People who move into the neighborhood are usually looking to put down roots here.
  • Amazing Views
  • Immaculate Streets
  • Neighborhood feeling
  • Spacious Homes
  • expensive
  • Not So Diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers

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