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Best CH 'hood in SF. Might be moving...

Mr. S May 31, 2007 04:42 PM

I know this is a broad question, but I may be moving to SF and giving up my SUV in favor of a good pair of shoes. Where would one want to move? I like ALL food. A typical week includes: sushi, mexican, burger, tacos, pizza, pho, mexican etc... but that is due to where I live now. (Orange County) In an ideal world, I would eat chinese, japanese, mexican, lebanese and vietnamese in a steady rotation. So then, I must also add that I will be on foot most of the time, and I also have this thing about living in a nice area... where to start my search?

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  1. sgwood415 RE: Mr. S May 31, 2007 05:32 PM

    Well, you might want to consider living close to a muni train line so you can get around to some neighborhoods easily. The muni trains run through areas that have really great eats such as Noe Valley, Mission, Inner Sunset, Lower Haight to name a few. As for living in a nicer area, Noe Valley would be a good pick. But any of the other areas could have some decent places to live within walking distance of the trains, it's just hit and miss block by block in some spots. As for the wide range on your list, you probably won't find one neighborhood with all of those in one place. So go for transportation access and enjoy SF!

    1. Gary Soup RE: Mr. S May 31, 2007 07:07 PM

      Inner Clement Street pretty much has that mix. No lebanese that I know of, though. Just make sure you buy a monthly bus pass, SF is a good transit city and there are good eats all over town.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gary Soup
        Euonymous RE: Gary Soup May 31, 2007 09:57 PM

        I'm not sure about Lebanese (there is Israeli in the neighborhood) and Chinese is iffy, but everything else you want can be found at or near the intersection of Valencia and Mission in the Outer Mission district. We also have excellent access to public transportation so the rest of the city is easy to get to.

        1. re: Euonymous
          Meredith RE: Euonymous Jun 1, 2007 02:56 PM

          That is just what I was thinking! The nice thing about that area is that it is walkable from Outer Noe or Inner Glen Park, both of which I like as nice neighborhoods.

          Edited to add: I just read further down and it seems most of the responses also were thinking this. That shows me not to reply until I get to the bottom of the post!

        2. re: Gary Soup
          Mr. S RE: Gary Soup Jun 1, 2007 12:28 PM

          Is that an area or just a street?

        3. rworange RE: Mr. S May 31, 2007 10:32 PM

          Does it hav to be SF? Could it be Berkeley

          16 Replies
          1. re: rworange
            Mr. S RE: rworange Jun 1, 2007 12:28 PM

            HAS to be SF... thanks!

            1. re: rworange
              Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Jun 1, 2007 12:55 PM

              I live in Berkeley and love it, but it is not nearly as much of a paradise of diverse ethnic delights as SF's most chowish neighborhoods.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 01:01 PM

                Yeah, but a more likely target for a nice neighborhood with good eats nearby.

                I'd move to the Marina given those requirements. Not as great as other ethinic eats places but enough interesting stuff like the Italian deli (Lucca?), A16, etc. Also the Presidio seems to be developing. Probably in terms of better neighborhoods with good food nearby, amoung the best areas ... buy earthquake insurance though ... if you can.

                1. re: rworange
                  Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Jun 1, 2007 01:14 PM

                  In SF, the east side of Noe Valley offers a high-rent residential environment a few blocks up the hill from the Mission, which has a very high concentration of board favorites.

                  If you're on foot most of the time in a nice neighborhood in Berkeley, your food options are limited. You need a car or a lot of time on BART and buses to get to many of the board's favorite ethnic joints in Richmond and Oakland.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    a_and_w RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 01:48 PM

                    Noe Valley was actually going to be my suggestion...

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      Mr. S RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 02:04 PM

                      What do you consider high rent residential? And are you telling me its a downhill walk to a CH heaven? It keeps getting better!

                      1. re: Mr. S
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Mr. S Jun 1, 2007 03:34 PM

                        Noe Valley's one of the more expensive neighborhoods, and it's up the hill from the Mission, where there are 30 or 40 of the best places to eat in town.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          a_and_w RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 06:23 PM

                          And that includes both high and low end food, which is the brilliance of the Mission/Valencia area. The lack of Chinese offerings, however, is an issue I hadn't stopped to consider. Have you considered joining City CarShare?

                      2. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Dave MP RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 02:23 PM

                        I also think east side of Noe Valley is a good choice....even parts of the Mission. I drew on this map:


                        an approximate box of where I would want to live. However, I generally agree with the sentiment that it doesn't matter too much if you have Muni pass, since you can get anywhere in the city pretty easily. For example, I eat a ton of Chinese food but live in Mission/Potrero Hill, so when I want Chinese, I go tto a different neighborhood. It's not too big a deal.

                        The map I drew is my favorite area due to niceness of the area, sunshine, closeness to downtown/bart/muni, proximity to food, and central location in general.

                        Dave MP

                        1. re: Dave MP
                          Mr. S RE: Dave MP Jun 1, 2007 03:36 PM

                          I tried to open your map without success... I will try later from home computer, thank you!

                          1. re: Mr. S
                            Dave MP RE: Mr. S Jun 1, 2007 03:58 PM

                            Hmm, too bad. Did it work for anyone?

                            Dave MP

                            1. re: Dave MP
                              NoeMan RE: Dave MP Jun 1, 2007 04:13 PM

                              Worked for me.

                              1. re: Dave MP
                                chaddict RE: Dave MP Jun 1, 2007 04:17 PM

                                works fine

                                1. re: Dave MP
                                  susancinsf RE: Dave MP Jun 1, 2007 05:43 PM

                                  yes, worked for me, and I can see that I am only a block or so outside your preferred nabe. :-) However, there are some nice parks near me too (Bernal Heights/Outer Mission)..AND, a new Salvadorean bakery just opened up on Mission near College Hill (called Pan Rico). I am going to check it out this weekend, I hope, so look for a report back!

                                  1. re: susancinsf
                                    Dave MP RE: susancinsf Jun 1, 2007 05:47 PM

                                    Haha, the map is only a rough outline. I actually think that living further south into Bernal Heights/Outer Mission area would be great, although it's not *as* good without a car and it's farther from other areas (Haight, Richmond, downtown, etc)....I live WAY outside my 'preferred neighborhood' and I'm perfectly happy there too (near Potrero Hill)....good chow is never far away when you live in San Francisco.

                                    1. re: Dave MP
                                      susancinsf RE: Dave MP Jun 1, 2007 05:49 PM

                                      It is true that we are sometimes deterred from going to the Sunset and Richmond from our house even though we own a car (and a garage too, lucky us)...which I am fully aware makes me a chow wimp! However, I do love walking to some of my favorite places...La Ciccia, Lotus Garden, just to name two...lots of CH favorites within walking distance,actually...

                    2. m
                      ML8000 RE: Mr. S May 31, 2007 10:56 PM

                      Food and nice are highly subjective. Some of the best food 'hoods (Mission) wouldn't necessarily be considered "nice" although not bad either...the character of neighborhoods literally change block to block. OTOH, some of the "nice" 'hoods are bad food areas. Also, do you want to see the sun? Sounds weird but half the city (western part) is covered in fog 60% of the year and yet some of these areas have great food (Inner Sunset, Inner Richmond).

                      The suggestion to live near a Muni Metro line is a very good one.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ML8000
                        Mr. S RE: ML8000 Jun 1, 2007 12:31 PM

                        I will keep all of this in mind for my search, thank you very much!

                      2. Robert Lauriston RE: Mr. S Jun 1, 2007 12:54 PM

                        Mission District is Chowhound heaven. You can find Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Vietnamese within a couple of blocks of the 16th St. BART station, along with restaurants of a dozen or more other ethnicities.

                        Inner Richmond is great but not quite as diverse.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          finchycocoa RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 01:21 PM

                          I don't know where there is good chinese in the Mission though. I occasionally eat at Yum Yum or Firecracker but there are just ok. Where do you go, Robert?

                          1. re: finchycocoa
                            Robert Lauriston RE: finchycocoa Jun 1, 2007 01:34 PM

                            Not the best neighborhood for Chinese, no. There are a bunch of Chinese places but I don't know if any are currently good. Burmese and Cambodian are better bets.

                            1. re: finchycocoa
                              susancinsf RE: finchycocoa Jun 1, 2007 01:34 PM

                              I agree. If there is really good Chinese in the Mission someone please tell me where to find it....

                              1. re: finchycocoa
                                ML8000 RE: finchycocoa Jun 1, 2007 01:41 PM

                                There's really no decent Chinese food in the Mission. It's an overstatement. There are some "down home" Chinese deli's on Mission St...but people go there to get char siu, etc., not to dine. The last decent Chinese place was Yuet Lee's 2nd branch that left a long time ago.

                                If the original poster wants decent Asian food in the rotation, the Mission isn't the place.

                                1. re: ML8000
                                  susancinsf RE: ML8000 Jun 1, 2007 02:01 PM

                                  I think you can get decent to very good Asian, particularly Vietnamese (ie Lotus Garden) and Cambodian (ie Angkor Borei), (I am counting the Outer Mission here) and overall I think the Mission has appeal from a chow perspective, but Chinese, no.

                                  However, San Bruno Ave in SF (as opposed to the town of San Bruno) *does* have some good Chinese options (ie Wing Hing and Zone 88), and is very close by. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the buses from the Mission heads down there....

                                  1. re: susancinsf
                                    ML8000 RE: susancinsf Jun 1, 2007 03:09 PM

                                    There is good Chinese food on San Bruno Ave but the public transportation is sort of a hassle and it's not really the Outer Mission.

                                    The reality of the SF is some 'hoods have been representation then others with particular foods. The Inner Richmond and Sunset will out do any other neighborhood for overall Asian availablity and quality...but taqueria-wise...meh...

                                    The lucky thing is everything in SF is a half hour away.

                                    Frankly, if it were me, I'd live near a Muni Metro line and buy a cheapo car to drive around on weekends and evenings to get to the other 'hoods. Then you could head all over the Bay Area. I just wouldn't use it as the primary transpo.

                                    1. re: ML8000
                                      Mr. S RE: ML8000 Jun 1, 2007 03:34 PM

                                      Thanks for all of the great info. As for cheapo car, wouldnt I have to pay to park it? And with a 600$ car payment now.... I could rent a new one every weekend to suit any activity AND still come out ahead....

                                      1. re: Mr. S
                                        Robert Lauriston RE: Mr. S Jun 1, 2007 03:37 PM

                                        There are several hourly-rental car companies in SF. Best of both worlds.

                                        1. re: Mr. S
                                          ML8000 RE: Mr. S Jun 1, 2007 04:07 PM

                                          Depends on which neighborhood you live in. Noe, Potrero Hill, Glen Park and some parts of the Richmond and the Sunset have "okay" (a relative term) street parking. You will have to move it for street cleaning.

                                          The hourly rental cars are a good option and the congested neighborhoods have a few services (City Ride, Zap Car, etc.). I have one near me but I did the math...cheapo car is less and more convenient.

                                          1. re: ML8000
                                            Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Jun 1, 2007 05:06 PM

                                            I wouldn't call Noe Valley's street parking okay. It's not too hard to find a spot if you're going to a restaurant there at dinnertime, but coming home at 11pm or later ... many's the time I drove around for half an hour.

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              ML8000 RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2007 07:12 PM

                                              Up in the 'hood where houses and people live it's okay and before 9 p.m. On the main drag or when people come home definitely not...but that's 95% of SF. Any way, it's better then most 'hoods that's for sure.

                                              1. re: ML8000
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Jun 1, 2007 07:16 PM

                                                There are worse (e.g. Inner Richmond), but I wouldn't live there with a car and no garage again.

                                  2. re: finchycocoa
                                    Nancy Berry RE: finchycocoa Jun 1, 2007 03:23 PM

                                    It's true that there isn't very good Chinese food in the Mission, but within walking distance (a good walk, not terrible) from the Glen Park Bart Station is Lucky River, a very good inexpensive Cantonese restaurant with lots of fabulous set menu (Wo Choy) deals as well as excellent rice plates and claypots. And the San Bruno Ave. area that has excellent Chinese restaurants (Zone 88, Red House Bakery, Wing Hing, Imperial Teahouse) is only a 44 bus ride from the Glen Park Bart Station. With a Muni FastPass, you have unlimited rides on all Muni buses, streetcars, etc. and all Bart routes within the city of SF for one month -- $45..

                                    1. re: Nancy Berry
                                      susancinsf RE: Nancy Berry Jun 1, 2007 05:47 PM

                                      That is what I thought: Unlike ML8000 I don't consider San Bruno Ave to be that much of a hassle by public transportation.

                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                        Nancy Berry RE: susancinsf Jun 2, 2007 05:36 PM

                                        Also, now that Bart goes all the way to Millbrae, many, many great Chinese restaurants are within a Bart ride from the Mission.

                                2. s
                                  Sallie RE: Mr. S Jun 2, 2007 12:13 PM

                                  Another thing to consider is the food shopping--i.e., do you cook? Do you care about where a grocery store is? I live in Nob Hill, and there isn't much ethnic food here. However, I am very close to Chinatown (cheap veggies and spices!), and I have good nice restaurants within walking distance and pretty good markets (LeBeau, Leonard's). You'll find, too, that you'll revise your sense of what "walking distance" is. I have enjoyed being able to walk to the Whole Foods, Ferry Market, or the Trader Joe's in North Beach and take the cable car home (get a Muni Pass--$45/month for the bus, streetcar, muni rail, and cable car). While it would be nice to have more takeout-type places around, I'm pretty happy where I am. And my husband can walk to work (Financial District). And it's pretty sunny. Big problem here is parking. I love that someone below complained about having to drive around for 30 minutes at 11pm in Noe. At 11pm in Nob Hill, it's park illegally or drive around until morning, so I try to move my car at strategic times.

                                  So, I would add my voice to the others--live near transportation. And I would add this: my husband and I came out and stayed with a friend for a long weekend just to walk the neighborhoods and eat lunches and breakfasts and dinners all over the place BEFORE we came to look for apartments in earnest. That way, we knew not only what neighborhoods we liked, but what parts of neighborhoods (as mentioned before, the Mission is spotty). And there's a 3-day muni pass.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Sallie
                                    rworange RE: Sallie Jun 2, 2007 12:39 PM

                                    You know, that is an excellent thought. Top-class neighborhood with the possibility of views. Surrounded at the foot of the hill by all sorts of great food neighborhoods. Chinatown, North Beach, Polk Street, the Tenderloin. Walk down the hill and then cable car back up.

                                    1. re: rworange
                                      Sallie RE: rworange Jun 2, 2007 06:49 PM

                                      That's right--and close enough to get delivery from those places, too, on nights like tonight. :)

                                    2. re: Sallie
                                      Dave MP RE: Sallie Jun 2, 2007 01:17 PM

                                      Another good thing about Nob Hill is that it's easy to catch the 1 California out to Clement St. and the Richmond for dinner.

                                      Dave MP

                                      1. re: Dave MP
                                        LPCagain RE: Dave MP Jun 2, 2007 03:28 PM

                                        I was thinking about this thread last night. My brother lives right near Delfina's and I was commenting to him how great it must be. He agrees, it's a great CH neighborhood, and special bonus he can get Tartine bread right out of the oven and take out a Delfina's pizza any time:).

                                        1. re: Dave MP
                                          Sallie RE: Dave MP Jun 2, 2007 06:50 PM

                                          The 1 passes so many interesting things, doesn't it?

                                        2. re: Sallie
                                          Mr. S RE: Sallie Jun 4, 2007 10:01 AM

                                          Yes Sallie, I cook-ish... but i do more of it when there is a nice market nearby. I will be up to visit on June 15-16, and again in late July, so I will bring a good pair of shoes like you and Mr. Sallie did, thanks!

                                        3. w
                                          whiner RE: Mr. S Jun 4, 2007 09:46 AM

                                          Cow Hollow. Steps from the Marina, and steps from the Polk strip of Russian Hill.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: whiner
                                            a_and_w RE: whiner Jun 4, 2007 10:05 AM

                                            I actually disagree with Cow Hollow, especially if you like ethnic offerings.

                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                              whiner RE: a_and_w Jun 4, 2007 11:00 AM

                                              Let me be clear,

                                              I said Cow Hollow because the OP wanted a 'nice' area with those food parameters... Obviously Cow Hollow is a great area, and it is very close to both the Marina and the Polk strip of Russian Hill (both also nice areas). Its proximity to both -- which are both good for ethnic food -- and its own great food combine, imo, to make it the best option for walking.

                                              I live in the Marina and don't mind walking 10-12 blocks for food, so I eat all over the area, just thought Cow Hollow is a little more centrally located.

                                              I agree, though, technically, Cow Hollow, itself, isn't the best for ethinic food, and certianly not inexpensive, authentic, ethnic food.

                                              1. re: whiner
                                                a_and_w RE: whiner Jun 4, 2007 12:06 PM

                                                Ah, didn't see the part about a "nice" neighborhood. The Marina/Cow Hollow may indeed be more the OP's speed than Mission/Noe Valley.

                                          2. Mr. S RE: Mr. S Dec 30, 2007 09:47 AM

                                            I just wanted to report back and say that I landed in what I suppose is technically Russian Hill, but obviously North Beach. Does anyone know of a detailed thread on North Beach? Or have any ideas? I know about Rose Pistola, Mama's, Molinari's, I found Trader Joes, and I have found some nice bakeries already. Thanks to all of you for your posts and the welcome.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Mr. S
                                              Melanie Wong RE: Mr. S Dec 30, 2007 09:58 AM

                                              You made it, welcome!

                                              Here are my two recent posts for North Beach,

                                              Do check out The House, Da Flora, and L'Osteria del Forno. The Places database is still in beta, but here's what's listed so far for North Beach,


                                              1. re: Mr. S
                                                rworange RE: Mr. S Dec 30, 2007 10:22 AM

                                                Welcome to SF Mr. S.

                                                Why not start a new North Beach thread and clue us into some of your finds. It might also turn up some new places that haven't been previously reported. Yes, defining some of those neighborhoods like Russian Hill and Nob Hill can be a slippery slope

                                                BTW, there is a current software bug. When you submit your post you will get an error message. Just go back to the SF board and you will see your post.

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