THE 10 BEST Neighborhoods In San Francisco For 2020


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in San Francisco are the best of the best.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in San Francisco.
Best Neighborhoods In San Francisco

San Francisco, you weren't able to clinch Super Bowl LIV, but you definitely win at having some of the best places to live in America. And, since HomeSnacks is our name and ranking places is OUR game, we know where those places are located, and we've conveniently listed the best neighborhoods in San Francisco for 2020 below.

If you've been to San Francisco, you know that this city is a cultural explosion of great food, cutting edge entertainment, and a mix of classic and progressive architecture--the views of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge aren't so bad, either. We're also pretty sure that if you've experienced even half of what the Bay City has to offer, you've thought about moving to this Northern California gem. Then, you looked at San Francisco's price tag; and quite frankly, this city is not meant for the people who are barely scraping by--it's meant for people who make at least $101,982.5/year. Heck, there's a reason a place this great hasn't broken a million residents and that reason is San Francisco's high cost of living.

But, you're an optimist, so you get yourself a good job and you're going to live in San Francisco no matter the cost. So, whether you're looking to buy your forever home in San Fran or rent, take a look at our list because we've taken the guessing out of the equation by using the latest census data to rank San Francisco's 34 neighborhoods. To get the most accurate list, we looked at things like median income levels and median home prices; because honestly, if you are going to spend far above the national average for your living situation, you should expect the best: the safest communities, the best jobs, and the best amenities. Not surprising, San Francisco's best neighborhoods have all of this and then some.

So, if you want to know the San Francisco neighborhoods that are on everyone's wish list, keep reading.

If you're looking for a great neighborhood next to the water, the Marina district has stellar homes and a place to park your yacht. If you're looking for a neighborhood that has cool corner coffee shops and eclectic record stores Haight Ashbury has been making the magic happen for years. And if you're looking for a neighborhood that provides a hill workout every time you walk out your front door, the Russian Hill neighborhood is great for the heart.

But, what neighborhood in San Francisco takes the number one best spot for 2020? According to the latest census and our SnackAbility algorithm, that would be Pacific Heights.

To see where the other San Francisco neighborhoods landed on the list, hit that down arrow. And if you don't find what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In San Francisco

Pacific Heights San Francisco, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 19,716
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,550,042 (First best)
Median Income: $147,213 (Third best)
More on Pacific Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Pacific Heights is an affluent neighborhood of San Francisco, California, which is known for the notable people who reside in the area. It is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and the Presidio. Its location provides a temperate micro-climate that is clearer, but not always warmer, than many other areas in San Francisco.

Noe Valley San Francisco, CA

Population: 21,074
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $1,219,727 (Sixth best)
Median Income: $133,927 (Sixth best)
More on Noe Valley: Homes For Sale | Data

Noe Valley is an affluent neighborhood in the central part of San Francisco, California.

Inner Sunset San Francisco, CA

Population: 27,720
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,007,320 (14th best)
Median Income: $112,050 (12th best)
More on Inner Sunset: Homes For Sale | Data

The Inner Sunset is bordered by Lincoln Way to the north, Arguello Boulevard to the east, Quintara Street to the south, and 22nd Avenue to the west. This far-east section of the Sunset is located just west of Mount Sutro. The main commercial area is along Irving Street from 5th Avenue to 12th Avenue, which is dotted with a variety of restaurants and shops.

Seacliff San Francisco, CA

Population: 1,429
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $1,346,400 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $134,269 (Fifth best)
More on Seacliff: Homes For Sale | Data

Sea Cliff is a neighborhood in northwestern San Francisco, California. It is known for its large houses and ocean views. Sea Cliff is one of eight master-planned residence parks in San Francisco; its master plan was developed by landscape architect Mark Daniels.

Marina San Francisco, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 22,358
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $1,454,491 (Third best)
Median Income: $129,602 (Seventh best)
More on Marina: Homes For Sale | Data

The Marina District is a neighborhood located in San Francisco, California. The neighborhood sits on the site of the 1915 PanamaPacific International Exposition, staged after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to celebrate the reemergence of the city. Aside from the Palace of Fine Arts, all other buildings were demolished to make the current neighborhood. The Marina currently has the highest non-Hispanic white resident percentage of any recognized neighborhood in San Francisco.

Population: 36,055
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $1,024,713 (13th best)
Median Income: $88,321 (23rd best)
More on Outer Richmond: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 23,717
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $1,251,521 (Fifth best)
Median Income: $129,402 (Eighth best)
More on Haight-Ashbury: Homes For Sale | Data

West Of Twin Peaks San Francisco, CA

Population: 21,375
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $1,095,080 (Eighth best)
Median Income: $153,714 (Second best)
More on West Of Twin Peaks: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 8,734
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,506,982 (Second best)
Median Income: $137,831 (Fourth best)
More on Presidio Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Russian Hill San Francisco, CA

Population: 17,133
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $1,025,593 (12th best)
Median Income: $100,085 (18th best)
More on Russian Hill: Homes For Sale | Data

Russian Hill is a neighborhood of San Francisco, California, in the United States. It is named after one of San Francisco's 44 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills".

How We Determined The Best San Francisco, CA Neighborhoods In 2020

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in San Francisco, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 34 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In San Francisco." We're lookin' at you, Pacific Heights.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places San Francisco, California has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In San Francisco

If you're measuring the neighborhoods in San Francisco where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in San Francisco aren't all good. Bayview takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in San Francisco.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In San Francisco For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Pacific Heights 19,716 $1,550,042 $147,213
2 Noe Valley 21,074 $1,219,727 $133,927
3 Inner Sunset 27,720 $1,007,320 $112,050
4 Seacliff 1,429 $1,346,400 $134,269
5 Marina 22,358 $1,454,491 $129,602
6 Outer Richmond 36,055 $1,024,713 $88,321
7 Haight-Ashbury 23,717 $1,251,521 $129,402
8 West Of Twin Peaks 21,375 $1,095,080 $153,714
9 Presidio Heights 8,734 $1,506,982 $137,831
10 Russian Hill 17,133 $1,025,593 $100,085
11 Nob Hill 21,931 $924,939 $79,561
12 Twin Peaks 7,538 $1,073,870 $125,742
13 Inner Richmond 38,842 $1,216,510 $98,249
14 Glen Park 6,919 $1,039,022 $112,125
15 Outer Sunset 50,788 $833,912 $97,155
16 Castro-Upper Market 21,884 $1,067,308 $127,427
17 Bernal Heights 28,638 $866,685 $109,995
18 North Beach 11,601 $930,373 $83,033
19 Western Addition 52,616 $798,807 $88,050
20 Ocean View 30,618 $678,568 $78,895
21 South Of Market 35,386 $524,714 $101,937
22 Diamond Heights 2,239 $973,900 $111,872
23 Financial District 6,974 $654,150 $101,601
24 Crocker Amazon 11,751 $625,375 $66,706
25 Parkside 27,661 $854,611 $92,322
26 Mission 56,009 $867,014 $97,270
27 Outer Mission 29,799 $704,303 $86,739
28 Excelsior 37,796 $646,360 $74,182
29 Potrero Hill 13,448 $852,064 $162,259
30 Chinatown 10,136 $557,736 $35,896
31 Downtown 39,932 $278,081 $43,555
32 Lakeshore 22,014 $745,567 $100,506
33 Visitacion Valley 24,607 $541,511 $62,162
34 Bayview 35,739 $567,431 $63,752

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.