'Potrero' is Spanish for ‘pasture,’ and Potrero Hill’s humbler roots can be felt today (although maybe not for long) with a more understated charm than other neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is a mainly residential area located in the east of the city. It isn’t on the way to any of the city's hubs, which makes public transportation a little tricky. However, a couple of buses run through town and there is a train down the hill in neighboring Dogpatch. It's got freeways to the west and east, and warehouses to the north and south, such as the Dandelion Chocolate factory.
It’s a sunnier neighborhood than other parts of the city, and its hilltop perch offers plenty of beautiful city views. The hills, which attract filmmakers and skateboarders, add to the slightly less pedestrian friendly feel of this neighborhood, along with the lack of a central main street.
There is an activity vortex of sorts around 16th, 17th, and 18th Streets at its northwest corner, where you can find the very popular Farley’s Coffee Shop, Plow Restaurant, and the music venue Bottom of the Hill, but there are also other activity hubs distributed throughout the neighborhood where you'll find bars, cafes, and small grocers.
While a quieter neighborhood overall, it is also home to two punk/indie music venues and the California College of the Arts, which draws students and gives it fuller range of residents. It’s also a relatively racially diverse neighborhood.
The neighborhood vibe changes from north to south, going from a lot of lofts and workspaces for fledgling startups to condos and a mix of Victorians and small homes heading up the hill. Some anonymous and newer “affordable” housing projects can be found on the southern side of the hill. The north side is also seeing some larger apartment complexes being built to accommodate the interests of startup workers.
The 101 and 280 freeways that frame Potrero Hill to the east and west are a little noisy and detract from the natural beauty of the area, and homeless people have settled down beneath them. They often pitch tents to live in and even decorate their surroundings, and are generally friendly and harmless, though you may choose to avoid these areas at night.
It is traditionally a little more affordable than other, more central neighborhoods, and the growth of the north side is either a positive or negative, depending on who you ask. It’s a great place for those wanting a quieter, tucked away place, and the public library, bookstores, and cafes are perfect for anyone who loves to read and wants a break from the flashier neighborhoods to the north.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @anchorspirits, @jobirch78, @jhirvonsalo, @lightskiesbrighteyes, @urbanfarmgirlsco, @snetchaev, @6juhap6, @peterbogdanov, @hellyajessica, @ramblinrod, @evalena_s, @_elzbiety, @danpritchard7, @6juhap6, @private.number_, @elloehr, @hdgrigsby, @susan_jones, @andyd, @mhat for your great photos of this neighborhood!
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