West Portal has an average violent crime rate and an average property crime rate for San Francisco.
West Portal is another San Francisco neighborhood with a small town feel, especially since it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods. It has also been called the “new” Noe Valley as less affluent families have been pushed out of that popular small town neighborhood.
Like Noe Valley, residents here tend to be somewhat affluent and less diverse, with many owning their own homes. Most housing here consists of brightly colored rows of single family homes. Some even have front and back lawns, giving it a slight retro suburban feel.
It has a big appeal for families thanks to its good schools, public playground, and a relatively large public library branch. It is also popular among students due to its position between SFSU and UCSF, as well as with retired folks.
While it’s not the most exciting neighborhood for younger people, there are a few options for casual nightlife.
The area can get pretty foggy, lying in one of the “fog corridors”—gaps in the hills between the Bay and the the Pacific Ocean, although it is slightly more sheltered than the Sunset neighborhoods.
West Portal lies along the eastern edge of the Sunset and has the last major light rail stop before the lines diverge, making it much more accessible than many of the other outlying neighborhoods. A tunnel was built in the early 1900s to enable light rail to pass through Twin Peaks, connecting the western neighborhoods directly to downtown. After over two miles of tunnel, the trains emerge straight into West Portal.
In addition to the trains, it has slightly easier parking than many neighborhoods and is convenient for both South Bay and Downtown commuters. West Portal itself is very walkable, with a few blocks serving as the main commercial area. You'll mostly find mom-and-pop shops here and it's got all of the amenities you need: dentists, gyms, markets, diverse cuisine, bookstores, and anything else a small town would offer can be found here. And those with cars can easily head to Stonestown Galleria for a big shopping mall experience.
With its quaint atmosphere and easy commute to downtown, West Portal is an especially great choice for young families looking to build a long-term life and community.
West Portal is bordered on the north by Forest Hill, on the east by Sherwood Forest, on the south by Monterey Heights and Lakeside, and on the west by Inner Parkside.
A first-run movie theatre with an old-timey facade and quaint atmosphere.
A long-running bar with a jukebox and TVs that make it a popular place to watch sports.
This long-running toy store was once named the “Best Toy Store You Wish Had Been Around When You Were a Kid” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
An old-fashioned diner with an extensive menu, this 1950s-style neighborhood favorite exemplifies the small town Americana feel of West Portal.