Thinking about renting in San Francisco? Though the Bay Area can be an expensive place to live, you can find tons of great neighborhoods in SF that offer affordable houses and apartments, spacious parks, and some of the city’s best dining spots. Check out these five best places to rent a home in San Francisco!
- Home Price: $2,140 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 35% of San Francisco neighborhoods
- Renter Occupied Homes: 76%
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families
With prime views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, Marina District is a great place to rent a home in SF. It’s also one of the best neighborhoods for singles and young professionals and one of the most bike-friendly neighborhoods in San Francisco! This area is a bit quieter than other SF neighborhoods and is filled with chic, Mediterranean style homes and a mix of low and high-rise apartments. In addition, Marina District is home to large parks like the Marina Green, well-known landmarks like the Palace of Fine Arts and Fort Mason, and tons of sophisticated boutiques, trendy restaurants, and lively bars.
Things to Do in Marina
Get some exercise with your dog, hang out on the playground, or play a game of tennis at Moscone Park. Head to Crissy Field to take in views of the Golden Gate, catch some crab at Torpedo Wharf, or warm up with some hot chocolate from The Warming Hut. Catch a drive-in movie during Fort Mason Flix. Attend Art Market San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture to see galleries featuring local artists. Make plans to go to the Union Street Festival, where you can try craft brews, international dishes, and carnival games. Enjoy a San Francisco brunch at Cracked & Battered with the Fried Chicken Benedict, Nasi Goreng, or any one of their waffle plates. Eat Black Bean Chili or Fig & Arugula Pizza at Greens Restaurant. Have date night at The Tipsy Pig, where you can get Fish Tacos and a Spicy Salmon Sandwich. Or stop for cocktails like the Westwood Xpresso or The Sour at Westwood.
- Home Price: $1,387 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of San Francisco neighborhoods
- Renter Occupied Homes: 83%
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals
Looking for a bustling San Francisco neighborhood where you can live and work? Check out Nob Hill! Here, you’re close to other iconic spots like Chinatown and Union Square, so you won’t have to travel far for fun experiences. Not to mention, rental prices in Nob Hill are lower than the SF median rent, so you can rent an apartment in a historic building or settle down in a newly built high-rise condo without breaking the bank. Nob Hill has tons to offer its residents, too, with excellent walkability and hundreds of great foodie spots, cocktail lounges, and quaint cafes!
Things to Do in Nob Hill
Have lunch next to the fountain or spend some time with your four-legged friend at Huntington Park. Learn about the history of cable cars in SF at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. Get tickets to a show at The Masonic, where you can see musicians like Alicia Keys and comedians like Tom Segura. Shop for unique gifts, home decor, apparel, and more at Picnic. Start your day at The Coffee Movement and order a Coffee Cream Soda or a Tasting Flight to try the cafe’s featured coffees. Eat Thai dishes like Papaya Salad, Spicy Eggplant & Basil, and Roasted Duck Curry at Ben Thai Cafe. Get dinner at Cocotte and listen to live jazz music while eating Traditional Onion Soup, Coq au Vin, or Homemade Parisian Gnocchi. Or take in 360-degree views of San Francisco while sipping on classic martinis and eating appetizers at Top of the Mark.
- Home Price: $2,076 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 88% of San Francisco neighborhoods
- Renter Occupied Homes: 48%
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
If a quieter area is what you’re looking for with places to rent in San Francisco, give Noe Valley a try! This SF neighborhood is still centrally located but has fewer tourist attractions, giving it more of a residential feel. With its low crime rates, spacious rental homes, and good nearby schools like Thomas Edison Charter Academy and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Noe Valley is also popular among families. While living in Noe Valley, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your neighbors strolling through Noe Valley Town Square, the shops and restaurants along 24th Street, and in community areas like the Clipper Community Garden.
Things to Do in Noe Valley
Hike up the trail to Twin Peaks to experience beautiful views of San Francisco. Enroll the kids in an after-school club or go to a family movie night at Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater. Spend a Saturday morning at the Noe Valley Farmers Market and shop small-batch dairy products, organic produce, and ready-to-eat authentic Mexican food. Take home homemade chocolate goodies from Chocolate Covered, San Francisco’s Original Chocolate Boutique. Head to Noe Cafe for a morning Cold Brew and Blueberry Scone. Order a Double Cheeseburger, Flat Top Frank, and a Strawberry Milkshake at Hi-Way Burger & Fry. Try Portuguese food at Uma Casa like Caldo Verde, Arroz De Marisco, and Frango Piri-Piri. Or dig into a hearty Italian meal of Gnocchi Al Cinghiale or Tagliata Di Manzo at Lupa Trattoria.
South of Market
- Home Price: $1,588 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 18% of San Francisco neighborhoods
- Renter Occupied Homes: 72%
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees
South of Market (or SoMa) is a huge neighborhood encompassing Mission Bay, Design District, South Beach, and Yerba Buena—and it’s a hot spot in San Francisco for renters looking to be close to the heart of the city! Home to companies like Lyft, Salesforce, Facebook, and other tech companies, you won’t have to commute far for work when you live in SoMa. You can also find rental options in historic buildings, converted warehouses, and modern high-rises close to popular San Francisco attractions and Michelin-star restaurants. In addition, SoMa is one of the warmer areas of the city and gets a good amount of sunshine!
Things to Do in South of Market
Get tickets to see the San Francisco Giants (MLB) play at Oracle Park, one of the best stadiums in the MLB! Spend an evening at the Chase Center watching the Golden State Warriors (NBA). Plan a trip to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the current exhibits at one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the U.S. Explore the Animation Studio, Imagination Lab, Innovation Station, and more at the Children’s Creativity Museum. Order Crispy Sesame Tofu Squares, BBQ Pork Bao, and Wagyu Beef Gyoza from Dumpling Time. Grab lunch at The Bird and get the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Hot Wings, and Curly Fries. Make reservations to try the seasonal tasting menu and wine pairings at Birdsong. Or relax on the weekends with craft brews like the Ever Onward Altbier or The Snuggler IPA from Cellarmaker Brewing Co.
- Home Price: $1,560 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 24% of San Francisco neighborhoods
- Renter Occupied Homes: 79%
- Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees
Made up of smaller neighborhoods like Lower Pacific Heights, Fillmore District, and Hayes Valley, Western Addition is a diverse San Francisco neighborhood that’s perfect for renters! The area is home to the iconic Painted Ladies and Japantown and offers renters all kinds of housing options from Victorian-style duplexes to refurbished apartments. Residents can easily walk to Western Addition’s trendy eateries, local boutiques, jazz clubs, and green parks. And the neighborhood is just a few blocks away from the University of San Francisco!
Things to Do in Western Addition
Head to Alamo Square Park for a picnic or to play with your furry friend. Go rollerskating and enjoy live music at Church of 8 Wheels. Get tickets to the San Francisco Ballet and see classics like The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, or Swan Lake. See opera performances like Fidelio and Don Giovanni at the San Francisco Opera House. Have breakfast at Brenda’s Meat & Three, where you can order Grandma’s Molasses Black Walnut Iced Coffee, Chocolate Beignets, and Pulled Pork Hash. Stop for Shrimp Burritos, Cheese Quesadillas, or Vegi Tostadas at The City Taqueria. Give Frozen Greek Yogurt a try at Souvla and have it topped with Greek Olive Oil & Flaky Sea Salt or Baklava Crumbles & Honey Syrup. Or go out for craft cocktails like Strawberry Night Fever and Life in the Afternoon at Rich Table.
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes