Last year’s Curbed Cup winner makes a return. Understandably so. The reigning southside champ had a big year, most notably the reopening of the historic Bayview Opera House. The circa 1888 building underwent a major overhaul—new floors, repair of water damage and dry rot, new look inside. San Francisco architect Henry Geilfuss’s Italianate and Gothic influences were brought back to life.
Bayview, which boasts more working class residents than other tony neighborhoods, also one of only two neighborhoods where the average San Franciscan can buy a home. Which is to say, asking prices don’t always break the $1 million mark.
In addition to affordable (or “affordable”) housing and new developments off in the distance, the neighborhood was also one of only a handful of neighborhoods to score a new non-transferable liquor license. Bayview is also home to some choice watering holes to boot.
One reader sums up Bayview best, saying it’s “[o]ne of the last few affordable neighborhoods (by SF's standards), with lots of new businesses opening up alongside historic ones on walkable/transit-accessible 3rd Street and in cool converted industrial spaces."
Duking it out against Bayview is 2014’s crown-and-sash winner, the Excelsior. This suburban neighborhood has, as many pointed out, an old San Francisco feel to it. Which is to say, the athleisure-wearing set who might wait in long lines for the most exhausting gastronomical trend won’t be found here. At least not yet. Here you will find families, working class mingling up the mildly well-to-do, restaurants and bars galore, and colorful circa 1920s homes dotting the landscape.
San Francisco rent prices plateaued in the Excelsior, with some of the cheapest (“cheapest”) in the city, averaging at $2,010 for a bedroom.
And like Bayview, it was also one of the few SF hoods to receive a coveted liquor license in 2016. Speaking of food and drink, the Excelsior is also home to Geneva Steak House, a corner staple since 1942, featuring red booths, mirrored walls, mid-century lanterns, and—shh—some of the best steak in the city.
What’s more, this neighborhood is only getting better—or rather, more sought after. There are fears/hopes that it could become the next Mission. “Ever upward,” describes reader xlcrsf.
The decision is in your hands: Which area should advance? Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win. Remember, polls close in 24 hours.