The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, kicks off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (albeit fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which hoods should advance. Let the eliminations begin!
Curbed Cup champ in 2012 and 2011, the Lower Haight, the preferable portion of the famous street for many a San Francisco denizen, has been relatively quiet the last couple of years. Perhaps basking in the glow of its back-to-back wins.
Asking prices are up for buyers and rental rates are still too high. What else is new? Well, one thing that isn’t new is Blue Bottle. The neighborhood banned the SF-based coffee chain from setting up shop in Lower Haight per our city’s chain rules.
As Eater SF reported, “Replacing a coffee shop with another coffee shop might not sound controversial, but Blue Bottle was no substitute for Bean There in the eyes of neighbors like Jen Snyder, representative of the local organizing group Neighbors United.”
While a seemingly small statement, the neighborhood’s decision to stave off artisan coffee’s encroachment could have big repercussions for the rest of the city.
That said, it's still one of the best neighborhoods for cheap, late night eats and inexpensive drinking. Who knows—maybe the Lower Haight could pull of a record-breaking third win this year?
The Outer Sunset, with the western most tip doubling as a little beach town, also proved popular when it came to shopping and dining. Avenues Dry Goods—an Irving Street gem that useful and practical goods at a price point that's fitting for the neighborhood—was a smashing success.
Eateries also continued to be the rage, much to the chagrin of some diehard locals. (Community vibe here is strong and loyal.) Hook Fish Co. nabbed two stars this year over at Eater SF. And Outerlands continues to be a major draw along the feted Judah strip.
The neighborhood is also home to some of the city’s most underrated murals, reasonable starter houses. and—best of all—CorgiCon at Ocean Beach. If the Queen’s preferred pet can’t push the Outer Sunset over the top, nothing can.
But now, the decision is in your hands: Which area should make it to the finals? Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win. Remember, polls close in 24 hours.