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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) Tenderloin vs. (6) Dogpatch

Which neighborhood should advance to the Final Four? Cast your vote now!

Photo by EQRoy

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, moves forward with the Elite Eight 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!


A refuge for those evicted from their homes, a place for those who don’t fit the affluent cishet-white mold, a centrally-located treasure, and an underbelly with a crackling nightlife, the Tenderloin stands as the city’s most contentious yet cherished neighborhoods.

Rent prices are still some of the most affordable (ahem, “affordable”) in San Francisco, appearing regularly on Curbed Comparison in 2017. New murals graced brick building facades. And new plans went before the Planning Commission, including this 13-story proposal and this 15-story structure both on O’Farrell.

The neighborhood saw even more gastronomic additions this year, including contemporary Korean restaurant Barnzu. Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi’s Locol collab is also still in the works.

However, more LGBTQ spaces shuttered in favor of cookie cutter craft-cocktail bars. The area stands in peril of being acquired and homogenized by property owners and tech ilk alike. But the TL has weathered attempts at drastic change over the years, for better or for worse.

In July 2008, the Tenderloin was designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, giving the No. 3 seed an added boost.

Photo by Dale Cruse


Half industrial and half residential, Dogpatch, located on the eastern side of the city, adjacent to the waterfront and to the east of Potrero Hill, was once a neighborhood filled with working-class residents. But after the 1990s, an upper middle-class change occurred. Today the ‘hood stands on the precipice of becoming—for better or for worse—the next Mission.

Tech companies moved in. Artisan ice cream and barbecue joints took hold. And new housing sprouted up. (Both Stanley Saitowitz and David Baker have made their marks here.)

Culture-wise, Dogpatch has it in spades. Most notably, the Minnesota Street Project made the biggest name for itself, featuring local and world-renowned art.

What’s more, this neighborhood has the greatest name, period. After all, who doesn’t love dogs? But just how this area got its name, and what it has to do with canines, is anyone’s guess.

The name "Dogpatch" was used for this area well before World War II. Popular hypotheses include the abundance of dogfennel that grows wild here; the fictional setting of comic strip Li'l Abner, called Dogpatch; and the packs of dogs that used to hunt for discarded meat parts from nearby Butchertown.

But above all, remember one thing: “Please note that it isn’t ‘the’ Dogpatch,” says commenter JacksonSF42. “Just Dogpatch.”