Near the water, adjacent to North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Marina District, Russian Hill is a popular neighborhood, sporting some of San Francisco’s steepest climbs (and therefore best views) and luxury living. From crooked Lombard Street (the downhill drive, switchbacking through dozens of movies and almost synonymous with San Francisco driving) to the iconic cable cars and secret staircase sidewalks, Russian Hill is perhaps the most quintessential “San Francisco” neighborhood.
Why You’ll Love It
Russian Hill, for all its fame and tourist allure, has never lost its old-world charm. A cozy, down-to-earth sort of place, it’s got everything from iconic landmarks and exceptional views of the Bay to green spaces and shopping districts. World-class restaurants share the streets with smaller-scale, local, hidden gems.
With local amenities nearby, including Ghirardelli Square, the Marina, and Aquatic Park, all on the waterfront, and the Polk, Chestnut, and Union Street shopping districts, Russian Hill gives residents quick access to just about everything.
The farmers market and the Off The Grid food truck event, the nation’s largest food truck gathering, both held at Fort Mason on Sundays and Fridays, respectively, are a delight. If you’re feeling sporty, Russian Hill includes Russian Hill Park, overlooking the city, and the Alice Marble Tennis Courts.
Russian Hill is tightly connected to the municipal transit system, giving residents quick and easy access to the rest of the city’s core, or to the Ferry Building (less than a half hour’s transit).
With so much to offer, without the overwhelming commercial presence of other neighborhoods, you’re sure to feel right at home in Russian Hill.
Old World Charm, with Urban Flair
Russian Hill gets its name from an old Russian cemetery discovered on the hilltop during the Gold Rush era. There are records of Russian merchant vessels making port in the Bay from as early as 1806, and the neighborhood is still home to San Francisco’s oldest Russian Orthodox church, Holy Trinity Cathedral. Though the cemetery has since been relocated, the name remains.
We’ve already discussed Lombard Street, the famous switchbacking downhill drive and the world record holder for ‘most crooked street in the world’ so let’s talk about Hyde Street. Hyde Street is full to bursting with shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries, and the cable car, on the Powell-Hyde line, connects the waterfront to Market Street, which makes Hyde Street a central transit hub no matter where you’re going in the city.
The atmosphere on Russian Hill is warm and bright, closer to a wine tour than a pub crawl. It’s a place of sophistication and leisure.
Russian Hill is one of the few neighborhoods that features transportation by San Francisco’s renowned cable cars. The area is also well-connected to the rest of the city. The MUNI train line just to the south is easily accessible by historic streetcar, cable car, or bus, with service on most lines throughout the neighborhood at least every half hour, with most lines in the area offering service more than once every ten minutes.
Golden Gate Park is less than an hour away by transit, while Fisherman’s Wharf is a scant ten minute walk. Heading north to Marin is an easy trip, with convenient access off Lombard Street and Van Ness Avenue. Meanwhile SFO Airport is about a thirty minute cab ride, depending on traffic. With so much civic infrastructure built out from the Bay, Russian Hill is a central transit hub (though it’s North-east from the actual city center) allowing fast access to the rest of the city.
Cuisine and Nightlife
When it comes to dining and nightlife, Boboquivari’s (or “Bobo’s” to the locals) is one of the best steakhouses in town, also featuring Dungeness crabs and designer cocktails. For lighter fare, try Blue Barn’s sandwiches and salads, St. Frank’s coffee, or yogurt at the Loving Cup.
And the wine selection from local vineyards is unparalleled.
As for nightlife, Russian Hill’s is a mix of trendy cocktail bars, wine rooms with charcuterie, and lounges. Russian Hill already has your new favorite spot, whether you’re after music or conversation.
Discover Russian Hill Houses for Sale
Russian Hill is a popular spot, so Russian Hill houses for sale are in extremely high demand! If you’d like to see an example, we recently sold this beautiful Russian Hill unit. Whether you’re buying or selling, one of our experienced San Francisco real estate agents is ready to broker the deal everyone can be happy about.
If you’re ready to buy or sell a home in Russian Hill, go ahead and reach out! Danielle Lazier + Associates, with COMPASS San Francisco, are ready to start!