West Portal is located at the southern edge of the hills in central San Francisco. Named for the western terminus of the Muni tunnel beneath Twin Peaks that opened in 1918, it is a narrow strip of businesses and homes bordered by Forest Hill on one side and the tony St. Francis Wood neighborhood on the other.
The frequent fog helps keep the area green in the usually rainless summer months, and on a clear day, the park above the tunnel provides a view of the Marin Headlands and the Farallon Islands in the Pacific.
A collection of mom and pop stores, restaurants, and saloons, the neighborhood is often described as having a village atmosphere. Because of this, the neighborhood is a San Francisco community that almost functions as a small city itself.
The shopping district is three blocks long. It currently has 26 restaurants, a movie theater, a bookstore, several banks, a public library, two Irish pubs, two toy stores and a Christian Science reading room. All the ingredients of a small town. You can find out more about the businesses here.
Rebecca’s Take: This neighborhood best suits families, empty nesters- those who love and appreciate the beauty of authentic San Francisco. It is a hidden gem for those who seek San Francisco before the tech boom.
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