Inner Sunset – San Francisco, CA

The Inner Sunset neighborhood lies in the west-central area of San Francisco, 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The city center is a quick 20- to 25-minute drive at approximately 5 miles away. Locals love this area for its laid-back, small-town feeling. Many residents know each other by name and greet each other when passing by, and every day of the week feels like a casual Friday. This neighborhood also has an eccentric edge with a desirable selection of ethnic restaurants. Many University of California San Francisco doctors, nurses and students reside in the Inner Sunset vicinity.

Schools in Inner Sunset

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

The restaurants in Inner Sunset provide dining options for just about every type of cuisine. San Tung serves up appetizing Chinese food. Try the shrimp and leek dumplings, or the vegetarian mu-shu pork. Their dry fried chicken wings and black bean sauce noodles are also customer favorites. Wooly Pig Cafe exemplifies what a neighborhood restaurant should be. With a unique, cozy atmosphere and remarkable sandwiches, you must dine here. Try the Wooly Pig, which consists of Shanghai-style braised caramel pork belly, organic arugula and picked shallots on a toasted brioche bun. Vegetarians take delight in the "Vegi" sandwich topped with goat cheese, organic beets, fresh beans, organic spring mix, Dijon mustard and mayo on a ciabatta roll. Be advised that this location only accepts cash. When craving Mexican food, head out to Nopalito. Here, customers enjoy the traditional cookery of Mexico made with local, organic and sustainable ingredients. The fish tacos, pork belly quesadilla and tanpopos satisfy the mouths of many who dine at this fantastic establishment. As far as nightlife goes, plan on hitting a few dive bars with cheap drink specials. The Little Shamrock offers plenty of comfortable seating, board games, fresh free popcorn and Guiness on tap. You can find the locals hanging out at The Corner Spot, which has friendly bartenders, a relaxed atmosphere and tasty drinks.

History & Culture

Before 1887, the Inner Sunset area included only sand dunes. Developer Aurelius E. Buckingham came into the area and built a section of homes, which is now Lincoln Way and 5th Avenue. In 1897, the University of California built its new medical campus. The school brought to the neighborhood residents who were studying medicine, dentistry and pharmaceuticals. In the mid-1980s, people flocked to this area because Bay Area real estate prices skyrocketed. Some thought these "newbies" tried to change the overall vibe of the area, whereas others welcomed the boom. Despite all of this, local businesses still permeate the area and the Inner Sunset vicinity remains a small-town, family-friendly place to live. Although there are no museums in Inner Sunset, neighboring Golden Gate Park has plenty. Check out the annual S.F. Aloha Poly Fest with food vendors and island music. This event is open to the public and held at the S.F. County Fair Building, also known as the Hall of Flowers. Inner Sunset Sundays happen monthly throughout the year along Irving Street, which closes to traffic for the event. Spend the day shopping local vendors, sampling food truck fare and enjoying the entertainment surprises.


The Inner Sunset neighborhood makes it easy to reach the major city area of San Francisco and the coast of the Pacific Ocean. You can reach SFO Airport in 30 minutes by cab and 68 minutes by BART, the regional public rail. A walk to Golden Gate Park will only take 15 minutes. Reach Fisherman's Wharf in 60 minutes by public transit and the Ferry Building in 34 minutes using public transportation. Highway 1, which is 19th Avenue, runs north and south through the area and connects the Inner Sunset to other major parts of the city. The Muni bus service runs to and from Inner Sunset. Both public transit and owning a car prove to be easy. Accessible parking surrounds the area, however be advised that some parking lots require fees. Uber does serve this area and hailing a cab is easy. Walking and biking also prove to be feasible methods when navigating around the area, since bike lanes and sidewalks travel side-by-side the major traffic routes.


The cost of living in Inner Sunset is 9 percent greater than the San Francisco average and 95 percent greater than the national average. The median rent checks in at $1,700 per month. Plan on paying 9 percent higher than the national average for gas. Due to the fact that this area houses a university, local bars offer affordable dining options and drinks. Expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $6 for a beer. If traveling out of the area to the city center via public transportation, an all day Muni pass good on all Muni services, including cable cars, costs $15. Ninety minutes of travel on the Muni system, including the Metro, F-line, streetcar and buses, costs $2.25.


When looking for adorable boutiques, head out to Irving Street. Much of the Inner Sunset shopping scene consists of locally run businesses. When looking for chain stores, take a 20-minute ride to the downtown area. Ambiance sells unique and affordable women's clothing. Citi Shoes on Irving has fine shoes that are well-made, stylish and comfortable. Head out to Wishbone, also on Irving, for your cards, stationery, baby gear, furniture and book needs. For wedding dress alterations, the locals recommend Yun Yun Wong. This small shop also offers Eastern style clothing. For your grocery needs, the Inner Sunset's Farmers' Market sells its fresh produce and local goods every Sunday. Park's Farmers' Market offers unbeatable prices on great local, organic and seasonal produce. Don't forget to pick up a Lindt chocolate bar for $2. Another local favorite full of fresh baked goods, Arizmendi Bakery, lures its customers in by the amazing smells. Try the pecan roll and carrot muffin while you shop. Looking for a grocery store in the neighborhood? Head out to Roxie's Market and Deli for your groceries, beer, wine and spirits.


From Grand View Park, visitors can see the Golden Gate Bridge. Climb the stairs and view the beautiful city. This park has breathtaking views and a quiet atmosphere. Due to the climbing involved to witness these wonderful views, this location tends to be geared towards adults rather than children. Looking for more of a kid- and dog-friendly park? Head out to the Golden Gate Heights Park. Here you can find tennis courts, walking and biking paths, a playground and great trees to sit under for an afternoon picnic. Join other community volunteers for the monthly clean-up of the Hidden Garden Steps, a public art project with mosaic steps, a public garden and a wall mural on 16th Avenue extending uphill from Kirkham to Lawton.
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480 Warren Dr, San Francisco, CA 94131
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8 Locksley Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
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