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Nob Hill

San Francisco, CA

Upscale taste paired with luxury amenities and California charm

  • Affluent
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Walkable
  • Public Transit
  • Urban

Located directly west of Chinatown, Nob Hill is an affluent neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco, California. Nob Hill is just minutes from Civic Center, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and other popular neighborhood destinations.

Visit Pier 39 in North Beach to explore this bustling bayside pier with scenic views, sea-lion sightings, dining options, unique shops, and family-friendly entertainment. Relax on the lawn in Huntington Park surrounded by Nob Hill’s high-rise buildings and beautiful architecture. Residents and visitors alike flock to Bob’s Donuts and Pastries, a local favorite around town. Splurge on a night out at House of Prime Rib, a longstanding, fancy English-style restaurant with premier food and fine wines.

Beautiful high-rise apartments, modern condos, and cozy townhomes are spread throughout Nob Hill, creating an urban oasis just minutes from San Francisco’s greatest attractions. Residents of Nob Hill can admire scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, visit San Francisco’s public beaches, explore the city’s grand museums, and dine at lux restaurants and lively bars!

Explore the Neighborhood

Rent Trends

As of September 2018, the average apartment rent in Nob Hill is $1,801 for a studio, $2,253 for one bedroom, $2,933 for two bedrooms, and $4,189 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Nob Hill has increased by 3.2% in the past year.

Beds Avg Sq Ft Avg Rent
Studio 326 $1,801
1 BR 381 $2,253
2 BR 669 $2,933
3 BR 960 $4,189

Ratings

97 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
99 Transit Score® Rider's Paradise
70 Bike Score® Very Bikeable

Living in Nob Hill

  • Parks

    One of the reasons Nob Hill is so prized is because of its parks. There are several to explore as you walk around, but perhaps the most beautiful is Huntington Park, right next to Grace Cathedral and across from the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels.

    Perfect for an afternoon stroll, meditation spot or just a casual conversation with a friend, this park is so peaceful you might forget you’re in a major city. Local residents also host an annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Park each winter.

    Parks are free, kid and dog friendly, and welcoming of any exercise or fitness activity that doesn’t disturb others. Since it tends to be a quiet neighborhood, there aren’t many team sport courts here.

    Though Nob Hill doesn’t have many annual events, nearby Chinatown hosts the Autumn Moon Festival with music and vendors each fall.

  • Shopping

    Most of Nob Hill’s shopping is clustered around Polk Street. It doesn’t support as much high-end shopping as neighboring Pacific Heights, but more than makes up for it with charming boutiques. ReLove Vintage & Modern Resale specializes in well-loved and gently worn vintage clothing, shoes and accessories, while Terrasol sells an eclectic assortment of home and gift items for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

    Locals shop for groceries at a variety of local chains and smaller purveyors around the neighborhood. From Trader Joe’s on Hyde Street to Golden Veggie Market, LeBeau Market and Jackson Market, they’ve got your food, produce, deli and meat needs covered.

    Nob Hill doesn’t have its own farmers' market, but nearby Tenderloin has Fern Alley Farmers' Market, held on Saturdays on a closed-off public street.

  • Cost

    Nob Hill is considered an enclave of the wealthy and is sometimes referred to as Snob Hill. The price of food, housing and entertainment is similarly pricey.

    A typical one-bedroom apartment in Nob Hill rents for about $3,000, so unsurprisingly, the cost of living in Nob Hill is considered one of the city’s highest.

  • Transportation

    Since San Francisco is such a walking city, it’s also a public transportation city. Parking is not easy anywhere in Nob Hill, and since the front side of the hill is especially steep, public transportation makes a much better option (unless you’re part mountain goat).

    San Francisco has the BART system, which can be found south of Nob Hill along Market Street, and several Muni buses that run in Nob Hill. The Powell-Hyde cable car also runs up and over Nob Hill on its way to Ghirardelli Square.

    Cabs are very easy to hail, except when it’s raining, and Uber runs all over San Francisco, making these attractive options. Though San Francisco cabs can be a little on the pricey side, most of the cab drivers have great stories to tell and know great undiscovered places to eat and hang out.

    Nob Hill isn’t freeway accessible, but traveling south on nearby Van Ness can get you to the 101 Freeway, or south to Market Street can get you to the 80 and the Bay Bridge. It’s an extremely walkable neighborhood, with pleasant parks and historical sites to explore. The front side of the hill is very steep and may require a little extra help to get you to your destination.

    Many parts of Nob Hill have bikes lanes, though the area may prove a little precarious for riders because of the steep nature of the hills.

  • Restaurants

    Since Nob Hill caters to an upscale clientele, many types of cuisine can be found within its borders. From New American to Asian, seafood and Italian, there are lots of exciting options spread all around the neighborhood.

    Hopwater Distribution wows locals with luxe takes on classic pub food. Their Dungeness crab tater tots get a thumbs up from locals, as do the ground chuck/brisket sliders. Enjoy the low-key vibe with a regularly rotated list of local and craft beers at a very affordable price for this area.

    Ever popular Nob Hill Café offers authentic, home-style Italian food in a cozy atmosphere. Fresh ingredients and buttery soft homemade pasta make this a perfect first date spot or place to catch up with old friends. Pair with a glass of local cabernet for the perfect night out.

    Cordon Bleu Vietnamese Restaurant may sound a little counter-intuitive, especially since it’s high-minded name evokes something very different than its hole-in-the-wall reality. A great neighborhood joint with popular imperial rolls, spicy pork chops and garlicky tofu, underestimate this place at your peril. Locals know to overlook calories and try the crispy beef strips and noodle bowls. Unless you can snag one of their twelve tables, this might be a better option for takeout.

    Nob Hill isn’t especially known for nightlife, however, residents love several local bars, which are found mostly just off Van Ness Avenue to the west. Playland Bar has personality to spare with DJs spinning dance, pop and hip-hop hits and drink specials. If you’re not in the mood for loud music, a chill R&B lounge awaits downstairs, with a totally different vibe.

    If wine is more your thing, The Pour House offers a lengthy and interesting list of local and international wines and beers to try. Small eats are available if trying all those great vintages is going to your head, and try to get a window seat if you want to people watch along Polk Street.

    The Masonic is one of Nob Hill’s real finds, with live music and comedy most nights. A former Masonic Temple, this place has fantastic acoustics and tiered seating, so there’s not a bad seat in the house. Locals also love The Cinch Saloon, a gay themed dance club with strong drinks, friendly bartenders and a drag show each Friday.

  • History

    Nob Hill was developed as San Francisco was becoming rapidly urbanized during the late 19th century. The wealthy were the first to settle this area, building mansions from newfound railroad wealth as well as old family money. Early residents of the area were called "nabobs," or people with conspicuous wealth. This was eventually shortened to "nobs," which gave the neighborhood its name.

    As with many other areas of San Francisco, the Nob Hill neighborhood was destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1906. Among the only buildings surviving were the Fairmont Hotel and the home of tycoon James Flood, both of which had stone exteriors.

    Large hotels were also added during the 20th century, to house tourists and visiting dignitaries. The Mark Hopkins, Huntington and Stanford Court all stand today. Since this area has deep connections to old families, it has not endured many cultural shifts over time.

    Grace Cathedral sits atop the hill, with gorgeous Gothic architecture that replaced the original 1849 Gold Rush Chapel. Imposing stained glass windows, bronze doors carved in Florence, and a pair of labyrinths to walk are just part of this incredible structure’s appeal. Notable residents Leland Stratford, Collis Peter Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker all lived and worshipped here.

    Nob Hill’s two museums include the Cable Car Museum, with tons of interesting information about the history and heritage of the area’s famous cable cars, and the Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library and Museum, which houses centuries of Masonic and Freemason history.

    Nob Hill isn’t one of San Francisco’s artier neighborhoods, but has several galleries selling local and international artwork, among them Velvet Da Vinci and the Christian Daniels Gallery. Annual events include the Fall Harvest Artisan Food Festival, held on Polk Street.

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Apartments for Rent in Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA

Located directly west of Chinatown, Nob Hill is an affluent neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco, California. Nob Hill is just minutes from Civic Center, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and other popular neighborhood destinations.

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