Potrero Hill’s plentiful sunshine, hip culture and spectacular views make this neighborhood a great choice for those who appreciate a more laid-back urban vibe. Bounded roughly by 16th, Third, and Cesar Chavez Streets, and Potrero Avenue, and relatively isolated by freeways, the area offers a feeling of distance from the more bustling parts of the city. Once dubbed “Goat Hill” in honor of the livestock roaming here, Potrero Hill was largely industrial through most of the 20th century, until, like many neighborhoods, it reaped the benefits of the dot-com boom. 

Today, many of the area’s former factories and warehouses have been transformed into contemporary homes and offices, and world-class restaurants and trendy bars are tucked into the corners of Potero Hill’s steep streets. The main commercial drags run along 18th and 20th Streets, with world-class restaurants and shopping popping up on a regular basis. Yet, the neighborhood retains its small-town feel with a plethora of family-run businesses and cozy coffee houses holding their ground and tight neighborhood groups running annual events like the Halloween Potrero Hill Pet Parade. Ample street parking makes this  a good neighborhood for commuters, along with the convenient Caltrain and freeway access. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso 

Farley’s has been serving potent java and pastries for more than a decade.

Farley’s has been serving potent java and pastries for more than a decade.

Plow offers farm-to-table American comfort food in a lively, rustic dining room with oak-barrel tables.

Plow offers farm-to-table American comfort food in a lively, rustic dining room with oak-barrel tables.

The Potrero Hill Recreation Center has a gymnasium, basketball and tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a playground.

The Potrero Hill Recreation Center has a gymnasium, basketball and tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a playground.

McKinley Park is a small neighborhood gathering spot with a playground, grassy areas, walking paths and great views west.

McKinley Park is a small neighborhood gathering spot with a playground, grassy areas, walking paths and great views west.

Established in the early 1970s, the Potrero Hill Community Garden is maintained by local residents using organic methods.

Established in the early 1970s, the Potrero Hill Community Garden is maintained by local residents using organic methods.

 Jackson Playground has baseball fields, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and children’s play structures.

 Jackson Playground has baseball fields, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and children’s play structures.

The annual Big Wheel race down Vermont Street (the city’s “real” crookedest street—move over, Lombard) is a highly anticipated neighborhood event. 

The annual Big Wheel race down Vermont Street (the city’s “real” crookedest street—move over, Lombard) is a highly anticipated neighborhood event. 

The SomArts Cultural Center offers offers classes in dance, drawing, computers and printmaking.

The SomArts Cultural Center offers offers classes in dance, drawing, computers and printmaking.

In business since 1896, Potrero-based Anchor Brewing Company hosts regular tours of its facilities.

In business since 1896, Potrero-based Anchor Brewing Company hosts regular tours of its facilities.

The Starr King Open Space offers views of the hills and the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. 

The Starr King Open Space offers views of the hills and the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. 

There’s a magical quality to the panoramic vistas seen from atop Potrero Hill.

There’s a magical quality to the panoramic vistas seen from atop Potrero Hill.

California College of the Arts is an art, design, architecture and writing school founded in 1907.

California College of the Arts is an art, design, architecture and writing school founded in 1907.

Bottom of the Hill is a popular music venue that showcases up-and-coming bands and is known for its free Sunday-afternoon barbecue.

Bottom of the Hill is a popular music venue that showcases up-and-coming bands and is known for its free Sunday-afternoon barbecue.