West Portal is a lively, popular neighborhood that balances its newfound hipness with a sense of old-fashioned charm. Sure, its commercial area has some of the most desirable coffee shops and restaurants in town that draw folks from all over the city. But the tree-lined streets, vintage neon signs, and MUNI streetcar tunnel give it a slight feel of yesteryear. Most of the homes in West Portal are well-maintained single-family properties that sit on quiet, tree-lined residential streets. 

But along West Portal Avenue, busy pedestrian traffic and a plethora of grocery stores, wine bars, gift shops, and eateries—even a historic first-run movie theater—showcase the neighborhood’s more outgoing side. West Portal is a great neighborhood for families, as there are some great schools, parks and playgrounds, a rec center, and a branch of the public library all within walking distance. And commuters enjoy the convenience of accessing the K, L, and M MUNI lines at their neighborhood station. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso 

Edgehill Mountain Park is a 2-acre urban forest ideal for bird-watching and hiking.

Edgehill Mountain Park is a 2-acre urban forest ideal for bird-watching and hiking.

The West Portal commercial district is a lively area filled with popular restaurants, coffee and wine shops, day spas and fashion boutiques. 

The West Portal commercial district is a lively area filled with popular restaurants, coffee and wine shops, day spas and fashion boutiques. 

Residents flock to neighborhood favorite Fresca for ceviche and other classic Peruvian fare.

Residents flock to neighborhood favorite Fresca for ceviche and other classic Peruvian fare.

Manor Coffee Shop on West Portal Avenue is a retro diner that features 1950s lunch counters and vintage San Francisco photos.

Manor Coffee Shop on West Portal Avenue is a retro diner that features 1950s lunch counters and vintage San Francisco photos.

Que Syrah is a cozy wine bar on West Portal Avenue that serves up an impressive selection of small-production wines.

Que Syrah is a cozy wine bar on West Portal Avenue that serves up an impressive selection of small-production wines.

Built around the entrance to the Twin Peaks Tunnel, the West Portal MUNI Station offers access to the K, L, and M-MUNI lines.

Built around the entrance to the Twin Peaks Tunnel, the West Portal MUNI Station offers access to the K, L, and M-MUNI lines.

The top-rated West Portal Elementary School has been granted a California Distinguished School designation.

The top-rated West Portal Elementary School has been granted a California Distinguished School designation.

The San Francisco Waldorf High School is an excellent private school serving kids in kindergarten through grade 12.

The San Francisco Waldorf High School is an excellent private school serving kids in kindergarten through grade 12.

Residents flock to BookShop West Portal not only for books, but for literary-themed gift items and events such as book club meetings and knitting classes.  

Residents flock to BookShop West Portal not only for books, but for literary-themed gift items and events such as book club meetings and knitting classes.  

One of the last remaining small neighborhood movie theaters in the city, CinéArts at the Empire on West Portal Avenue, with its vintage façade, is still going strong. 

One of the last remaining small neighborhood movie theaters in the city, CinéArts at the Empire on West Portal Avenue, with its vintage façade, is still going strong.