This S.F. Neighborhood Was Named One of the World’s ‘Coolest.’ Here’s What the Ranking Got Right


San Francisco’s fastest-growing neighborhood has made it into the top 51 coolest in the world, according to a new online ranking.

Editors and local contributors at travel and entertainment website Time Out chose Dogpatch for the 2022 list based on answers from thousands of readers who took an annual suvey asking them in part to talk about the “coolest spots in their city right now.”

Dogpatch, on San Francisco’s post-industrial eastern waterfront, was No. 36 on the ranking, joining hot spots like No. 1 Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico, No. 2 Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal, and No. 3 Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Down a few notches since appearing 31st in the ranking in 2019, Dogpatch was the lowest-ranked among the six U.S. neighborhoods on the 2022 list, after No. 4 Ridgewood in New York City, No. 6 Barrio Logan in San Diego, No. 16 Avondale in Chicago, No. 21 Silver Lake in Los Angeles and No. 29 Coconut Grove in Miami.

While Time Out’s description of Dogpatch as a hip and thriving neighborhood squared with local experience, it hit a slightly dissonant note when it came to rent.

“Despite its waterfront location and Bay Bridge views, the Dogpatch was, for a long time, a gritty and desolate place filled with shipyards and factories,” the ranking stated. “Now it’s one of San Francisco’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods and a haven for creatives taking advantage of the (slightly) more affordable studio and housing options.”

It’s true that cheap rents and affordable warehouse spaces were once major drivers of artists and creatives seeking out the Dogpatch — but it might be wishful thinking to expect that of the neighborhood now.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Dogpatch is $3,625 — and it’s increased 11% compared to the previous year, according to rental website Zumper. That compares to a citywide average rent of $3,045 for a one-bedroom, up 9% from the year prior, according to the website.

Old industrial spaces are in a perennial state of transformation into housing complexes across the neighborhood, which weren’t cheap even five years ago, with some newly built one-bedroom units then starting anywhere from $3,050 to $3,255 a month, The Chronicle reported.

Sales volume for condominiums and especially single-family homes is low in the neighborhood, according to real estate company Compass.

The median condo sales price for the Dogpatch was $1.08 million in the third quarter of 2022, according to Compass data — slightly below the citywide median of $1.15 million.

The typical single-family home value in the neighborhood was $1.2 million in August, according to Zillow — compared to the citywide average of $1.5 million.

Housing prices aside, the Time Out index did land squarely on the neighborhood’s buzziest qualities: its “recent boom” of shops, restaurants, urban wineries and walkability.

The “boomtown” categorization is in keeping with the constant stream of new restaurants and galleries opening up in the neighborhood.

The city’s fast-casual Greek staple, Souvla, just opened up an expanded version of its restaurant with 60-seats and a wine bar in the neighborhood; just last month, the Italian-inspired Dogpatch cafe and restaurant Piccino opened up a new cocktail bar called Bar Piccino.

On Oct. 1, a new 11,000-square-foot museum called the Institute of Contemporary Art opened to the public, The Chronicle reported.

Despite much of the grit the neighborhood has lost, some of its most eye-catching features are remnants of the past. Starting around the 1860s, the Dogpatch had become the center of heavy industry in San Francisco, employing “thousands of industrial workers and skilled craftsmen, according to the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, which has documented its history. Many of the homes in the neighborhood were built by working families, and often with their own hands.

Some of these, like the row of Pelton “Cheap-Dwellings” Cottages that line Minnesota and Tennesee streets, are still intact. The 1880s-era homes were meant to be inexpensive but attractive dwellings built for working-class people with modest means, according to San Francisco history website FoundSF.

But by the mid-1940s, Dogpatch had entered a period of slow industrial decline. The shipbuilding industry had died out after World War II and factories were beginning to close and be demolished. In those years, before the proliferation of new condos, restaurants and pricey art spaces, the neighborhood was labeled a “bleak” place, or a “no-man’s land.”

For a long time, a two-story Victorian home neighbored a towering steel gas storage tank. It was finally torn down in 1988, but the Victorian is still there, The Chronicle reported.

Around the 1970s, artists and creatives started to move into the deserted neighborhood, and by the mid-1990s, “a rapid wave of development started taking place, mostly in the form of live-work loft units,” hundreds of which were built in a few short years, according to the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association’s blog.

The neighborhood is now in many ways synonymous with newness and development, with the construction of the UCSF Research Center, Mission Bay area and Third Street Corridor. The Chronicle has even referred to it as “an urban design test lab.”



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