Cole Valley

Cole Valley is an often overlooked San Francisco gem. Perhaps more of a community than a true neighborhood, this area is a popular urban residential locale for families and young professionals. Its low-key personality is in stark contrast to the ego exhibited in many other of the city’s more popular neighborhoods.

So why try Cole Valley? If food and coffee is your thing, then consider this paradise. Within a three block radius you’ll find more restaurants and cafés per capita than any other area of the city, thus making this neighborhood a ‘top spot’ for in-the-know San Francisco locals. In fact, some of the Cole Valley’s locals once included Robin Williams and Dana Carvey, who used to perform in a comedy club that is now Crepes on Cole.

If you make it beyond the restaurants and cafes, Cole Valley is also known for its outstanding cityscape views. Make the 600 foot trek up to Tank Hill and enjoy the shade of eucalyptus trees planted during World War II to hide the local water tower from Japanese bombers. The summit is accessible via Shrader Street.

Where it’s At

Cole Valley runs up against the Haight neighborhood and is bordered on the west by Stanyan Street and Sutro Forest, to the east by Clayton Street and to the south by Tank Hill.

What to See

Perhaps the neighborhood’s biggest site is up in the air. For the last decade Cole Valley has become the destination of choice for a flock of wild parrots, popularly called ‘the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill’. Your best chance of seeing them is June through August first thing in the morning, or at night around Jackson and Davis Streets. Just keep your eyes peeled for the green and red birds.

Where to Eat

So what about all those famous restaurants? Here’s a few to be sure to sample.

Crepes on Cole is known for its super-sized servings, with a focus on savory crepes with such artistic flavors as tofu crème and cannelloni. Say Cheese is one of San Francisco’s premier cheese shops and stocks its shelves with samples from around the world. For brunch, try Zazie – and be sure to order the gingerbread pancakes.