Why I Love San Francisco’s Outer Richmond District
San Francisco is a notoriously loud city. This loudness is something that the City is proud of. San Francisco’s voice has been heard throughout the world. People from all different walks of life have found themselves drawn to this hilly city sandwiched between an ocean an a bay. But sometimes quiet is nice, and it’s hard to find a neighborhood in San Francisco that is consistently peaceful, consistently quiet, but like everything in life, there are always exceptions and the Outer Richmond is San Francisco’s sleepy exception.
The Outer Richmond is San Francisco’s sleepy exception.
Not a day goes by without hearing some negative story about San Francisco being an utter dystopia. Nightly reports on escalating crime and quality of life issues fill our television screens and timelines, but this narrative couldn’t feel further away than in the calm and idyllic streets of the Outer Richmond.
In the Outer Richmond kids play outside, cars are parked on the street and the vast majority of them haven’t been burglarized. People even have garages and backyards.
In the Outer Richmond kids play outside, cars are parked on the street and the vast majority of them haven’t been burglarized. People even have garages and backyards. And if you know anything about San Francisco, you know garages are gold, and speaking of gold, this neighborhood is right next to Golden Gate park and the Golden Gate Bridge, and while yes, both are touristy, they’re touristy for a reason, because they’re fucking cool.
The Outer Richmond is quiet, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in terms of entertainment. Some of the coolest places in the city are located within the Outer Richmond.
If you’re sick of seeing people with selfie sticks and license plates that remind you Ohio exists, you’re also right next to Ocean Beach. And no matter how cold Ocean Beach gets, it’s also better to live near a beach than to not, ya know?
The Outer Richmond is quiet, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in terms of entertainment. Some of the coolest places in the city are located within the Outer Richmond. The Balboa Theater is an indie movie theater on Balboa Street that has existed in the San Francisco since 1926 and they play modern blockbusters that you’d find at Century Theaters while also showing more niche titles as well. It’s like a normal movie theater and The Roxie in The Mission had a cool ass baby.
And if you’re looking for a nightcap, there are just as many cool dive bars in the Outer Richmond as there are in any other part of the city. If you got the munchies if you’re looking for great Chinese food without the crowds associated with Chinatown, the Outer Richmond is definitely a good choice. There’s great Chinese foods spots all over. There’s also Indian, Thai, and traditional America shit like hamburgers. No matter where you go in America, you’ll always have your hamburgers.
I live in SoMa, which, for better or worse, is in the heart of it all. There’s always some crazy shit happening outside. And sometimes I am envious of the fog-filled quiet streets of the Outer Richmond. Yes, they’re kinda far from BART, and as someone who heads to the East Bay a lot, I understand the value of being near BART, but I also understand the value of having piece of mind, and that is something that is increasingly hard to find in a bustling city like San Francisco.
Yeah, Outer Richmond is quasi-suburban, but in a place where abnormal is boring, can’t boring be abnormal, thus making it exciting?
When you need some time to think, maybe drive to the Outer Richmond, you won’t be disappointed.
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Howdy! My name is Katy Atchison and I'm an Associate Editor for Broke-Ass Stuart.
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