Underappreciated 'Hood: Glen Park, Classic Charm Rooted in Sterling Locales
Swinging at Billy Goat Hill. (Courtesy of Fecalface)

Underappreciated 'Hood: Glen Park, Classic Charm Rooted in Sterling Locales


Those looking for consistency in culture and quality, Glen Park is your place.

San Franciscans are insatiable in their lust for culture. There's always the next big show to go to or culinary creation to try. Often times, when people are deciding what neighborhood to live in or visit, they ask themselves where they can find the "most" or the "newest." Glen Park isn't the right place for people seeking these ideals, but it does hold a bustling, quaint charm as a vibrant, stable micro-hood.

That's not to say that Glen Park doesn't have a lot to offer beyond its family-friendly stereotype—it does—but rather that it deserves appreciation precisely because it feels uninterested in chasing the next new thing. It's an established neighborhood that's confident in what it has to offer. Situated directly under Noe Valley, Glen Park has earned its "slower" reputation, in large part, because of its geography. It's contained on one side by Glen Canyon and on the other by the 280. What you'll find inside its perimeter, however, is one of the most earnest neighborhoods in SF with a surprising number of noteworthy experiences that may have gone overlooked by San Franciscans in the fast lane.


At Manzoni, wine pairings are taken seriously. (Courtesy of Lance Iversen, via The Chronicle)

Manzoni is a small, relaxed restaurant with a rustic feel that takes its food and wine paring seriously. With a classic Italian menu, all the pasta is made fresh every day and there are countless rotating specials. Be sure to try the eggless panna cotta or paparadelle with pork ragu. // 5:30pm - 10pm Tuesday to Sunday, 2788 Diamond St., manzonirestaurant.com

Glen Canyon Park

One of Glen Canyon's many vistas. (ourtesy of Scott Romyns, via Facebook)

Who would have thought that one of SF's largest parks is located on the edge of Glen Park? As its namesake, Glen Canyon is massive and complete with a baseball field, large playground, tennis courts, dramatic rock formations, and long hiking trails. If you ever wanted to be in the city without knowing you're in the city, a hike through Glen Canyon's 60 acres will do it. // sunrise to sunset, Elk St. and Chenery St., sfrecpark.org

Le P'tit Laurent

Low-key ambiance with a high-class menu. (Courtesy of Sequoia Real Estate)

Now in its tenth year, this french restaurant with a rotating fixed price menu is a surprisingly fancy find in Glen Park. Just one block from the Glen Park BART station, Le P'tit Laurent is entirely unassuming from the outside. Inside, you'll find classic French dishes and a bistro feel. Try the neighborhood menu Sunday through Thursday and get three courses for $28 which includes a soup or salad, entree and dessert. // 699 Chenery St., 5:30pm - 9:30pm daily, leptitlaurent.net

Bird and Beckett

One of the frequent jazz performances. (Courtesy of Angela Bennett)

Bird and Beckett maintains the old-school romance of bookstores as a community gathering space. Sit in the cozy nook with your nose in a novel or pop in for one of their weekly events including readings from poets, novelists, as well as live music. With regular live jazz and a records section, this bookstore outdoes itself. This longstanding Glen Park landmark edifies community as a non-profit organization and local gathering place. // 10am - 7pm daily, 653 Chenery St., birdbeckett.com

Higher Grounds Coffee House

Higher Grounds offers breakfast too. (Courtesy of Jazzy Loh via Google Maps)

As Glen Park's most iconic coffee house, Higher Grounds is packed with tasty treats. Sure it has all the normal cafe offerings including coffee, bagels, and pastries, but it's the breakfast crepes you'd write home about. Favorites include shrimp or chicken, with a mix of cheese, mushrooms and spinach with a generous side of salad and potatoes. // 8am - 5pm daily, 691 Chenery St.

Destination Baking Company

So. Many. Carbs. Yum. (Courtesy of Sequoia Real Estate)

Destination provides an endless array of delectable pastries including doughnuts, bread, tarts or cookies. Each tasty morsel is made by hand every day, and the love poured into the shop's tasty treats shows. Favorites include the sticky bun, chocolate croissant, and cheddar-scallion scones. // 6:30am - 6:30pm weekdays, 7am - 4pm weekends, 598 Chenery St., destinationbakingcompany.com

Billy Goat Hill

Billy Goat Hill at sunset.(Courtesy of m_travels)

If you've every seen a photo of someone swinging from a tree over San Francisco, chances are it was taken at Billy Goat Hill. This vista-packed park at the edge of Glen Park has one of San Francisco's most-Instagrammed shots. Unassuming, but easy to spot from Noe Valley, this high-altitude park is also perfect for some meditative reflection as you look out across San Francisco. // 2442 Castro St., sunrise to sunset, sfrecpark.org

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