Cole Valley is a charming hillside neighborhood just south and up the hill from the heart of Haight Ashbury. It's surrounded by tiny Ashbury Heights to the east, Parnassus Heights to the west, and Corona and Clarendon Heights to the south. This area boasts beautiful homes, winding streets with magnificent trees, and a short but bustling commercial corridor on Cole Street. Cole Valley is a highly family and dog friendly neighborhood.
In the early 1900s, this area was an enclave of small ranches with grazing cows. Today on Cole Street, you will find great restaurants and darling shops. Boulange de Cole sits on the corner of Parnassus and Cole, a location that has housed a bakery in some form or another since the building was erected. French restaurant Zazie consistently draws a crowd, whether for its weekly Free Corkage Night and Dog Dining on the Patio Night, or for its wait-worthy Sunday brunches. Hit Bambino’s for classic Italian and pizza, or Kezar Restaurant for a good pub burger. Bocalote, an offshoot of the Marina’s Mamacita restaurant, opening Fall '12 and will offer authentic Mexican fare and to-die-for margaritas in an upscale setting. Don’t forget dessert: The Ice Cream Bar and Soda Fountain makes unique in-house ice cream and has been featured as one of the U.S.’s top ten ice cream shops in the nation by Bon Appetit. Just grabbing a quick bite? Stop into Say Cheese to make up some picnic fare, or dine in at Reverie Café and you just might run into tech celeb Craig Newmark, founder of Craiglist.
Cole Valley and its surrounding neighborhoods have excellent public transportation and afford any walker an easy urban escape with San Francisco’s lush Golden Gate Park to the west, Buena Vista Park to the east, or Mt. Sutro Forest to the south. The most romantic place to watch the sunset in Cole Valley? Tank Hill, a small open space that is accessible from Clarendon Avenue!
Written by: Amy Blakeley, McGuire Agent and Cole Valley Neighborhood Specialist