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photograph by Heart Patrick

Nob Hill/Russian Hill
Two peaks on a continuous ridge, these two neighborhoods are home to some of San Francisco's most established and monied families.

Nob Hill is home to luxury hotels (the Mark Hopkins, the Ritz Carlton, the Fairmont) and the city's most expensive and most renowned restaurants (Fleur de Lys, The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, Postrio, Farallon). The shopping of Union Square is only a few blocks down from the high ended intersection of California and Powell, and therefore there are few boutiques that the Hill can call its own (of special note is high-end hair salon Architects and Heroes) but the area does have a bar scene worth noting. In the basement of the Fairmont Hotel lies the city-famous Tonga Room (featuring Mai-Tai's and an indoor rainstorm). On Sutter, next to a local coffee house is The Beer Cellar, another basement bar which features live DJs. Neither is particularly popular with the tonier Hill residents.

Russian Hill is best known as the location of Armistead Maupin's fictional Barbary Lane in the Tales of the City series. Residents may be less bohemian and more banker than they used to, but the area is still as idyllic as it is pretty. Winding stairs and one-way alleys hide lush gardens and gorgeous houses. Hyde Street, near its intersection with Union, is the center of commercial life in this otherwise residential area. Restaurants such as Sushigroove and Zarzuella specialize in upscale, but young ethnic cuisine, respectively Japanese and Spanish. In a hurry or on a budget? Get pizza at popular Za or ice cream at Swenson's while waiting for the cable car.

Links Links
Masonic Center
Nob Hill Walking Tour
Russian Hill Neighbors
Russian Hill Restaurants
SF Gate: Russian Hill

photograph by Heart Patrick

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