Russian Hill was named for Cyrillic-inscribed gravestones discovered at its peak by gold rushers. Now it offers some of the most majestic Italianate and Spanish Colonial Mission Revival architecture in San Francisco. Russian Hill real estate is also some of the most expensive in the city, as it is prized for its history, elegance and stunning views.
Most of the hill is made up of apartments, condos and single family homes (and the inspiration for Tales of the City). To see some of the grandest examples of Russian Hill homes, walk along the Vallejo Street Crest District, a National Register of Historic Places site. Many of these buildings were designed by Arts and Crafts era architect Willis Polk. Nearby you’ll find Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world.” (Russian Hill is also home to one of the steepest blocks in the city, Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde).
The residents of the area include the well-to-do, as well as a young, hip and affluent white collar crowd. You’ll find them enjoying the brilliant array of fine restaurants and boutiques along Russian Hill’s main shopping district, Polk Street.
Here you’ll find fine cuisine at La Folie, Yabbies Coastal Kitchen, Aux Delices, and Antica Trattoria. Enjoy a coffee or tea at La Boulange de Polk or Royal Ground. And stop in at a few unique stores like Spring, Cat Seto, or for the pets in your life, Bow Wow Meow.
There’s even great nightlife, like Club Rouge, Tonic, and the classic fern bar, Royal Oak. Recover the next morning with a workout at Crunch Fitness, or a little indulgence at Teashi or Lavande Nail Spa.
Up the hill on Hyde you’ll find quintessential San Francisco with the Hyde-Powell cable car line. Along this street there are a few incredible restaurants, like Zarzuela, Luella and Sushi Groove, as well as old timey comfort at the original Swensen’s Ice Cream.
Impressive architecture and a fine style of life are all available on Russian Hill.