Dogpatch homes (Photo courtesy of SFMTA)
Dogpatch is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. Although it is closely linked to neighboring Potrero Hill to the west, Highway 280 clearly sets a boundary between them. On the north end, Dogpatch extends to Mariposa Street and down to Cesar Chavez Street on the south end. Some residents, realtors, developers, politicians, etc., set the eastern limit at Illinois Street. In contrast, others extend Dogpatch’s reach all the way to the Bay and include an area known as the Central Waterfront. For the sake of brevity, we include the Central Waterfront as part of Dogpatch.
There are several theories regarding the origin of the name Dogpatch. One is that the original name was “Dutchman’s Flat,” which was named because of the number of Dutch immigrants living in the area. A second theory is that many dogs roamed the area scavenging for scraps from the local butcher/rendering plants set up here in the late 1800s.
The neighborhood first underwent gentrification in the mid-1990s. It’s proximity to downtown; the good weather, since it is located well outside of the fog belt; quiet streets; and availability of stunning Victorian single-family homes make it a beautiful place to live. Also, the neighborhood itself is tiny. Therefore, home equity increases sharply since there are not too many homes available to buy or rent.
The neighborhood is approximately half residential and half industrial. And, traditionally, the majority of residences had been single-family homes. However, there has been considerable development and redevelopment in the neighborhood in recent decades, especially on 3rd Street and on the previously industrial blocks. There is increasing residential availability, including a considerable number of apartments and “flat” vacancies due to the pandemic. A “flat,” for those of you new to the City, is an apartment that encompasses the entire building floor. In other words, you do not have any next-door neighbors if you live in a “flat,” Whereas, in an apartment, there can be two or more living spaces on the same building floor.
Since we live in uncertain and changing times due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in crime worldwide. However, in general, Dogpatch has typically been a safe neighborhood. Even now, according to current reports, the crime level is relatively low and, at least at the time of this writing. We recommend you research the neighborhood before moving here. One online source reporting criminal activity for all of San Francisco is located here: www.spotcrime.com.
For a neighborhood that is quite small, it has a considerable amount of transit options, such as:
- Third Street Rail – this modern streetcar network starts at the 4th and King Streets station, which connects to Caltrain and the Central subway system and ends at the Bayshore Station in Visitacion Valley. As the name implies, the line runs mostly on 3rd Street, the main commercial corridor for Dogpatch.
- Bus Line 22 – this bus route makes a loop around 3rd and 22nd Streets, including a stop at the Caltrain Stop on22nd Street, heads west through Potrero Hill and the Mission and ends in the Fillmore neighborhood.
- Bus Line 48 – this route starts at 3rd and 30th Streets in Dogpatch and makes its way to the West of Twin Peaks neighborhood via the Mission and Bernal Hills.
You can go to www.sfmta.org to plan your transit trip from this neighborhood to anywhere in the City and the Bay Area.
Biking is also a great way to commute to and from Dogpatch. The bike routes from this neighborhood to downtown, the Mission, and down the Bay are flat. The routes heading west to Potrero can be a bit more challenging because of their steepness, but there are ways to get around and over the hills. You can go to https://sfenvironment.org/article/bicycling-in-san-francisco to plan your bike route.
Shopping and Dining
The main commercial corridor in Dogpatch is on 3rd Street. Additionally, there are other scattered shops and cafes around the neighborhood, such as Philz Coffee on Minnesota Street. The local grocery store is Mainstay Market on 22nd Street off of 3rd Street.
Since the neighborhood is small enough, it makes sense to walk around, soak in the sights and check out some eateries and shops. Also, up until the pandemic struck, more and more entrepreneurs started businesses in this area. This trend should restart once the pandemic ends; we go back to the new “normal.”
Parks and Recreation
The main park in Dogpatch, traditionally speaking, has always been Esprit Park. It is located between 19th and 20th Streets and between Indiana and Minnesota Streets. Although it is not a huge park, it does have areas where you can lay down on the lawn, play “hide and seek” with your kids, and even take your dog for playtime.
Additionally, there are a few other smaller parks around, such as:
- Woods Yard Park – this is a small park with a playground located on the corner of 22nd and Minnesota Streets.
- Mariposa Park – this park is part of the UCSF Children’s Hospital complex, which is an extension of the Mission Bay campus, which we cover in another article. This green space is a relatively new park with very green lawns and typically well-maintained landscaping, including the hardscape areas.
- Crane Cove Park – this park was just inaugurated in October of 2020. It is located on the corner of 16th and Illinois Streets and, as the name implies, extends to the Bay. The park is basically a large green space. There are no trees, which you typically find in other San Francisco Parks of this size. You have a clear view of the bay and beyond. Also, it is a very dog-friendly area. There is parking along Illinois Street, but it is metered.
Except for the La Scuola International School preschool campus on 20th Street, there are no public or private schools located within Dogpatch. The nearest elementary, middle, and high schools are located in the Potrero Hill and Mission neighborhoods. Please read the articles for those neighborhoods on this website for more information regarding schools.