Noe Valley has long been an attractive part of San Francisco because it is a quiet neighborhood with some very well maintained Victorian and Edwardian homes. And since it is a sought-after area, rents and home prices are higher than the City average. Still, it is a nice part of town and worth looking into, if you move into the City.
There is a balanced ratio of single-family homes and multi-family buildings. However, usually finding a place had been historically challenging. There was typically not a lot available in previous years. However, since we are still in the middle of the pandemic, there might be more options.
Noe Valley has always been known as a safe and quiet part of town. Since it is far removed from downtown and other more touristy neighborhoods, such as the Castro, Chinatown, or the Haight, there are very few, if any, people around who are not residents of the neighborhood. Also, the neighborhood contains a large percentage of families with children. You can visit the following link for actual data regarding criminal activity in and around the neighborhood: www.spotcrime.com.
As the name implies, Noe Valley is flat, for the most part, though there are some hills towards the western and southern ends of the neighborhood. Also, vehicular traffic on many streets is minimal. Therefore, it is an ideal place to use your bike for commuting. And though there are not too many dedicated bike lanes within Noe, the bike lanes on Valencia and Cesar Chavez are close by, which can connect you to the rest of the City. You can go to https://sfenvironment.org/article/bicycling-in-san-francisco to plan your bike route.
Transit-wise, there are three bus lines, plus a streetcar line, that serve Noe and are as follows:
- Bus Line 24 – this line goes from the northern part of the City in Pacific Heights, through the Castro and Noe Valley, then ends up in Bernal Heights at the intersection of Cortland and Bayshore
- Bus Line 48 – Travels from West Portal to Dg Patch via 24th Street in Noe Valley. Therefore, it has a convenient stop at the 24th and Mission Street BART Station.
- J-Church Line – starts at the end of Church Street in Noe Valley, continues on Church Street through the Castro, and then turns into an underground (subway) line at the Church Street Muni station. It continues to downtown/Financial District.
Shopping and Restaurants
24th Street is the main commercial corridor in the neighborhood and offers great clothes, shoes, books, and groceries. The latter is taken care of by a Whole Foods Market with parking in front. Additionally, there are several great restaurants, cafes, and bars along this same corridor. So, whether you live here or not, it is worth spending a few hours on 24th Street. You will be glad you did.
Additionally, a farmers’ market takes place every Saturday morning on the southwest corner of 24th and Vicksburg Streets. Compared to other farmers’ markets, it is a little on the smaller side, but they have great produce and some tasty pastries and other pre-cooked fares.
Parks and Recreation
There are no large parks in Noe Valley, per se, but smaller parks are doting the neighborhood, such as:
- The Noe Valley Courts at Douglass and 24th
- The Upper Noe Recreation Center on Sanchez and 30th Streets contains a clubhouse, baseball diamond, basketball courts, a gymnasium, etc.
- The Upper Douglass Dog Play Area on Clipper and Douglass streets is not just for dogs, plus it has great views of the City.
- Billy Goat Hill on 30th and Castro Streets has hiking trails and great views as well.
Schools and Libraries
Two public elementary schools serve Noe Valley: Alvarado Elementary School and Dolores Huerta Elementary School. There is also a public middle school, James Lick Middle School, but no high school within the neighborhood. Depending on where you live in Noe, the closest one is probably Mission High School on the corner of Dolores and 18th Streets.
Additionally, there is one charter school, Thomas Edison Charter Academy, and two private Catholic schools: St. Pauls’ and St. Phillip’s. We recommend you visit www.sfusd.edu to research the public schools listed above, as well as the enrollment requirements and schedule. For the private schools, you can research them on their own webpages and a website titled www.niche.com, which provides basic information and ratings for each school based on parent and student reviews.
The Noe Valley library is located on Jersey Street between Castro and Douglass Streets. The building dates back to 1916, and it is an interesting structure to visit. Also, it has a children’s room with a wide selection of children’s books. And, in normal times, there is a children’s program, including storytimes. Please visit their website to find out their re-opening date, hours, children’s program, etc.: https://sfpl.org/locations/noe-valley.