SOMA West is geographically the largest district in San Francisco and it contains a multitude of fascinating histories and resilient communities.
Its unique urban street grid, historic buildings, wide streets and small alleyways all resulting from its fascinating past as an industrial, working class neighborhood that is inextricably linked to the larger history of San Francisco. Located in the heart of the City and boasting convenient transit access as well as freeway access, the neighborhood has faced and continues to face many challenges that have been met with creativity, ingenuity, and optimism by community members who have fought to make it more livable for all.
South of Market has a rich and storied history, full of art and cultural expression.
Art is everywhere in SOMA: Art institutions like SOMArts, Artspan, and St. Joseph’s Art Society, to galleries and studios showing renowned local and international artists. SOMA is also home to world-renowned designers, architects, makers, chefs, and musicians. You can find it around every corner on large-scale murals and inspired small-scale guerrilla interventions. Because the neighborhood is so large and diverse, art is what unifies our district's identities.
SOMA is home to two of the San Francisco's Cultural Districts: SOMA Pilipinas and the SF Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District. These districts’ layered, complex histories are woven into the fabric of our SOMA and make it the rich, storied place that it is today. We are honored to be their neighbors and support the significant work to keep their communities in place and their cultures visible. Both districts have robust programming, events, and projects happening throughout the neighborhood.
SOMA West is home to an eclectic variety of places to shop for whatever your needs may be. From the convenience of big box stores like Costco and Best Buy; to boutique home furnishing and luxury fixtures, from incredible natural wine, to bike shops and adult stores that have become neighborhood institutions.
SOMA West boasts some of the best restaurants, delis, coffee, and libations in the City. Whether you are in need of a fantastic cup of coffee, want to feast on one of the the best sandwiches in town, or you want to splurge for a Michelin starred meal that might be one of the best in your life, we have just what you need.
The nightlife scene in SOMA is legendary, with good reason. As home to the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District, we are proud to host many of the City's iconic nightlife businesses catering to the LGBTQ and Leather communities. These inclusive spaces draw in visitors from around the world. The neighborhood also has plenty of spaces have outdoor seating to enjoy the sunshine. Catch some of your favorite drag performers, dance your heart out, have a quiet drink in an artful setting, or sit down to watch the Warriors game. SOMA West has something for everyone.
As a relatively flat neighborhood, SOMA is convenient and popular for cycling. Two major protected bike lane projects are in the works on Folsom Street and Howard Street, which will drastically improve the safety of cyclists. You can learn more about the City’s plans for the two corridors here.