South of Market, San Francisco

Who I am
Martí Micolau

Author and references


  • History
  • To see
  • Parks and gardens
  • Events
  • Where to eat
  • How to reach us

SoMa, short for South of Market, is one of the most modern neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Its name is due to the position it occupies, south of Market Street (in the past it was referred to as South of the Slot, to indicate its "wrong" position with respect to the lines served by the Cable Cars), near the Financial District.

The SoMa district is primarily a rapidly evolving commercial area, home to numerous high-tech businesses and companies, but also retains an artistic and somewhat bohemian soul, with numerous museums, bookstores and art galleries. The area between Eleventh and Folsom is instead home to the scene gay of the neighborhood.


Until the 70s - 80s, the SoMa territory was a depressed area of ​​the city, occupied by rows of warehouses and factories.
With the building boom that swept the city after the war, which was followed by fierce opposition from the inhabitants of the neighborhoods who were dismembered to make way for more modern buildings, the attention of the builders ended up focusing on South of Market: the warehouses and factories came swept away to make way for residential areas and luxury condominiums, shops and restaurants. In the 90s, with the IT boom, SoMa became the headquarters of many companies linked to the world of IT.

To see

SoMa is a lively neighborhood, full of things to see. Among the most interesting places to visit we recommend:

California Historical Society

The California Historical Society is a nonprofit organization, whose goal is to study and disseminate the history of California, through photographic evidence, documents, manuscripts and art objects. Periodically, the California Historical Society organizes interesting exhibits on the history of the Golden State.


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, located a short distance from Yerbabuena Gardens, houses a large collection of contemporary art. 
The museum's permanent collection includes works by Wharol, Pollack, Picasso, Matisse and O 'Keeffe, but also pieces made by famous local artists.

Cartoon Art Museum

Established with funds donated by Charles Schulz, the Cartoon Art Museum, entirely dedicated to the world of animation, includes a vast collection, more than 6.000 pieces, dedicated to the world of animation and comics. At the entrance to the museum is the camera used to shoot the first cartoon for television.

Contemporary Jewish Museum

It was founded in 1984, with the aim of making Jewish culture known to the public through its history, art and ideas. The museum does not have a permanent collection, and organizes ever changing temporary exhibitions.

Parks and gardens

Alice Street Community Gardens

A small and well-kept urban garden, with a varied flora, dominated by a large painting entitled “Manila Village Mural”. The garden is open during the day and is furnished with wooden tables for picnics.

South Park

Born in 1852 as an English-style park (modeled on Berkeley Square in London), located in a luxury residential district, in the 90s South Park was at the center of the information boom, as a favorite destination for industry insiders, and has seen more than one business deal being concluded.
Today it is a quieter place, where you can relax, enjoy a cup of coffee and do some shopping.


South of Market hosts several events throughout the year, we remember the most important:

How weird street faire

A great annual event to celebrate diversity, in all its forms, held every year at the beginning of May.
During the event, which changes its theme every year, several stages are set up to host live concerts, and local artists exhibit their works in the Arts Alley. There is no shortage of stalls and food.

Oktoberfest by the Bay

Every year, around the end of September, Pier 48 becomes the site of Oktoberfest by the Bay, with lots of music, good food, and of course, rivers of great beer.

Where to eat

In SoMa there are many places where you can eat really well. Among the best we point out:

Alexander's Steakhouse. Located at 488 Brannan Street, Alexander's Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in town. His dishes are influenced by Japanese cuisine.

Prospect. Located at 300 Spear Street, it is the ideal place to enjoy excellent lunches and dinners. In his cuisine, made up of well-structured dishes, made with fresh seasonal products, there is a clear French influence.

How to reach us

The South of Market area is easily accessible both by car and by all the main public transport in the city.
By train: you can use the trains of Caltrain, a service that connects San Jose to San Francisco. Caltrain Station is located at the intersection of 4th and King Street.

Given its proximity to Market Street, SoMa can be reached on foot from many stations served by MUNI, Metro and from BART, as well as from the tram line F (Streetcar).

By bus: There are many MUNI bus lines reaching South of Market. Lines 10, 20, 30, 45 and 47 are those arriving from the northern neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Lines 1, 5, 6, 38 arrive from the east of the city, while lines 9, 12, 14, 28 and 27 come from the south, crossing the Mission District.

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