South of Market, also known as SOMA, is a vast San Francisco neighborhood that encompasses Mission Bay and South Beach. SOMA is made up of several sub-neighborhoods including South Beach, Yerba Buena, and Rincon Hill. The San Francisco Giants play baseball in SOMA at waterfront AT&T Park. You can stroll the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens, which is surrounded by the Moscone Center arts center and several museums, including the acclaimed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). SOMA features many upscale dining options, high-energy nightclubs, and unique shopping. Do you think moving to SOMA would be a good fit for you? Let’s explore the neighborhood and find out!
History of SOMA
In 1847 the SOMA area was created as a subdivision of San Francisco. It was unofficially called South of Market because it was constructed south of Lower Market Street. SOMA grew into a bustling pioneer community in the mid-1800s. The neighborhood of Rincon Hill became a community for the wealthy, while South Park was home to the upper-middle class. In the early 1900s, SOMA was heavily industrialized due to its proximity to the docks of San Francisco Bay. SOMA became mostly a working-class and lower-middle-class neighborhood as the wealthy moved over to Nob Hill and beyond. An influx of European immigrants gave rise to sweatshops, power stations, flophouses, and factories. The 1906 earthquake completely destroyed SOMA, and it was rebuilt with wider than usual streets. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, SOMA was served by several streetcar lines. Long known as a warehouse district, today, SOMA is a vibrant neighborhood and a hub for museums, performances spaces, bars, and nightclubs. Older homes have now been joined by many loft-style condominiums and high-rise residential living.
Location & Transportation in SOMA
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SOMA has a walkability score of 99 out of 100, so it’s a walker’s paradise. Almost everything is close by, including dining, groceries, shopping, parks, schools, and entertainment. Most daily errands can be completed on foot. SOMA also has a 99 rating for biking, making it a perfect location for bikers. Bike lanes are prevalent and many residents can commute by bike,
SOMA has a world-class public transportation system, and it has a rider’s score of 99. Besides the many convenient rail and bus lines, you can take advantage of car-sharing from Getaround, Zipcar, RelayRides, and City CarShare. The nearest airport to SOMA is the San Francisco International Airport, which is only about 12 miles away. The freeways nearest to SOMA are Interstate 280 and US Route 101.
SOMA is bordered by Market Street to the northwest, San Francisco Bay to the northeast, Mission Creek to the southeast, and Division Street, 13th Street, and U.S. Route 101 (Central Freeway) to the southwest. Smaller sub-neighborhoods in SOMA include South Park, Yerba Buena, South Beach, and Financial District South. It also overlaps several others, such as Mission Bay and the Mission District.
Who Lives in SOMA?
SOMA’s population is 15,143 residents. The neighborhood is considered very diverse. The demographic breakdown of SOMA is 29.8% Asian, 27.3% White, 22.7% Hispanic or Latino, 22.5% Black or African American, 4.5% two or more races, 2.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 1.6% other races, and 0.3% American Indian.
The residents of SOMA have a median household income of $116,202 annually. The majority of SOMA residents work as software developers, managers, and waiters, and waitresses. The top occupations in SOMA are architectural & engineering managers, supervisors of nonretail sales workers, and lawyers, judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers.
Currently, about 18,7% of SOMA households consist of married couples. The median age is 36 years, making SOMA a younger community. About 31.5% of households in SOMA are home to school-aged children. The crime rate in SOMA is 2.14 times higher than the national average.
Things to Do in SOMA, Places to Eat, and Where to Shop
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You can do plenty of shopping in SOMA. San Francisco Flower Mart is full of hundreds of blooms from local growers. Pick out roses, orchids, tulips, ranunculus, lilies, or any one of dozens more exotic flowers. Clobba is an edgy boutique that features a wide variety of men’s and women’s attire, including classic graphic tees and low-rise jeans. Cottage Industry sells an eclectic variety of wares. You can find anything from antique home accessories to jewelry and books. Stop in Amoeba Music where you’ll find a selection of over 100,000 CDs, audio cassettes, and much-coveted vinyl records, both new and used. For movie buffs, they also stock DVD and VHS, as well as posters and own-brand merchandise. Design Within Reach is an upscale furniture store for locals and visitors looking for something different.
If you’re hungry, don’t worry. You’ll have lots of choices among SOMA’s tasty eateries. Boulevard is one of the finest restaurants in SOMA from service to cooking. You’ll love the waterfront views. James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Oakes serves up New American dishes such as wood-oven-roasted Berkshire pork chop with sweet potatoes and aprium in wild ginger and brown sugar. Epic Roasthouse is the place for surf and turf. Cooked in a wood-fired oven, taste the dry-aged ribeye, côte de boeuf, porterhouse, prime rib, or filet mignon. Accompany your steak with späetzle gratin, sautéed spinach, fried green tomatoes, and more. There’s no better way to end your meal than at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. Marvel at the chocolate-making equipment, treat yourself to a sundae, and don’t forget to buy some world-famous chocolates.
SOMA has plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy. Come out to Oracle Park and watch the San Francisco Giants play baseball from April to late September/early October. If they make the playoffs, even beyond that! Kids and adults alike will enjoy the Children’s Creativity Museum where kids can use their imaginations and get creative with hands-on exhibits.
If arts and culture are what you’re looking for, SOMA has them for you. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is home to more than 30,000 pieces of art including photography, sculptures, paintings, and more. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is both a museum and a venue for live performances. The museum features an ever-changing set of exhibits from artists all around the world. Performances include ballet, films, and more. The Pier 24 Photography Museum is home to a host of rotating photography exhibits that will enhance and expand the way you look at photography. At the SOMA Cultural Arts Center, you’ll find exhibits from under-served artists in communities that are not often given a voice. With an ever-changing display of art, you’ll have a new experience every time you visit.
- San Francisco Flower Mart, 640 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107, (415) 392-7944
- Clobba, 1604 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 864-4701
- Cottage Industry, 2328 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 885-0326
- Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 831-1200
- Design Within Reach, 200 Kansas St, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 638-4700
- Boulevard, 1 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 543-6084
- Epic Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 369-9955
- The Butcher’s Grill House, 978 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109, 916-215-6356
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, 900 North Point St Ste 52, San Francisco, CA 94109, (415) 474-3938
- Oracle Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107, (415) 972-2000
- Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 820-3320
- Sab Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 357-4000
- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 978-2787
- Pier 24 Photography Museum, 24 Pier, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 512-7424
- SOMA Cultural Arts Center, 934 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 863-1414
Map of SOMA
SOMA Real Estate
SOMA is home to a somewhat competitive housing market. The median sale price for a home in SOMA is $735,000. Since last year, real estate prices have gone down by about 25.6% in SOMA, so now is a great time to buy! Homes sell in about 43 days at about 1% over the list price.
The average rent in SOMA is $3,100 a month for a 1 bedroom, which is an 8% increase from the previous year. The majority of the homes in SOMA are older, but have been beautifully renovated. There are many modern warehouses that have been updated into condos and lofts, and you’ll find an eclectic, city vibe amongst everything that has been redone. It’s perfect for the modern and artsy individual.
The best schools in SOMA are El Camino High, Westborough Middle, Buri Buri Elementary, and Ponderosa Elementary. Students in SOMA also have easy access to the Mission branch of the San Francisco Public Library system.
If you’re considering a move to the SOMA area, trust your relocation to the best movers in the San Francisco area. AMS Relocation is an industry leader in California with award-winning service and high customer satisfaction. Call us at 650-284-2931 to get started on your free quote today!