South of Market (SOMA)
Edgy and hip, with just a hint of grit tossed in for flavor, SOMA is for the true urbanite. Homogeneous streets and manicured front lawns are no where to be found. What you will discover here are contemporary lofts and condos, alongside the occasional Victorian, all lit up and hovering above the city’s premiere nightlife destinations. Historically the center of the city’s gay leather and bear community, you will now find options for all persuasions. Stalwarts of the gay leather bar scene are found throughout SOMA- the Eagle, The Lone Star Saloon and Stud are just a few. There are many nightclubs in the area, including Slim’s, the Paradise Lounge, the EndUp, and several new wine bars. Commercial mingles alongside industrial and residential in this eclectic neighborhood. This is where you’ll find some of the city’s only big box chain stores, including a Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Costco. Of course, Trader Joe’s is a major draw for groceries. SOMA is also home to residential developments by some very notable architects, including 888 7th Street by David Baker, 1234 Howard by Stanley Saitowitz and the conversion of Jackson Brewery by Siegel and Strain. The neighborhood enjoys some of the best weather in the city and is relatively flat, making it attractive for bicyclists. Easy access to the freeways and Bay Bridge keeps drivers happy too. If you’re looking for convenient transportation, either conventional or unconventional housing options, sunshine and true urban living, take a look at SOMA.