SoMa Travel Guide
  • Photo: (c) Minyun9260 |


SoMa is less a neighborhood than a sprawling area of wide, traffic-heavy boulevards lined with office skyscrapers and ultrachic condo high-rises. The COVID-19 pandemic hit this area particularly hard, as many of the neighborhood's office workers and residents departed with the increase in working from home for tech companies. Still, it's a noteworthy area for locals and tourists who are drawn to the cultural offerings and concentration of eateries and bars, including a number of destination restaurants. In terms of sightseeing, gigantic and impressive SFMOMA tops the list, followed by the specialty museums of the Yerba Buena arts district.

SoMa was once known as "South of the Slot" (read: the Wrong Side of the Tracks) in reference to the cable-car slot that ran up Market Street. Ever since gold-rush miners set up their tents here in 1848, SoMa has played a major role in housing immigrants to the city.

The 2010s influx of techies (and their money) changed the neighborhood once again: the skid row of 6th Street, between Market and Mission Streets, now coexists with trendy bars and cafés that cater to Twitter’s headquarters. Once a scary section of SoMa, the neighborhood is trying hard to rebrand itself as the hip Mid-Market area.

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