Based on 60+ reader surveys collected during our last TenderNight event

  1. The bounty of food options (not even heaven’s buffet has this amount of curry, pad thai, pho, and burritos in it) (21 votes + 26 specific places to eat/buy food + 9 coffee shops where you can also get food )
  2. Diversity of people (ethnic, cultural, old, young, homeless, colorful, crazy, tourists, hipsters, etc) (25 votes)
  3. Central location, with easy access to everywhere desirable and various public transit options because these days, you need options… (16 votes + 3 specific buses to get around)
  4. The sense of community (15 votes + 6 for The Tender, we’re modest)
  5. The street art & art scene (14 votes + 7 specific art galleries/museums/artists)
  6. Bars and nightlife (albeit this might be on some peoples’ hate list as well) (12 votes + 19 specific bars/night venues)
  7. The architecture & history (11 votes + 4 specific old buildings)
  8. Drugs & prostitution (13 votes) => seriously, guys?
  9. The entertaining street scene that allows you to really not own a television (10 votes + 4 specific examples, like talking pigeons or mohawked poodle)
  10. Hip but underrated (much like Tender authors’ dance moves) (7 votes)

The full, un-edited list

  • The name Loin/ The name of the thing (2 votes)
  • Can walk everywhere/ Easy access/ Close to everything/ Can walk to work/ 30min max to everywhere I want to go/ All the bars, drugs, food I can walk to (within 3 or 4 blocks)/ The fact that I can walk to everything, including my work, four different movie theaters, a bunch of crappy and over priced grocery stores, over 47 bars and most of the other neighborhoods I bother visiting. (8 votes)
  • Being at the center of the city/ heart of the city/ The location (5 votes)
  • Close proximity to North Beach, Chinatown, Union Square
  • Proximity to BART/ Public transit options (2 votes)
  • The always exciting 38 Geary bus (2 votes)
  • The 27 bus
  • Quirky/ Fun to watch/ The free entertainment outside my window (I don’t have a TV)/ The fact you can walk down the same street all day and always see something new/ The streets / Never a dull moment/ Constant street entertainment/ Always interesting stuff out the window to watch/ Non-stop free street theater/ A creative, unique store, person, art on every single block (10 votes)
  • Street art/ colorful murals/ koi fish (10 votes)
  • Art galleries / Art community (4 votes)
  • Stores to buy specialty food, such as Indian food/ Vietnamese herbs just seconds away (3 votes)
  • The food (in general) / Kick-ass & cheap food/ Great restaurant choices/ Awesome eats/ Diversity of dining (14 votes)
  • Asian Food! (2 votes)
  • Middle Eastern Food & Culture
  • Thai food
  • Colorful peoples/ Colorful fauna / Amazing & bizarre self-presentation/ The denizens/ You will never look awkward or weird comparatively/ I look extra classy, one neighborhood over / The world’s foremost human zoo, and it’s free! (7 votes)
  • The people / The community/ Where else do groups of people on the street know each other? (11 votes)
  • Great neighbors / Amazing neighbors (3 votes)
  • Somewhat transient population, new fresh faces all the time
  • Random acts of kindness
  • The sense and direction in which tl-dwelling very basically and very permanently alters one’s understanding of the essential nature of SF.
  • This is an urban ‘hood. If you like cities, you will find something for you in the TL even if “you” is the most Pottery Barn yuppie this side of FiDi
  • Diversity/ Ecclectic/ Multi-ethnic culture/ Cultural diversity/ Most diverse neighborhood in the city on all fronts (8 votes)
  • Old people
  • There are lots of young people / I like that there are kids growing up in the heart of the city (2 votes)
  • Homeless people/ Happy homeless (2 votes)
  • August EU tourists/ Tourists after 7pm (2 votes)
  • Crazy dude who wears tightie-whities up to his armpits, starts white ends gray. FANTASTIC!
  • A wide variety of coquettish ladies within easy and high-value reach / Easy access to hookers/ The hookers at O’Farrell & Larkin/ One-legged hookers/ Tranny hookers (7 votes)
  • Bustiest male/female escorts south of Lombard
  • Toothless blowjobs
  • The occasional pornucopia
  • Drugs!/ Easy access to drugs/ Cheapest crack east of Divisadero (5 votes)
  • I find coins all the time/ I have actually found money ($20 bill once!) on the street (2 votes)
  • The hills (3 votes)
  • From where I live, everything is downhill
  • Riding my bike down Jones, then up Leavenworth
  • First place in SF I lived
  • I get to see dead people up close / First place in SF I saw a dead body (2 votes)
  • The cafes
  • Fantastic old architecture / The grid layout/ Urbanism/ History (9 votes)
  • The old signs
  • The oldness/ the smell of oldness
  • The beauty/ It looks beautiful from Nob Hill (2 votes)
  • Less hipsters than the Mission / Not the Mission/ Fewer hipsters than my ‘hood (the Mission). Yes, really (4 votes)
  • Hip but underrated
  • Tendernob hipsters with a cause
  • No posers (few, anyway)
  • Chance to gentrify!
  • “Keeping it real”
  • Freedom/ You can be yourself, embrace yourself, do whatever the hell you want (2 votes)
  • Vibrant
  • Dense (2 votes)
  • Lots of inexpensive apartments/ Cheap rent (3 votes)
  • The best aparments
  • Lots of good bars / Dive bars/ Abundance of entertainment, bars/ Awesome drinks (8 votes)
  • The energy at night/ Great nightlife/ I can go dancing (3 votes)
  • The 6am Mexican coffees after watching the streets move all night
  • Impeccable street fashion/ Fashionable (2 votes)
  • Fire Department nearby/ Sirens all night long (2 votes)
  • Convenience stores everywhere
  • Wide availability of Rittersport chocolates
  • The fog
  • The fact that the most “dangerous” part of SF is actually pretty safe (compared to other places I lived… like Oakland)
  • Appreciating those SFPD bastards for once
  • Traffic lights northbound
  • ‘Killerbob’ sightings
  • The miniature poodle with a rainbow mohawk
  • Talking pigeons
  • The glow in the murky alleys
  • The crunch below your feet
  • Geary St (between Hyde and Polk) in the early mornings, with its scrubbed sidewalks and amazing skyline
  • The best damned neighborhood. Period


  • Hooker’s Sweet Treats (5 votes)
  • Farm:Table (4 votes)
  • Little Bird Cafe (2 votes)
  • Cup-a-Joe (2 votes)


  • Dottie’s True Blue Cafe (3 votes)
  • Brenda’s Soul Food (2)
  • Saigon Sandwiches (2 votes)
  • Lahore Karahi (2 votes)
  • Chutney
  • Shalimar
  • Them Ky (better than Saigon Sandwiches)
  • Turk/Larkin Deli
  • Victor’s Pizza
  • Uncle Vito’s
  • Farmerbrown
  • Katana-ya
  • Moulin Cafe
  • Canteen
  • Soluna
  • Off the Grid

Bars/Music venues

  • Koko Cocktails (6 votes)
  • Hemlock Tavern (2 votes)
  • Great American Music Hall (2 votes)
  • Bourbon & Branch (2 votes)
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Cafe Royale
  • June Bar
  • The Brown Jug (on weekdays)
  • Cafe Amsterdam: coffee, beer, breakfast AND art
  • Olive Bar
  • The Warfield theater


  • The Tenderloin National Forest (2 votes)
  • Whitewalls/ The Shooting Gallery/ 941 Geary (2 votes)
  • Kokoro Studio
  • theloin
  • D Young V


  • Heart of the City Farmers’ Market (4 votes)
  • Sutter Fine Foods (holla at Ray)
  • The Sanctuary

Other places

  • SF Public Library/ Cookbook collection at the library (3 votes)
  • Asian Art Museum (2 votes)
  • City Hall (2 votes)
  • Glide Memorial Church


  • The Tenderblog peeps who keep us informed, connected (4 votes)
  • TenderNights (2 votes)
  • Alyssa Jones
  • Coffee Pencil Knife