Toronado versus Zeitgeist. Mama's versus Dottie's. Bay versus breakers. The battle for best San Francisco neighborhood can get heated.
Fortunately, there's the Curbed Cup to settle the score. Every January, real estate blog Curbed tallies up reader-submitted votes to crown the San Francisco neighborhood of the year. And in 2012, that neighborhood is the reigning champion, the Lower Haight.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)
As Curbed noted, the Lower Haight is the first neighborhood in the site's history to win subsequent titles. Curbed credited the neighborhood's cheap, late-night eats, great boutiques and affordable drinks for the double dominance, but noted that rent and property values are starting to go up. Way up.
"We're looking forward to seeing what developments happen in 2013," wrote Curbed.
The Curbed Cup title, however, is never without dissenters.
Case in point: when asked to contribute to our "things we love about the Lower Haight" slideshow (see below), editor Aaron Sankin answered simply, "The Lower Haight is getting a bread pudding restaurant! Oh wait, no. That's Hayes Valley. Hayes Valley for life."
In fairness, Hayes Valley was a finalist, and Lower Haight blog Haighteration wasted no time smack-talking during the last round.
"Hayes Valley, we love you. You’re right down the hill from us, we pass through you on Muni, and heck, some of our readers even live in you," wrote Haighteration. "Regardless, today we intend to crush you."
Check out the Curbed Cup finalists over at Curbed. And see ten reasons why we think the Lower Haight rules in our slideshow below:
Some say that the West Coast can't do wings. Those people clearly haven't been to Wing Wings.
Bloody Marys? Mimosas? Child's play, says Maven. Not only does the restaurant have a stellar brunch menu (duck hash, anyone?) it also offers an entire list of wicked cocktails made just for the morning, including a kick-in-the-face mezcal/tomato/worcestershire concoction and Death in the Afternoon: champagne with a float of absinthe sorbet.
The Lower Haight is at the intersection between the Mission, the Castro, the Upper Haight, Hayes Valley and Alamo Square. And yet somehow it isn't terrible.
One of the city's best trivia nights, Mad Dog in the Fog's is challenging enough for serious players, but random enough that the rest of us actually stand a chance.
It is possibly indisputable that Toronado is the best beer bar in San Francisco. (Feel free to guffaw in the comments section if you think elsewhere deserves the title.) Plus, our editor once saw Les Claypool drinking at the bar.
Haighteration just might be the best neighborhood blog around.
All-beef knockwurst in curry ketchup. Curry. Ketchup.
Underground SF lives below the radar, but books names like YACHT.
Market Street to the Panhandle. No hills. Magic.
Between Duboce Park, Buena Vista Park and Alamo Square, you can't go wrong with the parks.