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Los Angeles vs. San Francisco: Which City Rules The West Coast?

03/08/2014 07:00 am ET | Updated Mar 17, 2014

Ah, the classic city feud. You've heard this argument one hundred times before. Which is better: Los Angeles or San Francisco? Well, the time has come to settle the score. And newsflash: There can only be ONE winner...

1. Los Angeles is literally home to the happiest place on earth.

Photograph Some first visits by Carolina Benavides on 500px

Also: Six Flags, Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios. What theme parks do YOU have, San Francisco? Admit it: California's Great America is no Magic Mountain and you know it.

+1: LA

2. The weather is also pretty perfect down in Southern California. Does the sun even shine in the Bay Area?

Photograph Foggy Morning in San Francisco by Declan Keane on 500px

What good is the Golden Gate Bridge if you can't even see it through all that fog? Sometimes nicknamed Karl the Fog, it follows you around in the morning AND in the evening, there's just no escaping it.

+1: LA

3. Except San Francisco's fog is better than Los Angeles' smog any day. *drops mic*

Photograph Smog Angeles by Justin R on 500px

How you breathin', LA? With the worst ozone pollutants emitted from automobile transmissions in the whole damn country, that's how.

+1: SF

4. Los Angeles' beaches are still far superior to those in San Francisco.

Photograph Dancing by Patrick Slaven on 500px

Mostly because there are fewer rocks and more sand for you to frolic in. Also, the water (and weather) always tends to be a few degrees warmer down south.

+1: LA

5. Public transportation is nearly non-existent in Los Angeles, while it's well established up north. This means a sh*tload of traffic for Los Angelenos, all the time, everywhere.

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You have the worst traffic in the entire country, LA. It's soul-crushing, it's predictable and it's always there. ALWAYS.

+1: SF

6. But who knows, sitting in traffic may be preferable to hiking up mini asphalt versions of Mount Everest after every street corner you turn.

Photograph California Street by T. Malachi Dunworth  on 500px

+1: LA

7. Enough small talk: Both cities have In 'N' Out and that's pretty much all that matters in life, so phew.

in n out

And it's a tie! All is right in the world; both cities know the meaning and joy of "animal style."

+1: LA
+1: SF

8. Meanwhile, San Francisco's Chinese food is unparalleled to any Chinese food you can find down south.

mission chinese food

If you haven't tried Mission Chinese Food or explored any other more traditional food spots in SF's Chinatown, you really haven't even lived yet.

+1: SF

9. On the other hand, ain't no Korean food like LA's Korean food.

Photograph Untitled by Ronnie Tan on 500px

If you didn't know, now you know. Do yourself a favor and try Road To Seoul, Kang Hodong Baekjeong or Genwa Korean BBQ the next time your in town. DELISH.

+1: LA

10. And Los Angeles' Mexican food game is pretty much unbeatable.

Photograph TACOS! by thegrittyscheme on 500px

Yes, SF has the Mission burrito, and it's heavenly. But a Mission burrito and an actual Mexican burrito (usually only filled with meat and refried beans) are two very different things. When it comes to authenticity and traditional Mexican food, LA takes this one hands down.

+1: LA

11. Roscoe's versus Gussie's Chicken & Waffles... tie.

chicken and waffles

Not at all nutritious, but extremely delicious. Roscoe's is better priced, but Gussie's offers different flavors of waffles to Roscoe's one.

+1: LA
+1: SF

12. Urth Caffe versus Philz Coffee... tie.

Photograph Philz Coffee: AT&T Park by Omachonu Ogali on 500px

Both amazing and both expensive as all get out. Also, Blue Bottle Co. is coming to Los Angeles this year; it's already in San Francisco and is freaking delicious as well. Verdict: Both LA and SF have decent coffee.

+1: LA
+1: SF

13. But when you really get down to it, San Francisco pretty much slaughters Los Angeles in the whole restaurant scene.

bar tartine san francisco

LA may be able to hold a candle to the Bay, but it can't (as the saying goes) "touch this." There are a lot of tops chefs, and not to mention nationwide restaurant reputation, more so up north than there are down south.

+2: SF, because food is life.

14. Meanwhile, both cities kind of suck in that last call usually rolls around at about 1:30 A.M.

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Suckaaaas. *cue evil New Yorker laugh from across the country*

-1: LA
-1: SF

15. They both have killer wineries nearby, as anyone who has ever been to Napa or Santa Barbara knows. But come on... Napa is NAPA.

Photograph Cabernet, anyone? by Jose Colon on 500px

Napa has 45,000 acres of planted vineyards in the valley alone. Santa Barbara only has about 21,000 acres. In any case, that's a lotta wine.

+1: SF

16. So sports, this should be fun... Giants vs. Dodgers? Ha, San Francisco wins.

san francisco giants

And they've got the 2010 and 2012 World Series titles to prove it. The Dodgers haven't won since 1988.

+1: SF

17. Warriors versus Lakers? If it was 2010, Lakers. But it's not, so Warriors. San Francisco wins again.

lakers warriors

Lakers fans everywhere are screaming right now, but it is what it is. Sorry.

+1: SF

18. But then Los Angeles also has the Clippers, remember...

los angeles clippers

+1: LA

19. Football? Yeah, Los Angeles hasn't had a football team since the Raiders in 1994, so San Francisco's 49ers will obviously take this one.

Photograph Home Supporers by Vivieno Caldinelli on 500px

Sorry, you're not even fully part of American sports culture, Los Angeles. At least you aren't still stuck with the Raiders.

+1: SF

20. Los Angeles does dominate the hockey circuit, though. And that's probably due to the fact that there is no hockey circuit in San Francisco.

Photograph Jonathan Quick by Bradley Kalpin on 500px

At least not if we're talking the NHL. The closest thing to that would be the San Jose Sharks, which does not count because San Jose is not, in fact, San Francisco.

+1: LA

21. Now music: There is nothing in Los Angeles' that compares to San Francisco's Outside Lands when it comes to music festivals.

Photograph Crowd by Scott Lowe on 500px

Coachella is not an argument, Los Angeles. That thing is a whole two and a half hours away making it no where near LA proper.

+1: SF

22. But Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl crushes San Francisco's Greek Theatre if we're talking outdoor music venues.

Photograph Hollywood Bowl by Stephen Lee Carr on 500px

Los Angeles has a Greek Theatre that in comparison to San Francisco's could be described as subpar. But where is your Hollywood Bowl, San Fran? Right, LA wins.

+1: LA

23. Also, celeb-spotting and awards shows are a uniquely Los Angeles occurrence.

paparazzi los angeles

You can't remember the last time the Grammys were held in San Fran, can you? It's okay, it's been a while...

+1: LA

24. Neighborhoods: Silver Lake versus The Mission... tie.

Photograph In the mission by Vahe Hovhannisyan on 500px

Lots of cool bars and one-of-a-kind food spots in both 'hoods. Also, BIKES. Bikes everywhere for as far as the eye can see.

+1: LA
+1: SF

25. Also, Mammoth versus Tahoe... San Francisco wins.

Photograph Ski Resort South Lake Tahoe by Erik von Oy on 500px

Tahoe is closer to San Francisco than Mammoth is to Los Angeles. This means that LA peeps have to endure a whole extra hour of road-tripping before they reach Mammoth. No thanks.

+1 SF

26. Never-ending deserts versus the Redwoods... huge San Francisco win, because who wants to get stuck in the desert?

Photograph Avenue of the Giants by Justin Jones on 500px

No seriously, who? Meanwhile, the Redwoods are a thing of MAGIC.

+1 SF

27. What about higher education? Well, if it's UC Berkeley vs. UCLA, San Francisco takes this one, too.

Photograph Go Bears! by Hong Chen on 500px

UC Berkeley is the number one public university in the country and has been for the past sixteen years, but we see you, UCLA. You're a close second, so you must be good too.

+1: SF

28. And walkability? Here's a fact: You can't get anywhere in Los Angeles without a car, whereas you can make your away around San Francisco on your own two feet if you wanted to.

Photograph BID CITY  by Puerta Atenquique on 500px

For the most part, Los Angelenos don't know what it means to walk anywhere, ever.

+1: SF

29. The architecture is far more stunning and impressive in San Francisco than it is in Los Angeles.

Photograph SF Skyline by Toby Harriman on 500px

Yes, Los Angeles has the Disney Concert Hall, which is indeed a thing of beauty. But as one San Franciscan put it, "SF looks like you're walking around a damn architecture museum."

+1: SF

30. Golden Gate Park versus Griffith Park... Golden Gate, hands down. Hell, parks in general are just more beautiful and common in SF than they are in Los Angeles.

Photograph Golden Gate Park by Carles Alonso on 500px

There's not really a "park culture" down south like there is in San Francisco. Sad, but true.

+1: SF

31. Lastly and most importantly: People can actually afford to live in Los Angeles proper, whereas SF prices are ridiculous and growing by the minute.

Photograph san francisco by Dara Pilugina on 500px

And we're not talking about the outskirts of San Fran here, so don't even go there. This city is just too expensive to function.

+5: LA, because times are tough and nobody has got the time... or the money.

And the winner is...

Photograph Looking south by Christer Häggqvist on 500px

SAN FRANCISCO!

Final Score:

LA: 18
SF: 19

IT WAS SOOOOOO CLOSE!

Note: If you're living in one of these cities right now, you're already winning at life. LA, SF -- it doesn't matter. Consider the polar vortex crap East Coasters have to deal with and smile, you live on the golden coast of California. Huzzah!

All images Getty and 500px

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