Glen Park is a small residential village that is nestled into the southeastern edge of San Francisco’s central hills. The quiet, laid-back neighborhood derives its name from the adjacent Glen Canyon Park, an urban oasis dotted with a free-flowing creek, rock formations, and wildflowers.
In the 1850s, land baron Adolph Sutro purchased 76 acres and planted blue gum eucalyptus trees on the grounds. After the 1906 earthquake and fire, displaced homeowners lived in temporary earthquake shacks on the land. Today, the lush wilderness features several hiking trails, the free-flowing Islais Creek, wildflowers, willow trees, and wildlife such as great horned owls and red-shouldered hawks. The land is within easy walking distance of a recreation center, ball field, and tennis courts.
The town of Glen Park originally sprouted up as a streetcar suburb in the 1800s after the San Francisco and San Mateo Electric Railway opened. It was also the first commercial manufacturing site of dynamite, which was licensed by none other than Alfred Nobel. Nowadays, the neighborhood is a little more subdued—it features upscale single-family homes that have a median home price of $1.75 million. It’s a popular choice for young families and working professionals.
Glen Park is known for its mom-and-pop businesses such as The Cheese Boutique
. For more than 25 years, Lebanese husband and wife Rick and Nada Malouf have helmed the charming shop, which is stocked with over 100 types of cheese. From French brie to Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano to Old Amsterdam gouda, the cheeses are carefully chosen and curated by the knowledgeable couple. The boutique also features sandwiches and Middle Eastern fare such as homemade hummus, baba ganoush, and tabouli made by Rick.
Another neighborhood staple is Canyon Market
, a family-owned grocer with an in-house bakery, coffee bar, and butcher. Canyon Market has a designated bulk department with over 100 items ranging from beans and granola to spices and baked goods; they also sell organic produce, cheese, wine, and liquor.
If you’re looking for a classy place to take a date or out-of-town guests, make a reservation at L ‘Ptit Laurent
, a Parisian-style bistro that serves classic French fare such as vegetable ravioli, braised coq au vin, and rabbit Normandy stew.
Glen Park is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a quiet residential village that offers direct access to the great outdoors.