Once home to the first French settlers of San Francisco, this concentrated, petite region of the city still pays homage to its historic roots by keeping restaurants that specialize in French cuisine alive and well.More so known as Belden Place, the neighborhood aptly dubbed "French Quarter" gives San Francisco a pop of French culture right in the middle of its American scenery. Much like the streets of Europe, this neighborhood features a narrow alley that's lined with restaurants and bars (referred to as Belden Alley or Belden Street).
Although quite packed on Bastille Day (July 14th of every year), the French Quarter can be just as busy on any other day, especially when the weather is nice. The street is lined with ethnic restaurants - most French, but some Spanish and Italian cuisines as well - that offer patio seating, which locals flock to on sunny afternoons and warm evenings.
Better yet, some of the restaurants allow dogs for outdoor seating so you can enjoy a steamed bucket of mussels and a glass of champagne with your dog.
This isn't ideal if your pet is easily overwhelmed, but if they've been properly socialized and lived in San Francisco most or all of their life, chances are a few blaring car horns and strangers walking by them won't be a bother.
Hills in the area can be a little brutal, but still none of Fog City's infamously steep hills exist in this quaint, pocket neighborhood. Designed with pedestrians in mind, French Quarter is very walkable, further distinguishing itself as a neighborhood with a European feel. If you're a fan of architecture or the urban landscape, you'll enjoy the views of historic buildings in the area, many of which have given way to restaurants and shops on their lower floors with apartments up top.
Several parks and public spaces are within a 15-minute walk or less.Ferry Park is a small shaded park, which is sometimes home to the local parrots of the Bay Area. Bright green and red they rest in the shady trees and chatter loudly. If there aren't birds to interest you or your dog, there's a nice open grassy lot and even a public art sculpture.
Right next to Fery Park is Sue Bierman Park. Just a block from the ocean's shore, Bierman Park offers playground equipment, public restroom access, bench seating, paved walkways, and over 5 acres of space for humans and canines alike to enjoy.
Huntington Park isn't too far from SF's French Quarter and is a local favorite for dog-owners. Although not a designated off-leash area, this park is great for a short and picturesque walk that offers views of the historic Grace Cathedral. Well-kept gardens and landscaping further Huntington Park's scenic perks. Benches line the quaint park, giving you the opportunity to sit and take in the view.
Amongst high-rise apartment buildings and business offices, Rincon Park gives SF-ers the opportunity to "check out" of city life and enjoy the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Wide, paved walkways give you and your pup plenty of space for a leisurely stroll or a quick jog.
There's also Rincon Hill Dog Park, just a ten-minute walk away from Rincon Park and offering dogs a flat, open space to run and play. This designated off-leash, fenced area is the perfect place to take your pet if they have a lot of energy to burn, and you don't. The park is not grassy, so if it rains, prepare for mud.