A beautiful view of San Francisco's iconic painted ladies with the downtown skyline in the background. (art-dara/Flickr)
A beautiful view of San Francisco’s iconic painted ladies with the downtown skyline in the background. (art-dara/Flickr)

San Francisco has topped yet another list, but this time it may not be a distinction that locals want. Travel + Leisure Magazine readers rated San Francisco the No.1 snobbiest city in America.

In the magazine’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, 35 cities were ranked on measures such as fine dining, high-brow cultural activities, intelligence, coffee shops and high-end shopping, among other traits. To come up with the top 20 snobbiest cities, the magazine took into account the measures traditionally associated with snobbery — like aloofness.

And guess, what? San Francisco ranked high with visitors on the snooty categories like fine dining (#5, behind Charleston, New Orleans and New York, and tied with Chicago), tech-savviness (#2, damn you Seattle), and the kind of judgey eco-friendliness that makes those unused to curbside compost feel small (#4). Those markers of money, combined with low scores in affordability (second to last, ouch) and friendliness (a sad #21), help give the impression that San Franciscans are full of themselves.

Luckily, the city also ranked first for being gay-friendly — at least some people are getting a warm welcome when they visit the city by the Bay!

Other cities that are snobby, but not quite as snobby? New York, Boston and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Do you think San Francisco deserves this nose-in-the-air reputation? Or are visitors missing something crucial to the San Francisco ethos?

By the way, the South Park guys, in their own gross way, think the former ….

Ouch: San Francisco Rated No.1 Snobbiest City in America 3 July,2013Katrina Schwartz

  • HELLASanFrancisco

    Crap, crap. and more crap. We are pretty damn awesome!

  • Gaia

    pfft. We’re not snooty… we’re educated and intellectual and artistic. Folks just don’t understand our awesomeness and get a tad jealous.

    • Vyrus

      Your not helping your cause man…. That’s something a snobby person would say.

      • Striker


    • oakland by choice

      right. we’re not judging you, we’re just stupid. none of the rest of us have ever been anywhere else and we’ve never met anyone else educated and intellectual and artistic who wasn’t a totally self-absorbed ass.

  • sf native

    few natives left in SF…lots of out of towners who are wealthy and can afford the snobby things and crazy rents are pushing the native folks out! hipsters, etc. change happens. the cool and aloof vibe needs to go!!

    • lel

      “were not snobby. we’re just better than those out of towners!”

      psst…you’re proving their point.

  • katiedtx

    There is definitely a sense of smugness that comes with living in SF, but I think it’s mostly because we’re really proud and happy to be here. I am a transplant and took a chance moving out here, and I reap the rewards of that risk daily by being in such a fabulous place. I’m broke most of the time, but I know what I’m paying for with such a high cost of living. SF is amazing!!

  • Julie Levak-Madding

    No surprise here. I’ve loved this city for 32 years, and will stay as long as I can. But, San Francisco has past the community-vs.-greed tipping point: Those primarily white, young and self-involved techies who believe their absurdly inflated salaries give them the right to buy and displace entire histories and cultures in a matter of months, well, just are not that nice. And they don’t realize they’re consuming the seed corn of the community. Everything that made SF ‘cool’ will be gone. We’ll just be Westchester by the Bay. Yes, it’ll be a great place to be LGBTQ, but only if you’re rich, which, let’s face it, shuts out a pretty significant portion of that community.

    What does it mean when people who spend most of their time just making money, for the sake of money, and the rest of it just shopping and eating, buy up the property around Clarion Alley (Oh, look where we live. Isn’t it cool?), evicting everyone and everything that made those murals, for example, happen? No more murals. No more artists. No more poets. No more true intellectuals and dreamers. No more visionaries with a camera store and an idea. No more people who give back. And very few who are non-white. Pretty soon the Mission, the Castro — and much of SF — will look the Stanford Shopping Center. And then, well, they really can just have it.

    • MaxMen011

      So what about all of the non-white young-self involved techies? They aren’t so bad then? And what’s wrong with being rich?

      You’ve just proven this article correct with such a smug, snobby, intolerant, vain, post. Thanks for playing though.

      • Guest

        And you’ve just proven my point with your knee jerk comment. Frankly, I expected responses like this. If you had read more carefully, you would understand that I didn’t say there was anything wrong with being rich. I didn’t say there was anything wrong with being white or working in the tech industry, either. But I did, clearly, imply that if all you care about and make time for is making money and consuming and you don’t give back to the community in a way that helps sustain it and ensure it’s a place for a diversity of people to thrive, well, it’s heartbreaking to me, but you will get what you deserve. You can’t just buy your place in here with money. If you want SF to continue to be SF, you have to actually care. Otherwise, you’re just buying a building, a section of land. It will still be physically beautiful, but the soul of the city — or whatever remains of it –will be gone, replaced with Jack Spade and yet another high-end restaurant.

      • oakland by choice

        replace “white” with “privileged” and she’s right.

        • Julie Levak-Madding

          See above and I actually forgot the gender component …
          “Silicon Valley’s Awful Race and Gender Problem in 3 Mind-Blowing Charts” http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/silicon-valley-race-gender-problem-income-inequality

        • MaxMen011

          Curious. How are they “using your money to screw others “because you can afford it” and they can’t” Prove it. Show some examples. I don’t see any techies physically throwing people out or even buying them.

          What I DO see is supply and demand and the free market in action and whiny and entitled “natives” and bitter economic losers who just want to keep the place to themselves or people that they agree with. Just the kind of cliquishness and snobbery that this article characterizes.

          Which, again, proves my point exactly. San Franciscans are not “tolerant” at all and are even as bigoted as the very people they were trying to get away from in the first place.

          Once again, thanks for playing!

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            If you do not ‘see’ techies throwing people out, you are not paying attention to local news. But why should you, you hate SF, right? I get that you’re disinterested in addressing issues such as economic disparity. And if you think people who care about others enough to really spend time studying this stuff and who are trying to make this community more inclusive, whether or not it’s in their own self interest, are ‘whiny’, then I think I really, finally get where you’re coming from. And if you think this is play, I get it even more.

          • redraike

            I was evicted at Christmas of 1999 from a place in Noe Valley with a fishy Ellis Act because techies were willing to rent our apartment for 5x it’s current value sight unseen. Here’s your evidence.


          • MaxMen011

            The Ellis Act is a LANDLORD issue. Your LANDLORD gave you the boot. Not the techies.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            “The Ellis Act is a LANDLORD issue. Your LANDLORD gave you the boot. Not the techies.”

            Oh God, I wish I could stop myself, but this is the silliest statement yet, and an example of the cavernous hole(s) that can accomodate large delivery trucks. The Ellis Act is being used by new money techies to get around longstanding condo conversion laws. They *are* the landlords, or, more to the point, the anti-landlords. They come in, buy up property, and bypass longstanding legal protections designed to ensure at least some access to affordable housing. They then move their friends and family in temporarily to claim ‘owner occupancy.’ And, et voilà, longstanding residents and families on the street. Once the new owners have successfully evaded the laws, units are back on the market for 4-5X the original rent: an amount only a well-to-do person could afford. And MaxMen, I don’t care what epithets/accusations you hurl, you really are just a vacant troll. Go on, sling. I’m out.

          • Patsy Fergusson

            I’m sorry if this is too obvious, but all the negative adjectives you use in this comment (such as “bitter” and “bigoted”) apply much more to your style of commenting than JL-M’s. She’s not just throwing insults and trying to start a fight. She’s giving her opinion.

          • MaxMen011

            I’m a “bigot” because I called out someone else’s bigotry?

            San Francisco logic right there.

            Re-quote and post exactly where I said such “bigoted” posts. Meanwhile, she called me a “White Conservative” just because I disagree with her?

            Like i’ve been saying, the more and more you people post, the more you prove this article and me correct. Hilarious!

            Now I await your response/rebuttal where you dimwittingly and unwittingly continue to show San Francisco “tolerance”.

          • LydiaLunch

            I don’t see where anyone called you, in particular, a white conservative. Although your views certainly seem to be consistent with that demographic. And “dimwittingly?” Insulting, much?

          • MaxMen011

            Why don’t you try reading the whole comment thread rather than jump to conclusions? But jumping to conclusions and making baseless assumptions based on your biases is the San Franciscan thing to do.

            What’s funny is the hypocrisy. You sneer at White conservatives for doing the exact same thing that you people are doing now: being irrationally hostile at people who you don’t agree with.

            Like I keep saying, keep at it SF’ers.

          • Ngawang Gyatso

            Guys don’t mind Max, this guy is a super troll, and is beyond incorrigible. And yeah, I read the entire thread, and the funny thing is Maxmen isn’t even from the Bay Area. You need to chill buddy!

          • MaxMen011

            You only have 18 comments and barely any more votes. This is my first time commenting here and i’ve never even seen you before. How do you know i’m “trolling”? Unless you’ve been stalking me…

            And in that sense, you’re too busy being such a creepy, loser stalker that you didn’t see my above comment that I was born and raised in SF, but has since moved away, and thus seen the light and grew up, which is more than I can say for you people.

            All of your comments pretty much show the insular, smug, inferiority complex/peter pan syndrome that is so pervasive there and was glad to break away from.

            But like i’ve been saying, keep on flaming away guys. You’re only serving to prove me correct in my initial comments as well as proving other detractors of the place correct. And of course the whole point of the article. 🙂

      • JayDeeh

        Ok I’m black and I worked in the Tech industry. So I say this with authority.. the majority of wealthy techies Are White or Asian. Walk into any high-tech company and you can count the number of Blacks and Latins who work there on one hand. These guys and do have a sense of clueless privilege that’s disgusting. And they are overrunning the city and making harder for people to live here. I believe the estimated livable income for a family of 4 in the area is 74K yearly. And that’s considered barely scrapping by.

        • Julie Levak-Madding

          The average price of a 1BR in SF is $2,700. I’d say two adults and two kids would have a pretty rough time on 74K. Also, have you seen this:
          Silicon Valley’s Awful Race and Gender Problem in 3 Mind-Blowing Charts

          • Patsy Fergusson

            Thanks for your intelligent comments. I think a first step towards better integration into the community would be to ask Google et.al. to drop the shuttle buses. Let the techies actually live in and commute from the community, paying into and supporting our public transit system, instead of isolating themselves. Google should be paying for monthly CalTrain passes and bikes instead of those buses.

        • MaxMen011

          What’s a “Latins?”

          Check the demographics lately? San Francisco is 85% White and Asian. Has been for the last twenty years, long before the techies moved in and I remember it well.

          You people need to look up this very simple concept called SUPPLY AND DEMAND. In that sense, as long as San Francisco remains a popular place to live and visit, the rents will always be high. Irregardless of who is living there or what happens to it, save acid rains or something, and I doubt that would even mitigate it much.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            Max, if you’re going to be so petty as to call people out for a missing ‘o’ on Latino, then you may want to know that ‘irregardless’ is not really a word. Think of it this way: what does ‘ir’ add to ‘regardless’ (which is a word)?

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            Seriously, Max? You’re lecturing educated people on supply and demand? Now, this really has become pointless.

          • Irregardless

            Best part of the thread was having a good laugh at Max’s expense! I sent that post to a couple friends, too. 🙂

            Back to elementary school, Max!

          • MaxMen011

            And apparently you dolts don’t see the irony of proving the article correct.

            In that sense, I bet the hundreds who are reading this comment thread without actually commenting are having a laugh if not thoroughly shocked or surprised, or not, at how truly nasty, intolerant, immature and childish people from San Francisco really are when it comes down to it.

            If you actually bothered to read the rest of the comments to this article, but you didn’t , there are plenty of other comments to this article that agreed with me as well including one person from Seattle to which I agree that people in Seattle are thoroughly much nicer and less arrogant than San Franciscans.

            But nope. You lot just proved if anything, that extremists on the left are just as bad as their counterparts on the right.

      • Julie Levak-Madding

        See above.

        • MaxMen011

          See above as well. Saying again thanks for playing!

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            What? I’m taking the time to write well-considered and thoughtful posts because I really love this place and am committed to keeping it the open-minded, highly diverse and caring — and, yes, friendly– city that it has been. You misread and misrepresent my words and get huffy because your own statement is so full of holes anyone could drive a UPS truck through it, and you don’t even live here or give a s**t about it? How is disagreeing with you vicious? Oh man, why am I bothering? You’re just an anonymous troll.

          • MaxMen011

            Calling someone a troll because you don’t agree with them, and essentially agreeing with the insulting post above, or saying my statement is full holes without giving specific reasons is definitely the hallmark of an “open-minded”, “caring” and “friendly” person like yourself.

            If there is one more adjective you should call yourself, it should be “ironic”.

            But, thanks again for confirming my beliefs, this article, and everyone else who agrees with me correct, that San Franciscans are hardly “tolerant”. They will call you a “fool” just for not agreeing with you. I can say as well that i’ve clocked in far more years there than your entire life.

            The more you post, the more you confirm this. So keep at it and thanks for playing!

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            ‘Troll,’ as in ‘trolling,’ not ‘troll’ as in living under a bridge and shouting at billy goats. LOL. To state why your comments are missing back up, i.e., “full of holes,” would be to rewrite what I’ve already written. And, no sir, I’m not playing at anything. Wow. Are white male conservatives defensive or what? I’m out.

          • MaxMen011

            See everyone! Disagree with someone in San Francisco and they call you a “white conservative” even though I am neither White or Conservative! LOL!

            Like I said, keep it on with the posts and prove me and this article correct with what an “open-minded”, “caring” and “friendly” San Franciscan REALLY is all about!

      • Vyrus

        Your a moron. This person actually had a great point on here. And that IS the problem. A majority of those people ARE white. I highly doubt that she is ignorant to the fact that some of them are not. It seems like you just have a problem with anyone from SF and are just being a duche to anyone from there for the sake of it. You are just a intolerant as they are given your clearly ignorant post.

        Also, she never said anything about there being something wrong with being rich. She said that they just want to make money for the sake of making money. There is a difference you ignorant fool.

        • MaxMen011

          So you resort to ad homs and childish attacks eh? Nice!

          Once again, thanks for proving me, and this article correct in how REALLY intolerant, smug, arrogant, and even vicious San Franciscans REALLY are, and hence why I left. You people there are every bit two faced and phony.

          • Vyrus

            That would be fitting if I grew up, was raised in, or have even been in SF for longer than a month.

            Do you hear yourself? You people, two faced, phony, smug, arrogant??

            I sir am from Idaho born and raised. Only been in San Fransisco for a day. I’m glad to see that you may have SF but it clearly hasn’t left you. Seeing that you think you are better than them with a smug satisfaction of being elite to even the worst San Fransiscan because hey, you moved.

            So rather than being a reasonable person about it. You go and use every example you can to dislike a city that really is not that bad of a place.

            Thank you for proving my point.

          • Vyrus

            I apologize for my insults cast your direction. I get rather passionate and upset at people who choose to be intolerant of anyone else. You did not deserve to be insulted, and that was a rather childish remark on my part. However you’re intolerance is something to be aware of.

          • MaxMen011

            “I sir am from Idaho born and raised. Only been in San Fransisco for a day. I’m glad to see that you may have SF but it clearly hasn’t left you. Seeing that you think you are better than them with a smug satisfaction of being elite to even the worst San Fransiscan because hey, you moved”

            So, you’re not even from here, never been here, and cant even SPELL it properly (its spelled with a C!)?

            So, in other words, you’re just trolling.


          • Vyrus

            “Calling someone a troll because you don’t agree with them, and
            essentially agreeing with the insulting post above, or saying my
            statement is full holes without giving specific reasons why, is
            definitely the hallmark of an “open-minded”, “caring” and “friendly”
            person like yourself.”

            No, now it’s Hilarious.

          • Vyrus

            FYI I save my spell/grammar checking for important documents. There’s no need to call out spelling and grammar on a casual forum.

          • Oona Moon

            Max Men I have read all of your hateful comments and it is clear that you are what is wrong with San Francisco. I grew up here and all I’ve seen for the last ten years plus is the people who make SF unique being pushed out and people like you moving in and making it an undesirable place to live. You must have some deep seeded issues lingering from your childhood, or maybe you’ve seen Boiler Room one too many times and you think it’s cool to argue and be a swindler stock broker dumbass, or maybe your just some guy on the internet with a name like MaxMen011 you must have a really small penis. Whatever your damage it is clear that you are the weakest link, get off of npr and get outta my city.

          • MaxMen011

            Like I said guys, keep it coming as far as showing how arrogant, childish, hateful, immature, illogical, and most importantly “tolerant” San Franciscans REALLY are.

            Look how they resort to calling you childish names. Merely disagreeing with them means you are a “White Conservative Stockbroker” even though I am none of those things.

            San Francisco “tolerance” on display. Glad I left that place. As I mentioned in the comment above, Seattle can teach you lot the true meaning of being nice.

      • JD

        Blow ME you pompous little bag of dung…

    • Born.in.SF

      My Irish immigrant great-grandparents raised their children in the Mission before the current group (and their entire histories and cultures) moved in. Polk St. used to be the center of the gay universe. Without Loma Prieta, the Marina might not be yuppie central. Neighborhoods in the City change over time. San Francisco keeps changing because new people move in and change it. If you don’t like it, maybe you should start encouraging all non-natives (including yourself) to leave so us natives can move back to our City and restore our entire histories and cultures.

      • Julie Levak-Madding

        So, I’m having a little trouble understanding how this dialogue became an all or nothing reaction to my post — and the comments are so far a field of what I actually wrote. Let’s try this again:

        1. I did not say there was anything wrong with being rich or white or working in the tech industry.
        2. For anyone reading this with a jerky knee, no I am not putting down people with European ancestors, I am one. I just don’t want to live in a place that is mostly people who look and act like me. If I wanted that, if many of you wanted that, you’d move to Kansas City where you can get far more bang for your buck.
        3. I said (if you would be so disciplined as to actually pay a little attention to what I wrote) that if this wild west frontier attitude continues unabated, if development goes on unfettered, if newer residents don’t pay attention to community issues, don’t care to make space for those who actually make this community function as a community, i.e., make this place ‘cool’ (and I am not talking about 20-30 year-olds who have the money to buy a carbon-fiber fixed-gear bike; sorry, that doesn’t make you cool; it just makes you a consumer), fight your fires, teach whatever tiny population of children remain, pick you up in an ambulance when you crash that Porsche; sing, compose, dance, act, write, sculpt, paint and film, well, almost everything you came to be a part of will be gone. Actually, it’s vanishing rapidly.
        4. There is a big difference between the “white flight” migration of the late 1940s-70s ), which was responsible for the Irish leaving the Mission, and the heartless displacement through eviction of, to give just one example, now-elderly men with HIV who busted their asses alongside Harvey Milk so that you can, if you don’t happen to be as straight as can be, kiss your lover wherever and whenever you like, and the Latino families and community volunteers who really are responsible for making The Mission such a great neighborhood. By the way, I moved here in my early 20s and have made my own share of money, but it just never occurred to me to live here and not care much about what made this the place I wanted to come to. And stay. I just don’t understand why people want to come to SF and, for the most part, be so self-involved. La Jolla has much better weather.

        • Vyrus

          All this person is doing is producing a greater problem by
          scapegoating a culture as “snobs” or “snobby” by creating a target
          against (and may I point out racially targeting white people also) techies and hipsters. (not the article itself but the reactions
          to it indeed.) These are people we are talking about. Insulting them
          wont fix anything, calling them a problem wont fix anything. And IF
          anything we ALL are the cause of the problem. Think about it?? How many
          of us have smart phones? Or can’t live without social media? We overuse
          technology as a society then get pissed when people take advantage of
          that fact to make a quick buck? There’s always been schemers in the
          world and this is no different. Instead of passing the blame game, why
          don’t we take a look at our own lifestyle and make necessary adjustments
          on an individual basis.

          The problem lies much
          deeper than that. So of course there are going to be more money hungry
          people moving to the silicon valley and buying up nice neighborhoods
          their. It’s because that’s where the money is, so that is where the money
          driven will migrate. You can say whatever you want, but targeting a
          group of people is NOT the answer for making SF a friendlier place. It’s
          a much larger issue than that.

          It is this, it’s “THEM” not “US” attitude that makes people feel this way about SF now a days.

          We all have to take personal responsibilities for what has become.

          Money hungry people travel to where the finances lie. And right now, that is with anything technological. So if you really want to change SF you’d have to change the viewpoint of millions of Americans to stop being so tech/trend hungry.

          I’m sick of all of the ignorance I am reading.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            Um, ‘ignorant’ isn’t an insult? Pointing out that (especially young and solipsistic) privileged people have a responsibility to check themselves, to look around them and see what they can do to make the place where they live a just and vibrant place, to understand that for every greedy, self-serving act that harms another there is a larger price to pay, is exactly what my elders did for me. Thank god. I do believe that folks like MLK, Harvey Milk and a few others had something to say about that too. People, in their many manifestations, may not be the problem, but their action — and inaction — frequently is. And racially targeting white people? Are you kidding with that? I’m sorry to say this, but your own grasp of sociocultural issues could use a boost.

          • Vyrus

            You do realize that the influence of technology is still causing more of these “privileged” people that you speak of to move to a place where the technology jobs are right?

            I’m not the one who said primarily white people. I’ve read all of your posts, I’m not ignorant to where you are coming from.

            Yes those people do have a responsibility to take a look at there action. As do we all. I was merely pointing out that it doesn’t help that the area has motive for people seeking money to move there as the money lies in technology at the moment.

            Am I wrong or did you say specifically white in your original post? While a majority of them may be white, that is a useless fact as all people have potential to be “self serving”. What MLK and other freedom fighters fought for is for color in general to be whipped from the conversation leaving only people to talk about. Meaning saying “Those primarily white” is a distinction we need not make. And I know you’re not deliberately insulting people by saying stupid or rude and such. Your going about it in a more elegant fashion, while it may not seem like insults to you. It is to those who do not care to have their intellect, social-cultural awareness, values, or lifestyle called out by someone who doesn’t care to look at the larger issue.

            Perhaps if you could separate yourself for a second from your pride you’d understand that’s what I was trying to point out that it’s that people in general are moving there with that attitude because that’s where the money is.

            Good day.

          • Vyrus

            FYI ignorant is a term used to dictate that someone does not have the proper information or is uneducated in an aspect of there life.

            Stupid is an insult.

          • Vyrus

            And I’m aware I’m a poor speller and have poor grammar at times when writing in a social site. I tend to save my spell checking/typo checking for essays and more important documents.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            Of course people are here, are coming here, because of tech jobs, but the monied are specifically choosing to live in the city of San Francisco because it is a ‘cool’ place to be. They want what the rest of us have built and, as I said, they are not just eating the seed corn they are gulping it.
            And, sorry, but you’re really off the grid in saying that race is beside the point. It does, in fact, mean something, something pretty nasty, when non-white people are forced out to make way for primarily white people. You may want to google ‘institutionalized racism’, to familiarize yourself with what I am actually speaking to.

            And, no I have not taken to slurring anyone. If you feel that I am calling you ‘stupid’ or whatever, that’s coming from inside your own head, not mine.

            And sorry, but, you are in fact off, way off, about MLK and other more contemporary civil rights leaders. In his later years, King began to speak to the fact that racism and economic injustice went hand in hand. And he said it loud. Harvey Milk, whom I cite, knew better than anyone the importance of intersectionality. Unfortunately, newer, neoliberal gay community leaders like to represent him as only focused on gay issues, which is something that would have really angered Harvey.

            If you actually believe that King and other ‘freedom fighters,’ or today’s civil rights leaders, believe/d that race could ever be ‘whipped from the conversation,’ especially in this country, then there simply is no more conversation here to be had. Gender, which I did not speak to, is a big fat problem too. Sorry if you think gender must also be ‘whipped from the conversation.’

            Just for fun, you may want to take a look at: Silicon Valley’s Awful Race and Gender Problem in 3 Mind-Blowing Charts.

          • Vyrus

            I refuse to continue this conversation with you as it will go nowhere and we will continue to talk in circles.

            People are people, that’s the way I see things. I’m sorry you can not do the same. That was the ultimate goal of every civil rights activist. To view people, as people, and to reach a point when we can get rid of the chains of stereotyping at all angles weather it be racial, religious, or sexual orientation.

            No I do not believe that we can wipe it clean from the conversation in the society of today. But that was the ultimate goal wasn’t it? To remove these chains and categories that everyone, inducing ourselves keeps boxing us into.

            I’ve once again been dragged into this conversation. I’m ending it with you now once again.

            We are both wrong, and we are both right. I suggest you take a look at yourself and try to strive towards being the change you want to see in the world, as Ghandi so delicately put it.

            Good day.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            Hmmm. You may as well have written that last bit for yourself. Yeah. Bye.

          • Redraike

            As another native-born San Franciscan I agree with everything Julie has had to say. The city was once a blue-collar town with a heart of gold. Now it’s a white-collar town full of posturers and posers. The folks who made this city great were evicted and financially unable to sustain themselves in the new economy, and now the city is full of self-congratulatory rich kids. We aren’t the only ones to notice.

            Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic hit the nail on the head when he wrote:
            But, of course, that’s also part of the new Silicon Valley parable: dream big,privatize the previously public, pay no attention to the rules, build recklessly,enjoy shamelessly, invoke magic, and then pay everybody off.

            Follow the links.

            Oh, and here’s another:

            I can keep going with more evidence to support Julie’s accurate observations.

          • ND

            Did you miss the part where she said she moved here in her 20’s? Time to shun her, she’s not a “native!”

          • LydiaLunch

            Talk about taking someone’s (both commenters) words out of context.

          • Julie Levak-Madding

            I love Chris Tacy’s piece. Saw it when it was first published and really have to applaud him. He nailed it with his observations, and by stepping to the plate and inviting others to join him.

            And boy did Tacy get some hate hurled at him. Which is so interesting. Why do people go off their nut around this stuff, insisting that all this is inevitable? What and who, exactly, does Tacy threaten by taking responsibility?

            And why are comments about people of color being pushed out viewed as offensive? White, male, straight and economically privileged — that is, after all, the tetrad of privilege. Who doesn’t know that’s a big fat problem? My father, husband and many of my friends fit that profile, and they readily acknowledge what responsibility they have, and choose to act on that responsibility.

            Have you seen this piece by Rebecca Solnit from The London Review of Books? She also nails it: “Rental prices rose between 10 and 135 per cent over the past year in San Francisco’s various neighborhoods…A Latino who has been an important cultural figure for forty years is being evicted while his wife undergoes chemotherapy. One of San Francisco’s most distinguished poets, a recent candidate for the city’s poet laureate, is being evicted after 35 years in his apartment and his whole adult life here. His building, full of renters for most or all of the past century, including a notable documentary filmmaker, will be turned into flats for sale. A few miles away, friends of friends were evicted after twenty years in their home by two Google attorneys, a couple who moved into two separate units in order to maximize their owner-move-in rights.” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n03/rebecca-solnit/diary

      • Mark

        I get your point, but the Marina was “yuppie central” not only before Loma Prieta, but before the word “yuppie” was even coined. As far as all the other comments go, I have lived in SF many, many years, and I find myself agreeing in some ways with both of the two main sides of the debate, contradictory as that may seem. I’ll only add that I’ve been here since 1969, and my experience is that SF was a more friendly, tolerant, and easy going, live and let live a place before “tolerance” became a sort of official doctrine. Now it is suffocating in a miasma of political correctness, intolerant of anyone who isn’t a party line leftist. I mean, I don’t even dare express some opinions, or broach certain subjects anymore in social settings, because its just not worth it. The city is as ethnically diverse as ever, but socio-economically less so. Also, SF has become so insufferably expensive, whether you think it’s due to natural market forces or ruthless exploitation, the fact for me is that most of my friends have left, either because of the cost or because they couldn’t stand what SF has become. I am only here because I’ve managed to hold onto my apartment so far. How safe I’ll be in the future is anyone’s guess, but if I lose my place, that’s it, I’ll have to leave. I have deep roots here, but I feel like they are dying. If anyone knows of an interesting city where I can still smoke in a bar, let me know. I will consider moving there. (As it is, all bars and restaurants in SF, or anywhere in California, lost any of my money years ago.)

    • Mr Brut

      You see Lamborghinis in the mission these days

    • Quarup Barreirinhas

      I believe the real answer for dealing with “newcomers” is to promote the local culture and support integration with the local community. I don’t think it’s productive to generalize the tech industry (and races). Sure, there are some newcomers that are jerks, but then again, there are jerks in every category of people. The problem is that jerks usually leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, so it’s easy to overgeneralize. But I think some newcomers really do care a lot and others would care more if they learned about the local culture and issues. For example, it would help if tech companies hosted and sponsored more local artists. It would also help to invite these new techies to town hall meetings and forums in the neighborhoods so they understand the issues facing the community.

      By the way, where would you prefer to see tech companies? The South Bay? Should Silicon Valley natives be the ones priced out? Alternatively, should engineers never move for a tech job? No, the real answer is not to hate a category of people but rather find a way for everyone to respect one another and preserve culture.

      Lastly, I do agree that the tech industry needs more minorities. I am totally in favor for promoting more science and engineering to minority groups.

    • Patsy Fergusson

      Here’s an interesting article on the topic of the tech culture’s economic impact on the Bay Area. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_packer

      • Julie Levak-Madding

        Great piece.

  • hiller

    new comers to SF are the most snobby ones and luckily they are also the ones that quickly leave

  • DJ

    I find this surprising! Coming from the South, I feel SF is especially friendly, cultured and extremely diverse. The diversity alone makes this city amazing because we are exposed to so many different perspectives. I love that children have Sikh , African, Jewish, Korean and Indian friends…and don’t even think twice about it! I have made triple the lasting friendships in a couple years here than I ever did growing up in Texas all my life! It seriously is the easiest place to make friends with such a Meet-up culture and adventuresome mindset. We may pay more in rent but we also pay for lifestyle. I prefer it so much more than the South, actually….People are noticeably more open-minded, eco-minded and honestly, yeah…I hate to say it, socially intelligent. Being a minority, I don’t encounter the crap I did back home EVER. If amazing food, great cultural attractions, giving a crap about the environment and making a good living means we are snobby…well, then, I’m a snob.

    • Vyrus

      It’s not the culture and environment, or even the food. It’s the people that think they are better than everyone else because they ONLY eat amazing food, ONLY stick with cultural attractions, GET on everyone’s case about the environment, and ONLY care about money. It’s the people that do this that are considered snobs, not those who seek a healthy lifestyle and DON’T preach to everyone else how much better there lives are than the next guys.

      The survey is off by including things like fine dinning, cultural events, so on and so forth. Because those things a snob does not make. It’s how they react to others that don’t have the same mind set.

      Also, being open minded is a 2 way street.

      • Sara

        SF people don’t think they are better. If they are well traveled they realize how lucky they are to live here, eat the amazing food and experience the quality of life that SF and the bay area has to offer. Period.

        • redraike

          They also brag that they have to sail their yachts across the bay because of the BART strike.

          • Tyson

            I find it surprising that an Idiot like you can make a comment like this. Hardly anyone in SF owns a yacht. A BART strike is actually a really big deal for most people since a lot of people don’t have cars. I live in SF and everyday that I am there I am thankful for everything I have. Not everyone is like that. But, you can find something wrong in anything if you dig deep enough. I find that if you want to say something so rude like that, you should educate yourself first. There are people in SF who barely get by, and they are the majority. Think about that.

    • Kaitlyn Fredricks

      just as Shawn answered I am blown away that people can get paid $7346 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you look at this page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • MaxMen011

    Born and raised native here that has since moved away to another snooty city on that list, and this article is absolutely correct. Applies to both “natives” and transplants. Living in SF means entering a bubble and thus shutting out the rest of the world and reality, and thinking you and SF are better than it.

    And as a result, it has its pro and cons to this, mostly con in the form of it contradicting the “liberal” “tolerant” culture SF is known for. And its a shame really. A lot of San Francisco’s endemic problems can be easily resolved if the people there would drop the smug, snooty, attitude.

    • A

      Agreed. It’s like the weirdos that aren’t as accepting anywhere else move to SF and suddenly become the arrogant type of person who wouldn’t accept them in the first place.

  • city life, ya heard?

    City life. Ya know, blue bottle, dolores park, danish furniture, lyft, waiting in line, wifi on the shuttle, “There’s nothing in San Jose”, clipper card. Ya know, city life…

    • intergalacticSpartacus

      San Jose has a booming Jazz scene right now.

  • tevol

    i lived in San Francisco for 3 years, I have lived all over the world
    and I hated living in in SF, super snobby, even partying was a bore
    there. SF peeps are too full of themselves to open themselves up to anyone new,
    I get along with everyone everywhere else, and am generally open and
    friendly, but time and time again, i have experienced the snobbiness of SF
    hands down, and to be honest i don’t think its warranted, SF is a
    beautiful small town full of people full of themselves and who think
    they live in a city. i stay away these days.

  • Carl Sr.

    So basically this is telling us that gay people are snobs.

    • A

      Oh, brother. *could’ve had a V8*

  • Vyrus

    The fact you refer to people who move there “out of towners” rather than “new people” could be another reason why too.

  • John

    I wonder what the least snobby place would look like, based on these criteria. I sure wouldn’t want to live there. I think the real problem is Travel and Leisure’s bias.

  • Cindy Lynch

    I lived in San Francisco for 10 years and it is snobby there, unbelievably so. I hate to say it but most of the people you see at parties and events in SF are very unfriendly and are trying way to hard to be cool.

  • Stephen

    Being a “snob” and “snobbery” have negative connotations and this is clearly meant as an insult. Strangely, this survey uses criteria like fine dining to rate “snobbery”. Why should good food or nice restaurants indicate arrogance and judgmental behavior towards others? I find this pretty pathetic and part of the divisive politicization of everything in society for the purpose of generating revenue–in this case clicking on this story, thus increasing viewership of this website and driving advertising revenue. I guess I got snookered again. Now, I could also defend SF, but any defense would be characterized as snobbery, right? Because you’d have to qualify your own values and behavior in comparison to other geographies where a large segment of the population might think fine dining, recycling and tech-savviness are bad or at least indicative of “snobbery”. And that would just look defensive whether I made a few salient points or not. And, isn’t calling someone a snob always as much about your own insecurities as it is about their behavior?

    • Lucas

      Defensive much?

      • Stephen

        No. 🙂

        • AL

          Hey Stephen! There’s so much hate being generated on this page, I just wanted to say thank you for your quietly thoughtful comments. Hope you’re having a great day and don’t let the haters get you down! 🙂

    • Quarup Barreirinhas

      I completely agree. The original article has a very questionable metric for measuring “snobbery”. More surprisingly is the super strong reactions in the comments.

  • Daniel Jednorozec

    So, I have a problem with this. I grew up in the Peninsula just south of San Francisco and, while yes I’ve known some real snobs from that city, most people I know that live in the city are nowhere near being snobs. I’m getting the feeling like this is targeting a very specific population of San Francisco and ignoring everyone else that lives there. I’ve seen some comment about people who moved to the area and being snobby and I’ll admit I’ve seen this as well, though it is of course not a 100% across the board observation. Frankly, I think it’s a little in bad taste to judge any city because it’s going to take into account the values from other places and place them on that location being judged. I mean, who the hell am I to say whether New York or Chicago are snobby, I sure as hell don’t know. Seems like the point is to instil bad blood between places rather than inform. At least looking at highest crime rate is a concern for people moving.

  • laura c

    The friendliest people in San Francisco are the tourists.

  • Christy

    I lived in SF for 15 years, mostly in the Mission and then the Glen Park area. I tend to find the a-holes are people who have a sense of entitlement, that the world revolves around them, but this can be found anywhere. Do we have more of them then other places? Maybe, not sure. There are a lot of down to earth people just living there too that are very friendly and interesting, just like any city.

  • sumikoska

    I lived in San Francisco for 15 years (I now live in Oakland). San Francisco is very cliquish, which is probably why it has a reputation for snobbery. People develop their own little social circles and can be unfriendly towards people outside of their own social circles, sometimes even feeling that they need the approval of their old friends before they can have new friends. While this attitude is commonly seen in small, gated communities and suburban, it is not the urban norm. Perhaps the small landmass of San Francisco (7 x 7 miles) helps add to this insularity.

  • Chris Columbus

    Stop acting like this entire country was founded on some artistic, non-economic idealism versus exploitation of poorer ‘natives’ and social Darwinism. You’re not going to find a better balance of all that modern life and personal betterment has to offer than San Francisco. If this is snobbery, sign me up. Oh, and ‘Down with the ‘Snobsters’!

  • Monica Hahn

    Wow, what a ridiculous rating system! Is snobby not a measure of how you treat people? Apparently T&L has succumbed to the popular theory that being rich, smart, forward-thinking, or excelling at something, makes you an elitist? I’ve lived a lot of places, and would agree that SF stands out on so many of these measure. But I do NOT agree that it makes the city “snobby.” People have been very friendly & welcoming here.

  • 2of3jays

    It’s not a small town; it’s a congested, urban location full of people from somewhere else who are living busy lives, making a living and putting up with a lot of difficulties just getting to where they want to go. It would be interesting to know the demographics of the respondents as well as what the questions were. Note that other big, urban cities suffered the same disdain by tourists.

  • AgentCatbot

    I’m ok with the snobbiness.

    I love almost everything the city has to offer. The food, the culture. The variety of things to do at pretty much any time.

    I’m not ok with the hobo poop, crazy people that deserve a trip to the mental hospital who angrily scream at nothing (Thanks Ronald Regan! No more trips to Napa for them.), and the thieves both of the criminal variety and the government variety (Mostly the SFMTA). Not a fan of housing prices, but it’s a sacrifice.

  • a

    I am a native San Franciscan, as in born and grew up here. Went to school in SF preschool through graduate school (1950s to 1980s). I now live an hour away, near my job. Still have family in SF living as original homeowners. I go to SF weekly. SF has changed over the years. I am totally priced out of the housing market, but that is also true of my area. Is SF snobby? Yes, but the place where I live now is, too. It would be so nice to live in an area where people are valued for being themselves, and not judged by their car, address, income, alma mater, fashion sense, etc. The “it’s all about me” attitude is so … old.

  • Maggie

    When I arrived in SF to look for an apartment, total strangers would strike up conversations with me, offer helpful tips and wish me luck and welcome to the city. One nice man in the outer Richmond even offered to give me a lift to the next viewing I was heading to. Nowadays, everywhere I go, total strangers smile and say hello. More than once, I have passed a well-turned out woman on the street and called out a compliment on her hair or dress in the same breath that she called out a compliment to me. This city is expensive and it’s got a lot of high-end shopping that I cannot afford, but snobby? Not one bit.

  • steve

    Travel & Leisure said that? Philistines.

    • steve

      I’m joking, of course. But, believe it or not, it’s a ton better in the snobbiness department now than it was during the dot com boom days. We were insufferable back then.

  • Alphadork

  • Boonie Dread

    SF thoroughly sucks in terms of quality people. I grew up in Seattle and lived in SF for 5 years and I will tell you that San Franciscans (or whatever youre called) have the tendency to exploit, disrespect and mistreat people they view as being less valuable than themselves. Given that everyone in that city thinks they are made of gold, it happens often. Dont let Seattles position as number #2 on the list influence you to believe you will experience the same thing in Seattle.

    • MaxMen011

      I agree. Just look at the comments below and responses below.

      I was actually blown away about how TRULY and GENUINELY tolerant, nice, and friendly people are up there. SF can definitely learn a few things or two from you guys.

      • Boonie Dread

        I agree. I always say that the Bay Area is tolerant but Seattle is accepting. Theres a difference people!

  • rundevilrun

    I can’t at all the pressed replies only reinforcing the article! But where are the lies??

  • Callit’Frisco’
  • steve

    I put of with the snobbiness (or more accurately, smugness) of San Franciscans for things like the view shown above.

    • steve

      “put up” I meant to say.

    • steve

      Oh, and another very fair criticism. A lot of us San Franciscans don’t seem to have the ability to laugh at ourselves.

  • AF

    You may all that you want about the “environmental factors” but all I know is that whenever I visit NYC and am in a Cab, they always ask where I’m from. When I say I’m from San Francisco, they always say, “no wonder, San Francisco people are the friendliest around.”

  • Rollet Alldaway

    Consider the source: “Leisure Magazine” – readership consists of spoiled suburban wanna-bes.


  • ll88

    Man there’s nothing worse than those born and raised Sf bros at a bar. Sausage party on the go and causing nothing but trouble to those that aren’t local.

  • ND

    I live here and I get tired of the people who won’t give you time the time of day because you aren’t an “nth generation san franciscan.” Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and no one in any other city brings that kind of crap up because no one cares. There are a lot of nice people in the city as well, but there really are a lot of people who look down their nose at others and even more people have a warped sense of entitlement about everything. Just read yelp reviews for restaurants in the city… people give 1 star reviews for places citing reasons that have nothing to do with food or service. “A mirror on the wall to make the place look bigger? Ugh, so tacky! I’ll never be back again!”

  • vratrm

    San Francisco should be a city able accommodate people a variety of interests those financially oriented as well as those creatively or philanthropically minded. The big problem is that for years san francisco has not adequately expanded its housing stock, allowing supply to become so tight that even very modest increases in population cause a sky-rocketing in rental prices. It should be kept in mind that San Francisco is not a boom town, unemployment is still historically high at 5.7% and population growth is well within what other vibrant metropolises are seeing. Yet even today developments are going up on the last scraps of undeveloped real-estate under extreme restrictions of height and density that are more appropriate to a suburb of the 1950s than an international city of the 2010s.

    People want to live in SF. We can either accommodate them by building sufficient housing for everyone, or we can restrict access to the city by pricing everyone but the financially elite out of the market who along with a lucky few of the middle and lower class who manage to win the below market rate housing lottery, will be the only ones able to move to the city.

  • Root_Admin1

    I can believe that survey. SF has that snobby, entitlement feel. It always feels strange when I have conversations with people who live in XX millions dollar homes and XXXX salaries talk about how they are getting ‘shanked’ by the economy. I’m like what??

  • manila

    Gosh, the comments here are full of bitterness, jealousy, and very judgemental…..if you dont like living in SF…move out!

    • LydiaLunch

      How is caring about and taking responsibility for one’s community being “full of bitterness, jealousy, and very judgmental.” And, no, sorry, just because people want to involve themselves with what’s happening to their town — their home — and are critical of the unregulated and cynical appropriation of that home hardly means they are judgmental in the limited, ignorant sense. They have opinions. That’s a pretty good thing to have in this country. People acting like uncritical sheep have gotten us into some pretty big messes, wouldn’t you say?

    • LydiaLunch

      No — people don’t just walk away from places where they have put down roots, nurturing those roots for decades. Your own attitude sounds creepily like ‘America, love it or leave it.’

  • Oona Moon

    If you came from somewhere else it’s a breath of fresh air. If you originated in this city before it became what it is now, it’s a little disappointing.

  • Jessyo86

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. In addition the housing is astronomically high, and there is a housing shortage, but the culture isn’t diverse at all. All you San Franciscans know what I mean.

  • Turtaan

    Is it really our fault that SF is better than 95% of America?

  • thatgirlytiff

    when the words entitlement, elite, and privilege come up who do you think of? this city is populated with them. the city and county of San Francisco is has already suffered an cultural death. the death march continues every time a new non affordable condo is built and displaced people are forced to move. and let’s not approach the racism and stereotyping that a majority of the population demographic of San Francisco does. snobs to say the least…

  • Aiquestion

    This is a well-deserved title. Having lived here for 17 years (and lived internationally as well as in NY, DC, MIami, Boston, LA), nowhere are people less welcoming and quicker to exclude newcomers than in SF. Everyone here rich and poor has a holier than thou attitude on so many issues, it’s truly baffling. Sadly, i think SFers will wear this with pride. Keep us the “good” work SF.

  • LordPlyeWood

    As a born and bred San Franciscan, I have to agree, at least in part. I find that many newcomers have an attitude which says, “I’m here now. The rest of you, please go to Oakland and quit spoiling my view!”

  • Rick

    I believe I can offer some perpective here: I’m a native Arkansan who visits SF twice a year and I hope to move to the area by the end of the year. When I first visited in 2007 – being from the south – it was a bit jarring at first to get used to what I call “the vibe” of the city. But now I love it more and more each time I visit. Look – people are different in various places around the country. Many folks originally from SF would feel people in the south are judgemental on issues like gay rights an abortion – things that in SF are non-issues and have been settled long ago. I usually will do a B&B or a vacation rental in a residential neighborhood and make a point of being around and talking with the locals when I visit. I’ve found that the locals, once they hear my southern accent, can’t stop talking to me. Maybe it sounds sexy or something I don’t know! lol! The locals have always been friendly to me and make me feel at home. Anyway, snob isn’t the right word. I would say forward thinking and progressive and proud of it. If some folks call that “snobby” so be it. And the weather in the bay area cant be beat.

  • snooby

    if you exclude marine county i think we’ll fall into #20



Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor