San Francisco has many great little neighborhoods you might want to checkout. However, having lived west of Twin Peaks for a great majority of my life I would suggest you checkout our West Portal neighborhood. It has plenty of small stores, is very walkable, easy access to our two major freeways, and a great deal of public transport options. We have sold and rented several homes here so if your interested please reach out to us and we will be glad to send you some more info.
Your neighborhood realtors,
Stella and Mike
Here is a craigslist link to a rental if it works: email@example.com
3 bedroom. summer rental (415)706-5582
I assume you want to avoid too many hills, which can be difficult, but here are a few other options:
- Glen Park (near Diamond) could be interesting. Cute small strip of stores/coffee shops. Adorable little neighborhood.
- Sunnyside/Miraloma are adjacent to Glen Park and might be more affordable for a rental. For either neighborhood, you want to look close to Monterey Ave (where it's flat) and closer to the Glen Park bart (so you can walk to the Glen Park commercial area). I live in Sunnyside and love it -- they recently redid the Sunnyside Conservatory, and they often host book readings, music, holiday activities, etc.
- Inner Sunset (near Irving) is worth exploring. Very active commercial strip on Irving and walk to Golden Gate Park. What it lacks versus the other areas I mentioned is a small neighborhood feel.
- Bernal Heights might be a bit hectic, but the St Mary's neighborhood adjacent to Bernal Heights could be perfect. Small neighborhood feel, but adjacent to some Mission eateries and Bernal Heights commercial strip.
All of these neighborhoods have cool little parks as well.
We lived in Noe Valley for a number of years, and think it fits most of your criteria. Pretty flat (especially by SF standards!), and with coffee shops sprinkled throughout, a brand new Whole Foods, restaurants, banks and boutique stores on 24th street (the main drag), it might be a great place to consider. It's also close to major freeways - it used to take me less than 5 minutes to get on 280 south. Overall, think it's a mostly quiet neighborhood with lots of families, but still lots to do. We loved living there.
Good luck with your move!
There are several neighborhoods in San Francisco that comes to mind and have top walkability scores. You mentioned that your wife is now partially disabled, question is would the hills in San Francisco be an issue or would you prefer a flatter area? I have lived in San Francisco most of my life and now live in Piedmont/Rockridge area across the bay so I know the areas very well. Let us know...