West Portal is located at the southern edge of the hills in central San Francisco. The neighborhood is named for the western terminus of the Muni tunnel beneath Twin Peaks that opened in 1918. The ride in the subway from West Portal to Union Square is about twenty minutes.
Because of its small size and mom and pop stores, restaurants, and saloons, the neighborhood is often described as having a village atmosphere. The neighborhood is served by a branch of the San Francisco Public Library. Like Glen Park, the neighborhood is one of San Francisco’s metro-centered communities. Though small, the neighborhood has many restaurants, salon and nail services, a movie theatre, and spas, among other businesses.
The frequent fog helps keep the area green in the usually rainless summer months, and on a clear day, the park above the tunnel provides a view of the Marin Headlands and the Farallon Islands in the Pacific.