San Bruno, California

Little Italy

Looklyloo Score: 83

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Families/Young Professionals/DINKs

San Bruno’s downtown district is not a classic suburban/town “downtown” with a grassy square and community events happening every Saturday. Instead it centers around the commercial district between Huntington Ave and El Camino Real. As noted in the lifestyle section it’s filled with cool restaurants, boutique shops, a Hookah Lounge and even a 105-year old casino, Artichoke Joe’s. There are plenty of apartment and condo options in the neighborhood, along with some single-family homes, but it’s truly ideal for young professionals or couples who want to be right on the BART and Caltrain station lines for commuting to work or play and have a few options for nights out when you want to stay local.

Portola Highlands


Portola Highlands is a small, secluded neighborhood in San Bruno’s western hills that is much beloved by locals who appreciate how the homes often back up to the protected open spaces on the hills. The area has one street entrance via Sneath Lane that circles the neighborhood and gives it a private vibe, particularly when combined with the elevated position of the homes.

The homes in Portola Highlands were mostly built in the 1960’s, which means they are larger than those on the flats of San Bruno (typically 2,000 sq ft+), and they also sit on bigger lots, meaning the kiddos have more room to play, and you have more room to breathe the fresh mountain-ish air. Another bonus for locals – the highest rated district school, Portola Elementary, is right in the neighborhood.

Mills Park


Mills Park is one of San Bruno’s first neighborhoods. Built for the most part at the end of WWII it is known for modest, one-story homes that were intended as starter homes for returning GI’s and other middle class couples and families looking to escape the city. Since then many have been bought and expanded on the typically 5,000 sq ft lots.

Locals appreciate Mills Park for its proximity to downtown, which it borders to the east, and the 280 freeway, which it borders to the west. The blocks here wind along nice curving, quiet streets so even though you’re a walk to the restaurants and shops of downtown, you also get a nice quiet, suburban feel. Grundy Park is smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood so the kiddos have a great big open grass area to run around, along with a nice playground and picnic areas for the whole family.

Huntington Park


Huntington Park is one of San Bruno’s first “suburban” neighborhoods, with homes built just prior and just after WWII. It is the most southern of the San Bruno neighborhoods and that is a huge plus if you’re looking to avoid some of the fog you get in the more northern and western areas. Don’t underestimate the importance of micro-climates along the coast of Northern California!

Another huge bonus to Huntington Park is the presence of the city’s most beloved green spaces, San Bruno Park and Junipero Serra County Park. No other neighborhood offers as much green space within walking distance. With that you also get a short walk to the El Camino commercial district and Parkside, San Bruno’s only public middle school, is in the neighborhood.



Crestmoor is on the western edge of San Bruno and much beloved for how it runs alongside the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains and a walk from San Andreas Lake reservoir. If you’re looking for a suburban neighborhood that gives you direct access to some of the most beautiful land in the country then put Crestmoor on your list. In addition to the mountains you also have Buckeye and Crestmoor Canyon Parks in the neighborhood so you really can’t do better for an outdoor lifestyle than Crestmoor. Crestmoor Canyon/Crestmoor Canyon Park are in particular pretty amazing, with over 76 acres of wooded hiking trails and play spaces for families.