Pokemon Go: San Francisco’s Best Spots to Catch, Train, and Battle your Pokemon

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The biggest phenomenon since Snapchat, Pokemon Go is the latest trend to hit airwaves and while you may dislike it, we’ve sipped the Koolaid and have a couple tips for budding trainers.

Finding your Pokemon is easy, finding the right ones is even harder — and with many beaming neighborhoods, San Francisco’s Pokemon bubble will never pop. Here are a couple of points we’ve noticed to start your Pokemon journey off right.



SF Muni (who are adamant on the “phone’s down and eyes up” campaign launched early last year) have released a statement to the launch of Pokemon Go and the added “bonuses” of riding Muni while playing, “Take advantage of Muni to save you time, money and provide vast access to some of the city’s Pokemon hotspots. Our operators deliver a safe ride that will allow time for you to scan your surroundings for a potential Caterpie under your seat. Frequent riders-turned-trainers cite the 18 46th Ave, 22 Fillmore, 29 Sunset and 38 Geary lines as goldmines for some of the city’s rarest Pokemon.“


  • Market and Third homes nothing but Pidgeottos. You’ll be fighting them off with a (zu)bat.
  • One of the rarest Pokemon of all time, Clefairy, can be hunted down along the 19 Polk route in the Tenderloin.
  • Whether you’re headed to a museum or to enjoy a picnic, the 44 O’Shaugnessy, 5 Fulton, or 33 Stanyan can get you to Golden Gate Park, where you can also find Eevee and Dragonair.
  • Taking the 38 (not the rapid) is the perfect way to get your Poke eggs hatched. It’s the only route in the city that travels the entire length in one straight line.
  • It’s tough to show up the lights on the Bay Bridge, but Ninetales, classiest and most tasteful of all Pokemon, comes close.
  • Fancy a Flareon? the 6 Parnasus arrives roughly every 15 minutes to get you to Victoria Manalo Draves Park on Folsom in SoMa.
  • Pikachu is a serious trainer’s most valued Pokemon. The 38R Geary Rapid is a speedy way to catch this lightning fast rarity near Land’s End on the city’s west side.
  • Aracanine, this loyal and steadfast dog/tiger Pokemon would, presumably, have its run of any dog park in the city. One Redditor found one all the way down in Little Hollywood Park
  • For gym training, we recommend starting at popular tourist attractions (the ferry building, Coit tower, GG Bridge) where the picking is hot. Easily claim your place and level your Pokemon. Want harder gyms? The Sunset district homes crazy high level ranking Snorlax’s and Dragonite’s.
  • If it’s a Pokemon gym you seek, popular battlegrounds include Union Square — arrive by the 38 Geary, Muni Metro’s Powell Station or a Powell Street Cable Car — and the top of Coit Tower accessible via the 39 Coit.
  • Into the artsy types? Mr. Mimes are known to hang around mural locations such as the Trader Joe’s mural on Masonic.
  • And there are apparently “goldmines for some of the city’s rarest Pokemon” along several bus routes: the 18-46th Ave, the 22-Fillmore, the 29-Sunset and the 38-Geary.
  • Starmie is only supposed to live at the deepest of ocean depths. But game designers don’t want you to take your phone free diving, so these ones have uncharacteristically come ashore at Ocean Beach.
  • (A little known rumor), Jinx’s hang around in high shopping centers such as Powell Street, Hayes Valley, and 9th Ave in the Sunset. Go figure.
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  • For those who are a bit more adventurous (with friends of course), can find highly desired fire Pokemon in GG Park. Finding these fire signs on tree’s is a very good indicator.
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Go out and catch’em all. In a safe manner.


Listed by the Bob Cut editors, photos sourced from SF Gate and Anthony Rogers — Need more Poke help? Refer to Curbed SF’s master Pokemon list. Remember, it’s a game so be careful where you go.

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