The densely populated Tenderloin District of San Francisco is located at the foothills of Nob Hill, between the shopping center of Union Square and the political hub in the Civic Center. The Tenderloin – a name whose origins remain contested – thrives with funky sights and eclectic culture despite its rough around the edges reputation.
During its heyday in the late 19th century, the Tenderloin boomed with an active nightlife, prominent theatres, burlesque houses and the historic Cadillac Hotel. The seedier speakeasy culture of the Tenderloin in the 1930s inspired the setting for author Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. The vibrancy of the district continues to grow – every year the Tenderloin’s Vietnamese population hosts the Vietnamese Tet celebration in Little Saigon.