Its borders are generally considered to be 22nd Street to the north, Randall Street to the south, Dolores Street to the east, and Grand View Avenue to the west. These borders are informal, nothing more, and continue to expand, thanks to real estate agents. The Castro (Eureka Valley) is directly to Noe Valley's north, although the border is not well defined and can stretch into Noe Valley, and The Mission is to its east.
Like many other San Francisco neighborhoods, Noe Valley started out as a working-class neighborhood for employees and their families in the area's once-thriving blue-collar economy, but has since undergone successive waves of gentrification and is now considered an upscale neighborhood. It is home to many urban professionals, particularly young couples with children, and it is not unusual for a well-maintained house in Noe Valley to sell for two million dollars or more.
Traffic flow is limited – one main north access through Castro Street to Eureka Valley, one main west access up Clipper Street toward the former Twin Peaks toll plaza and west of the city, several east accesses to the Mission District through 24th, Cesar Chavez and other numbered streets, and the main north–south Church Street access used by the J Church Muni Light Rail.
Public transit includes the J Church, which runs down Church Street until 30th Street. The 24 Muni Bus also runs through Noe Valley. Its route comes from the north on Castro Street, and switches to Noe Street at 26th Street. It then exits the neighborhood via 30th Street.
The neighborhood is primarily residential, although there are two bustling commercial strips. The first along 24th Street, between Church Street and Diamond Street, and the second, less dense corridor along Church Street, between 24th Street and 30th Street.
Ruth Asawa was a resident of Noe Valley from 1962 until her death in August of 2013. Carlos Santana graduated from James Lick Middle School on Noe Street in the early 1960s, as did Benjamin Bratt in the following decade. Medea Benjamin also lives in the neighborhood. Famous carpetbaggers include Scott Hutchins, Evan Williams and Mark Zuckerberg.