San Francisco is full of neighborhoods that I love to visit over and over again when I find myself with some time between meetings – even if they’re touristy: Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, and Chinatown, to name a few. However, last time I was there I discovered Union Street. Not to be mistaken for Union Square, Union Street – especially between Gough and Fillmore in the Cow Hollow neighborhood – is lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, cafes, wine bars and more, most of which are housed in beautifully restored, historic Victorian-style homes and buildings.
I spent a warm, sunny November afternoon (I had arrived in town for a meeting being held in the Fisherman’s Wharf area a day early) popping in and out of the shops, stopping for a cup of coffee and pastry at one of the several coffee cafes, and absorbing the mellow, unhurried atmosphere of this fun, funky shopping district that felt decidedly more local than tourist-oriented.
I made note of several of the restaurants on this street, (including, The Italian Homemade Company, a local SF chain, that makes their own pasta from scratch daily right in the front window) and can’t wait until business brings me back to San Francisco so that I can give some of them a try. Stay tuned…
- I love to walk in San Francisco, however, some of the hills can be daunting. If you come to one that looks especially insurmountable – just walk a block or two down and see if you can find an optional street that’s a bit more doable.
- No matter what time of year you’re there, always bring a sweatshirt or light jacket; it can be chilly in the “City By the Bay” all year round, especially once the sun sets.
When I get to go to San Francisco for business I always wish that I could just stay a few extra days because I love the city!
The last time I was there for work, I found myself with a couple of hours before I was to meet colleagues for dinner and I decided to head over to the Ferry Building Marketplace.
The Ferry Building Marketplace used to be (you guessed it) a ferry building – However, it’s now been transformed into a gourmet shopping mecca for foodies and it’s fabulous! Upscale shops with specialty cheeses, breads, chocolates and even one shop dedicated to mushrooms stand side by side. There’s also a wine shop that offers tastings and some retail shops for browsing (Sur La Table for one), along with several restaurants and cafes. The building is located along the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street and because it’s right on the bay, the views are fantastic. You can even join a free guided walking tour of the building that coincides with the Farmer’s Market if you find yourself with free time on a Tuesday or Saturday (noon).
If you decide to check it out you can take one of the historic trollies (Line F) for just $2.00 (exact fare required.) The trollies run a six mile route back and forth along Market Street and up to Fisherman’s Wharf and one of the stops is right at the front door of the Ferry Building (note: these are the electric trollies not the street cars.) It’s actually also walkable from many Union Square and convention center area hotels.
Location: The Ferry Building Market
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA
Hours: 10am – 6pm Monday – Friday
9am – 6pm Saturday
11am – 5pm Sunday
(Note: Some shops have their own hours and are varied)
Trolley Information/Routes: www.streetcar.org/fline-riding.html