There’s always something happening in Ghirardelli Square, but now is an especially exciting time to visit this iconic San Francisco complex. There are plenty of new retail shops and restaurants to check out, many of them San Francisco based, so make sure to do some exploring. On your next visit to the Square, these are ten things not to be missed!
If you like craft beer, you’ve come to the right place. The family-owned San Francisco Brewing Co. & Restaurant, housed in a 12,000-square-foot space, has an on-site brewery so your beer is coming straight from the source. Try a flight (lagers, IPAs, ales, etc,) and sip them by a fire pit in the outdoor beer garden.
You can’t visit Ghirardelli Square and not play a round of mini golf at Subpar. All of the 18 holes are fashioned after San Francisco landmarks, such as Lombard Street, Transamerica Pyramid Building, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. After a round, stick around to play some classic video games in the arcade.
You’ll definitely be tempted to make some purchases at Jackson & Polk, sister shop to Gigi + Rose. Scoop up items like clothing from San Francisco designers, one-of-a-kind necklaces, Art Deco-style San Francisco postcards, novelty books, and pretty prints from local artists.
You can always find something at VOM FASS, which is loaded with specialty items for your kitchen. The shop carries a variety of balsamic vinegars in flavors like honey and raspberry and extra virgin olive oils, infused with orange or basil. Plus, it also has craft spirits, such as a peach liqueur and blood orange vodka.
If you want your children to learn the merits of learning how to cook for themselves, sign them up for a session at Culinary Artistas, which runs classes and one-day camps for kids where they’ll learn to chop, mix, mash, and mince. Nachos and cinnamon rolls are just a few dishes they might learn to make!
If you’ve built up an appetite exploring Ghirardelli Square, head to Palette Tea House for a dim sum feast. Super tasty options include dumplings (red chile, XO shrimp, black truffle oxtail) and steamed pork buns. You can also try the Insta-worthy deep-fried charcoal taro puffs molded into small black swans.
You may know The Cheese School has fabulous cheese and charcuterie boards but did you know its cafe sells soups, sandwiches, and salads? The French onion soup will warm you up on a cold day, and the cream-braised pork sandwich with smoked provolone and the kale Caesar salad are winners, too.
At Succulence you’ll be dazzled by the displays of succulent plants, cacti, terrariums, houseplants and handmade pottery. One of the shop’s most popular features is its planting bar, where after picking out planters and plants, you can add soils, pebbles, mosses and sand to make your own beautiful creation!
It’s hard to visit LOLA boutique and come out empty handed. This charming shop is stocked with specialty gifts, including socks adorned with San Francisco attractions, humorous greeting cards, scented candles, books, coffee mugs, magnets, as well as other items that make for perfect holiday presents.
And, finally, if you’re in Ghirardelli Square, you will be having some delicious treats at Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace. Indulge your sweet tooth with chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa, and one of their famous vanilla sundaes, topped with hot fudge and whipped cream.
Photography by: Ghiradelli Square