Sep 28, 2017 | San Francisco | Featured Gourmet | Dan
Ghirardelli Square - Gourmet Chocolate in San Francisco
With its proximity to the ocean, selection of tasty treats, and excellent people-watching potential, Ghirardelli Square makes for a classic San Francisco landmark that is well-worth a visit. Whether you're from out of town or a local looking for some family friendly fun, you are sure to find something you like.
Ghirardelli Square is located between Fisherman's Wharf and Fort Mason. Parking can be tricky, so you'll likely want to park in the surrounding Russian Hill neighborhood- or better yet take a cable car and walk just one block from the end of the Powell-Hyde line. Be warned that Russian Hill is, after all, a hill, so be sure to bring some comfortable footwear if you do decide to do any walking.
Prior to entering the square, we recommend you stop at the Buena Vista Cafe for a cup of their world-famous Irish Coffee. While often crowded, it is worthwhile.
When you arrive at Ghirardelli Square, you'll instantly notice the distinct architecture. The repurposed brick buildings and charming hanging lights are welcoming and iconic, as the Ghirardelli sign atop the complex and the restored clock tower.
Inside, you should take some time to explore the shops and restaurants. You can find a fantastic selection of California- and San Francisco-centric gifts as well as specialty items like handmade jewelry, boutique clothing, and even pet accessories. If you are hungry or thirsty, there are two wineries and a beer garden inside as well as a number of restaurants that cater to a wide selection of tastes.
Of course, the crown jewel of Ghirardelli Square is its name sake: Ghirardelli chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth you will pleased that there are 3 confectionaries on the premise where you can indulge in a huge variety of tasty treats from the acclaimed San Francisco chocolatier. For the purist, visit the Original Chocolate Manufactory. If it's a massive selection you're looking for, check out the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace, where samples are handed out at the door. If you don't have time for a long perusal, then your best bet will be the Ghirardelli On-The- Go shop. Or if you are feeling especially decadent, stop by all three. Regardless you will not want to miss their signature ice cream sundae, topped with lavish Ghirardelli chocolate syrup!
Once you've had your fill of delightful treats, you will need some relaxation time. Fortunately, there is a lovely plaza located at the center of the Square. Here you can find a bench and take in some lovely views of the Pacific Ocean and some top-notch people watching.
If you still have energy after your visit, cross the street and enjoy the lovely strip of beach directly north of the Square, tour the Aquatic Park, or take a stroll over to the Great Meadow at Fort Mason. We hope you enjoy!
Can't make it to Ghirardelli Square, but want to share a taste to someone? We have you covered. Browse our selection of Ghirardelli Gift Baskets, and send the California good life!