Shopping and Eating in San Francisco, USA
According to AbbreviationFinder, San Francisco is one of the largest cities in the country of USA.
Shopping in San Francisco
In San Francisco you have a very good selection of all kinds of goods, much because of the great ethnic variety of the city’s population.
San Francisco’s obvious shopping hub is Union Square and the surrounding area. Here are all the major chains represented, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, Cartier, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue. Here are also the exclusive stores (or boutiques) for designers such as Dior and Armani. In the side streets you will find many galleries and art outlets.
One of the tourists’ favorite places for shopping is Cannery, a large brick building with a past as a canned factory. Here are souvenir and gift shops such as sells Native American handicraft, crystals and jewelry, as well as bars and eateries. The Cannery is located on Del Monte Square at the foot of Columbus Street.
At Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf, there are over 110 stores selling everything a tourist would like to buy. If you had tried to open a store in Norway that only sells dragons, knives, game boxes, refrigerator magnets, socks or Russian dolls, you would probably go bankrupt immediately, but in the US everything goes well. There is also a Disney Store and close by you will find The Anchorage with more than 50 specialty shops and restaurants.
Americans are good at making big centers where you can spend all day shopping, eating, drinking, maybe bowling or going to the movies. One such is the Embarcadero Center, which spans six blocks. Located between Union Square and the sea, on Battery and Drumm Street, it has over 125 shops and eateries.
If you want to try something other than modern shopping centers with air conditioning and easy listening music on the speakers, you can head to the Castro district, but which is definitely not named after Cuba’s president. Among the steep streets and old houses painted in bright colors are many special shops, bookshops, galleries and bars.
Most shops are open between 1000 and 1900 every day except Sundays. Some of the largest department stores close even later and also have Sundays open.
Please note that a 8.25% sales tax is added on when you pay, but on larger purchases you can in many cases be refunded at the airport when you leave California.
Eating in San Francisco
Due to the ethnic diversity of San Francisco, there are also many different restaurants here. One of America’s largest Chinatowns offers hundreds of genuinely Chinese eateries, and in the area of North Beach it is teeming with Italian restaurants. Try the Mission district for a good selection of inexpensive Mexican eateries. You will also find many excellent Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants here.
Everything is big in the United States, and this is especially true of the positions you get served in most restaurants. Also, Americans love fast food restaurants. In San Francisco, of course, you meet all the fast-food chains you’ve heard of, and probably some more. So if hamburgers, finger foods in general and other takeaway are in your street, then you have no problems.
You should definitely visit a burger chain in San Francisco, so why not Hard Rock Cafe ? The San Francisco branch is actually very stylish and is located on Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf.
If you have children, head to Rainforest Cafe at 145 Jefferson Street, just off Fisherman’s Wharf. It will be a success for everyone in the family. We liked the Rainforest Cafe in San Francisco even better than the one in London.
Restaurants we recommend in San Francisco
Great Eastern Restaurant
If you drive to Chinatown and 649 Jackson Street in San Francisco, you will see the Great Eastern restaurant. The food is Chinese, the prices are not bad at all, and you can boast about having eaten at a restaurant where former President Obama has also eaten. Great Eastern is many people’s favorite to book in advance. Favourite dish? It must be shrimp rice noodles or dumplings!
The opening hours of the Great Eastern Restaurant are usually 1000 to 2300.
A real classic in San Francisco is John’s Grill at 63 Ellis Street, not far from Union Square. Perhaps the city’s oldest and most famous eatery. Also, the action in the Maltese Falcon was added here. Many celebrity guests visit John’s Grill and you and them probably come to eat steak and possibly hear live music.
NB! John’s Grill closes early, approx. 2145 every night. So get there early, and preferably to a reserved table! Here is the website of John’s Grill.
The Stinking Rose
A little special restaurant that gets great feedback is The Stinking Rose at 325 Columbus Avenue. The name may come from the fact that there is a lot of garlic in the menus, but the kitchen is a mix of California and Italy and reaps many praises.
The Stinking Rose is open from 1130 to 2200 every day of the week. You can read more about The Stinking Rose here on their website.
Special restaurant in San Francisco
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
In Fairmont San Francisco you will find a very special and iconic restaurant and tiki bar that was established in 1945. It is called Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar and is not reminiscent of a tropical paradise. Here is music, dance floors, large indoor swimming pool and a wonderful menu inspired by Asian food and dishes from the South Sea.
Don’t be alarmed if you hear the sound of thunder and storm. The restaurant has a number of effects to offer. Dinner is served only from Wednesday to Sunday. Opening hours are from 1700 to 2345.
The address of the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar is Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street. Read more on the website of Tonga Room & Hurrican Bar.
California and wine and beer
If California had been an independent nation, it would have been the world’s fourth largest producer of wine. Wine is grown in most of California’s 58 regions, so if you want to visit a winery, you don’t have to go very far from San Francisco. Napa County is perhaps the state’s most famous wine region, and this one is just north of San Francisco. If you travel east, you reach the wine regions of Sierra Foothill and Livermore, and to the south you have Santa Cruz and Monterey.