Feb 10, 2020 | Explore the Bay Area
Insider's Guide to Union Square
One of the must-visit destinations of any trip to San Francisco is certainly Union Square, with its 24-hour character and wealth of attractions to keep visitors delighted during their stay. All you have to do is stroll around Union Square to see why it's considered the epicenter of San Francisco. The famous plaza’s energy has only grown with time, with new and exciting restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Whether you’re already here or just getting started on planning your trip to San Francisco, explore beyond the lights with our insider’s guide to Union Square.
Flanked by Geary, Post, Powell, and Stockton streets, the palm-lined square is a 2.6-acre public plaza host to premier shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Union Square neighborhood extends by several blocks from the plaza, filled with art galleries, museums, salons, and theaters. The 85-foot Dewey Monument stands tall in the center of the plaza, a grand column dedicated to Spanish-American War victor Admiral George Dewey. A 9-foot statue of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, sits on top, holding a trident to represent Dewey and a wreath in honor of President William McKinley who visited Union Square to break ground on the monument before his assassination. Once a gathering site for pro-Union demonstrations in the 1850s, Union Square continues today to be a popular political and cultural gathering space.
Eat & Drink
From fine dining to quick bites, Union Square is home to a number of noteworthy bars and restaurants. Grab a drink at Eno Wine Bar, ELEMENTS Bar & Lounge, or the Golden Gate Taproom. Find French fare at Restaurant Jeanne D’Arc, Café Claude, and Bouche French Bistro and Wine Bar, Californian cuisine at OneUp, The Oak Room Restaurant, and The Rotunda, and local seafood and a raw bar at the upscale Farallon eatery. For modern Cali-Italian cuisine, visit Puccini & Pinetti located adjacent to Hotel Abri. Their seasonally inspired menu features shareable plates like Carpaccio and Bruschetta, housemade pasta, and perfectly roasted entrees like Bistecca, Chicken Marsala, and grilled local catch. After your gill, satisfy your sweet tooth at Teuscher Chocolates, Tout Sweet Patisserie, and Café Madeleine.
Union Square contains the city’s largest collection of luxury, department, and boutique shopping. Specialty shops like Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch, and Coach have the latest fashion trends, while department stores like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York offer a wide array of merchandise, from cosmetics and housewares to designer fashions. View a complete list of shops, here.
Art & Culture
Several notable art galleries are nestled in Union Square, including San Francisco Art Exchange and Martin Lawrence Galleries. The Museum of Ice Cream, comedy and improv clubs, and prominent theaters spill over from the nearby Theater District, ensuring that Union Square is a popular destination no matter what time of day (or night). Check out the painted heart art installations from the Hearts in San Francisco in the four corners of the square. The hearts are painted each year by artists and are later auctioned to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. You may see the hearts of past years exhibited throughout the city, including Pier 39, the Lyon Street Steps, and AT&T Park. Stay up to date with Union Square’s year round events programming, including pub crawls, walking tours, and the winter ice skating rink.
Stay in the heart of Union Square with Hotel Abri, a historic San Francisco hotel known for its spacious rooms and suites, high-tech features, and prime location only steps from Union Square. Want to explore further? Hotel Abri is only steps from the cable car trolley, bus, and Powell Street BART station to access the city’s greatest attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Get to your exciting Union Square plans faster with our Park & Stay package to save 20% on accommodations and unlimited in-and-out valet parking services.