Fisherman’s Wharf Shopping

Fisherman’s Wharf Shopping

Mostly tourist bait with tacky shops full of postcards, 3 for $10 t-shirts, shot glasses and miniature cable cars, so steer yourself to Ghiradelli Square and the Cannery nearby. But don’t forget to get a bite to eat at Fisherman’s Wharf before heading there. And check out the famously entertaining sea lions.

The best bets on the wharf are the fresh food items like cioppino, shrimp cocktail, Dungeness crab (in season), lobster and, of course, steaming cups or bowls of clam chowder. For the best sourdough bread, and possibly the most delicious clam chowder at the wharf, go to the Boudin Bread Factory. Boudin is the bakery with the “mother dough,” a piece of the original Gold Rush era yeast from 150 years ago, baked into each loaf of their bread. They also make their loaves into golden animal shapes: turtles, alligators, teddy bears, bunnies. Boudin is located in Baker’s Hall, which houses their Marketplace gift shop, Peet’s espresso bar, the Bakery and Café and Bistro Boudin, their full-service restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Classic San Francisco cuisine with views of the Bay. 415/351-5561. Tours of the bakery and museum are available Wednesday-Monday, from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Tuesday.

Ghiradelli Square once the former woolen mill and chocolate factory, is now an elegant four level shopping complex. A variety of stores populate Ghiradelli Square. The clock tower houses the Ghiradellli Ice Cream and Chocolate Manufactory, where it all started in 1852. The first weekend in Sept., Ghiradelli sponsors a chocolate themed mini-festival, with free chocolate tasting, entertainment and demonstrations.

The shops here are tasteful and artistic with a touch of whimsy. Gigi + Rose is a clothing/accessory/gift shop for girls and women with fashions from the owner’s label, Delilah crown. Helpers Bazaar offers vintage collectibles and unique arts and crafts. An elegant perfumery, elizabeth w, offers fragrances for bath, body and home.

At the top of the foodie food chain is Restaurant Gary Danko located nearby at 400 North Point at Hyde. The superb contemporary restaurant is rated the number one restaurant in San Francisco. Known for impeccable service, romantic ambiance and its 3, 4 and 5 course prix-fixe menu, Gary Danko also maintains a 1200+ wine list. Menu items include roasted loin of bison, lobster bisque with saffron crème fraiche and flambéed bing cherries prepared table side. 415/479-2060

Ghiradelli Square, Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

The Cannery at Del Monte Square, built in 1907, was once the site of the world’s largest peach cannery. The three level brick warehouse is now a European-styled marketplace with dining, shopping and a central courtyard with sidewalk cafes and flower carts.

The Cannery at Del Monte Square, 1901 Leavenworth Street, San Francisco, CA 94133