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Union Square Blog
August 15, 2013

The Microhoods of Union Square SF

To give you a taste of the type of content we offer in our free Map & Guide to Union Square, we decided to share with you info on some of our favorite mini neighborhoods in Union Square. Each quadrant of the area has its own unique personality and offerings, so check out our idea of the microhoods of Union Square.

The Heart - Powell St. and the Square

The center of our neighborhood and sometimes, it seems, the world, Powell St. is a bustling corridor filled with flagship shops, enticing restaurants and fabulous hotels that sees somewhere in the range 2-500,000 visitors a day. Young, hip and budget-conscious locals and visitors flock to the impressive Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Uniqlo and H&M shops on Powell St. All of this leads to a spectacular public square – Union Square Park where you can catch free concerts, festivals and outdoor art or simply enjoy an al fresco meal on a sunny day. Surrounding the park is a magnificent collection of department stores (Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave.) as well as the historic Westin St. Francis.

Local’s Corner - Sutter & Bush Sts

Not everyone ventures to the northern reaches of the neighborhood, but those who do are rewarded with a lovely mix of boutique shopping, excellent restaurants and charming boutique hotels. Undiscovered gems like local jewelry shop Favor, the hand-made wares at Ethos, scrumptious Asian cuisine at E&O Asian Kitchen and more await the savvy traveler who explores this area.

The Grand Boulevards – Stockton, Grant & Kearny Sts

Something like the Champs Elysée in Paris, you come upon an array of designer shops and cafés in the eastern part of Union Square leading up to the China Town Gates. With a sleek flagship Nespresso Café, chic designer houses like Ted Baker, Ben Sherman, Mulberry, Kate Spade, Burberry and Banana Republic and an unparalleled collection of jewelry boutiques such as Graff, Bulgari, Shreve & Co., Cartier, DeBeers and much more, it’s the perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon shopping, sipping coffee and taking in the city.

Designer Alley – Maiden Lane & beyond

Maiden Lane is a delightful pedestrian alleyway tucked between the busy streets of Union Square. It boasts the city’s largest concentration of luxury retail with big names like Hermès, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Theory and more. Plus, it offers a whole array of uniquely local offerings like luxury department store Gump’s, the Xanadu Gallery (the only Frank Lloyd Wright in SF), Britex Fabrics – the perfect spot for any DIYer to load up, and the meticulous and well-curated eyewear shop Spectacles.

The Arts District Geary St. & more

A key corollary running through the center of Union Square, Geary St. is host to the world-famous American Conservatory Theater and the Curran Theater where you can catch touring Broadway shows through SHN. For a more “off-Braodway” feeling, try SF Playhouse or Not Quite Broadway (in the Entertainment section). Plus, Geary is home to tons of art galleries, offering everything from original Picassos to cutting edge street art.

Just Don’t Call it a MallThe Westfield San Francisco Centre & Market St.

Our neighborhood is anchored on the south by the city’s main thoroughfare Market St. with a diverse set of large retailers like Gap and Anthropologie as well as cafés and drugstores. Across the street, you will find the beautiful Westfield SF Centre – a complimentary collection of indoor shopping, dining and entertainment options for visitors and locals alike.