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Editor's Picks

Union Square Blog
398 Restaurant, Maiden Lane, Romper Room
Union Square Park, Burritt Room, Lang Antiques
Bancarella, Salmon at 398 Restaurant & Bar, Chocolatier Blue
In Fisherman's Wharf: Aquarium of the Bay, Ghirardelli, Scoma's, Club Tattoo
January 30, 2015

A Tale of Two ‘Hoods

The rumors are true – Union Square SF and Fisherman’s Wharf, two of SF’s most well-loved and oft-visited neighborhoods have sparked a romance connected by the City’s iconic cable cars. Become a part of our affair by participating in one of these heart-warming activities.

UNION SQUARE

1. Union Square Park & Bancarella
333 Post St.
Cost: Varies
Start at the center of it all in Union Square Park. Sip espresso at Bancarella as you prep for an amazing day in SF!

Couples Selfie Photo Op: Be sure to visit the red heart at the North West corner of the park for that classic couple selfie.

2. San Francisco Art Exchange
458 Geary St.
Cost: Free
Peruse some appropriately-themed art with your sweetheart in a special exhibit at the San Francisco Art Exchange. Debuting on Valentine’s Day, Like a Rainbow, Love and Inspiration will feature the photographs by Pattie Boyd, including photos of her famous musician friends and images of her two husbands, both of whom wrote several love songs about her: George Harrison (Something, I Need You) and Eric Clapton (Layla, Wonderful Tonight). It’s sure to spark some romantic inspiration.

3. Burritt Room + Tavern
417 Stockton St.
Cost: $85 per person
Snuggle up in a private booth at the sleek Burritt Room restaurant. Enjoy seasonal California cuisine and a special 4-course tasting menu on Valentine’s Day. Dishes include Parsnip Pierogis with melted leeks and Filet Oscar with Bay Scallops and blood orange hollandaise. The coup de gras is a dessert of chocolate hazelnut torte with strawberries and berry gelée. Your Valentine will thank you! 

4. 398 Restaurant & Bar
398 Geary St.
Cost: Varies
Take your date to one of the newest and hottest restaurants in Union Square – 398 Restaurant. Housed in a gorgeous historic building, the grand dining room is sure to impress. Get intimate with their special shared dishes just for Valentine’s Day like oysters, rack of lamb and berries and cream, or enjoy their selection of seasonal Euro-American dishes.

5. Maiden Lane
Maiden Ln. between Stockton and Kearny St.
Cost: Varies
Stroll down the charming pedestrian alleyway Maiden Lane. With a colorful history (once home to several of the Barbary Coast’s infamous brothels) and a wide variety of luxurious retailers, as well as the lovely Mocca Café where you can enjoy a cappuccino or a sandwich al fresco with your love, this is the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon. Top off your evening with a drink in the wacky and fun, yet laid back Romper Room cocktail bar.

6. Lang Antiques
309 Sutter St.
Cost: Varies
If your Valentine is old-fashioned at heart, then his or her eyes will sparkle at the sight of the antique jewels and baubles at Lang Antiques. Plus, they’re offering a bottle of bubbly and Teuscher chocolates (from just down the street) with any purchase Feb 7 – 14 to make for the perfect Valentine’s gift.

7. The European
490 Geary St.
Cost: Varies
Find a cozy corner of this trendsetting bar and sip on one of their brand new seasonal cocktails by Bar Manager Shirley Brooks (formerly from the Battery), such as the Love Letter with vodka, lemon, house-made hibiscus syrup and ginger. If you’re more into bubbles, stop by for their new all-bubble happy hour at only $5 a glass, Monday – Friday 5-7 pm.

8. Chocolatier Blue
763 Market St
Cost: Varies
Stop in this pint-sized shop to sample some of their uniquely delicious chocolate treats. Truffles come in unusual flavors like mulled wine, grapefruit & rosemary and sage honey and are made with the highest quality ingredients. They even look beautiful and artistic! 

GETTING IN BETWEEN

The “Love Line,” a.k.a. the Cable Car 
Hyde & Beach Street or Taylor & Bay Street (Fisherman’s Wharf)
Powell & Market Street (Union Square)  
Cost: $12 (two adults)

The world loves San Francisco for its many icons, especially the historic cable cars. Feel the love with your loved one aboard the Powell-Hyde or Powell-Mason line which go to and from Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square. Hold on to the safety rail and swing through the streets while you ride the cable car in San Francisco’s hilly and historic neighborhoods.

Couples Selfie Photo Op: Hang out, literally, and snap a shot of you two on the Cable Car

Parkwide Bicycle Rentals
Union Square Park
Cost: $31-41 pp for 24 hr rental ($5 discount pp) 
Looking for something a bit more active to do with your main squeeze this February? Rent a bicycle from Parkwide Bicycle Rentals right in Union Square Park. From here, you can explore the neighborhood, ride down Market St. to the Embarcadero and loop back up to Fisherman’s Wharf!

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

1. Aquarium of the Bay
Pier 39
Cost: $40 (admission for two)
The Aquarium of the Bay is the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon or even an early weekday evening after work. It is a small attraction and only takes about an hour to walk through, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy dinner or grab a drink afterwards. Don’t forget to stop “Under the Bay” and steal a smooch from your sweetie as you stroll through 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels surrounded by sharks and other native marine species. 

Couples Selfie Photo Op: Smooching next to the sharks in the crystal tubes

2. Club Tattoo  
Pier 39
Cost: Varies
Not for the faint of heart, take your main squeeze to Club Tattoo to get their name tattooed onto your body part of choice. Getting “Mom” tattoos is so yesterday!  Whether you are long-time partners or first-time Tinder date, nothing says “I love you” like some sweet ink dedicated to your sweetie. 

3. Pier 43 Promenade
Pier 43
Cost: Free
Your date won’t be able to help but feel the love while taking a stroll down the Pier 43 promenade and admiring the stunning views of the Bay, the historic Pier 43 Arch, and Alcatraz. Still relatively new, the Pier 43 Promenade underwent a $10 million renovation in 2012.

Couples Photo Op: Ask a passerby to snap a shot of you two while you strike a pose under the romantic Pier 43 Arch

4. Forbes Island
Between Pier 39 & 41
Restaurant & Bar
Cost: $20 (for two drinks)
Want to really impress your #1 flame? Stroll just past PIER 39 and make a mysterious call from the dock. Soon you and your date’s personal boat/chariot will arrive and whisk you over to the fantastical floating restaurant and bar known as Forbes Island. Enjoy this bucket-list worthy nautical date with waterside cocktails or in the underwater dining room.

5. Scoma’s Restaurant
Pier 47 off Al Scoma Way
Cost: $60-$120 (dinner for two)
One of San Francisco’s most classic date spots, Scoma’s Restaurant, boasts the freshest seafood in San Francisco. The restaurant pulls that day’s catch from a boat that docks on the same pier that the restaurant sits on and brings it straight to your plate. Talk about sustainable! Your date will be impressed by this thoughtful choice. Snuggle up next to your beloved in a Bay-view booth while you enjoy Dungeness crab, cioppino, and classic cocktails.

6. Fishermen’s & Seamen’s Memorial Chapel
Pier 45-B  
Cost: Free
Considering popping the question? Take your loved one to this romantic and historic spot on the old Fisherman’s Wharf wooden pier. Sitting above the bay next to the romantic chapel surrounded by gorgeous Bay views is sure to inspire a resounding “YES!” Or, if you are a step ahead of the game, the chapel also hosts small intimate weddings.

7. Hyde Street Pier Historic Ships
Hyde and Jefferson Streets
Cost: $10 (for two adults)
Located at the west end of Fisherman's Wharf, Hyde Street Pier is home to a fleet of historic landmark vessels. For a modest admission fee, visitors can board this fleet of turn-of-century historic ships.

8. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop
900 North Point St. (and 42 Stockton St.)
Cost: $9.95 (one sundae)
What is sweeter than sharing a world-famous Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae with your sweetheart? That’s right, nothing! Not to mention the whipped cream, chopped almonds, and cherry-on-top. Take in the tasty delight in Ghirardelli Square sitting next to the fountain or stroll down to Aquatic Park and enjoy it while sitting in the grass and admiring the amazing view of the San Francisco Bay. You can plan ahead and bring your own picnic to enjoy in the park on a sunny San Francisco day.