Union Square - Theater District : San Francisco Neighborhoods

Union Square/Theater District

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Now: Every day, Union Square puts on its show for visitors, tourists, and moneyed locals. And if consider the scale of it all, it's really a grand show. Hotel doormen with their buttoned coats take their place on the sidewalks, taxis line up in front of the St. Francis, drivers of red double buses prepare for their circular routes, store managers dress their window displays, and groundskeepers pick up trash from the sidewalks.

Then: The square was created in 1850 and named in support of the Union (as opposed to the Confederacy). The parking lot, built from 1939 to 1941, was the world's first underground parking garage.

How To Get There: From Powell Street Muni/BART station, walk up Powell to Geary. If you're driving directly to Union Square, parking options include the garage under the square (enter on Geary Street if you're going west, or Post Street if you're going east), or the Sutter-Stockton Garage, which can be entered from either Stockton Street or Bush Street.


  • Union Square, from the corner of Geary Street and Powell Street

  • Maiden Lane, adjacent to the east side of Union Square, between Geary and Post Street

  • Outdoor tables in Maiden Lane

  • Entrance to Maiden Lane from Grant Avenue, toward Stockton Street

  • Maiden Lane between Grant Avenue and Kearny Street

  • The intersection of Stockton Street at Market Street

  • Powell Street at Ellis Street, near the Cable Car Turnaround

  • In Union Square, facing the Macy's building

  • Emporio Rulli il Caffe at Union Square

  • Fountain at the Levi Store at Stockton and Post Streets

  • In Union Square

  • In Union Square, looking east

  • Southeast corner of Union Square, facing Neiman Marcus

  • Union Square, taken from Borders building

  • Window display for Louis Vuitton at Stockton Street near Geary

  • Stockton Street, looking south toward Macy's, at Union Square

  • Gucci Store, on Stockton Street at the entrance to Maiden Lane

  • Union Square, from Neiman Marcus store window

  • The ceiling inside Neiman Marcus, at the corner of Stockton Street and Geary

  • Cable Car turnaround on Powell Street

  • Hallidie Plaza, entrance to Muni and BART stations on Powell Street

  • Escalator at the Powell Street Muni station

  • Muni gates inside the Powell Street Station

  • Entrance to BART inside the Powell Street Station

  • Inside the Powell Street Muni station

  • Boarding a train at the Powell Street train platform

  • The display screen at the Powell Station platform, meant to show arriving and departing trains

  • Cable Car on Powell Street

  • Line of people waiting to board the Cable Car on Powell Street at Market

  • People waiting in line for the Cable Car

  • Muni ticket booth on Powell Street at Market Street

  • Waiting at the Cable Car turnaround at the end of Powell Street at Market Street

  • Empty Cable Cars on Powell Street

  • Empty Cable Cars

  • Cable Car window showing price of fare

  • Sightseeing tour bus on Post Street

  • Intersection of Geary Street and Powell

  • Handlery Hotel on Post Street

  • Fino Italian Restaurant, on Post Street near Taylor Street

  • Colibri Mexican Bistro, on Geary Street near Mason Street

  • Millennium Vegetarian Restaurant, on Geary Street at Jones Street

  • American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), and the Curran Theatre, on Geary Street between Mason and Taylor Streets

  • David's Delicatessen on Geary Street, across from the Curran and ACT Theatres

  • Biscuits and Blues, on Mason Street

  • Belden Place (or Belden Alley), between Pine and Bush Streets near Kearny Street

  • Brindisi Italian Restaurant, in Belden Place

  • Post Street at Grant Avenue

  • Prada store on Grant Street, near Post

  • Shops along Grant Avenue between Sutter and Post, including Banana Republic

  • Shops on Grant Avenue near Post Street

  • Intersection of Grant Avenue and Sutter Street

  • Bus stop on Sutter Street between Stockton and Grant

  • Sutter Street between Stockton and Grant

  • Campton Place Restaurant and Bar (and Hotel) on Stockton Street, near Post Street

  • Sugar Cafe on Sutter Street near Taylor Street

  • Sutter Street at Mason Street

  • Mason Street, looking south from Sutter Street

  • The Hotel Triton, on Grant Avenue near Bush Street

  • Farallon Seafood, on Post Street near Powell Street

  • Michael Mina Restaurant, inside the St. Francis Hotel

  • The Gold Dust Lounge, on Powell Street between Geary and O'Farrell

  • Sears Fine Food on Powell Street

  • St. Francis Hotel on Powell Street, adjacent to Union Square

  • Sir Francis Drake Hotel, at Powell and Sutter Streets

  • Le Colonial Vietnamese Restaurant and Club, on Cosmo Place, off of Taylor Street between Sutter and Post Streets

  • Hana Zen Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, on Cyril Magnin Street off of O'Farrell between Powell and Mason Streets

  • Puccini and Pinetti (family-friendly) Italian Restaruant, on Ellis Street between Mason and Powell

  • Cafe Mason, betwen Geary and O'Farrell

  • New Delhi Indian Restaurant, on Ellis Street near Mason

  • Fleur de Lys French Restaurant, on Sutter Street near Jones Street

  • The Grand Hyatt Hotel, at Stockton and Sutter Streets

  • Bar on the 38th floor of the Grand Hyatt

  • View from the bar at the Grand Hyatt, including Coit Tower

  • North view from the bar at the Grand Hyatt

  • Northeast view from the bar at the Grand Hyatt

  • Northwest view from the bar at the Grand Hyatt

  • Southeast view from the east windows at the top of the Grand Hyatt

  • Dining room at the top of the Grand Hyatt in the afternoon