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Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

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Shopping Mall Landmark
Once a hub of chocolate manufacturing, Ghirardelli Square now features a mix of shops and restaurants within the former chocolate factory. The real treat is the Ghirardelli soda fountain and chocolate shop where you can savor hot-fudge sundaes and stock up on the famous chocolate to take home. The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Manufactory is still here with the original equipment on display. Make Ghirardelli Square a centerpiece of your San Francisco vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our San Francisco itinerary planner.
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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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Google
4.3
  • Many of us have a Ghirardellis in our hometown but there is nothing like going back to the original for a Treasure Island sundae with chocolate ice cream and extra dark hot fudge. Add a bottle of wate...  more »
  • At the square there is three different Ghirardelli areas to go into and buy the chocolates. We actually enjoyed the one at the top of the stairs in the back of the square. Don't forget to go visit and...  more »
  • The best part of our visit was the free sample of chocolate when we entered the store. Ghirardelli Square has lost its charm.  more »
Google
  • Such a fun place to visit! They really have a great system down! There's a major line to get in but really it goes fast! I was just a little annoyed that they had a hard time understanding or inputting my ice tea. But really it was small compared to how nice they were and efficient :)
  • It's a nice square to relax after a day of walking around. There's some shops and a nice fountain to sit around. The main draw is, of course, the multiple Ghirardelli shops. Don't be discouraged if one has a line, just walk a few steps and check out the wait in the next one. It's true you can buy the chocolate in any regular food store, so I believe the ice cream is where this place really shines! The sundaes are massive and delicious. You could share one between two or three people...or you can forgo lunch and just have a sundae to yourself! Yum!
  • This is definitely a tourist trap. Avoid unless you want a very touristy experience. We had a poor experience with the Ghirardelli ice cream shop. Or of our three items only one was done right. We had a very hard time finding anyone to help even though there were many workers. None seemed capable. We eventually found a supervisor who fixed one item, but not the third. After all the trouble we were pretty disappointed. Find somewhere else to get some ice cream.
  • Always love it here!! I've been coming here since I was a child and so it's very nostalgic for me. Miss all the old shops but I understand how the market has affected this place and others over time. Love Lori's Diner here.. great food and view of the Bay.
  • This is a good place to go. For one, you get free chocolate. If you go through the door twice, they'll give you two. Also it's cool to learn about the chocolate making and see all the big machines doing their thing. And if you want more chocolate, there is a huge variety of things to buy! Including restraunt style desserts and they have tables to eat them at. Lots of Ghirardelli signs that you can take pictures of. And it's right by the water.